Tibet Kharta Valley Trek
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge (Map)
The Kangshung Glacier is one of the three main glaciers of Mount Everest, the others being the Khumbu Glacier and Rongbuk Glacier. The Kangshung Glacier's accumulation areas lie on the three main faces of Everest. The Kangshung Glacier is located on the eastern side of the world's highest mountain in the Tibet Autonomous Region.The common eastern face of Everest and Lhotse is called the Kangshung Face. Here, the Kangshung Glacier is fed and then flows through the Kangshung Valley towards the east. South of the glacier east of Lhotse lie the Pethangtse (6738 m) and the massif of the Makalu (8463 m) with its neighbouring peaks of Makalu II (7678 m - also called Kangshungtse) and Chomo Lonzo (7818 m), whose imposing north face hides the view of the main summit. The border between Nepal and Tibet runs over this summit. The east side of Mount Everest is the least accessible and developed side of the mountain. While the base camp on the Rongbuk Glacier can be accessed by jeep and the south side of Everest can be reached after a multi-day hike using fortified lodges for overnight stays, the Kangshung Glacier can only be reached following an approach march of several days, including a pass crossing.
Take the trail to the world's highest trek and experience the ultimate in trekking adventure. This trek is for the high adventurer who likes challenges. This trek leads you to the rarely visited eastern face of Mount Everest (also known as Khangsung face).A visit to the famous North base camp of Everest is another highlight of this trip. The trail passes through alpine meadows, forests filled with wildflowers, glaciated valleys, high mountain passes, traditional Tibetan villages, ancient monasteries, rich barley fields, picturesque yak pastures, Tibetan nomadic land, emerald green lakes and so many other captivating sights. Your adventure begins in zhangmu border; an expert Tibetan guide will instruct you .Driving along the Friendship Highway you pass through small Tibetan settlements, where you will see nomadic herdsmen wandering across the wide arid plains. You will meet the trekking support crew at the trail head point at Kharta. Yaks will carry the food supplies and trekking equipment. You camp amidst spectacular mountain scenery. Crossing the 5330 meter high Langma La (pass), the highest point of the trek, on your way to Everest’s east base camp gives you an ultimate high altitude experience. Some of the peaks which you get to view on this trek are Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse, Gauri Shankar and the Kanchenjunga massif.Take the trail to the world's highest trek and experience the ultimate in trekking adventure. This trek is for the high adventurer who likes challenges. This trek leads you to the rarely visited eastern face of Mount Everest (also known as Khangsung face).A visit to the famous North base camp of Everest is another highlight of this trip. The trail passes through alpine meadows, forests filled with wildflowers, glaciated valleys, high mountain passes, traditional Tibetan villages, ancient monasteries, rich barley fields, picturesque yak pastures, Tibetan nomadic land, emerald green lakes and so many other captivating sights. Your adventure begins in zhangmu border; an expert Tibetan guide will instruct you .Driving along the Friendship Highway you pass through small Tibetan settlements, where you will see nomadic herdsmen wandering across the wide arid plains. You will meet the trekking support crew at the trail head point at Kharta. Yaks will carry the food supplies and trekking equipment. You camp amidst spectacular mountain scenery. Crossing the 5330 meter high Langma La (pass), the highest point of the trek, on your way to Everest’s east base camp gives you an ultimate high altitude experience. Some of the peaks which you get to view on this trek are Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse, Gauri Shankar and the Kanchenjunga massif.
Trek Grade: Modurate
Trip Duration: 25 days
Trekking Days: 21 days
Maximum Altitude: 5400m.
Trekking Mode: Hotel/Lodge/Camp
Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu and Transfer to hotel
Day 02 Visa processing and official preparation day
Day 03 Drive Kathmandu- Nyalam (3750 m) 36KM Nepal-Tibet Border.
