(Category - Strenuous)
Located in the far western region of Nepal, the land of Dolpo and its fabled Crystal mountain were the focus of Peter Matthiessen’s classic book
‘The snow Leopard’. In 1988, the southern valleys leading to Dolpo’s Shey-Phoksundo National park were de-restricted. The visit to Shey Gompa and
the rest of the huge park covering 1,373 sq. km above Phoksundo Lake is still restricted and special trek permit is required from Kathmandu to enter
the region. The trekking into this remote and agriculturally impoverished landscape requires a mindset to endure hardships and all foods and camping
equipment to be carried from Kathmandu. There are several approach routes to Dolpo from Pokhara, and Jumla.
The journey begins with a 35 minutes flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal. From Dunai, the district headquarter & check-post the trek route continues
along the banks of Barbung Khola to Tarakote, known locally as Dzong for its hilltop fortress. Proceeding along Tarap Khola through grassy meadows,
Magar villages and their gompas, the highest point of the trek Numa La (5,190m) is reached, which affords a magnificent views of Dhaulagiri to the
south and Tibetan ranges – Kugung La and Khyung La to the north. Blue Sheep, musk Deer, Ghoral, snow Leopard, Tahr and black Bear inhibit the park.
Ringmo is across the Baga La (5,070m), a pass surrounded by large glaciers and spiced rock cliffs. The first view of the lake’s radiant
turquoise-blue waters of Phoksundo set in a cleft between rocks that rise 2,000m into the clear mountain skies and the peaks of Kanjiroba is simply
stupendous. The descending trail drops along Suli Gad river to Raha, the park entrance and finally to the hamlet of Juphal.