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andyoxus
2nd September 2009, 12:19 AM
Hi there,

I'm looking for companions on the hike from Tumlingtar to Lukla and on into the main Everest region. I'm flying in to KTM on Oct 1st, and need to be back in KTM on 24th (for a climbing expedition! - I'm a complete novice).

Random bits of information:
- Seems to make sense to fly to Tumlingtar, and I should be able to sort out bookings from here (Toronto).
- I'll be flying back from Lukla, but of course you don't need to.
- I've been to the Everest region twice before, once from Jiri, and once from Lukla, so I know my way round pretty well. I've never been up the Thame valley or over to the Gokyo valley via the Renjo La (been to the top from Gokyo though), so that's part of the plan. Also some interesting side-trips (see Jamie McGuinness's exellent 'Trekking in the Everest Region').
- I'm a 37-year-old English expat living in Toronto.

Anyone?

kegarne
2nd September 2009, 07:30 AM
Me and a mate are flying into Tumlingtar to hike up the Arun to Lukla and then onto Mera peak. We are flying on October 1 to Tumlingtar so we'll probably be a couple of days ahead of you......

Landfall38
2nd September 2009, 08:20 AM
Those considering trek to/from Tumlingtar, I suggest to read the following, including my Dec 2008 update:

http://www.trekinfo.com/forums/showthread.php?p=48062#post48062

Also, contact Rich for a pdf of his excellent description of the trek


I'm not the best "spokesperson" for this trek -- I never intend to do it again (but one should NEVER say "never"... eh?)

kegarne
2nd September 2009, 03:08 PM
Cheers for the heads up Landfall, we intend to camp all the way to Lukla.

andyoxus
2nd September 2009, 10:45 PM
Thanks Landfall. I'd been toying with the idea of bringing my tent, too. Can't make my mind up...

I'm surprised you found it so tough after a lot of hiking beforehand - erk! Oh well. If nothing else, this makes me pretty sure I don't want to do this trek on my own.

[Edit:] Kegarne: how did you guys sort out your Tumlingtar flights?

Andy

kegarne
3rd September 2009, 03:20 AM
Through the trekking agency we are using. They are organising it for us before we get there.

Lars
3rd September 2009, 03:39 AM
I'm looking for companions on the hike from Tumlingtar to
Lukla and on into the main Everest region. I'm flying in to KTM on Oct 1st,

Expect it to be very hot in Arun valley at that time of year. Like very very!

I trekked in that way once in December, and out four times in November.
It is a really nice trek and I am constantly longing to go back there again, but
I don't have the time right now.

Unless you have a very early flight I suggest you stay overnight at Tumlingtar
and make an early start next morning, like crack of dawn.

Sorry. You have not asked for advice, and I should not prompt it.

kegarne
3rd September 2009, 06:53 AM
No man thanks for the advice, to me that is positive and helpful and I will defintely heed the advice depending on our flight times.

How did you find the trek from Tumlingtar itself ?
I keep reading how tough others have found it, what were your impressions?

rich
3rd September 2009, 08:43 AM
Agree with Lars
On most days it would be a miserable walk up valley from Tumlingtar after about 9am, even in winter, especially the considering a sizable hill climb up to Majuwa.

The second time round, I found this trek easier than I remembered. I guess I knew the way and where to find a bed. At a sensible pace its not that bad. Even so I am not sure I'd be game to start from Tumlingtar!!

rich
3rd September 2009, 08:49 AM
Agree with Lars
On most days it would be a miserable walk up valley from Tumlingtar after about 9am, even in winter,

OK I might exaggerate, but it damned hot and sticky at 300m above sea level.
Get your walking done early - real early.

kegarne
3rd September 2009, 09:11 AM
Oh yeah that is the plan....absolutely. I imagine we might cop the end of the monsoon as well so I wld think we might get some rain in the afternoons...

rich
3rd September 2009, 09:28 AM
I think you probably have a slightly lesser chance of getting lost on top of the hill on day 2 if you come from Tumlingtar side. Less unmarked forks to deal with I think perhaps.

thesilvertops
3rd September 2009, 01:16 PM
We hiked on our own (no guide/porter) from Tumlingtar in February 2001. Our flight was in early afternoon so we stayed overnight in the lodge next door to the airport. Weather was overcast for the first few days - no views at all - with occasional rain. It was warm and slightly sticky but not too bad. The weather improved later but the higher altitude meant that it wasn't too warm. It is a tough trek because you are crossing the grain of the land but just pace yourself, don't try to do too much and enjoy the hike. I would do it again but I'd do quite a bit of fitness preparation and I'd have a guide/porter this time.

http://www.pbase.com/thesilvertops/image/73259136.jpg

We slept in the roof at this lodge in Gothe Bazar. The owner had to clear out the chickens first. The dal bhat that evening was mostly fish!

More pics here. (http://www.pbase.com/thesilvertops/salpa_arun_trek) These are scans of slides which have not scanned at all well. The slides are much better.

rich
3rd September 2009, 03:17 PM
From Tumlingtar, you shouldn't try to go further than Balawa Besi or Kartikke Pul. I saw a pleasant enough looking lodge or two in Chyawabesi on the eastern side of the river. The Kartikke Pul lodge is a little stressful at times and you might have to share the 3 bed room but is your backup if you can't find anything on the eastern side of the river. That gives you a relaxed easy 3 hours walk on day 1.

