Saribung Peak


28 Days | 27 Nights

Overview

This long-time forbidden program, offers an exceptional and much less frequented glacial crossing in the heart of the Himalayan Range, starting from the ancient kingdom of Mustang to the mysterious hidden valley of Nar and Phu. The route goes through the wild scenery of the Damodar Himal Massif, crosses the Saribung Pass at 6020m and makes an ascent of the non-technical snowcapped Saribung Peak.

By flight we reach Jomsom, starting point of the trek to reach Lo Manthang, the capital of the Mustang. From there, through wild and isolated region, we reach the Saribung Peak. After its ascent, the route continues through the villages of Phu and Nar, crosses the Kang La pass at 5320m and plunges to the Marshyangdi Valley exiting through the Annapurna Round starting point.

The extreme scenery diversity with colored eroded canyons, troglodyte caves, typical Tibetan villages, monasteries, glaciers and high mountains, makes this program one of the best in Nepal. Certainly, one of the best trekking in Nepal!

Everest Base Camp

Short Itineraries

  • DAY 1:
    ARRIVAL AT KATHMANDU
  • DAY 2:
    FLY TO POKHARA
  • DAY 3:
    FLY TO JOMSOM & TREK TO KAGBENI
  • DAY 4:
    KAGBENI – CHELE (3075M) 6H 30
  • DAY 5:
    CHELE – GELING (3560M) 7H
  • DAY 6:
    GELING – TRAMAR (3800M) 5H
  • DAY 7:
    TRAMAR – LO GEKAR – TSARANG (3580M) 7H
  • DAY 8:
    TSARANG – LO MANTANG (3750M) 5H
  • DAY 9:
    IN LO MANTANG
  • DAY 10:
    LO MANTANG - DHIE( 3400M) 4H
  • DAY 11:
    DHIE – LORI GOMPA (3885M) 5H
  • DAY 12:
    LURI GOMPA – GHUMA THANTI (4745M) 6H
  • DAY 13:
    GHUMA THANTI – PARCHE KHOLA (4970M) 4H
  • DAY 14:
    PARCHE KHOLA – DAMODAR KUNDA (4970M) 5H
  • DAY 15:
    DAMODAR KUND – BASE CAMP (5240M) 3H
  • DAY 16:
    BASE CAMP – MORAINE CAMP (5720M) 5H
  • DAY 17:
    MORAINE CAMP – SARIBUNG PASS (6042M) – SARIBUNG PEAK (6328M) – BHRIHUTI BC (5070M) 12H
  • DAY 18:
    BHRIHUTI BC – PHU (3995M) 6H
  • DAY 19:
    PHU
  • DAY 20:
    PHU – MAHENDRA PUL (3425M) 5H 30 MIN
  • DAY 21:
    MAHENDRA PUL – NAAR (4100M) – KANG LA PHEDI (4500M) 6H
  • DAY 22:
    KANG LA PHEDI – KANG LA (5320M) – NGAWAL (3750M) 7H
  • DAY 23:
    NGAWAL – GYARU – BRATHANG (2840M) 6H
  • DAY 24:
    BRATHANG - DHARAPANI (1900 M) 6H 30 MIN
  • DAY 25:
    DHARAPANI – SYANGE (1050M) 6H 30
  • DAY 26:
    SYANGE – BESI SAHAR - KATHMANDU
  • DAY 27:
    IN KATHMANDU
  • DAY 28:
    DEPARTURE

Detailed Itineraries

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU

Arrival Kathmandu airport and transfer to your hotel by private vehicle.

Overnight in Kathmandu

DAY 2: Fly to Pokhara

Afternoon flight Kathmandu to Pokhara, city on the side of Phewa lake. Pokhara is a remarkable place of natural beauty. At an elevation lower than that of Kathmandu, it has much more tropical feel to it; a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diverse flowers that prosper in this environment. The enchanting city has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panaromic views of Himalayan peaks. The serenity of the lakes and the magnificence of the Himalayas rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic.

The natural beauty of its lakeside location and its proximity to the mountains has made Pokhara the natural choice for trekkers and adventures. Pokhara is also the base for some of most famous trekking circuits of Nepal.

Walk alongside the lake with Annapurna range in the background

Overnight in Pokhara
DAY 3: Fly Pokhara – Jomsom (2700m) and trek to Kagbeni

Early flight to Jomsom by Twin Otter which flies over the river Kali Gandaki, a powerful river which has dug one of the deepest canyon of the world, in between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. From Jomsom trek to Kagbeni (2800m) 3h [245m ascent – 140m descent] With Nilgiri (7108m) towering Jomsom, wind blowing from south to north, our trek starts upstream the Kali Gandaki wide riverbed to reach Kagbeni, the gateway of Mustang. It’s a green oasis at the junction of the Jhong Khola and the Kali Gandaki. Kagbeni looks like a town out of the medieval past, with closely packed mud houses, dark alleys and a large, ochre-colored gompa perched above the town.

