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Kharta Valley Trek-20 days

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Trip Type:
Hotel / Lodge

Grade:
Moderate

Altitude:
4,995 m

Transportation:
Land

Group Size:
1+

Best Season:
Spring and Autumn
  • Overview
  • Detailed Itinerary

Tibet has long been known as 'The Roof of the world'. It lies in the south western part Tibet Overland Tourof China bordering India, Bhutan, Sikkim Nepal. The region is full of spectacular skylines of majestic mountain peaks, breathtaking canyons, scattered highland lake, rolling pasture & farm land & pristine forests. The population of the region consists mostly of Tibetans, Monbans & Lhobans cultivating for centuries very unique ethnic traditions & glorious cultures unseen any where else. This is a land of enduring enchantment & tantalizing mystery. For centuries, Tibet has fascinated mankind. This land beyond the mighty Himalayas on the highest plateau of the world, was hardly accessible to the outside world. Nepal Environmental Trekking offers its various fascinating packages for the visitors to experience & make the dream come true.

Within its very short history of tourism the facilities provided to visitors are still basic and limited. So we request our clients not to have high expectations in terms of facilities in Tibet. However, we will always put in all our efforts to make the tours as pleasant as possible. The roads, especially the highway from Kathmandu can be rough & is subject to blockade due to land slides & floods & the high altitude does pose a serious threat to quite a few people. The average altitude of the Tibetan plateau is 4000m above the sea level & that is a lot higher than most people have been in their lives.

Outline Itinerary

Tour Part

Day 01: Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa. From Gongkar airport it is about 1½ hours' drive to Lhasa, first along the Yarlung Tsangpo then into the Kyi Chu Valley. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 02-03: With a relaxed pace to allow for the effects of altitude, explore this fantastic city on the roof of the world.

Day 04: Drive across the Khamba La and Kora La (passes), along the shores of Lake Yamdrok Tso to Gyantse. Once an important trading town, Gyantse retains a feel of ‘old' Tibet. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 05: In the morning visit Gyantse's monastery, Pelkor Choede and Kumbum, within the same complex. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 06: Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama, second only in importance to the Dalai Lama. Its numerous halls contain a 21.6-meter wooden statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha and elaborate, jewel encrusted reliquary chorten. In the afternoon we drive to Xegar. Stay overnight in hotel.

Trekking Part

Day 07: Begins with a gentle hike up the Kharta Valley, passing prosperous farmhouses and fields. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 08: Walkup the chain of alpine lakes, reminiscent of marvelously magnified Colorado timberline country, to our camp below the Shao La (15, 300 feet). From here, if the weather allows, we have a chance to view of the immense massif of Makalu and Chomolonzo. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 09: We reach the Shao La (15, 300 feet).Pass in early morning and as we descend on tundra gives way to stunning green, gold, and pastel red vegetation: juniper, silver fir, mountain ash, and rhododendron. We make camp near the mouth of a superb side valley that plunges a thousand feet to the Kama River (13, 280feet). Stay overnight in camp.

Day 10: Begins with a steep winding climb through a Japanese wood-block forest. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 11: We continue contouring to a spot called Sakyetang on the best map of the area, the "Mount Everest Region" 1:100,000 map published by the Royal Geographic Society (more on this map at itinerary's end). Stay overnight in camp.

Day 12: takes us into the heart of the "valley like no other." We ascend gradually on a pleasant trail through willows and wind flowers, then steeply up and across a landslide - caused a decade ago by the slow collision of the Kandongshung Glacier with the mountainside we walk on to a meadows above the tumbling grey mass of the Kangshung Glacier. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 13: Pethang Ringmo was discovered by George Mallory and G.H. Bullock on that first expedition. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 14: Some of us will want to get closer to the gargantuan East Face. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 15: Climb steeply to a point near Sakyetang, then contour northward, the whole Everest extravaganza just in back of us, and ascend to a camp next by an austere lake at 16,385 feet. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 16: in a couple of hours for last views of Chomolungma, Goddess Mother of the World and her towering court. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 17: we descend to the Kharta Valley, farmhouses, fields, yaks, and kids, into the riverside camp where we began (12,500 feet).Stay overnight in camp.

Day 18: Drive from Kharta to Rombuk. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 19: From Rhongphu to base camp is a 1½ to 2 hour walk of 7kms, continuing along the barren rock strewn valley. Stay overnight in lodge.

Another high pass gives a last, spectacular view of the Himalaya before descending to Nyalam. Stay overnight in lodge.

Day 20: Descending to Zhangmu – on the China-Nepal border.

Completing border formalities the drive back to Kathmandu continues down the Bote Khosi valley. Stay overnight in hotel.

Tour Part

Day 01: Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa. From Gongkar airport it is about 1½ hours' drive to Lhasa, first along the Yarlung Tsangpo then into the Kyi Chu Valley. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 02-03: With a relaxed pace to allow for the effects of altitude, explore this fantastic city on the roof of the world. The spiritual heart of Tibet is the Jokhang Temple and every morning is full of life as pilgrims bring offerings of butter and barley flour. The Potala Palace rises above the city and, more than any other sight, symbolizes the history and culture of Tibet. Nearby are the huge monastic universities of Drepung and Sera – still active institutions. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 04: Drive across the Khamba La and Kora La (passes), along the shores of Lake Yamdrok Tso to Gyantse. Once an important trading town, Gyantse retains a feel of ‘old' Tibet. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 05: In the morning visit Gyantse's monastery, Pelkor Choede and Kumbum, within the same complex. There may also be time to visit the Dzong (fort) that towers above the town. In the afternoon we make the short (2-3 hour) drive along the valley to Shigatse. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 06: Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama, second only in importance to the Dalai Lama. Its numerous halls contain a 21.6-meter wooden statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha and elaborate, jewel encrusted reliquary chorten. In the afternoon we drive to Xegar. Stay overnight in hotel.

