This trek offers challenging and adventurous trekking around Annapurna peaks with an ascent of a technically straightforward peak, Chulu East at 6200 meter. The summit of Chulu East provides the most breathtaking views of Annapurnas II, III and IV, Gangapurna, Glacier Dome, Dhaulagiri, Tilicho Peak and Manaslu. We start the trek from Besi Sahar after a 6-7 hrs drive from Kathmandu. The trail ascends gradually along the Marshyangdi river valley and eventually leads to the village of Pisang where we leave the main trail and head up the Chulu East base camp. Fully physically fit and acclimatized, we then attempt Chulu east. Following an ascent, we rejoin the main trail and head towards Kali Gandaki valley crossing a high Thorung La pass at 5416 meter.
Thereafter, we make final descent to Jomsom and take a flight to Kathmandu via Pokhara. The trek provides a great range of landscapes and cultures as we progress from terraced rice fields of Besi Sahar to lush green foothills through alpine forests and barren arid region of the Manang Valley. Along the trekking trail as we walk past fascinating villages, we witness varied cultural settings and ethnic diversity. Most of the climbing will involve walking roped together, including a glacier crossing. Any physically fit individual can undertake this trip anytime in March to May and September to November.
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2 Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley
Day 3 Drive to Besi Sahar [820m]
Day 4 Trek to Khudi [790m]
Day 5 Trek to Bahundanda [1310m]
Day 6 Trek to Jagat [1343m]
Day 7 Trek to Dharapani [1946m]
Day 8 Trek to Chame [2685m]
Day 9 Trek to Pisang [3200m]
Day 10 Trek to Julu [3500m]
Day 11 Rest day at Julu
Day 12 Trek to Yak Kharka
Day 13 Trek to Base camp [4200m]
Day 14 At Base Camp
Day 15-18 Base camp to High camp [5000m] & Chulu East Summit [6200m]
Day 19 Trek to Manang [3511m]
Day 20 Trek to Thorung Phedi [4427m]
Day 21 Trek to Muktinath [3694m] via Thorung la [5416m]
Day 22 Trek to Jomsom [2713m]
Day 23 Flight to Kathmandu via Pokhara
Day 24 Depart Kathmandu
Arrival in Kathmandu
Flying to Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is in itself an exciting and memorable experience as exotic panoramic view of snow-capped Annapurna mountain range peaks sprawls before you. The Nepali support team will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel..
Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu, being a historical and cultural heart of Nepal, is a popular destination for tourists, trekkers and adventure seekers. The city presents a wonderful mixture of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Patan and Bhaktapur are its two major neighboring cities which bear immense historical, cultural and religious significance. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous & biggest Hindu shrine PASUPATHINATH, the largest Buddhist stupa in town BOUDHANATH, the 15th century palace of 55 windows and SOYAMBHUNATH. In the evening, a trip orientation meeting will be organized..
Drive to Besi Sahar [820m]
We drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway to Dumre and then follow the rough road by the Marsyangdi River to Besi Sahar for 6 hours..
Trek to Khudi [790m]
We turn to the right treading along the canal on the outskirts of the village. Then the trail descends the narrow path to the Pam Khola. After crossing a stream, we climb to the village of Denauti. The village has striking red-walled houses. Thereon, we descend to the banks of the Marsyangdi Khola and the trail further meanders through rice paddies and subtropical forests. Eventually, after walking for 3 hours, we enter Gurung village of Khudi. We select a superb location for camping. .
Trek to Bahundanda [1310m]
As we walk away from Khudi northwards up the Marsyangdi Valley, en route you get to savor leisurely sightseeing of nursery and amazing tapestry of Annapurna mountain ranges. The trail winds through a suspension bridge and then follows terraced rice fields offering breathtaking view of Manaslu and cascading waterfall. Further ascending we spot several shops and teahouses at Ngadi village. On leaving Ngadi after brief rest, we skirts through our challenging trails to Bahundanda. Bahundanda literally means "Brahmin hill" and as the name suggests Bahundanda is hugely dominant by Brahmins. There we conclude our trekking journey of the day..
