Alpine Explore Nepal
Himalayan of Nepal

Kharta Valley Trek - 20 Days:

Demanding, yet rewarding trek to Khangsung Face of Everest and exploration of Lhasa and route towns

Even though this trek requires some stamina it is definitely worth doing. We find some of the grandest Himalayan sceneries on this spectacular walk, which takes us along steep-sided valleys and glacial lakes. In the summer the magnificent grassland flowers are in bloom in the remote Kangshung valley, which is also called the Valley of Flowers. The highest point on this trek is the Langma La Pass [5,320 metres], which offers outstanding views on a clear day. Towards the South we see Makalu, which dwarfs all the other peaks from this angle, including Everest. From here we Smarvel at the big trio in the far west of the Kangshung valley - Lhotse Shar, Lhotse and Mount Everest. The valleys and ridges below the snowline are richly covered with grass and thick vegetation nurtured by the monsoon rain that manages to sneak behind these mountains. Before we fly back to Kathmandu we spend a couple of days in Lhasa exploring the heart and soul of Tibet and object of devout pilgrimage.

Outline Itinerery

Day 01: Drive to Nyalam [3780m]
Day 02: Rest day at Nyalam for acclimatization
Day 03: Drive to Kharta
Day 04: Rest day in Kharta for further acclimatization
Day 05: Trek to Lundrubling
Day 06: Cross Shao La [4970 m] & trek to Kaamo tsangpo valley
Day 07: Trek to Khangsung valley
Day 08: Trek to Pethang Ringmo
Day 09: Pethang Ringmo to Hoppo
Day 10: Trek to Kangshung base camp & return to Hoppo
Day 11: Trek to Base of Langma La
Day 12: Cross Langma La [5330M] & trek to Lundrubling
Day 13: Trek to Kharta
Day 14: Drive to Rongbuk
Day 15: Explore Everest base camp & drive to Lhatse [4050m]
Day 16: Drive to Gyantse [3950m]
Day 17: Sightseeing & drive to Lhasa [3600m]
Day 18: Sightseeing in Lhasa
Day 19: Sightseeing in Lhasa
Day 20: Fly to Kathmandu.

Detail Itinerery

Day 1: Drive to the Border, cross border and further drive to Nyalam [3780m]
We leave Kathmandu early in the morning and drive for about 123km through the beautiful Nepalese countryside to Kodari at the Nepal- Tibet border. After completing the border formalities at both the Nepalese and Chinese immigration posts, we drive up a series of incredibly steep switchbacks that pass through a mossy gully with cascading waterfalls to finally arrive in Nyalam on the Tibetan side of the border.

Day 2: Rest day at Nyalam for acclimatization
Today we spend a rest day in Nyalam in order to acclimatise before heading up higher. A short way out of town there is a small temple, Nyalam Pelgye Ling, which is associated with the eleventh- and twelfth-century poet lama Milarepa.

Day 3: Drive to Kharta [10 hours]
The drive to the Lalung La [5,042 metres] is very spectacular. On a clear day the entire north side of the main Himalayan range from Shishapangma [8,046 metres] to Gauri Shanker [7,134 metres] in the east is visible. The drive continues across the Tibetan Plateau past a series of villages to the Tingri plains, from where we get our first views of Cho Oyu [8,201 metres] and Mount Everest. Ten kilometres before the town of Shegar we divert from the main highway and drive south towards the Everest region. From the top of the Pang La [5,150 metres] we get a great view of Everest and the surrounding country. From the pass we descend to the village of Phadhruchi. Here the jeep track divides - the track to the west heads to the Rongbuk Valley - the one to the east leads to the [Phung Chu] Arun Valley and the village of Kharta - the administrative headquarters of the region.

Day 4: Rest day in Kharta for further acclimatization
We stay one day in Kharta for acclimatisation and the best way to get your body used to the altitude is to go exploring, which gives you a bit of exercise and prepares your legs for the next day.

Day 5: Trek to Lundrubling
On the first day of our trekking tour, we follow the jeep trail along the banks of the Kharta River. At the end of the road we cross a substantial bridge and follow a well-defined trail that gradually winds above a series of small scattered settlements set amid barley fields. After about three kilometres the trail splits. The lower trail continues up the Langma La, while we follow the upper trail ascending towards the valley that leads to the Shao La. The views back down the valley towards the Kharta district and the snow capped ridges to the east are magnificent. Our trail leads us to the village of Lundrubling, where we set up camp for the night.