Overnight at camp
DAY 4: Trek Kagbeni – Chele (3075m) 6h 30 [920m ascent – 240m descent]

Almost immediately the path climbs quite steeply up into a jumble of gullies and small towers, zigzagging to a viewpoint over Kagbeni with Nilgiri providing a dazzling white fluted backdrop. The trail keeps to the east bank, climbing and descending to avoid the many river crossings necessary if taking the stony flat plain route used by horse riders and locals. After crossing a small tributary of the Tangbe khola , the path climbs gently to Thangbe, the first village of Mustang . It’s an ancient fort with a labyrinth of alleys and its chortens alignment overhanging the river. The path goes further to Chuksang with its troglodyte monastery and many white washed houses. The trail passes below a fort and village with red and white striped buildings on the east side. On the west side are great towering cliffs of amazing eroded pipes, chimneys and gullies in glowing yellow, gold, orange and red colors. After a short walk along the river bed, there is a solid bridge across the Kali Gandaki at the point where it tunnels its way under a vast block of red sandstone. From here it is a short sharp climb to Chele, a village set high up a rocky peak.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 5: Trek Chele – Geling (3560m) 7h camp [1 270m ascent – 785m descent]

A tremendous canyon opens out between the trail and the village, surrounded by patchwork fields of rich red buckwheat and brilliant green. The trail, narrow in places, hugs the east wall of the canyon, with almost vertical drops and looses edges. This path leads to a pass at 3550m. The view offers a panorama of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Yakawa kang and Damodar himal. Then the path enters a large sided valley and descends to Samar, a beautiful village with poplars. From that point we take the pilgrims’) itinerary, a steep climb down a gorge to a sacred cave with a natural carved chorten. From there we climb up a very nice canyon to Syangmochen before crossing a pass at 3800m. From here we have the first view of Geling village below. From here the path descends gradually into another less severe gully and climbs out to a collection of houses. About 10 minutes walk from this point is an old fort, from where there is a superb view down over the picturesque village of Geling, the old royal place with its monastery.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 6: Trek Geling – Tramar (3800m) 5h camp [735m ascent – 500m descent]

The path climbs up the Nya la pass (3950m) and descends steeply to Ghemi, a nice village amidst an oasis. On the way after Ghemi we pass by a long mani wall before climbing up to Tramar, famous for its very dramatic red eroded canyon wall towering above the village

DAY 7: Trek 5 Tramar – Lo Gekar – Tsarang (3580m) 7h [370m ascent – 575m desent]

The path climbs steep up a nice canyon to a pass before going down to Lo Gekar with its 11th century monastery, sheltering huge statues of Buddha. The path goes on through buckwheat and barley fields to Tsarang, a wonderful village with its palace and monastery clung to the rock.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 8: Trek Tsarang – Lo Mantang (3750m) 5h [350m ascent - 125m descent]

Today walk is not long so we can visit Tsarang monastery before going steeply down to a river bridge. After crossing the river the route is initially very steep up a stony track. As you round the corner and heads north, a fine view unfolds to the south, with Tsarang on the edge of the cliff in the foreground and the great white Himalayan peaks of Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I behind.

Bhrikuti Peak is visible to the south-east. The trail climbs gently along the west side of a side valley to an isolated chorten at 3620m, 2 hours from Tsarang. A further hour takes you to 3700m with some spectacular caves high up in the cliffs to the east. The trail now heads across an open region, always climbing gently beside a cliff of fine yellow conglomerate and dark horizontal iron bands. Having climbed to around 3850m, a pass is reached, where you will see the view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The bright red and grey monastery of Namgyal sits on top of a promontory, with the wide valley surrounding tingkar and Phuwa villages behind. Descending for some time the trail crosses a stream and climbs up to Lo Manthang.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 9: In Lo Manthang

This day will be spent in this mystical and isolated city. You will awake to the mystical sounds of monks chanting and the heady sent of temple candles. After having breakfast you will visit the four major temples within the city walls. The major attraction of this area is the three storey’s Jampa Lhakhang, the red Thubchen gompa with a massive assembly hall, Chodey gompa and Choprang gompa.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 10: Trek Lo Mantang - Dhie( 3400m) 4h [280m ascent - 700m descent]

With regret we leave Lo to retrace our steps back to the pass then we have to be careful not to slip descending a steep canyon with eroded cliffs to Dhie. All the way down is through a colored canyon.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 11: Dhie – Lori Gompa (3885m) 5h [535m ascent - 50m descent]

We cross the river before going up to Yara amidst a lunar landscape in the Puyon Chu gorge. The trail climbs up to Gangra at 3870m then traverses horizontally till the picturesque monastery of Lori set high up a cliff. This gompa shelters some beautiful paintings.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 12: Luri Gompa – Ghuma Thanti (4745m) 6h [1 050m ascent – 200m descent]

The trail descends through the gorge to join the main trail Yara – Ghuma thanti; a nice walk from hilltop to hilltop through the pastures. At 4780m, the trail crosses a wide grassy plateau offering superb views of the huge Dhaulagiri mountain. The path continues climbing up to a pass at 4940m and descends to Ghuma Thanti, a place built for sheltering the Buddhist pilgrims going to the sacred Damodar kunda lakes.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 13: Ghuma Thanti – Parche Khola (4970m) 4h [575m ascent - 350m descent]

