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 Day 14 Mong La to Dole

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Mong La

Dole

Latitude

27° 50.36N

27° 51.98N

Longitude

86° 44.30E

86° 44.02E

Altitude

4,018 metres

4,016 metres

Ascent

428 metres

Descent

430 metres

Time (excluding rests)

4 hours 25 minutes

Distance

6.5 kilometres

An experienced trekking yak always gets a hearty breakfast. You never know what lies ahead.

A lodge in Phortse Tenga

Do not cross the bridge at Phortse Tenga

Cho Oyu 8,153 metres, can be seen in the distance, due north.

Cho Oyu close up

Kantega

Kantega and Thamserku from Dole

This yak is feeling pretty smug. There's not much to eat at Dole after the snow storm, but what a good job he had that hearty breakfast earlier on.

     Today's trek follows the valley side along the traditional yak trail.

Kantega and Thamserku from the path

     Start down the steep zigzag path down to the Dudh Kosi. Back below the tree line, the path passes through a conifer and rhododendron forest.

     At Phortse Tenga, [27° 51.11N 86° 44.81E 3,588 metres] (2 hours ) there are 4 primitive lodges. The lodges are in two groups, ten minutes apart. The fragile environment of Phortse Tenga has been ruined by latrine digging by large trekking companies. Once there were ancient yak fields with deep smooth turf surrounded by conifers and birch. Now there are ugly holes in the turf, and you have to watch your step.

     Leave the dubious delights of Phortse Tenga. From here, up the valley, you can see Cho Oyu 8,153 metres in the distance to the north. As you draw level with the bridge, do not cross, but instead turn left and follow the path uphill, zigzagging upwards through the birch forest.

     Behind you, over the valley are great views of Thamserku and Kantega (2 hours 15 minutes). Pass an abandoned official building, something that is becoming a common sight along the trekking paths of Nepal (2 hours 35 minutes).

Taboche 6,367 metres is visible in the distance

     Reach an open area, on a spur, from which there are good views. [27° 51.23N 86° 44.54E 3,782 metres] (3 hours 10 minutes).

     The path continues along the hillside, crossing a series of large streams until you reach another large level area crossed by a stream (2 hours 15 minutes). From here the path levels out and contours along the hillside. Just a short way beyond here is the village of Dole (4 hours 25 minutes).

The village of Dole, after an April snowstorm

     Dole is a Sherpa summer village owned, like the rest of Gokyo, by the people of Khumjung. It is situated in a sheltered valley by the Phule Khola. They have built five lodges here, including:

  • Namche Lodge
  • Himalaya Lodge
  • Hilltop View Lodge

     The weather here can change unpredictably, owing to the close proximity of large mountains. I arrived in strong sunshine, but by 1pm it was snowing.

© Ian Johnson 2003

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