APPROACH TO EVEREST

APPROACH TO EVEREST

At the head of the Khumbu valley, behind the khumbu icefall and the western Cwm, lies the highest mountain on earth. Symbolic of mankind's struggle to overcome the forces of  mountaineering achievsment for decades, Mount Everest is today the focus of commercial expeditions and the aspirational high point of many people's Journeys to Nepal. Surrounded by a host of only marginally lesser peaks, Everest  has never yielded its secrets easily. However, by trekking beyound the last shelters at Gor5ak Shep and ascending to the vantage point of Kala Pattar you can experience for yourself the awesome grandeur of this, the ultimate mountain.
Few people that visit the Khumbu do so without seeking a viewpoint from which to gaze upon the summit of Everest. Whilst the view from Gokyo Ri is arguably more spectacualr, that from Kala Pattar is the more famous and it is along this trail that the vast majority of tekkers in the area head. The route is well  serviced by trekkers lodges, and even the highest of these now stay open practically all winter, such has been the increase in traffic recently. Preferably begin by walking to Namche Bazaar from Jiri (trek 17).

Namche Bazaar to Tengboche
The first day of this trek, from Namche to Tengboche, offers a couple of options at the start. The easiest, but least interesting, heads out of town along the reasonably level main trail that begins at Chhorkung and traverses around the hillside into the valley of the Dudh Khosi. The route suggested here, however, is slightly more strenuous, climbing to the airstrip at Shyangboche (built to service the now defunct Everest View Hotel) before crossing a low ridge and descending through Khunde and Khumjung to join the main trail near the collection of teahouses and 'antique' stalls that has become known as Sanasa. From Shyangboche, and the trail to Khunde, superb panoramas that include peaks such as Thamserku, Kwangde, Kang Tega and Ama Dablam are revealed. For those staying in the area, Khunde and Khumjung provide a welcome alternative to the kitsch and hype of Namche. Both villages have maintained a far more traditional feel than their famous neighbour below, and the surrounding hills and ridges offer fine day hikes.
               
From Sanasa, the trail to Gokyo climbs away north, whilst the trail to Tengboche and Everest base camp descends to cross the Dudh Khosi at Phunki. This is the lowest place in the Khumbu - worth remembering if you do have the misfortune to come down with serious altitude problems. beyond Phunki the route climbs again to reach Tengboche, where you may wish to spend a couple of nights, to acclimatise, soak up the stunning views and visit the monastery. Be particularly thorough with your water purification here, though, as peak season traffic far exceeds the accommodation available and what sanitation facilities there are simply cannot cope. The water source is below the ridge-line, and it should be considered polluted.

Tengboche to Kala Pattar
Most people travelling this way spend nights at Periche and Lobuche on their way from Tengboche to Gorak Shep. The stages are meant to be short to help you acclimatise, and at least one other rest-day should be incorporated in your hike to Gorak Shep and base camp. This is particularly true if you are intending to cross one of the high passes in the area. At Periche the wind howls relentlessly, making it among the coldest places in the Khumbu. Periche-ing cold! There is a trekkers health post here, run by the Himalayn Rescue Association (HRA), providing informative daily lectures on altitude physiology and other trek-related medical issuse.
               
Many people stay no higher than Lobuche and climb Kala Pattar in a long day from there, but, assuming you want to be3 on the top at sunrise or as soon afterwards as possible, a night's discomfort at Gorak Shep may be worthwhile. If struggling out of your sleeping bag in the dark and staggering off up by the light of a head torch is as much an ordeal for you as it is for me, sleeping that bit higher and staying warm in bed for an extra couple of hours may be irresistible. This strategy works best if you are camping though, as the 'lodges' at Gorak Shep are pretty rudimentary.
               
