Hotel / Lodge
Dhaulagiri 8,167m - the 7th highest mountain in the world - means the "white mountain" though many mountains over the world have names, which translate to White Mountain. This is a strenuous trek, through high alpine pastures, higher passes and serene and uninhabited valleys. Everyone is familiar with the name Dhaulagiri which is in the western part of Nepal, probably the best spot for remote and adventurous trekking in Nepal. The simple reason behind it is that it consists of more than fifteen 7,000m magnificent peaks with land of dramatic contrast.
Dhaulagiri trekking routes start after an 8-hour scenic drive from Kathmandu to Beni, from Beni you head in a north-westerly direction through the villages of Babiachour, Dorbang and Darapani to Muri, from where you head north still keeping to the banks of the Myagdi Khola. Muri is the last major settlement along this trail and is inhabited by people of the Magar tribe, of Mongoloid stock and descended from the early settlers of the Nepalese middle hills. From Muri, you head north along the Myagdi Khola through the villages of Baghara, Dobang and Chartare to Pakoban. Beyond Pakoban there are no permanent settlements. Still heading north you skirt the Chhanbardan Glacier, keeping on its left side, to reach the Dhaulagiri Base Camp from where magnificent mountain vistas are available. Head north-east from the Base Camp and climb the steep incline to the French Pass (5,360m), between Tukche Peak (6,920m) and Sita Chuchura (6,611m). Heading east you descend a little and pass through a portion of the Hidden Valley and climb to Thapa Pass (5,250m), between Tukche Peak and Thapa Peak (6,012m) from where you begin your descent, heading south-east to Alubari. From Alubari, the trail further descends to the village of Marpha on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River, and then heads north to Jomsom from where you fly back to Pokhara.
Upon arriving at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be received by our airport representatives who will warmly greet you and transfer to the hotel on a private tourist vehicle. We provide 3-star accommodation in the city and we arrange for a trip briefing with dinner in the evening.
A professional guide and vehicle are provided for a day of sightseeing in and around Kathmandu city. We visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city along with other interesting cultural monuments that dot the valley. These include Boudhanath Stupa (the largest Buddhist shrines in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temple in the world), Durbar Squares (Palaces and fortresses of medieval Kings), along with other popular cultural attractions. We get to observe the lifestyle of Nepalese people, holy sadhus and monks, fascinating history as well as awe-inspiring architecture.
Our trekking staff will pick you up at the hotel at 6:30am and escort you to the bus station. The bus to Pokhara leaves at around 7:30am. A beautiful valley set on the banks of the Phewa Lake, Pokhara is also known for its panoramic views of Annapurna, Machapuchare (shape of fish tail) in the north, Dhaulagiri in the west, Lamjung Himal and Manaslu in the east. It is smaller and much less hectic than Kathmandu, hence providing the perfect starting point for our trek. We proceeds onwards from Pokhara to Beni, which is the starting point of our trek.
Leaving Beni and Kali Gandaki the trek heads west along the north bank of the Myagdi Khola through the village of Beni Mangalghat to Singa and Tatopani (hot springs). Crossing the bridge beyond the village to the south bank of the river, the trail makes a little half loop before crossing another bridge, near the village of Simalchour, back to the north bank from where it continues to the village of Babichor.
The valley widens and terraced hills develop on both sides of the river. The trail is fairly level and you pass the village of Shahashradhara, cross the Duk Khola and walk through fields arriving at Ratorunga. From here the valley narrows again and terraces disappear on either side of the river. Continue to the village of Dharapani.
After crossing the river to its West Bank as you leave Phedi, the trail starts climbing in earnest and there will be many switch-backs until you arrive at the ridge and the angle of ascent eases. Again the trail climbs steeply to the villages of Muri. Continue your trek to Sibang and Mattim. From here you continue up an incline to the snout of the ridge, descend to the Gatti Khola and reach Phalai Gaon (1,810m). Cross the Dhara Khola to once again emerge on the west bank of the Myagdi Khola and then climb a ridge to the large Magar village of Muri.
Descend a little, cross a stream and continue through terraced fields before climbing a ridge to reach the pass from where you can see Mt. Ghustung South (6,465m). Descend to the Myagdi Khola and trek along its West Bank to the village of Naura from where you will climb a little before traversing a grassy hill and climbing a steep slope with switch-backs, then descend through a forest and terraced fields to Boghara (2,080m).
The trail first descends through terraced fields to a small ridge, then through a forest to Jyardan which is the most remote permanent settlement in this part. After the settlement a high winding path crosses a rocky area which then descends before climbing again to Lipshe where there is one single hut. The trail continues through a forest to Lapche Kharka and then climbs to the level area at Dobang.
After crossing a wooden bridge out of Dobang the trail ascends a forested area. Soon the west face of Dhaulagiri I (8,167m) becomes visible through breaks in the trees. Descend to the Myagdi Khola and cross via a wooden bridge to the east bank continue to Chartare. Passing through forests again, you cut across a rocky area and cross a stream to Choriban Khola.
Follow a trail to the terminal moraine of the Chhonbarban Glacier and enter the glacier from the right. Tukche Peak (6,837m) becomes visible straight ahead; at the far end while the impressive north flank of Dhaulagiri I (8,167m) dominates the skyline to your right. After a short while you will reach Italian Base Camp (3,660m), which is also the site of your camp for the night. To the west are the peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7,751m), Dhaulagiri III (7,715m) and Dhaulagiri V (7,618m).
We will spend a day acclimatizing to the thinning of the air. It is recommended that your body acclimatizes to the high altitude and be adjusted for higher altitudes in the days to follow.
Set up early in the morning when the weather is expected to be clear. This Trail is prone to stone fall, which passes through a narrow gorge. Today we stay overnight near at glacier.