After completing the immigration formalities at the border, we drive towards Nyalam. Moving up a series of incredibly steep switchbacks, which passes through a mossy gully with cascading waterfalls, we reach Nyalam
Day 04 Nyilam-Oldtingri (4300M)150km
Today's drive to Oldtingri,takes around Four hours, crossing two spectacular passes along the way; Tongla pass (5220m) and Lalung La pass (5082m). Today there are some spectacular views of the Himalayas to be had, including Jugal Himal, Mt. Makalu (8464m) MT.shishapangma(8012m) MT Choyu(8201m) and, of course, the mighty Everest (8848m).
Day 05 Drive to Kharta (3690m) 90km
Today's drive to (Phung Chu) village of Kharta ,takes around six hours, we divert from the main highway and drive south towards the Everest region. From the top of Pang La (5150m) we gain views of Everest and the lie of the surrounding country. From the pass we descend to the village of Phadhruchi where the jeep track divides - the track to the west heading to the Rongbuk Valley - the one to the east leading to the (Phung Chu) Arun Valley and the village of Kharta - the administrative headquarters of the region. And Guide will arrange the Yak and Yak man for the Trekking
Day 06 Rest day in Kharta for further acclimatization
Day 07 Trek to Dambu 4290m
We begin trekking! We trek along the Dambuk Chu river valley, initially following a jeep trail, passing Yulok and Yulba, settlements of stone houses amid rich barley fields which contrast with the stark hillsides. When the valley narrows the trail divides, the lower path leading to the Langma La which we return on; instead we begin climbing on the Sha-u La route to the first possible camping place near a stream at 3995m. The trail continues climbing into the greenery and prayer flags mark the end of the steep section. Soon after is another good camping place, although sometimes the crew prefer a spot five minutes up just over a small bridge at a place called Dambu. The small lhakhang (altar) of Tarpaling is across the Kharta Tsangpo, and lower along the ridge the ruins of Ganden Chopel Gompa are visible. We have made a 640 meter jump in altitude which you should feel.
Day 08 Trek to Sha-u Tsho 4650m
Today is only a few hours trekking to put us in the best position for crossing the Sha-u La, and to help acclimatize. We follow the sparkling stream up on a mostly rocky trail. After passing a widening of the stream, up and along from the next rise is a beautiful lake, which we camp near. Again today you are likely to feel the altitude so it is worth taking drugs. From camp, or nearby at the lake, we will be treated to views of Makalu to the south and Jomo Lonzo, the north peak of Makalu, to the west. Exploring around, there is a second large lake and several more smaller ones
Day 09 Cross Sha-u La (4900m) to Jokshim 3980m
We start early as this is a fairly tough day’s trekking. At the end of the lake begin climbing, looking back there are several more turquoise lakes, the biggest in a matching rock circ. The top of the pass is marked with prayer flags and an inspiring view, including Everest (8848m, #1), Makalu (8475m, #5) and Lhotse (8501m, #4). Soon after the descent begins the trail forks, take the right past a rough pond, wait for your guide if unsure, and soon the trail becomes slightly bigger, dropping in lush pastures, all the while with spectacular peaks visible. Descending further we swing around right to a curious sheer-sided valley, the terrain soon making sense; bounder erratics dumped by glacial retreats pepper the landscape. Passing thru rhododendron shrubs at the base of the valley there is a rocky sparkling stream and pretty meadows then juniper forest. Our idyllic camp, Jokshim or Joksham, is just above the Kaamo Tsangpo Valley and by the stream at the base of the ascent of the next day
Day 10 Trek to Thangsum 4480m
We climb steeply out of Joksham thru Juniper, Birch and Rhododendron forests with Usnea lichen hanging low from the trees, typical of Nepali cloud forests and some of the most interesting in the Himalaya. Climbing into alpine tundra there are views down to the Karma Tsangpo and the Arun River into Nepal, and not far upstream is a glacier coming from Makalu. Look to the right for views of Everest and Lhotse. Traversing and climbing further we reach a doksa, or seasonal herding settlement. Here take a traversing trail out to more doksas and to either Tso Nak, the black lake, or Shalung Tso and then Lhotse Shar, all the while with views of awesome rock faces on the opposite side of the valley. The rubble in the main valley is the Kangshung Glacier, and the Kangdoshung Glacier spills out from the bottom end. From the north, coming from the Karma Gangri peak is the massive, glaciated tributary valley of the Rabka Chu. The junction of these valleys form the Karma Tsangpo (river). We camp at the third doksa, called Thangsum. This is a short day and you are welcome to explore around in the afternoon.
