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View Full Version : Dhaulagiri/Ganja La



AJoe
22nd April 2005, 11:47 AM
I need a guide to do a round Dhaulagiri or a Ganja La trek this summer or May 2006. I would perfer someone who has done one of these treks before. I want a good price, but I also know that safety comes first. I don't want my guide and porters having cold feet going up the French Pass.

Unregistered
27th April 2005, 08:40 PM
pls write us how many days you want hire professinal guide to your nepal holidays
skyline@enet.com.np
www.visitnepal.com/skyline

madhav

Not a guide
8th May 2005, 12:22 PM
This sounds like the perfect opportunity for one of the guides who advertise here.

Have you emailed either of the the Dendis?

Let us know how it goes.

GovindaPanta
10th May 2005, 12:22 PM
The trip started with a flight to Lukla where the Yeti Airlines pilots did a good job of landing the 16-seater plane on the tiny steep runway. We spent a wet first night camped at the base of Chatrwa Og pass. I started to feel the altitude after a while and a throbbing headache set in. I kept plodding behind a porter to try and get it over with and eventually we past the prayer flags at the crest and descended to a small teahouse on the other side of the pass. I sat in the smoky little hut waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, after quite a long wait, Dannie, one of the party came staggering in with a severe headache and barely able to walk straight.
The following day was better weather and there was a nice view of clouds below and the wide boulder strewn valley. We then had a long descent to the Inkhu Khola, which is the river we would follow for next couple of days. We spent the night at a clean teahouse in the little Maoist village of Kothe We were approached that evening by the Maoist leader of the village for 3000 rupees per person, which we handed over so as to be allowed to continue the next day. In the morning I walked out of the teahouse to see the enormous west face of Mera peak towering out of the mist. It was an impressive sight with Dannie commenting, ‘I don’t think this is possible,’ as his freshly awakened, slightly altitude sick brain tried to comprehend the fact that we were intending to climb that huge thing. As we started up the riverbed I stopped a couple of times to take pictures of the beautiful shape of Kusum Kanguru rising up before us. We continued to the town of Tagnag that day, where I started to feel the altitude again.

Khare was where we got to the next day after an interesting walk through ever changing landscapes. From Khare at 5100m you could see Mera peak . I started taking antibiotics and lay around not eating and feeling like death. Dannie was also feeling the altitude and also had a headache but Mathilde was strong as always and was doing long trips up the surrounding ridges to acclimatise, as well as practise some ice climbing with Sange, the climbing guide. The porters sat around playing cards, looking bored and trying to get me to eat something.

After three days at Khare we did a short trek up to a camp about two hundred metres above the village. The weather was unstable and it snowed most of that night.
The next day was an uncomfortable plod through the snow up to high camp at 5800m. We walked up one slightly steep icy section before coming out on a huge snowscape which is Mera La. From here the views are incredible with Malanphulan’s pyramid like shape as well as Makalu, many others and Mera’s east face.

We were supposed to leave at 12.30am to climb Mera but it snowed all night and we ended up stepping out into the freezing cold at 1:30am. We roped up and headed up through the soft snow towards the summit. I was still feeling ill and had no strength in me making the going slow. Mathilde turned around due to cold feet, Sange and I continued. After some time I had no feeling in my toes and my hands weren’t very warm, I had absolutely no energy. The sky started to light up so I took some pictures and turned to head down. We reached high camp at 5:30am and Mathilde said she would try for the summit again. I collapsed into my tent and had to rub my feet with the help of Shanta for about half an hour to regain any feeling in them before falling asleep. I awoke to find myself sweating in what was now a hot tent being warmed by the midday heat. Mathilde had just returned from the summit with Sange and Arjun. We packed up and headed down the mountain to a campsite below Mera La.

It felt very calm and relaxing to be at a lower altitude in a more hospitable environment as we set up camp next to a small lake below Mera’s east face. It snowed all of that night and I remember lying in my sleeping bag listening to the soft, barely audible sound of the snow landing on the tent roof.

