Rolwaling Valley Trek - 12 Days

Rolwaling Valley Trek

The magnificent Rolwaling Valley is nestled between two striking mountain ranges of Gaurishankar Himal and Rolwaling Himal. The Rolwaling Himal includes Melungtse (7181m) and Melungtse II (7023m) - both of them can be seen from Menlung La - on the Tibetan side, and the Gaurishankar Himal includes Gaurishankar (7134m) on the Nepali side with some additional peaks over 6000m. The Labuche Himal section rises beyond the Tamakosi to the northwest. The first western exploration of the area was made by the British in the 50's during the reconnaissance of Mount Everest. The Rolwaling valley is part of the traditional trading route system with Tibet (through Menlung La), and the higher grazing pastures (Beding and Na) were used by yak convoys en-route to the Indian Subcontinent. Probably, the first Sherpa clans migrated to the Rolwaling valley from Solu-Khumbu some 200-400 years ago, following the salt trading routes. The landscape ranges from Rhododendron and Juniper forests, through high grasslands to high alpine territories. The population in the valley is mainly Sherpa, making the religion Tibetan Buddhism.

Rolwaling valley is less frequented by tourists compared to other parts of Nepal although this is gradually changing, and is an opportunity to get a glimpse of Sherpa communities and villages less effected by mass tourism, and, of course, to get some jaw-dropping views of the Himalayas. To encourage people to go and explore some different parts of this country, and stray a bit off the beaten path. This trek is possible as a completely private small group teahouse/home stay trek. Adventurous Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek is famous daring trek in Rolwaling that ends at Lukla in Everest region.

Rolwaling Valley Trek can begin in Bharabise adding 5 more days. This possibility is sometimes referred as the 'classic' route, but with the construction of a road all the way up to Gongar Khola this option becomes somewhat a 'detour', some might say. Wilderness Excursion refers to Singati as the starting point of the trek considering acclimatization. We can shorten the trek by one day starting the trek from Gonggar Khola but consider the some 11 hours long day local bus ride from Kathmandu. For the wild and adventure lovers crossing the Teshi Lapcha La (5755m) into the Solu Khumbu could be ideal one but this trek is not for faint hearted people. One must be properly equipped for extensive snow and ice work, with at least one experienced climber in the party. Even though you may not intend to climb the mountain, a Peak climbing Permit will be required for Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek, generally we take the peak permit of Pachermo (6273m) which is more to the south on the same ridge as Teshi Lapcha.

Outline Itinerary
Day 01: Meet and greet in Kathmandu
Day 02: in Kathmandu, get Rolwaling Valley Trek permits.
Day 03: Drive to Singati from Kathmandu
Day 04: Trek to Simigaun (2020m), 4-5 hours walk.
Day 05: Trek to Dongang (2790m), 6.5 hours.
Day 06: Trek to Beding (3700m), 6 hours.
Day 07: Acclimatization Day in Beding (3700m).
Day 08: Trek to Na (4200), and Tso Rolpa (4500m), 6-7 hours walk.
Day 09: Trek to Dongang (2790m), 6 hours.
Day 10: Trek to Gongar Khola (1430m), 5.5 hours.
Day 11: Drive to Kathmandu.
Day 12: Extend the trip or fly to further destination. 

This trip can be personalized as per your requirements that meet your time frame and financial status. The trip price we have offered here is for minimum group size of two travelers. Single supplement cost is USD 150.00, so the cost will be according to Deluxe, Standard, Budget and group size. Please kindly provide us your details for tailor made program. International Tour Leaders are highly encouraged to get attractive discount and complimentary. 

Day 01: Meet and greet in Kathmandu
Meet and greet at airport. Wilderness Excursion representative will pick you up from airport and transfer to Hotel Radisson. Check in and get refresh for a while. We may also stroll in the streets of Thamel, a tourist hotspot in Kathmandu. In the evening, there will be a short briefing about our trek.

Day 02: in Kathmandu
Wilderness Excursion get Rolwaling Valley Trek permit today, you have choice to do trip preparation, rest or a visit to UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites. We can arrange a guided tour to the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu including the World Heritage Sites: the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhists shrine (Buddha Nath) which is one of the largest Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Wilderness Excursion briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure.

