Dolpo Western Nepal
The word conjures up visions of mysterious monasteries
of snow leopards and blue sheep. A land beyond the
Himalaya. Laying in western Nepal, Dolpo is one
of the most remote of Nepals regions. By special
permit, through our Nepalese tour operator, we are
able to offer this-day trek through upper and lower
Dolpo . In addition to trekking we will spend a
day rafting on the Trisuli River , three days in
remote Bardia National Park (looking for rhinos
and tigers) and 4 days in Kathmandu visiting Buddhist
& Hindu shrines and temples.
route follows much of the route taken by Peter Mathiessen
and George Shaller as described in ( The snow Leopard
. We trek 200 miles , averaging 10 miles a day.
We spend 6-8 hours a day trekking . Several layover
days are planned . Porters carry a day pack with
the things you need for the day.
should be in good shape. We are at high elevation
much of the time on this trip. Five passes, over
16,500 feet, are crossed . Steep climbs and descents
use a reputable, local, trekking agency that is
licensed by the Nepalese government and is environmentally
friendly. Their guides are some of the best in Nepal.
Ron Yarnell, the owner of Wilderness: Alaska/ Mexico,
accompanies the trip as your leader .
01 : Arrive in Kathmandu. You will be met at
the airport and transported to our hotel. The afternoon
will be spent visiting the Hindu shrines of Durbar
Square. Meals the first two days in Kathmandu are
not included in the price of the trip.
02 : Tour the Buddhist sites of Swayambhunath
and Bodhanath on the edge of the city.
03 : After breakfast we travel by van 3 hours
to the Trisuli River. Following a safety lecture
we spend the afternoon paddle rafting a section
of the Trisuli. Previous experience is not required
. It is a fun run with class III rapids. Following
the raft trip we continue , by van, to our hotel
at Pokhara, on Phewa lake, with the Annapurna Range
rising to 26,000 feet north of us. Breakfast and
dinner this day are not include in the price of
04 : Today we fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (elevation
8900 feet), the administrative centre for the Mustang
district to Nepal. En-route we fly between Annapurna
I ( 26500 feet) ad Dhaulagiri ( 26,800 feet) . It
is a spectacular flight. We meet our porters in
Jomsom. From here we trek up the wide, Kali Gandaki
Valley to the Fortress- like town of Kagbeni (9200
feet) . The scenery around us is spectacular . To
our south are the galciated peaks of the Himalaya.
To our north is the drier, dessert - like countryside
of the Tibetan plateau , a maze of barren high mountains
. ( 8 miles).
05-06 : Climbing 3000 feet out the Kali Gandaki
Valley, we have excellent views of the Annapurna
Range, Muktinath and Mustang. We traverse into the
spectacular Chalung Khola, climbing and descending
side canyons along the way, to the village of Sangdak,
elevation 12,500 feet. (15 miles)
Day 07-09 We ascend the convoluted Chalung gorge,
then climb 400 feet, to 16,800- foot, Sangdak Pass,
the eastern entrance to Dolpo. The scenery is magnificent.
This has got to be one of the grandest viewpoints
in the world. Descending the pass we follow the
Thajang Khola to the village of Chharka, 13,500
feet elevation. (25 miles)
10-13 : From Chharka we climb 3000 feet to Chharka
Pass (16,500), then descend into the Keheng Khola.
This is one of the most remote regions in Nepal,
an area where there could still be the magnificent
Marco Polo sheep or the Tibetan wild yak. The landscape
is Arctic desert , barren in places with alpine
meadows in others. We hike past the very Tibetan
villages of Tinje, Shimengaon and Saldang. (50 miles)
14-15 : Entering Phoksundo National Park, we
climb 3000 feet over a 17,300 - foot pass and descend
, to famous Shey Gomba, elevation 13,950 feet. We
spend a layover day here watching blue sheep, looking
for snow leopards and wolves and touring the monastery.
16-18 : Leaving Shey Gomba we climb 3200 feet
over a 17200- foot pass. Views of the 22,000-foot
peaks of the Kanjiroba Range are excellent . We
descend 5000 feet into the Phoksundo River drainage
and work our way along beautiful Phosksudo Lake
(12,000 feet). We find ourselves perched on cliffs,
high above the lake. If you dont like heights
you wont enjoy this section. A layover day
is planned at the lake. (16 miles)
19-20 : From Phoksundo lake we descend past
the spectacular waterfall draining the lake. Leaving
the main route we follow the Durjam Khola through
the village of Pungmo (9600 feet), to the base of
Kagmara Pass. Since crossing the last pass we have
entered the lusher side of the Himalayas . Beautiful
forests of pine, spruce, hemlock and birch are common.(18
21-22 : Climb 3000 feet to the summit of Kagmara
Pass( 16,800) . Descend along Kagmara Glacier ,
3000 feet to Kagmara Phedi camp. (8 miles)
23-24 : Descend Garpung Khola 8 miles to Hurikot
and the park boundary . Continue down 2 miles to
the Bheri River, at 8600 feet elevation . Contour
through villages and apple orchards past potato
and corn fields, climbing to camp at Mauriya Phedi
, elevation 10,200. (20 miles)
25 : Ascend steeply, 2300 feet, through forests
of pine and oak, across avalanche tracks to Mauriya
Pass (elevation 12,500). Views of the snowy peaks
to our north and east are exceptional. Descend steeply
, 2600 feet, through birch, oak and rhododendron
forests to Chotra, elevation 9900 feet (7 miles).
26 : For the next two days we descend the Tila
valley through spruce forests, past barely fields
and rice terraces, irrigation works and water driven
mills, to Jumla, elevation 7700 feet, the administrative
centre for the region. (20 miles)
27 : From Jumla we fly to Nepalgunj , then drive
to Bardia National Park, a remote national park
in the lowerlands of western Nepal. Here we go o
elephant rides and jungle walks looking for tiger,
rhinos and other wildlife.
28 : Drive back to Nepalgunj and fly to Kathmandu
. Dinner is not included today.
29 : Today is a layover day in Kathmandu for
shopping . Meals are not included.
30 : The end of the trip. You are free to return
us trekking through one of Nepals most mysterious
& Temperatures Temperatures can range from the
80s in the jungle to the 20s or lower
in the high country. This is the dry season , so
significant rain is not likely, but you will need
to be prepared for a variety of weather , including
snow at higher elevations.
in the price of the trip : All hotels and lodging,
transportation including airport pick up and return
in Kathmandu meals except while in Kathmandu &
Pokhara, air flights beyond Kathmandu , eating utensils,
tents, first aid supplies, trekking permit, porters
included in the price of the trip : Transportation
to Kathmandu , personal clothing , sleeping bag,
sleeping pad, boots, meals while in Kathmandu &
Pokhara, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, day
pack, duffel bag and gratitudes. An equipment
list will be provided upon registration or request.
reading The snow Leopard; Peter Mathiessen;Himalayan
Pilgrimage; David Snellgrove; Stones of Silence;
George Shaller; Dolpo, Karna Sakya; Heart of the
Jungle, K.K. Gurung; Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya,
Lonely Planet Guides; Nepal, Insight Guides.