February 28, 2020

Trail notes (no maps)

GPS routes for these trail notes are available here:

I would recommend using the GPX file above if you can, but some apps need KML format:

  • KML (if gpx files don't work)
  • KML (for the maps.me app - route descriptions aren't visible in maps.me, so I've included a waypoint with the description at the start of each leg)

You can find a printable PDF version with maps or with no maps.

There are versions of this page with maps or with no maps, and you can find the data used to generate this page as a Google sheet.

Trail notes

Leg 1: Taplejung to Phurumbu

Easy hike along along dirt road.

Waypoints (leg 1)

L001 Phurumbu (1,680 m / 5,500 ft): Stayed overnight in a basic guesthouse in Phurumbu.

Ratings (leg 1)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 1)

Length 9.0 km 5.6 miles
Climb / descent 310 / 990 m 1,020 / 3,240 ft

Elevation (leg 1)

Leg 2: Phurumbu to Chiruwa

Easy hike along along dirt road.

Waypoints (leg 2)

L002 Chirwa (1,230 m / 4,030 ft): Stayed overnight in a basic guesthouse in Chirwa.

Ratings (leg 2)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 2)

Length 17.2 km 10.7 miles
Climb / descent 1,310 / 1,750 m 4,290 / 5,740 ft

Elevation (leg 2)

Leg 3: Chiruwa to Sukethum

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 3)

L003 Sukethum (1,570 m / 5,160 ft): Stayed overnight in a nice guesthouse in Sukethum.

Ratings (leg 3)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 3)

Length 10.5 km 6.5 miles
Climb / descent 990 / 640 m 3,250 / 2,110 ft

Elevation (leg 3)

Leg 4: Sukethum to Amjilosa

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 4)

L004 Amjilosa (2,410 m / 7,890 ft): Stayed overnight in a basic guesthouse in Amjilosa.

Ratings (leg 4)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 4)

Length 8.1 km 5.0 miles
Climb / descent 1,230 / 460 m 4,050 / 1,520 ft

Elevation (leg 4)

Leg 5: Amjilosa to Gyabla

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 5)

L005 Gyabla (2,710 m / 8,890 ft): Stayed overnight in an excellent guesthouse in Gyabla.

Ratings (leg 5)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 5)

Length 7.5 km 4.7 miles
Climb / descent 1,040 / 790 m 3,410 / 2,590 ft

Elevation (leg 5)

Leg 6: Gyabla to Ghunsa

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 6)

L006 Phale (3,250 m / 10,600 ft): The small village of Phale would make a great option for lunch or a homestay. I heard great things about the food.

L006 Ghunsa (3,420 m / 11,200 ft): Stayed overnight in a nice guesthouse in Ghunsa, which is a large village with several guesthouses and a small shop.

Ratings (leg 6)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 6)

Length 10.5 km 6.5 miles
Climb / descent 1,120 / 410 m 3,680 / 1,360 ft

Elevation (leg 6)

Leg 7: Ghunsa to Khangpachen

Trail was occasionally tricky to follow as it traversed landslide areas.

Waypoints (leg 7)

L007 Khangpachen (4,080 m / 13,400 ft): Stayed overnight in an excellent guest house in Khangpachen.

Ratings (leg 7)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 7)

Length 10.6 km 6.6 miles
Climb / descent 950 / 290 m 3,130 / 960 ft

Elevation (leg 7)

Leg 8: Khangpachen to Lhonak

Trail was usually easy to follow with a few tricky areas. I made a mistake and ended up higher up the bank of the river traversing across a very dangerous landslide area. In the end I managed to descend safely to the river bed but then spent an hour scrambling over large boulders before I found the trail again.

Waypoints (leg 8)

L008 Lhonak (4,750 m / 15,600 ft): Lhonak is a tiny patch of flat land between two glaciers, and has nothing apart from a few very basic guesthouses. I imagine they would be closed out of season.

Ratings (leg 8)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 8)

Length 9.9 km 6.2 miles
Climb / descent 940 / 270 m 3,070 / 870 ft

Elevation (leg 8)

Leg 9: Lhonak to Pangpema

Trail was tricky to follow with a couple of large new landslides which meant lengthy diversions to find safe places to cross, and scrambling.

Waypoints (leg 9)

L009 Landslide (5,060 m / 16,600 ft): This huge landslide had recently blocked the path (as of spring 2019). A lengthy detour was needed to find a safe place to cross. The route has been updated to show my detour.

L009 Pangpema (5,140 m / 16,900 ft): There was a small shack at Pangpema (aka Kanchenjunga Base Camp) which I could have stayed at, but I chose to camp. I believe the staff come from Lhonak as and when they are needed, so best to ask them if you plan to stay overnight here without camping.

Ratings (leg 9)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 3/5 (average)
Accommodation: campsite - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 9)

Length 7.9 km 4.9 miles
Climb / descent 640 / 260 m 2,090 / 840 ft

Elevation (leg 9)

Leg 10: Pangpema to Lhonak

This is the reverse of leg 9. I hiked from base camp all the way to Kangpachen in one day so I didn't stay at Lhonak overnight.

Waypoints (leg 10)

L010 Landslide (5,070 m / 16,600 ft): See leg 9

L010 Lhonak (4,760 m / 15,600 ft): See leg 8

Ratings (leg 10)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 3/5 (average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 10)

Length 7.9 km 4.9 miles
Climb / descent 250 / 630 m 830 / 2,080 ft

Elevation (leg 10)

Leg 11: Lhonak to Kangpachen

This is the reverse of leg 8.

Waypoints (leg 11)

L011 Khangpachen (4,090 m / 13,400 ft): See leg 7

Ratings (leg 11)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 11)

Length 9.8 km 6.1 miles
Climb / descent 260 / 930 m 870 / 3,050 ft

Elevation (leg 11)

Leg 12: Kangpachen to Ghunsa

This is the reverse of leg 7.

Waypoints (leg 12)

L012 Ghunsa (3,420 m / 11,200 ft): See leg 6

Ratings (leg 12)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 12)

Length 10.8 km 6.7 miles
Climb / descent 290 / 970 m 960 / 3,180 ft

Elevation (leg 12)

Leg 13: Ghunsa to Kharka

The trail was tricky trail to follow.

Waypoints (leg 13)

L013 Kharka (4,170 m / 13,700 ft): This camp site is brand new (as of spring 2019), with large flattened platforms and water nearby.

Ratings (leg 13)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 13)

Length 5.5 km 3.4 miles
Climb / descent 990 / 250 m 3,240 / 800 ft

Elevation (leg 13)

Leg 14: Kharka to Yangjong Kharka

Trail was almost non existent and obscured with snow for much of the day. However above the tree line the terrain was open so the route was easy to follow without a trail on the ground.

Waypoints (leg 14)

L014 Nango La (4,770 m / 15,700 ft): The first high pass of the trek.

L014 Yangjong Kharka (3,740 m / 12,300 ft): On the descent down from Nango La you will find a basic shelter at Yangjong Kharka. You should stay here overnight because after the shelter the trail deviates significantly from the description in the guidebook and paper maps. The guidebook and paper maps have you camping at the Yangma Khola bridge but I found no trail on the ground going this way, and I didn't see any more good camping options until Olangchun Gola. The shelter is almost brand new and very clean (as of spring 2019).

Ratings (leg 14)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: shelter - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 14)

Length 8.6 km 5.4 miles
Climb / descent 630 / 1,060 m 2,070 / 3,460 ft

Elevation (leg 14)

Leg 15: Yangjong Kharka to Olangchun Gola

Tricky trail to follow, especially the first half before the new bridge. I suspect this trial will be changing regularly, because it was relatively new (spring 2019).

Waypoints (leg 15)

L015 Deviation (3,610 m / 11,800 ft): After the shelter, the trail deviates significantly from the guidebook and paper maps. The digital maps still show the old trail (as of spring 2019). I have updated the route to follow the new trail, which takes a more southerly path to a new bridge.

L015 Bridge (3,220 m / 10,600 ft): This is the new bridge over the Yangma Khola (as of spring 2019). After the bridge, the trail follows the standard route shown on digital / paper maps.

L015 Olangchun Gola (3,190 m / 10,500 ft): Stayed overnight in a basic guesthouse in Olangchun Gola.

Ratings (leg 15)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 15)

Length 11.5 km 7.1 miles
Climb / descent 860 / 1,410 m 2,830 / 4,640 ft

Elevation (leg 15)

Leg 16: Olangchun Gola to Pass Camp

After a simple section along a dirt road, the trail became much more difficult to follow. In the upper elevations the trail was completely obscured by deep snow.

Waypoints (leg 16)

L016 Pass Camp (4,850 m / 15,900 ft): This camp site was covered in deep snow when I stayed here.

Ratings (leg 16)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 2/5 (below average)
Accommodation: campsite - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 16)

Length 15.0 km 9.3 miles
Climb / descent 1,780 / 120 m 5,830 / 390 ft

Elevation (leg 16)

Leg 17: Pass Camp to Thudam

In the upper elevations the trail was completely obscured by deep snow, but I believe the route follows a reasonable path across the pass.

Waypoints (leg 17)

L017 Lumbha Sumbha (5,150 m / 16,900 ft): The Lumbha Sumbha pass is really two passes joined by a steep traverse. This is the final pass before the descent towards Thudam.

L017 Thudam (3,550 m / 11,700 ft): Thudam is a very poor village. I stayed overnight in a very basic homestay.

Ratings (leg 17)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 2/5 (below average)
Accommodation: homestay - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 17)

Length 13.7 km 8.5 miles
Climb / descent 390 / 1,690 m 1,280 / 5,540 ft

Elevation (leg 17)

Leg 18: Thudam to Jijibuk

The trail traverses a steep hillside, and rather dangerous in places. However, not too difficult to follow despite the warnings online of navigational blunders by previous hikers.

Waypoints (leg 18)

L018 Jijibuk (2,830 m / 9,280 ft): Jijibuk is a small clearing in the forest with a couple of very basic shacks. The yak herders living there fed me and let me sleep on the floor. The terrain in the area was so steep and the forest so dense that I didn't find any other camping options nearby.

Ratings (leg 18)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 3/5 (average)
Accommodation: homestay - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 18)

Length 9.3 km 5.8 miles
Climb / descent 720 / 1,480 m 2,380 / 4,850 ft

Elevation (leg 18)

Leg 19: Jijibuk to Lingham

The trail was relatively well maintained and easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 19)

L019 Chyamtang (2,230 m / 7,320 ft): Chyamtang is a large village and is the recommended overnight stop in the guidebook and paper maps, however despite some searching I didn't find a guesthouse. I was directed to Lingham which is a couple of hours further and has an excellent guesthouse.

