This route beginning in the lowlands of Nepal around 500 metres was the approach to Everest pioneered by the famous explorers and climbers, Bill Tilman in 1950 and later Eric Shipton in 1951. Crossing three passes the trails joins the Jiri-Phaplu to Everest route near Puiyan. From here it is a day to Lukla or two days to Namche Bazar if you wish to continue on the Everest trek. Mostly unspoilt with a few trekkers a year and basic tea houses this approach to Everest through the middle hills of Nepal offers a refreshing change from the crowded Lukla route.
Who should join this trek?
A good choice for regular hill walkers, moderate level of fitness required. Prior trekking experience advisable.
1) Walking times: average 6-7 hours walking per day (with some longer days on pass crossings.
2) Altitude: up to 3175 m at Salpa Bhanjan pass.
3) Terrain: for some of the time following well-travelled trails through villages, although also likely to encounter rough and rocky conditions. There can be snow on the passes in winter December to March.
4) Remoteness: the trek is in a remote mountain area. However mobile phones and wifi will work on most of the days.
5) High altitude insurance including emergency evacuation insurance by helicopter is recommended for this trek.
Trek Leader - The trek will be led by a senior South Col Nepal guide.
Minimum group size is four for this trek
Day 1 Fly Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and drive by jeep to Salpa Phedi 1700 metres We take a mid morning first flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar by Buddha Air/ Yeti Air and take a jeep from Tumlingtar to Salpa Phedi (3-4 hours). This is on a rough road and the entire road may not be navigable during the monsoon months. We plan for this trek post monsoon November – December would be ideal. Night at a lodge at Phedi. Day 2 Phedi to Guranse 2920 metres This is quite a tough day, mainly uphill all day on stone steps so an early start is a good idea. There are a few small villages en-route so plenty of opportunities for tea and lunch. We first climb to Jaubari / Thulo Fokte in about 2 to 2.5 hours and this can be a tea stop at a lodge. From Jaubari the trail continues to climb through the peaceful forest until it reaches Guranse which is just a cluster of shacks, with a lone tea house . Phedi to Jaubari 2-2.5 hours Jaubari to Guranse 2.5 to 3 hours. Day 3 Guranse across Salpa Bhanjan pass 3350 m and down to Sanam 2675m The climb from Guranse to the Salpa pass takes around 75-90 minutes – you are now entering the Sherpa region. From the pass the trail drops to Waka /Orkobug and then descends to Sanam. Guranse to Salpa Bhanjan 75 min to 90 min Salpa Bhanjan to Sanam 2.5 to 3 hours. Day 4 Sanam to Bung 1700 metres Half an hour from Sanam is the village of Diure and then the trail comes to Nimstola Gompa with a couple of tea shacks and the monastery. Keep dropping down the valley in a very pleasant walk to the large Rai village of Gudel 1950 metres which is a good lunch stop with a number of lodges. From Gudel you can see the village of Bung on the opposite hillside - the trail drops steeply to the bridge at 1340 metres in about an hour from Gudel. It then starts climbing on the other side and finally reaches Bung 1700 metres. The village is in two parts lower and upper Bung – the lodges are in upper Bung. Sanam to Gudel 3 to 3.5 hours Gudel to Bung 2 to 2.5 hours. Day 5 Bung to Najingdingma 2650m across Surkie La 3085m The trail leaves Bung and makes a steep ascent to the school and then climbs up to the Kiraunle Chambaling Gompa in around 2 hours. The trail then passes some chortens and continues to Charakhor with a tea house and a major trail junction. From here head directly for the pass the trail northwards heads to Mera Peak. The pass is about 25 minutes from here and then there is a sharp and steep descend which can be icy in winter to Najingdingma. Bung to Surkie La 3.5 to 4 hours Surkie La to Najingdingma 1 hour. Day 6 Najindingma to Pangum 2850m across Pangum La 3173m The trail heads down and in about 45 minutes passes the settlement of Gai Kharka and then another 15 minutes bring you to the bridge across the Hinku Khola 1850 metres. There is a steep relentless climb from the bridge which comes to the village of Shubuche 2800 metres in about 90 minutes. There are impressive views towards the Inukhu valley and Mera Peak. The climb to the Pangum La pass takes about an hour – this is the last of the three middle hills passes. From the pass a 30 minute descent brings you to the monastery and the lodges of Pangum. Najingdingma to Pangum La 4.5 to 5 hours; Pangum La to Pangum 30-40 minutes. Day 