Robert R. Fenichel


Nepal (not Kathmandu), 2003

I spent most of October 2003 on a trek from Beni (on the Kali Gandaki) west to Darbang (1120m), then north along the Myagdi Khola up the gorge we had seen in 2000 to the Chhonbardan Glacier and French Pass (5300m [photo by Pasang Gelu Sherpa]) into Hidden Valley, then over Dhampus Pass (5160m) down to rejoin the Kali Gandaki at Marpha (2675m).  We had a few days left before the flight out of Jomsom airport, so we spent three days in an extra loop north of Jomsom.  

With the possible exception of the Rolwaling trek in 1979, this was the most spectacular trek I've been on in Nepal.  The lowland areas were familiar (houses at Tarrakot and below Muri; view of Gurja Himal (7193m) from Darbang; agricultural areas near Darbang and Hamlung), but a little extra excitement was provided by our meeting with a Maoist insurgent tax collector who declined to be photographed but who was insistent upon a donation of 150 rupees (about $2), for which we received a formal receipt.  A few days above Darbang, the gorge becomes wild and steep.  Boghara (2100m; see also QQ_08) is the last village, and beyond the surreally-outfitted campsite at Dobang (2480m), the next permanent inhabitants are at Marpha.  Two days above Dobang, one has traversed the tundra to the first of several camps overshadowed by Dhaulagiri (8167m; see also QS_04 and QS_06).  Several days are spent in the gorge, at Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4510m; the photo is a 270 composite panorama), and on the glacier, and then beyond French Pass there is the sudden flat expanse of Hidden Valley (5000m), with Dhaulagiri still visible.  Dhampus Pass gives one a close look at Tukuche (6920m) and the beginning of the gradual descent (see also QY_08 and QY_19) to Marpha.

 North of Jomsom, our route began and ended along the Kali Gandaki (see also RF_06), but then turned up the little-visited Panda Khola to get to Lupra (3060m; see also RC_02).  From Lupra we saw the sun set on an unnamed peak, then moved over a ridge (3695m) to the ancient village of Jharkot (3470m; see also RD_08 and RD_13).  At Jharkot we met the around-Annapurna hordes, and we descended with them through Kagbeni back to Jomsom.  Kagbeni (on the Kali Gandaki at 2840m) is at least as ancient as Jharkot, but ease of access has led to subtle modernizations here and there.

GPS waypoints collected during this trek are posted on a separate page.

QG_01.jpg (451695 bytes)    QK_14.jpg (244139 bytes)    QN_02.jpg (583491 bytes)    QN_06.jpg (710805 bytes)

     QG_01                           QK_14                           QN_02                  QN_06       

QP_08.jpg (462704 bytes)    QP_11.jpg (329202 bytes)    QP_16.jpg (432417 bytes)    QQ_01.jpg (507033 bytes)

QP_08                         QP_11                          QP_16                  QQ_01

QQ_08.jpg (352239 bytes)    QQ_14.jpg (227809 bytes)    QR_12.jpg (456325 bytes)    QS_01.jpg (392126 bytes)

     QQ_08                              QQ_14                                 QR_12                    QS_01     

QS_04.jpg (460616 bytes)    QS_06.jpg (355386 bytes)    QT_15.jpg (448822 bytes)    QW_02.jpg (425994 bytes)

        QS_04                    QS_06                      QT_15                  QW_02     

QX_01.jpg (358444 bytes)    QX_08.jpg (434032 bytes)    QY_01.jpg (441676 bytes)    QY_08.jpg (419999 bytes)

QX_01                   QX_08                QY_01                        QY_08

QY_19.jpg (492884 bytes)    RA_14.jpg (430238 bytes)    RB_19.jpg (496037 bytes)    

QY_19                   RA_14                     RB_19

RC_02.jpg (198304 bytes)    RC_04.jpg (334091 bytes)    RD_07.jpg (184920 bytes)

RC_02                       RC_04                    RD_07

RD_08.jpg (464985 bytes)    RD_13.jpg (423448 bytes)    RE_13.jpg (316960 bytes)

RD_08                RD_13                    RE_13

RE_17.jpg (257616 bytes)    RF_06.jpg (427219 bytes)        RF_17.jpg (424023 bytes)

RE_17                  RF_06                       RF_17

RH_04.jpg (199573 bytes)


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Images on this page 2003 by Robert R. Fenichel

Page revised: 02/13/2021 16:03