Rolwaling, a Himalayan Valley; lies northeast of Dolakha District and west of the Everest Khumbu Region. It is the East-West valley below the Mount Gaurishanker (7145m). The valley is surrounded by steep cliffs and giant snow peaks. Bordering with Tibet , it is an ethnic Himalayan region. Only a handful trekkers reach the valley each year.Thus it is an isolated and a culturally diverse area. The route is truly adventurous, its magnificent forests and views are among best in Nepal.
We took the Kathmandu-Charikot-Singati-Gongar Khola to reach this beautiful valley. After the walk from Gongarkhola to Chet-Chet and the hike through steep steps, we arrive at Simigaon. Simigaon is situated at an altitude of 2100m and offers the beautiful rhododendron forests and closeup views of Mt. Gaurishanker.
After Simigaon, the walk turns into a thrilling experience as you pass through the dense forest. There are numerous waterfalls inside the forest and a lot of wooden bridges to cross them. The trail continues to Surmuche –Calche – Dongang(2800m). These three stops on the way offer home stay for travelers. But, it’s rare to find another trekking group. Its better to stay the night at Dongang and start fresh in the morning on the way to Beding.
The walk from Dongang to Beding takes about 7 hours and there are no houses or people on the way. The path is very steep and the hike continues towards uphill terrains from here. A small village called Nuware comes an hour before reaching Beding. Sherpas live in three villages around here. The Sherpas live a tough and interesting nomadic life. In Winter they live at Neware. In the beginning of March till April, they move to Beding. And after all snow in the Na melts out, they migrate to Na Gaon in the Rainy season. And this cycle continues every year. During the hike from Dongang to Beding, we saw many waterfalls, but they were frozen as we traveled around mid February.
After we reached Beding, we were really lucky to find the only single house where a Sherpa couple were staying. All the Houses in Beding were empty. That’s the reason the best time to travel this route would be after april 15 and September to October.
Beding lies just behind Mt. gaurishanker and it takes about 4 hours walk from here to reach Na Gaon. When we started walking through the way to Na, it was totally covered with snow, it was slippery as hell but quite an amazing experience for us. After walking for an hour, one can see the rear view of mount Gaurishanker (view seen from Tibet). We also saw few Danphes (Lophophorous, the national bird of Nepal) but were unable to capture them in camera as they disappeared as soon as they saw us.
After reaching Na, you can see the mighty Mt. Melungtse. From Na, Tsho Rolpa Glacial Lake is about 2 hours walk away. Unfortunately, we were not able to go there as it was mid February and snow was almost about 6 ft thick.
The thought of Tsho-rolpa just 2 hours away was too much to give up so easily. So, I tried to walk through snow, but got stuck so badly that I had to be pulled out by my friends. With heavy hearts, we decided we will give it a try next time. And the landscape of Na is really wonderful. Someone who visits here once, will never forget it in his/her lifetime. From Na, one can also trek through the Tashi Lakpa pass (5700m) and enter the Khumbu Region (Everest valley). But it’s very difficult pass, one of the highest Passes in the world. Without proper guidance of Sherpas or Guides, it is very risky.
Fun Fact before concluding : It’s believed that famous British Mountaineer Eric Shipton snapped footprints of Yeti, a mythical creature in the northern part of Rolwaling valley.