10 Questions For: Patrick Kappaz

One of the youngest people to ever climb Lobuche East answers 10 questions from TSA Founder, Oliver Browne


1. Patrick, you just climbed Lobuche East. We think you are one of the youngest people to climb Lobuche if not the youngest. Well done. First up. How did it feel?


The climb, while difficult, was an incredible experience, and it felt amazing once I reached the summit! However, it really hit me on the trek down once I could really comprehend what we had just done, not only the challenging summit climb at the end, but the incredible 7-day trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp, and those great days in Kathmandu before and after with the incredible True Summit Adventures and 14 Peaks Expeditions team.


2. You climbed with your father and your brother? How was that? 


Climbing with my father and brother was one of the main reasons that I was able to reach the summit. They were motivating and encouraging throughout the climb. The fact that we could all do this together made it truly the trip of a lifetime!



3. We know you’re a great skier. How much climbing had you done before you got to Nepal?


Before I got to Nepal, I had only done some climbing in the Colorado Rockies, but it was nothing in comparison to Nepal. While that mountain experience certainly helped prepare me for our expedition with you, nothing I had done in the U.S. was nearly as high, steep, or challenging as Lobuche!


4. Why do you think you were able to summit?


I think I was able to summit because of everyone else on our incredible climb encouraging me to keep on pushing.  



5. How hard did you find it?


I found the trekking to be what I expected (except that the beauty was well beyond my expectations), but on Lobuche I very much saw and felt the effects of the altitude. The altitude made it hard to sleep, which made it hard on the way up, and it was really one step at a time.  On the way down I realized that I was so tired that the 8 hour summit climb felt like only 30 hard minutes afterwards!


6. Was there something in particular that helped you get to the top? Some technique or system of motivation that you used?


Something that helped me get to the top was a combination of our leader, Ollie, giving me not only patient encouragement, but also hot tea which really warmed me up and soothed the sore throat which I was dealing with, and my older brother Michael saying that the summit was only 20 yards away for the entire second half of the climb!


7. When you got to the summit how did it feel?


When I reached the summit I was amazed at the view and how far we climbed, and was both elated and honestly relieved.  I was also inspired by my brother who was channeling his inner David Goggins giving me motivational speeches as we met at the summit!


8. We heard the guides say you could attempt Everest. Is that on your radar? And if so when?


Everest is definitely a possibility if I can find the time to do it given that I’m still in school, and Everest expeditions can take over 2 months and are usually during the school year.  Still, where there is a will, there is a way!


9. Which other mountains would you like to climb?


I would like to climb some slightly higher mountains or mountains that are in a different climate so I can experience new and exciting things.  I know True Summit Adventures is planning a multiple-peak expedition to the Andes in January 2024, but that one may be too soon after Nepal for me to get permission to miss another 3 weeks of school!


10. What would you say to other young climbers who want to take on 6000m mountains?


I would say that if you set your mind to get to the top then you can do it, but summitting isn’t everything, it is the climbing in the moment, what you learn about yourself, and the strong bonds you build with your team members, guides and sherpas.