L019 Lingham (2,190 m / 7,180 ft): Stayed overnight in an excellent guesthouse in Lingham.

Ratings (leg 19)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 19)

Length 11.9 km 7.4 miles
Climb / descent 1,200 / 1,670 m 3,940 / 5,480 ft

Elevation (leg 19)

Leg 20: Lingham to Hongon

The trail was mostly well maintained and easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 20)

L020 Hongon (2,330 m / 7,630 ft): Stayed overnight in a basic guesthouse in Hongon.

Ratings (leg 20)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 20)

Length 9.1 km 5.7 miles
Climb / descent 1,160 / 1,050 m 3,800 / 3,430 ft

Elevation (leg 20)

Leg 21: Hongon to Molun Pokhari

The trail was tricky to follow, and obscured by snow at higher elevations. The upper part of the valley that leads to the lake, and the traverse around the lake are extremely dangerous when covered in snow. I didn't have crampons which made matters worse.

Waypoints (leg 21)

L021 Molun Pokhari (3,960 m / 13,000 ft): The campsite is on the opposite side of the Molun Pokhari lake to where the trail arrives. You will have to traverse around the north side of the lake. The campsite was covered in deep snow when I stayed there, but it looked flat and sheltered.

Ratings (leg 21)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 3/5 (average)
Accommodation: campsite - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 21)

Length 8.2 km 5.1 miles
Climb / descent 1,750 / 130 m 5,740 / 410 ft

Elevation (leg 21)

Leg 22: Molun Pokhari to Clearing Camp

The guidebook explains how to find a bridge over the Kholakharka Khola, but despite hours of searching I didn't manage to find it. I eventually stayed overnight in the shelter at the source of the river. The next day I tried to follow the Kholakharka Khola back downstream on the east bank, but found no trail and dense undergrowth. I gave up and called a helicopter. I later talked to another trekker who attempted this section. He got further by scrambling over rocks in the river gully, only to find the pass impossible the next day - he too ended up calling a helicopter. I made contact with one trekker (Suvi) who successfully completed this section, and I've integrated their InReach track into the route. Suvi was tracking using an InReach which drops a GPS location only once every ten minutes, so the route from here until Yangla Kharka is rather rough. Suvi reported that the trail is extremely tricky to follow with sections of bushwhacking. If you successfully complete this section, please record an accurate GPS log and I'll improve the route (dave@brophy.uk).

Waypoints (leg 22)

L022 Cliffs (4,110 m / 13,500 ft): Ensure you traverse below these cliffs, not above. I made the mistake of traversing steep snow directly above the cliffs where a slip could have meant a nasty fall. There is no need to traverse above the cliffs.

L022 Dhungge Khola (3,620 m / 11,900 ft): The bridge over the Dhungge Khola was just two planks of wood (spring 2019). The guidebook mentions it is often washed away.

L022 Kholakharka Khola (3,010 m / 9,870 ft): The guidebook explains how to find a bridge over the Kholakharka Khola that is located somewhere around this waypoint. However despite hours of searching, I could not find the bridge. However another party (Suvi) found the bridge and gave me their InReach track. Unfortunately their track is quite low resolution, so there were only three waypoints showing where the bridge is.

L022 Shelter (3,190 m / 10,500 ft): There is a large flat kharka at the source of the Kholakharka Khola, and a reasonably clean shelter where I stayed overnight. The river is easily crossed at this location, and there was a log bridge (spring 2019).

L022 Cross 1 (3,140 m / 10,300 ft): I've included three waypoints (from Suvi's InReach track) as the most accurate location of the crossing point of the Kholakharka Khola.

L022 Cross 2 (3,080 m / 10,100 ft): I've included three waypoints (from Suvi's InReach track) as the most accurate location of the crossing point of the Kholakharka Khola.

L022 Cross 3 (3,020 m / 9,900 ft): I've included three waypoints (from Suvi's InReach track) as the most accurate location of the crossing point of the Kholakharka Khola.

L022 Clearing Camp (3,000 m / 9,830 ft): I didn't make it to this section, but Suvi's party did and they camped at a small clearing here. “There was a little grassy clearing and some locals had stayed there earlier because there was a fire place and some wooden structures. It was quite dirty with Yak poop though.”

Ratings (leg 22)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 22)

Length 8.6 km 5.4 miles
Climb / descent 380 / 1,290 m 1,230 / 4,220 ft

Elevation (leg 22)

Leg 23: Clearing Camp to Kalo Pokhari

I skipped this section. The route for this leg is from Suvi's InReach track, so rather rough. Suvi reported that the trail is extremely tricky to follow with steep sections and sections of bushwhacking.

Waypoints (leg 23)

L023 Kalo Pokhari (4,190 m / 13,700 ft): I didn't make it to this section, but Suvi's party did and they camped at a nice flat area near to the lake here.

Ratings (leg 23)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 23)

Length 4.0 km 2.5 miles
Climb / descent 740 / 10 m 2,410 / 40 ft

Elevation (leg 23)

Leg 24: Kalo Pokhari to Yangla Kharka

I skipped the first half of this section. The route for this leg is from Suvi's InReach track, so rather rough. Suvi reported that the trail is extremely tricky to follow with sections of bushwhacking. The second half of this leg (starting when you reach the Barun Nadi river) is reasonably easy to folow.

Waypoints (leg 24)

L024 Yangla Kharka (3,760 m / 12,300 ft): We stayed overnight in a basic guesthouse at Yangla Kharka. If you have time, continue to Langmale Kharka which is a nicer guesthouse.

Ratings (leg 24)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 24)

Length 13.4 km 8.3 miles
Climb / descent 990 / 1,420 m 3,260 / 4,660 ft

Elevation (leg 24)

Leg 25: Yangla Kharka to Makalu Base Camp

The trail was reasonably easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 25)

L025 Langmale Kharka (4,450 m / 14,600 ft): We stayed overnight at a nice guesthouse in Langmale Kharka.

L025 Makalu Base Camp (4,840 m / 15,900 ft): We stayed overnight at a nice, but very expensive guesthouse at Makalu Base Camp.

Ratings (leg 25)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 25)

Length 13.9 km 8.7 miles
Climb / descent 1,390 / 310 m 4,560 / 1,010 ft

Elevation (leg 25)

Leg 26: Makalu Base Camp to Swiss Base Camp

The trail was tricky to follow. For some sections we were scrambling over glacial moraine, following occasional cairns.

Waypoints (leg 26)

L026 Swiss Base Camp (5,200 m / 17,100 ft): We camped overnight at Swiss Base Camp. The campsite was challenging - we managed to find just about enough flat ground to pitch the tent in between boulders, but it was by no means perfect. The location is relatively sheltered, with fresh water nearby.

Ratings (leg 26)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 2/5 (below average)
Accommodation: campsite - 1/5 (awful)

Stats (leg 26)

Length 4.5 km 2.8 miles
Climb / descent 460 / 100 m 1,510 / 310 ft

Elevation (leg 26)

Leg 27: Swiss Base Camp to Sherpani Col Base Camp

The route follows steep glacial moraine all day. Very difficult and dangerous, sometimes climbing over precariously balanced boulders the size of cars. We were following occasional cairns to navigate - there was no trail on the ground.

Waypoints (leg 27)

L027 Sherpani Col Base Camp (5,700 m / 18,700 ft): We camped overnight at Sherpani Col Base Camp. This camp was significantly better than the previous night, with more space flatter ground.

Ratings (leg 27)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 27)

Length 3.4 km 2.1 miles
Climb / descent 600 / 110 m 1,970 / 350 ft

Elevation (leg 27)

Leg 28: Sherpani Col Base Camp to Advanced Base Camp

The route is on crevassed, glaciated terrain all day. The safest route across the glacier and over Sherpani Col may change year-to-year so an experienced mountaineer in the group is absolutely essential. Full mountaineering gear is required for this leg.

Waypoints (leg 28)

L028 Sherpani Col (6,160 m / 20,200 ft): Crossing Sherpani Col involves a 100m climb, then a 100m down climb on the other side. We were able to clip into a fixed safety wire for the climb and descent, but a fall would still be extremely dangerous. At the bottom of the down-climb there was a small bergschrund before we reached the crevassed glacial plateau that separates Sherpani Col and West Col.

L028 Advanced Base Camp (6,110 m / 20,000 ft): Although the itinerary proposes an overnight stay here at Advanced Base Camp I would highly recommend not camping here. Most groups continue over West Col and complete legs 28 and 29 in one long day, as we did. The plateau is at 6000m and extremely exposed, so camping here should only be attempted in an emergency.

Ratings (leg 28)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 1/5 (awful)

Stats (leg 28)

Length 3.7 km 2.3 miles
Climb / descent 500 / 90 m 1,650 / 290 ft

Elevation (leg 28)

Leg 29: Advanced Base Camp to Barnutse Base Camp

The route is on crevassed, glaciated terrain all day. The safest route across the plateau and over West Col may change year-to-year so an experienced mountaineer in the group is absolutely essential. Full mountaineering gear is required for this leg.

Waypoints (leg 29)

L029 West Col (6,120 m / 20,100 ft): Crossing West Col involves a short 20m climb, then a 200m rappel down over vertical rocks and blue ice. Make sure you bring a 200m rope for the rappel and do not rely on ropes left behind by previous teams, which are often unsafe.

L029 Barnutse Base Camp (5,440 m / 17,800 ft): We stayed overnight at the spectacular Barnutse Base Camp. Plenty of flat ground and right next to a beautiful lake.

Ratings (leg 29)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 29)

Length 5.4 km 3.4 miles
Climb / descent 50 / 720 m 150 / 2,370 ft

Elevation (leg 29)

Leg 30: Barnutse Base Camp to Amphu Labsta Base Camp

We didn't hike most of this leg, having followed a different path, so the ratings for route and trail are just for the last part of this leg. The part of the trail we did hike was tricky to follow and frequently involved scrambling over glacial moraine.

Waypoints (leg 30)

L030 Rejoin (5,470 m / 17,900 ft): One of our party fell ill, so we took an extra rest day at a lower camp sitge, and an alternative route from Barnutse Base Camp to Amphu Labsta Base Camp. We rejoined the trail at this waypoint. The route before this is marked as a trail on digital maps, but we didn't actually hike it.

L030 Amphu Labsta Base Camp (5,510 m / 18,100 ft): We found an adequate camp site about 150m earlier than the location of the base camp marked on digital maps. It was relatively sheltered, but not particularly flat. You might do better investigating the location marked on the digital maps.

