Summiting Chulu West
Nestled amidst Nepal’s most diverse and scenic Himalyan region – the Annapurna Region, summiting Chulu West is an expedition that moderately challenges your physical ability and consequently helps you conquer your heart and soul. First ascended in 1953 by a Japanese Expedition, Chulu West has been alluring trekkers and mountaineers alike.
Starting from the beautiful subtropical Pokhara valley we pursue the Annapurna circuit trail up to Manang Valley. En route we cross lush green paddy fields through the villages of Jagat and Chame. Notice the landscape change to an arid valley as we cross the 3000 metres mark from Pisang onwards. Once in Manang, listen to the winds howl and observe panoramic views of the majestic Himalayas, including peaks of Annapurna II, III and IV. After Manang, we head towards our mission – atop Chulu West and take in a heavenly view of Gangapurna, Glacier Dome, and Himalayan peaks like the Annapurnas, Manaslu, Tilicho peak, and Dhaulagiri.
After descending, we cross through Thorang La Pass (5416m), another highlight and reach Mustang, take in the valley, stay a night in Jomsom before flying to Pokhara and onto to Kathmandu the next day, thus ending a once in a lifetime expedition.
In the meantime:
AM: Tour Kathmandu valley and travel through time as you visit UNESCO Heritage sites like the Durbar Squares and Swayambhu Temple.
PM: Briefing about the trek and allow time for last minute purchases of necessary equipments.
An hour drive away we reach Bhulbhule, have our trekking permits checked at the ACAP office. Proceed to cross the river on a ‘suspension bridge’, the first of many, and check into a lodge to retire for the night.
After lunch, we descend toward Besi, cross a small stream; pass through a few villages to cross the Marshyangdi River via a suspension bridge. Turn right and start an ascent to reach atop a hill. The trail widens and we reach Jagat, a village along a mountain ridge (1340 m), our stop for the night.
Following lunch, we head north along the river, cross a 60 metre long suspension bridge. As we proceed, some parts of the trail are exposed to a vertical cliff, which calls for caution. Reach Dharapani (1943 m). Dharapani means ‘a stream of water’.
After lunch we walk towards Kodo which means ‘millet’ and then to Kyupar (2600 m). A police check post guards access to Nar Phu Khola Valley which leads to Tibet. Show our permits again and proceed to Chame (2713 m) – the District Headquarters of Manang.
Walk for about an hour through a pine forest to Pisang after lunch. Pisang is divided into two villages – upper and lower. Upper Pisang is the main town; however the recent construction of the main highway to Manang has resulted into residents migrating to Lower Pisang.
After lunch, reach Manang in a short while which sits atop a plateau.
After lunch, a gentle climb through a vast meadow, cross the suspension bridge and reach Leadher (4220 m) in an hour.
A short day trip to help with acclimatization.
Phase 1: Steep climb up to 5,500 meters. Not technical, however, the use of ropes, crampon, and ice axe may be used.
Phase 2: After 5,500 meters, we will be roped up for the ascent. The trail gets steeper – assisting Sherpas will fix ropes on the steeper sections. Once atop, immerse yourself in one of the most incredible and spectacular views you will behold. Ahead of you will be Gangapurna, the Annapurnas, and Herzog’s Great Barrier, to your left Manaslu and behind you is Tibet.
Take in the excitement of accomplishing your incredible before beginning descent. Carefully descend to High Camp and then to Base Camp.
At High Camp, notice wide Himalayan pastures and yaks. Herds of Thar (wild goats) can also be seen.
Short day trek to prepare for the arduous trek to Thorang La Pass the next day.
Early morning ascent to Thorang La. Several prayer flags offering prayers to the mountains as we reach the highest point. At the highest point (5416 m) watch a panoramic view of the Himalayas – Thorangse, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Tukche, Gangapurna.
Drop down 1600 meters in 3 hours to reach Muktinath.
Enjoy a laid back afternoon alongside Pokhara lakeside.
Best Period: Feb, Mar, April, May – Oct, Nov, Dec
Time Period: 21 Nights / 22 Days.
Trek Period: 17 Night / 18 Days
In Kathmandu: 03 Nights
In Pokhara: 01 Night
Flights: Jomsom / Pokhara / Kathmandu
Trek Type: Strenuous
Highest Altitude: 6419 meters
Warning: Altitude Sickness.
Trek Start Point: Bhulbhule
Trek End Point: Jomsom
Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu / Lodges on trek / Camping while climbing
National Park: Annapurna National Park (7629 sq. kms)
Mountains: Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Yaka Khawa, etc.
Pass: Throng la Pass (5416 m)
Summit: Chulu Far East (6059 m)
Rivers: Marshyangdi Khola and Kali Ghandaki.
Villages: Jagat, Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, etc.
Tribes: Brahmins, Chettris, Gurungs, Magars, Thakalis, Lobas and the Tibetans.
Forest: Of Rhododendron and Pine.
Landscapes: Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains
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