Day 03: Drive to Jagat (1150m) from Kathmandu
After breakfast in Kathmandu, we take a local bus to Jagat today; it is about 196 km to east from Kathmandu, takes 9-10 hours via Lamosangu (750m.) Charikot (1980m.). Overnight in Jagat in lodge or home stay.

Day 04: Trek to Simigaun (2020m), 4-5 hours walk.
This is not a very long day, but it is a hot and steep ascent. As you leave Gongar you start walking north up the new road. After about 45 minutes you'll get to Chetchet, A cluster of dwellings on the right side of the road. At this point you leave the road and follow the trail that heads down through Chetchet. After about ten minutes you'll get to the bridge that crosses the Tamakoshi River. As soon as you cross you start ascending. Follow the trail until you get to the lovely village of Simigaon. The lodges are on the ridge at the top of the village, so you still have about 40 minutes of walking the minor trails through the village until you get to the lodge. The village itself is beautiful. It is spread all over the side of the hill, and you can spend the rest of the day walking around. There is also a monastery on top of the ridge. Overnight in lodge or home stay.

Day 05: Trek to Dongang (2790m), 6.5 hours.
As you start walking from Simigaon, you take the trail the heads out towards the other side of the ridge and up the Rolwaling river valley. Most of the day you'll be walking inside a forest, but the way is rather clear, and if you stick with the main trail there is little chance you'll get lost. After about one hour of ups and downs you'll see two small shacks. This is a good place to refill some water since from here you are only ascending and there won't be too many places to rehydrate on the way. From here you enter a Rhododendron forest and you star ascending. It is a rather steep way up and after about two and a half hours and a couple of small bridges you get to a small teahouse where you can take a break. This teahouse is not open all the time so don't count on it for food or supplies. From here you keep ascending. The higher you go the more the forest is governed by Juniper and Rhododendron. After about three hours you'll get to Gyalche. There is a lodge here, and it is possible to stop here for the night if you wish. Half an hour down the trail is Dongang, which is located on the bank of the river. There are two places to stay in Dongang, and both of them are run by very nice ladies. The one run by Zangmu Sherpa is lovely. overnight in lodge or homestay.

Day 06: Trek to Beding (3700m), 6 hours.
This is also a day long ascent, and possibly the hardest day of this trek because of the altitude gap. Although most of the maps may suggest otherwise, since 2010 the wooden bridge crossing from Dongang is almost out of use and there is a new bridge up the valley. As you leave Dongang you head north along the main trail and past the scolding NMA sign ("no one profits from illegal mountaineering. So stop doing it right now."). After about two hours you get to a bridge and cross the Rolwaling Khola. From here the valley starts opening up a bit, and you get some nice views of Chekigo (6257m). After about one hour you cross the Themlung Khola which comes down straight from Gaurishankar, and you get a chance to look up the Themlung valley and get a close look of Gaurishankar. From you here soon enough you'll start passing some random houses, most of them probably locked and the owners are grazing their yaks somewhere higher. It is still three hours of ascent up to Beding, passing the villages of Jobalu, Nyiamare, Ramding and Chhimu Golche before reaching Beding. If you are trekking in spring, these villages will probably be empty since their residents are grazing their yaks in higher pastures or working as climbing Sherpas for the season. 40 minutes before Beding you pass the regional Lama Monastery School, and they'll want to see your permits. From here it's a rather short walk to the village. Beding itself is beautiful and the valley starts widening up at this point, giving you some fine views of the mountains surrounding it. It is also the biggest village in the Rolwaling valley. Overnight in lodge or home stay.

Day 07: Acclimatization Day in Beding (3700m).
When not handled seriously, altitude can be a serious trek-killer. A day to acclimatize is highly recommended. Beding itself is picturesque, and there are some good acclimatization walks around the village. On the mountainside in front of the village there is a big boulder marked with prayer flags, which is a nice viewpoint offering very good views of Gaurishankar's north face and the neighboring peaks. There isn't any clear trail that goes up, and you'll have to cross some bushes to get up there. There is also a small Gompa beautifully built into the cliff above the village. Both of them are around 4000m, so they can be a good choice for acclimatization walks. *From Beding it is possible to take a side trip up to Menlung La (5616m), where you can get some superb views of Melungtse and into Tibet. Those of you who do plan to continue to Menlung La are urged to take at least one more day fully acclimatize, since the high camp before the pass is around 4900. The trail up is steep and tricky so try and find someone local to guide you.Overnight in lodge or home stay.

