Trip: Rolwaling Trek & Ramdung Peak
Route: KTM - Barabise - Pheriche - Kala Patthar - Basecamp
Date: Between March and May, then Sepember to October are best
Duration: 29 Days total - 2 Days Rest/Acclimatisation
Grade: Trekking – Strenuous
Ramdung Peak lies in the upper Rolwaling area, Ramdung is one of a cluster of peaks around the Yalung La, a pass giving access to the upper Rolwaling from the south, via the Khare Khola. Although the mountain, by it's normal route of ascent, is straightforward, it's virtues lie in it's magnificent position and splendid summit panorama that ranges from Langtang to Everest and provides a splendid view of Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse. This beautiful trek mixes moderate trekking on pathways through stunning local villages full of colour and charm with steeper streuous trekking and snow trekking to reach Ramdung Peak. It also crosses some glaciers requiring the group to be roped up. Overall a great long trek with a high altitude peak and everything else that surrounds this trek as you ascend and descend in the Rowaling region.
The peaks in the area were first explored by Scottish Himalayan expedition, led by Bill Murray in 1952, when three of the peaks near the pass, Yalung Ri (5,630m/18,471ft), Chhugyima Go (6,259m/20,534ft), and Ramdung were climbed. In 1955 the peak had its second ascent by members of the Merseyside expedition. Since then Ramdung has been climbed numerous times is an ideal summit for groups wanting to trek and climb in the still little visited Rolwaling Himal area.The trek starts from the busy bazaar of Barabise on the highway to Tibet. Leaving the civilisation behind our trek head towards in the tranquility of the mountains, alpine forest of rhododendron and magnolia amidst the hidden land of Rolwaling Valley. The trek leads to the last village of this area Rolwaling at Beding. Journey continues farther east to scale the 5,925 meter Ramdung Peak. The climb is not technically hard, but it is certainly challenging on account of the altitude and the peak's remoteness. Ramdung offers an excellent view of Everest, Melungtse and Gaurishankar and array of other snow peaks.
Our adventure first takes us to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, also known as the City of a Thousand Temples, and where every other day is a festival. Kathmandu is home to over 500,000 Nepalese, living a humble life in this vibrant city, the starting point for many expeditions to the Himalaya. It was once a mecca for the drop-out hippie generation of the 60’s. However, today, Kathmandu has returned to its former ways, a place alive with the traditions and cultures of its many ethnic peoples. While here, we visit some of the famous Temples of the Hindus and Buddhas. We saunter through the busy streets and markets of the Thamel in the old region of the city and experience at first-hand the hustle, bustle, sights, sounds and smells whilst mixing with the locals of this lively, cultural city. Each day’s trek is more spectacular then the day before as we make our way deeper into this mountainous wonderland of a Shangri-La. Mountains project like massive pillars from the deep, river-gorged valleys. We make our way along narrow paths etched from the steep hillsides in a mystical world of mountains. This is the heart of the most beautiful and inspiring mountain range in the world, the Himalayas ‘home of the snows’.
They stretch in a great arch across Asia, 150 miles wide and 1700 miles long, from Indus in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east. All along the length of the Himalaya, its mountain tops are revered by the people of the valleys below as the place of their gods. You are in a place that for centuries has been the setting for epic feats of exploration and mountain climbing. The Rolwaling region is a valley which contain several small villages and Beding, the largest town in the area. Access to the valley and the mountains of the range is made on foot through an established trail system starting at Charikot (80 km east of Kathmandu). A western style trek from Charikot to Beding will normally take seven to ten days.The preferred approach to enter the region is to walk in from the bus terminus at Dolakha (near Charikot), about 7 hours from Kathmandu. The trail is very well defined and used by porters and shepherds going up to the summer kharkas or grazing pastures at Beding. There was a customs check at Jagat where the climbing permit was vaguely inspected. The last habitation is at Na (4180m).
From here on in it can and will snow at any time so patience is required )which also will help with the essential acclimatisation). The Tsho Rolpa is an awesome ice lake held back by terminal moraine. The unmarked route goes along the Trakarding Glacier, then climbs steeply up onto the Drolambau Glacier. The scenery is tremendous every inch of the way! On the east side of the glacier is a range of mountains well over 6000m. The Teshi Lapcha La goes through these mountains by the footslopes of Patchamo. The descent on the other side is steep and very rough through boulder fields. Sometimes the trail is difficult to find until you reach Thyangbo Kharka, a very lonely dwelling on the route to Thame, and thence on to Namche Bazaar. From Kathmandu, over the Teshi Lapcha and down to Lukla airstrip took 18 days, before the interminable wait for a flight back to Kathmandu. It is possible to reverse the route but the climb up to the pass from the Solu Khumbu is very steep and long. The essential acclimatisation days in this wild terrain would be uncomfortable and frustrating and higher up, there is danger from falling rocks loosed off by the sun as it works its way around.
