Taplejung to Jiri (October-November 2012):

5. Hongon to Yangla Kharka (5 days)

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Hongon was the last village that we traversed until reaching Chukhung in Khumbu twelve days later. The trail between Hongon and Yangla Kharka (located at 3560m along the Makalu BC trekking trail) is never difficult, but is remote and consists of many ups and downs between dense vegetation and snow-covered terrain.

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Leaving Hongon in the early morning sun.

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We soon crossed a dense rain-like forest...

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...before reaching snow again around Molun Pokhari (lake) at 4000m.

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Some steeper terrain above Molun Pokhari.

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View of Makalu during the descent to Tin Pokhari.

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We then entered a narrow side valley leading to Tibet at Chiranchoma La (4393m).

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We camped in this valley near a small hut (3100m) used in the summer by yak herders. The border with Tibet was only 6-7km away.

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Waterfall above the valley.

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Due to its N-S orientation, the valley was a very cold place, especially when we left on the following morning.

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Strangely shaped trees along the way to our next camp.

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Our next camp was at a place called Nava Odar (3050m), which means something like ′cave camp′.

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On the next morning we started with a steep ascent of more than 1000m to reach snow level again, with views over some high peaks (the high peaks in the third photo below are located in Tibet).

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Scenery before reaching our 4100m camp. (Matt Scott photo)

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Frozen rhododendrons at the 4100m camp.

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After several other ups and downs we eventually descended into the valley of the Barun river through a beautiful forest.

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Then we soon reached Yangla Kharka, the first truly welcoming place, with its few tea-houses, since the village of Hongon. (Matt Scott photo)

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In Yangla Kharka, Matt (who had hurt his left shoulder in a fall along the steep trail below Thudam) and Kai (who had a family emergency) left the trip. A helicopter arranged by Ang Karma flew them to Lukla (a 15min flight), where they took a regular flight to Kathmandu. On the same day, we sent back six of our porters to Kathmandu through Tumlingtar, in order to have a more compact team to cross the 3 passes between Makalu BC and Chukhung.

 

The helicopter landing, on the ground (Matt Scott photo), and taking off (video).

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Other parts of the trek:

1.   Taplejung to Olangchun Gola (4 days)

2.  Olangchun Gola (1 day)

3.  Crossing Lumba Samba pass (3 days)

4.  Tudham to Hongon (3 days)

5.  Hongon to Yangla Kharka (5 days)

6.  Yangla Kharka to Sherpani Col High Camp (4 days)

7.  Crossing of Sherpani and West Cols (1 day)

8.  Hongu basin to Namche across Amphu Lapsta (3 days)

9.  Namche to Jiri (5 days)

 

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