Ratings (leg 30)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 1/5 (awful)

Stats (leg 30)

Length 5.5 km 3.4 miles
Climb / descent 300 / 230 m 1,000 / 740 ft

Elevation (leg 30)

Leg 31: Amphu Labsta Base Camp to Chhukung

Amphu Labsta is one of the most dangerous passes in Nepal, and the route climbs technical terrain to reach the pass. The safest route may change year-to-year so an experienced mountaineer in the group is absolutely essential. Full mountaineering gear is required for this leg.

Waypoints (leg 31)

L031 Amphu Labsta (5,830 m / 19,100 ft): The access to Amphu Labsta is via a huge ice fall, with platforms of snow and ice to navigate. Our route differs significantly from that marked on digital maps, but I'm sure the safest route is different every year. Parts of the ascent we were able to clip into a safety wire, but there were parts where it was hidden under impenetrable ice. After the pass a 30m rappel is needed. The hike down into the basin below is extremely dangerous, with very loose rocks on a high gradient.

L031 Chhukung (4,730 m / 15,500 ft): We stayed at an excellent, but very expensive guesthouse in Chhukung.

Ratings (leg 31)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 31)

Length 10.5 km 6.5 miles
Climb / descent 400 / 1,090 m 1,320 / 3,570 ft

Elevation (leg 31)

Leg 32: Chhukung to Dingboche

The trail was well maintained and easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 32)

L032 Dingboche (4,350 m / 14,300 ft): We stayed at an excellent, but very expensive guesthouse in Dingboche.

Ratings (leg 32)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 32)

Length 4.5 km 2.8 miles
Climb / descent 30 / 410 m 90 / 1,350 ft

Elevation (leg 32)

Leg 33: Dingboche to Lobuche

We skipped the Everest Base Camp side-trek and hiked directly to Dzongla (leg 36). However, all the main trails in the Everest region are likely to be well maintained. The guesthouses are usually excellent but expensive.

Waypoints (leg 33)

L033 Lobuche (4,930 m / 16,200 ft): We skipped this section, however the guesthouses in the Everest region are usually excellent but expensive.

Ratings (leg 33)

Trail: (unknown)
Route: (unknown)
Accommodation: guesthouse - (unknown)

Stats (leg 33)

Length 7.7 km 4.8 miles
Climb / descent 770 / 200 m 2,530 / 650 ft

Elevation (leg 33)

Leg 34: Lobuche to Gorak Shep

See leg 33

Waypoints (leg 34)

L034 Kala Patthar (5,580 m / 18,300 ft): We skipped this section, but Kala Patthar is a popular viewpoint of the Everest mountain range.

L034 Gorak Shep (5,160 m / 16,900 ft): We skipped this section, however the guesthouses in the Everest region are usually excellent but expensive.

Ratings (leg 34)

Trail: (unknown)
Route: (unknown)
Accommodation: guesthouse - (unknown)

Stats (leg 34)

Length 8.0 km 4.9 miles
Climb / descent 770 / 540 m 2,540 / 1,780 ft

Elevation (leg 34)

Leg 35: Gorak Shep to Lobuche

See leg 33

Waypoints (leg 35)

L035 Everest Base Camp (5,320 m / 17,400 ft): We skipped this section, but Everest Base Camp is a popular tourist attraction.

L035 Lobuche (4,920 m / 16,100 ft): We skipped this section, however the guesthouses in the Everest region are usually excellent but expensive.

Ratings (leg 35)

Trail: (unknown)
Route: (unknown)
Accommodation: guesthouse - (unknown)

Stats (leg 35)

Length 14.2 km 8.8 miles
Climb / descent 480 / 730 m 1,590 / 2,400 ft

Elevation (leg 35)

Leg 36: Lobuche to Dzongla

The trail was well maintained and easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 36)

L036 Dzongla (4,830 m / 15,800 ft): We stayed at an excellent, but very expensive guesthouse in Dzongla.

Ratings (leg 36)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 36)

Length 6.4 km 4.0 miles
Climb / descent 230 / 320 m 760 / 1,060 ft

Elevation (leg 36)

Leg 37: Dzongla to Dragnag

The trail was tricky to follow and sometimes obscured by snow in the higher elevations.

Waypoints (leg 37)

L037 Cho La (5,370 m / 17,600 ft): The approach to Cho La involved some scrambling and a short hike across a relatively flat section of glacier. It was free of crevasses and crampons were not needed when we crossed, however if conditions were bad this section could be problematic. The descent on the other side was steep, but a safety cable was fixed on the dangerous sections.

L037 Dragnag (4,680 m / 15,400 ft): We completed legs 37 and 38 in one day, so we didn't stay overnight at Dragnag, but there are several guesthouses.

Ratings (leg 37)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 37)

Length 8.0 km 5.0 miles
Climb / descent 660 / 730 m 2,180 / 2,390 ft

Elevation (leg 37)

Leg 38: Dragnag to Gokyo

The trail crosses an enormous glacier, which is constantly eroding and changing. The path is marked by cairns but these seem to be placed all over the place and don't really mark out a single trail. We took many wrong turns and had to backtrack several times.

Waypoints (leg 38)

L038 Gokyo (4,760 m / 15,600 ft): We stayed at an excellent, but very expensive guesthouse in Gokyo.

L038 Gokyo Ri (5,340 m / 17,500 ft): The route includes the side-trek up to the Gokyo Ri view point and back but we didn't hike this part.

Ratings (leg 38)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 38)

Length 7.5 km 4.7 miles
Climb / descent 780 / 720 m 2,570 / 2,350 ft

Elevation (leg 38)

Leg 39: Gokyo to Lumde

The trail was mostly easy to follow, becoming tricky in the higher elevations on the approach to the pass, and improving again on the descent down to Lumde.

Waypoints (leg 39)

L039 Renjo La (5,390 m / 17,700 ft): The approach to Renjo La was a relatively easy hike - not as technical as Cho La. The down climb on the other side was very steep but the trail was a very well maintained stone steps which made descending easy. If snow obscures the path, this down climb could become very dangerous.

L039 Lumde (4,360 m / 14,300 ft): We stayed at an excellent guesthouse in Lumde.

Ratings (leg 39)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 39)

Length 12.4 km 7.7 miles
Climb / descent 840 / 1,230 m 2,750 / 4,030 ft

Elevation (leg 39)

Leg 40: Lumde to Thame

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 40)

L040 Thame (3,790 m / 12,400 ft): We stayed at an excellent guesthouse in Thame.

Ratings (leg 40)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 40)

Length 9.5 km 5.9 miles
Climb / descent 180 / 750 m 570 / 2,460 ft

Elevation (leg 40)

Leg 41: Thame to Thyangbo

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 41)

L041 Thyangbo (4,310 m / 14,100 ft): We stayed at a basic guesthouse in Thyangbo. I believe this guesthouse is not open all the time, and it was the only option when we stayed here, so best to enquire in Thame if you plan to stay here.

Ratings (leg 41)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 41)

Length 5.0 km 3.1 miles
Climb / descent 610 / 90 m 1,990 / 300 ft

Elevation (leg 41)

Leg 42: Thyangbo to Tashi Labsta Camp

The trail started off easy to follow, but because progressively harder as the day went on. The final part to the campsite was a scramble up a steep rocky slope.

Waypoints (leg 42)

L042 Shelter (4,870 m / 16,000 ft): This is a nice, clean shelter. It seems to be relatively new as of spring 2019.

L042 Tashi Labsta Camp (5,220 m / 17,100 ft): We stayed overnight at this very exposed, windy, rocky camp site. This was one of the worst camp sites of the trek. If conditions aren't perfect, I would recommend considering staying overnight at the shelter. If you do this, be sure to leave early the next day because it adds 1.2km and a 330m climb to the day.

Ratings (leg 42)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: campsite - 1/5 (awful)

Stats (leg 42)

Length 5.5 km 3.4 miles
Climb / descent 1,000 / 90 m 3,270 / 290 ft

Elevation (leg 42)

Leg 43: Tashi Labsta Camp to Glacier Camp

The route is on crevassed, glaciated terrain for most of the day. Although not as technical as Amphu Labsta, the same warnings apply. The safest route across Tashi Labsta may change year-to-year so an experienced mountaineer in the group is absolutely essential. Full mountaineering gear is required for this leg.

Waypoints (leg 43)

L043 Tashi Labsta (5,770 m / 18,900 ft): The approach to Tashi Labsta is up a huge steep pile of glacial moraine with constant danger of rocks slipping. We then climbed a very steep snow bank, which required ropes and crampons. The final section across the glacier and up to the pass was under cliffs with constant danger of rock fall from above. The first half of the descent down from the pass was extremely difficult, following the glacier with many crevasses to cross. The final part of the descent was even worse where we had to climb down a stream gully with water splashing all over us.

L043 Glacier Camp (4,880 m / 16,000 ft): We stayed overnight at this very rocky area on the glacier. I suspect that a better site could be found given more time but the sun was going down so we took the first opportunity to pitch the tent.

Ratings (leg 43)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 1/5 (awful)

Stats (leg 43)

Length 8.4 km 5.2 miles
Climb / descent 770 / 1,110 m 2,530 / 3,630 ft

Elevation (leg 43)

Leg 44: Glacier Camp to Na

The first half of this leg follows the glacier, a huge boulder field. An altogether unpleasant experience. There is a trail along the top of the lateral moraine on the left side, and I believe it starts earlier than we picked it up, so I would recommend trying to climb the moraine before our route does. The second half of the day was an easy to follow trail down the Na.

Waypoints (leg 44)

L044 Na (4,180 m / 13,700 ft): We stayed at an excellent guesthouse in Na.

Ratings (leg 44)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 44)

Length 13.6 km 8.5 miles
Climb / descent 520 / 1,210 m 1,690 / 3,980 ft

Elevation (leg 44)

Leg 45: Na to Beding

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 45)

L045 Beding (3,710 m / 12,200 ft): We stayed at a basic guesthouse in Beding. We hiked this section out of season, so this guesthouse was the only option. If you hike this in peak season there are many other options.

Ratings (leg 45)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 45)

Length 6.2 km 3.9 miles
Climb / descent 150 / 620 m 490 / 2,030 ft

Elevation (leg 45)

Leg 46: Beding to Dokhang

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 46)

L046 Dokhang (2,790 m / 9,150 ft): We stayed at an excellent guesthouse in Dokhang. We had the best Dal Bhat of the entire trek here, and it was also the cheapest.

