Rolwaling Trek – The Challenge Of A Lifetime | Mountain IQ
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Rolwaling Trek – The Challenge Of A Lifetime

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The Rolwaling trek is rare amongst trekkers, unsurprising considering that it is one of the most challenging treks Nepal has to offer.

Previous mountaineering experience and the support of experienced guides is essential. It is certainly not one for families.

On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Rolwaling Trek.

Rolwaling Trek

Overview

The Rolwaling Valley is known in the Sherpa language as “the grave,” but this is due to its location, buried between steep ice giants, rather than a high death rate.

The Rolwaling trek is rare amongst trekkers, unsurprising considering that it is one of the most challenging treks Nepal has to offer. Previous mountaineering experience and the support of experienced guides is essential. It is certainly not one for families.

The most spectacular moment is sunrise over Gauri Shankar, when the sun gives its peak a golden crown while the rest of the mountain is silver-grey.

This trek usually takes between 18 and 27 days and accommodation is mostly in home stays. Bedrooms are sometimes basic: the actual beds are usually no more than a wooden board supporting a blanket, thin straw mat or minimal foam mattress – it would be wise to take a Therm-a-Rest mattress. The rooms are, at least, warm, even at the highest altitudes.

Never mind red pandas or Snow Leopards – here, you could see a Yeti! This is where the famous British mountaineer, Eric Shipton, photographed a yeti track in 1951. It was also the site of Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1960 expedition that sought this mythical creature. Tenzing Norgay’s father caught site of a yeti, twice. In Beding and Na, you may meet people who have had that same experience.

Please Note ​

The highlight of this trek is unquestionably the temple at Muktinath (12,464 feet), which is dedicated to the god, Vishnu, one of the three supreme deities. It has natural gas fires and 108 waterfalls.

It is believed that bathing using all of the waterfalls washes away sins. Devotees do this even when temperatures are freezing.

Regional Map

The Rolwaling Valley is east of Kathmandu, on the border with Tibet, at the foot of the holy and highly beautiful Mount Gauri Shankar (23 442 feet).

This valley is between the Everest and Langtang ranges, and the principal mountains of both are visible.

Langtang-Valley-Trek-map

Recommended Map

We recommend the following map:

Rolwaling Trek Itinerary

Here is a detailed Rolwaling Trek itinerary. Please note that there are several Rolwaling trek itineraries that can be done. 

Below we have laid out the most popular version – 19 days, leaving from Kathmandu. If you want to make your own way to Chhetchhet then you could probably organise this with your operator or guide.

Click each day to read more...

Day 1-2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11​​​​

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Video Overview

A beautiful video overview of the Rolwaling Trek by Ondrej Dvorak. It’s 06:35 long

Recommended Guidebook

There are many guidebooks that mention the Rolwaling Trek and Valley, but by far the best is:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the trek cost?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I need?

Insurance Information

Trekking insurance is vital in Nepal. This is particularly true on the Rolwaling trek which is very remote. If an accident should occur that requires medical assistance and evacuation you will certainly want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure to have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, damaged, stolen or delayed baggage; flight delays and interruptions; and tour operators default.

This article on travel and trekking insurance provides great information on what type of insurance you need, as well as provides an easy quote calculator from a leading travel operator.

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