Dolpo to Mugu

About trip

Trip Overview

Highlights

  • Very demanding pioneer trekking
  • Extremely rarely committed Route from Dolpo by Mugu
  • Over high passes and through deep gorges
  • Tibetan culture and magic crystal Monastery Shey
  • Fantastic mountain lakes Phoksundo and Rara

This is the ultimate trekking for adventurers. The route leads through the spectacular mountain scenery of Dolpo, past crystal clear mountain lakes, ancient monasteries and remote villages. In an extremely rare perpetrated route we cross some 5000 meters high mountain passes. Although this tour has no glaciers inspections, but is due to the great privacy and the sometimes difficult paths a serious undertaking. Few Trekker could commit this tour so far and Himalaya Tours is probably the only Western operators, which has this fantastic tour in the program.

 We start our trekking in Juphal and run past the Phoksundo Lake for fabled Crystal Monastery Shey. In Bhijer we branch off from the main route and wander very lonely roads over high passes and through deep gorges by Mugu. The few villages here are considered the most remote throughout. Our trekking brings us to the biggest lake of Nepal, the Rara Lake National Park of.

Our comment to travel

Very demanding pioneer trekking in extremely rare committed Because of Dolpo by Mugu. Lonely and isolated, it does not get much more in the Nepalese Himalayas. Bizzare mountain landscapes and unique mountain lakes. Ultimate trekking for adventurous travelers.

Things To Do

Itinerary

Arrival in Kathmandu

Stopover en route and flight to Nepal. At the airport we received from our local partners and it puts us in a short drive to our hotel on the outskirts of Kathmandu. For a leisurely start, we do not live in the middle of the metropolis, but in Bhaktapur or leisurely Bodnath, which is predominantly inhabited by Buddhists. Depending on arrival time we visit today Bhaktapur. This is by far the nicest and quietest of the three former imperial cities, the other two are Kathmandu and Patan. In the narrow streets of Bhaktapur we feel set back by centuries us.

Overnight at hotel in Bhaktapur or Bodnath (1300 meters). (B, L, D)

Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley

We visit the most important Hindu shrine in Nepal, the temple of Pashupatinath. This is the destination for many pilgrims and sadhus. These ascetics are piling their part meter long hair on your head on as her idol, the Hindu god Shiva. When huge stupa of Boudhanath in Tibetan quarter we enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and orbit with the numerous Tibetans The large building.

Overnight at hotel in Bhaktapur or Bodnath (1300 meters). (B, L, D)

Flight to Nepalganj

An almost one-hour flight brings us to Nepalganj. In good weather, we can enjoy a nice view of the Himalayan range. Nepalganj is located in the south of Nepal near the Indian border. In this region, especially agriculture and rice cultivation is operated.

Overnight at Hotel Nepalganj (150 meters). Flight time 1 h. (B, L, D)

Flight to Juphal trek to Dunai (2159 m)

Today we hope for good weather. The flight to the Lower Dolpo is a visual flight and takes place only in good weather conditions. In Juphal to almost 2500 meters we meet our crew. After a warm welcome and distributing the loads, we start our trek. Today's destination is Dunai, the chief town of the district.

Note: Should the flight be postponed to a later date, then the trekking program is adjusted. There are consciously included enough reserve days on the route.

Overnight in tents in Dunai (2150 meters). Flight time ¾ hours. Trekking 3 hours. (B, L, D)

Dunai to Chhepka(2720 m)

We cross the river Thulo Bheri Khola and walk comfortably after Sulighat. Here we show our permits at check post for the Shey Phoksundo National Park, where we will be traveling during the next few days. We follow the valley of Suli Khola and reach in the course of the afternoon Chhepka where we set up camp for the night.

Overnight in tents in Chhepka (2720 meters). Trekking 6 - 7 hours (B, L, D).

To Tapriza School

Our today's stage takes us further and further up the valley. In these wild mountains, many days' walk from the nearest road off the Tapriza stands school. This was established by the Swiss ethnologist Marietta child. On the other side of the river there is a small station for Tibetan medicine also.

Overnight in tents in the Tapriza School (3000 meters). Trekking 6 - 7 hours (B, L, D).

