DOLPO CENTRAL AND WEST NEPAL TRAVERSE TREK
Travel remote and rarely trodden paths to the mystical Border lands of Dolpo
Surrounded by high mountain ranges Dolpo remains one of the few forbidden border regions of Nepal. The last vestiges of traditional Tibetan culture can be found in this visually stunning Region of high plateaus and striking landscapes made famous in the Eric Valli film ‘Himalaya’. Here remain some of the highest settlements on earth where the villagers grow their crops of barley and herd their yaks. Some of the attractions of this route are: Dho Tarap, a human settlement at the highest altitude in the world, Shey Gumba, religiously the most important Gumba in Nepal, and lake Phoksundo, the deepest lake of high altitude in the world. The months of March to September are good for embarking on this trek. After September, it starts snowing heavily, and trekking is possible only with heavy duty equipment. From November it is completely impassable. The best time is from March to May, as it may rain in June and July.
- Grade: challenging
- Trek Length: 22 Days
- Group Size: Minimum 04
- Trek Altitude: Max 5350 meters
- Trip Style: Tented Camp Trek
- Activity Per Day: Approximately 7-8 hrs walking per day
- Trip Category: Remote Area Trek
- Stunning beauty of Phoksundo Lake
- Superb view of Kanjirowa Himal, crystal Mountain
- Shey Gompa, Namgung Gompa and Jyagla Pass
- Explore remote areas of western region
- Tibetan Buddhist culture
- Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu.
- Day 02: Kathmandu city tour.
- Day 03: Fly to Nepalgunj.
- Day 04: Fly to Juphal trek to Chhepka (2,491 m.) walk 6 hours.
- Day 05: Trek to Chunuwar (3,130 m.) walk 5:30 hours.
- Day 06: Trek to Ringmo (3,647 m.) walk 4 hours.
- Day 07: Trek to Ruktang (3,594 m.) walk 7 hours.
- Day 08: Trek to Base Camp (4,677 m) walk 6 hours.
- Day 09: Trek to Shey Gumba (4,354m.) walk 7 hours.
- Day 10: Exploration day at Shey Gumba.
- Day 11: Trek to Namgung (4,400 m.) walk 7 hours.
- Day 12: Trek to Saldang 4,085 m.) walk 4 hours.
- Day 13: Trek to Rhakyo (4,151m.) walk 7 hours.
- Day 14: Trek to High Camp (4,850 m.) walk 6 hours.
- Day 15: Trek to Dho Tharap (4,090m.) walk 6 hours.
- Day 16: Trek to Tangum (3,586 m.) walk 8 hours.
- Day 17: Trek to Lashikyap (2,718m.) walk 7 hours.
- Day 18: Trek to Dunai (2.095m.) walk 8 hours
- Day 19: Trek to Juphal (2,250 m.) walk 4 hours
- Day 20: Fly back to Nepalgunj and Kathmandu
- Day 21: Free day for Shopping
- Day 22: Departure
- Airport pick up & drop
- Accommodation in Katmandu on B/B basis.
- Flight from Kathmandu-Nepalgunj/Juphal-Kathmandu.
- Accommodation in Nepalgunj on B/B basis
- Accommodation & three times meal during the trekking
- Government licenses holder trekking guide
- Trekking porter
- Dolpo Conservation area permit fee
- Trekker’s Information Management system (TIMS)
- Sight seeing tour in Kathmandu valley with guided trip as mentioned in itinerary
- Ground transportations
- Insurance for Nepalese staff. ( Trekking guide, and porters)
- Guide and porter fares and taxes.
- Government Tax and office service charge.
- Lunch & Dinner during Kathmandu and pokhara stay
- Nepal entry visa fee US$ 40 (duration 60 days from date of issue)-
- Personal equipments
- High risk medical insurance
- Alcoholic beverages and Telephone calls
- Soft drinks such as cola, mineral water
- Emergency rescue evacuation if needed
- Purely personal nature expenses
- Tipping ( Tips)
EQUIPMENTS/CLOTHINGS CHECK LISTS
The following basic equipments check lists should help you with your packing. Keeping weight of your equipment to a minimum to a personal carry on backpack will reduce fatigue and help you walk better. We recommend an avg. weight of not more than 33 pounds or 15 kg. for personal backpack.
Below are the lists of some essential equipment/clothing that will be handy during your trip.
