Rolwaling trek offers outstanding view of Himalayas that lies along the north-eastern side of the finger land and that juts into Tibet to the north-east of the Kathmandu – Kodari – Lhasa highway. It forms the northern border of a wild, beautiful and seldom frequented valley below a string of some 50 peaks all over 6000m. It is crowned by the double peaks of Gaurishankar (7,145m/23,475ft) on the border and the peaks of Melungtse I (7181m) and II (7023m) in Tibet.
Rolwaling valley trek contains several small villages, the largest at Beding, and is fed by the Rolwaling Khola and its numerous tributaries. In 2010 this area was declared a conservation area, known as the Gaurishankar Conservation Area: covering 2179 square Kilometers. It is home to some 58 000 people, the largest group being Tamangs followed by Sherpas and Chhetris.
Our 18 days Rolwaling trek begins with a scenic drive along the 106km friendship highway towards east of Kathmandu,through beautiful scenery towards the border town. After another 50km, at Khadichur, we leave the main highway to travel eastwards as far as the bus terminus at Charikot Dolakha.
From here our footpath undulates, often steeply, between broad ridges and river crossings to link picturesque Chhetri, Sherpa and Tamang villages. There are numerous suspension bridges across impressive gorges that shorten the climbs. The path passes through ancient rhododendron, oak and pine forests interspersed with terraced fields around the villages. From the top of the Daldung La (3900m) there could be magnificent views of Gaurishankar and its satellite peaks.
Beyond Na, the last kharka (summer grazing village) is the magnificent Tsho Rolpa, an ice lake held behind its terminal moraine. There is serious concern that with climate change increasing temperatures in the region, melting waters could cause the moraine to burst: causing havoc downstream. Work is being done to permanently dam the lake.
The unmarked route then passes the Trakarding Glacier before climbing onto the Drolambau Glacier. The highest point on the trek is the Teshi Lapche La (5755m) on the slopes of Patchamo. It is one of Nepal’s highest trekking passes and rises in a glaciated wilderness set amongst snowy peaks including Tengi Ragi Tau (6943m), Bisphero Go Shar (6729m) and Dragkar (6793m). The descent to the campsite is steep and some 300m below the pass. From here, it descends easily into the Solu Khumbu to join the ancient caravan route from Tibet that leads to the lowlands via Namche Bazaar. The trek ends at Lukla and a flight back to Kathmandu.
- Day 01 Arrive Kathmandu (1300m/4264ft)
- Day 02 Kathmandu valley sightseeing and trek preparation.
- Day 03 Kathmandu to Dolakha, and Singati (1,020m/3445ft),6- 7 hrs drive.
- Day 04 Singati - Jagat (1250m/4,100ft), 5-6hrs
- Day 05 Jagat - Simigaon (2025m/6643ft), 5-6hrs
- Day 06 Simigaon - Donga (2800m/9185ft), 5-6 hrs
- Day 07 Donga - Beding (3690m/12,105), 5 - 6 hrs
- Day 08 Beding acclimatization and exploration day
- Day 09 Beding - Na (4185m/13,730ft), 5 -6 hrs
- Day 10 Na rest and acclimatization day. Excursion towards Yalung Pass and glacier views
- Day 11 Na - Nyiduk Kongma (4750m/15,582 ft), 5 -6 hrs
- Day 12 Nyiduk Kongma - Drolumbau Glacier (5205m/17,075ft), 5 -6 hrs
- Day 13 Drolumbau Glacier - Teshi Lapche La (5755m/18880ft) and decent to Camp at (5460m/17910), 7 -8 hrs
- Day 14 Camp to Thame (3805m/12,482ft), 7 - 8 hrs
- Day 15 Thame - Khumjung (3871m/12,700ft), 2-3 hrs
- Day 16 Khumjung – Monjo (2840m/9,317ft), 4-5hrs
- Day 17 Monjo – Lukla (2642m/8,405ft), 4-5hrs
- Day 18 Lukla – Kathmandu (35min. flight)
- Day 19 Final departure
Rolwaling Trekking Detail Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)
Our Mountain Mart Trekking Company Airport Representative will meet you outside the Terminal Hall. Please, look for our Treks and Expeditions play card. Transfer to hotel, introduce your trekking guide and check the necessities. Afternoon stroll Tourist colourful market Thamel down town.
Overnight in Kathmandu at 2 star Hotel with breakfast
Day 02: Full day Kathmandu City excursion
After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tours to world heritage sites of Pashupatinath Temple-the holiest Hindu Temple on the bank of sacred Bagmati River, Bodhanath Stupa-the biggest Buddhist Stupa architecture in the world! Patan Durbar Square is the oldest city in the Kathmandu valley with age old tradition also called Lalitpur-the city of fine arts. The visit covers the Durbar Square, the Krishna temple, the Kumbheswore temple, the Golden temple and many more. Swayambhunath Stupa-the 2000 years old legendary stupa on the hillock also nick-named as monkey temple. Your day tour ends Kathmandu Durbar Square Showcasing living goddess Kumari Temple, Nautale Durbar, the Kaal Bhairav, the Swet Bhairav, the freak Street and more.
