Traverse of Central and Eastern Nepal (2011)

Leg 14: From Lukla to Honggu Khola (April 24 - May 1)

image004

Return to Traverse of Nepal main page

 

From Lukla we followed the trekking route along Inkhu Khola that leads to Mera La (5415m) below Mera peak. From Mera pass, we hiked down to Honggu Khola, a river that flows from Baruntse. Our goal was to follow this river down to Bung, a large village on the main trail connecting Lukla to Tumlingtar. However, following this river turned out to be too difficult. At about 2600m we decided to turn back. We eventually crossed Mera La in reverse to return to Inkhu Khola and reach Bung by another way.

 

From Lukla we first climb to Kharheteng (4000m) to cross a pass (~4600m) leading into the Inkhu Khola valley. This photo was taken from Kharketeng. The pass is at the center, slightly to the left.

DSCN0540

 

Looking down to Kharketeng

DSCN0543

 

Starting our descent from the pass toward Inkhu Khola

DSCN0555

 

Inkhu Khola valley slightly above Kote village

DSCN0560

 

Inkhu Khola valley soon before reaching the small village to Tangnag

DSCN0564

 

Views while climbing to Mera La from the village of Khare (4760m)

DSCN0572

 

DSCN0576

 

DSCN0579

 

Reaching Mera La (5415m)

DSCN0583

 

Views toward Mera peak

DSCN0580

 

DSCN0586

 

A group of climbers starting their ascent of Mera peak from Mera La (Mera peak is a popular peak with guided expeditions)

DSCN0587

 

During our descent to Honggu Khola below the tiny settlement of Kangme Dingma

DSCN0592DSCN0598

 

Crossing an icy bridge on the upper part of Honggu Khola

DSCN0600

 

After this bridge, the Honggu Khola valley became increasingly narrow and difficult. Traces of previous human passage (like neatly cut branches and bamboos) progressively disappeared. The following photos only partially reflect the difficulties that we encountered. On the second day we were extremely lucky to see a red panda at close distance, near the river crossing shown below. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera available at that time.

DSCN0605

 

DSCN0617

 

DSCN0615

 

DSCN0624

 

DSCN0620

 

The terrain became increasingly steeper, more slippery, and more dangerous. We had to use our rope more and more frequently, both for safety and for hauling loads down or up. We were making very slow progress. On the third evening of the descent, we decided to turn back.

DSCN0629DSCN0633

 

During our way back to Kangme Dingma (below Mera La) the weather was bad and wet. Rather than setting up our tents, we spent two nights in caves.

DSCN0641