For the perfect portrait of earth’s high point, Kala Patar is hard to beat. Kala, a 5,500 metre mountain that anywhere else would look imposing, here in the heart of Himalaya’s mightiest range appears squat – a bonsai summit dwarfed by its grand surroundings. Don’t underestimate it though – altitude and gradient conspire here to test legs and mettle, and by the time you reach the peak, you’ve definitely earned it.Ice fields roll out in front of you, sweeping up into sharp black granite slopes and imposing peaks. And there stands Everest, presenting perhaps its most famous face, clouds invariably lingering near the top, and the south col – start of the infamous ‘death zone’ – clearly visible. But look out too for several scene stealers: to the southeast rises enchanting Ama Dablam, while to Everest’s west stands the beautiful cone of Pumori.