Overnight in Kathmandu at 2 star Hotel with breakfast
Day 3: Drive Kathmandu to Sigatte (1020m/ 3,345ft), 5-6
A Jeep will take us from Kathmandu through the scenic high green hills and white mountain views to the north. On the way we will visit the Bhimeswor Temple in Dolakha. The last hour’s dusty drive will lead down to our campsite on the Tama Kosi River bank.
Day 4: Sigatte - Jagat (1250m/4,100ft), 5-6 hrs
Our route follows the Bhote Kosi’s deep valley which gradually becomes more gorge-like. We crisscross the hectic river on picturesque suspension bridges and pass a few hamlets and villages. The forest sometimes gives way to views of the Gaurishankar (7145m). This area is still Hindu although signs of Buddhism, with prayer flags and Chortens begin to appear.
Day 5: Jagat - Simigaon (2025m/6,643ft), 5-6 hrs
A short stage: after a 2.5 hrs walk, we leave the valley to continue east. The path slowly gains altitude on an impressive slope, and later crosses terraces. Simigaon is a Sherpa and Tamang village, marked by its Tibetan monastery perched above the houses on top of the hill in front of Gaurishankar.
Day 6: Simigaon - Donga (2800m/9,185ft),5-6 hrs
We now enter the Rolwaling valley through a gorgeous rhododendron and bamboo forest. The path steadily climbs towards Gyalche. Eventually, we descend back down to the river and establish our campsite on the Rolwaling Khola bank: a narrow green belt beneath Gaurishankar.
Day 7: Donga - Beding (3690m/12,105ft), 5-6hrs
We gradually climb the forested valley of tropical alpine vegetation, with excellent mountain scenery surrounding us. Arriving at Beding, we should see Melungtse I (7181m), Rolwaling’s highest summit. Beding is a lonely small village; well known to Everest summiteers, this Sherpa village may offer you Chaang (barley beer) and salted yak butter tea. An old but historical Buddhist Monastery is located in the center of the village. We will camp will be on the banks of the river.
Day 8 Beding Rest and acclimatization day: Malung Kharka hike, 5-6 hrs.
A day hike to the Malung La pass (5616m) – or as high as you can go above Beding – will help with acclimatization. There should be great views of more than 15 snowy peaks, glaciers and the natural forest in the Beding Valley below.
Day 9 Beding - Na: (4185m/13,750ft), 5-6 hrs
A short walk will take us to Na; the last tiny alpine hamlet that is only inhabited during summer months. Na is situated just below the Tsho Rolpa Glacier Lake in a beautiful valley overlooked by some very impressive peaks, including Chobutse (6685m), Chugimago (6259m) and Yalung Ri (5630m).
Day 10 Na: Rest and acclimatization day – Yalung La hike:: 4-5 hrs
We can either take a rest or organize an excursion towards the Yalung La pass. Here we climb steadily, the path taking us to a vast amphitheatre at 4900m, situated just below the pass, and the Ramdun peak ice fall which is furrowed with streams. This is an excellent place to view the Tsho-Rolpa glacier lake. In each direction we get stunning views: to the east the Yalung Glacier, south the Ramdung Peak (5930m), west the Yalung Ri (5630m) and to the north the breathtaking Himalayan summits along the Tibetan border.
Day 11: Na - Nyiduk Kongma (4750m/15,582), 5-6hrs
We climb up to the dam that holds back the Tsho-Rolpa lake, preventing it from splitting the thin moraine and destroying the valleys below. We continue along the south bank. (The ancient route, marked on all maps, following the northern bank and passing through Chobu, no longer exists. In fact, the moraines bordering the lake have all collapsed into it.) After a 300m climb, we must cross a disordered moraine area only scramble down the height we walked up. The campsite is in a sandy amphitheatre, between the Tsho Rolpa and Trakarding glaciers.
Day 12: Nyiduk Kongma - Drolumbau Glacier (5205m/17,075), 5 -6 hrs
The path plunges on towards the Trakarding glacier. This is a huge and impressive and rocky area that gives way, from time to time, to large sections of bluish ice. We’ll struggle on towards a rocky spur, just beneath the Dolumbau glacier. It is now quite a venture to access the glacier. We need to climb up a rock face and to set a rope for the porters, helping them to scramble up the 160m before accessing the campsite area. This provides a fantastic panorama with the Trakarding glacier below and the great glacial wall of the Drolumbau glacier to the north: an incredible spot with views of countless streams running off the glacier, falling rocks and collapsing ice.
