Dhaulagiri Base Camp & Tilicho Lake.

 

harvesting season.

Harvesting Season, in mountainous Nepal.

Tilicho 4949m is one of the highest altitude lakes in the world. Four Australians; Mr. Brian Steely, Mr. Noel Cada, Mr. Tom Rogers and Mr. Greg Myrick had the trekking expedition Tilicho Lake and Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Their arrival to Nepal was on October 1. However, they took the opportunity of sightseeing tour of Thamel, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and Pashupatinath on their arrival date and the following day.

annapurnas - buckwheat at timang 2

Buckwheat at Timang.

On October 3, they boarded the plane to Pokhara. A brief sightseeing in Pokhara was followed by the flight to Jomsom on October 4. Jomsom is a small valley from where the Dhaulagiri range stands tall on the left and Annapurna range on the right. No doubt both these mega mountains top 26,000ft.

Thakali-Habitat.

High altitude Thakali Habitat.

October 5, their trek took pace to Thini and above. The inhabitat of Thakali; Thini is the last village on the trekking trial with excellent views.They climbed up to Kaishang 10,660ft and returned to Jomsom. October 6, they hiked back to Kaishang and camped. The team hiked to Nama Phu Kharka 13,450 on 7th and returned to the previous camp. On October 8, they camped for the night at Nama Phu Kharka. The journey on 9th continued towards the Tilicho Lake as they climb about 4,100ft beyond Mesokanta Pass. The spectacular mountain views on the right, made no place for tiredness in the Aussie team. Then they descended to the Tilicho Lake at 4949m. October 10, they hiked down to Manang and camped between Manang and Tilicho. October 11, they were at Manang and from there they hiked to ThrongLa Fedi 14,500ft. Their trek on October 13 continued to Muktinath 15,060ft. Muktinath is probably the only one common pilgrimage for Hindus, Buddhists and the Tibetans. Upon discovering the lesser steepness the team decided to hike upwards to Throng-la Pass for the incredible views of Annapurna and Mt. Mukut bordering the Dolpo region to the west. On October 14, the team descended to Kagbeni. On 15th the team was again at Jomsom and then to Marpha.

Himalayan carriers.

Himalayan carriers.

They gradually came down to the Kali Gandaki River valley; Thak Khola, the ancient habitat of Thakalis. On the 16th the team made the ascending move towards Dhaulagiri Base Camp and camped at Yak Kharka. On October 17, they were on the move towards the base camp crossing Dampus Pass 17,100ft and French Col 17,600ft and finally descended to Dhaulagiri Base Camp 15,500ft.

mountain RANGES.
Fantastic Mountain ranges.

After exploring around the region on 18th, they came back to Jomsom, and then flew to Pokhara. They made their departures on October 24 after enjoying couple of free days at Pokhara and Kathmandu.

Mustang2 008
High altitude Desert valley.

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Dolpo and Upper Mustang Trek

Ardent trekkers Samuel Palsmeier from USA and Fabrizio Nicoletti from Italy met online and decided to trek together to Nepal. They took the difficult trail to the remote kingdom of Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpo. It took them more than a month to complete their trek. After their return the two trekkers shared their extraordinary trekking experience with Explore Himalaya, the organizer of their trek. 

EH; How was your trek?

Sam: I was very, very satisfied. Everything from the start to finish was arranged professionally. We had very few hiccups along the way on the trip. Trek itself was wonderful and the areas we visited were quite special. The scenery was just fabulous. All the staff as usual, was helpful, warm and genuinely hospitable. We had a great trek!

Fabrizio: Overall my opinion about the trek is very positive. The trekking agency is professional one . Basically it delivered all the services exactly as expected.

EH:Any special reason for choosing this particular trek?

Sam: Basically two trek in Nepal that I always want to do were treks to Dolpo and Mustang. When I first saw the movie “Caravan” I was very impressed with Dolpo’s dramatic landscape and wished to visit it someday. Mustang seemed interesting because of its unique Tibetan culture.