Trekking Part

Day 07: Begins with a gentle hike up the Kharta Valley, passing prosperous farmhouses and fields. After lunch we turn south and ascend to our camp in what the English called the Valley of Lakes (14,000 feet). Stay overnight in camp.

Day 08: Walk up the chain of alpine lakes, reminiscent of marvelously magnified Colorado timberline country, to our camp below the Shao La (15, 300 feet). From here, if the weather allows, we have a chance to view of the immense massif of Makalu and Chomolonzo. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 09: We reach the Shao La (15, 300 feet).Pass in early morning and as we descend on tundra gives way to stunning green, gold, and pastel red vegetation: juniper, silver fir, mountain ash, and rhododendron. We make camp near the mouth of a superb side valley that plunges a thousand feet to the Kama River (13, 280feet). Stay overnight in camp.

Day 10: Begins with a steep winding climb through a Japanese wood-block forest. We contour above the Kama Valley, through dwarf rhododendron and blue primula, looking down-valley deep into Nepal, across to the looming mountain wall, dripping with hanging glaciers, and ahead for our first views of Everest. We camp near a prettylake at 14,500 feet; just over a rise peek the summits of Chomolonzo(25,551 feet), Lhotse, and Everest. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 11: We continue contouring to a spot called Sakyetang on the best map of the area, the "Mount Everest Region" 1:100,000 map published by the Royal Geographic Society (more on this map at itinerary's end). From here we look Kangshung Valley and three of the world's five highest mountains. The summit of Mount Everest is only 18 miles away. From Sakyetang we drop down to the confluence of the Kangshung and Kama valleys, cross a bridge, and hike into the Kangshung, camping in a clearing in dense foliage at about 14,150 feet. Lt. Col. C.K. Howard-Bury, who led the first expedition into these parts, wrote in Mount Everest: the Reconnaissance, 1921: "It was very curious to see fir trees, birch, and juniper, and a very luxuriant vegetation growing on either side of the ice and the moraines beneath it." Stay overnight in camp.

Day 12: takes us into the heart of the "valley like no other." We ascend gradually on a pleasant trail through willows and wind flowers, then steeply up and across a landslide - caused a decade ago by the slow collision of the Kandongshung Glacier with the mountainside we walk on to a meadows above the tumbling grey mass of the Kangshung Glacier. A couple of hours further on is our high camp, Pethang Ringmo. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 13: Pethang Ringmo was discovered by George Mallory and G.H. Bullock on that first expedition. When Howard-Bury joined them there he found: “...a most delightfully sunny spot at 16,400 feet, right under the gigantic and marvelously beautiful cliffs of Chomolonzo...separated from us by the Kangshung Glacier, here about a mile wide. Everest from here is seen to fill up the head of the valley with a most formidable circle of cliffs overhung by hanging glaciers.” Stay overnight in camp.

Day 14: Some of us will want to get closer to the gargantuan East Face. Depending on the weather and other factors, our trip leader will decide if it is possible to hike to "Land's End". The walk takes a couple of hours along the grassy shelf and ends up overlooking the glacier at just over 17,000 feet. Only the daunting glacier separates us from the immense Kangshung wall. The summit of Everest is just over eight horizontal and two and a third vertical miles away. We're nearly encircled by mountains: (from the right) Khartse, the mass of Everest. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 15: Climb steeply to a point near Sakyetang, then contour northward, the whole Everest extravaganza just in back of us, and ascend to a camp next by an austere lake at 16,385 feet. The sunrise from this camp can be almost frighteningly spectacular; in a few intense moments Everest and the whole panoply of peaks change from cold pewter to rose, to gold, to blinding white. Above the camp is the 17,600 foot Langma La. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 16: in a couple of hours for last views of Chomolungma, Goddess Mother of the World and her towering court. From Langma La we descend a couple of thousand feet (passing a rare rock glacier on the way), back into Tibet, as it were, to camp (14,000 feet).Stay overnight in camp.

Day 17: we descend to the Kharta Valley, farmhouses, fields, yaks, and kids, into the riverside camp where we began (12,500 feet).Stay overnight in camp.

Day 18: Drive from Kharta to Rombuk. Stay overnight in camp.

Day 19: From Rhongphu to base camp is a 1½ to 2 hour walk of 7kms, continuing along the barren rock strewn valley. This is followed by a fantastic drive through almost uninhabited valleys to the small town of Lao Tingri. Catch as last view of the mountain from here. Stay overnight in lodge.

Another high pass gives a last, spectacular view of the Himalaya before descending to Nyalam. Stay overnight in lodge.

Day 20: Descending to Zhangmu – on the China-Nepal border.

Completing border formalities the drive back to Kathmandu continues down the Bote Khosi valley. Stay overnight in hotel.