Unless you're a connoisseur of piles of garbage on glaciers, there is not much to recommend going beyond Gorak Shep to Everest base camp at the foot of the Khumbu icefall. The mountain itself is actually hidden from this cold and squalid spot, and most people forgo the dubious pleasure of the six hour round trip, preferring instead to head off up Kala Pattar. It takes a couple of hours to reach the top from gorak Shep, and only from the slightly higher summit of Upper Kala Pattar is the South Col visible. From either top, however, there is an array of awesome Himalayan giants that more than makes up for the lung-bursting climb up there. Immediately east across the Khumbu Glacier, Everest soars like a great black pyramikd beyond the jagged white fang of Nuptse, complemented by a 3600 panorama that includes Ama Dablam, Kang Tega, Thamserku, Pumori and Changtse. Carry spare film and batteries for your camera!

Walk-out to Namche Bazaar
You'll make much better time on the return leg to Namche (two days is easily possible) - though why come all this way to walk straight to Gorak Shep and back? Carry the superb Schneider majp of the Khumbu Himal, and plan your own odyssey.



ACROSS SOUTHERN DOLPO

 ACROSS SOUTHERN DOLPO
 Brought to the attention of those interested in matters Himalayan and Tibetan by the likes of Tucci and Snelgrove in the 1950s, and then to a wider world by zoologist George Schaller and writer peter Matthieson, Dolpo is of particular interest today as an enclave of pure Tibetan culture. Situated in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri Himal, this arid high mountain desert does not sustain a dense population. Dolpo is a land of howling winds, open spaces and enormous skies, of blinding sunlight, remote monasteries, yak caravans and the scent of juniper. Dolpo is Tibet in Nepal.

Today much of Dolpo lies within the boundaries of Shey-Phoksundo National Park, the inner core of which is also a restricted area requiring the standard US$ 700 permit for a ten-day visit. One route does exist, however, which provides a taste of Dolpo and takes in some of the best high mountain scenery in the district without incurring that prohibitive permit fee. This is the trek from Jumla to Juphal via Ringmo and Do Tarap. Along its cource you experience all the wonderful variety of landscape and mountain environment that the west has to offer-from grassy lekhs, lush meadows, forests of maple and walnut and idyllic clear mountain steams near Jumls, to snow covered high mountain passes, glaciers and sweeping views of barren, seemingly lifeless hills stretching northwards into Tibet.

Jumla to Hurikot
The first eight days, from Jumla to Hurikot and on to the village of Ringmo on the shores of Phoksundo lake via the Kagmara La (5115m/6782ft), constitue a challenging enough outing in their own right. Almost immediately this route enters really wild country and as you stand on the Pattyata Lagna in the afternoon of the long first day heading east from Jumla and look down into the beautiful alpine meadeows of Gothi Chaur, your heart will sing. This is trekking country to live for. Sweeping down from the pass is a treelined pasture of unbelievable verdure, spangled with bright orchids, forget me nots and geraniums. At the bottom of the magnificent basin into which the trail then descends, a gushing spring issues from a series of pools and a more pictruesque camping spot could not be imagined.

From Gothi Chaur to Chaurikot across the Mauri Lagna (3960m/12993ft) the trail is fairly gentle, breaking you in slowly and acclimatising you for the rigious ahead. Climb to a small grassy knoll above the pass for a panoramic view east to the distant Dhaulagiri himal. Just beyond Rimi the trail divides, with a more southerly route heading off over the Balangra La (3750m/12304ft) and on to Juphal and Dunai. The more challenging and rewarding option followed here is to turn left into the valley of the Garpung Khola adn make for the sensational Kagmata La (5115m/16782ft) and Phoksundo. A huge amount of potent hashish is cultivated in the area, and in autumn the sweet fragrance of village planations is discemnible on the breeze from miles away.

