One month from today, at about this time on Tuesday 1st November, I will be landing in Kathmandu at the start of an incredible adventure the seeds of which were sown 3 years ago. In early October 2013 I and others were at the bar in Kathmandu’s Everest Hotel having just returned from Cho Oyu. The expedition leader, now my good friend, Tim Calder was telling us about his dream trek. While he had travelled extensively throughout Nepal he was drawn to the Dolpo region. Dolpo is described by the trekking company KE Adventure Travel as “one of the least accessible and yet most alluring corners of Nepal. Few travellers have penetrated to the heart of Dolpo. This is very much the land that time forgot.” Kamzang Journeys says that Dolpo is “one of the highest inhabited realms on the planet; a breathtakingly beautiful and mountainous region of fortified villages, ‘dzongs’, turquoise lakes, sacred mountains and high passes.”
Tim’s dream was to complete an extensive trek of over 200 miles through this region along the Great Himalayan Trail, climbing many 5000+ metre passes and using ponies to assist with the load carrying. In the aftermath of the Cho Oyu expedition I was captivated by this dream but at that time never imagined it would become a reality. But through determination and with the support of many people, it now has.
Tim and I planned to make an attempt last year but in the wake of Nepalese earthquakes and with the relief effort still being in full swing we felt that a super-challenging trek could place an unreasonable burden on people still striving to recover. This year we see no such issues. The flights are booked and we will be in Nepal for the whole of November.
Over the next month I will share with you, periodically through my blog, information about the region and its people, our route, kit, communications and power, weather, insurance, planning and preparation and other bits and pieces that might be of interest. We will travel with a small team of fellow trekkers and sherpa support. Once on the trek I hope to be able to send updates by short email or text from a satellite phone either directly to the blog or via Clare who has offered once again to be “Radar” (the radio operator from M*A*S*H).
While KE, Kamzang and other trekking companies do offer trekking in Dolpo, Tim and I don’t think anyone has walked as extensively over such tough terrain within our timeframe as we plan to. We don’t even know if it can be done.
Excited? Oh yes!
Watch this space…