Trekking company: Actual Adventure Private Limited
Activity:Trekking and Sightseeing
Best season:April to august, Sep to Nov
Cost of Trek:As upon request
Maximum Altitude: 5550 m
Minimum group size:Two People
Dolpa Surrounded by high mountain ranges remains one of the few forbidden border regions of Nepal. The last vestiges of traditional Tibetan culture can be found in this visually stunning region of high plateau`s and striking landscapes made famous in the Eric Valli film `Himalaya`. Here remains some of the highest settlements on earth where the villagers grow their crops of barley and herd their yaks. We travel over several high passes to Inner Dolpo with its stunning Phoksumdo Lake. First opened to trekkers in 1992, Dolpo has seen a very limited number of westerners over the years, and this trek will appeal to those seasoned travellers in search of an authentic Himalayan experience.
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu
You will be met by a representative of Actual Adventure Private Limited and transferred to hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.
Day 2: In Kathmandu (1330m)
This morning a sightseeing tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, returning to the hotel by 2pm. In the afternoon you may have time to explore Swayambhunath, Durbar Square, Patan or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world.
Day 3: Fly Kathmandu to Pokhara.
This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, Nepal`s second largest town and our first night`s camp.On arrival we are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range.
Day 4: Fly Pokhara to Jomsom (2760m).
This morning we take a spectacular mountain flight to Jomsom where we will meet our trekking crew.
Day 5-6: To Kagbeni (2810m), walk approx. 4hrs.Rest day.
A half day walk brings us to Kagbeni, an impressive village that is our gateway to Mustang. To pass beyond this point you need a special Mustang permit.
Day 7: To Muktinath (2795m) & return, walk approx.8-9hrs.
From Kagbeni we head south through the village and cross a suspension bridge to a series of steep switch backs that lead to a grassy plateau. From here we follow the main trail leading to Muktinath. Today`s walking is important for acclimatisation.
Day 8: To Santa (3777m), walk approx. 6-7hrs.
Today is a challenging day and we must cross two passes on our way to Santa. We set out early and climb a hillside where the gradient increases as we enter a gully and pass by some caves before reaching a watercourse. We meet the main trail once again from Phalyak and make our first pass crossing at 4306m. Continuing west we contour through basins before crossig the Bhima Lojun La (4460m). Traversing for 1 -2 hours we reach a spur where we descend into a large ravine and cross a scree slope to Santa.
Day 9-10: To Ghalden Ghuldun Khola (4247m), walk approx. 6hrs. Rest day.
We follow the trail through two gullies before reaching a series of switchbacks to Jhansye (4195m).The trail now levels out as we cross a hillside and then make a descent to Kyalunpa Khola where we cross a wooden bridge and head west to a narrow gully.Our campsite set in juniper trees is gained by climbing up a steep gully.
Day 11-13: Cross Jungben La(5550m)& Niwas La (5120m)to Nulungsumda Kharka (4987m/7hrs)& Chharka Bhot (4302/8hrs).Rest day.
In the coming days we make two challenging pass crossings above 5000 metres. From the top of the Jungben La we gain magnificent views to the south of Hidden Valley and Dhaulagiri can be seen.The following day we cross the Niwas La and make any easy descent to Nulungsumda Kharka where we camp at the confluence of the Malun and Thasan Kholas.
The trek to Chharka Bhot is a relatively easy day and we will spend a rest day here. Chharka Bhot is a centuries old fortified village and a great place to spend our well earned rest day.
Day 14-16: To Chap Chu (4320m/6hrs), Maran (4350m/6hrs), & Dho Tarap (4440m/3hrs).
Heading west from Chharka Bhot we descend to the Chharka Tulsi Khola. Whilst travelling alongside the river we are forced to make a few crossings back and forth. We then make a short climb before descending to a minor tributary and crossing on stepping stones. Another climb of 45 minutes brings us to Chap Chu and our camp for the night.
