independent trek in Nepal? Lower Dolpo?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Aug 13, 2013 7:22 AM Last Post By: WILLEMSPIE
Jun 30, 2013 5:24 PM
independent trek in Nepal? Lower Dolpo?Hi,
Could you please suggest me a trekking route in Nepal, which meets the following conditions:
1. NO GUIDE - a hired companion on easy routes is something I hate,
2. at least a week long, preferably 2 weeks, can be or more,
3. max altitude ~5000m,
4. a loop or a line crossing mountains, no dead-end forcing me to walk back the same way (I don't want to fly back either),
I was thinking about Lower Dolpo, which is not only beautiful but also inexpensive, but can't find out if it's possible to go without a guide.
By the way, is it allowed to leave the trail in Dolpo? I'm contemplating a climb on Norbung Kang (6085m) which is located inside the Lower Dolpo loop and shouldn't be too difficult.
Jun 30, 2013 7:26 PM
Lower Dolpo is a restricted area so a guide and another trekker is required to get a permit but it is allowed to leave the trail.
Langtang/Gosainkund/Helambu meets most of the criteria:
A guide is not required, standard itineraries take 14 days, maximum altitude is about 4600m but there is 1 to 2 days on the smae trails depending on the route out and pace.
Jul 1, 2013 12:03 AM
2You are allowed to leave the trail anywhere, but it is not legal to climb any peaks. What is a peak is another matter, but generally anything above 5500 meters are off limits. Peaks can be decided in 3 groups: those mentioned in the Trekking Peak list (low fee, no liaison officer), Expedition Peaks (high fee, liaison officer needed) and unlisted (not allowed to climb).
I did find one German agency offering a climbing trip to Norbung Kang, so I seems possible to climb it officially. If you want to sneak up there without a permit, good luck! Your pack would also be quite heavy if thinking about going alone, with the necessary camping & climbing gear. As this area requires a permit and guide, it seems your dream is not going to happen.
There are a lot of exploratory routes in Khumbu, for example, where you can legally go everywhere (except climb, of course) without a guide. Just whip out the map and take a look at possible North-West routes from Jumbesi to Namche for example, or the fairly empty areas north of Jiri-Jumbesi-Nuntala main trail. You need camping gear for those areas, naturally.
Jul 1, 2013 3:06 AM
3Hi If you are going to do trek for Lower Dolpo need a 2 person to get permits..only one person bit expensive, trekking trails wild, be careful with out guide, you need to carry food yourself or porter together with a guide... very remote, wild to get a infermation or treatment there.. I have a already experience with Dolpo area.. with a groups or some one together to travel is fun ..
Jul 1, 2013 4:18 AM
Thank you for all the information! I will research more about Langtang area, but at the first glance it looks quite short, low-altitude and close to Kathmandu (means crowds of people, I guess).
Meanwhile, I've got a question about the peaks. I'm aware of the NMA lists of trekking and climbing peaks. What about the thousands of unlisted ones? Is it really illegal to climb these, as Petrus wrote? How about the eight-thousanders then? They are not on the list, still it is possible to go there, so it seems unlikely that unlisted area is off-limits.
By the way, by independent trekking I did not mean solo, but without organized trip or guides. I'm actually thinking about going there in a tiny group of 2-4 ppl.
And the last thing: How does Lower Dolpo look in winter? As I remember from my only trip to Nepal (Kaligandaki valley in February), it might be very cold overnight, but there should be no snow below 4000m in winter. How about the altitudes over 5k?
Jul 1, 2013 4:47 AM
5At first glance L/G/H fits the criteria you listed - 14 days looks like "at least a week long, preferably 2 weeks..." to me! I'll help you a little with your research - it can take longer by exploring beyond Kyanjin Gompa and there are a number of peaks that can be climbed without a permit that will get you close to 5k and above in one case (and then there is...). Your guess might be wrong about the crowds - you didn't say when you were going - it's the quietest of the 3 main areas and H is the quieter than L & G despite being the closest to KTM. The rest of the treks that might meet your criteria - plus avoiding crowds - are probably in restricted areas and you know what that means.