Ratings (leg 46)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 46)

Length 10.3 km 6.4 miles
Climb / descent 550 / 1,360 m 1,800 / 4,450 ft

Elevation (leg 46)

Leg 47: Dokhang to Simigaon

Easy hike along along well maintained trail. The rating is for the guesthouse we stayed in at Gonggar. Guesthouses in Simigaon may well be better.

Waypoints (leg 47)

L047 Simigaon (1,980 m / 6,510 ft): We actually hiked past Simigaon and spent the night at Gonggar which I think was a mistake. Simigaon seemed much nicer and higher elevation so it wasn't so hot and humid.

Ratings (leg 47)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 47)

Length 9.4 km 5.8 miles
Climb / descent 670 / 1,460 m 2,190 / 4,790 ft

Elevation (leg 47)

Leg 48: Simigaon to Orangdanda

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 48)

L048 Gonggar (1,280 m / 4,180 ft): We skipped Simigaon the previous day and spent the night at a very basic guesthouse Gonggar, which was a miserable place. It's the base station for a major hydroelectric project, so full of lorries, and much lower so very hot and humid. I would recommend staying at Simigaon.

L048 Orangdanda (1,980 m / 6,490 ft): We stayed at a basic homestay in Orangdanda. There were so many flies in the room that we erected the inner tent in the middle of the room and slept on the floor.

Ratings (leg 48)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: homestay - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 48)

Length 13.4 km 8.3 miles
Climb / descent 1,610 / 1,520 m 5,290 / 4,990 ft

Elevation (leg 48)

Leg 49: Orangdanda to Laduk

Easy hike along along a dirt road.

Waypoints (leg 49)

L049 Laduk (2,050 m / 6,710 ft): We stayed in a nice homestay in Laduk. There is an Eco Himal guesthouse in Laduk but it is only open in peak season so closed when we visited.

Ratings (leg 49)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: homestay - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 49)

Length 8.7 km 5.4 miles
Climb / descent 670 / 610 m 2,200 / 2,000 ft

Elevation (leg 49)

Leg 50: Laduk to Loting

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 50)

L050 Loting (1,770 m / 5,790 ft): We stayed at a nice guesthouse in Loting.

Ratings (leg 50)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 50)

Length 12.5 km 7.8 miles
Climb / descent 780 / 1,010 m 2,570 / 3,330 ft

Elevation (leg 50)

Leg 51: Loting to Bigu Gompa

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 51)

L051 Bigu Gompa (2,500 m / 8,200 ft): We stayed at an excellent, but very expensive guesthouse in Bigu Gompa.

Ratings (leg 51)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 51)

Length 14.9 km 9.2 miles
Climb / descent 1,620 / 880 m 5,300 / 2,900 ft

Elevation (leg 51)

Leg 52: Bigu Gompa to Tinsang Kewa

A tricky trail to follow, especially around the River waypoint.

Waypoints (leg 52)

L052 Road (2,240 m / 7,340 ft): As you leave Bigu Gompa, be sure to descend all the way down to the road marked by this waypoint. We took a footpath higher up the valley, which led up the river valley to the north. We continued for an hour before realising it was not possible to continue that way, and had to backtrack all the way to the road.

L052 River (2,490 m / 8,160 ft): We bushwhacked up a river valley for an hour here. I suspect that this was not needed, and the road maybe joins up. However looking at satellite pictures of the area is inconclusive.

L052 Tinsang Kewa (3,280 m / 10,800 ft): We stayed at an excellent campsite at Tinsang Kewa. There was also a small building - the people inside said we could stay there but it was rather dirty and the campsite was so good we chose to camp instead.

Ratings (leg 52)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 52)

Length 12.2 km 7.6 miles
Climb / descent 1,490 / 770 m 4,900 / 2,530 ft

Elevation (leg 52)

Leg 53: Tinsang Kewa to Sano Jyandan

The first part of this leg was a very dangerous traverse across a steep hillside above cliffs with very little in the way of a path - a slip here could have been deadly. We then had to negotiate a section of dense rhododendron bushes with many dead-ends and backtracking. Hundreds of leeches were a major annoyance. After that we found a dirt road, but a major navigational blunder meant we missed the correct trail Sano Jyandan. We didn't stay at Sano Jyandan, so the rating is for the guesthouse we stayed at in Madre. However, I have left the route going via Sano Jyandan and I would recommend you try to follow it. If anyone has successfully completed this section, please get in touch (dave@brophy.uk) because I'd love to integrate your GPS tracks into this route. Note that in the vlog I incorrectly state that we passed Sano Jyandan, in fact our track turns off well before this.

Waypoints (leg 53)

L053 Warning (3,040 m / 9,980 ft): We made a huge navigational blunder here. The dirt road follows a switchback to the left, and we assumed it followed the route towards Sano Jyandan. We were wrong and it continued in completely the wrong direction down into the basin to the south. The correct route traverses along the ridge to Sano Jyandan before descending towards the north. As we descended we slowly realised that the road would not be rejoining the correct route, but by the time we fully understood this we had lost significant elevation, and the climb back up to the ridge seemed too far. We continued descending, hoping that the road would eventually lead us west and follow the hillside around towards the north. We realise the road we were on didn't go that way, but a road below us did head that way, so we bushwhacked down to the lower road. This ended up being a major detour and we ended up staying at a homestay at Madre. I have left the route going to Sano Jyandan, but it should be noted that we didn't hike it past this waypoint. The route in the GPX file after this point is just copied from the paper maps, so should not be relied upon.

L053 Madre (2,080 m / 6,830 ft): We stayed at a basic guesthouse in Madre, which was the result of a major navigational blunder. I would recommend trying to stick to the route and find Sano Jyandan.

L053 Sano Jyandan (2,920 m / 9,570 ft): This is the approximate location of Sano Jyandan. We made a major navigational blunder and stayed at Madre instead of here.

Ratings (leg 53)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 53)

Length 7.9 km 4.9 miles
Climb / descent 420 / 790 m 1,360 / 2,580 ft

Elevation (leg 53)

Leg 54: Sano Jyandan to Last Resort

Our navigational blunder from the previous day meant we skipped most of this leg, however I suspect the section we missed is tricky, since there is no trail shown on digital maps.

Waypoints (leg 54)

L054 Rejoin (2,100 m / 6,900 ft): We rejoined the route at this waypoint. The route in the GPX file before this point is just copied from the paper maps, so should not be relied upon.

L054 Last Resort (1,210 m / 3,980 ft): We stayed at the extremely luxurious, but very expensive eco tent resort of Last Resort, which has good road links to Kathmandu.

Ratings (leg 54)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 54)

Length 11.9 km 7.4 miles
Climb / descent 480 / 1,740 m 1,570 / 5,720 ft

Elevation (leg 54)

Leg 55: Last Resort to Chagam

Easy hike along along a dirt road. Note that the paper maps any other itineraries take a higher path via Shotang Kharka towards Kyansin. We took the lower route which seemed like a better trail via Chagam. The adventurous among you may try following the paper maps via Shotang Kharka.

Waypoints (leg 55)

L055 Chagam (2,570 m / 8,420 ft): We stayed at a nice homestay in Chagam.

Ratings (leg 55)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: homestay - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 55)

Length 11.1 km 6.9 miles
Climb / descent 1,840 / 490 m 6,040 / 1,620 ft

Elevation (leg 55)

Leg 56: Chagam to Kyansin

The trail was very tricky to follow, with frequent sections of bushwhacking.

Waypoints (leg 56)

L056 Kyansin (2,520 m / 8,260 ft): We stayed at a basic homestay in Kyansin.

Ratings (leg 56)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 2/5 (below average)
Accommodation: homestay - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 56)

Length 11.5 km 7.1 miles
Climb / descent 1,300 / 1,300 m 4,250 / 4,260 ft

Elevation (leg 56)

Leg 57: Kyansin to Tembathang

The trail was reasonably easy to follow. We spent considerable effort trying to find a local guide to take us to Tilman's Pass. We didn't find one in the end, and it proved completely unnecessary - the GPX route is all we needed and found the pass easily.

Waypoints (leg 57)

L057 Tembathang (2,220 m / 7,280 ft): We hiked on further than Tembathang, but I'm sure a basic homestay could be found there.

Ratings (leg 57)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: homestay - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 57)

Length 8.7 km 5.4 miles
Climb / descent 900 / 1,160 m 2,970 / 3,810 ft

Elevation (leg 57)

Leg 58: Tembathang to Panch Pokhari

The trail was reasonably easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 58)

L058 Thepu (2,220 m / 7,290 ft): We hiked on past Tembathang yesterday, so stayed overnight at a basic homestay in Thepu.

L058 Kharka (3,970 m / 13,000 ft): We actually split this leg over two days and camped at a nice flat kharka here. This made the second day very short so I would recommend pushing on to Panch Pokhari.

L058 Panch Pokhari (4,060 m / 13,300 ft): Panch Pokhari has several guesthouses but it was completely deserted out of season. We found one building that was open so slept in that overnight.

Ratings (leg 58)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: shelter - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 58)

Length 13.1 km 8.1 miles
Climb / descent 2,510 / 810 m 8,240 / 2,650 ft

Elevation (leg 58)

Leg 59: Panch Pokhari to Tin Pokhari

The trail was tricky to follow at times, but the route is correct and the terrain is quite open so going in the right direction shouldn't be a problem.

Waypoints (leg 59)

L059 Tin Pokhari (4,180 m / 13,700 ft): We stayed at a nice campsite in Tin Pokhari.

Ratings (leg 59)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 59)

Length 11.1 km 6.9 miles
Climb / descent 1,110 / 1,040 m 3,630 / 3,410 ft

Elevation (leg 59)

Leg 60: Tin Pokhari to High South Camp

The trail follows the glacier up to Tillmans Pass, and involves scrambling over glacial boulder fields for most of the day. I believe we made a mistake by following the lateral moraine on the west side of the glacier. A better option would be to get on the east side. This would mean less scrambling since you don't have to cross a second glacier that joins from the west.

Waypoints (leg 60)

L060 High South Camp (4,960 m / 16,300 ft): We stayed at a horrible rocky campsite on the glacier at High South Camp.

Ratings (leg 60)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 1/5 (awful)

Stats (leg 60)

Length 6.5 km 4.0 miles
Climb / descent 930 / 140 m 3,060 / 470 ft

Elevation (leg 60)

Leg 61: High South Camp to High North Camp

The route crosses crevassed, glaciated terrain. Although not as technical as Tashi Labsta or Amphu Labsta, care is needed. The safest route across Tilman's Pass may change year-to-year so some mountaineering experience is recommended. Full mountaineering gear is recommended for this leg.

