Community Service and Trekking in Nepal
Making a Difference
Help a Sherpa Village
You can Make a Difference and your efforts will be appreciated - join us for this village project and trek in October/November 2009
With this Community Service project we are continuing our ongoing support to the Sherpa village of Pangum. Nepal Trekking has supported the people and the Monastery in the village since 1992.
Your time in Nepal begins in Kathmandu. There are two days to take in some of the sights, sounds and culture of Nepal. Together with a city guide you have time to tour the main areas and cultural sites of this fascinating city. A briefing on the village project, trekking and other aspects of the visit will be held. There is time to relax after the flight to Nepal and to wander around the main parts of Thamel where most of the shops and restaurants cater for tourists.
A superb mountain flight starts this adventure taking you from Kathmandu
to the area of the village of Pangum. The flight takes you along part
of the eastern Himalaya with views over the Langtang and Rolwaling
Himals and the terraced mid hills of the Solu Khumbu It is proposed
to use a helicopter to fly direct to the village. This will increase
the time we have available in the village, it will also move many
kilos of cargo direct to the village and save two, or more, days walking
from Lukla for group members, staff and porters. Half the group would
fly direct to Pangum by helicopter; the other half would fly to Lukla
by fixed wing plane and then transfer to Pangum by helicopter.
Our Village Project is to assist the local community to construct a new trail to the Monastery that is situated approximately 150 metres above the main village on the valley hillside.
The present trails were constructed with assistance of similar groups in 1996 and 2000 respectively and are now several years old and damaged by both weather erosion and animals.
The Sherpa village of Pangum is situated at almost 3000 metres at the head of a valley with a small number of houses and a Monastery together with houses for the Lama (monks)
With the Monastery situated up on the hillside the trails up from the village are needed to be in good condition for the movement of the locals as well as many people from surrounding villages who visit this monastery at various times of the year for festivals or for puja's (ceremonies) that form an important part of Sherpa Buddhist culture.
Our project will renew part of the existing trails and incorporate a new section, and eventually an entrance gateway will be built also.
Erosion and the passage of animals, mostly cows that roam freely across the village, have taken there toll of the present trails and it is proposed to build a more substantial trail incorporating stone steps using cut stone and ensuring where possible that it is protected from the animals and used only by people who will have a much easier pathway to the Monastery.
The work undertaken by the group in the village will be of a general unskilled nature associated with moving earth and stones and assisting local villagers and professionals in construction of the trail which will be stepped up the hillside with retaining dry stone walls and drainage as required. No experience is necessary but a willingness to get your hands dirty and be involved will help. Anyone with relevant experience will, of course, be very welcome.
You will be directly involved with the locals in constructing this trail. Professional stonecutters and other craftsmen will be employed and many of the stones in the old sections of trail will have to be moved to assist with the formation of the new one.
Interaction with the Sherpa people will be very much the highlight of this experience.
Provisional logistics suggest two groups back to back to allow the village project to continue for 18/20 days.
Trek fees and sponsorship will fund the project and provide valuable employment to the Sherpa trekking staff, porters, and the stonecutters and builders, both in the village and on trek. During the trek we are using the local lodges and this is assisting the local economy.
There is a school in the village, originally constructed by Sir Edmund Hillary's Himalayan Trust although later taken under the control of the government. A few years ago the school was refurbished through assistance from New Zealand. The Monastery also runs a school for the young Lama (Monks) and this concentrates on the teachings of Buddhism but also includes many of the usual school subject lessons. Any group members who are from a teaching or medical background should have some opportunities to put their experiences to good use.
The second phase begins the trek to Everest. Leaving the village the trails lead north into the high Khumbu. The head guide and other Sherpa staff will accompany the group, porters will carry the main bags and you will only need your day sack.
It will take three days trekking to reach Namche Bazaar 3340m, weather permitting it may be possible to get the first sighting of Everest as the trail leads up to Namche. A rest/acclimatisation day allows time to explore around the village and from the high point above the main village to take in the views down the valleys to Everest, with Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kangteiga and Tawache all in view.
The time spent working in the village will have helped greatly with
acclimatisation, however it is still necessary to be aware that after
Namche the trek is above 3500m until we return again several days
Throughout the Khumbu the Sherpa Buddhist religion can be seen along the trails, mani stones and walls, prayer flags and chortens. Our journey to Tengboche (3867m), and Dingboche (4343m) has some fine examples.
Tengboche Monastery is a special place for the Sherpa. It is also a special place for Nepal Trekking, we have been involved with the Monastery since 1991, it is always a great pleasure to visit Tengboche and enjoy the surroundings and the magnificent mountain views.
At Dingboche a rest/acclimatisation day gives the possibility to explore the Imja Khola towards Chhukung, an area of glaciers, big mountains and spectacular views.
Trekking on from Dingboche we meet the Khumbu Glacier and follow the moraine to Loboche (4930m). From Loboche we have an early start to Kala Pattar (5545m) and magnificent views of Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse. Our return to Lukla may have a few diversions to visit Pheriche where the Himalayan Rescue Association have a hospital, and Khumjung and Kunde where there is a hospital and school funded by Sir Edmund Hilary's Himalayan Trust.
We have three days in which to explore Kathmandu and the other ancient
Kingdoms of the valley, based at our excellent hotel in Thamel. These
days are also built in to act as spare days if the weather delays
our flight from Lukla, and they offer the opportunity for shopping
and to savour the culture which is so different to our own. Your visit
to Nepal will have made a difference. You will leave something behind
and take with you the memories of your experiences.
More about this trek