Grade: Trekking - Strenuous
This trek is suitable to most experienced hillwalkers and can be achieved by a beginner with training. A high level of fitness and some experience on high mountain passes or ridges in snow is recommended prior to departure. You will enjoy your trip a lot more if prepared well. Moderate going on good tracks that most fit people should be able for. This trek is mostly strenuous due to its duration and alitude gain, experienced trekkers may find it moderate. There is 2 climb days in the itinerary for summiting Ramdung and at least 1 day of glacier travel which you will be briefed and basically trained on during the trek. Most days will require 4 to 7 hours walking excluding acclimatizing days and a climb day. We also run fitness assessments and hill walking weekends that are ideally suited for those who need a little more preparation, please go to our Training Courses section. We recommend these options to ensure a good level of understanding of the requirements for the upcoming trek and remeber to contact us if you have any queries or need advice.
At Pat Falvey Irish & Worldwide Adventures we have agreed to allow 2 extra days for acclimatisation or rest purposes. It is worth spending a bit extra to stay safe and achieve your goals. The pace is key to preventing *AMS. The group will be monitored by the guides at all times for symptoms of the effects of altitude. Only if these symptoms persist that a person should get advice or will be advised to decend. (*Acute Mountain Sickness)
Please contact us for prices. Groups are based on a minimum of 4. We can check availability on dated groups if you are interested as an individual.
- Airport transfers
- Local transportation
- Hotel Accommadation B&B 4 nights (min. 3 *)
- Park fee’s (€10-€20)
- Camping, Meals & boiled water on mountain
- Guides, Porters & Cooks
- Fully escorted from/to Ireland
- Flights from/to Ireland
- Nepal Visa (€20-€30)
- All transfers
- Meals en route before and after trek
- Bar Bills & laundry
- Travel Insurance
- Extra's for porterage taken on
Our highly experienced trekking guides have been working with us in Nepal for over 20 years. They will provide you with all information and help during the trek. On selected 'Guided from Ireland' trips (or on request for groups over 4) a guide will escort the group from Ireland. The guide will also arrange the porters role with your bags and any issues that may arise.
Info on Porters:
We at Pat Falvey Irish and Worldwide Adventures ensure that all our agents in every destination value and treat their employees, including porters, with respect and ensure their working rates and conditions are adhering to the local employment and Health and Safety guidelines. We have built up a good relationships with all of our operators to ensure the welfare of their guides and porters is a priority. For more guidelines and information on porters please go to our 'Porter Guidelines'. Bags carried by porters are not to exceed 25kg in weight.
Kathmandu - Barabise - Beding - Ramdung - Charikot
Here is a sample daily Itinerary, on booking you will be issued a more detailed version.
We can also customise the itinerary to your needs if required.
1. Kathmandu to Barabise
2. Barabise to Kabre
3. Kabre to Dolangsa
4. Dolangsa to Tinsang La Pass
5. Tinsang La Pass to Bigu Gompa
6. Bigu Gompa to Chilankga
7. Chilangka to Bulung
8. Bulung to Gongar
9. Gongar to Simigaon
10. Simigaon to Gyalche
11. Gyalche - Rest Day
12. Gyalche to Kharka
13. Kharka to Beding
14. Beding to Na
15. Na - acclimatization day
16. Na to Yulung Base Camp
17. Yulung Base camp to Yulung La
18. Rumdung Peak
19. Yalung La - Sangma Kharka
20. Sangma Kharka to Tshobug
21. Tshobug to Tarkarding Glacier
22. Glacier Training
24. Na to Donang
25. Donang to Simigaon
26. Simigaon to Suri Dovan
27. Suri Dovan to Ratmatey
28. Ratmatey to Dolakha or Charikot
Preparation, Passports/Visas Preparation
We have selected a walking weekend to help you adjust to the goal of the trek. The weekend has two walks with advice and techniques for clothing and gear given also. On the Saturday we will climb one of Irelands highest peaks during a day hike and on Sunday morning early we will go on a night hike simulating the requirements on the summit day of a trek which takes you out of your comfort zone prior to the real thing. This method allows your body and mind to adjust to the challenge ahead. For more info on this fitness assessment weekends and day walks, go to our Irish Training Section. If you are a total beginner to walking/hillwalking then a 12 month training program is recommended. We suggest a training program of at least 6 months to comfortably trek to 4000-6000m.