 Short stage to Ringmo

In the morning, we can equip the Tapriza school a visit. Afterwards us a short but steep stage leads past a large waterfall and on to Ringmo, which is already on 3600 meters above sea level. So it makes sense that we strike a deliberately leisurely pace due to the large amount. The small village is located on Phoksundo Ringmo Lake.

Overnight in tents in the Ringmo Phoksundo Lake (3600 meters). Trekking 3 - 4 hrs. (B, L, D)

Unearthly beauty Phoksundo Lake

The Phoksundo Lake is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the entire Himalayas. Left and right tower above the steep cliffs from the water. Depending on the light and time of day, the lake changes its color between turquoise and steel blue. This is the second largest lake in Nepal and he should be the deepest lake in Nepal with incredible 650 meters water depth.

We sleep in and enjoy a leisurely morning. Afterwards we explore the small village Ringmo with its about 20 houses and equip the small monastery Thasung Choling Gompa a visit. This is a Bon monastery. Bon is the old Regligion in the Himalayas, which has been almost entirely supplanted later by Buddhism.

Overnight in tents in the Ringmo Phoksundo Lake (3600 meters). (B, L, D)

Fantastic way through steep cliffs

Today's stage is one of the most spectacular on our trekking and also one of the most impressive parts of the route throughout Nepal. We walk on a narrow path through the steep rock face west of Phoksundo Lake. This path has been carved by hand from the steep cliff and is airy and exposed in some places.

We have beautiful views over the lake and the surrounding mountains and reached after a few hours the northern end of the lake. From here we follow the path Phoksundo Khola and reach

after 6 - 7 hours a spot on the river where we will set up our camp.

Overnight in tents in the valley of Phoksundo Khola (3750 meters). Trekking 6 - 7 hours (B, L, D).

The other stages and storage depend on our acclimatization and the condition of the paths and may vary.

Various possibilities

To continue, according to Shey Gompa there are various possibilities. The direct route over the 5350-meter-high La Nangdalo. This route is shorter, but because of the large amount usually not ideal ending the phase of acclimatization.

A longer route via the "only" 5000 meters high ball Methok Ting La. We expected to choose this route. We follow the valley and depending on our acclimatization we do two shorter stages down to the Base Camp of Mentok Ting La (as provided in the program). Well acclimatized trekkers can also summon a these two stages.

Overnight in tents on the way to Mentok Ting La (4100 meters). Trekking 4 - 5 h (F, M, A).

Short stage to the base camp of the 5000 meter high pass Mentok Ting La

Today's stage, we keep aware of short to accustom ourselves well to the altitude. After a few hours we already reach the base camp of Mentok Ting La. Here we are at an altitude of about 4500 meters and thus as high as the peak of the Matterhorn.

Overnight in tents at the base camp of Mentok Ting La (4100 meters). Trekking 2 - 3 hrs. (B, L, D)

Trek to Shey Gompa

We climb higher and reach today our first high ball. The Mentok Ting La at an altitude of almost 5,000 meters. Our further way leads us to the route, which need the Buddhist pilgrimage for the circumnavigation of the "Crystal Mountain". Again, there are different ways to continue, according to Shey. Depending on the Condition of the path and condition, we will opt for a shorter or longer variant. The shorter is frequently used by yak caravans, the longer variant is preferred by the pilgrims.

The Kora (circumnavigation) of Crystal Mountain is for followers of the Bon and Buddhists equally an important and sacred things. With a circumnavigation of the pilgrims gather religious merit. Move it has some energy places where great masters have done or meditated miraculous in times past. According to legend, the area was inhabited by evil demons and spirits. According to the beliefs of Bon these demons were fought by Bon magician Treton Nyima Sengge and defeated, which is flown on a roaring dragons here. According to the beliefs of Buddhists, it was the Buddhist Master Drubtop Sengge Yeshe. This is ridden according to the legend, not on a dragon, but on a snow lion here.

The rituals, customs and stories of Bon and Buddhists have been mixed over the centuries. Here in Dolpo many of these stories and legends are still alive. Full impressions we rreichen our destination Shey Gompa after a busy day.