The next reliable lodgings are possibly as far as Salpa Phedi, otherwise its sleeping in someones chicken box. On a hot day 2, and considering the painful hill crossing involved first up, Salpa Phedi could be a bridge too far creeping gradually uphill again along the Irkhuwa Khola all day.

The Irkhuwa should be well enough bridged these days to avoid dramatics on the bamboo crossings.

Lars
3rd September 2009, 03:42 PM
How did you find the trek from Tumlingtar itself ?
I keep reading how tough others have found it, what were your impressions?
I really like the area, the remoteness and solitude. But I definitely prefer doing
that trek the other way, heading out from Khumbu.

I always carry more weight in the beginning of a trek than towards the end,
cheese, chocolates etc. When I leave the cold altitudes I like to throw away
that extra fleece jacket, long johns etc. I think hitting the lower Arun Valley
once with maximum weight is enough for me.

It is quite poor down there, far between lodges. I doubt you can buy bottled
water everywhere you need it, which is quite often. I ended up drinking
lukewarm river water with lots of iodine in it, not as good as it sounds.

It is tough going alright, but hey isn't that why we do it in the first place?

Going out my last time, from Sanam across Salpa pass to Phedi I realized I
came down 1800 meters, plus I had gone up 3-400. 1800 mtrs is roughly like
a 600 storey building, or 6 times a 100 storey sky scraper. I found that tough
going down, you will be doing it up. Good luck with that:-)

And don't forget to write a vivid account here when you are done.

rich
3rd September 2009, 03:53 PM
The Salpa La crossing is about 3349m; Salpa Phedi is at 1680m ASL. The route along the Arun possibly gets as low as 300m, with Tumlingtar on a plateau at 480m-ish. That makes a drop of over 3000m to the Arun!! Walking up from Tumlingtar in the heat,packing your gear is certainly doing it tough.

Should make excellent prep for your climbs guys...

Lars
3rd September 2009, 04:05 PM
We slept in the roof at this lodge in Gothe Bazar.

More pics here. (http://www.pbase.com/thesilvertops/salpa_arun_trek)
Thanks for those pictures! My digital camera messed up after Namche going out
so I never got any pictures of those bamboo bridges etc. When I first saw such
a bridge I thought there is no @%* way I am going across that! But then you
realize you have to and eventually you get used to them. But they are scary!

I stayed in that lodge too. Not really Hilton but OK for the area.
.......................

Rich, do you have a good reason to think that "The Irkhuwa should be well
enough bridged these days to avoid dramatics on the bamboo crossings." ?

It is not only one such crossing. There are 3 or 4 I think.

rich
3rd September 2009, 04:16 PM
Lars
Last year I only had to make one really dodgy bamboo crossing and this was only because they were still building a new bridge overhead. (All?) the bridges should now be long steel swing bridges! There are at least 3 or 4 steel jobs on the Irkhuwa now so I think everyone should be safe from now on. First time I went there there must have been at least 4 slippery bamboo pole bridges. There are probably some minor easy stream crossings but it is much safer now. I guess the locals get sick of making new ones after every monsoon.

Landfall38
3rd September 2009, 08:15 PM
December 2008:

- no problems with bridges; all the major crossings had good bridges

- lodges between Tumlingtar and Kartike Pul: YES, there were 1 or 2 lodges. One about 30 minutes before Kartike Pul (on Tumlingtar side of river) looked MUCH better than the awful one in Kartike Pul. (The KP "lodge" is really just a locals' drinking place -- the 4 beds upstairs are where locals sleep off the rakshi). Nice way of putting it Rich: "a little stressful...";)

- in December it was hot Phedi-->Tumlingtar

- longest/hardest day was very long day Phedi to Kartike Pul. The 400m-up hill before reaching the Arun (heading towards Kartike Pul & Tumlingtar) was a tough one in the heat at the end of a long day

- I expect campers going through the region have a different view of the trek because they (i) do not have the long distances and can camp wherever (sort of) and (ii) are not subject to the difficulty of finding food

- "Arun Lodge" in Tumlingtar was a wonderful treat -- highly recommended. (Of course, it is all relative given our accommodations and food the preceding 5 eves!)

kegarne
4th September 2009, 04:31 AM
Should make excellent prep for your climbs guys...

Yeah well that is the plan. Grind up the Arun and get some hard climbs into the legs and then head to Mera. We are gonna go pretty light with the packs though, we will carry our food and tent and some warm gear but try and keep it to a minimum. The rest of the gear we will fly in with our guide.

andyoxus
4th September 2009, 09:43 PM
Lodge recommendations especially useful - thanks!

It does look a pretty stiff hike from the Tumlingtar direction.

Still looking for company :) (climbing in Alberta for the next week, out of touch)

andyoxus
14th September 2009, 11:00 PM
Back from mountaineering course, slightly chastened...

After skimming LP's new 'Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya' I'm still keen on Tumlingtar to Lukla and Khumbu. (The other possibility was Manaslu.) Looks like I might have to pick up a guide in Kathmandu (rather than go alone).

By the way, Dasain is 19th Sept to 3rd Oct this year, and apparently affects transport significantly (never been to Nepal in Autumn, so I have no experience of this). Perhaps I'll just sit it out in KTM for a couple of days and post a 'trekking partners' message at KTM Guesthouse etc.

By the way, here are some photos and a video of the Kangchenjunga trek I took in April this year: http://www.stemhaus.com/firefox/foxclocks/news/ (first couple of posts).

Andy