We headed up the Hongu valley for a few more hours before making camp in a nice flat area. It was another cold night but the morning was clear with impressive mountains revealing themselves on either side of the valley. We set off up the Hongu Khola valley with the awesome beauty of this high altitude wilderness revealing its self from the horizon as we ascended. Everest and Lhotse straight ahead, Baruntse to the right, glacial lakes and mountain formations I thought only possible in the imagination. We camped above one of the big lakes at a place called Panch Pokhari, meaning five lakes. It was an amazing place surrounded by impressive mountains on all sides with the ominous ice steps that form the south side of the Amphu Lapcha pass directly above. There was an air of anticipation and nervousness that night as we sat around the kerosene stove, we all knew that the next day would be the most dangerous of the trip.

Sange was going to help a New Zealander and his porters over the pass the next day because their climbing guide had turned around at the Mera La along with the rest of his group. This meant that about twenty people had to go up the fixed ropes. All their loads would then have to be lowered down the 60-metre drop on the steep North face of the Amphu Lapcha. We would first had to wait for a group of Climbing Sherpas from a Baruntse expedition to take some of their loads over the pass before we could go because they got to the base of the pass before us.

. I gazed up at the tent roof encased in ice from our breathing in the night. Trying to get motivated to get dressed and step out into the freezing cold to see what was happening. When I emerged from the tent I saw Sange standing next to the kitchen tent. He came over with some tea and said that we could only set off then because the Baruntse expedition started at eight. We were soon plodding up towards the menacing folds of ice draped in enormous icicles. After scrambling up some rock, we started up the ice. Sange had fixed ropes and we jumared up without too much trouble. At about twelve o’clock we came out at the top of the last ice step. Everyone was in good spirits, taking pictures and posing for the camera, but I knew that the descent was the hard part. After a long time I decided to traverse across to the true apex of the pass. I came out on an awesome knife-edge ridge which dropped away to Panch Pokari on one side and the Everest region on the other. The panorama was spectacular: we were on a small pedestal in amongst Himalayan giants. I sat on the summit taking in the view for a few hours before we could start the down climb. The Baruntse Sherpas only finished lowering their loads at three o’clock, which didn’t leave us much time. We all virtually ran down the abseil and continued down the very steep north face of Amphu Lapcha. I reached the flat valley bottom as it was getting dark. Sange was still descending, as he had to take the fixed ropes down. He came in with Shanta after dark-we traced their descent by Sange’s bobbing headlamp. Everyone was deadbeat, but very relieved at having got over safely. It was another cold night and in the morning I felt the adventure was over. We headed down until the snow slowly disappeared and some beautiful aquamarine lakes revealed themselves. There were little green clearings with boulders and it was hospitable in comparison to the nine days we had just spent above 5000 metres.

On reaching Chhukung we walked into a brightly painted teahouse, very different to others we had experienced so far. At Chhukung there were a lot of trekkers who generally seemed out of touch with the mountains. Many people spent most of the day in the teahouse trying to keep their ‘fashionable trekwear’ clean. This is the tourist scene. We were out of the mountain wilderness and back to the real world. We had a good party that night with the porters and guides. We were drinking whisky, roxi and beer and eating crazy amounts of yak steak. Civilisation can be fun!

The following day was a rest day and I decided to climb Chhukung Ri, 5500 metre scramble. From the top, I had amazing close up views of Lhotse and Ama Dablam on the other side of the valley. At Periche the next day, I parted company with Dannie, Mathilde, Shanta and Arjun, which was sad after becoming their friend. They were going to Everest base camp and I was going straight down to Lukla. We spent the next few days trekking down the famous Everest base camp trail, past places like the Tengboche monastery and Namche Bazaar. There were beautiful mountains emerging on either side and ahead. The large trail snaked its way down the valley over suspension bridges and through small Sherpa villages. It was interesting to see the opposite side of mountains like Kusum Kanguru from the Everest side. It is difficult to comprehend the scale of these mountains. Thirteen days before we had been on the other side of this huge dividing mass of rock and ice, created so perfectly and apparently so randomly by shifting tectonic plates over many thousands of years.
Reported and explored by
Govinda Pd.Panta
For: Adventure Pilgrims Trekking, Pvt. Ltd.
worldexplorers club.
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