impressions from

Pictures Upper Dolpo

Gallery Dolpo to Mustang


Juphal to Ringmo

Ringmo to Shey

Shey to Do Tarap

Do Tarap to Charkha

Charkha to Sangda

Sangda to Jomsom


map_dolpo_with_route.jpg (268764 Byte)
Dolpo Map online 3D.

STOL in Juphal
STOL in Juphal is just long enough for take-off's. We meet our crew who had to walk 10 days to get here from the end of the road. After our first lunch we set out for Dunai, where we will spend the night.

Juphal village
Terraced fields along the Bheri river.

green valley along Bheri Khola
The trail descends from Juphal towards the river. Just after monsoon the valley is still covered in a light green, after Kathmandu's polluted air the sweet smell of herbs is a relief.

forest between Dunai and Ringmo
After the wide Bheri valley we climb steadily through dense forests. The slippery trails run down at the river most of the time, but there are enough steep climbs and descends to get some training before the high passes of Upper Dolpo.
bridge across Suli Gad

The 'small' Suli Gad is white-water almost the time, luckily the bridges are in fairly good condition.pupils at Tapriza school in SumdwaThe Tapriza school gives children of nearby villages the opportunity of a first class education. The school is funded by Westerners and supported by the Nepalese government.
[for further information about the school please get in touch with]playing games on the day off
Most kids stay at the school the whole summer, Saturday is their day off and they play games..


  First view of the village and lake, a great change after three days in the dense forests.

Camp near the shore of Phoksumdo lake
We set up our camp near the shore, a few minutes away from the village. The play of colours is stunning, especially just after sunrise and shortly before dusk.   

Carved stone
Carved stone on one of the mani walls just before the village.

The large chorten in the village has nice paintings on all four sides and nine fine mandalas on the ceiling.

Painting in Ringmo's chorten
more paintings in the chorten


Bon monastery near Ringmo
The Bon monastery stands on a cliff at the other end of the lake. It is only a short walk in the juniper forest along the shore.


chorten at the Bon monastery
A group of several chortens announces the monastery.

Stunning Phoksumdo lake
Phoksumdo lake is the source of the Suli Gad.

Ringmo and its fields
View from the lake towards Ringmo.

house in Ringmo

Kids in Ringmo
Only few men are in the village during summer, mothers and their children are on their own.

Norbu Kang
Tall mountains surround the village. Norbu Kang and the Kanjiroba massif are above 6'000 metres, adding to the fantastic play of colours.

Highest waterfall in Nepal
The water falls down the ridge which separates Ringmo from the valley in the south.

Trail from Ringmo to Shey
The trail to Shey starts just above the shore and then climbs high above the lake which offers fantastic views.

way from Ringmo to Shey (Phoksumdo Lake)
After a few minutes in the shade of a forest in a glacial valley, we slowly climb the ridge in the hot morning sun. The ochre houses and lush fields of Ringmo are getting smaller and smaller.

High above Phoksumdo on way to Shey
Trekkers' dreams!

Yak caravan coming from Shey
A yak caravan is coming from Shey, the first people we meet after leaving Ringmo two days earlier.

first high pass before reaching Shey
The last mountain range that separates us from Shey. Upper Dolpo starts after the ridge, the landscape will be dominated by barren hills and the Tibean high plateau.


first view of Shey gompa after the pass
Far down in the valley lies Shey gompa. Tomorrow we will follow the stream eastwards.

   Tsakhang monastery near Shey
Almost hidden in the red cliffs lies Tsakhang monastery, home of the young Tulku.

Tsakhang, clinging to the red cliff
Tsakhang monastery


Valley from Shey to Samling
Gorge from Shey to Samling, unfortunately we did not have enough to go so far north.

view to the south with Shey gompa
Shey Gompa becomes the centre of Upper Dolpo during a festival in June. It is the starting point for the kora around Crystal mountain.

Shey gompa


Shey gompa overlooking the meadow
Shey gompa, built on a plateau above the rivers.


Sela Munchung La (5'193 m), after Shey
The first pass after Shey, we leave Inner Dolpo already and turn south again in order to reach Do Tarap.


between Shey and Do Tarap
The view towards Tibet and Mustang, barren hills are followed by high mountains. Strong wind blows dark clouds over the ridge.