7 Pangum to Puiyan 2780m This is the final day of the trek before joining the main trail from Phaplu or Jiri. The trail heads down for a while and then climbs to the single lodge at Karte and then heads up to the Khari La 3145 metres you can see the village of Bupsa on a broad ridge below. From the Khari La it is down on a steep and muddy trail to the lodges of Puiyan. Pangum to Khari La 3 to 3.5 hours Khari La to Puiyan 1 hour. Day 8 Puiyan to Ghat 2580m You are now back on the main trail and expect to see a lot more trekkers. From Puiyan the trails meanders through the village and passes a number of lodges before reaching the pass of Puiyan La in about an hour. From here the trail drops steeply to Surkhe 2300 metres. From Surkhe trail climbs up to Chaurikharkha where you see the Lukla trekkers joining the walk. For fit trekkers Phakding or Monjo is also possible. Puiyan to Surkhe 2 hr 30 min; Surkhe to Chaurikharkha 1 hr 15 min Chaurikharkha to Cheplung 20 min Cheplung to Ghat 1 hr Day 9 Ghat to Namche Bazar 3450m This follows the main Everest trail with the approximate timings below. You are well acclimatized and fit now so should not have any problems with the Namche hill unlike the Lukla trekkers. Ghat to Phakding 45 min Phakding to Benkar 1 hour Benkar to Monjo 1 hr Monjo to Jorsale 20 min Jorsale to last bridge befor Namche 45 min Last Bridge to Top Danda 45-55 min Top Danda to Namche 1 hr to 1 hr 30 min.
The post monsoon months especially November to mid December are good months for this trek
COSTS Costs on request please email [email protected] The cost is per person for Kathmandu to Namche (9 days) as per the itinerary given. Taxes included. Costs given above are at current rates of 2020 and may change without notice depending on USD to INR rate fluctuation.
Costs include: Transfer from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar by air and return air fare from Lukla to Kathmandu. Transport from Tumlingtar airport to Salpa Phedi in a private vehicle. Permits as needed. All accommodation on the trek on twin sharing basis. Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu one night on the way in and one night on the way back on the way out is covered. Cost of porters/guides for the trek. Please note that porters will carry one duffel bag or backpack not exceeding 10 kgs in weight for each trekker comprising of personal items, clothing, sleeping bag etc.
Costs not included Meals in Kathmandu and Tumlingtar /Lukla. Add on costs beyond Namche in case of Everest Base Camp/ Gokyo will be calculated as add ons depending on the trek. Breakfast lunch and dinner on the trek is not included. Desserts, drinks, and exotic items listed in the lodge menus are not included. Alcohol, cold drinks (coca cola, sprite, beer), juices, ice cream etc on the trek. Bottled drinks; boiled, filtered or bottled water; alcohol; snacks etc Client travel and medical insurance of any kind. Emergency evacuation costs if needed. Hot showers (Rs 300 per shower); Battery charging, excess airline baggage charges. Personal clothing and equipment; sleeping bag; down/ goretek jacket, medicines for personal use etc. Air fare from residence country to Nepal and back
Tips to porters and guide at the end of trek estimated at USD 50-60 per trekker contribution to the common pool
|Duffle Bag||All the equipment listed below other than what you need for the day should be packed into a duffle bag, locked and handed over to the porters in the morning. In case you cannot get a duffle bag in your home country these are available very cheap in Kathmandu and I can help you with this. The duffle bag should not weight more than 10 kgs!|
|1||Sleeping Bag||Warm sleeping bag is needed at least three season rated to 15F|
|2||Daypack or Hipbelt||To carry water, one jacket some nuts, chocolates, cap, camera to keep with you in the day, maybe gloves and cap as well, hiking poles etc.|
|3||Boots or Trekking Shoes||one pair|
|4||Slippers or Sandals for camp||lightweight to wear in the evenings|
|5||warm Socks||2 pairs to carry and one pair to wear|
|7||Underwear||1 to wear and 2 to carry|
|8||Warm Cap||one- Wool or fleece is usually good|
|9||Heavy jacket||the warmest you can get as nights and early mornings are cold - down is usually preferred otherwise a warm synthetic filled jacket.|
|10||Thermal Underwear ( top and bottom) - long johns||inner layer to wear at night and early morning ;|
|11||Mid Layer||Usually a jacket of fleece or wool which can be worn over a thermal layer or by itself while walking|
|12||T shirts for walking||one to wear and 2 to carry - if the sun is hot you can walk in a T shirt|
