The Tsurphu to Yangpachen trekking is an excellent choice for those who want to get a close look at the Tibetan herders (drokpa) and their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Although they have permanent winter homes they still spend much of the year camping with their animals. Beginning at Tsurphu Monastery this rugged walk crosses several alpine valleys before emerging into the broad and windswept Yangpachen valley.
This is a high elevation trekking exceeds 4400m for the entire duration and a maximum elevation of 5300m at the Lasar-la. Combining alpine tundra and sweeping mountain panoramas with visit to monasteries and a nunnery, this trekking nicely balances cultural and wilderness activities. The Best time for this trekking is from Mid- April to Mid of October.
Day 01 Lhasa airport picking up, have a good rest in the afternoon. Overnight at Lhasa.
Day 02 Lhasa
Sightseeing in Lhasa, visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Market. Overnight at Lhasa.
Day 03 Lhasa
Sightseeing in Lhasa, visit Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery. Overnight at Lhasa.
Day 04 Lhasa to Tsurphu Monastery
Driving from Lhasa to Tsurphu Monastery, takes about 2 hours, and the altitude will up to 4480m. Today you will be spent acclimatizing further and visiting this Tsurphu Monastery. Overnight at Tsurphu monastery.
Day 05 Tsurphu Monastery to Leten, trekking 4 hours, 11km
A spectacular first day of trekking up a green valley crisscrossed with mountain streams. Be on the look out for various species of mountain goats. Several small nomadic communities camp here for the summer herding months, and you may have a stop into a yak-hair tent for a cup of salt butter tea or some fresh yak milk! Crest the ridge top four hours later, emerging onto a high plateau with a scattering of rock-enclosed huts, and look for a flat area for camping. From day one, the scenery is breathtaking,classic Tibetan beauty.
Day 06 Leten to Bartso, trekking 5-6 hours, 15km
Have your first small pass, the Damchen Nyingtri, bear to the left at the cairns at the crest, and descend into a magical valley of lichen-coated boulders, meandering streams and expansive, powder-blue sky. Three hours later, you will cross the Lasar La and descend into the Yangpachen valley, with its wide open plateaus, spiky grass hummocks and tundra-like parched, cracked patches of earth, and head towards Bartso. The views of Brize (translated as female yak herder) and Tarze (horse keeper) are superb, and you will feel safe in the care of the local mountain god, Nyenchen Tanglha. Camp near Bartso, a drokpa (nomad) village of five or six houses, surrounded by the juniper used for incense all over the Tibetan world.
Day 07 Bartso to Dorje Ling Nunnery, Trekking 4 hours, 15km
Leaving the village of Bartso behind, head towards a wide trail leading across the valley and over another ridge, from where you will be rewarded with views of Nyenchen Tanghlha (7111m), the holiest mountain in central Tibet. Emerge at Tajung village, and then climb gently up rolling hills where young nomadic boys and girls picnic on the plateaus as they watch their yaks and sheep graze. The vistas are, again, just amazing! Mid-day, you should reach the small Djore Ling Ani Gompa (nunnery),near which you will set up camp. It is possible that these nuns, some of the friendliest in Tibet, will drag you into the gompa s tea-house and pass around a heaping plate of yak meat (use the bowie knife provided to hack a piece off) before getting into the requisite photo session.
Day 08 Dorje Ling Nunnery / Yangpachen Monastery / Yangpachen Hotsprings / Lhasa, trekking 4 hours, 14km
Today walking for three or four hours, following the ox-bow Nyango Chu River snaking its way through the grassy valley, and head for Yangpachen Gompa. This old Kagyupa monastery, with Tibetan mastiffs keeping guard, overlooks part of the Trans-Himalaya range. Landcruiser will wait for at monastery, pick up to have a hot springs at Yangbachen, then drive back to Lhasa.
Alpine Adventure Club Treks & Expedition (P) Ltd.
Kaldhara-16, Kathmandu, Nepal