Overnight in tents in Shey Gompa (4,300 meters). Trekking. 7 - 8 hours (B, L, D)

Rest day in Shey Gompa

After the exciting but also stressful last few days we've earned a day off today. Depending on your mood, we spend the day with "Dolce far niente" or go on excursions in the area. Exciting are the two monasteries Shey Gompa and the hermitage Tsakang (if we did not visit this yesterday, depending on the route).

Overnight in tents in Shey Gompa (4,300 meters). (B, L, D)

Ups and downs after Taro

After the rest day yesterday is today a stage before, where we have to deal with a lot of ups and downs. On a little perpetrated route we walk through a barren mountain landscape. In these mountain regions not only blue sheep, but also a few specimens of the elusive snow leopards live. The chance of a sighting of a snow leopard is relatively close to zero percent. This shy hunters prefer in the summer months, the high-altitude regions up to 6,000 meters and are also perfectly adapted to the environment through their fur and so well camouflaged that we would not see a snow leopard even in the presence generally. Our destination today is Taro, a summer grazing area of ​​the villagers from the surrounding area.

Overnight in tents in Taro (4300 meters). Trekking 6 hours. (B, L, D)

Legends to Bhijer

From Taro there is a direct, steep road to Bhijer (about 2 hours). But Beautiful is the longer way past the village Tata. Here live about 15 families. On the further way we visit the Shyamling Gompa. This Bon monastery to be around 900 years old. Afterwards we continue to run after Bhijer, which we reach around noon already. For the subsequent exhausting day we are glad to be able to recover in the afternoon again good. In Bhijer there is a Amchi station (Amchi is a doctor of Tibetan medicine), which has a very good reputation in Dolpo.

Bhijer is one of the deepest villages throughout Dolpo and at an altitude of 3850 meters can even wheat are grown. To the origin of the village climbs an exciting legend. A monk said to have come from Tibet in this region. Thirsty as he was, he has dug for water and out of the hole to a Bach have sprung. Further down the valley he saw a demon in the shape of a rat. This demon wanted the monk angreigen. With an arrow he shot the demon. The arrow was so powerful shot that he has imbued the demon and then stuck in the ground is gebliegen. From the wood of the arrow a apricot tree grew and this should still stand in the forecourt of the Monastery of Bhijer. This is one of several versions of the legend about the origin of Bhijer which is told here.

Overnight in tents in Bhijer (3850 meters). Trekking 4 - 5 h (F, M, A).

The "last" village

Well acclimatized and broken in, we take the most strenuous but also the most exciting section of our trek in attack. We climb 1000 meters to 4800 meters the high ball Yambur La. Then it goes steeply down into a ravine. At several places the road has been intricately carved out of the rock walls. We are glad to our surefootedness and head freedom. After a new, strenuous climb, we reach the lonely village of Pho. This will be our "last" village for the next few days, where we will walk through a completely deserted and uninhabited area.

Overnight in tents in Pho (4100 meters). Trekking 8 - 9 h (F, M, A).

Trek to Phung Kharka (4650 m)

We leave the village Pho and run into a wild mountain scenery. This is one of the most isolated areas in the whole of Nepal and the path is hardly committed. The next few days require us and our crew from everything and are very adventurous.

A long climb brings us to the highest pass of our journey, the 5560 meter high pass Nyingma Gyanzen La. This pass is also considered one of the finest in Nepal, where this is of course very subjective. At the top we hang our prayer flags on as is the custom in this area. This should bring us happiness and a safe distance travel. After enjoying the view we descend in the gorge of Swaksa Khola and reach exhausted but satisfied our camp in the region of Phung Kharka. Tonight we will enjoy our comfortable sleeping mats twice and cuddle up in our sleeping bags. About Us sparkle of thousands of stars in the clear night sky.

Overnight in tents in Phung Kharka (4650 meters). Trekking. 8 - 10 hours (B, L, D)

Cross Yala La (5400 meters) trek to Chyandi Khola (4800 m)

Our next high pass on the program. About barren pastures, we climb up towards Yala La, which lies at 5400 meters also well above the 5000 limit. Thanks to our starting point at an altitude of 4650 meters, but this is a less strenuous stage. After crossing the pass, we descend into the beautiful high valley of Chyandi Khola. The imposing glaciers on the northern side comes from the more than 6000 meters high peaks that separate Dolpo of Tibet. From here it would be a straight line, "just a stone's throw" to Tibet, but by land would have to be a well-equipped climbers. But there are other valleys in Dolpo forth simple transitions to Tibet, which can also be done with pack animals.