Fabrizio: The only special reason is that these are two very remote areas. It is my second time to Nepal. I like to trek on some unspoiled and not very crowded area. That is why I chose Dolpo and Mustang trek.

EH:Do you have any special memories that you want to share?

Sam: In term of the treks themselves, in Dolpo trek there are 3-4days which are very special. During this time you get to encounter such scenic and wonderful places like Phoksundo. Dho, where Bon religion is practiced is very interesting. You definitely see some different architecture over there. Mustang is much more Tibetan. I would say one of the special day was the second last day of our trek when we went through Dhakmar. The red cliffs and the sun in the afternoon in Dhakmar is just spectacular.

Fabrizio: Every day in a trek is new day, the day you can face new challenges, you can experience new things and learn new things. I would say those two treks, Mustang but also Dolpo are not just about landscapes. The local culture is equally very interesting. So, if you go for both trek or just one trek try to keep your attention high on cultural side because culturally there are lots of beautiful things apart from the mountains.

EH:How was the service of the support staff?

Sam: For Dolpa, our guide was Pemba and Babu was our local guide for Mustang. Both of these gentlemen are very friendly very positive, they were always looking after us. The services of the guide are great.

Fabrizio: As for the Dolpo trek, the staffs were very friendly. I am very satisfied about the service they provided. My opinion is very positive. In Mustang trek, I had no complains at all about the guide.

EH:Which was the most difficult part of the trek?

Sam: I mean those were certain, probably because we already were trekking for two weeks, over just few passes. This time the passes were free of snow. So there was no technical challenges, you always felt safe and it was just the matter of setting the pace of to get up down and up and down. And the places are quite spectacular. And the fact that not a lot of people were living in that area made it special too. I know every day is a challenge. There is no such thing as easy days in Himalaya. Even in short days, you would need to go lots of ups and downs but it’s a physical achievement.

Fabrizio: If we talk about Dolpa, I guess, we talk we take about that because for Mustang, I would not rate Mustang as a difficult trek as long as you have someone who can walk for 6-7hours trek. Dolpo is different trek, challenging one, sometimes at some point it can be very strenuous. So I would not say Dolpa is for everybody unless they have a good trekking experience and trekking background. Thre are 6-7 passes over 5000 metres and besides you always sleep in a tent and you are in a remote area. If that’s exactly what you are looking for, that is fine .But that is fine as long as everything is good and if you are in problem, you are in a remote area. Again, it is not like climbing the mountain or peaks of 6000 m. At the end it is just a trek, a difficult one but just a trek.

Eh;What would be your comment or advice to those who would like to do this trek?

Sam: The biggest things to understand is there are two very distinctly different places. Dolpo is definitely more for somebody looking for the physical up and down. Mustang now is easy, you can either trek or take a jeep. It is more developed. If you are looking for the cultural experience, Mustang is the place to go and if you are looking for the physically challenging, Dolpo is great. It would be great if you combine both treks for some physical challenge and cultural insights.

Fabrizio: Obviously, trekking in those two areas is not an easy task, not only for the money involved which is really not affordable for everybody also for the physical effort, for the physical exercise involved in this trek. I would say, both treks are outstanding. Dolpo is more about, is more a big trek, is more about crossing some high passes. If you do not feel that you can really end with the long trekking in remote area, I would say Mustang is easy option. The lodges are along the way. The trek is much easier than Dolpo. If you want to pick one of them, I think Mustang is easier. On the other hand, Dolpo is more challenging and it depends on what you are looking for.

dolpa

Phoksumdo Lake

Upper Dolpa

Monastery at Upper Dolpo

mustang

Monks at a ceremony in Mustang

Mustang

(Pics courtesy: Fabrizio Nicoletti)

Trek to Dolpo & Mustang

Recce Trek to the virgin hills of Sindhupalchowk

Explore Himalaya recently organized a recce trek to Sindhupalchowk district for some European clients. Though Sindhupalchowk is located just a few miles from the country’s capital Kathmandu, it is one of the least developed districts in Nepal. Lying close to the Tibetan border, Sindhupalchowk’s verdant hills, mountain settlements, virgin forests, pristine rivers (Bhotekoshi & Sunkoshi) and waterfalls and panoramic Himalayan views are enough to lure any intrepid traveler.

