trip
NEW for 2023 - K2 Trek with Victor SaundersView trip details
6
Moderate to Challenging
Activities
Accommodation
Meals
  • 18 Dinners
  • 18 Lunches
  • 19 Breakfasts

20 Days$6190USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally


 
 
Trip Code: DCM

Trip highlights


  • Trek to the fabled Crystal mountain in the spiritual heart of Upper Dolpo
  • Be inspired by Peter Matthiessen’s classic The Snow Leopard
  • Visit ancient monasteries steeped in Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Po traditions
  • Trek alongside the shores of the scared Phuksumdo Lake
  • Traverse high passes with spectacular views that extend to the borderlands of Tibet
  • Escorted by Garry Weare, acclaimed Himalaya authority

We are pleased to announce that Garry Weare will be escorting an expedition into the heart of Upper Dolpo. A land inspired by 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 of Phuksumdo Lake set amid pine and birch forests 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.


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 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all World Expeditions clients arriving today. Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.

Meals:  L

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 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 our trek stopping first at the entrance of the Shey/Phuksumdo National Park where are permits are checked. We then continue for a welcome brunch before continuing for a further three and half hours to the settlement of Chekpa and our first overnight camp. En route keep watch for herds of bharal or blue sheep along the river edge.

Meals:  B,L,D

Our trail winds through tiny settlements crossing bridges over the Suli Gad several times. The ascent is gradual through extensive pristine 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 Sunji, (marked on some maps as Rechi).

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 school for students in the region) and local Amchi centre (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 of Kanjiroba 6883m. The village of Ringmo comprises 20 to 25 dwellings 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 villagers climb the alpine ridges to collect the fungus that is highly prized as an aphrodisiac in China.

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 stone, 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 the surrounding area. During our rest day we hike to the nearby monastery steeped in Bon Po, the pre Buddhist Tibetan religious tradition.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Ringmo the trail skirts the western shores of Phuksumdo Lake before a steep ascent to a crest approx. 450m above, 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 nomad 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.

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.

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.

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 haul 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.

Meals:  B,L,D

We are now in the heart of Upper 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 Crystal mountain. The tiny monastery is reputed to be over 800 years old and includes statues of the Guru Rinpoche and Milarepa as well as Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha.

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 high camp at 4690m.

Meals:  B,L,D

The trail follows the course of a fast following stream to the confluence of the Phuksumdo valley. A number of stream crossings may necessitate a change of footwear although the descent should take no more than three hours to reach the main valley floor. After a well-deserved rest at Tibetan camp we follow the trail beside the Phuksumdo khola to our comfortable camp alongside Phuksumdo Lake.

Meals:  B,L,D

The last four stages of our trek complete our challenging Dolpo Circuit. We trek around the western shores of Phuksumdo Lake to Ringmo (4 to 5 hours) and then descend to Sunji (4 to 5 hours) and Chekpa (5 hours) before our final stage to Suli Gad (4 hours) and the one hour drive to our final camp at Juphal.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Juphal we take a short 40 minute flight to Nepalgunj and connect with the flight to Kathmandu. On arrival transfer to the Radisson Hotel.

Meals:  B,L,D

A contingency day in case of flight delay from Juphal with time to explore Nepal’s vibrant capital.

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. For those leaving today transfers will be organised to the airport and your onward flight.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 19 breakfasts, 17 lunches and 18 dinners including all meals on trek valued at approx. US$760
  • Airport transfers
  • Return flights Kathmandu/Nepalgunj/Juphal
  • Expert bilingual guide and group medical kit
  • Accommodation at the Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu and in our fully serviced wilderness campsites
  • 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
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits, valued at US$520
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment and porter's insurance
  • Sightseeing and site entry fees in Kathmandu

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

About Your Leader

Garry has been involved with World Expeditions since its inception in the mid 1970s. His trekking experience can be traced to 1970 when he completed his first trek in Nepal. While Garry is a recognised authority on the Indian Himalaya with his intimate knowledge documented in his Lonely Planet guide Trekking in the Indian Himalaya and his acclaimed narrative A Long Walk in the Himalaya his deep and abiding insights in Nepal are reflected in his treks including our first Around Annapurna trek in 1979 to his recent forays in Dolpo and Mustang. His wealth of knowledge will ensure a memorable experience.


Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$6190USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$380
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Dolpo Crystal Mountain with Garry Weare 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.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Suggested extensions

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips