trip
NEW Trip – Dolpo Crystal Mountain to Mustang TraverseView Trip Details

27 Days$6390USD

Activities
  • 20 day trek
Accommodation
  • 4 nights hotel
  • 22 nights camping
Meals
  • 23 Dinners
  • 24 Lunches
  • 26 Breakfasts
7
Challenging
 
 

Trip highlights


  • Trek to the fabled Crystal mountain in the spiritual heart of Dolpo
  • Be inspired by the lands explored in Peter Matthiessen’s classic 'The Snow Leopard'
  • Visit ancient monasteries steeped in Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Po traditions
  • Trek alongside the shores of the sacred Phoksumdo Lake
  • Traverse high passes between Dolpo and Mustang with spectacular views that extend to the borderlands of Tibet
  • Trek the initial stages of the Crystal Mountain kora

An exhilarating expedition into the heart of Dolpo. A land which inspired Peter Matthiessen’s classic The Snow Leopard and Eric Valli’s evocative, award winning film Himalaya. On this specially devised itinerary we ascend to the sacred waters Phoksumdo Lake lake set amid pine and birch forest before entering a wild and isolated corner of the Trans Himalaya. A remote land steeped in ancient Buddhist and Bon Po traditions where cultural horizons extend to Tibet. Our traverse from Dolpo eastwards to Mustang will bring a deep insight into the cultural traditions and a complete immersion into this wild and rugged land.

Meals included
in the price
Valued at USD$1150
Trip Code: DCMM

You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 4.30-5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. This evening we will head out for dinner, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members. Overnight: Radisson Hotel

Meals:  Nil

It’s a one hour flight from Kathmandu to Nepalganj a thriving but largely unattractive trading town, situated on the Terai close to the Indian border. On arrival we transfer to our basic hotel for overnight.

Meals:  B,L,D

We board the early morning mountain flight to Juphal. On arrival we drive for one hour to the confluence of the Bheri River and the Suli Gad (or Phuksumdo Khola). We commence out trek stopping at first at the entrance of the Shey/Phuksumdo National Park where are permits are checked. We then continue to a well earned lunch break before continuing for a further three and half hours to the settlement of Chhekpa and our first overnight camp. En route keep watch for herds of bharal or Blue sheep along the river edge. Overnight: Wilderness Camp Our mountain flight that can only operate on clear weather at Juphal. If the flight is cancelled we will have vehicles on standby to drive for five to six hours to a comfortable if basic lodge for overnight. The following day we complete our drive (approx. 7 to 8 hours) to a comfortable campsite at Juphal. In view of this possibility we have included a number of contingency days to ensure that we can complete our itinerary in a timely manner.

Meals:  B,L,D

We commence out trek stopping at the entrance of the Shey/Phuksumdo National Park where are permits are checked. We then continue for a well earned lunch break before continuing for a further three and half hours to the settlement of Chhekpa and our first overnight camp. En-route keep watch for herds of bharal or Blue sheep along the river edge. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Our trail winds through tiny settlements crossing bridges over the Suli Gad several times. The ascent is gradual through extensive blue pine and cedar forest and tiny glades, a favourite haunt for troupes of langur monkeys. At times our trail climbs high above the river affording panoramic views to the high snow-capped peaks that enclose the walls of the Sali Gad gorge. Our overnight camp is at the village of Necha. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

A big day as we ascend out of the gorge country to the fabled Phuksumdo Lake. We head to the confluence of the Phuksumdo and Yulung khola (flowing from the Kagmara La and western Dolpo) before reaching the substantial village of Samjhana (marked on some maps as Sanduwar) with the Tapriza school (an impressive high school for students in the region) and local Amchi centre and traditional Tibetan medical practices). We then commence the three hour ascent (steep in places) to Ringmo village and Phuksumdo Lake. Ascending the well-defined switchbacks we take in the awesome 200m waterfall flowing from the lake as well as our first glimpse Kanjiroba 6883m. The village of Ringmo comprises of 20 to 25 dwelling located on a ridge above the serene waters of Phuksumdo Lake. Over the last generation Ringmo together with most other villages in the region have displayed new found wealth from the lucrative yarsa gumpa harvest – a parasitic fungus growing from the burrowing lava of a ghost moth. Each May the villages climb the alpine ridges to collect the fungus that is highly prized in Chinese medicine. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

A day to acclimatize alongside one of the largest lakes in Nepal. According to legend Ringmo village was once located in the present site of the lake. The lake was flooded and submerged by a spiteful demoness fleeing from the wrath of Padmasambhava – the Lotus Born - when he was converting Tibet to Buddhism. The demoness gave the people a turquoise making them promise not to tell her pursuer that she had passed this way. But the villagers believed that they had been deceived and the demoness in turn took revenge by flooding the village and creating the lake. The lake was one of the key locations for the 1998 movie Caravan (also called Himalaya) that engaged many of the villagers from Ringmo and surrounding area. During our rest day we hike to the nearby monastery steeped in Bon Po, the pre Buddhist Tibetan religious traditions. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

From Ringmo the trail skirts the western shores of Phoksumdo Lake before a steep ascent) to a crest approx. 450m that affords a birds eye view of the entire lake. The trail then winds down through birch forest to the verdant meadow where the Phuksumdo Khola flows into the lake. After lunch we head across undulating pasture to a Tibetan nomads camp. We camp in the vicinity ringed by blue pine while impressive hanging glaciers on the opposite side of the valley complete a stunning panorama. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