Hurikot to Ringmo
Just beyond Hurikot, a charming mediaeval village and site of the most important Bon gompah in the district, the trail enters the Shey-Phoksundo Natioal park. Almost immediately the going gets much harder. After a grunt of a climb, an airy traverse and a precipitous descent to cross the Jagdula khola on a fine cantilever bridge, a police post is reached at Toijem. The carefully tended garden is home to yet more specimens of Cannabies sativa. From here the valley climbs with unremitting steepness to Kagmara base camp (4100m/13450ft) and the pass. A rest day before going over is definitely recommended. From camp, you can cross the tiny steam that the Jagdula Khola has by now become, and ascend an easy grassy ridge to the west for sensational viesw of the entire Kagmra Himal - a range infinitely more impressive than their heights (none top 6000m/19690ft) imply.

Set off before dawn to cross the dramatic but straightforward pass. From below the range looks impenetrable without resorting to mountaineering techniques, but in fact the way is not so difficult. Head north up Valley for thirty minutes from camp. and then turn east into a broad cwm and follow lthe surprisingly good trail up steepening zigzags for 650m (2133ft) of ascent. The final snow covered slopes are less steep. After a rest, ascend the ridge rising north from the col to a height of 5380m (17652ft) for a stupendous 3600 panorama taking in Kagmara, Kanjiroba, La Shamma, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and dozens of lesser peaks. A good campsite (4460m/14633ft) is reached after an hour of steep descent.

The Kagmara Himal really marks the boundary of Dolpo on this route. From here onwards the villages are purely Tibetan, consisting of sold square, stone and timber built houses with prayer flags fluttering on the rooftops and elaborately decorated chortens marking the boundaries. Much accomplished spinning and weaving takes place, but the prices asked, even in remote farmsteads, are very high. As is so often the case in the Himalaya, much of the height so exhaustingly gained on the ascent to Kagmara is lost again before the steep climb to Ringmo begins. Prepare to sweat!

Take a day's rest of Ringmo. Visit the crumbling whitewashed temples of the large Bon gompah on the lakeside east of the village, and marvel at the ever-changing azure hues of Phoksundo Tal as clouds scud across the afternoon sky. With binoculars, watch the progres of yak caravans making their ponderous way northwards along the steep shores of the lake to the kang La, Shey Gompah and distant Saldang. To follow them you will need to have secured a restricted area permit in Kathmandu.

Ringmo to Champa Gompah
Those with less time amy choose to head back to juphal directly south from Ringmo, but if you want to make your trek in Dolpo really special head east again into the Manduwa Khola. This is the way to Do Tarap via the Baga La and Num La passes, and to reach Juphal this way requires another week at least.

Initially very steep and exposed, the way into this valley is quite sensational, affording breath taking views of the waterfall where the Phoksundo Khola plunges into the valley south of Ringmo, and back west to the Kagmara Himal. Do not succumb to the temptaiton to camp at the idyllic Manduwa Kharka, but press on and spend the night at the head of the valley (+ 4100m/13450ft), immediately below the notch into which the trail steeply ascends towards the Baga La. Eat a big supper and get to bed early, for the next two days are the most strenuous and rewarding of the entire trip.

Reasonably fit and acclimatised trekkers should make the 1100m (3610ft) ascent from this camp to the Baga La (5190m/17028ft) in under three hours. All the way from Jumla the scenery gets increasingly arid, and by the time you make the 600m (1970ft) descent from the Baga La to camp at Pelungtang the transition to high altitude desert is complete. There is not so much as a single stunted Juniper bush to be seen, and the diet of the numerous yaks grazing herebouts consists solely of dry grass and gravel. The mountain views from the camp are more impressive than those from the pass, which is but a narrow cleft in a steep rocky range. The same cannot be said of the Num La. From camp the trail descends a couple of hundred metres before commencing the long, steady pull to this next pass at 5318m(17448ft). A major trail to Saldang and Shey Gompah cuts away north across a vast open mountainside just out of camp, and as you gain height again your descent route from the Baga La is clearly visible behing you, with the Kanjiroba Himal to the northwest. From the windswept col a bleak but breathtaking 1800 panorama west, north and east is revealed, though in order to fully appreciate the magnificence of your location a little more energy must be burned. Immediately above the col to the south rises a small peak, Num Ri (5575m/18292ft), and the view from its vast, flat plateau of a summit will have you running out of film before you know it. To the north the desolate brown hills of Dolpo sweep away towards Shey and Tibet. To the west, Kagmara, Kanjuiroba and the distant peaks of Humla line up along the horizon. To the south Putha Hiunchuli, the Churen Himal and Dhaulagiri are visible, and to the east the trail to the Chharka La. It is, quite simply, out of this world.