The few border crossings of Dolpo to Tibet are now officially banned, but are used by the locals every now and then for "smuggling routes". Previously, these transitions have been crossed by the inhabitants of Dolpo to convey with their yaks and sheep salt from Tibet to Nepal and then to Dolpo. The feature film "Himalaya" by Eric Valli is pulling the salt caravans from Dolpo to Tibet. Although rather "hollywood moderate" opened well worth the watching the film. The film was mostly shot in Dolpo and shows the beautiful mountain scenery and provides an insight into the life and culture of the Dolpas (as the inhabitants are called Dolpo).

Overnight in tents in Chyandi Khola (4800 meters). Trekking 6 hours. (B, L, D)

Trek to Takla Khola (3800 m)

We follow a while the brook Chyandi Khola. The road is difficult to find. Mostly it runs in the river bed, but also partially exposed on the steep rocky and grassy slopes along. In some places the path is overgrown and it leads us a few times by the creek or on improvised bridges over the water. Today's stage takes us, despite some ups and downs and deeper we get below the limit of 4000 meters. So we enjoy today the sight of trees and forests in these low-lying valleys. The last few days we were in very poor areas on the go. Pitch camp either in the area of ​​Takla Khola or depending on arrival time we also run a little higher, so as to shorten the rise tomorrow Pass.

Overnight in tents in Takla Khola (3800 meters). Trekking 7 hrs. (B, L, D)

Over the last high ball to Thajuchaur (4050 m)

Today, our condition is sent again to the test. After a long climb we reach the summit of the 5150 meter high Chyargo La. After the narrow valleys of yesterday we come here in a broad mountain valley. After about 1000 meters altitude descent we reach Thajuchaur.

Overnight in tents in Thajuchaur (4050 meters). Trekking. 7 - 8 hours (B, L, D)

In deeper realms

Now after so many days at high altitudes we come in much deeper and warmer climes. Today's destination is Shilenchaura. This place is situated at an altitude of 2950 meters and at the confluence of two rivers Chham Khola Khola and Mugu.

Overnight in tents in Shilenchaura (2950 meters). Trekking 5 - 6 hrs. (B, L, D)

Resting and reserve day

Today is a rest but also spare, if it should come to the route delays due to weather, the Wegzustandes or their own mental state.

If we feel like it, but we can also make a trip to the Valley of Mugu Khola today. Some 10 kilometers to the back of the valley lies the village of Mugu, which gave the region its name here. Mugu is located on an ancient pilgrimage route to Mount Kailash in Tibet. The Way Mugu and back is a full day's stage, but we can also run more than one cut in the valley of Mugu Khola and at any time to turn back, as all the way to "whim".

Overnight in tents in Shilenchaura (2950 meters). (B, L, D)

Trek to Mangri (1950 m)back to civilization

The paths are again noticeably wider and better and after so many days in solitude we come "back to civilization", albeit in a very simple. Mugu is one of the poorest regions in the whole of Nepal. The level of education in Mugu is very low, about 80% of the population is illiterate and medical care is virtually nonexistent. A long stage brings us to the region of Mangri where we will stay.

Overnight in tents in Mangri (1950 meters). Trekking. 7 - 8 hours (B, L, D)

Small town Gamghadi

Like yesterday, we follow the river Mugu Karnali. Today's destination is Gamghadi. This small town is the capital of the district of Mugu. Although Gamghadi is certainly not one of the most beautiful places in Nepal, but we look forward a little city life and to be able unobtainable in the small bazaar. The selection is limited but quite and our shopping trip will not take too long.

Overnight in tents or in Lodge in Gamghadi (2950 meters). Trekking 5 - 6 hrs. (B, L, D)

To the largest lake of Nepal the Rara Lake (2980m)

After we had with the Phoksundo lake already at the second largest lake of Nepal today we run the biggest lake of Nepal. The Rara Lake is located at an altitude of almost 3,000 meters in the National Park.

