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Dolpo – Upper Dolpo via Jomsom

Trip Title: Dolpo – Upper Dolpo via Jomsom

Trip Length: 26 Days

Trip Grade: B/C       [Grading Overview]

Country: Nepal

Area: Dolpo

National Park: She Phoksundo / Annapurna       [Parks Overview]

Activity: Trekking

Activity Grade: 5+       [Grading Overview]

Special Focus: Lake Phoksundo, Shey Gompa, The Crystal Mountain

Months: July, August, September, October,

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Description:

Dolpo! The word conjures up visions of mysterious monasteries of snow leopards and blue sheep. A land beyond the Himalaya, the western part of Nepal, Dolpo is one of the most remote regions. By special permit, we are able to offer the trek through Lower Dolpo from Jomsom and then into Upper Dolpo. Dolpo has two holy mountains – Black Mother Mountain and The Crystal Mountain. Black Mother Mountain mythology tells of nomads searching for a missing black goat, found it suckling a boy who had descended from heaven on a rainbow – they called him The Black Goat King and he fathered the inhabitants of the Nang Khong valley; The Crystal Mountain mythology tells of a Lama, who had come to Dolpo to spread Buddhism, found a wild people who's supreme god was a fierce mountain spirit. The Lama meditated on the mountain, found enlightenment, and flew into the mountain on a snow lion to do battle, but the mountain responed with snakes and the snow lion repoduced itself 108 times and finally conqured the mountain of Shey, whose contorted cliffs are laced with quartz. Every 7th Dolpo lunar month the local inhabitants circumnavigate this holy mountain in a piglimage – something we can do if the timing and weather permit. An amazing trip.

Itinerary:

Participants 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 are made.

'I flew through the sky on a snow lion,
and there among the clouds,
I performed miracles
but not even the greatest of celestial feats
can equal once rounding on foot this Crystal Mountain.'

Day 01.
By flight to Pokhara, and rest of the day on Phewa Lake, with the Annapurna Range the north of us.

Day 02.
Flying from Pokhara to Jomsom. En-route we will fly between Annapurna I (8,091m.) and Dhaulagiri (8,167m.). Meet our staff in Jomsom. From here we trek up the wide, Kali Gandaki Valley to Kagbeni).

Day 03.
Trekking up from the Kali Gandaki Valley with excellent views of the Annapurna Range, Muktinath and Mustang. Walking Chalung Khola, climbing and descending side canyons along the way, to the village of Sangdak.

Days 04, 05, 06 and 07.
We ascend the Chalung Gorge, then climb to 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.

Day 08, 09, 10 and 11.
We climb to Chharka Pass then down 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.

Day 12 & 13.
We enter Phoksundo National Park climbing pass and descend to famous Shey Gomba, elevation. We spend a layover here watching blue sheep, looking for snow leopards and wolves, and touring the monastery.

Day 14, 15 and 16.
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 don't like heights you won't enjoy this section. A layover day is planned at the lake. Ringmo Sepka 2700m, Sepka Dunai.

Day 17, 18 and 19.
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. Climb 3000 feet to the summit of Kagmara Pass( 16,800) . Descend along Kagmara Glacier , 3000 feet to Kagmara Phedi camp.

Day 20 and 21.
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.

Day 22.
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).

Day 23 and 24.
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 center for the region.

Day 25 and 26.
From Jumla we fly to Nepalgunj and fly to Kathmandu.

Price:

Type of Trekking: Camping

The below cost is quoted under the basis of per day per person:

For the group size more than 10 persons, a group leader will be offered as complementary by company or if the group has its own leader, he/she will be offered the trek free of cost.

Minimum 2 Pax – 112
(3-6) Pax – 98
(7-10) Pax – 87
10 to more – 74

+ Upper Dolpo Trekking permit 525.

+ Nepal Internal Flights.

The Price includes:
Camping accommodation in tents, food (except bar bill), staffs (Guide, sherpas, cook, kitchen boys, porters) and their all expenses including insurance, Lower Dolpo Trekking permit, She-Phoksundo National Park entry fee, Local monasteries entry fees, ground transportation and governmental taxes.

Price doesn't include:
Personal nature expenses like laundry, communication, shopping etc, Nepal Internal Flights, Upper Dolpo Permits.

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