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Sherpa Ascent
Mt. Kailash

Mt. Kailash (6714m) is the most sacred mountain in Asia. Nearby are the sources for four of South Asia's greatest rivers and at the mountain's base is the highest body of fresh water in the world-- Lake Manasarovar. To reach the holy mountain we trek through the recently opened district of Humla, Nepal's highest and most remote region.

The upper Humla Karnali valley is inhabited by Bhotias, Tibetans who continue their traditional grain/salt trade with Tibet. At the Tibetan border we drive to Taklakot with time to visit the Bazaar, then on to Lake Manasarovar. The Kailash kora, or circuit, begins from the small settlement of Darchen where we mix with pilgrims for the four day trek around the mountain. Many of these people have walked days or even weeks to reach Kailas, stretching out their length on hands and knees the entire way.

We have scheduled an extra day at Diraphuk for acclimatization and to explore the magnificent north face and glacier of Kailash, the Dolma La (5636m). A high pass festooned with prayer flags, it is the spiritual and physical high point of the circuit, or kora, which we cross before returning to Darchen. We then drive the spectacular northern route across the Tibetan Plateau where we may see the black tents of nomads (drokpas), wild horses and antelope. Mt. Kailas is an important pilgrimage for Hindu, Buddhist, and the Bon-Po, the ancient pre-Buddhist religion.

Finally we reach Lhasa for two days guided sight-seeing of the fabled Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. We return to Kathmandu by a spectacular flight over the Himalayas. This trek combining the remoteness of Humla, the spectacle of Tibet and the religious intensity of Kailas and the Jokhang Temple, is a powerful physical and emotional experience.

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