Everest Trek: Trekking Routes along The Gama Valley
Scarcely can a venturesome traveller find a more favorable land for mountaineering and trekking than the one offered in Tibet. Due to the controversial political issue and daunting geographical features, for years, travelling individually in Tibet has only been available to loyal Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims and local Tibetans as well as government-organized package tours.
The allure of Mt. Everest, Lhasa，sacred lakes, etc, however, has never failed to mountaineering and trekking enthusiasts. It was not until September, 1984 that Lhasa was officially open to individual travelers. From them on, the mystique of this holy soil has been steadily unveiled to the outside world.
The most beautiful valley in the world-Gama Valley.
For mountaineering and trekking lovers, their ultimate destination will definitely in the Mt. Everest region where several world-class trekking routes can be found. As Mt. Everest range stretches from low valleys (2200m) to towering mountains(8848m), trekkers will be provided with an opportunity to experience the grandeur of Mt. Everest, Mt.Makalu, glacier, and snow leopard, etc.
In addition, Gama valley boasts of its Orchid Valley, an extraordinary attraction as well as the campsite of Gama valley, where tourists are able to enjoy the unusual orchid at such high altitude.
Around Mt.Everest, there are four peaks above 8,000m high, including Mt. Makarluh, Gosanthain, Zhuoyo, Shishabanma and other 14 peaks above 7,000m, which form the spectacular view of Mt.Everest Natural Scenery Area.
Touriests can camp at Gama Valley to appreciate its natural beauty.
Among the well-established and more pro-like trekking routes, such as Old Tingri to Everest Base Camp Trek, routes beyond Everest Base Camp, the trekking route along the Gama Valley has its special charm and distinguishes itself from other routes in a unique way.
Where is Gama Valley
On the east slope of Mt. Everest lies the Gama Valley region. Gama Valley, together with, Gyirong Valley, Zhangmu Valley, Ya Dong Valley makes "Four Great Valleys" in Shigatse region. As early as 1920’s, Gama Valley was recommended as the most beautiful valley in the book Exploration of Mt. Everest, written by British explorer Barry. The Gama Valley abounds with diversified vegetation and rare animals and in fact the valley has been considered as "a botanical gene bank".
As Mt. Everest range stretches from low valleys (2200m) to towering mountains(8848m), trekkers will be provided with an opportunity to experience the grandeur of Mt. Everest, Mt.Makalu, glacier, and snow leopard, etc. In addition, Gama valley boasts of its Orchid Valley, an extraordinary attraction as well as the campsite of Gama valley, where tourists are able to enjoy the unusual orchid at such high altitude.
Best Season of Travelling in Gama Valley
April to June and September to October are the best time to travel Gama Valley. During these periods, tourists are able to have an excellent visibility as a result of good weather, and you can fully appreciate the beauty of Mt. Everest, and other mountainous range and orchids are in full blossom from May to June.
Attractive view of Gama Valley in autumn time.
How to Get Gama Valley
Gama Valley Trek staring from Tingri. Foreign travelers are not allowed to take regular bus in Tibet, suggest you rent a car from travel agency for the whole trip. It takes 6~7hrs from Shigatse and 10~11 hours from Lhasa to New Tingri.
Aside from the unspoiled natural scenery and scarce animals, trekkers will also be fascinated by the indigenous locals, i.e. Sherpa. In Tibetan "Sher" literally means "east", and "pa" means "people" . What is peculiar about Sherpa is that virtually all Sherpas are born mountaineers. They live around the Solu Khumbu region where the average altitude is 4700m or so.
Three Sherpas are enjoying their lunch in the wild.
Yet, Surprisingly, Sherpas, young, and old, can adapt themselves perfectly to the harsh environment, climbing mountains with heavy loads at great ease. Some even commented that if one wants to mountaineer in Himalayas, the first and foremost thing is to find Sherpas. To some extents, it is hard to say whether travellers are drawn to the sherpas or to the natural scenery itself. Even Hillary Clinton is a big fan of Sherpas.
On her way to join the celebration of 50th anniversary of success climb of the summit of Mt. Everest, she was interviewed and told the reporter that all i wanna to do is to get together with Sherpas and chat with them’. Therefore, it is safe to say that it is the unique natural wonders and extraordinary ethnic group that truly define the Gama Valley, an unparalleled trekking route that you can’t afford to miss.
In terms of transportation, owing to the extreme altitude of Gama Valley, it is advisable to rent yaks to carry your bags and hire the licensed guide or Sherpas to be your guide. Besides, westerns are required to have Tibet Alien Travel Permit to enter certain regions.
Before you go, have a thorough medical check-up is also necessary and do bring some medicines that can ease altitude sickness, diarrhoea, and sun cream is also a must given the strong radiation of strong sunlight. Some other gears are also recommendable: footwear, sleeping bag, rain gear, tent, fuel stove, water bottle, thermal underwear, head gear, pocket knife, maps, tampons or sanitary napkins, sunglasses, lighter, etc.
Day 1: Chutang Village (3700m） - YoupaVillage – Sangchung (4500m) – anonymous Glacier (4600m) 17km
Day 2: anonymous Glacier – Gabotso Lake (4300m)10km
Day3 : Gabotso Lake (4300m)-- Tsola (5300m)—Wooden House (4500m) 17km
Day4 : Wooden House (4500m)- - Tsokuotso Lake（4300m) – on the age of Garma Tsangbo River（3100m)15km
Day5: Camping Place -- Nesangba (3340m) -- Showomi (3100m) 17km
Day6: Showomi (3100m)-- Kuolapo（2700m) 17km
Day7: Kuolapo (2700m)--- Chentang Village (2200m) 15km
Day8: Mountain pass -- Kundinma (3200m)--- Tashi Raga --- Riwo (4500m)
Another major attraction or rare scenery lies in the "Orchid Valley", a campsite along the Game Valley. Known for its Rhodiola Rosea in full blossom in May, Orchid Valley features the beauty of a fairyland, to put in an honest way. Owing to its low terrain with low altitude, the valley is free from the erosion of wind and is relatively warmer with ample oxygen and moisture.
Beautiful landscape of Orchid Valley.
The faraway mist together with massive Rhodiola Rosea, casts a veil of mystique in this unspoiled land. Trekkers’ tents are set along the creek with Gamma Zangbo lying behind and tourists are surrounded by majestic mountain ranges and enjoy the lush vegetation which is 3890m above the sea level. When the luminous moon casts its beauty in the Orchid Valley at night, trekkers will absolutely be amazed at such surrealistic scenery.
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