Trek to Jagat [1343m]
A steep trail descends from Bahundanda through rice terraces before crossing a stream at the bottom of a small waterfall. It then climbs again and traverses the hillside high above the river before reaching the village of Hani Gaon. Ahead, the Marsyangdi valley forms a steep V-shape, and we follow the winding mountain path down through Syange and along the river for some distance. The trail then climbs steeply and the path is cut into the sheer cliff-face some 200-300m above the riverbed. Eventually we descend to the stone village of Jagat, situated on a shelf which juts into the precipitous Marsyangdi valley. We camp in the fields beyond the village..
Trek to Dharapani [1946m]
The trail from Jagat descends until it almost reaches the river and then continues through a lush forest. Further ascent leads to sharp-edged cliff facing the river bank. En route, Chyamje comes into picture amid glorious picturesque landscape of waterfall and towering Annapurna mountain ranges. After crossing a suspension bridge, we climb steeply towards the slippery and physically challenging path to Sattale. On treading along a succession of rock-strewn trail, we descend to a grassy riverbank which leads to Tal where we find hotels and teahouses attired with warmth and hospitality. But as we walk away from Tal, path becomes rugged and winding. Then we approach steep forested village of Karte. Meandering along the waterfall-clad cliff, we finally reach Dharapani after crossing a suspension bridge. We camp at Dharapani for the night..
Trek to Chame [2685m]
We skirt through a narrow field from the village, the Dudh Khola, which originates from the south face of Manaslu and then Marsyangdi veers to the left. On proceeding along the sinuous trails, we accumulate glorious Annapurna trekking experience. Annapurna II becomes visible as we arrive at Bagarchhap, a Bhote village with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. As we continue ascending through forests of pine and oak, we pass through Dhanakyu before coming to a thundering waterfall. Further on, the Marsyangdi Khola enters a gorge and the trails follows rock-strewn path. We can pause for a while to bask in the splendor of picturesque Manaslu. When the steep incline ends, we follow a path amid magnificent rhododendrons of Ratamron and then continue on a gently rising path, crossing a stream before entering a pine forest. We then enter pristine hamlet of Kotho from where we can capture the most enchanting view of Annapurna II. Treading further, the route reaches a large white gate with a corrupted iron roof which is an entrance to Chame. Chame is the administrative headquarters for the Manang district. There are electricity, wireless station, school, shops, health post, post office, police check post, hotels, lodges and bank in Chame. Hot springs are the major attraction of this place. .
Trek to Pisang [3200m]
After basking in the splendor of glowing Lamjung Himal [6893m] against the early morning sun, we head for Pisang. En route, we cross a large suspension bridge along mystic Marsyangdi and approach houses and lodges on the northern side of the river. Trekking trail routes through barley field leading to Teleku at 2775 meters. As we leave undulating mountain passes, we enter fascinating apple orchard and near a bridge at 2840 meters. On crossing the bridge, a pristine hamlet of Bratang appears. History has it that Bratang used to be a Khampa settlement. Stone memorial of a Japanese climber has been built at this locale. When leaving forested village, the valley changes from a V-shape to a gentle U-shape sprawling before us the majestic vistas of Annapurna mountain range. Further on, we continue our steep rock-strewn trails to the south side and cross a long suspension bridge at 3040 meters. At this vantage point on the bridge, we get to view Paungda Danda rock rising more than 1500 meters from the river. On our route we get to capture splendid views of Annapurna II on the East and Pisang Peak on the north-east. We further cross a bridge and enter lower village of Pisang..
Trek to Julu [3500m]
Leaving the main trail above the village of Pisang, we ascend Chegaji Khola Valley towards Chulu East Base Camp. A gentle ascent through scattered chortens, scrub juniper and stunted pines takes us to the small hamlet of Julu, sitting on the west bank of the river. We chose an appropriate campsite showcasing enchanting views of majestic Himalayan peaks. .
Rest day at Julu
On this day, we utilize it to our maximum benefits. We take a proper rest to rejuvenate our adventure spirit and build up good health. After relaxation, we can even explore village of Julu and get more insight into its cultural setting. We can also enjoy the splendid natural vistas..