Day 08: Trek to Na (4200), and Tso Rolpa (4500m), 6-7 hours walk.
This day depends a lot on how you acclimatized. If you are well acclimatized, then this walk should not be a problem. If you are not sure, or wish to make a short day, it is possible to go up to the lake the next morning and then just keep going down from Na. The trail from Beding is clear, and this part of the trek is just spectacular. As you ascend, the valley slowly opens up, and from a V-shaped valley it is gradually becoming a U-shaped valley. The sides of the valley are filled with icefalls and waterfalls, and at this point there are no trees, only grassland and some Juniper bushes here and there. After about two hours you reach the village of Na, which is situated on the north bank of the river. You can put your backpack at one of the lodges in Na, and take only water and warm clothes up to the lake. From Na you take the trail that goes north up the valley. After ten minutes you cross the Rolwaling Khola and from there you keep walking for about an hour on the right (south) bank of the river. After one hour of walking you'll get to second bridge and cross the Rolwaling Khola again - still one more hour left to get to the lake. From here you keep going on the bank of the river, until the main trail forks left and up to the lakeshore. To get back to Na you take the same trail you took on the way up. It should take about an hour and a half to reach Na. *There are two interesting side trips around Na. One is to another alpine lake called "Dudh Pokhari" (27°53'28.388"N, 86°27'57.278"E. Meaning 'milky lake'), which is located up the Ripimoshar Glacier. It is possible to do a one day round trip to both lakes from Na. This would be a long day, and you should consult locals in Na about the condition of the trail from Tso Rolpa to Dudh Pokhari, which is not very clear and is changing all the time since it is over the end of the Ripimoshar Glacier. The second is to the small monastery located about 30 minutes before Na, a bit northern to the trail. There is also a big Mani Wall and a mural on one of the big boulders.

Day 09: Trek to Dongang (2790m), 6 hours.
This is the day you start descending, following the same trail that you took on the way up. Those of you who wish to go up towards Dadlung La should turn at the bridge after Niyamare.

Day 10: Trek to Gongar Khola (1430m), 5.5 hours.
Still on the same trail back. Ask the lodge owners to sort out your bus ticket to Kathmandu for the following morning.

Day 11: Drive to Kathmandu
We take the local bus to Kathmandu, this is a long day ride. It could be about 11 hours bus ride to Kathmandu.

Day 12: Further destination
The trip comes to the end, there are many add-ons activities such as mountain flight, river rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, Jungle Safari in vibrant national parks. Wilderness Excursion will transfer you to the airport if you fly back home or further destination.

Trip Cost Includes

  • Airport picks and drop off by private car or van depending on group size.
  • 3 Nights deluxe room in 3 star category hotel in Kathmandu on double occupancy basis.
  • 1 Government registered, experienced, English speaking local friendly guide.
  • 1 Assistant guide to support group and help the porters as per group size.
  • 1 Sharing porter between two trekker.to carry your main pack.
  • All necessary trekking permit.
  • All surface transportation from the starting point and to the ending point of the trek.
  • All meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee, hot chocolate
  • Salary, insurance, gear, food and accommodation of your guide and porter
  • Group first Aid kit and water purifier.
  • Government tax, vat and office service charges etc.

Trip Cost Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu except breakfast and farewell dinner.
  • All bar bills and beverages like coke, fanta, sprite, mineral water.
  • Personal nature expenses, toiletries, hot shower, laundry, internet and phone calls.
  • Personal travel insurance and rescue operation charge in case of emergency.
  • Expenses of extra adventure, if the trip is extended.
  • Advance deposit transfer service charge.
  • Gratitude and tips for your guide and porters.

