Rolwaling Himal

Rolwaling Himal

Rolwaling Himal is a sub-range of the Himalaya, located in north central Nepal and extending into south central Tibet. The highest mountain in the range is Melungtse (7,181 metres), located on the Tibetan side. Gauri Sankar (7,145 m) is the second highest peak of the range, and is located on the Nepal-Tibet border. About 20 km to the northeast of the Rowaling Himal is the Khumbu Himal which includes Mount Everest (8,850 m) and Cho Oyu (8,201 m).

The range is bounded on the south by the Rolwaling Valley which contain several small villages and Beding, the largest town in the area. Access to the valley and the mountains of the range is made on foot through an established trail system starting at Charikot (80 km east of Kathmandu). A western style trek from Charikot to Beding will normally take seven to ten days.

The first western exploration of the area was made by Eric Shipton in 1951 during the reconnaissance of Mount Everest.Fact|date=November 2007

A very fine but strenuous camping-style expedition can be made through the Rolwaling Himal to cross the Teshi Lapcha La (5755m) and into the Solu Khumbu. The trek must be properly equipped for extensive snow and ice work, with at least one climbing Sherpa in the party. The net result will be very rewarding in terms of cultural exposure and visual drama.Even though you may not intend to climb the mountain, a climbing Permit will be required for Patchamo (beside the Teshi Lapcha) to allow access to the upper part of the valley beyond the Tsho Rolpa. The fee is fully refundable upon return to Kathmandu when you declare that every bit of kit you took into the area has been brought out with you. You will also require a trekking permit for the Everest National Park for the return part of the journey.

The preferred approach is to walk in from the bus terminus at Dolakha (near Charikot), about 7 hours from Kathmandu. The trail is very well defined and used by porters and shepherds going up to the summer kharkas or grazing pastures at Beding. There was a customs check at Jagat where the climbing permit was vaguely inspected. The last habitation is at Na (4180m). From here on in it can and will snow at any time so patience is required )which also will help with the essential acclimatisation). The Tsho Rolpa is an awesome ice lake held back by terminal moraine. The unmarked route goes along the Trakarding Glacier, then climbs steeply up onto the Drolambau Glacier. The scenery is tremendous every inch of the way!On the east side of the glacier is a range of mountains well over 6000m. The Teshi Lapcha La goes through these mountains by the footslopes of Patchamo. The descent on the other side is steep and very rough through boulder fields.Sometimes the trail is difficult to find until you reacc Thyangbo Kharka, a very lonely dwelling on the route to Thame, and thence on to Namche Bazaar.From Kathmandu, over the Teshi Lapcha and down to Lukla airstrip took 18 days, before the interminable wait for a flight back to Kathmandu. It is possible to reverse the route but the climb up to the pass from the Solu Khumbu is very steep and long. The essential acclimatisation days in this wild terrain would be uncomfortable and frustrating and higher up, there is danger from falling rocks loosed off by the sun as it works its way around.

If mountain passes are not your thing a much less ambitious but still very rewarding trek would be up to the Tsho Rolpa. Climbing permit not required.

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