- Sun hat, scarf, or headband
- Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection
Upper Body wear:
- T-shirts ( According to the length of your trip, normally 2 or more)
- Light thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down jacket [you can also rent it in Kathmandu]
- Lightweight gloves
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
Lower Body wear:
- Underwear ( minimum 4 and according to length of your trip)
- Hiking shorts ( minimum 2 and according to length of your trip)
- Lightweight cotton long pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
- Fleece or wool pants
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
- Thin, lightweight inner socks (minimum 3 and according to length of your trip)
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks (minimum 3 and according to length of your trip)
- Hiking boots with spare laces
- Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals) Gaiters for hiking in winter to the base camp
- Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees F [Can rent in Kathmandu]
- Headlamp (e.g. Petzl Zoom) with spare bulbs and batteries
- Small pad or combination lock-to-lock Mountain sherpa’s Kid Bag
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Large plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside trek bag
- Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
- Thermarest sleeping pad
- Water bottles (2)
- Small wash towel
- Reading books
- Trail Map/Guide books
- Journal & Pen
- Music Mp3s
- Pencils and notebooks
- Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble,cards etc.
Q1. Are you a licensed trekking agency?
Yes, we are a licensed trekking agency. We have been organizing tours, treks and trekking peaks for our valued clients for more than 3 decades.
Q2. How do I book a trek with you?
After choosing the trip you wish to join, the first step is to fill up the form available here (http://www.endlessoutdooradventure.com/contact.html). A deposit has to be made in order to confirm the reservation. All details will be emailed to you to make it easy for you to book. The next step is to book a plane ticket to Asia and then get ready for an adventure of a lifetime.
Q3. Can your guides speak English?
The cultural tour guides are quite proficient. The trekking guide (Sirdar) and his assistants speak reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Q4. How big are the groups?
We try to bring together a small group of like-minded people to give them a memorable and insightful travel experience, coupled with an invaluable opportunity to interact with each other in a fun-filled environment. Our travel group generally comprises of maximum 12 members.
Q5. Do you arrange private treks?
Yes, we do. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 2 & maximum 20 at a time). Cost for private trip is fixed on the basis of group size, trek area, duration and trek style, and is negotiable.
Q6. How long do we walk each day?
All our trekking programs are classified into THREE different categories according to the level of difficulty. Soft Adventure treks are only about a week to 10 days in duration. They generally don’t go above 4000 meter and each day, you can expect to be walking for around 4 – 5 hours. While moderate to fairly challenging treks are longer treks that go right into high mountain country. Physically quite tiring, these involve approx 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges of high Himalayan peaks. Strenuous treks are longer treks that go far beyond the normal haunts of trekkers and tourists. Physically challenging, these may involve 7-9 hours trekking and likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities. It’s definitely not for beginners.
Q7. What is TH (LODGE) trek?
Some of the popular trekking routes are served by lodges making it possible for you to stay at local Tea house (mountain hut) during your trek. Tea house treks are less expensive then Camping trek and are largely suitable for small group. Usually during busy seasons if private rooms in smaller villages are fully occupied you might have to sleep in dormitory. Price includes accommodation in lodges, guide, porters and all meals.
Q8. What is FOT trek?
On FOT or Fully Organized Trek your eating and sleeping arrangements will be fully organized by the support crew. FOTs are also known as CAMPING TREKS. On camping trek you will be sleeping in tents. A trekking crewconsists of one sirdar (guide), one cook and kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Under the leadership of the sirdar (the local trek leader), the crew consists of several Sherpa assistants who will ensure you don’t take the wrong path, a cook and kitchen crew to keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals and the porters to transport all the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. The ratio of both Sherpa guides and kitchen crew to group members is generally 1:4 and the ratio of porters to group members is around 3:1 at the beginning of the trek, but this decreases as food is eaten and loads become smaller. For bathroom facilities we carry a toilet tent. Your camping staffs dig a deep hole in the ground for excrement and cover the hole with soil after the business is done.
Q9. What about security during trekking?
Security of our clients is the foremost important for us. All our guides and other support crew are carefully chosen for your trips. Our guides hold licenses issued by the Nepal Government. They are very honest and reliable. But we would also advise you to take care of your own personal belongings. If you are on ‘camping trek’ please do not leave your bags unattended at any time for your own safety. Take your main bag inside the tent once you reach campsite. At night, put all bags and belongings in the middle of the tent. Your guide assigns a Sherpa on turn wise basis to guard the campsite throughout the night. If you are on ‘Lodge trek’ arrangement, you will be sleeping in local lodge. You have to take sensible precautions yourself at all times. Never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out.
Q10. What type of food is served during a trek?
On a CAMPING TREK we provide three tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads. Dinner is a hearty 3 course meal – soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for.
On the Lodge treks we provide standard breakfast, lunch and three course dinner, tea or coffee will also be included with each meal. Your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive. Most lodges offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy packaged water (bottled mineral water) from local lodge and shop en route but we strongly advise you to ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills. This helps to reduce the plastic pollution.
Q11. How to get safe drinking water on the trek?