Day 6: Cross Shao La [4970 m] & trek to Kaamo tsangpo valley
After an early start we ascend the Shao La Pass [4,970 metres] from where we get our first views of Mount Everest [8,848 metres], Makalu [8,475 metres] and Lhotse [8,501 metres]. The steady but steep descent takes us along beautiful yak pastures before the path finally drops down towards the Kaamo Tsangpo Valley. The rocky trail is not easy on the knees but its birch groves and dwarf rhododendrons definitely make up for it. We’ll set up camp at Joksam at 4,000 metres - an idyllic camp situated amid pine and fir forests just above the Kaamo Tsangpo Valley. This change of vegetation reflects the monsoon influence and summer rains that surge up the nearby Arun Valley throughout the summer months.

Day 7: Trek to Khangsung valley
From the valley floor there is a steep 300 to 400 meter ascent through the conifer forest to a ridgeline high above the Kama Tsangpo Valley. From here we get magnificent views south towards the Arun Gorge and Nepal. Our trail then crosses alpine ridges that support the summer camps of yak herders' from Kharta village. We also pass a series of beautiful lakes before ascending a ridge and gaining our first uninterrupted views of the Kangshung Face of Everest. We’ll set up camp in one of the idyllic meadows.

Day 8: Trek to Pethang Ringmo
Depending on the selection of the camp it will take just a few hours to descend to the camp at Pathang Ringmo at 4,550 metres, a beautiful meadow camp beneath the impressive peak of Chomo Lonzo [7,790 metres]. If you feel fit you can walk up to the sacred lake immediately above the camp. The trail heads up the hillside to the north and it takes about 40 minutes to reach the lake. At the far end of the lake is a Sacred Cave, which is said to be one of the many places where Padmasambhava, the lotus-born Buddha, meditated during his journeys through Tibet. Within the cave are a number of simple shelters and prayer rooms, where pilgrims normally make offerings.

Day 9: Pethang Ringmo to Hoppo
From Pathang Ringmo the trail heads across the meadow before ascending across a loose scree slope that can cause difficulties for the laden yaks. The climb up and across the scree slopes is tiring and it is good to get back onto the more established shepherd trails. Rounding the hillside the Kangshung Face of Everest comes again into view, while across the valley the impressive glaciers at Chomo Lonzo can also be appreciated. Our camp at Hoppo is situated amid yak pastures at [4800 metres].

Day 10: Trek to Kangshung base camp & return to Hoppo
The trek to Kangshung Base Camp [5,050 metres] can be completed in a couple of hours. The trail gradually ascends the grassy ridges to the snout of the Kangshung Glacier. As we view the huge face it is not difficult to understand why it has only been attempted by a handful of expeditions and a copy of Stephen Venables book “The Kangshung Face” is a must. From our vantage point, the impressive North East Ridge of Everest is also seen. We return to Hoppo and stay overnight.

Day 11: Trek to Base of Langma La
The trail from Pathang Ringmo heads back down the valley before diverting north towards the Langma La. It leads gradually across the yak pastures and en route we gain views of the impressive Himalayan range, in particular the summit of Makalu. Our camp at Shurimo [4,800 metres] is located at the base of the pass.

Day 12: Cross Langma La [5330M] & trek to Lundrubling
The climb to the Langma La takes about two hours. From our camp we climb a well-graded trail with further views of Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu. From the pass [5,330 metres] there is a steep descend to the valley floor. As the valley opens out we pass yak herders' camps from Kharta and the nearby villages. We head down to the confluence of the Kharta Valley and gain views of the Kanchanjunga massif rearing above the ridges beyond Kharta on the Nepal- Sikkim border. Our trail then leads past the substantial village of Lundrubling, where we make camp for the night.

Day 13: Trek to Kharta
Today is the final day of our Tibet trekking tour and we return to Kharta. We make camp here for the night, and prepare to drive to Rongbuk in the morning.

Day 14: Drive to Rongbuk
From Kharta we drive back to the village of Phadhruchi before continuing onto the Rongbuk valley. Rongbuk Monastery is situated 15 kilometres below Everest Base Camp and was reconstructed after the excesses of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960's. Here we camp and gain unrivalled views of the North Face of Everest.

Day 15: Explore Everest base camp & drive to Lhatse [4050m]
Today we have the opportunity to explore Everest Base Camp at 5,200m. The base camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest more than compensate for this. It is a truly awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above us.

We leave the Rongbuk valley and say goodbye to the impressive view it has offered us. Crossing the Pang La Pass at 5,150 metres we turn our backs to the main Himalayan range and drive towards Lhatse. The view from the top of the pass is incredible with uninterrupted views stretching from Makalu to Shishapangma. Just before Shegar we get back on to the Friendship Highway.

Day 16: Drive to Gyantse [3950m]
Continuing along the Friendship Highway, we pass lonely monasteries and the camps of nomadic herders. We then cross the highest pass of our journey, the Gyamtso La [5,220m] before descending once more to the barren splendour of the plains. We’ll probably stay at the Hotel Gyantse or a similar type.