Packing List and Equipment for Rolwaling Valley Trek

Footwear

  • A waterproof trekking boot with suitable ankle support that have been worn-in prior to the trek,
  • Trail shoes or trainer or casual shoes, for walking or strolling around(optional)
  • 2-3 Pairs of warm socks for colder areas depending on trekking duration.
  • Gaiters, in case of rain or snow
  • Sandal or flip flop to take shower and walk around,
  • 2-3 pair of smooth thin wool, nylon or Capilene Liner socks to be worn next to the skin. This reduces the incidence of blisters and hot-spots and makes the outer sock last longer before needing to be changed. They should fit well with your heavyweight socks.

Leg wears

  • Trekking/hiking casual trousers and short, Thermal leggings for colder areas.
  • Long skirt for women as an alternative to trousers and Waterproof trousers.

Body

  • Selection of hiking/trekking T-shirts, and long sleeved shirts, preferably not cotton.
  • Thermal and warm shirts, possibly fleece shirt for colder areas.
  • Fleece jacket or warm wool jumper
  • Hard shell jacket with hood and hard shell pants if trekking in colder months/winter.
  • Windbreaker or waterproof jacket for higher altitudes, rain jacket.
  • Down jacket (optional for cold nights and mornings; can be hired in Kathmandu cheaply)

Head/Hands

  • Wool or fleece hat, or balaclava
  • Hat or cap for sun protection while trekking
  • Sunglasses or goggles
  • Warm gloves
  • Buff for colder place, not very important for short Rolwaling trek.
  • Large handkerchief/bandana for neck
  • Head lamp/torch with spare batteries

Personal Trekking Equipment

  • Strong rucksack or large hold all to be carried by porters
  • Day sack to carry valuables such as passport, cash, camera, travel documents personally
  • Plastic bags or stuff sacks to store/separate trekking gear inside your main bag, Personal first aid kit to include essential items, Adjustable 3 section trekking pole and padlock etc.
  • 3-4 season sleeping bag, Camera and memory cards, charger, tripod if necessary, towel and toiletries., rain cover for yourself and luggage, multi-purpose pocket or hiking knife.
  • Vacuum Flask to put hot water or tea in it (Useful during the day hike or in high passes)

Optional items

  • Binoculars, Books or an eBook, Altimeter, Compass and GPS.
  • Playing cards, backgammon and chess set etc.

For water

  • Two water bottles one liter each is fine or preferably camel bag water bottle.
  • Water treatment tablets: Iodine, Dioxide tablets, Taste neutralizer tablets remove iodine taste if necessary.
  • Pee Bottle (Optional) but very useful.
  • Pee funnel for women (optional) Lightweight urinary director.
  • Hand/foot warmers (Optional) Recommended if you easily get cold hands and feet 1-3 pairs.

Personal first aid kit (small and simple) Aspirin, Moleskin, Adhesive tape, Band-Aids. Scissor, Blade,

Drugs/medications/prescriptions Climbers should bring Mupirocin (Bactroban) cream, excellent topical antibiotic for scrapes and cuts. Cirprofloxin (Cipro) 500mg tablets for travelers' diarrhea and for urinary tract infections. Loperamide (Lomotil) or Immodium for diarrhea. Acetazolamide (Diamox) 125 or 250mg tablets for alltitude sickness. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg tablets for altitude headaches, sprains, aches, etc. Excedrin for headaches. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 325mg tablets for stomach sensitivity.

This above list is only an advice for you. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands. If you have questions please email at: info@wildernessexcursion.com

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Annapurna Base Camp Trek 2017 Review

We had an amazing 12 day trek to Annapurna Base Camp in April 2017. Our communication upfront with Pradip went very easy and we got some good information. We met up in Kathmandu to make the payment and we left for Pokhara as we want to spend few relaxing days there before starting the trek to Annapurna Base Camp. We met our guide in Pokhara before we leave and began the trek. Our guide did his very best to make sure everything was arranged well! We had an amazing time in Annapurna Base Camp; we would ...

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Trip Facts

  • Max. Altitude: 4500m
  • Group Size: Min 2 Pax
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Best time: Sept, Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr & May
  • Mode of Tour: Tea house and home stay trek

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