This region is blessed with an incredible diversity of natural beauty and culture. Arun valley trek is between two highest mountains, Everest and Makalu . We can see significant views of Mt.Everest, Makalu , and hundreds of other mountains. Sherpa, Rai and Limbus are the main inhabitants of this region.Walk north up the Arun river to Sedua and Num, then crossing Barun La(4110m.)into the upper Barun khola valley for a close look at Makalu . You can put together an even wilder trek by crossing Sherpani col and west col into the upper Hongu valley. The highest point of this trek is Salpa Bhanjyang.
Fly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar early in the morning to start the trek through the Arun Valley. It’s a beautiful flight over terraced fields, hills, and traditional villages with a range of Himalayan peaks peeking through the haze in the distance. After arriving in Tumlingtar, the trek begins. The mountains in the distance are Chamalang to the left and Makalu to the far right. After an hour, reach a fantastic suspension bridge with side ties, stretching across the wide Arun River. Then, drop down to the sandy riverside, peppered with boulders.
Start the morning with an easy walk to the lovely village of Balwa Besi, where you cross a small river. Then, start climbing through a lush, tropical forest of cardamom, banana and papaya trees, and past thatched huts to a chautara, which is a spectacular viewpoint high above the hazy valley and the Arun River. Walking around hillsides, climb to Marduwa, a small hamlet, passing more terraced fields and clusters of ochre and cream mud-brick houses built in the local style. Reach the intersection of the old trail from Dingla, and after walking around a hillside, join a larger trail near a cluster of banyan trees. The forest thickens as we ascend and then drop back down to the Irkhuwa River, crossing two bridges and following a riverside trail for another hour or so to Gothe Bazaar.
After breakfast, head towards Lankuwa village and then further on to Dhobani, a village of paper-makers. Cross the river on a flexing bamboo bridge and trek through several small picturesque whitewashed villages with thatched roofs. Pass through Lankuwa village and then start the steep, uphill climb to Dhobani. Continue through a thick tropical forest, climb the ‘waterfall steps’ and eventually reach Tala (Lower) Phedi. Hiking another hour uphill along a lovely trail backed by undulating grasses, rocks and fruit trees. Reach Salpa Phedi,
Start the morning with a steep climb up stone steps through upper Salpa Phedi, then keep climbing, with increasingly amazing views down the valley. It will take us several hours of climbing to reach Jau Bari, a village that grows the best barley in the region. Here, there is a Sherpa monastery just below a lovely Sherpa-run campsite. Continue past terraced fields and through rhododendron forests.
The Salpa Bhanjyang pass (3,360 m./ 11,023 ft.) is the border of Solu Khumbu and the Sherpa region. It’s a short ascent to get here, just over an hour to the chorten-topped windy pass, where there are wonderful views of snow-capped Karylung Peak. Descend steeply through the forest following a small stream and several mani walls to the Lidung Khola. There, cross to the north bank and continue to a few local teahouses. An hour or so afterward, reach the picturesque Sherpa village of Sanam.
Leaving Sanam, walk along a high trail with broad views, first reaching Duire, a group of simple lodges. Soon afterwards, arrive at the rustic gompa at Nimtsola. The trail is now larger. Finally, reach the buffalo huts and terraced fields of the large Rai village of Gudel, a bustling and interesting place. The village of Bung and the Naulekh mountains are visible in the distance, as is Mera Peak. Descend steeply on slate steps to a campsite.
This day begins by steeply descending past rice paddies and cardamom plants to the river far below. Cross a long bridge and begin the equally steep ascent to Bung. Following the stream on a rock trail, ascend a switch-backing trail after crossing the Hungu Khola. The entrance to the Makalu Barun National Park is just past a school in the village. Continue to in cooler temperatures until reaching a grassy plateau. After a bit of ‘off-trail’ climbing, arrive in Kiraunle-Chambaling Gompa.
Another pass crossing, which takes two and a half to three hours to reach the crest. Heading straight to the ancient moss-covered chortens and mani walls on the ridge, pass through a rhododendron forest. At the intersection by the teahouses, head up towards the Surkie pass (3,070 m./ 10,072 ft.) There are better views at the sightseeing platform just above the narrow pass ridge, from where you’ll be able to see Karylung, Khatang and Numbur mountains. Afterward, the descent is steep down along a rocky trail and through a bamboo forest, but you’ll soon we arrive at Najing Dingma.
