Summer 2017 Trek to Upper Dolpo
On Thursday July 27th 2017 we departed Kathmandu heading west by bus to start our trek into the northern Dolpo region of western Nepal. We headed initially for Pokhara and then on to the regional centre of Beni north-west of Pokhara and then on to Jomsom on the Kali Gandaki River which was flowing fast with water from the monsoon rains.
Our trek commenced in Jomsom around 5:00pm after a very long bus ride. After many hours of sitting in the bus we decided to walk into the early evening to the village of Falyak. We reached Falyak (3,175m), a small Buddhist village, at around 7:30pm and we all headed for bed extremely tired after our long travels.
The next day, we walked all the way to Sangda village (3,780m) passing yak pasture, beautiful scenery of Kali Gandaki Valley and some wonderful mountain views. The walk took us up and down and up and down again as high as 4,460m at one point. Sangda is also another small Buddhist village with one or two basic lodges and just one primary school.
Next morning we started our trek crossing few small stream and the Khyalumpa Khola. The water level was quite high due to the monsoon and we were always watching for rock falls in this steep topography. We walked through Galdan Guldun Khola camp where ACAP has built two small huts for trekkers. From this camp the trail continued go up to 5,120m and Junben La Pass. After this pass we continued to ascend and spent a night at Newar Pass Base Camp where another hut was built by ACAP. We spent the night at a little over 5,200m altitude and so it was not a very comfortable night. Rock fall just behind out hut wall at 2 am in the night was an unforgettable moment for me.
Next day morning we reached to the top of Newar La pass 5,550m after two hours climb from the hut. We were quite lucky with the weather and had the chance to see really beautiful views of many peak and part of Dhaulagiri range as well.
After Newar La Pass we started to descended to about 1,300m as we headed for Chharka village walking through a very beautiful valley and wonderful scenery. Multiple river crossings added some fun and laughter as we waded through in icy water. This part of the trek also provided an opportunity to see some wild life such as birds, flower and fauna in the valleys.
The trek is continued on to Dho–Tarap valley and crossing Mo La ( Chharka La ) Pass at 5,027m and Jhyarkoi La Pass 5,437m. During these few days trekking to Dho–Tarap we had really good view of the Upper Dolpo valley and encountered lots of yaks and goat grazing around the trail.
From Dho village we decided to walk down Dunai following the Tarap Khola. It is easy walk down-hill most of time in the same valley crossing Dho Khola few times. Dunai is district head quarters of Dolpo and situated at 2,140m on the Thuli Bheri River. Between Dunai and Rimna there are partly transportation service available, however we still needed to walk most of the way following the Bheri River. From Rimna we took night bus back to Nepalgunj and took another bus at 7:00am back to Kathmandu.
It was really fruitful trek with some fun some challenge and risk. This trek is recommendable for adventurous and fit trekkers interested in Buddhism and unspoiled nature.
Reported by: Phurkel Sherpa