We continue alongside the Phuksumdo Khola for an hour to a side gorge that marks the direct route to the base of the Ngadra La (the pass we cross on return from Shey). We continue along the floor of the main valley before ascending grassy ridges to our campsite. We are rewarded with spectacular views of numerous high peaks including Shey Shikar (6139m) and Kang Chunne (6443m). A short but necessary stage to assist acclimatization. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Another short stage to assist acclimatization. From camp we ascend a sree slope at 4490m before heading to the crest of a grassy ridge at 4640m. There follows a gentle descent to Mendok Ding and our camp. The area is renowned for its flora and fauna including the bharal, the Himalayan blue sheep and the elusive snow leopard. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

A challenging stage as we cross the high passes that define the windswept circuit around the Riwo Drugdra (the Crystal Mountain). We complete the long pull to the Sehu La (also known as the Mendok Ding La) before undertaking the kora (circumambulation) around the western perimeter of Dolpo’s sacred peak. The trail includes traversing two subsidiary passes that lead to the Tar valley and Shey. On the final stages the trail passes Tsakang, an ancient gompa perched dramatically on the cliffside, which we visit on this stage on return the following day. A well-defined trail then descends to a comfortable campsite on a large meadow opposite Shey monastery. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

We are now in the heart of Dolpo. Here Peter Matthiessen and George Schaller, the world renowned zoologist and conservationist spent the first two weeks in November 1973 exploring the rugged landscape in a concerted attempt to see the elusive snow leopard. The area also abounds in Buddhist traditions, not only with Tsakang gompa but also with Shey monastery situated in the shadow of the Crystal mountain. The tiny monastery is said to be over 800 years old and includes statues of the Guru Rinpoche and Milarepa as well as Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

From Shey we follow the initial stages of the Crystal Mountain kora to Matthiessen’s black pond camp, an extensive meadow where we rest before ascending for approx. two hours to the crest of the Ngadra La. From the pass the views of the snow-capped peaks extend to the borderlands of Tibet while a cluster 6000m peaks to the south complete our stunning vista. From the pass the trail winds down across a series of scree slopes to our camp at Namgung. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

The trail today sees us ascend the ridgeline for the first part of the morning before commencing our descent to the administrative capital of Dolpo at Saldung. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

As we leave Saldung the trail follows a relatively easy undulating path, passing through settlements that give us some insight into what daily life is like for locals living in this seemingly inhospitable area. Tonight we set up camp and prepare for our push towards the Jyanta Pass. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

We will climb steadily for around 2 hours up to the Jyanta Pass (5280m) were if the weather is clear we enjoy views of the surrounding mountains. We then descend gradually to our camp in the Dho Tarap valley where we set up camp for the night. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

We have reserved a week to trek from Dho Tarap to Kagbeni and Jomsom. While the stages and camping spots are flexible they are not unduly demanding, varying between six to eight hours a day. En route we cross three passes the Mola La (5027m) Niwas La (5120m) and the Jungden La (5550m) literally the high point on our three week trek. Our sheltered camps are sometimes shared with shepherds from Mustang who graze their flocks to the margins of the snowline through the summer months. As we trek towards Mustang we experience the challenges and rewards of trekking across truly wild windswept land. To the north views extend to the borderlands of Tibet. To the east are the countless snow-capped peaks of the Saribung Range while south Tilicho (7134m); Nilgiri (7061m) and a host of summits that form the north Annapurna range offer an impressive backdrop. Our panorama comes complete with the huge flanks of the 8000m Dhaulagiri massif that complete a truly remarkable trek across the Trans Himalayan lands that link Dolpo to the Kingdom of Mustang. On day 24 we finally descend to bustling town of Kagbeni where are permits are checked before we transfer for an hour to Jomsom and our comfortable lodge for the night. Overnight: Wilderness Camps/ one night eco-lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

We board the early morning flight to Pokhara savouring magnificent views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. In Pokhara we connect with our flight to Kathmandu. Please Note: should the flight from Jomsom to Pokhara be cancelled due to inclement weather we will drive to Pokhara and connect with the flight to Kathmandu the following day.

Meals:  B,L

Today you have a full day to explore Kathmandu’s bustling streets and significant landmarks. You may wish to start by exploring the city’s two most important World Heritage Listed spiritual sites: Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple and an important cremation site; and Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist shrine outside of Tibet. Alternatively you could wander through the markets and shops of the busy Thamel precinct or explore some more of the city’s significant sites such as Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) or the World Heritage Listed plazas of Patan, Bhaktapur or Durbar Square. Overnight: Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B

After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 26 breakfasts, 24 lunches and 23 dinners including all meals on trek valued at approx. US$1100
  • Accommodation at the Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu and in our fully serviced wilderness campsites
  • Internal flights Kathmandu/Nepalganj/Juphal and Jomsom/Pokhara/Kathmandu
  • Expert bilingual guide and group medical kit
  • Arrival (day 1) and departure transfer (day 27) or if you have prebooked accommodation at the Radisson Hotel through World Expeditions
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits, valued at US$520
  • Use of a World Expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over US$500)
  • Souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
  • Safety equipment including satellite phone, portable high altitude chamber and expedition medical kit
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment and porter's insurance

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Visa
  • Tips
  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu
  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc

Departure dates


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Priceper person from

$6390USD

Your trip price includes:

  • Meals valued at USD$1150
  • Internal flight valued at USD$735
Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$550
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Dolpo Crystal Mountain to Mustang Traverse trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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