Our trekking day to Maran sees us crossing the Chan La (5378m), it is an easy gradient to the pass and we are now fit and acclimatised. From the top the views are stunning and we get a sense of the scale of the dramatic mountain scenery around us. From the pass we descend a series of switch backs to the valley before ascending to a ridge that sits above the Sheru Khola to our south. Once we reach a chorten we head down to the Tarpi Khola valley and on to Maran.
An hour from Maran is the large trading village of Dho Tarap. Above the village is the Ribum Gompa nunnery and Regu Chorten, and time permitting we will make a visit.
Day 16 - Todays trek is relatively easy going to our campsite at Tokyu.
Dolpo People - "West of the upper Kali Gandaki, at around 4000 metres, lies the remote area of Dolpo. Surrounded by mountains over 6000m, this landscape can only be successfully inhabited by tough, hardy people. The people of Dolpo do not have a tribal name, like Sherpas, or a district name, like Lopa. There are 25 or 30 villages spread over an area of about 1300 square kilometres. The Dolpo people are very hospitable and kind, and grow most of the crops they need, as well as keeping yaks, sheep and goats for meat, wool and milk products, or to be sold or traded. Their houses are built of rough stone and all huddled together, as though trying to gain warmth and comfort from each other. This often makes the villages look like forts. Their traditional ‘fancy’ dress for women includes a striking headdress made of two rectangular brass plates with edges that turn up over the top and back of the head. These headdresses are adorned with coral and turquoise and often represent the wealth of the family. They marry by choice or arrangement, and follow Buddhism and Bon. The 1998 movie ‘Caravan’ (also called ‘Himalaya’) was shot here and told the tale of the salt caravans. You can still find locals in villages such as Saldang who appeared in the film." - from the guide book "Nepal Trekking & The Great Himalaya Trail" by Robin Boustead -
Day 17-20: To Ringmo (3641m)& Phoksumdo Lake. Rest day.
Leaving the dharamsala we are now well on our way to Ringmo and the stunning Phoksumdo Lake. We travel over the Numala La (5304m) to a picturesque campsite at Danigar. This area is dominated by Norbung Kang (6085m). The following day will find us descending to Temche, a large grassy kharka, where animals are often kept. The trek to Ringmo is a stunning day and we enter pine forest before arriving at Ringmo. Phoksumdo Lake is a few minutes beyond Ringmo and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the Himalaya.
Day 21-22: Chhekpa (2720m/5hrs) & Dunai (2140m/5hrs).
Heading south we make our way to Dunai, the administrative & trading centre of Dolpo. The landscape through which we are now travelling consists predominantly of forests, grassy meadows and plateaus. Before reaching Chhekpa we pass by the Tapriza Secondary School. The school was established by a Swiss enthology student, Marietta Kind. Visits to the school are most welcome.Finally we reach the confluence of the Suli Khola and head down stream to cross the Thulo Beri Khola on a suspension bridge and arrive into Dunai.
Day 23: To Juphal (2475m), walk approx. 4hrs. Fly Nepalgunj.
Today is our final day of trekking and we pass through terraced fields on our way to Juphal.From Juphal we take a short 40 minute flight to Nepalgunj and a welcome shower. Our accommodation tonight is in a basic hotel.
Day 24: Flight Nepalgunj to Kathmandu.
After breakfast we will return to Kathmandu. The flight from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu is approximately 1 1/2 hours. On arrival transfer to the Radisson Hotel.
Day 25: In Kathmandu
There are a million things to see in Kathmandu and we recommend you spend this day wandering the town. The old Royal Palace & Durbar Square are absolute musts. Our staff can arrange a guide and/or transport should you wish, or you can head off armed with a map and let the day unfold.
Day 26: Trip concludes Kathmandu.
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check-in procedures.
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).
What you carry
In your day pack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rain jacket, water bottle, film and camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc. Porters carry all group gear and your trek pack.