Crystal Mountain School

A school on the roof of the world

Full view of Crystal Mountain School premises.

Established in 1994 by Action Dolpo and supported by the Government of Nepal, Crystal Mountain School (CMS) is the first formal school in Upper Dolpo, and for about a decade, the only school in the region serving children from Dho Tarap valley and surrounding villages. CMS graduates have excelled in further schooling in Kathmandu and other districts, and many are now working as teachers, primary health assistants, social workers and locally elected representatives.

CMS in Numbers




years of school history


alumni and counting

Due to its outstanding record, CMS continues to attract large number of children at a time when most villages in trans-Himalayan regions are facing severe outmigration. As a pioneer of education in Dolpo, CMS has encouraged and inspired a number of schools in the region. To this day, CMS continues to be a leader in providing quality education for free. By introducing and building on innovative technologies passive solar houses, and caching on the goodwill of CMS alumni who volunteer during the harsh 3 month winter session, CMS has been able to run winter classes for a number of years, serving as a rare example and the model to follow for other schools in similar mountainous regions. In the future, CMS will continue to serve more children from the region, especially after its planned upgrade to a high school.

A brief introduction to Crystal Mountain School highlighting the history, challenges, programs and solutions, and a call for motivated and capable teaching staff.

More than 200 students are currently enrolled at CMS, mainly from Wards 1, 2 and 3 of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality. The school is managed by a group of teachers hired by Vision Dolpo, including several local teachers, and government appointed teachers. CMS Alumni, Phurwa Gyaltsen, has been leading the management of the school since 2017. Another alumni, Nyima Dhargey (pictured here) manages logistics and leads teachers in primary grades.

Our Alumni

CMS graduates have excelled academically in their further studies, and many continue to contribute directly back to Dolpo as skilled professionals.


alumni have completed 10th grade.


students have completed high school.


alumni have completed nursing or health assistant (HA) education.


students have completed BA, LLB, or MA.

Apart from the regular government curriculum, CMS also teach the Dolpo dialect of the Tibetan language, basic Buddhist philosophy, cultural performances and arts, and computer skills.  CMS run a holistic after school program for students from grade 5 and above where students will be working on their STEM skills, Arts and Crafts, Music and Songs, Theater, Literatures, etc, apart from curriculum focused class room activities. 

CMS was awarded the Abram Conservation Award by WWF Nepal in 2005 due to its vital role in raising awareness among the local communities, and the preservation of Dolpo’s culture, tradition and language. CMS strives to regularly engage parents and other community members in the children’s education and extracurricular activities.

Crystal Mountain School in the summer and under the snow.

Due to the extreme weather in winter, the regular school only runs for seven months from mid-April to mid-November. However, CMS has also been conducting winter classes for grades III and higher since 2009 in our passive solar buildings. Winter classes are run by local youths and alumni who volunteer for three months from mid-December to mid-March.

After grade seven, CMS students used to go to SLR, in Kathmandu for further studies. But in 2019 when CMS is upgraded to a secondary level, only grade 9 and 10 student of CMS go to SLR, in Kathmandu for educational tour and tuition class in winter but return back in Summer.

Despite of some constraints, CMS will run start class 10 from the year 2021 for the first time and the new group of students will appear for the 2078/79 SEE from CMS. This was one of the long awaited dream of CMS that comes true with a great deal of effort. This will prove a milestone in CMS’s plan to upgrade to a fully residential high school serving students from all over Dolpo. 

Here are a few photos of the school. Visit our Facebook page for more updates, photos and videos.