Shey Gompa and Inner Dolpo
Nepal, Trek & Walk, 26 days - from £3,095 (land only) - from €4,180 (land only) - from $4,970 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal.
Day 2: A free morning in Kathmandu to relax or explore Thamel. In the afternoon we'll take the short flight to Nepalgunj in the Terrai. Overnight in a simple hotel.
Day 3: An early morning flight to Jhupal in the Lower Dolpo district where we meet up with our trek crew. An easy start to our trek as we walk downhill to camp by the river at Sulighat (2050m). Total walk distance 6kms, 430m ascent, 790m descent. Approx 3 hours trekking.
Day 4: We start the trek to Inner Dolpo following the Suli Gaad river north. We'll pass through many villages including Jyalhasa which is only inhabited in the winter when the Dolpopa (local Dolpo people) bring their animals down from mountain pastures. We camp at Chepka (2970m). Distance 16km, 1600m ascent, 1025m descent. Approx 7 - 8 hours trekking.
Day 5: Crossing the river many times today, we ascend a narrow gorge through forests of bamboo and conifer. The valley opens up at the village of Renje beyond which the trail climbs upwards further. We camp at Samduwa village. Distance 12km, 1130m ascent, 785m of descent, approx 7 hours trekking.
Day 6: From Samduwa the river becomes the Phoksumdo Khola. Trekking through Palam we enter the Dolpo National Park. From a ridge above the valley we get our first view of Phoksumdo Lake. Descending through forest we climb to the Dolpopa village of Ringmo (3600m), where we camp close by. Distance 12km, 1640m ascent, 1000m descent, approx 7 - 8 hours trekking.
Day 7: A day for acclimatisation at Phoksumdo Lake. There are options for many day hikes here and a visit to Ringmo and its monastery is highly recommended. A second night camping near Ringmo.
Day 8: Following a spectacular trail around the western edge of the lake we head north into Inner Dolpo. The path is chiseled into the steep rock walls and was featured in Eric Valli's film, Himalaya. The trail then climbs to a ridge and we make a descent to the north shore before ascending a wide valley where we make camp (3700m). Distance 13km, 929m ascent, 885m descent, approx 7-8 hours trekking.
Day 9: The valley narrows as we continue our ascent, crossing several streams. Leaving the main valley we enter a narrow gorge and climb up a steep-sided valley, following in the footsteps of Peter Matthiessen camping at the spot he names Snowfields in his book at approx 4650m . Distance 8km, 1220m ascent, 267m descent, approx 6 hours trekking
Day 10: Today we cross the Kang La (5350m). It's a 2-3 hour climb from camp on loose scree that may be snow covered. From the prayer-flag bedecked pass we descend to the valley floor and follow the river to Shey Gompa. The monastery is set dramatically beneath Crystal Mountain. We set up camp below the Gompa at around 4370m. Distance 12km, 980m ascent, 1370m descent, approx 8 hours trekking.
Day 11: A rest day at Shey Gompa. There is much to do and see here. Besides Shey Gompa itself, a visit to Tsa Kang monastery, perched on a ledge of a cliff-face, is highly recommended. A second night at our Shey Gompa campsite.
Day 12: Heading east we cross the Shey La pass (5100m) from where we can see Tibet in the north and Mustang in the east. We make a long descent to the pastures at Namgung (4415m) where we set up camp outside the village. Distance 13km, 834m ascent, 732m descent. Approx 8 hours trekking.
Day 13: A shorter day starting with a traverse high above the Namgung Khola, then a steep descent to the village of Saldang.. Close to the border, Tibetan yak caravans pass through here trading salt for salt from the lowlands. Saldang is the largest settlement in Inner Dolpo. We set up camp here and have the afternoon to explore. Distance 6.5km, 275m ascent, 600m descent, approx 3 hours trekking.
Day 14: Heading south now we follow the Nagaon Khola passing through Namdo Village with it's 2 Gompas. Our riverside campsite tonight is near the smaller settlement of Sibu (4150m). Distance 14km, 537m ascent, 473m descent. Approx 6 - 7 hours trekking.
Day 15: A shorter day following the river intiially. Later we make a a steady climb to a grazing area below the Jeng La at 4850 metres where we set up camp for the night. Distance 15km, 939m ascent, 220m descent, approx 7 - 8 hours trekking.
Day 16: A steep climb takes us to the summit of the Jeng La (5110m). From the top there are spectacular views south to Dhaulagiri. Descending to the Tarap Valley we follow a stream to Tokyu Village, our overnight campsite (4160m). Distance 14.5km, 380m ascent, 1030m descent, approx 6 - 7 hours trekking.
Day 17: An easy morning's walk, descending the upper Tarap valley towards Dho (4020m). There are many monasteries here and the local women wear traditional headpieces of beaten silver. We set up camp beyond the village at Yak Kharka where it is less windy. Distance 16km, 160m ascent, 480m descent, approx 8 hours trekking.
Day 18: This is a contingency day in case we have encountered any difficulties with our trekking schedule. If not required, we have the option to spend a rest day here.
Day 19: Descending beside the river we cross to the west bank beneath imposing cliffs before cresting a ridge. We drop down to the Shishul Khola, home to the herds of bharal (blue sheep) studied by George Schaller in 1973. Beyond we cross the Tarap Chu to Shim Ora where we make camp. Distance 16km, 800m ascent, 1090m descent, approx 7 hours trekking.
Day 20: An interesting day of trekking through the gorges of the Tarap Chu to Kanigaon. After 4 hours of descent we break for lunch before a further descent to the police checkpost at Kanigaon. Camp tonight is beside the river. At this lower elevation (2620m) its much warmer. Distance 16km, 1330m ascent, 2340m descent. Approx 7 hours trekking.
Day 21: Just after the confluence of the Tarap Chu and the Barbung Khola, we cross the latter via a high suspension bridge. The trail continues high above the river until the descent to Tarakot where we camp by the river. The afternoon is free for a visit to Gumba Tara where there is a monastery. Distance 9km, 430m ascent, 610m descent. Approx 3 hours trekking.
Day 22: Today we complete our circuit following the Barbung Khola to Dunai (2090m). This is another short day and allows us a leisurely afternoon. Dunai has a couple of small lodges selling soft drinks and beer. Distance 16km, 306m ascent, 645m descent. Approx 6 hours trekking.
Day 23: A pleasant walk beside the Bheri river and a last climb to reach the airstrip at Jhupal (2480m). We camp beside the airstrip and celebrate the final night of this amazing trek with our crew. Distance 10.5km, 660m ascent, 290m descent. Approx 3 - 4 hours trekking.
Day 24: Flying out to Nepalgunj in the Terrai, we connect with an onward flight to Kathmandu. Time for a welcome shower and an enjoyable evening dining in the city. Overnight in a Kathmandu hotel.
Day 25: Today is a contingency day in case of problems with the weather-dependent flights out of Nepalgunj. If we have flown out on schedule, this is a free day for all in Kathmandu and we'll enjoy a final celebratory night dinner in one of the city's restaurants. A final night in our Kathmandu hotel.
Day 26: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.
GPS Trip Data
Click on the link below to view the detailed stats for this holiday via Garmin Connect. Tracked using a Garmin etrex20 you can see detailed mapping of the route, daily distances travelled, the total ascent and descent each day and maximum altitude.