This is one of our adventurous days to Dhaulagiri base camp. From here you can look up at the impressive north face of Dhaulagiri I (8,167m) dominating the skyline to your right. To the west are peaks of Dhaulagiri II (7,751m), Dhaulagiri III (7,715m) and Dhaulagiri V (7,618m). In front of you is the impressive icefall that descends from the north-east col.
Another day to take some rest and more importantly, acclimatize to the lower air pressure. Views from this place are superb and there is plenty to explore.
After the glacier you climb two terraced hills, the first of which runs along the glacier, then cuts across the mountain flank and the moraine you enter a gentle incline on the left from an ablation valley. Climb this gentle slope to the French Pass (5,360m). A great vista opens up from the French Pass and you will be able to see Mukut Himal (6,328m), Tashi Kang (6,386m) and Sita Chuchura (6,611m), all of which surround the Hidden Valley. To the south is Tukche Peak (6,920m) and beyond is the massive peak of Dhaulagiri I. From the French Pass you continue along the right edge of the Hidden valley losing a little altitude to the Thapa Pass (5,250m) between Tukche Peak and Thapa Peak (6,012m). Descending from the Thapa Pass you will make it to the camp at 5,200m.
Descend from the Hidden Valley to the Dhampus Pass and continue to Yak Kharka. There is a perfect camp site to enjoy the surroundings.
Continue on to the village of Marpha, on the west bank of the Kali Gandaki River. Marpha is home to many apple orchards as well as all various food products made from the fruit. Don't forget to taste the local Apple Brandy a specialty from the region that you may be lucky enough to taste en route. Continue north, up the river valley to the town of Jomsom.
A 30-minute morning flight takes us to Pokhara from Jomsom. We then head back to Kathmandu from Pokhara on a scenic 4-hour drive.
Today is a free day at Pokhara for relaxation and looking back at our fantastic trip. This is also a reserve day in case of flight cancellations and/or delays in Jomsom. There are several activities you may way to try out at Pokhara, including paragliding, microlight and zipliner among others. You may also go sightseeing at various places of interests like Gupteshwar Caves, museums, Davis Falls, etc.
We catch a flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. The short flight takes us over the hills and mountains that glisten below. Once we reach Kathmandu, the rest of the day will be leisure and free for exploration. You are free to go souvenir shopping, spa and more exploration of the city, or extend your trip to include bungee jumping, rafting, mountain biking, Everest mountain flight and other adventurous activities. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner at Mul Chowk Restaurant’s cozy and elegant dining ambience.
The trip concludes today. You will be dropped at Kathmandu's Tribhuwan International Airport by our airport representative for your flight departure from Nepal.
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Whilst on the trek, the Nepali guides and porters will ensure that you are well looked after. Every trek has an English speaking guide, known as the Sirdar, who is in overall charge. It is his responsibility to organize the trek en route and manage the guides and porters and deal with the local peoples and they are experts in trek organization, as well as being able to discuss the local culture, religion, and landscape. In addition there will be other guides, sometimes referred to by the generic term Sherpa, who will be your walking companions on the trek and will assist the Sirdar in organizing the logistic of the trek. On camping treks there will be full kitchen crew who are responsible for all aspects of catering. And finally there will be porters who are the transportation system of the Nepali mountains. They will carry the duffle bags and other equipment as necessary.
On camping treks, all food is prepared by the trek cook - an expert in preparing delicious camp food. And most importantly, special care is taken to provide well - boiled, purified drinking water. On lodge treks, food is provided in the lodge and this ranges from delicious local specialties to common western dishes. If necessary, bottled water can be purchased from the lodges for a small fee, although many trekkers prefer to use fresh water with the added precaution of a purifying agent. You could bring some Chocolate or special energy drinks for yourself as these are hard to get in the Himalayas.
A typical trekking day
A typical day revolves around the Nepal sunrise and sunset. The day starts with an early wake up call. You then pack up your gear and enjoy a rousing breakfast before starting your morning's walk. The Sirdar will already be organized loads to porters and or animals, and your group will then set off on the trail at a leisurely pace, enjoying the view and stopping to take photographs. After 2-3 hours walk you stop for lunch. This lasts for about 90 minutes which gives you time to relax, or explore the local village. The afternoon's walk is usually shorter and we arrive at the campsite or tea-house in plenty of time to relax and savour the surroundings. Later in the evening dinner is served, giving you an opportunity to sample the delicious food, talk over the day's events, and look forward to another special day on the trails of Nepal.
Health and safety on the trek General
Anyone can be affected by Altitude Sickness. However, our itineraries are specifically designed to minimize the risks associated with trekking to high altitudes by building in acclimatization and rest days. In the event of any symptoms we will ensure that the individual descends to a lower altitude to gain a quick recovery.
And finally……….. It must be stressed that whilst trekking in the Nepal Himalaya is challenging and rewarding, you must be prepared for he occasional inconvenience or discomfort. The correct mental attitude to trekking is as important as being physically prepared.
All equipment and food, and your own personal backpacks are carried by the porters or pack animals. It is only necessary to carry a camera or small daypack ! On camping treks all necessary camp equipment is provided - this includes dining tent, dining table and chairs, toilet tent, foam mattresses, and all cooking equipment. The only kit that you will need to bring is your own personal equipment and clothing.
Recommended Trekking Kit
The following is a list of clothing and accessories that we recommend that you take with you. This is not intended to be a comprehensive clothing and equipment list, rather it is intended to act as a reminder of those items that we feel are essential for your comfort and convenience. However we recognize that you may have your own personal preferences for clothing which may be equally as suitable.
Recommended Mountaineering Kit
In additional to the items mentioned above for trekking the following is a list of the additional specialist items which are required for the trekking peaks.