The team comprising of guides, clients and staff from explore Himalaya hiked for three days through virgin forests and hill top villages, staying overnight at local homes. With no other tourists in sight and just an occasional local to share the trail with, the group had a wonderful trekking experience. They began their trek from Jalbire and hiked through Bishankhu, Deurali, Thagam, Chagam/Sherpagaon and Listikot. From Listikot, the group made a final descent to the 'Last Resort', where their trek ended.

welcome

Meeting & greeting

trek

Trekking through a lonely trail

way-2-deurali

Taking a breather and enjoying the views

Deurali

Village of Deurali

Himalayan peaks

View of Tibetan peaks from above Deurali village

view

Taking in the mountain views

Thagam

Thagam Village

trekking

An uphill hike 

Sherpagaon

Sherpagaon , the village of the Anis. This unique settlement in Sindhupalchowk is the retreat of a community of Anis or buddhist nuns. Except for the Anis, no other people live here. The village has a 'gompa' (monastery) and houses where the Anis live.

sherpagaon-anis

Anis (Buddhist nuns) at Sherpagaon

anis

Making butter tea the traditional way – Anis working in their kitchen.

view from Listikot

The final leg of the trek – View from Listikot. The highway below is the road leading to Kodari (Nepal – Tibet border). The metal suspension bridge spans the Bhotekoshi river and connects 'The Last Resort' and other villages across the river to the highway.

bungy

Bungy jumping at 'The Last Resort'- final adrenaline rush!

(Pics: Explore Himalaya)

Trek to the foothills of Kanchenjunga

Kanchenjunga, derived from the Tibetan word ‘Kanchen’ &' Dzonga’ meaning ‘Five Treasures of the Great Snow’, has five peaks, including the third highest peak in the world at 8586m. Because of its remote location the trails that lead to the foothills of these mighty mountains has remained largely unexplored. The trekking trails skirt the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area which covers an area of 2035 sq. km. in Taplejung district, in the northeast corner of Nepal. The conservation area has a unique mountain ecosystem. Tucked within these hidden valleys, one can encounter rich forests that support more than 250 species of birds and endangered wildlife, including snow leopards and red pandas. A few days of walking will lead you to high elevation pastures where yaks graze languidly and colorful alpine flowers bloom. Trekking in this remote area, you encounter a mixture of ethnicities that continue to practice traditional subsistence lifestyles, their cultural and religious practices adding to the area's ricjh cultural heritage. Because of its remote location in Nepal and difficult access from India, the Kangchenjunga region is not much explored by trekkers. It has, therefore, retained much of its pristine beauty.

Kachenjunga

Kanchenjunga

Read BBC travel writer Nick Eason's account of his trek to this remote region: "Give me a home where the snow leopards roam"

Trek to Kanchenjunga Base camp with Explore Himalaya

Trekking Around Manaslu

Ole Andersen and Ingrid Sorensen from Kipling Travels made a recce trip to Manaslu this Spring(February, 2012). Although they planned to complete the Manaslu circuit, they had to make a detour to Tsum Valley because of bad weather and heavy snowfall. Here are some of the amazing pictures from their trek. The trek Sirdar was Nima Tamang.

village

A village in Gorkha

manaslu trek

About to take the trail upstream Macha Khola(river)

manaslu trek

The trail up the river

gurans

'Laligurans' or Red Rhododendron blooms- Nepal's National Flower

Nepal Gray Langur

Gray Langur found in Nepal's hills & mountains

exotic

himal

yaks

monks

Little lamas at Nyingmapa Monastery

sama gaon

A cultural programme in Sama Gaon

family

A family recieves the blessing from a village elder

tsum

Tsum valley

grp

Group photo

(Pic Courtesy: Ole Andersen & Nima Tamang)

 

 

 