Note: From Gamghadi it is also possible to run in 3 days to Jumla. If it comes to delays in Dolpo, then the next day are also our "reserve days". If necessary, we cut the proposed program and run more directly to Jumla. Since this extraordinary pioneer trek passes through very isolated areas, we have deliberately built enough reserve days for contingencies.

Overnight in tents at Rara Lake (2980 meters). Trekking 3 - 4 hrs. (B, L, D)

Free day

Today we enjoy a free day at Rara Lake. Anyone interested can take a walk around the lake in attack, as is done by Hindu pilgrims. But maybe we actually want to laze on this beautiful lake.

Overnight in tents at Rara Lake (2980 meters). (B, L, D)

Ghorosingha (3050 meters).

Today we cross the Rara National Park. With just over 100 square kilometers, this is the smallest national park in Nepal. On animals, there are musk deer, black bears, leopards, Thar wild goats, otters, jackals and some other kinds. Maybe we get lucky and see one or the other copy. For this purpose, the Rara National Park is famous for the many bird species. Especially when migratory birds this area is very popular.

Our route takes us along the lake and then we climb up through beautiful pine and rhododendron forests to Chuchamare Danda at an altitude of 3800 meters. On the way we have always beautiful views over the National Park. Then we descend to our camp in Ghorosingha.

Overnight in tents in Ghorosingha (3050 meters). Trekking 6 - 7 hours (B, L, D).

Sinja (2400 meters).

A shorter stage takes us to Sinja. This was former royal seat of one of the largest kingdoms in the Himalayas. Here the ruler of the kingdom of Khas each have spent the winter. These kings of 11 away from here not only western Nepal, but also large parts of western Tibet and Ladakh dominated until the 14th century. During its greatest extent this kingdom of Kashmir was enough in the west to the east Pokhara.

The ruins of the former royal palace a reminder of this old, almost forgotten Kingdom. Even the Hindu Kankasundri temple from that time only a few ruins remain.

Overnight in tents in Sinja (2400 meters). Trekking 4 - 5 h (F, M, A).

Villages and pastures to jaljala Khor (3270 meters).

Past villages and pastures and through beautiful forests leads the way up the valley. Today's destination is the great Alpweide jaljala chaur shortly before the same pass. On this large Alpweide horses are grazed in large numbers often. We are looking at this beautiful Alp a good place for our last camp.

Overnight in tents in jaljala Khor (3270 meters). Trekking 6 - 7 hours (B, L, D).

Jumla (2540 meters).

Somewhat wistfully we take our last trekking day in attack. The ascent to 3600 meters high ball jaljala La does not bring us too much to gasp and we enjoy the view from our last pass. Then bring us a steep descent to the beginning Chere chaur and after a last stage we reach Jumla. This place is the end point of our trek. Tonight we are celebrating together with our team the success of our adventurous trek.

Overnight in tents or in Lodge in Jumla (2540 meters). Trekking 5 - 6 hrs. (B, L, D)

Return to Kathmandu

Our trekking went despite the length "too fast" to the end and we board the small plane, which flies us in a good half hour to Nepalganj. There we take a connecting flight to Kathmandu. From the bustle of Kathmandu, we are almost overwhelmed by the long time in the mountains, but we enjoy the amenities of civilization like a hot shower, a good coffee and a real bed.

Note: Even the flight from Jumla to Nepalganj takes place only in good weather. The following day in Kathmandu are reserve days, if the flight should be postponed until the following day because of visibility or weather conditions.

Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu (1300 meters). Flight time 1 ½ hours. Driving time ½ hrs. (B, L, D)

Free day in Kathmandu

Today we enjoy a free day in Kathmandu and have time to wash our clothes can be, cozy to drink a coffee or "feed" us through the menus of many fine restaurants in Kathmandu to. But do not eat too much, because tonight will lead us out of our local guide for the final dinner. In an ancient palace we enjoy not only one of the best dal bhat from Nepal, but also admire the traditional Nepalese dances.

Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu (1300 meters). (B, L, D)

Departure

With many impressions and experiences in the luggage we fly back to Switzerland.

Things You Need

Gear Information

The following safety equipment we have on this trip there:

  • Comprehensive Emergency pharmacy
  • Pulse oximeter for measuring oxygen in the blood
  • Oxygen bottle
  • Water Filter Katadyn
  • Satellite phone
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