Waypoints (leg 61)

L061 Tilman's Pass (5,300 m / 17,400 ft): The approach to Tilman's Pass is up a steep icy glacial slope. When we crossed, crampons and ice axe were sufficient for safety but if conditions were different, ropes may have been needed. The descent was less steep but again if conditions were worse it could be more tricky.

L061 High North Camp (4,550 m / 14,900 ft): After a long scramble down the glacial boulder field we found a reasonably nice campsite here. I believe we hiked further down the glacier than is indicated on the paper maps, but I would recommend pushing on to here because it's a nice flat grassy area.

Ratings (leg 61)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 61)

Length 6.2 km 3.8 miles
Climb / descent 460 / 880 m 1,510 / 2,870 ft

Elevation (leg 61)

Leg 62: High North Camp to Kyangjin Gompa

We had major problems here. The route before the Langtang Khola crossing is very wild - no trail on the ground and often bushwhacking through dense shrubland. Moving through this terrain is slow and frustrating. We descended the Langshisha Khola from the campsite on the west moraine towards Langshisha Kharka. This was a bad decision because the only bridge over the Langtang Khola was on the east side of the Langshisha Khola. We spent most of the day bushwhacking back up the Langshisha Khola through dense shrubland to find a safe place to cross, only to give up and return to Langshisha Kharka to camp overnight. We continued searching early the next morning, hoping the water would be lower. It was noticeably lower but still too dangerous to cross. Our party split up, and the two others managed to cross the Langshisha Khola nearer the glacier. Mathi and I eventually made a very dangerous crossing of the Langtang Khola assisted by a rope. We were swept away by the fast flowing river and dragged to safety by the others on the opposite side. This was a really bad idea and not recommended in the slightest. I have updated the route to immediately descend from the camp site and cross the Langshisha Khola as soon as possible. From there, it continues down on the east side to the bridge. This is not the route we hiked, so be aware this is just a suggested route. Also be aware that this was the situation in spring 2019, and the bridge may have been changed. Also with less water in the river this could have been a completely different experience. After you cross the Langtang Khola to the north bank you pick up the Langtang trail which is well maintained and easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 62)

L062 Cross (4,410 m / 14,500 ft): Although we didn't hike this way, my advice is to cross the Langshisha Khola approximately here, as high as possible.

L062 Bridge (4,120 m / 13,500 ft): There was a bridge over the Langtang Khola here (spring 2019).

L062 Langshisha Khola (4,240 m / 13,900 ft): The Langshisha Khola is the drainage river of the Langshisha Glacier that yesterday's route follows. My advice is to cross this as soon as possible and descend on the east bank.

L062 Langtang Khola (4,090 m / 13,400 ft): The Langtang Khola is a large river that flows down the Langtang valley. The only bridge we found over this river was to the east of the confluence with the Langshisha Khola.

L062 Langshisha Kharka (4,130 m / 13,600 ft): We camped here overnight. I would not recommend going here.

L062 Kyangjin Gompa (3,870 m / 12,700 ft): Stayed overnight in a nice guesthouse in Kyangjin Gompa.

Ratings (leg 62)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 62)

Length 15.7 km 9.8 miles
Climb / descent 420 / 1,100 m 1,370 / 3,610 ft

Elevation (leg 62)

Leg 63: Kyangjin Gompa to Changdam

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 63)

L063 Changdam (2,470 m / 8,100 ft): Stayed overnight in a basic guesthouse in Changdam.

Ratings (leg 63)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 63)

Length 18.6 km 11.5 miles
Climb / descent 600 / 2,000 m 1,980 / 6,560 ft

Elevation (leg 63)

Leg 64: Changdam to Syabru Besi

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 64)

L064 Syabru Besi (1,460 m / 4,790 ft): Stayed overnight in an excellent guesthouse in Syabru Besi, which is a large town with many hotels and good road links to Kathmandu.

Ratings (leg 64)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 64)

Length 11.2 km 6.9 miles
Climb / descent 540 / 1,500 m 1,770 / 4,910 ft

Elevation (leg 64)

Leg 65: Syabru Besi to Gatlang

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 65)

L065 Gatlang (2,290 m / 7,500 ft): Stayed overnight in a nice guesthouse in Gatlang.

Ratings (leg 65)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 65)

Length 11.8 km 7.3 miles
Climb / descent 1,560 / 720 m 5,120 / 2,360 ft

Elevation (leg 65)

Leg 66: Gatlang to Somdang

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 66)

L066 Somdang (3,270 m / 10,700 ft): Stayed overnight in a nice guesthouse in Somdang.

Ratings (leg 66)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 66)

Length 12.7 km 7.9 miles
Climb / descent 1,920 / 960 m 6,300 / 3,150 ft

Elevation (leg 66)

Leg 67: Somdang to Tipling

Take care to find where the footpath diverges from the road. We made a navigational blunder by following the road too far. The road leads to Tipling but switchbacks mean it is 29km long instead of 14km on the footpath. In the end we bushwhacked for an hour back to the footpath. Once you're on the footpath it's relatively easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 67)

L067 Footpath (3,780 m / 12,400 ft): This is approximately where the footpath diverges from the road. Take care to find the footpath.

L067 Tipling (2,050 m / 6,720 ft): Stayed overnight in a basic homestay in Tipling.

Ratings (leg 67)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: homestay - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 67)

Length 14.1 km 8.8 miles
Climb / descent 1,050 / 1,910 m 3,440 / 6,260 ft

Elevation (leg 67)

Leg 68: Tipling to Lapagaon

Heavy rain in the afternoon meant we split this leg over two days and stayed overnight at Borang. The trail was relatively well maintained and easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 68)

L068 Borang (1,580 m / 5,190 ft): Although not on the itinerary, we stayed overnight in a nice guesthouse in Borang.

L068 Lapagaon (1,850 m / 6,080 ft): Stayed overnight in a very basic guesthouse in Lapagaon.

Ratings (leg 68)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 68)

Length 13.7 km 8.5 miles
Climb / descent 1,330 / 1,510 m 4,370 / 4,950 ft

Elevation (leg 68)

Leg 69: Lapagaon to Dharot

We stopped early and stayed the night in a barn at Myangal Kharka because we were both ill. The next day our original route took a more direct path via Nauban Kharka, but despite extensive searching we could not find a trail on the ground. This difficulty was confirmed by other trekkers, so I've adjusted the route to follow the trail we took down to Dharot. The trail was occasionally tricky to follow with sections of bushwhacking on the descent to Dharot.

Waypoints (leg 69)

L069 Myangal Kharka (2,940 m / 9,650 ft): We were both sick so we stopped early and stayed the night at a nice shelter in Myangal Kharka.

L069 Nauban Kharka (2,000 m / 6,550 ft): Our original itinerary takes a more direct route via Nauban Kharka, but we could not find this trail on the ground, so never made it here. Note this is just the approximate location copied from the paper maps.

L069 Dharot (1,550 m / 5,080 ft): We stayed overnight at a basic guesthouse in Dharot.

Ratings (leg 69)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 69)

Length 14.6 km 9.1 miles
Climb / descent 1,440 / 1,870 m 4,740 / 6,120 ft

Elevation (leg 69)

Leg 70: Dharot to Khorlabesi

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 70)

L070 Kashigaun (1,910 m / 6,260 ft): We were both sick so we stopped early and stayed overnight at a basic guesthouse in Kashigaun.

L070 Machhakhola (840 m / 2,760 ft): Our original itinerary descends directly to Machhakhola, but we were warned by the locals that the trail is dangerous. I've updated the route to end at Khorlabesi which takes a relatively good trail.

L070 Khorlabesi (880 m / 2,900 ft): We stayed overnight at a nice guesthouse in Khorlabesi.

Ratings (leg 70)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 70)

Length 19.6 km 12.2 miles
Climb / descent 2,130 / 2,730 m 6,980 / 8,950 ft

Elevation (leg 70)

Leg 71: Khorlabesi to Jagat

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 71)

L071 Jagat (1,330 m / 4,360 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent guesthouse in Jagat.

Ratings (leg 71)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 71)

Length 12.9 km 8.0 miles
Climb / descent 1,420 / 850 m 4,660 / 2,780 ft

Elevation (leg 71)

Leg 72: Jagat to Deng

Easy hike along along well maintained trail. Note that the elevation profile of the GPX route is not accurate today. The trail follows a smooth gradient all day without the large climb and descent shown at the end.

Waypoints (leg 72)

L072 Deng (1,880 m / 6,170 ft): We stayed overnight at a nice guesthouse in Deng.

Ratings (leg 72)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 72)

Length 18.7 km 11.6 miles
Climb / descent 2,610 / 1,740 m 8,560 / 5,700 ft

Elevation (leg 72)

Leg 73: Deng to Namrung

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 73)

L073 Namrung (2,610 m / 8,570 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent guesthouse in Namgung.

Ratings (leg 73)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 73)

Length 18.1 km 11.3 miles
Climb / descent 2,710 / 1,990 m 8,870 / 6,540 ft

Elevation (leg 73)

Leg 74: Namrung to Sama

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 74)

L074 Sama (3,520 m / 11,500 ft): We stayed overnight at a basic guesthouse in Sama. I believe better options would be available at peak season but when we stayed here (29th July) most were closed.

Ratings (leg 74)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 74)

Length 16.9 km 10.5 miles
Climb / descent 1,880 / 980 m 6,180 / 3,220 ft

Elevation (leg 74)

Leg 75: Sama to Dharmasala

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 75)

L075 Samdo (3,860 m / 12,700 ft): We stayed overnight at a basic guesthouse in Samdo.

L075 Dharmasala (4,480 m / 14,700 ft): The guesthouses at Dharmasala were all closed when we passed, so we stayed overnight at Samdo instead. Check with the staff in Sama if you plan to stay here.

Ratings (leg 75)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 75)

Length 14.7 km 9.1 miles
Climb / descent 1,360 / 400 m 4,460 / 1,300 ft

Elevation (leg 75)

Leg 76: Dharmasala to Bimtang

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 76)

L076 Larkya La (5,140 m / 16,900 ft): One of the easiest high passes of the trek. The trail was easy to follow and not steep.

L076 Bimtang (3,700 m / 12,200 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent guesthouse in Bimtang.

Ratings (leg 76)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 76)

Length 15.9 km 9.9 miles
Climb / descent 830 / 1,600 m 2,740 / 5,250 ft

Elevation (leg 76)

Leg 77: Bimtang to Dharapani

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 77)

L077 Tilche (2,260 m / 7,420 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent guesthouse in Tilche.

