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Gyaphelri
Mountain/Rock

Gyaphelri

 
Gyaphelri

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Tibet, China, Asia

Object Title: Gyaphelri

County: Lhasa perfecture

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 17220 ft / 5249 m

 

Page By: Bill562

Created/Edited: Oct 29, 2006 / Dec 27, 2006

Object ID: 239294

Hits: 4364 

Page Score: 76.18%  - 9 Votes 

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Overview

This peak is located near Lhasa, Tibet, and is one of the sacred peaks in the area. This is evidenced by a huge amount of relics and devotional monuments all the way to the summit. The peak is within easy reach for anyone who is staying in the Lhasa area. The peak is climbed mostly by the locals and pilgrims to show their devotion to the Buddhist faith. In the past, the peak served as a gauge to signal the beginning of many religious festivals in Lhasa. During the yearly Drukwa Tsezhi festival, hundreds of pilgrims would climb to the top to celebrate the first teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha in India, where Tibetan Buddhism originated. The Dalai Lama himself has climbed the peak.

Some sources call this mountain Gompe Utse.

To sum it up, the peak is a cultural experience, not just a mountain.

Getting There

From Lhasa center center, take a taxi or a minibus to Drepung Monastery which is located about 5 miles NW of the city. A taxi ride costs 20-30 yuan (negotiable).

Red Tape

None - unlike many other places in the Chinese occupied Tibet, this is an open area, foreigners are allowed.

If the monastery is open, you may need to pay the entrance fee (55 yuan).

To get into Tibet, a special visa is required in addition to the Chinese visa. A Chinese visa is easily obtainable through any Chinese Consulate. For detailed entry/exit requirements see:
Consular Information Sheet

I would recommend working with a local (Tibetan) travel agency to obtain a Tibetan group visa. Without a group visa no airline would sell you a ticket to Lhasa. Our group visas were scrutinized several times during our stay in Tibet.

Mountaineering in Tibet is a beuracratic maze. Yet another permit must be obtained from the TMA (Tibetan Mountaineering Association). No permit is required however for peaks under 6000m unless they are located in an area closed to foreigners.


Camping

Camping is possible anywhere along the trail, and may be have the advantage of added acclimatization. Solitude wise, it may be fine as well. I did not see a single person when I was on the mountain. One could also stay with the monks at Gyaphel (a 600 year old hermitage about half way to the summit) at 14,800'.

Misc

Be prepared for smirks and stares from the locals - they are always curious about foreigners and seem to find our recreational outdoor activities amusing. The western cyclists on the Friendship Highway and in other areas of Tibet will probably attest to that more than anyone else.

Western tourism is still relatively new in Tibet. The locals are friendly for the most part, but watch your valuables - a friend's camera was pinched around the Johkang Temple in Lhasa and an alarm clock disappeared from her hotel room.

External links

Good trekking book:

Trekking in Tibet by Gary McCue

Online maps of Tibet:

Tibet maps

Additions and Corrections

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WildKidMore details

Hasn't voted

Start early - definitely before dawn. The monastery will be closed, so work your way around to the left. Follow the valley behind the monastery for a km or two, then go up to your right: after about 100 ft of elevation gain you will find the old stone road. Follow that up to the higher monastery. After the monastery the path becomes indistinct for a while: the monks can show you the way, or if not, just go up-slope for a couple of hundred feet of elevation gain to pick up the braids of the path, which contours to the right.



The walk is easy and beautiful but long. Be prepared for changes in the weather (which for me went from 80 and sunny to horizontal hail and 40 mph winds and back again in half an hour) and bring plenty of water and snacks.



The monastery will be closed when you get back, so you may have to walk down the main road to the bus stop. Contour to the left around the monastery, of course, so that you complete the kora. There are some interesting rock-paintings on the kora route.



For an account and some pictures, see



http://lojongmindtraining.com/kailas/drapelri.aspx
Posted Apr 9, 2008 12:10 pm

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Guaphelri view 1Gyaphelri and Potala