Day 11 Trek to Pathang 4240m
Crossing out of Thangsum thru more meadows soon we come to Chahataphu, where the trail to the Langma La branches off. The panorama is truly awe-inspiring. From here we can see our camping area at Pathang, but first we have to drop steeply through dwarf rhododendron and scrub juniper to the river and gently ascend again. The main valley is the Kangshung Valley glacier, which we follow for a few days.Close to the camp at a small trail junction an obvious trail heads north (right) to the Tsechu Tsho, a holy lake with a Guru Rimpoche cave temple, a beyul, or hidden sanctuary; it's less than an hour away to the lake. The views are well worth the short climb, and the energetic could even circumambulate the lake (clockwise), which takes around two hours; be warned the first section has no real trail.
Day 12 Trek to Pethang Ringmo 4960m
The small trail soon begins to climb steeply along the Kangshung Valley glacier rim, seeming never to end as it avoids the glacier pushing in below. There are several tight sections; in 2005 Jamie's group lost the kitchen equipment down the hill, most was retrieved, two years earlier two personal barrels fell, lost to the river. After the climb the views open up the valley with the huge Lhotse and Chomolungma wall dominating the head of the valley. The faces of Chomo Lonzo (7790m) are just as awesome, being much closer. Although the steepest section is over, the trail still ascends above one doksa, Woaka or Oka, and continues up the ablation valley eventually reaching the nomad tents on the large meadows of lush grass, Pethang Ringmo, where we normally camp. What a panorama, accentuated by white ice floes fall from the peaks into the Kangshung Valley Glacier. This was the Base Camp for George Mallory and the 1921 Everest Reconnaissance Team
Day 13 Pethang Ringmo 4960m
A rest and acclimatization day at last; there are plenty of day trips possible above the campsite, and the delightful meadows of Pethang Ringmo are perfect for a relaxing day.
Day 14 Trek to Karbus - Kangshung BC 5090m
It is well worth staying higher at the base camp. It is about three hours away and at 5290m, so a high place to camp and likely you will feel the altitude. It is an absolutely stunning location, ringed by mountains and with an awesome view of the Kangshung face, and Lhotse, and by exploring only a little further you can see the steep amphitheatre falling from Lhotse. North of camp, on a ridge overlooking the Khangshung Valley, are two greeny-gray lakes, and in between a spur that rises to at least 5800m, probably higher, just a walk up. Or go north past Base Camp for about 45 minutes following the crest of the long moraine for great Himalayan views as well as the glacial lake below.
Day 15-16 Explore - Kangshung BC and Makalu
This road belongs only to explorers, even the brave mountaineer, is also one of the few able to come here, and from the southern slope of the northern slope of Everest climber has more than 5,000 passengers, and have the opportunity to ascend from the east slope top climbers, has no more than 30 people. Everest Cho poor along most glaciers into the hinterland, the road can be the northern slope overlooking Makalu base camp, there is no resident population, not even herders. Every step here is fresh and glory
Day 17 Trek to Above Patang (4300m)
Returning, the views are always surprisingly different. After the scrub we cross the river for the one hour climb back up to the Rabka Chu Meadow Camp
Day 18 Trek to Tsho Shungrim (Langma La BC) 4970m
Tso Shungrim, where we separate at the intersection of the Sha-U La trail. At Chahataphu, we traverse and climb out of the valley looping around a few small ridges with spectacular views opening up on the opposite side of a glaciated valley. After a couple of hours we head into the main valley that leads to the pass, camping by a lake. Looking back are impressive views of many peaks (not that we saw them) and just above us are more lakes. This is the last camp before the pass, at a doksa 20 minutes past Tso Melogma.