L077 Dharapani (1,880 m / 6,180 ft): We didn't stay overnight in Dharapani but there are excellent guesthouses in most of the villages along the Annapurna trail.

Ratings (leg 77)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 77)

Length 22.6 km 14.0 miles
Climb / descent 1,160 / 2,920 m 3,810 / 9,560 ft

Elevation (leg 77)

Leg 78: Dharapani to Chame

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 78)

L078 Timang (2,600 m / 8,540 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent guesthouse in Timang.

L078 Chame (2,670 m / 8,760 ft): We didn't stay overnight in Chame but there are excellent guesthouses in most of the villages along the Annapurna trail.

Ratings (leg 78)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 78)

Length 15.5 km 9.6 miles
Climb / descent 1,590 / 810 m 5,220 / 2,640 ft

Elevation (leg 78)

Leg 79: Chame to Upper Pisang

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 79)

L079 Bratang (3,800 m / 12,500 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent, but very expensive guesthouse in Bratang.

L079 Upper Pisang (3,300 m / 10,800 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent guesthouse in Upper Pisang.

Ratings (leg 79)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 79)

Length 13.1 km 8.1 miles
Climb / descent 1,740 / 930 m 5,710 / 3,060 ft

Elevation (leg 79)

Leg 80: Upper Pisang to Manang

Easy hike along along well maintained trail. We did an alternative route from the section from Manang to Kagbeni. We had both hiked the standard route via Thorong La before, so instead we hiked to Tilicho Lake and over Mesokanto La to Jomson and on to Kagbeni. This is an excellent option if you want a more remote route. It involves two nights of camping and some tricky to follow trails. I will include trail notes for this option at the end.

Waypoints (leg 80)

L080 Manang (3,550 m / 11,600 ft): We stayed overnight at a nice guesthouse in Manang.

Ratings (leg 80)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 80)

Length 19.4 km 12.1 miles
Climb / descent 1,200 / 960 m 3,940 / 3,160 ft

Elevation (leg 80)

Leg 81: Manang to Thorong Phedi

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 81)

L081 Thorong Phedi (4,550 m / 14,900 ft): We didn't hike this section on our GHT trek, but have both hiked it before. There are nice guesthouses in Thorong Phedi. Check with the staff in Manang because these may be closed out of season.

Ratings (leg 81)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 81)

Length 16.6 km 10.3 miles
Climb / descent 1,560 / 560 m 5,110 / 1,830 ft

Elevation (leg 81)

Leg 82: Thorong Phedi to Muktinath

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 82)

L082 Thorong La (5,410 m / 17,800 ft): We didn't hike this section on our GHT trek, but have both hiked it before. The trail over Thorong La is relatively well maintained and easy to follow.

L082 Muktinath (3,750 m / 12,300 ft): We didn't hike this section on our GHT trek, but have both hiked it before. Muktinath is a large town with many excellent guesthouses.

Ratings (leg 82)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 82)

Length 14.7 km 9.1 miles
Climb / descent 1,000 / 1,720 m 3,270 / 5,630 ft

Elevation (leg 82)

Leg 83: Muktinath to Kagbeni

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 83)

L083 Kagbeni (2,850 m / 9,350 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent guesthouse in Kagbeni.

Ratings (leg 83)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 83)

Length 10.3 km 6.4 miles
Climb / descent 150 / 1,050 m 490 / 3,450 ft

Elevation (leg 83)

Leg 84: Kagbeni to Santa

The trail was occasionally tricky to follow. Be aware that from here onwards for the rest of the trek, the trails have a lot less water sources than the east of the country. There were several days where there was only one water source for the whole day. On a sunny day you may need to start with more water than you're used to.

Waypoints (leg 84)

L084 Santa (3,780 m / 12,400 ft): We stayed overnight at a basic homestay in Santa.

Ratings (leg 84)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: homestay - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 84)

Length 19.9 km 12.4 miles
Climb / descent 2,160 / 1,370 m 7,090 / 4,480 ft

Elevation (leg 84)

Leg 85: Santa to Ghalden Ghuldun

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 85)

L085 Ghalden Ghuldun (4,250 m / 13,900 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent shelter in Ghalden Ghuldun.

Ratings (leg 85)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: shelter - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 85)

Length 8.8 km 5.5 miles
Climb / descent 1,210 / 750 m 3,980 / 2,470 ft

Elevation (leg 85)

Leg 86: Ghalden Ghuldun to Nulungsumda Kharka

Very tricky to follow trail, which was steep with slippery crumbling slate fragments underfoot in places. We made a navigational blunder by following what looked like a horse track on the ground. This led in the wrong direction and we then chose a dangerous exposed traverse instead of backtracking (the route does not take this detour).

Waypoints (leg 86)

L086 Sangda Phedi (5,150 m / 16,900 ft): We stayed overnight at a nice shelter in Sangda Phedi just before the ascent to Jungben La. If you stay overnight here, take note of the options for crossing the river in the morning. When we crossed there was a partially broken bridge, and although the river was shallow, we had to get wet feet. An early morning start at over 5,000m meant that it was well below freezing, and getting wet was very uncomfortable.

L086 Jungben La (5,550 m / 18,200 ft): From the river a very easy 400m ascent up a gravel slope leads to Jungben La.

L086 Niwas La (5,140 m / 16,900 ft): When approaching from the east, Niwas La has no real ascent, and the only real indication you've reached it is a pile of rocks with prayer flags.

L086 Nulungsumda Kharka (4,970 m / 16,300 ft): We didn't actually stay overnight here, but after the descent from Niwas La the terrain flattens out and there is a flat grassy area here. We saw some herders in tents here so you may also be able to get food.

Ratings (leg 86)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 2/5 (below average)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 86)

Length 13.7 km 8.5 miles
Climb / descent 1,550 / 830 m 5,090 / 2,720 ft

Elevation (leg 86)

Leg 87: Nulungsumda Kharka to Chharka Bhot

We had a huge problem here. The trail on the east side of the Thansan Khola was blocked. We backtracked and camped overnight at Norbulung. In the morning we made a very bad decision. I believe the best way would have been to continue towards Chharka Bhot on the west bank after crossing the Thansan Khola. I would recommend doing this, and have left the route going this way to Chharka Bhot even though we didn't go this way. We made the decision to hike up the Yalku Khola, heading towards one of the passes near Chharka Bhot. The upper parts of the Yalku Khola were not passable, and the pass we were aiming for didn't look safe at all. We changed plans several times, and ended up hiking for two days over mountainous terrain with no trails on the map or the ground. The route we took skipped Chharka Bhot entirely and continued directly west across the mountains to the Chap Chu East waypoint, camping overnight at Sipalun Kharka. This part of the route was relatively easy with no particularly dangerous terrain. However, the problem is that you arrive at Chap Chu on the east side of the Bharbun Khola. There is no bridge and when we were there (August 16th) the river was far too swollen to cross. After taking advice from some Yak herders, we followed a rough trail south to Sinjik expecting the water to be lower, however this was incorrect and in fact the water was higher. Sinjik was deserted with a few derelict buildings, and as far as we could see the path finished there and we couldn't go any further south. We were out of options and about to give up when a local man appeared and led us along the most perilous trails I've ever hiked in my life. Slippery rocks with certain death falls inches away. I would highly recommend not trying to repeat this route! After a couple of hours we arrived in Thinmer where we stayed overnight in a basic homestay. Thinmer has a bridge over the Bharbun Khola, and the trail north to Chap Chu on the west side of the river was safe and well maintained. If you would like our detailed GPS tracks for this route, you can find them in our raw GPX logs (days 123-126), however be warned that the section from Sinjik to Thinmer was exceedingly dangerous and I would absolutely not repeat it myself.

Waypoints (leg 87)

L087 Thansan Khola (4,680 m / 15,300 ft): The Thansan Khola flows north towards Chharka Bhot, and all digital / printed maps show a trail following the east bank.

L087 Cross (4,760 m / 15,600 ft): The Thansan Khola is shallow at this point and we easily crossed (August 15th). My recommendation is to cross here to the west side and continue to Chharka Bhot this way. Note we didn't hike this way, so the route is only approximate and you may need to cross the river again before reaching Chharka Bhot.

L087 Blocked (4,730 m / 15,500 ft): The trail on the east side of the Thansan Khola was blocked here. With less water in the river it may be possible to pass this point by wading in the water, but when we were here (August 15th) it was completely impossible. Note that we didn't hike past this point, but I have left the route going this way as per the digital / paper maps.

L087 Norbulung (4,760 m / 15,600 ft): We stayed overnight at a nice flat grassy campsite.

L087 Chharka Bhot (4,300 m / 14,100 ft): We didn't stay here, but I believe Chharka Bhot is a small village where you might be able to arrange a basic homestay.

L087 Yalku Khola (4,850 m / 15,900 ft): We made a bad decision to follow the Yalku Khola upstream trying to find an alternative route to Chharka Bhot.

L087 Sipalun Kharka (5,220 m / 17,100 ft): We stayed overnight at a relatively flat area here.

L087 Chap Chu East (4,260 m / 14,000 ft): This is on the opposite side of the river to Chap Chu, and we found no safe way to cross.

L087 Sinjik (4,080 m / 13,400 ft): We were expecting to be able to stay overnight in a homestay in Sinjik, but the buildings were all derelict and nobody was living there.

L087 Thinmer (4,050 m / 13,300 ft): The path we followed south from Sinjik to Thinmer was extremely dangerous and I would not repeat it. Thinmer is a small village and we stayed overnight in basic homestay. There is a bridge over the Bharbun Khola at Thinmer and the trail leading north towards Chap Chu on the west side is safe and well maintained.

L087 Bharbun Khola (4,120 m / 13,500 ft): The Bharbun Khola flows south from Chharka Bhot, past Sinjik and Thinmer. It was far too dangerous to cross when we were there (August 15th).

Ratings (leg 87)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: guesthouse - (unknown)

Stats (leg 87)

Length 22.0 km 13.7 miles
Climb / descent 670 / 1,330 m 2,190 / 4,370 ft

Elevation (leg 87)

Leg 88: Chharka Bhot to Chap Chu

Extreme care should be taken if hiking this route from Chharka Bhot to Chap Chu. We did not hike this way, and the route is just copied from the paper maps. There is no trail shown on digital maps, which usually indicates the trail on the ground is tenuous or non-existent. The guidebook mentions there are several crossings of the Bharbun Khola required with no bridge. We only saw that river south (downstream) of Chap Chu, but I would expect crossing it would have been impossible even further upstream when we were there (August 16th). The guidebook and paper maps mention an alternative trail that takes a more remote northerly route from Chharka Bhot to Dho Tarap via Mola La (5030m) and Jhyarkoi La (5360m). I suggest you talk to locals at Chharka Bhot and work out the best option considering the current conditions. It may be possible to arrange a local guide - I would highly recommend that. Again I must stress that I believe this leg would have been impossible when we were here (August 16th) due to the river being too swollen. If you find a reliable, safe route through this section, please contact me (dave@brophy.uk) because I would love to use your GPS tracks and trail notes here.

