Rolwaling valley, bordering with Tibet, is an ethnic Himalaya region located in the north-eastern part of Nepal. Rolwaling Himalayan range includes some of the finest Himalaya peaks; Melungtse 7,181 m (23,559 ft) and Melungtse II 7,023 m (23,041 ft) and Gauri Shankar 7,134 m (23,405 ft), with some 50 additional peaks.
The first exploration of the region was made by Eric Shiption back in 1951.
Similar to the hiking in the Everest and Annapurna region, Rolwaling trek combines both uphill hiking and traversing. It facilitates crossing of one of the highest passes in the world, Tashi Lapcha Pass 5,755 m (18,881 ft), to enter the Khumbu (Everest) valley.
Beding along with many other villages in the region are inhabited by people of varying ethnicity. The northern part is mainly home to the Sherpa community.
The major challenges encountered during the trek are; traversing over entire snow paths for days (evident during post-monsoon season), crossing dense alpine forests and attaining uphill terrains. One of the highlight of the trip is staying in a camp beside Bigu Gompa (Nunnery). One can also enjoy the close sightings of few of the highest mountain in the world en route; Everest, Lhotse and Makalu etc.
It is in the northern part of Rolwaling that the notorious and celebrated Yeti supposedly found during old times. Over the time, many research expeditions have attempted to trace the animal, but failed in collecting enough evidence to prove its existence!
It is commonly trekked in two different seasons, Pre-monsoon (March to June)and Post-monsoon (September to November). The post-monsoon season tends to be somewhat crowded, however, best weather is guaranteed. Unfavorable weather can be detrimental.
~Gears and Equipment~
- Pair of hiking boots (well broken in) – One could spend over 5 to 6 hours a day on the trail, therefore, long-lasting boots are essential. The boots can range from light to medium, high or low. If one plans to trek during the months when it snows, the high boots become essential for proper hiking.
- Soft and light shoes (sneakers) – Carrying light-weight sneakers for ‘after the day hike’ serves comfort.
- Lightweight knapsack – It is useful for short trips away from one’s lodge, and will save you from carrying large backpack along. It should be large enough to fit a camera, spare clothes and a sleeping bag, if one plans to spend a night away.
- Lightweight sleeping bag – Essential during peak seasons (October-December). Lodges do offer blankets, but are scarce during the peak season, therefore carrying a sleeping bag (-10 C°) can be a great precaution.
- Fabric band-aids – Blisters are common due to rigorous walking. A good alternative to band-aids is duct tape. Works great for blisters and also proves invaluable in many other ways.
~Costs & Permit~
Permit Fees are required to enter Gaurishankar Conservation Area:
- For SAARC Nationals: Rs. 200 p. person (Approx. USD $2)
- Others: Rs. 2,000 p. person (Approx. USD $21)
and Sagarmatha National Park:
- For SAARC Nationals : Rs 1,500 p. person (Approx. USD $15)
- Other tourists: Rs 3,000 p. person (Approx. USD $30)
- Rolwaling Trek in Nepal -25 Days