Rolwaling Valley Trek
The Rolwaling Valley trek, in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area (GCA) is a moderately difficult teahouse trek located in between Langtang National Park and Khumbu (Mt.Everest) in Nepal. It forms part of The Great Himalaya Trail.
The Rolwaling Valley trek is a relatively quiet trekking route that runs parallel to Tibet. The Sherpa village of Beding (3 days walk from Gonghar Khola) is the largest settlement in the Rolwaling Valley.
It is possible to combine this trek with Everest crossing Tashi Lapcha La (5755m), however, you will need climbing experience and guides to achieve this and another set of permits.
Tsho Rolpa (4580m) is one of the largest glacial lakes in Nepal. This is the point of turnaround if returning to Gonghar Khola.
Trekking is with permit. If doing this trek in winter, likely that permit will not be checked (except possibly if you walk past the small office just before the bridge in Singati). February 2017, permit not checked.
TIMS not required.
Download maps.me app. Very useful to calculate distance, and many walking trails are accurately mapped. Useful if the trail splits and you don't have a guide or a helpful local nearby.
Standard mountain diet. Dal Bhat, fried rice, noodles. No fixed menus like Annapurna etc, the cheaper is Dal Baht all the way up. Bowl of instant noodles. Black tea.
You won't come across many shops once you leave the road so bring adequate supplies with you.
Don't forget water purification tablets/iodine etc.
Direct buses leave Kathmandu to ChhetChhet, Dolakha from the old bus park in the centre of the city (next to Ratna Park). This is conveniently located next to the Nepal Tourist Board where you can purchase your trekking permit. Two buses leave, at 6am and 8am, but double check times and consider reserving seats the day before.
The beginning of the trek is ChhetChhet Bazaar. The journey takes approximately 8 - 10 hours on a rough road.
Alternatively, you can take a bus to Charikot (NPR 330) and then catch another one to Lamabagar and get off at Chhetchhet.
Day 1: Kathmandu (1398 mtrs.) - Chhetchhet (1410 mtrs.) - Simigaun (2000 mtrs.)
Kathmandu - Chhetchhet (8 - 10 hrs)
Every morning 2 public buses leaves from Old Buspark for Lamabagar. Get the tickets a day prior to leaving for comfortable seats. One should get off at Chhetchhet Bazar and start hike from there.
Chhetchhet - Simigaun (1.5 hrs)
After crossing the bridge over upper Tamakoshi river at Chhetchhet, it is uphill stairs that you gotta climb for around 1.5 - 2 hours. That will take you to Simigaun. There are few lodges for food and accommodation.
Day 2: Simigaun - Dongang (Alt. 2790 mtrs.) (6 hrs 15 mins)
Simigaun - Surmuche (2470 mtrs.) (3 hrs.)
Stairs, stairs and more stairs. On the way you will see the second cantilever bridge in Nepal across Rolwaling river. At Surmuche, there are two lodges. They are not open during winter.
Surmuche - Kyalche (2810 mtrs.) (2 hrs 30 mins)
On the trail to Kyalche, there is a diversion marked by yellow and black colored arrow by the left of the trail on the tree. That arrow leads you to new trail down to Rolwaling river. There is snall wooden bridge to cross the river. So watch out carefully. If you miss that sign, you will get to the old trail where the bridge to cross the Rolwaling river was caught in landslide during earthquake 2015. There is only one teahouse in here. This teahouse is also closed during the winter.
Kyalche - Dongang (2790 mtrs.) (45 mins)
The trails is mostly downhill from here to Dongang. Dongang lies at the bank of Rolwaling river that flows all the way from Tshorolpa lake. There are three teahouses in Dongang. Even here, the teahouses are usually closed during winter. P.S. One can get to Beding on the same day if interested.
Day 3: Dongang - Naa Gaun (4183 mtrs.) (8 hrs)
Dongang - Beding (3721 mtrs.) (4 hrs 30 mins)
Look for a stone building with green painted doors and windows frames, in the middle of the village. Run by a lovely lady, this is a fantastic option with good food, tea, and comfortable rooms. Very reasonable prices.
(Acclimatisation day in Beding)
Beding - Tsho Rolpa - Beding. (10hrs)
This is a long (22km) and tough day. It is possible to stay at Na on the way back which makes it 16km although this might not be possible in winter as the lodges will be closed. Check in Beding.
Beding - Simigaun (7hrs)
Simigaun - Chhetchhet