|13||Trousers /tights etc||one to wear and one to carry light weight preferred|
|14||One Rain Jacket /Wind Jacket/Soft Shell jacket||useful in case of wind ... you may need it in light rain though we would usually take shelter and wait for the rain to stop. Our trek is not in the rainy season though some light rain/snow in the late afternoon evenings cannot be ruled out.|
|15||Torch or headlamp||one small needed carry one set spare batteries|
|16||Sun bloc||one small tube should be ok spf 30 or 50|
|17||some essential medicines||vitamins, headache, fever, pain killers, diamox for altitude, your own specific medicines etc|
|18||Hiking poles||if you have bad knees then this is recommended especially on the down hills!!|
|19||Water bottle||one no 500 ml or 1 litre is ok you can use the 500 or 600 ml empty coke or pepis bottles|
|20||Sun glasses||the sun is strong in the day|
|21||Cap for the sun||ditto!|
|22||small towel||for baths and wash up in case you can use the hot shower|
|23||toothbrush, paste, soap, shampoo, vaseline, comb||and any other toilet items you may need!|
|24||wet tissues - wet ones for bathroom||called wet ones in India|
|25||some washing powder surf etc small||to wash clothes en route if needed|
|26||Nuts, raisins etc all mixed up||can be divided into small packets for daily use|
|27||Chocolates /Energy Bars/Amul cheese slices/tea bags||Carry some chocolates or energy bars to have on the way. Amul cheese slices are very useful and can be had as snacks when you are tired of sweets!|
|29||Volini gel/ Bengay etc for aches and pains||or any other equivalent|
|30||Iodine or chlorine tablets for water purification||available in Kathmandu- this is important as mineral water bottles are expensive; for overseas visitors you can get iodine tablets in REI and other large outdoor outlets|
|31||Electral or any other rehydating salts||Carry a few small packets of electrolyte - useful to have mixed with water if dehydrated|
|32||some spare plastic bags to pack wet stuff, dirty clothes etc|
|33||Book in case you want to read on the way and IPOd for music optional!|
|34||Two small locks one for your duffle bag and one for your room in case the lodge does not have a lock|
|35||Clothes line with hooks on either side in case you want to hang up your wet clothes to dry outside!!|
|36||Super Glue||To patch up boots that may give way!|
|37||Face mask||For dust, cold winds etc available in kathmandu|
|38||Extra shoe laces||one pair|
Sujoy Das - India and Nepal
Lok Silwal - Nepal
+977 98510 22984
CANCELLATION POLICY The cancellation policy and refunds available are given below: 0-7 days before the start of the trek =75% 8 -15 days before the start of the trek = 50% 16-30 days before the start of the trek = 35% 31-45 days before the start of the trek = 25% 46 days and above = 15%
IN CASE OF LEAVING THE GROUP If due to illness or any other reason a client has to leave the group and go down or wait at a campsite for the group to pick him/her up on the way back, all expenses including lodging, fooding and any porter/guide related expenses if any are to be borne by the individual client over and above the trek fees paid for the trek. There are also no refunds for leaving a trek before completion.
HIRING OF PONIES ETC In the eventuality of a client needed the services of a pony to come down to lower altitudes, the cost of hiring the pony will be paid by the client.
CAMPSITES ON THE TREK The choice of campsites to be used on the trek will be decided by South Col and clients will have to stay at these designated campsites. Clients are not permitted to choose their own campsites on the route.
TREK ROUTE The trek route and day wise schedule will be fixed by South Col and will have to be followed by the client.
RISKS AND LIABILITY The trek is in a remote mountain area and has certain additional dangers and risks, some of which include: physical exertion for which the client should be prepared; weather extremes subject to sudden and unexpected changes; remoteness from normal medical services; evacuation difficulties. In the event of injury or illness South Col Expeditions (Sujoy Das) or its Staff can, at the clients cost arrange any medical treatment and emergency evacuation service as it or they deem necessary for the health and safety of the client. Waiver of liability form as per link attached to be signed by the client. https://www.southcol.com/waiver-of-liability-release/
EVACUATION BY HELICOPTER In the eventuality of not being covered by emergency helicopter evacuation insurance and an evacuation is considered necessary, the cost of the evacuation will be paid by the client in advance to the helicopter company/travel agent etc as deemed necessary.