Rolwaling Trekking

West of the Khumhu, directly on the Tibetan frontier there is a wild, lonely high valley the "Rolwaling" which is called simply "the grave" by the indigenous Sherpa's on account of its location - buried down between steep ice-giants. Many mysterious stories have been passed on about this valley. through which the forefathers of the present-day Sherpa's once came. It is here that the notorious and celebrated Yeti is supposed to make his home. Entire research expeditions have, so far unsuccessfully, attempted to find him.

There are three factors which have helped to preserve this splendid valley from the ravaging onslaught of tourists. First of all it is relatively arduous to get there at all, secondly there are neither lodgings nor food to buy, and third you need a special permit to be allowed to hike into Rolwaling. You must purchase - pro-forma - a climbing permit for the Ramdung Peak (5,925 m) regardless of whether or not you want to climb the mountain. Those who aren't scared away by these inconveniences will he richly rewarded for their efforts. Just the approaches to the Rolwaling Valley are worth your money: The trail leads you through a wealth of variety on one hand through Tamang and Chetri villages with their typical ter raced fields, on the other through dense, gloomy primeval forests and over broad ridgebacks with wonderful views.

Two variations are possible: The first is a four day hike from Jiri (1,860 m) over the Chordung Ridge (3,698 m), Suri (1,890 m) and Gonger (1,040 m): the other is a six day hike starting from Barabisi (819 m) via Tinsang La (3,319 m), Bigu Gompa (2,519 m), Chilangka and Gonger.

You finally set foot into the Rolwaling through the village of Simigaon (2,000 m) located high above the Bhote Kosi. Above the Shapka Meadow (2,600 m) the path divides. Here the right branch is recommended, for while it is certainly more arduous it is also decidedly the more rewarding. After a four-hour ascent you reach the Daldung La (3,976 m) which has a fantastic view of the 7.146 meter high Gaurishankar opposite. According to old Sherpa mythology, this is the seat of the goddess "Tashi Tserringma," who is the guarantor of a long life. Gaurishankar is also holy for the Hindus: Shankar, the name of the northem peak, is a designation for Shiva in their everyday spoken language The southern summit, Gauri (literally: "the white") is a synonym for the feminine manifestation of the god.

From Daldung La you climb down for four or five hours on a really adventurous path through the densest rain forest to the Rolwaling River, which you then cross. There you meet up again with the other path, which certainly also has a beautiful landscape, but doesn't snake down to Simigaon quite as spectacularly.

After about 2 1/2 hours' walking time up-river you reach the Sherpa village of Beding (3,693 m) - the only noteworthy settlement in Rolwaling. If it should happen that the monk belonging to the Gompa is in the village at the moment, you can ask him to show you round it himself, 150 meters higher a rocky hermitage is visible, where Padmasambhava is supposed to have meditated some 1,200 years ago.

The last human lodgings of the valley you can find in Na, which is located about three hours' distance from Beding. From here you have an overwhelming view of the mountain-giants Chekigo (6,735 m), Bamongo (6,400 m), Kang Nachugo (6,735 m), and above all, Tsoboje (6,689 m).

Over the Yalung La (5,310 m) you reach the Kare Kola Valley and the Bbote Kosi in 21/2 days.

Over the Trashi Labtsa (5,755 m) you come into the Khumbu in four days. This is a difficult and fatiguing tour, which requires ice-climbing equipment.

Day 01 Kathmandu 1,400m Charikot-Dolakha 1,860m by bus
Day 02 Dolakha 1,860m Biguti 900m  
Day 03 Biguti 900m Surey Dovan 1,024m  
Day 04 Surey Dovan 1,024m Jagat 1,400m  
Day 05 Jagat 1,400m Simigaon 1,996m  
Day 06 Simigaon 1,996m Kelchey 3,000m  
Day 07 Kelchey 3.000m Beding 3,693m  
Day 08   - Beding 3,693m acclimatization
Day 09 Beding 3,693m Nagaon 4,183m  
Day 10 Nagaon 4,183m Tso Rolpa 4,500m  
Day 11 Tso Rolpa 4,500m Tolumbhu Buka 4,800m  
Day 12 Tolumbhu Buka 4,800m Thengpo 4,302m cross Trashi Lakpa 5755m
Day 13 Thengpo 4,302m Khumjung 3,600m  
Day 14 Khumjung 3,600m Namche Bazar 3,440m  
Day 15 Namche Bazar 3,440m      
Day 16 Namche Bazar 3,440m Phakding 2,600m  
Day 17 Phakding 2,600m Lukla 2,800m  
Day 18 Lukla 2,800m Kathmandu 1,400m by air


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Trip Highlights

  • Bus trip to Charikot
  • Sherpa villages
  • Tso Rolpa lake
  • Cross Trashi Lakpa 5.755m
  • Panorama on highest peaks of the world
  • Sherpa villages in Khumbu (Khumjung-Namche Bazar etc.)
  • Mountain flight to Kathmandu