Day 13: Drolumbau Glacier - Teshi Laptsa pass (5755m/18,820ft) and decent to Camp at (5460m/17,912ft), 6 -7 hrs
The only route to get a foothold onto the Drolumbau glacier is tricky and fairly steep. Our efforts will be rewarded by a unique view towards Tengi Ragi Tau (6943m), Bigphero-Go Shar (6729m), Dragkar-Go (6793m), with a background of myriad peaks towards and beyond the Tibetan border. We progress through moraines and gentle slopes, from time to time crossing, glacial areas, towards the summit. The campsite is about 300m below the summit just beyond a tricky but impressive rocky section.
Day 14: Camp - Thame (3805m/12,482), 5-6 hrs
Today offers an easy and pleasant descent. Just before arriving in the tiny Sherpa village of Thame, we can visit its picturesque monastery perched on the hillside. Thame lies on an important route for Tibetan traders and their yak caravans trekking across the Nangpa La (5716m/18,752) on the Tibetan border to Namche Bazaar and beyond.
Day 15. Thame – Khumjung (3871m/12,700ft), 3-4 hrs
Trek to Khumjung Located at the foot of sacred Mt. Kumbila. Khumjung is home of the first Edmund Hilary school project. There is a Hospital at the next village of Khunde, manned by Canadian doctors. This most stable and traditional Sherpa cultural settlement is worth a visit, as is the oldest Monastery in this region.
Day 16. Khumjung - Monjo (2840m/9,318),3-4 hrs
A long downhill day via Namche Bazaar and the last view of Mt. Everest.
Day 17. Monjo - Lukla (2840m/9,317ft), 4 - 5 hrs
We have to arrive in Lukla in time to reconfirm our return flight to Kathmandu for early the next morning. The day’s walk is along the Dudh Kosi River and passes through several Sherpa villages with many local lodges which accommodate the trekkers to the Everest region.
Day 18: Lukla - Kathmandu. (1350m/8,405ft), 35min flight.
Early Morning flight to Kathmandu, transfer to your Hotel. Free afternoon and evening join the farewell dinner hosted by Mountain Mart Trek.
Flight Lukla – Kathmandu might be delayed due to poor visibility and bad weather forecast. You may even be delayed for a day or longer, hence spare day or two needs to be added to your itinerary.
Day 19: Final departure
Transfer to international airport and fly to onward destination.
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Trip Information Section
Eating is a big part of Holiday. Travelling with Mountain Mart Trek, you experience the vast array of wonderful food Nepalese, Chinese, Continental, Italian and several local cuisines. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included in the package. Your guide will suggest delicious, hygienic and each place special food during your trip. Mountain restaurant owner prefer not to order many dishes and waste food as they would like to cater more trekkers with limited food before run off stuck. Its a week or more days hard work to porters and caravans to bring food to these places. During this trek you will usually have breakfast and dinner at the same Lodge, lunch will be eaten at one of the trail side restaurants en-route.
A Tea House is the combination of guest house, restaurant, and social hang out. Private rooms are available in most Tea Houses, except for high altitudes ones where it will be just dormitories. The lodges are fairly basic. The rooms are spare with twin beds and very little additional furniture. Blankets are generally provided. There is a large dining room-cum-lounge, warmed by the bukhara stove (an iron cylinder, fitted with a chimney duct, in which a log fire is lighted. There is normally no electric lighting in the rooms unless the village has hydroelectric power. The dining room usually hassolar lighting.
Most teahouses now also have electricity for charging small appliances - mobile phones and cameras - and there may be a small charge for this.
Mountain Mart Trek provides unlimited chlorine/Iodine treated water during the trek. All tea houses have mineral water and boiled water for trekkers upon additional cost. We discourage the purchase of Mineral water and bottled water while on the Trek as plastic bottles aredifficult to dispose off and have become an environmental problem
Mountain Mart Trek offers you complementary route map and T-shirt
What to take
This is a very active trip, meaning you will be on the move most of the time, so pack as lightly as possible. We provide one porter for every two travellers; your trekking gear will be carried by the porter in a duffel bag that we will provide. The maximum the porters are allowed to carry 15 kgs per trekker means 30 kgs from 2 trekkers . Unnecessary luggage can left in Kathmandu Hotel and its absolutely free of cost. .
Important to note:
Please read the Checklist section of this trip notes for additional details of what you need to bring for the trek on this trip. You will need to bring a comfortable medium sized day pack to carry the things that you will need during the day. This should have a waist strap or (better) a padded waist belt. The weather is subject to change in high altitude so layered clothing is recommended throughout the year.