Numbur Cheese Circuit

The Numbur Cheese Circuit is in Ramechhap District of Nepal.

Understand

The Numbur Cheese Circuit is a new trek in the Ramechhap District of Nepal. The starting point of the trek is Shivalaya, also the start of Everest Base Camp trek for those who don't fly to Lukla.

This route has a recommended itinerary of 14 days trekking, although at a push it can be completed in up to 10 days by combining some of the shorter days. It can also be extended several days for those who wish to visit some of the nearby glaciers, peaks or lakes. A rest day on the trek is also a good idea.

The trek can offer visitors superb views of major Himalayan peaks including Annapurna South, Langtang, Gaurishankar and Numburchuili and many more. Walk through deep river gorges, glacial lakes, terraced rice fields, subtropical forests and Sherpa villages to the Lhiku Khola glacier, watched over by the towering peaks of Pathibarra and Numburchuili. Visit one of Nepal’s first cheese factories, established in 1957 and the famous Thodung Monastery on the way.

Landscape

In April and May rhododendrons bloom in profusion, you may also see eagles and musk deer as well as Himalayan tahr, a species of goat antelope. If you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of the elusive snow leopard.

During the wet season the mountain meadows are very green and lush with flowers and grasses. However trekking at this time is difficult in the wet and clouds will obscure any views.

Get in

Shivalaya and Those are the start and finish points of the Numbur Cheese Circuit and are 8-9 hrs drive from Kathmandu. Seasonal Super express bus service goes to/from Kathmandu's Old Bus Park, near the Nepal Tourism Board(07:00 daily). Kathmandu to Jiri/Shivalaya takes 6-8 hours (450NRs). The winding road is very well paved with fine mountain views. The route follows the Arniko Highway towards Tibet before turning right over the Sun Koshi at Lamosangu for the climb on the Swiss built Lamosangu-Jiri Road, the "gateway to the Solu Khumbu", through Sindupalchowk, Dolahka Districts to Ramechhap. Buses make a lunch stop after 4 hours at Mude Bazaar, famous for the largest potatoes in Nepal.

Please note that during the monsoon season (June to mid-September) the road is usually closed to Shivalaya, so it is necessary to walk from Jiri to Shivalya - adding an extra day to the trek. The buses will also not run as far at Those (the end point) so it is necessary to return to Jiri.

Interesting stops along the way are Charikot, where you can stay at the luxurious Charikot Panorama Resort, run by friendly hosts Judith and Top Thapa, or continue on to Jiri.

Fees/Permits

There are currently no fees or permits needed for this trek.

See

The Sacred Lake of Jatapokhari
The Sacred Panch Pokhari Lake at over 4,500 m.
Family of cheese producers near Ngeju.
Village of Gumdel.
Inside Thodung Monastery

Eat

Yak Cheese

Drink

Sleep

The villages of Jiri, Shivalaya, Deurali, Bamti-Bhandar and Gumdel are well-served with trekking lodges,toilets and hot (bucket) showers.

In Kharare, Lahaksewar and Kyam accommodation is in an actual home or 'Community-run homestay', so the cross-cultural exchange is more authentic. Although part of the trek is in uninhabited areas, Community-run homestays operate during the trekking season so it's quite suitable for independent trekkers.

The area above Khahare to Sewar is uninhabited so camping is the only option at Panipakha, Phokte, Maanedanda, Jatapokhari, Panch pokhari, Thare, and Ngeju.

Note: the trek requires camping for at least 4-5 nights (usually night 2 - 6), so you will need to be well equipped with tents, sleeping gear, cooking equipment and sufficient food. There is no shortage of drinking water along the route (although bring water purification tablets to be safe). There are some basic stone and timber shelters at the camp sites. It is possible to sleep in the shelters, however they are open on one side and the roofs are not entirely waterproof. Shelters to be muddy from May – September during the monsoon season. There are no toilets at the camp sites.

Stay safe

This trek is challenging and should be considered as "difficult" and only suitable for trekkers with a good level of fitness and some trekking experience. The trail route is through a remote wilderness area for days 2-6. It is strongly advised to take an experienced guide as it would be easy to get confused by the multiple paths. Guides and porters can be organised through some trekking agencies in Kathmandu or it is possible to find a local guide in Jiri or Shivalaya.

The trekking route requires some fairly dramatic gains in altitude. Be aware of the risks of altitude sickness (acute mountain sickness - AMS) and allow sufficient time to acclimatise. It is possible to trek from Khare - Panipakha in one day, and then from Panipakha to Jata Pokhari on the next day, however this involves a gain in altitude of 2200 in two days which may cause issues for some people.

If you plan to continue along the Everest trail, the 'Numbur Cheese Circuit' provides excellent options for acclimatization.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.