- Lala Gurung
The enormous Paldor peak (5,903 m) stands on the border of Rashuwa and Dhading districts and can be reached from both the districts.
However, this peak falls in the category of least climbed peaks in Nepal, despite being very close to the capital city of Kathmandu. We decided to take the route from Rasuwa to climb this peak. Gatlang is the popular tourist hub these days which can be reached by traveling in a hired jeep.
Gatlang village is the gateway to Paldor and other tourist destinations. Tourists, who arrived here previously called this village as “Black village” because they might have called it “black” as the house roofs here were made up of stone and wood and which looked dark in colors.
After the disastrous earthquake that shook Nepal in 2015, most of the houses rebuilt have roofs of different colors. So, now the village can be re-named as “Colorful village”.
The local potatoes of Gatlang are very famous. We also ate potatoes by roasting in the campfire and ate walnut by breaking them along with the pickle of Timur (Nepal pepper).
The next day, we got up and started moving upwards in between the forest destroyed by a wildfire last time. The locals say the wildfire in the forest could not be extinguished for one year. We took our lunch by cooking in the middle of the forest.
After lunch, we moved with guides at the rear and back. The foreigners and we were in the middle. Then, after walking for one hour, our team members were divided into two groups. One group able to walk fast and the other group able to walk slowly.
I was in the slow walking group. There was too much snow this season. So, the knee-deep snow made it too difficult to walk. The route was not at all visible. We had to move by looking at the foot imprints of other colleagues, who were moving ahead. Since the route was going uphill, it was a difficult one.
By 4 p.m. only we could reach Khurpu Bhanjyang which is situated at an elevation of 3800 meters. The weather condition worsened by the time we reached this place. It was totally dark in front of us and nothing could be seen. We took rest for ten minutes at Khurpu Bhanjyang. We also ate Chocolate and hot water and then descended downwards. This time there was no guide with us. We were lagging far behind the team.
After descending for around 100 meters ahead, we came across a crossroad. At this crossroad, I and three Korean climbers felt doubt as to which route to follow from here. The porters behind us were very far from us. We decided to follow the right side route by seeing the shoe imprints. And we had taken the right route. Otherwise, we were sure to be lost in that remote snowy area.
At 9 p.m we arrived at Somdang. The entire route was full of snow. So, our shoes and bodies were totally drenched. A few of the porters had arrived Somdang late at 11 p.m at night.
There are eight to ten houses at Somdang. It falls in the Rubi valley of Dhading district. We felt relieved after sipping a cup of teas and eating hot potatoes.
The next day also we took rest at Somdang and then moved towards Paldor high camp. We kept walking uphill in between the forest along the side of Rasuwa and some time by the side of Dhading to arrive at high camp.
Our colleagues had already arrived here and set up camps and prepared food for us. We had our food and took rest for the night.
The next day, we moved from high camp to reach the Paldor base camp by walking across the snow routes for six hours. Even at this camp, the forerunners had already prepared tents and food for us. We rested here. We had to melt snow to use and drink water.
This base camp is 4800 meters high. After one day rest at the base camp, our colleagues went climbing Paldor peak as per our plan.
13 climbers including Nepali and Korean climbers summited the Paldor peak on 13 April 2019 at 6 a.m successfully on the occasion of silver Jubilee of Union of Asian Alpine Association. They also promoted Nepal Visit 2020 campaign.
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