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 Himalaya, Nepal, Valle del Rolwaling, trekking
Himalaya, Nepal, Rolwaling, Chet Chet, trekking

Waterfalls and "jula"
before Chet Chet

Himalaya, Nepal, Rolwaling, Tengi Ragi Tau, trekking

Tengi Ragi Tau
South Face

Himalaya, Nepal, Rolwaling, Bhote Kos, trekking

Dense vegetation
in the Bhote Kos

Text and photos by Cristiano Delisi


The Rolwaling valley was first explored in 1951 during a survey of Everest from Nepal.

On that occasion, Eric Shipton wrote for The Times
"This way of going to the mountains, this exploration of unknown peaks, glaciers and valleys, this discovery when walking up new passes that connect one valley to the next, is the most fascinating activity I know.

The variety of experiences, the constant transformation of scenes, the gradual explanation of the mountain's geography all give a sense of profound satisfaction and concede a true comprehension, almost a sense of personal possession of the explored region".

Itinerary  1  2  3
Useful information
Nepal map

Even though 50 years have passed, I believe Shipton's words most feelingly describe this trekking route. Fascinating for its solitude, remoteness and wilderness, it is definitely one of the most beautiful treks in Nepal.

I walked along this route a year ago with a group of trekkers and we found no more than a couple of places where we could buy some coca cola, stumbled across just one lodge worthy of this definition and, when 20 aeroplanes land at Lukla daily, met only two other groups of trekkers.

The Sherpas who live there, albeit few in winter, call Rolwaling the "tomb" because of its position, buried deep between steep icy giants. This nickname doesn't do the valley justice though, for we didn’t feel buried – quite the opposite.

Rolwaling's attraction lies in its atmosphere, its panoramas, its variety of hidden corners and the sense of adventure that one encounters walking through the Drolam Bau glacier or crossing the Tesi Lapcha river. The lack of a clearly defined goal, famous mountain or specific attraction, together with the physical demands of the trek have ensured that this has not become a mass tourist itinerary. In addition, the bureaucratic vicissitudes have contributed to halting any real "development"

During the 1980s, when tourism grew exponentially in the Khumbu region, the Rolwaling area remained inaccessible to all westerners. Even today the government does not grant the simple trekking permit. The only way to enter this Himalayan region therefore is with a permit for Ramdung or Parchamo.

Parchamo can also be reached directly from Thame or Khumbu, but an adventure which includes a journey through a remote valley, an ascent of one or two mountains prior to discovering a new region, is surely preferable as this mirrors the words of Shipton.

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