Remote Area of Dolpo
Quote from the guides: “For the intrepid travel and trekker this is a rare opportunity to venture to one of Nepal’s famed corners and truly experience a culture unchanged for hundreds of years. The landscape is absolutely stunning.”
Remote, wild and famed in lore from Peter Matthiessen’s, The Snow Leopard. Dolpo is the legendary region of Nepal, situated between the Tibetan plateau and the Dhaulagiri ranges. The entire district was once closed to trekkers when the southern part of Dolpo was opened to organized trekking groups. This stunning and isolated region has less then 5000 residents spread across the vast landscape, and most all follow a Bon Buddhsit tradition.
As a first time offering for Alpine Ascents, we expect basic lodging and food, but a fully supported and portered trip. On our 16 day trek we pass through ancient villages, trekking routes and the chance to spend some time with people in local villages. We also cross a few high Himalayan passes and enjoy the vast and tranquil beauty of Phoksundo Lake. The trek also takes us across the centuries old Trans Himalayan Trade route. The trek indeed takes us into the “wild west” of Nepal of attractive for those with an explorers spirit.
We are thrilled to have Himalayan expert, Vern Tejas, leading this trek.
Vern and Carole were just the absolute perfect guides to take us through this fabulous country and region. They are knowledgeable, confident, strong, decisive, warm, and just full of delightful personality and talent! Couldn’t have asked for better! I appreciate how they took care of the altitude sickness within our group without affecting the progress of the entire group. I love their relationship with our local porters, guides, Sherpa, monks, and tea house owners. It made all the difference in our experience!
Upper Dolpo Trek Frequently Asked Questions
Upon sign up we will forward our famed, comprehensive confirmation package. This package will include all of the details for your trip.
Climbers must be in very good to excellent physical condition. Review cardio training on the training page. We strongly recommend following the advice of our guides to acclimatize properly.
The best time to trek is in the Summer season.
During the trek we will be lodging in teahouses or tents depending on the village. Trekkers will be either sharing a teahouse room (2 per room) or a tent (2 per tent).
During the trek we will only be carrying gear and supplies for the day. At no point do we carry camping gear or equipment for overnight. During the trek daypacks will weigh no more than 20 lbs.
Please review the gear list.
Those requesting rental gear must submit an expedition rental form with payment by fax or mail. All rental gear will be mailed to the trekker prior to the climb. Trekkers are expected to clean all rental gear and return it to us by mail following the expedition.
While all items are required there may be times when some of the items on the gear list may not be used (such as warm weather or changing conditions). The gear lists are created by the guides to assist in having trekkers be prepared to travel in any conditions.
While it is impossible for us to list all brands for certain gear, we do offer a wide variety of equipment in our Gear Shop, that has been hand-picked by our staff of mountaineering experts. Please feel free to call our offices with any gear questions or substitutes.
During the trek we will provide unlimited amounts of water at mealtimes. Team members can fill up water bottles at meals and use their Steri pen to sterilize. Bottled water can also be purchased in teahouses at additional cost but can be expensive and creates waste.
You may bring power bars, Gu, Power Gel, cereal bars or similar high energy foods, powder Gatorade is also recommended to fight dehydration. All meals will be provided on this expedition.
No requirements at this time
Most routes from the States to Kathmandu are via Asia but there are many options via Europe as well.
Fares are generally less expensive when booked early. You may use our Travel Agent (Charles Mulvehill 1-800-727-2157) or book flights yourself. Please note that flights booked online are often difficult to change. Please send us a copy of your flight schedule as early as possible as this allows us to book pick ups and hotels.
We will pick up all trekkers at the airport. Guides will often meet you upon arrival at the hotel or at our first planned meeting.
We are happy to make arrangements such as personalized tours, extra hotels rooms, airport pick ups and arrange for private rooms. Please indicate that you would like a private room on your application and we will contact you with information on single room supplement costs (for hotels only).
The easiest way to obtain a visa is in the Kathmandu airport. Upon arrival in the KTM airport fill out the necessary forms and proceed to the visa line. As visa prices change often we suggest taking a variety of cash denominations, such as (2) $20.00 bills (1) $10.00 bill (1) $5.00 bill. We will obtain a trekking permit for you in KTM.
- Current visa cost is $50.00 and is subject to change
- Please obtain a one month visa
Please bring 2 passport photos (one for the visa and 1 extra).
Cell phones work in Kathmandu. We can assist you in getting a local sim card but you must “unlock” your phone beforehand. We can assist in getting a phone unlocked in KTM but can cost up to $50 and take 48hours (usually less). On the trek, your guide will have a satellite phone for cybercasts and emergency communication.
Check the reading list on this page of the web site.
You can always call our offices and we will have your lead guide contact you. 30 days prior to departure, we will send a list of the other team members to you.
$500 should easily cover any extra expenses and tips. Most trekkers prefer to bring about $1000 and have credit cards.
Please refer to your planning package sent upon registration.
At: https://www.alpineascents.com/registration or by calling our offices with a credit card handy.
Each climber should submit an application and flight information.
We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, personal checks and Alpine Ascents gift certificates. To reserve a space the deposit is $700.00 and balances are due 120 days prior to departure. Unpaid balances can result in forfeiture of trip.
Communication is sometimes difficult in the mountains. However our guides and local staff will make the necessary efforts to obtain the necessary transportation and reservations to get you home as quickly as possible if for any reason you need to depart early.
This is a highly recommended shortlist and we would be happy to pass on a longer reading list for those interested. These links will bounce to Amazon.com with reviews.
High Himalayaby Art Wolfe, Peter Potterfield, Norbu Tenzing Norgay, Mountaineers Books
Everest; The Mountaineers Anthology SeriesForeward by Tom Hornbein, Peter Potterfield editor, Mountaineers Books
Everestby Walt Unsworth, Mountaineers Books
Classic Hikes of the WorldPeter Potterfield, W.W. Norton pub.
Fragile Edge : Loss on Everestby Maria Coffey, Harbour Pub Co.
Coronation Everestby Jan Morris, Burford Books
The Violet Shyness of Their Eyes : Notes from Nepalby Barbara J. Scot, Calyx Books
Everest : The West Ridgeby Thomas F. Hornbein, Mountaineers Books
Eric Shipton: Everest & Beyondby Edmund Hillary, Peter M.D. Steele, Mountaineers Books
Everest : The Best Writing and Pictures from Seventy Years of Human Endeavourby Peter Gillman (Editor)
Life and Death on Mt. Everest : Sherpas and Himalayan Mountaineeringby Sherry B. Ortner, Princeton Univ Press
Tigers of the Snow and Other Virtual Sherpas : An Ethnography of Himalayan Encountersby Vincanne Adams, Princeton Univ Press
Annapurna, First Conquest of an 8000-Meter Peak : (26,493 Feet)by Maurice Herzog, The Lyons Press
Video Night in Kathmandu : And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East (Vintage Departures)by Pico Iyer, Vintage Books
The Snow Leopard (Penguin Nature Classics)by Peter Matthiessen, Penguin USA (paper)
Trekking in Nepal : A Traveler's Guideby Stephen Bezruchka, Mountaineers Books
This was my first international experience with AAI and i enjoyed it tremendously. The coordination between the Mexican support teams and AAI was literally flawless. There were no noticeable ‘hiccups’.