Tharpu Chuli Expedition
The south face of Annapurna South (7291m), at the head of the Annapurna Glacier, guards the Western flank of the Sanctuary, itself an amphitheatre of high peaks, in the centre of which is Tharpu Chuli (5663m), named Tent Peak because of its outline. Awe-inspiring views of Annapurnas I, III and V, Baraha Sikhar, Gangapurna, Khansar Kang, Tarke Kang (all in excess of 7000m), and, perhaps the most beautiful of all, Machhapuchhare (6993m), may be gained from the summit of the peak.
The trek begins at Nayapul, after a short drive from the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara, and passes through many Gurung and Magar villages, such as Ghandruk, which is the largest Gurung village in Nepal, where the male members of the local community have sacrificed their lives to serve with the Gurkha Armies and security forces around the world. The trail moves along ridges where stunning panoramic views disclose spectacular mountainscapes. Passing through picturesque rhododendron, daphne and bamboo forests, over grassy meadows, between incredibly narrow gorges, and up very steep and rocky steps, the trail follows the Modi Khola river valley after passing through Chhomrung, en route to Machhapuchhare Base Camp. After a night at MBC, the trek continues to Annapurna Base Camp, situated at an altitude of 4300m, for acclimatization before moving on towards High camp (Tharpu Chuli Base Camp). Seen from the moraines above the huts at Annapurna base camp, the Tharpu Chuli takes on a shape, aptly described by its former name Tent Peak, with its long South-East Ridge forming the sloping ridge pole.
The route to Tharpu Chuli base camp requires crossing the Annapurna Glacier, involving a steep descent over very rough ground, prior to a hard climb up the other side. It takes about 7 hours to reach High camp, at the foot of the steep snow face leading to the summit ridge of Tharpu Chuli, from where there is a superb panoramic view of Huinchuli (6441m/20771ft), Annapurna South (7219m/ 23684ft), Fang (7647m/ 25089ft), Gangapurna (7455m/ 24459ft), Annapurna III (7555m/ 24787ft), Machhapuchhare (6993m/ 22943ft) and of course Singu Chuli or Fluted Peak (6501m/ 21329ft). Technically straightforward all the way to the summit, Tent peak has attracted a lot of novice climbers over the past few years, which factor, added to stunning views throughout, has popularized this particular trek and climbing peak.
The way out, of necessity, follows the same route as the ingoing one, as far as Chhomrung, due to the cul-de-sac nature of the Sanctuary. However, thanks to the awe-inspiring majesty of the region, this is no hardship! We return, via Landruk, Pothana and Dhampus, to Lumle where we will enjoy a last night party to celebrate the successful completion of this climbing expedition.
The following day sees the start of an exciting rafting trip on the Kali Gandaki river, at the Baglung Bridge set-in point, after an hour’s drive from Lumle. The stunningly beautiful scenery on this remote river makes this rafting trip a favourite among those looking for a short length, exciting, white water experience. The river, which is far away from any road, flows through narrow gorges lined with green grasses and hanging moss, passes alongside tumbling waterfalls and jungle, and skirts seldom-visited traditional Magar and Chetri villages. The Class III to IV rapids on the Kali Gandaki are quite continuous, keeping paddlers busy all day, and it would be hard to find such diversity on any other 3 day/2 night rafting trip. The finishing point for rafting is Mirmi Ghat hydro dam and, on leaving the rafts, there will be a short drive back to Pokhara, for relaxation before the next day’s scenic bus journey back to the heaving metropolis of Kathmandu, for shopping, sightseeing and a visit to EPHC.
- Day 1
- Arrive to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel
- Day 2
- Briefing, meet with climbing guide and check/get read the equipments, afternoon Kathmandu sightseeing
- Day 3
- Early morning, fly to Pokhara (820m), drive to Nayapul (1070m) and trek to Ghandruk (1940m)
- Day 4
- Trek to Chhomrung (2170m)
- Day 5
- Trek to Dovan (2505m)
- Day 6
- Trek to Deurali (3170m) or Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3700m)
- Day 7
- Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) (4130m)
- Day 8
- Acclimatization day and preparation for crossing Glacier and Peak Expedition
- Day 9
- Cross Annapurna glacier camp (4600m)
- Day 10
- High camp (5000m), preparation and set fix rope etc.
- Day 11
- Acclimatize at high camp and preparation for ascent (or first attempt to ascend)
- Day 12
- Very early morning ascent to Tharpu Chuli (5663m) and back to ABC (4130m)
- Day 13
- Trek back to Bamboo (2335m)
- Day 14
- Trek to Jhinudanda (1780m) via Chhomrong
- Day 15
- Trek to Pothana (1900m)
- Day 16
- Trek to Lumle(1610m) or Naudanda (1440m), last night party
- Day 17
- Drive to Baglung Bridge and start rafting on Kali Gandaki River (11km )
- Day 18
- Raft to Purti Ghat/Rani Pani(24km)
- Day 19
- Raft to Mirmi Ghat (12km) and drive back to Pokhara
- Day 20
- Drive back to Kathmandu
- Day 21
- Visit to EPHC/shopping and transport to airport for departure