On camping trek, our staff will boil and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On Lodge trek, you will be able to buy safe hot drinks in the tea house. We recommend you to bring water purification pills. On the trail, water from the streams is safe if away from settlements.
Q12.What is the overnight accommodation like?
In cities like Kathmandu or Lhasa, accommodation will be in hotels of your preference. We have a pool of hotels that ranges from luxury deluxe to budget hotels. While on a trek accommodation will depend on the trek style. If you are taking a camping then you will be sleeping in tents.
Whilst we endeavor to stay in the best possible accommodation along the way, you should be aware that most lodges, particularly in the smaller villages, are quite basic. The bedrooms are usually very small, the shared bathroom facilities are often outside and meals are served in a communal dining hall. Although simple, the lodges do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. Lodge treks are less expensive thanCamping trek and are largely suitable for small group. Usually during busy seasons if private rooms in smaller villages are fully occupied you might have to sleep in dormitory, mainly in high altitude destinations.
Q13. How fit I need to be to trek in the Himalayas?
You should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.
Q14. Do you provide any equipment while trekking?
On all our Camping treks we provide all the tents, sometimes dome tents, sometimes sturdy A frames and normally people share one tent between two; a foam mattress each; all the cutlery and utensils, cooking pots, stoves; candles/kerosene lantern, tables and stools, kitchen tent, dining tent and toilet tent; all the main meals while trekking but not snacks. On lodge trek there is no necessity to provide any equipment.
Q15. Do you arrange domestic and international flights?
In the domestic front we work with all domestic airlines operating in Nepal. We do not book international flights.
Q16. What type of ground transportation is used on your tours?
We have a fleet of mostly Japanese made Toyota vehicles of all types and sizes, from small two-seater luxury cars to large capacity luxury tourist coaches.4WD Land cruisers are used in difficult and muddy road trips. Size and type of vehicle depend on size of your group. We use two-seater car for 1-2 persons, micro luxury 6-seater van for 3-5 persons, 10-seater van for 6-9 persons and tourist coach or coaster for group size above 10 persons. Our drivers are specially trained to serve in the hospitality industry. The vehicles are checked carefully before assigning them to your service.
Q17.Is tipping included and if not, how much should I budget?
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. Some trekkers give 10% of the total tour cost as tips.
Q18. What happens in case of emergency?
In the case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; you shall be rescued by a helicopter. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back in Kathmandu. Ask your guide to arrange a runner to the nearest communication point and inform office about requirement of a helicopter. While asking for the helicopter, please send name of the sick person and give exact location from where helicopter can airlift you. Do not leave the place although you are getting better once you have ordered Helicopter.
Q19. How Should I dress during a trek?
The clothing you bring will need to allow for both the warmth of the days and the chill of the nights. While trekking during the day at lower altitudes, lightweight trekking trousers and T-shirts are recommended. It’s always a good idea to carry a waterproof jacket and some warmer clothing with you though as mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable. For the cold nights, thermal underwear, a warm fleece jacket and even a down jacket will help to keep you warm. Good shoes are of great importance. They must be sturdy and comfortable. For higher altitude treks where you may have to tread snow for long hours, good boots are available for rent in Kathmandu. In view of local customs, try not to wear too skimpy or revealing clothes. Your reception by locals can vary greatly on the way you dress.
Q20. What is the best time for trekking?
The best time to trek is from October to May. The first two months of the dry season – October and November, when it is still comfortably warm – are ideal for trekking in Nepal.
December, January and February are still good months for trekking, but it can be bitterly cold at high altitudes.
Q21. Is it possible to change the lodge if it is not in order?
Yes, you can definitely change the lodge if you feel it is not in order by talking over with your guide, (provided there are other lodges with good rooms in the vicinity).
Q22. Do you reserve rooms at the lodges before or during the trek?
We accommodate trekking groups in local lodges available on the trail. As it is not possible to book the rooms days in advance, we send a porter few hours ahead of the group each day to book the rooms.
Q23. Is it possible to alternate or change the day trips?
It is possible to change the day trip as per your request by consulting your guide.
Q24. Can we change the itinerary?
Depending on the prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original itinerary.
Q25. What is AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)? How many types and how can we prevent it?
Altitude sickness often known as acute mountain sickness (A.M.S.) in general may occur when people ascend too quickly normally in altitudes of over 3000 m. We ensure minimal risk by building in rest days into our trekking itineraries. Most people will feel some affect of altitude, shortness of breath and possibly a light headed, which is fairly common. Acute mountain sickness is very different and normally involves a severe headache, sickness and loss of awareness. In almost every potential case there are enough warning signs to take appropriate action.
Our expert and trained guides will advise you about any health requirements and also altitude sickness while you are trekking, so you should not worry about it, we do however recommend you get advice from your travel doctor or health advisor before you leave. The following information gives you an idea about high altitude sickness and how to minimize the affects.