Lower Dolpo looks like you need to hire a guide in winter - and at any other time. Snow below 4000m is a possibility - plenty of snow at 4000m in the Gokyo Valley last April and a heavy overnight fall at 3500m (but it didn't last the the afternoon though).
Jul 1, 2013 4:58 AM
6List of expedition peaks: http://www.tourism.gov.np/uploaded/pdf/total-number-of-peaks-opened.pdf
Certainly all 8000 meter peaks are there, as is Norbung Kang, which means an official expedition if you want to climb it.
Only the peaks listed on the expedition or trekking peak list can be legally climbed, others not. What constitutes a peak is not clearly established, though.
Like I said there are a lot of unexplored trails right next to the densely populated areas, like between Jumbesi and Lukla, and there are some nice high passes also. Just use your imagination. Exploration is just that, go to places about which nobody can give advice about...
Jul 1, 2013 2:29 PM
7Well, exploration is exactly what I'm looking for! I just felt overwhelmed by these regulations, which at the first glance seemed like exploration is more about bureaucracy and fees than mountains.
Thanks for the Ministry link! There's a lot of information I was looking for. As for exploration, this list looks very interesting: http://www.tourism.gov.np/uploaded/pdf/unclimbed-peaks.pdf Some of them are quite low, two even lower than my highest one so far, but I guess there is a reason that nobody has climbed them yet :)
Jul 1, 2013 4:24 PM
Jul 1, 2013 11:27 PM
9Hi Again, Langtaang is best region for trekking... I really love Langtang.. even there is way to langtang, new trails before you are a going to Langtang, its called Tamang haritages, near Tibet borders ...
yep, Kathamandu bit crowded with a sweet way....3-4 days enough... to be a mountains diffirents.. If you wants to peak climbing , like a Mera peak, Islandpeak, Nayakhang, Yala peaks ... you need a climbing permits ...if you have a groups you can share permits ...It will be cheap for you....If you have a groups and already have a experience to walk.. there is not big issues. ...like a Upper Dolpa or Lower Dolpa..Manasulu, bit wild places to go independent way.. Lower Dolpa is very beutiful... with a Lake, very old monasteries , remote, people are lovely, with different Natures... I felt my self iam not in Nepal... when iam in to dolpa :)
Winter time, iam sure very cold...I ask to people, they not staying in winter not staying up to villages, coming down lower dolpa than more down villages.. 4000m high, or 3000 m high villages There is much snow.... only june, july, august, september best for Dolpa... feb not bad...
some years ago, There is a histroy of Namalabagala pass in Dolpa , so much snow...certainly ..and big camping groups could not pass and many people are happend accident.
enjoy your trek.
Aug 12, 2013 2:46 PM
Aug 13, 2013 7:22 AM
11I'm going to do remote treks independently from End September to November 20. Here is a copy of my ad:
I'm going to Nepal from September 27 to November 28, 2013, mostly for some advanced independent trekking (no porter, no guide, no agency). I already know Nepal and the main treks well, so it will be only off-the-beaten-track routes.
The choice of treks can be discussed. I'm thinking at possible Dhaulagiri Circuit, Numbur Cheese Circuit, P i k e y Peak, Ganesh Himal, Korchon Ridge, Makalu BC.
Stay and meals in lodge everywhere they are available, but also several days camping/cooking our own food.
I've got a huge trekking experience including in Nepal (you can check it easily by searching my contributions in Thorntree), I'm Belgian, male, 56.
This post is only for good hikers, who can hike several days with a 20 kg backpack. One or two persons, not more.
Since private messages are no longer allowed here, it is better that you contact me through a private message on trekinfo.com.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$16.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$72.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$150.00 per night