Hiking in Tibet: Tingri to Mt. Everest Base Camp
Most hikers who go to the base camp area begin walking from the main Shigatse-Nepal highway,11 kilometres west of the checkpost,itself several kilometres beyond the turn-off to New Tinggri.Two hundred metres past kilometre stone 494 is a small bridge,and just after this a dirt road leading off to the left.This is the beginning of the hiking.The first village,Che,is reached after an hour's walk.From here it is possible to see the road winding its way ahead to the 5,200-metre Pang La Pass.By staying to the right side of the valley it is possible to take a short cut,saving precious energy during the ascent.
The hiking is taxing. If you are not fit and well acclimatized,do not attempt it. Plan one four days of walking to reach base camp from the main highway, althougt it can be done more quickly. Above all, attempt this hiking only if you are well equipped and able to bring enough food to remain self-sufficient for eight to ten days.
A second, less well-known route to the base camp begins at Tinggri,marked by kilometre stone 542. It is a more difficult walk but has several advantages: fewer foreigners, more wildlife, greener valleys and a greater likelihood of finding and hiring yaks for transport. A good plan might be to enter the Mt Everest region from Tinggri West and leave via the Rongbuk Valley back to kilometre stone 494. Unneeded equipment can be stored at New Tinggri or the checkpost.
After Tinggri West, the only places where it is possible to stay with Tibetan families are Lung-djo and Tzam-bu. The route is marked here and there with stone animal enclosures,which can be used for shelter,and the occasional nomad camp. Winds can be fierce,and temperatures extremely cold.Flooding in the late spring makes crossing rivers dangerous.Use bridges if at all possible.Yaks capable of carrying two heavy backpacks can occasionally be hired at Lung-djo.
Suggested day by day Itinerary:
Covering about 70 km and taking 4 days,the suggested itinerary is as follows:
Day 1: Start Hiking from milestone 5145(6km west of Tingri) to Mt. Wula Pass. The journey is about 15 km. There are small villages to stay along the way.
Day 2: From Mt. Wula Pass to Zaka Canal, about 20 km. You can hitchhike to Base Camp on the way if you are lucky.
Day 3: Zaka Canal to Quzong ( 15km)
Day 4: Quzong to Rongbuk Monatery then to Base Camp (20 km). Or you can take a rest for one day in ROngbu Monastery before heading to Base Camp.
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