Everest Base Camp Trek – October, 2011

Dough Ferris, a Corporate Sales Manager from Sydney Australia and his friends trekked to Everest Base Camp with us in Autumn.  We recieved an email  from him a few days ago. Here's what he had to say:

“First of all I would like to thank you for all your work in organizing our trek. From our point of view it was a fantastic and memorable experience and could only have been achieved with your work and the work of Explore Himalaya. Secondly a huge thanks to the guides you chose and the porters. Dawa, Karma and Dendy are fantastic people. They talked openly with us at all times and provided lots of information on our surroundings as well as offering suggestions and opinions along the way. They did a fantastic job in arranging the accommodation and organizing all of our meals. They have all become good friends that we will continue to stay in touch with. Thirdly a big thank you to Samundra your executive officer. In Kathmandu he was amazing and was always on time and eager to help in any way possible.. …..Our trek was nothing short of spectacular. This has been a memorable experience that was only made possible through the people at Explore Himalaya. The Everest region is an amazing place and we will be visiting again soon. “
 Doug Ferris,
Sydney , Australia

 

gokyo lake

Gokyo Lake

ebc2

Inside Tengboche Monastery

yak train

Yak Train

chola pass

Crossing Chola Pass 5368m

changri nup

Changri Nup Glacier

ebc1

At Everest Base Camp (Doug, second from left)

Photos Courtesy: Doug Ferris

Trek to Everest Base Camp

The Great Himalaya Trail – Nepal

Walk Through Nepal’s Great Himalaya Trail

Stretching 4500kms across the world’s tallest mountain ranges and isolated Himalayan mountain communities makes The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) the longest and highest alpine walking trail in the world. GHT is a network of existing treks and trails offering an incredible diversity in terms of landscapes, flora & fauna, people and culture. The 1700km Nepal section of the GHT traverse the country from east to west and can be a completed by trekking continuously for 157 days. The trail begins near Kanchenjunga on the eastern border and heads west navigating the domains of eight of the world’s 8000m peaks, from Makalu to Everest. The trail ends in Humla on the Tibetan border. Trekking along Nepal’s section of GHT and spending money on food, accommodation or services such as guides, porters and cooks will make a direct difference to communities in these areas. The trail promises incredible places, people & culture- a unique experience altogether. Due to time constraints, many won’t be able to attempt the whole route. So it is broken up into sections and short treks along the trail. Completing a section of the GHT, Nepal trail with Explore Himalaya will get you a GHT achievement certificate. The following treks interlink to make Nepal’s  Great Himalayan Trail.

1. Kanchenjunga Trek

2. Makalu- Sherpani Col/ 3 Cols Adventure Trek

3. Everest High Valleys Trek

4. Langtang Trek- Trek to the Sacred Lakes

5. Manaslu & Annapurna (Manaslu Circuit Trek-23 days)

6. Upper Dolpo & Shey Gompa Trek

7. Jumla – Rara Lake Trek

8. Tsum Valley Trek

Trekking on the Annapurna Circuit

Explore Himalaya recently organized an Annapurna Circuit Trek for Australian trekkers  Clare Russell-Williams  and Simon Guy. Here’s what they had to say after the completion of their trekking.

“Everything was very well organized and we were well informed about meeting points and who we were to get lifts with. Dhan Kumar Rana was a fantastic guide! We had so much fun with him and he took us to places we wouldn’t have visited if we had trekked alone. Our porter was also great, friendly and did a brilliant job of carrying our bag. We were amazed at the variety of meals available each day. All the lodges were comfortable and very welcoming. Even though it was off-season , the lodges still provided the best food possible and created a welcoming atmosphere. Our jeep ride to Besisahar was a great start to the trip. The two flights from Jomsom to Kathmandu were amazing and a great finish to the trip. Our itinerary was great. Not too much walking each day, so it allowed us time to explore each village at night. The trek was absolutely amazing, we loved every minute and wouldn’t change a thing!”

– Clare Russell – Williams & Simon Guy

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek

(Photos courtesy : Michel Vanoli)

Annapurna Circuit Trek