Given time and acclimatisation there is a very tempting ridge-walk around a cirque to the south, finally descending steeply to rejoin the main trail down from the pass into the Tarap Valley. Camp at Chamba Gompah and spend a day or two savouring this wild, tibetan valley. This is as close to the real Dolpo as you can get without paying for an expensive restricted area permit, and the area is popular with trekking groups. If you have time to linger here and befriend the initially shy village folk, you will soon be sitting by a smoky stove sipping salt-butter tea, or learning to thresh barley in the fields.

Dhampa Gomah to Juphal

The walk-out to Juphal down the Tarap Gorge takes four days and involves traversing some very airy trails and bridges that would not be out of place in a circus act. Late in the season many of these can be avoided by wadifng the river. Stop for a dalbat feeast at the Blue Sheep Lodge in Dunai on the last day, but don't overdo it with the beer and chang the final climb to Juphal is a gruelling three-hour flog. Send a member of your crew on ahead a day in advance to reconfirm your seats, and be prepared for an adrenaline rush as you take off from the shortest of Nepal's STOL airstrips and immediately bank steeply away to avoid the enormous boulder opposite the end of the runway.

Lumbini-Birth Place of Lord Buddha in Nepal


Lumbini:

Lumbini is the place where Lord Buddha was born. It is also the place were he gained enlightenment and became famous. Buddha is also known as Siddhartha Gautam. Here one can see Maya Devi temple, the place where she gave birth to the lord,  and an Ashoka pillar which has inscriptions identifying the spot as the birthplace, ruins of ancient stupas and monasteries, and Pushkarni pond where Queen Mayadevi took bath before giving birth. The Lumbini region has been developed through Lumbini Trust, a none governmental organization. Newer temples and monuments are being developed by foreign pilgrimage here. 

All temples found in this region form this place a Buddhist pilgrimages destination. The China temple located in Lumbini is a complex of pagodas, prayer rooms and meditation cells developed by the Buddhist Association of China. There is also Myanmar Temple also known as Lokamani Cula Pagoda which soars into the sky. 

The International Gautami Nuns temple is also found here which is a replica of the Swayambhu stupa in Kathmandu. Many other temples are currently under construction, these include Japan temple, Sri Lanka temple, and Vietnam temple. Lumbini Museum, Lumbini International Research Institute, and Kapilvastu Museum (situated 27km west of Lumbini in Tilaurakot) are other places see in this region. The Kapilvastu museum has ruins of ancient capital of Sakya kingdom where the Buddha spet his his youth as Prince Siddhartha. Lumbini is believed to be the birthplace of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. It is a peaceful place located in the western Terai of Nepal, close to the Indian border, 22km west of the towns of Bhairawa and Sunauli. There is not much here except a few monuments and some monasteries. It is believed that Maya Devi, the mother of the Buddha, gave birth to Siddhartha, while she was traveling to her parent’s house. 

It is said that she went into labor, then she bath in the pond and walk 25 steps and then delivers here child.The main area is known as the “Sacred Garden.” It only takes a couple of hour to see everything. Most people who come here, visit for the day from Bhairawa. The best time to visit Lumbini is the early morning or late afternoon, and the hot mid-afternoon is best avoided


Trek Code

TREKKING AREAS


GRADE

Prices US$
TPYE

DAYS


Max.  Alt.
S.N.
Camp
Lodge
Min Alt.
01:

Everest Region Trekking
02:

Everest High Pass
Alpine

Camping
Lodge
18


03:

Gokyo Lake
Moderate

Camping
Lodge
11


04:

Everest Base Camp
Challenging

Camping
Lodge
14


05:

Pumori Base Camp
Challenging

Camping
-
18


06:

Mera Peak
Challenging

Camping
Lodge
20



07:

Classic Jiri to Everest BC
Challenging

Camping
Lodge
21


08:

Tengboche Monastery
Moderate

Camping,
Lodge
10


09:

Amphu Lapcha
Alpine

Camping

26


10:

Tashi Lapcha
Alpine

Camping

17


11:

Pike Trekking
Moderate

Camping


14


12:

Manaslu & Tsum Valley Trekking









Nyeshang Valley Trek ( Annapurna-Manang)




10


13:

Makalu Region Trekking
14:

Makalu High Pass

Alpine

Camping

23


15:

Makalu Base Camp

















16:

Annapurna Region Trekking
17:

Annapurna Circuit (Round)
Challenging

Camping,
Lodge
18


18:

Tilicho Lake
Challenging

Camping

20


19:

Manaslu Circuit & Tilicho lake to Jomsom







20:

Annapurna Sanctuary (Base Camp)
Moderate

Camping,
Lodge
12


21:

Mardi Himal
Moderate

Camping

Lodge
11


22:

Thulobung (Nilgiri Base Camp)
Moderate

Camping


14


23:

Khayar Tal
Moderate

Camping


17


24:

Panchase

Easy

Camping


06


25:

Royal

Easy

Camping


06


26:

Ghalegaun
Easy

Camping




27:

Ghorepani & Poonhill
Easy

Camping

08


28:

Jomsom - Muktinath
Easy

Camping

10



29:

Siklis Lekh
Easy

Camping


10


30:

Nar –Fu Valley Trekking
Moderate

Camping

17


31:

Tsum Valley Trekking
Moderate

Camping




32:

Dhampus & Sarangkot Trekking







33:

Upper Mustang
Moderate

Camping

Lodge
15




Upper Mustang & Damodar Kunda Trek
Moderate

Camping

23


34:

Dhaulagiri Region Trekking
Alpine

Camping

16


35:

Dhaulagiri Round









Gurjagaun (Dhorpatan)
Moderate

Camping

14












36:

Langtang Region Trekking

37:

Helambu

Easy

Camping
Lodge
07

38:

Langtang Valley
Easy

Camping
Lodge
08


39:

Langtang – Gosainkunda Circuit
Moderate

Camping
Lodge
14




Ganjala Pass – Helambu
Alpine

Camping

14


40:

Kathmandu Valley Trekking







41:

Sunrise & Sun Set Trekking  (Nagarkot)
Easy

Teahouse

04


42:

Shivapuri – Namobuddha
Easy

Camping


07


43:

Kakani –Dhulikhel – Panauti Trekking
Easy

Camping

08


44:

Sankhu –Nagarkot –Dhulikhel
Easy

Camping
Lodge
03


45:



















46:

Central Nepal Camping Trekking
47:

Kalinchok Panorama
Moderate

Camping


08


48:

Bhairab Kunda
Moderate

Camping


12


49:

Panch Pokhari (Jugal Himal)
Moderate

Camping

13


50:

Sailung
Easy

Camping


07


51:

Chordung
Easy

Camping


08




Timal Trekking
Easy

Camping

07


52:

More Camping Trekking
53:

Ganesh Himal Trekking
Easy

Camping




54:

Ganga & Jamuna Trekking
Easy

Camping




55:

Paldor Trekking
Moderate

Camping


14


56:

Rolwaling Valley
Moderate

Camping

17




Arun Valley
Moderate

Camping

15


57:

Kanchenjunga Region
58:

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trekking
Challenging

Camping




59:

Kanchenjunga (Yalung Glacier)
Challenging

Camping
Lodge
27




Milke Danda Trek
Moderate

Camping


15












60:

Waung (Ola) Chung Gola Region Trekking







61:

Waung (Ola) Chung Gola
Challenging

Camping