Day 17: Sightseeing & drive to Lhasa [3600m]
This morning we can explore the Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Gyantse Kumbum. The Kumbum is a large gold-domed stupa and its many chapels house an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. From Gyantse the road climbs up the Karo La [5,200 metres] to finally drop down again to the Yamdrok Tso or Turquoise Lake - a vast freshwater lake. In many respects it is surprising that the lakeside has not been developed, although plans are ahead to divert the headwaters of the lake under the Khamba La to provide water supply to the Lhasa Valley. Crossing the Khamba La [4,900 metres] we descend to the Yarlong Tsangpo River before completing the final stage of the drive that takes us up the Dhood Gu Valley and the forbidden city of Lhasa.

Day 18: Sightseeing in Lhasa
Today will be spent visiting several of Lhasa's many monasteries in the company of a guide and interpreter. One of these is the Sera Monastery, one of the best-preserved Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. Several hundred monks live and study within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs. After lunch we'll visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Jokhang Temple. This temple is possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkhor - a maze of narrow cobbled streets, which is the central market of Lhasa.

Day 19: Sightseeing in Lhasa
This morning we will visit the Potala Palace towering above the city of Lhasa. This spectacular building contains the private quarters of the Dalai Lama as well as numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. There has been a palace on this site since the 5th or 6th centuries, but the present palace was constructed in the 17th century. A visit to the Drepung Monastery in the afternoon will complete a truly awe-inspiring day. Founded in the 14th century, this monastery was once the largest in the world, housing around 10,000 monks. Nowadays the figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much here of interest as it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution.

Day 20: Fly to Kathmandu
An early morning start from Lhasa is necessary for the two-hour drive to the airport. The new airport is impressive and formalities can be completed without much delay. The flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu takes two hours and is without doubt one of the most spectacular commercial flights in the world. The flight path takes us just east of the Everest massif before circling to the south where the entire Himalaya range from Makalu to the Annapurnas can be appreciated- a fitting end to your journey. On arrival at Kathmandu airport you will require a further visa to re-enter Nepal.

 The following information will allow you to better plan your budget for tours or treks. A range of costs is given. These costs are dependant on:
  • The mix of Touring and/or general Trekking,
  • The remoteness of the areas visited,
  • The number of guides or porters required,
  • The standard of accommodation required (if there is a choice), 
  • The type of ground transport used,
  • The length of your visit, and
  • The size of your group.

Depending on group size the costs of treks and tours range from:
1 to 3 pax     US$ 88 to 163  P/p per night.
4 to 8 pax     US$ 78 to 148  P/p per night
9 to 14 pax.  US$ 75 to 135 P/p per night.
15 to 20 and above US$ 60 to 110 P/p per night
Single supplement US$ 40 to 70 per night.

Note: The itinerary and cost for Peak climbing, Mountaineering, Tibet, Bhutan and India tours and trek are conditional apply.

Notwithstanding the costs shown above, we can tailor tours to suit almost any budget. Feel free to email us for more information.
 
Note: One tour leader will be free of cost for tours with 15 or more paying guests only. 

Children's bellow three years is free if sharing with their parents. And need to pay if they are participating on the trekking, and above three to nine year children half of the price.

Cost Includes: Accommodation in 3 to 4 star hotels in the cites as your choice, basic accommodation in a lodge or tea house or camping (depending on your itinerary and choice) during treks, guides and porters on treks, all land transfers by private vehicle, 3 meals a day on treks, all jungle safaris, all sightseeing tours as per itinerary and all necessary entry fees, permits and airport transfers.
 
Cost Excludes: Personal expenses, domestic air tickets, airport tax, drinks (soft drink, mineral water and alcoholic beverages and hot-shower on the trek), personal insurance, and extra cost due to natural calamities or accidents outside of our control.

Remarks: The cost of the trip determines with the services included during the trip so that it might be varies with the services, hotel and transfer of your wish.

Please note that our guides speak the following English languages and if required we will provide your language spiking guide on extra cost.

Note: Please contact exploretrek@wlink.com.np for more information and prices

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Contact Information:

Alpine Explore Nepal
P.O. Box: 4546, Kathmandu, Nepal
+977 1 4700714 / 4700175 / 4701974
Fax: +977 -1 - 4700970
Email: alpinetravel@wlink.com.np
          exploretrek@wlink.com.np
Skype Address: explore.alpine
MSN Messanger: explorealpine
Yahoo Messanger:explorealpine

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Our Guest Says

SteveAnyon-Smith
18 April 2000

This was my third trek in Nepal, having visited the Annapurna Region in 1995 and with Bharat and Dave in the beautiful and wildlife-filled Langstang Valley in1998. Bharat's company "Explore Alpine Adventure"....
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