Trek to Yak Kharka
As we walk away from Julu, the trail crosses Cheggi Khola and ascends gradually up the west bank. Soon after trekking for more than an hour, the trail faces a valley and then we encounter a stone hut surrounded by apple trees. We are now bestowed with a stunning view up the side valley that reaches up towards Chulu West. As the valley ends, 500ft cliff stands on the way displaying spectacular sight of waterfalls cascading down the cliff. The trail further steepens and winds through a small meadow. On the way, we come across goat and yak pastures. As the day progresses, we come close to Yak Khare. At last, we reach Yak Khare for a leisurely lunch. We set a camp at a site which overlooks stunning myriad of snow capped peaks..
Trek to Base camp [4200m]
We follow the trail wending through steep pastures to a convenient hollow where the meadow merges into rock and scree. Then, there appears the base camp. Eyeing high above, spectacular views of Annapurna range stretches as far as our eyes can capture..
At Base camp
We take a day off from trekking for complete acclimatization. This gives us time to prepare and sort out our trekking gear..
Base camp to High camp [5000m] & Chulu East Summit [6200m]
After well acclimatized, we move up to the high camp and there we rest atop the terminal moraine of the Chulu glacier. The trail up to the high camp follows scree and snow slopes. Resting at the high camp, we take a plenty of time to relax and prepare equipment and strategies for the next day. Two days have been set aside for ascending Chulu East. On the day of climbing Chulu East, we make an early start across the undulating glacier as the trail takes snow and ice slopes. As we continue ascending, several peaks come en route. Eventually we run out of mountain at a small snow dome with steep slopes falling away on all sides. At this point, our high camp diminishes to toy-town stature and climbing to such an altitude gives us a feeling of sitting on top of the roof of the world. After we scale Chulu East Summit and have our share of celebrating this glorious victory, we descend along the steep slopes to the high camp. After refreshment and rest, we head back to base camp passes. For those who do not wish to climb Chulu East, they can simply stroll to Base Camp to enjoy spectacular views of Annapurnas and indulge in more exploration around the base camp..
Trek to Manang [3511m]
We return to the main trail and head towards Manang. We continue treading along the cultivated fields and after a while village of Bryaga accommodating a splendid monastery appear before us. On trekking down to Manang, we embrace heavenly vistas of Annapurna range - Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna [7455m] and Tilicho Peak [7134m]. We camp at the fortified villages of friendly Manang people for the night. Manang is a fascinating medieval village of just over 500 flat-roofed houses..
Trek to Thorung Phedi [4427m]
We climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marsyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge amid tremendous views of Manaslu, the Annapurnas, Tilicho Peak and the Great Barrier. We head north-west up the Jarsang Khola, through scrub juniper and alpine grasses to arrive at Letdar for lunch. From Letdar, we continue on the east bank of the Jarsang Khola, before crossing on a covered bridge. The trail climbs on scree slopes high above the river to Thorung Phedi, a single stone building set among near vertical cliffs..
Trek to Muktinath [3694m] via Thorung la [5416m]
At the very earliest hour in the morning, we cross Thorung La [5416m]. As the trail progresses further, it becomes steep though well-defined. After steadily climbing for 4 hours, the steep trail eases and soon we encounter chorten and prayer flags along the mountain pass. We reach to an altitude beneath which lie a spectacular views of Kali Gandaki valley and pristine hills of Mustang. Amid the ambience of Himalayan beauty, we descend to Muktinath. From Muktinath, we can capture excellent views of Dhaulagiri. Eventually the moraines give way to grassy slopes before a pleasant walk along the Jhong Khola Valley to Muktinath. Muktinath is regarded as an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. It is very popular for its shrines and temple..
Trek to Jomsom [2713m]
From Muktinath, we advance towards Jomsom. The trail descends along the spectacular Kali Gandaki valley, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar, villages with typical Tibetan architecture, we follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom. En route, we are rewarded with tremendous views of both Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. Jomsom is a large town sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki River. We spend the final night of our trek in Jomsom..
Flight to Kathmandu via Pokhara
We take an early morning flight to Pokhara. It is a spectacular flight along the Kali Gandaki Gorge and provides wonderful views of both the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. We then catch a flight back to Kathmandu..
Our The Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking etc)..
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The trek guide was very experienced and knowledgeable. The hotels we stayed in were strategically located. The hotel’s staff were all friendly and helpful. Generally we are satisfied. Explore Himalaya’s staff were all responsible and friendly. Good!