Months 1-2, this should include fortnightly hillwalking for 3hrs+ with a small/medium pack of weight of 5-10kg approx.
Months 3-4, this should be increased to include longer days (6hrs+) and pack weight of 10kg approx. Attend our Free Meet Day!
Month 5, Two days walking back to back twice giving 4 days total. Example: Saturday 7hr & Sunday 6hr = 13hrs walking. Avoid injuries at all costs!
Month 6, Continue with some walking but reduce to lower peaks and durations of 4hrs, avoid injuries at all costs!
Passport / Visas:
You will need a valid full passport, please ensure it has at least have six months before expiring, before we leave. Before applying for Visa please check dates on passport. Please bring 4 passport photos for visas at departure. We will need to get a visa and this can be got upon entry to Nepal.
For general wear on trek:
Cotton pants, t-shirts and if you have light thermals these will be ideal.
One pair of trekking boots for trek. These boots can be used for good wear also. If you have a hillwalking pair of boots you can also bring them. If you like comfort we recommend boots with extra insulation in the sole around €150 with ibram or similar sole.
Four pairs of warm trekking stockings. (Thorlo or similar)
Adjustable ski poles: these take a lot of pressure off the body and makes walking less tiring. Some use two spring loaded ones as it takes 36 ton of pressure off your knees per day as well as allowing you to have a crutch to lean on when you are tired.
Thermal under-wear heavy gauge: 2 Tops and 2 bottoms. Dryflo etc.
1 fleece or pile jacket. Windproof is good.
Wind and water proofs (Gortex or similar): Top jacket and bottoms.
Sleeping bag range to -10/-20C degrees make sure it packs small. Also for sleeping it is important to bring an insulating sleeping mat. I usually bring a Thermarest full-length non-slip. There is insulating mattresses provide on trek but for extra comfort bring a Thermarest.
1 Water bottles with wide neck and 1 with narrow neck (Nalgene or similar) or one Platypus container, the platypus is ideal for trekking as you can stay hydrated by drinking from a tube as you walk.
Gloves: 1 pair of thermal and 1 pair over gloves or mitts, no harm in bringing spare sets.
Headtorch, Petzl with spare batteries and bulbs. I cannot stress the importance of this to have in good working order. (New LED versions are also lighter and smaller)
Peak hat for the lower regions to protect your head from the sun. (bandana or neck gaiter also)
Rucksack 30 liters daypack for mountain to carry your camera, food and day gear. For traveling, 70-100 liters rucksack or strong gear bag- this will also do to give to porters on trek to carry your general gear.
Optional for night up high for cold, a light down top or extra fleece.
Personal first aid and medicine kit. (All our guides will have these for emergencies only)
UV sunglasses – Cat. 3 or Cat. 4 recommeded if there is a lot of time in or near snow.
2 x Earplugs pairs – If you have an inside pocket in sleeping bag, leave one there fulltime.
Miscellaneous items: Sun-block (very important and use it!!)
Backpacking towel and general toiletries.
Extra Clothes for travelling and/or socialising.
Climbing on Ramdung A climbing gear list will be supplied on enquiry.
Tips on Gear- Make sure your boots are well broken in. For the mountain, a layering system works best to allow you to cool down or warm up with ease - T-shirt or thermals, shirt or warm top, a good fleece and good heavy-duty waterproofs if you intend doing more treks in future.
Gloves and hats are vital. Bring waterproof gear that is made of breathable material.
You can use a normal 3 season sleeping bag. If you tend to get cold very easily, you can add in a sleeping bag liner. Remember that sleeping bags work on trapping layers of air so wearing clothes in your bag doesn't help.
If you wear contact lenses take plenty of saline and comfort drops as the paths are dusty. Also glasses are essential for summit night as temperature and altitude may effect eyes if contacts worn.
Common first aid complaints are headaches, dehydration, stomach bugs, diarrhoea, sunburn and occasional mouth ulcers. Looking after yourself with plenty of fluids, rest and enjoying the gentle ascending pace will assist in avoiding these.Your personal first aid kit should contain treatments for these minor aliments. Please get advice from your GP before departure.
Money can be left in the hotel safe. All currency can be easily changed to local currency in the cities you will be staying in. The only money you will need to carry for your treks will be to cover porter and guide tips and bottled water if you choose to purchase. (Hotels offer launderette facilities if you wish to wash clothes following the trek otherwise there is no opportunity to wash clothing.
Digital cameras will cope fine with the conditions if you keep them warm and close to your body where possible especially on the summit morning or when reaching your highest day, otherwise batteries can run down. Spare batteries are a must.