Waypoints (leg 88)

L088 Chap Chu (4,340 m / 14,200 ft): We stayed at an excellent flat grassy campsite at Chap Chu. There were some very friendly herders living in tents that sold us instant noodles. Note that we arrived at Chap Chu via a different route from the south (see notes for leg 87).

Ratings (leg 88)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 88)

Length 13.5 km 8.4 miles
Climb / descent 750 / 710 m 2,450 / 2,340 ft

Elevation (leg 88)

Leg 89: Chap Chu to Dho Tarap

The first half of this leg was extremely tricky, and required long sections of bushwhacking through dense shrubland. There were several crossings of a river, which was small enough that we managed to avoid getting our feet wet by hopping across rocks. As soon as we climbed above the treeline the terrain become easier to traverse and a trail on the ground became apparent. The ascent to the pass and the descent into Dho Tarap were much easier to navigate. There are several small rivers crossings with no bridges, but none were more than ankle deep (August 19th).

Waypoints (leg 89)

L089 Chan La (5,380 m / 17,600 ft): The ascent to Chan La was relatively easy. The slope leading to the pass was steep gravel but the trail was well worn and provided good footing. Again on the descent the trail proved easy to follow and stable underfoot.

L089 Dho Tarap (4,080 m / 13,400 ft): Dho Tarap is a paradise of rolling green pastures and fields of crops. The town is very basic but there is one nice clean guesthouse where we stayed.

Ratings (leg 89)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 2/5 (below average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 89)

Length 20.1 km 12.5 miles
Climb / descent 1,210 / 1,460 m 3,950 / 4,800 ft

Elevation (leg 89)

Leg 90: Dho Tarap to Danigar

The trail out of Dho Tarap was a very easy hike along along a well maintained trail. As we approached the pass the trail became less well defined but the terrain above the treeline was open and easy to traverse. Past the pass it got easier with a more well defined trail.

Waypoints (leg 90)

L090 Numa La (5,310 m / 17,400 ft): The ascent to Numa La was relatively easy. The trail on the ground was tenuous and not well marked, but the terrain was open and easy to traverse.

L090 Danigar (4,480 m / 14,700 ft): We stayed overnight at a nice flat grassy campsite. There were some herders living in tents here.

Ratings (leg 90)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 90)

Length 19.2 km 11.9 miles
Climb / descent 1,550 / 1,160 m 5,070 / 3,790 ft

Elevation (leg 90)

Leg 91: Danigar to Ringmo

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 91)

L091 Baga La (5,170 m / 16,900 ft): The crossing of Baga La receives plenty of foot traffic from regular trips by pack animals, so was well trodden and easy to follow.

L091 Ringmo (3,630 m / 11,900 ft): Ringmo is a small town, and we were expecting luxury accommodation options. However I think out of season (August 22nd) many of the guesthouses were closed. We stayed at a nice guesthouse.

Ratings (leg 91)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 91)

Length 17.4 km 10.8 miles
Climb / descent 1,350 / 2,200 m 4,410 / 7,200 ft

Elevation (leg 91)

Leg 92: Ringmo to Phoksundo Khola Camp

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail along the edge of the utterly spectacular Phoksundo Lake.

Waypoints (leg 92)

L092 Phoksundo Khola Camp (3,620 m / 11,900 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent flat grassy campsite at Phoksundo Khola Camp. There were some friendly herders living in tents here.

Ratings (leg 92)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: campsite - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 92)

Length 7.8 km 4.9 miles
Climb / descent 1,010 / 1,020 m 3,300 / 3,360 ft

Elevation (leg 92)

Leg 93: Phoksundo Khola Camp to Pass Camp

The first half of this leg was a very easy hike up a wide flat river valley along a well maintained trail. As soon as we turned right up the narrow gorge it completely changed. This section was extremely technical, scrambling up 900m of elevation over large rock obstacles. It involved dangerous leaps between rocks to cross the river numerous times. There was no trail marked on the ground, and we had to backtrack several times to find safer places to cross the river.

Waypoints (leg 93)

L093 Gorge (3,740 m / 12,300 ft): This is the start of a very tricky steep gorge with scrambling and many tricky river crossings.

L093 Pass Camp (4,640 m / 15,200 ft): This was the first flat camping option we found since starting the ascent of the gorge. It was flat but very rocky.

Ratings (leg 93)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: campsite - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 93)

Length 12.7 km 7.9 miles
Climb / descent 1,390 / 360 m 4,550 / 1,190 ft

Elevation (leg 93)

Leg 94: Pass Camp to Shey Gompa

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 94)

L094 Nagdalo La (5,340 m / 17,500 ft): The ascent was relatively easy and not particularly steep. On the descent, after a short steep section at the top, the trail was well marked and easy to follow.

L094 Shey Gompa (4,320 m / 14,200 ft): We stayed overnight in a nice shelter in the grounds of the temple at Shey Gompa.

Ratings (leg 94)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: shelter - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 94)

Length 10.3 km 6.4 miles
Climb / descent 730 / 1,100 m 2,390 / 3,610 ft

Elevation (leg 94)

Leg 95: Shey Gompa to Bhijer

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 95)

L095 Bhijer (3,860 m / 12,700 ft): There was one basic guesthouse in Bhijer, but the owner was out of town so we stayed overnight in a basic homestay.

Ratings (leg 95)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: homestay - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 95)

Length 18.6 km 11.6 miles
Climb / descent 1,370 / 1,840 m 4,500 / 6,020 ft

Elevation (leg 95)

Leg 96: Bhijer to Pho

The trail was well marked and easy to follow, but very steep and perilous in places. We only found one source of fresh water on this leg, so you may be advised to start the day with more if the weather is sunny.

Waypoints (leg 96)

L096 Pho (4,090 m / 13,400 ft): We stayed at a basic homestay in Pho.

Ratings (leg 96)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: homestay - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 96)

Length 12.6 km 7.8 miles
Climb / descent 1,740 / 1,450 m 5,710 / 4,770 ft

Elevation (leg 96)

Leg 97: Pho to Pung Kharka

I believe we made a navigational error when departing Pho. We headed approximately north towards the rightmost of two chortens that were visible in the distance from the village. After passing the chorten, the trail stopped and we spent the three hours bushwhacking across steep shrubland to the ridge. If I was to hike this leg again I'd try aiming for the leftmost chorten and hope that the trail continues all the way to the ridge. When we reached the ridge, we found a trail that seemed to come from the south from the general direction of Pho, so I believe this was an easier route. However the terrain was relatively open so the section of bushwhacking didn't post any significant dangers. I have left the route following our track. If you find a better route through this section, please contact me (dave@brophy.uk) because I would love to use your GPS track. Once we reached the ridge, we found a trail that was relatively easy to follow. Take note of the waypoint that marks the descent from the ridge because it may be easy to miss.

Waypoints (leg 97)

L097 Ridge (4,980 m / 16,300 ft): Once you reach this ridge, the ascent to the pass is relatively well trodden and easy to follow.

L097 Gyanzen La (5,530 m / 18,100 ft): The ascent to the pass, and the descent on the other side is relatively well trodden and easy to follow.

L097 Descent (5,410 m / 17,800 ft): Watch out for this waypoint, which marks where the trail leaves the ridge and descends into the valley to the north. It may be easy to miss if conditions aren't perfect.

L097 Pung Kharka (4,530 m / 14,800 ft): We stayed overnight at a flat gravely area at Pung Kharka.

Ratings (leg 97)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 97)

Length 13.7 km 8.5 miles
Climb / descent 1,740 / 1,310 m 5,720 / 4,300 ft

Elevation (leg 97)

Leg 98: Pung Kharka to Chyandi Khola

Simple hike along along an easy to follow trail, with a tricky point on the ascent to the pass (see waypoints).

Waypoints (leg 98)

L098 Climb (4,820 m / 15,800 ft): I believe we made a navigational blunder here. This waypoint marks where we started climbing up the steep grassy hill towards the pass. After half an hour of bushwhacking we came across a well trodden trail coming from the south. I believe that this trail ascends from the valley starting further south from this waypoint, and you should try to find it. The gradient was very steep on this section and a fall would have been very bad.

L098 Yala La (5,400 m / 17,700 ft): After we found the trail, the rest of the ascent and the descent on the other side of Yala La was relatively well trodden and easy to follow.

L098 Chyandi Khola (4,700 m / 15,400 ft): We stayed overnight at the best campsite of the trek at Chyandi Khola. A large flat grassy area near the river with spectacular views of the mountains.

Ratings (leg 98)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 2/5 (below average)
Accommodation: campsite - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 98)

Length 12.3 km 7.7 miles
Climb / descent 1,040 / 870 m 3,420 / 2,840 ft

Elevation (leg 98)

Leg 99: Chyandi Khola to Takla Khola

We made a string of bad decisions today that resulted in the most dangerous situation of the trek. We missed a trail and continued hiking down the Chyandi Khola directly next to the river. As we continued the banks became increasingly steep and we had to pass increasingly dangerous obstacles to continue following the river. As the number of perilous situations we encountered grew, the prospect of backtracking through them again seemed more and more problematic. In the end, it was impossible to continue, and we made the decision to climb out of the river gorge up a steep bank. This was utterly idiotic and could have easily cost us our lives. We had no idea what was above us, and the terrain was so steep that we were basically rock climbing with no safety equipment. When we reached the top of the ridge, we found a well trodden trail that led down to a bridge over the Kaitpuchonam Khola. Neither of us were in any mood for more adventures, so we camped as soon as we crossed the bridge. I have adjusted the route to follow where I'm guessing the trail comes from, but be aware that we completely missed it, so this is very approximate. We completed the rest of this leg to Takla Khola the next day, which was tricky to follow and very steep in places.

Waypoints (leg 99)

L099 Trail (4,280 m / 14,000 ft): We missed the trail that leads higher up the north bank of the Chyandi Khola river, so I can only guess where it starts. Be thorough searching for it, because you don't want to get into the same mess that we did.

L099 Warning (4,460 m / 14,600 ft): If you find yourself still following close to the river bank at this waypoint, I would highly recommend backtracking and trying to find the trail further up the hillside to the north.