Day 19 Cross Langma La 5390m
Trek to DamGye4390m The climb to the Langma La takes two hours with further views back of Lhotse Shar, Lhotse and Everest (from left to right), Makalu (which dwarfs the others) and Jomo Lonzo as well as some beautiful lakes closer in too, as well as the impressive peak above the pass. Pethangtse is the bullet shaped peak to the right, or west. From the pass (5390m) there is a series of steep descents. After passing the guitar-shaped lake of Damnye Tsho (a Tibetan guitar is called a damgye), there is one more descent along a rocky moraine, along some cliff-side trails, to a series of doksas, often filled with sheep and goats. Look for blue poppies en route. At the end of the valley the terrain changes, the earth suddenly drier as we reach our camp. Apparently it is possible to see the Kangchenjunga massif rearing above the ridges beyond Kharta on the Nepal-Sikkim Border. Hidden but near our camp is the Damgye
Day 20 Trek to Kharta
Just around the corner from our camp is a wonderful village scene of billowing barley fields and old houses; passing thru the kids often mob you. The road is being extended, so we have less than three hours to trek to Kharta
Day 21 Drive to Dza Rongphu (Rongbuk) Gompa
Trek to Everest BC Less than an hour after leaving Kharta we reenter the Chomolungma Nature Preserve and Rongbuk Monastery and have to change Land cruisers for reasons the authorities cannot satisfactorily explain. So a local environments bus takes us up to EBC .Dza Rongphu (Rongbuk) Monastery, a gompa first 'discovered' by the early Everest expeditions and described as a remote monastic hideaway. It is actually over a hundred years old, founded by a Nyingmapa lama, although it has been an important religious site for over three hundred years. From here we trek the eight kilometers past the ruins of two ani gompas, or nunneries, Changchub Tarling and Rongchung, older than Rongbuk Gompa (the nuns fled Tibet in 1959) to Everest Base Camp (horse carts are also an option). There are simple temporary teahouses here where we can eat and stay, with the huge north face of Chomolungma in front of us.*** There is a Rongbuk Everest View Hotel and Gompa guest house, and a cozy tea-house for those who just want to make a day-trip of EBC
Day 22 Drive to Zhangmu
An early, cold morning; after breakfast we're back on the Friendship Highway heading south towards the border of Nepal. We drive up a wide valley we have final views of Everest and Cho Oyu, and pass the ruins of several large forts, which guarded the trade route to Nepal and were destroyed in 18th century wars. Further along the road to Shishapangma north base camp and to Kailash is sign-posted, and above are inspiring views along that road that passes Peiko Tso. The first pass is the Lalung La, 5124m, and after a short scenic drop between we reach the Tong La 5200m (although often called other names). Here we stop to admire a Himalayan panorama that includes Shishapangma and Khambachen on the west (right) and a hard to recognize Gauri Shankar (Chomo Tseringma for Tibetans and Sherpas). We are standing on the geographic divide, although the main Himalayan mountain divide is further south. The descent to Nyalam at 3650m takes a couple of hours, with Zhangmu another hour or so down. This is one of the most impressive gorge roads in the world, often atmospheric with cloud and waterfalls streaming off the cliffs. we stay at Zhangmu as we planed.
Day 23 Drive to Kathmandu (1350m)From Zhangmu I
t's a short drive to the Friendship Bridge which spans the Bhote Kosi River and marks the Chinese - Nepalese border. We say goodbye to our Tibetan guide and driver and walk to Nepalese Immigration Control in Kodari where we will be meet our driver
Day 24 Free day in Kathmandu
Day 25 Final departure to your next destination.