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No man travels so far or so fast as he who is lost.
H.W. Tilman

Jhonpa La et Danphe Shail

Mais où peu bien se cacher ce Jhonpa La ?

Voici le compte rendu d’une expédition japonaise au Dolpo en 1950 en introduction de notre voyage à l’automne 2017 vers le Danphe Shail

Dolpo to Mugu, à la recherche du Jhonpa La

Pour dire que nous suivons souvent/toujours les pas d’autres explorateurs/aventuriers…, et qu’il est nécessaire à la fois de les citer et de rester relié à cette dynamique, en partageant nos expériences respectives.

L’histoire continue…

Jhonpa La et Danphe Shail

Des sentiers… surprenants !


Jiro Kawakita 1958 !


« The area is traditionally called Torbo and includes the villages of Tsarka, Tarap, Hsyimen, Phijer, She Gompa, and Phopa. Tsarka was the highest settled village with spring barley fields at an altitude of about 13,800 feet. We chose Tsarka and secondarily Phopa and Phijer as the objects of intensive study of Tibetan community life.
The Barbung Khola below the junction of the East Churen Khola could not be waded without a portable boat, even in the dry season.
Four climbers started from Tsarka for the Kanjiroba Himal on September 8. They reached Phijer after a week’s travel. As a route into the mountains was not discovered, they marched further to Phopa. Yaks were not available beyond Phijer and every village of Torbo was too small to supply sufficient coolies and food. Phopa, a poor and decaying village, was to be abandoned within three years, for the source of irrigation water is gradually becoming exhausted, possibly because of the extinction of some concealed underground ice source. From Phopa, a reconnaissance party started for the Kanjiroba Himal again but failed to cross the main stream of the Mugu Karnali after a two days’ trip. The road downstream along the river is, according to the villagers, passable only in the winter season. They call the Kanjiroba Himal « Khan Jerowa.”
After an exploratory eight day tour toward the west, they came back to Phopa. The approach to the Kanjiroba Himal from the northeastern side seemed almost hopelessly hindered by deep gorges and torrents, and the northeastern slopes of the mountains were quite steep. They chose another route on their return trip to Tsarka because an epidemic was raging in Tarap and Hsyimen. All the members joined again in Tukucha on November 1. »

NDLR : Torbo = Dolpo et Phopa c’est bien sûr Pho

Tsiring Lama de Bhijer… Un excellent compagnon de voyage.

dolpo news

Le Danphe Shail, tout au Nord du Dolpo

Du Jhonpa La au Danphe Shail

Pour le Danphe Shail… le sommet de notre expédition  DOLPO 2017,voici :

Et voici notre contribution à l’American Alpine Journal (AAJ) :

« Open a map of Dolpo and look at the far North, on the Chinese border. Only one peak is named: Danphe Shail.
On the way to Upper Dolpo, this summit can be seen from very far away and many trekkers have named it the Dolpo Matterhorn. In 1901, the Japanese monk Kawaguchi, one of the early explorers in Tibet and Lhasa, referred it as «a mountain as guide».
But what all have seen is not only one summit, but two. They are so close that it’s easy to be confused. The bigger pyramid is in Tibet (maybe Palchung Hamka?)) and the small one, Danphe Shail, which looks like a snowy shoulder, is actually a separate summit at 6109m, with easy slopes to the top. Still virgin, despite the fact that it was officially opened in the sixties. 

Ian Wall (a British Mountain Guide living in Nepal) and his group were the only team to make an attempt in summer 2015, but unfortunately they failed because of bad weather on the last day.

For us, the weather was perfect. No cloud and no wind. Just pleasure. «La cerise sur le gateau» (the cherry on the cake) of a inspiring journey to Upper Dolpo, to experience the ancient Bön culture. 
To go to the last village, Ku, is a long trip, but also a privilege, and to trek/climb to the base camp is a great wilderness experience. Danphe Shail is a beautiful reason to go so far. 

On the return, a traverse to Mugu and Rara Lake is a good opportunity to promote the Western Region of Nepal as a climbing destination.

Paulo Grobel
French IFMGA Mountain Guide

« End of the road » By Eddie Weber, musique du film Into the Wild

Won’t be the last
Won’t be the first
Find a way to where the sky meets the Earth
It’s alright and all wrong
For me it begins at the end of the road
We come and go.

Etienne & Paulo
Fin Janvier 2018

Et bien évidemment, si vous avez des informations complémentaires sur ce mystérieux col du Jhonpa La, n’hésitez pas à poster un commentaire…

Une belle rencontre avec les jeunes de Bhijer. C’est le jour des abricots…