L099 Disaster (4,270 m / 14,000 ft): This is where we made the insane decision to climb out of the river gorge. Don't do this.

L099 Kaitpuchonam Khola (4,170 m / 13,700 ft): We camped here in a cramped campsite directly after a small bridge over the Kaitpuchonam Khola river.

L099 Takla Khola (3,750 m / 12,300 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent flat campsite in the woods.

Ratings (leg 99)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 1/5 (major problems)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 99)

Length 12.0 km 7.5 miles
Climb / descent 970 / 2,110 m 3,180 / 6,930 ft

Elevation (leg 99)

Leg 100: Takla Khola to Thajuchaur

The first part of the trail in the forest was occasionally tricky to follow. Above the treeline it got a lot easier, and the trail was relatively well trodden and easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 100)

L100 Chyargo La (5,130 m / 16,800 ft): The Chyargo La pass was relatively easy, with the trail on the ascent and descent being relatively easy to follow.

L100 Thajuchaur (4,050 m / 13,300 ft): We stayed overnight at a nice flat grassy campsite at Thajuchaur.

Ratings (leg 100)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 100)

Length 11.2 km 7.0 miles
Climb / descent 1,420 / 1,120 m 4,640 / 3,670 ft

Elevation (leg 100)

Leg 101: Thajuchaur to Shilenchaura Kharka

The trail was reasonably easy to follow, but several sections were more tricky, and very overgrown with foliage. Care was needed to stay on the trail.

Waypoints (leg 101)

L101 Shilenchaura Kharka (2,910 m / 9,550 ft): We didn't actually stay overnight here, but we had lunch at an excellent guesthouse.

Ratings (leg 101)

Trail: 2/5 (below average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 101)

Length 9.0 km 5.6 miles
Climb / descent 150 / 1,290 m 500 / 4,220 ft

Elevation (leg 101)

Leg 102: Shilenchaura Kharka to Mangri

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 102)

L102 Bridge (2,950 m / 9,690 ft): You'll need to hike back to this bridge to cross the Mugu Khola.

L102 Chhewathan (2,240 m / 7,350 ft): We stayed overnight at a basic guesthouse in Chhewathan, which is a small village on a dirt road with shops.

L102 Mangri (2,240 m / 7,350 ft): We skipped Mangri and hiked directly to Gamgadhi. We planned to have lunch here, but there didn't seem to be any guesthouses. There were plenty of buildings, but they all looked very basic. If you plan to stay here overnight a basic homestay is probably the only option.

Ratings (leg 102)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: homestay - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 102)

Length 27.9 km 17.3 miles
Climb / descent 1,320 / 2,010 m 4,310 / 6,580 ft

Elevation (leg 102)

Leg 103: Mangri to Gamgadhi

Easy hike along along dirt road.

Waypoints (leg 103)

L103 Gamgadhi (2,130 m / 6,980 ft): We stayed overnight at an excellent guesthouse in Gamgadhi, which is a major town with many shops and services.

Ratings (leg 103)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 103)

Length 18.6 km 11.6 miles
Climb / descent 1,320 / 1,430 m 4,320 / 4,690 ft

Elevation (leg 103)

Leg 104: Gamgadhi to Rara Lake

We skipped the Rara Lake side trek, but I believe the trail is relatively major so should be a problem to follow.

Waypoints (leg 104)

L104 Rara Lake (3,000 m / 9,840 ft): We skipped the Rara Lake side trek, but I believe there are several guesthouses here.

Ratings (leg 104)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 104)

Length 8.3 km 5.2 miles
Climb / descent 1,000 / 130 m 3,290 / 410 ft

Elevation (leg 104)

Leg 105: Rara Lake to Dharke Khola

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 105)

L105 Bam (2,650 m / 8,690 ft): Some itineraries recommend an overnight stop here in Bam, but when we passed through it was a very basic looking village. We continued to Dharke Khola where we found a guesthouse, and I have adjusted the route to skip Bam.

L105 Dharke Khola (2,740 m / 9,000 ft): We stayed overnight at a basic guesthouse in Dharke Khola.

Ratings (leg 105)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 105)

Length 21.6 km 13.5 miles
Climb / descent 1,710 / 1,910 m 5,620 / 6,270 ft

Elevation (leg 105)

Leg 106: Dharke Khola to Rimi

The dirt road has many long switchbacks, with steep footpaths that shortcut between them. This can be tricky to follow at times. When we hiked there were several extremely muddy sections, and other trekkers have confirmed this is a common problem.

Waypoints (leg 106)

L106 Rimi (2,540 m / 8,330 ft): We stayed overnight at a basic guesthouse in Rimi.

Ratings (leg 106)

Trail: 1/5 (major problems)
Route: 2/5 (below average)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 106)

Length 15.4 km 9.6 miles
Climb / descent 1,510 / 1,580 m 4,960 / 5,200 ft

Elevation (leg 106)

Leg 107: Rimi to Melcham

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 107)

L107 Piplan (1,730 m / 5,670 ft): Some itineraries recommend an overnight stop here in Piplan, and it would be a reasonable option. We stopped for a rest here and it looked like a large village with a basic guesthouse and some shops.

L107 Melcham (2,630 m / 8,620 ft): We stayed overnight at a basic guesthouse in Melcham.

Ratings (leg 107)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 107)

Length 11.6 km 7.2 miles
Climb / descent 1,380 / 1,030 m 4,520 / 3,360 ft

Elevation (leg 107)

Leg 108: Melcham to Apsia Lek

Easy hike along along well maintained trail.

Waypoints (leg 108)

L108 Apsia Lek (3,190 m / 10,500 ft): We skipped Apsia Lek and hiked all the way to Punkha Khola in one day. Apsia Lek is a nice flat grassy campsite. There is one shack here where a basic homestay could perhaps be arranged.

Ratings (leg 108)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: campsite - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 108)

Length 9.2 km 5.7 miles
Climb / descent 1,290 / 670 m 4,240 / 2,190 ft

Elevation (leg 108)

Leg 109: Apsia Lek to Punkha Khola

Take care to follow the route carefully when leaving Apsia Lek. The correct trail traverses the hillside without descending. We took two wrong trails and had to backtrack twice. Apart from this difficulty, the trail was well maintained and easy to follow.

Waypoints (leg 109)

L109 Punkha Khola (2,460 m / 8,080 ft): We stayed at a very basic homestay in Punkha Khola (actually we erected the tent on the roof of their house).

Ratings (leg 109)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: homestay - 1/5 (basic)

Stats (leg 109)

Length 10.4 km 6.5 miles
Climb / descent 670 / 1,400 m 2,190 / 4,590 ft

Elevation (leg 109)

Leg 110: Punkha Khola to River Camp

Simple hike along along a reasonably easy to follow trail.

Waypoints (leg 110)

L110 River Camp (2,990 m / 9,800 ft): We stayed overnight at a very cramped camp site at River Camp. The only flat ground had dense green leafy plants growing all over it, so we ended up pitching the tent on top of 20cm of foliage. It wasn't actually too bad after carefully clearing it of all the sharp sticks hiding underneath.

Ratings (leg 110)

Trail: 3/5 (average)
Route: 4/5 (above average)
Accommodation: campsite - 1/5 (awful)

Stats (leg 110)

Length 13.3 km 8.3 miles
Climb / descent 1,920 / 1,390 m 6,310 / 4,570 ft

Elevation (leg 110)

Leg 111: River Camp to Simikot

Easy hike along along a well maintained trail / dirt road.

Waypoints (leg 111)

L111 Simikot (2,990 m / 9,790 ft): Simikot is a large town with an airport, many shops and many excellent guesthouses.

Ratings (leg 111)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 5/5 (excellent)

Stats (leg 111)

Length 16.1 km 10.0 miles
Climb / descent 1,650 / 1,650 m 5,410 / 5,420 ft

Elevation (leg 111)

Leg 112: Simikot to Salli

Easy hike along along a well maintained trail / dirt road.

Waypoints (leg 112)

L112 Kermi (2,900 m / 9,500 ft): Some itineraries recommend an overnight stop here in Kermi, but it didn't look like there were any guesthouses here. We continued hiking to Sali, and I have adjusted the route to skip Kermi.

L112 Salli (2,970 m / 9,750 ft): We stayed overnight at a basic guesthouse in Salli.

Ratings (leg 112)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 112)

Length 23.4 km 14.5 miles
Climb / descent 2,300 / 2,360 m 7,540 / 7,750 ft

Elevation (leg 112)

Leg 113: Salli to Thumkot

Easy hike along along a well maintained trail / dirt road.

Waypoints (leg 113)

L113 Gompa (3,180 m / 10,400 ft): We hiked up to the monastery and village at this waypoint, but could find no lodgings. Camping would be an option here but we left our tent in Simikot, so we backtracked all the way back down to the bridge.

L113 Thumkot (3,000 m / 9,840 ft): There were a couple of buildings just after the bridge that offered us a basic homestay, however we made the decision to skip Thumkot and hike all the way to Yari because we were in a rush to get back to Simikot for our return flight to Kathmandu.

Ratings (leg 113)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: homestay - 2/5 (below average)

Stats (leg 113)

Length 17.9 km 11.1 miles
Climb / descent 1,270 / 1,170 m 4,170 / 3,850 ft

Elevation (leg 113)

Leg 114: Thumkot to Yari

Easy hike along along a dirt road.

Waypoints (leg 114)

L114 Yari (3,780 m / 12,400 ft): We stayed at a nice guesthouse in Yari, which is a large village with several guesthouses and shops.

Ratings (leg 114)

Trail: 5/5 (excellent)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 3/5 (average)

Stats (leg 114)

Length 12.0 km 7.4 miles
Climb / descent 1,170 / 390 m 3,840 / 1,290 ft

Elevation (leg 114)

Leg 115: Yari to Hilsa

Easy hike along along a well maintained trail / dirt road.

Waypoints (leg 115)

L115 Hilsa (3,630 m / 11,900 ft): We didn't actually stay overnight in Hilsa but it is a small town on the Chinese border with many shops and guesthouses. There were two empty spaces on the last helicopter of the day back to Simikot so we flew back directly after arriving.

Ratings (leg 115)

Trail: 4/5 (above average)
Route: 5/5 (excellent)
Accommodation: guesthouse - 4/5 (above average)

Stats (leg 115)

Length 20.7 km 12.9 miles
Climb / descent 1,400 / 1,600 m 4,590 / 5,240 ft

Elevation (leg 115)

Dave

Dave

Normally a software engineer, recently I've been spending a bit more time in nature.

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