There are three stages of altitude sickness and symptoms.
1. Normal AMS Symptoms – Should expect but not worry.
Following are the normal altitude symptoms that you should expect but not be worried about. Every trekker will experience some or all of these, no matter how slowly they ascend.
- Periods of sleeplessness.
- Need more sleep than normal (often 10 hours or more)
- Occasional loss of appetite.
- Vivid, wild dreams especially at around 2500-3800 meters in altitude.
- Periodic breathing.
- The need to rest/catch your breath frequently while trekking, especially above 3500 meters.
- Runny nose.
- Increasing urination while moving to/at higher altitudes (a good sign)
2. Mild AMS Symptoms – NEVER GO HIGHER
Many trekkers in the high valleys of the Himalaya get mild AMS, admit or acknowledge that you are having symptoms. You need have only one of the following symptoms to be getting altitude sickness.
- Mild headache.
- Dry Raspy cough.
- Loss of apatite.
- Runny nose.
- Hard to breath.
What to do if a mild symptom doesn’t go way?
- If you find mild symptoms developing while walking, stop and relax (with your head out of sun) and drink some fluids. Drink frequently.
- If mild symptoms developing while walking, stop have rest, drink some fluids and take 125-250mg Diamox. Diamox generally takes one to four hours to begin alleviating symptoms. Drink more water and consider staying close by.
- If symptoms develop in the evening, take 125-250mg Diamox and drink plenty of fluids again.
- If symptoms partially go away but are still annoying it is safe to take another 250mg Diamox 6-8 hours later.
- If mild symptoms continue getting worse try descending for a few hours which may be more beneficial than staying at the same altitude. Going higher will definitely make it worse. You’re here to enjoy trekking not to feel sick.
3. Serious AMS Symptoms – IMMEDIATE DESCENT
- Persistent, severe headache.
- Persistent vomiting.
- Ataxia (loss of co-ordination, an inability to walk in a straight line, making the sufferer look drunk)
- Losing consciousness (inability to stay awake or understand instructions)
- Mental confusion or hallucinations.
- Liquid sounds in the lungs.
- Very persistent, sometimes watery, cough.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Rapid breathing or feeling breathless at rest.
- Coughing clear fluid, pink phlegm or blood (a very bad sign).
- Severe lethargy/fatigue.
- Marked blueness of face and lips.
- High resting heartbeat (over 130 beats per minute)
- Mild symptoms rapidly getting worse.
Dangerous cases of AMS
High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
This is a build-up of fluid around the brain. It in most cases the first five symptoms on the mild and severe lists previously. Coma from HACE can lead to unconsciousness are death within 12 hours from the onset of symptoms, but normally takes 1-2 days to develop. At the first sign of ataxia begin treatment with medication, oxygen and descent. Usually 4 to 8mg of dexamethasone is given as a first does, then 4mg every six hours, Diamox every 12 hours and 2-4 liters /minute oxygen. Descent is necessary.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
This is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs and is very serious. It is responsible for all the other mild and serious symptoms and it is often accompanied by a mild fever. By far the treatment is oxygen at 4 liters a minute but using PAC (portable altitude chamber) bag treatment is a good substitute. Quick descent will be life saving. HAPE can lead to unconsciousness are death very quick.
Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
- Allow sufficient time for acclimatization (After 3000 meters).
- Don’t make rapid Ascent. Don’t go too far too fast.
- No Alcohol, Sleeping pills and Smoking.
- Drink more fluid 3-4 Liters a day, clean water-boiled or treated / tea / coffee / soup / juice etc.
- Climb high and sleep low.
- Do not trek/travel alone, take guide/porter.
- Follow the advice from your guide, hotel, local, guide book.
- Descent if mild symptoms rapidly getting worse.
- Never leave or descent sick person along.
- Avoid getting cold.
- Take an easy and comfortable trekking route even if it’s longer.
First Aid Kit
this is the basic list to cover the more common ailments that affect trekkers. Climbing groups, expeditions and trekkers going to isolated areas will need a more comprehensive kit.
- Bandage for sprains
- Iodine or water filter (optional)
- Moleskin/Second skin – for blisters
- Antiseptic ointment for cuts
- Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptic)
- Aspirin/Paracetamol – general painkiller
- Oral rehydration salts
- Broad-spectrum antibiotic (norfloxacin or ciprofloxin)
- Anti-diarrhea medication (antibiotic)
- Diarrhea stopper (Imodium – optional)
- Antibiotic for Guardia or similar microbe or bacteria
- Diamox 250/500mg (for altitude sickness)
- Sterile Syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)
- Gel hand cleaner.
DOLPO TRAVERSE TREK
MAKALU BASE-CAMP TREK
PEAKS AND EXPEDITION
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