Shering Gompa in Tarap valley
Shering Gompa lies at the upper end of the Tarap valley. Unfortunately, we find nobody to let us in.


Kagar village near Do
Houses are scattered admist the fields, an exception is Kagar which is built on a gentle hill overlooking the fields.


the broad and fertile Tarap valley
View from Kagar towards north where we came from.

Chorten, Do in the background
A chorten before reaching Do, a small village which lies at the foot of barren hills.

    Monastery above Do
Early morning view from the monastery above Do towards the north.


evening sun in the Ship Chok valley
View from Do up the Ship Chok valley. The combination of sunset and a thunderstorm illuminates the valley in a strange way.


Ship Chok, village in a side valley
The village Ship Chok, half an hour above the main valley.

steep trail towards the pass on the left ridge
We leave the Tarap valley behind us and continue to Charkha. Another pass is in front of us, a small path on the gravel slope leads to the ridge.

view towards Mustang
The view from the pass towards the Charkha valley.

pass between Do Tarap and Charkha
Black slate mountain near the pass.

endless hills towards the east
Arid hills in ochre tones stretch to the horizon, some are high enough to have glaciers on their tops. Small bushes grow only along the rivulets.


Nomads from Charkha
The area is densely populated (relatively speaking, of course), very often we pass the brown tents of the shepherds.

shepherds near Charkha La
Many families from Charkha spend the summers on the pastures with their animals.

shepherds near Charkha La
Twice a day the goats are driven down to the tents to be milked.


scenery at Charkha La
The isolated mountain shortly before reaching the Charkha valley does not seem to be in the landscape.


Dhaulagiri II to IV from Charkha La
The Dhaulagiri massif, seen from the northwest. Dhaulagiri I is hidden behind the black mountain.


Barbung Khola
We follow the blue Barbung Khola upstream to Charkha.


Charkha village
All of a sudden we reach Charkha, an isolated village which looks like a fortress.


Crossing of Barbung Khola
We are definitely off the beaten track - bridges have been washed away and are not replaced yet - but luckily we do not have to cross rivers very often.


Difficult trail towards Sangda La
Trails are also getting more difficult, we choose the winter trails near the river but sometimes the water level is still too high and we have to climb a little.


Way to Sangda La in snow
On the way to our last pass, Sangda La. It has snowed during the night which makes the scenery even more impressive, but also makes walking more difficult.


Difficult 'trails' before Sangda
Steep and narrow trails need to be taken to get from Sangda La to the Sangda village.


Sangda village
The village and its field hang on the southern wall of the Sangda valley.

Sangda village
An oasis in a desert, Sangda village.

The fields of Sangda lie admist a narrow gorge
Last view to Sangda before reaching the ridge which runs parallel to the Kali Gandaki river.

looking onto Mustang from across Tangbe
We follow the Kali Gandaki for the rest of the day. The trees and fields of Tangbe village are the only sign of life.

view towards Mustang
Tangbe from the pass just before Phalla village.The white riverbed is full of water during monsoon, but Mustang is usually safe from heavy rain because all the clouds burn off while drifting north.


Nilgiri north face
Looking from Phalla pass towards south where the Nilgiri north face peaks out of the clouds.

Terraced fields of Phalla
Pink terraces of blooming buckwheat fields surround the Phalla. Despite its closeness to Jomosom, it does not seem to be visited by many tourists.

Family in Phalla
Mother and her baby looking out of the characteristic orange window in Phalla.
Nilgiri in the morning sun
Sunrise on Nilgiri, illuminating the steep ice fall.

Kagbeni, village at the entrance to Upper Mustang
The broad riverbed narrows near Kagbeni whose red monastery can be seen from far away.

Nilgiri north face with Kali Gandaki valley and Kagbeni
View from Kagbeni to Nilgiri.

Kali Gandaki valley on the way to Jomosom
The way along the river from Kagbeni to Jomosom is usually (over)crowded, but in the middle of September only few tourists visit the area.

our great crew
Saying good-bye. Without those people our trek would have been impossible!