Day 9: Trek to Pangom (2,850 m)
Another day of steep climbs and a pass. Descend from Najing Dingma for an hour through leafy woods, to Gai Kharka, another small village of only a few thatched huts. Continue descending steeply to the rickety bridge high above the Inkhu Khola. From here, steeply ascend up a path. It takes two to three hours to reach the next village, but as you gain altitude you are also treated to spectacular views of the Inkhu Valley, with Mera Peak looming ahead.
Shubuche (2,660 m) is a large village spread over the hillside, marked by Tibetan prayer flags. From there, it will take another hour of climbing to reach the two small teahouses below the pass, and another hour to reach the Pangum La (or Satu La) pass (3,175 m./ 10,416 ft.) From there you’ll be able to see the trail from Jiri, the Trakshindo La and the incredibly scenic Sherpa village of Pangum below. After another half hour’s walk, reach your scenic campsite.
Heading out of town, past the long rows of old mani walls, you can look out at the hilltop villages of Bupsa and Karikhola in the distance. Instead of walking towards them, veer right on a smaller wooded trail towards the small hamlet of Kharte (2.5 hours away) and then the Khari La. It will take a good hour and a half of contouring and climbing to crest the pass (3,075 m./ 10,088 ft.). Have your first view of the sacred Sherpa peak, Khumbu Yul Lha (Khumbila), Gyachen Kang and then Kusum Kangaru, just around the corner. It’s a quick descent on a rocky trail to the main Jiri trail, and then just another half an hour to the village of Puiyan.
The trail now leaves the tributary valley and heads more directly north towards Chaurikharka (2,713 m). Before ascending, the main trail crosses a spectacular deep gorge with a high waterfall (2,408 m./ 7,900 ft.) Chaurikharka, a large scattered village with a monastery and a high school. After this village, the trail from Lukla joins that towards Phakding. The path becomes quite busy with trekkers, porters and pack animals. Several hours of walking along a scenic trail bring you to Phakding.
From Phakding, cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, which was established to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. Then, take a steep hike to Namche. If the weather is clear, you will get your first glimpse of Everest. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market as well as numerous shops, lodges, and restaurants.
Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu. It is an ideal place to spend a day acclimatizing to the altitude.
From Namche, the trail contours along the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi. Get good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu from here, including Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. Passing several villages and numerous tea shops, descend steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga, an ideal stopover for lunch and rest spot before climbing steeply to Tengboche. Although, the hike up the zigzag path is tiring, it presents many beautiful sights, including rhododendron bushes, beautiful birds, and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu.
On the way to Pangboche village, choose the upper trail for better views. Pass several chortens, mani walls and small villages. In the afternoon, walk north to Pheriche, or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here, the walk is fairly moderate as you enter the Imja Valley. The valley gradually unfolds as you approach the confluence of the Lobuche River. Descend to the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day, up to Dingboche.
Spend your second acclimatization day at Dingboche. Climb the ridge to the north behind the village for an ideal acclimatizing excursion. From the top, you can see three of the world’s six highest peaks — Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu — as well as Cholatse, Taboche, Lobuche West, and Lobuche East.
Continue trekking up the wide valley, beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left. Turn right and climb steeply towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. The teahouse at Duglha is a good place for lunch. The trail zigzags up through the boulders of the glacier’s terminal moraine. At the top of this climb, there are many stone cairns. The path then climbs gently along the glacier, to eventually reach a cluster of houses at Lobuche.
To reach Kala Pattar, follow the Khumbu Glacier. The trail offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. Stop at Gorak Shep, and afterward, climb up to one of the finest viewpoints in the Everest region, Kala Pattar (5,554 m./ 18,221 ft.) As the light begins to fade, descend gently to the camp at Gorak Shep and have an early night, in preparation for the trek to Everest Base Camp the next day.
A very early start is required to reach the Everest Base Camp, as it takes several hours to weave through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. On the return, take a higher route for a spectacular view of the Khumbu Icefall and the South Col. Return to either Gorak Shep or Lobuche.
The trek is mostly downhill towards Lukla. Retrace your steps to Duglha and descend to Pheriche. Cross the Khumbu Khola on a wooden suspension bridge and follow the Imja Khola to Pangboche.
Continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Tengboche. Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega, and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants to be seen. From Tengboche, descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi. From Phunki Tenga, make your way back to Namche.
The final day of trekking follows the Dudh Kosi down to Lukla.
Hop on a plane back to Kathmandu.
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