In order to well acclimatize, today’s walk will be short. The trail climbs big slopes through a wild lunar landscape to reach a pass at 5320m, offering tremendous views of the Dhaulagiri. Further down, after a long crossing, we can enjoy views of the Annapurna I. The trail makes a steep descent to the bottom of the thalweg of the Parche khola.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 14: Parche Khola – Damodar kunda (4970m) 5h

The trail goes upstream during 200 meter before climbing up a long, steep slope on the eastern bank of the river. Then the trail makes a long crossing from hilltop to hilltop till a pass at 5490m offering unimpeded outlook over the Dhaulagiri and Damodar Himal guaranteed. The path makes a long crossing to avoid a landslide and joins the river at 4920m which we can ford. Through a broad valley the trail reaches the sacred lakes. There is a small Hindu shrine above the campsite and a very old Buddhist chorten on top of the ridge witnessing the holiness of the spot.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 15: Damodar Kund – Base camp (5240m) 3h [270m ascent]

We follow small footpaths leading to the pastures then the path follows the river bed and is unpleasant. We have our lunch at the camp where we find a big chorten made by the Japanese. 5h de marche.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 16: Base camp – Moraine Camp (5720m) 5h [530m ascent - 50m descent]

Today is a transitional day before the high mountain and its completely different ambiance. The first part of the ascent is on the moraines of the eastern side of the glacier and is marked by small cairns. We have to join the glacier to follow till its end a very beautiful way of ice blocks. At about 5700m, the path crosses the glacier quite horizontally to follow the western moraine. Views of the Khumjunggar Himal (6959m), the Damodar Himal highest peak.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 17: Moraine Camp – Saribung Pass (6042m) – Saribung Peak (6328m) – Bhrihuti BC (5070M) 12h [610m ascent – 1 260m descent]

To reach the pass the trail follows the moraine then a little crevassed glacier during 3 hours. The summit is 280 meter further on 300 easy snow capped slopes opening on a broad ridge. From the summit of Saribung we have a superb panorama of Gyajikang, Himlung, Bhrikuti, etc..From the pass the descent on the other side requires some precautions due to much more crevasses. At the end of the glacier, it is time to take off the crampons for an endless walk on the edge of the eastern moraine till the camp.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 18: Bhrihuti BC – Phu (3995m) 6h [200m ascent – 1100m descent]

The trail descends a hilltop till a stream that we cross and the path follows the river side till a second stream we ford. On the opposite side by climbing up a glacial escarpment the trail joins a well marked path through pastures till Ngaru, a village now abandoned. The trail climbs steeply up during 200m to reach a very pleasant path leading to Phu, a packed village perched on a rocky peak and inhabited by Tibetan people.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 19: Phu

After our long stay in altitude, the porters need to rest and refresh and we shall enjoy visiting Phu’s monastery on the opposite hilltop. Phu is an incredibly interesting village, and a day is well spent sitting with the villagers as they spin their yak and sheep wool and chat, pound mustard seeds into a paste for oil, or involve themselves in the countless activities that take up a day in Tibetan villages.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 20: Phu – Mahendra Pul (3425m) 5h 30 [510m ascent – 1 080m descent]

The trail crosses a long suspension bridge, passes by an alignment of chortens , then through the gate of the village before descending the Phu Khola gorge till Kyang, the extensive winter settlement of Phu, on a plateau high above the river. The path continues down to Chyakoo, another winter settlement. It is a great pleasure to find some trees again! Passing by Jhunam, on a fork we take to the right path down to the old bridge spanning a deep, contoured and narrow gorge. The old gompa nearby is closed.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 21: Mahendra Pul – Naar (4100m) – Kang La Phedi (4500m) 6h [1 175m ascent – 100m descent]

The trail begins steeply up, finally reaches the Nar gates at the top of the hill, and passes by yet another line of wonderfully painted, bamboo-topped chortens and a large tiered chorten before turning the corner and being rewarded with sublime views of Nar, the undulating patterns of the surrounding barley and mustard fields, four old, colorful and traditional gompas and the snow-peaks looming overhead. Above Naar, Pisang Peak is looming up in front. On the barren slopes we might be lucky to see some blue sheep. We set our camp at the end of the alpine meadow near a tea shop.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 22: Kang La Phedi – Kang La (5320m) – Ngawal (3750m) 7h [820m ascent – 1 570m descent]

The trail starts steeply then becomes easier. We have Chulu massif in sight and after passing by a small lake the summit of the pass is eventually visible. A last effort to reach the narrow top with fluttering colored prayer flags. The Kang La, at 5320m, is an absolutely spectacular pass looking over Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tilicho peak, the peaks surrounding Tilicho and the airport at Hongde. The trail down initially is steep and requires caution. It’s a long and tiring descent till Ngawal, on the upper Pisang route of the Annapurna circuit (off the main Annapurna circuit). Just before Ngawal is an unusual grouping of chortens and prayer flags, and marks a meditation cave far up in the hills. Ngawal is a wonderful, old village of cobbled streets, prayer wheels and beautiful architecture, obviously a hub of religious activity in previous times.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 23: Ngawal – Gyaru – Brathang (2840m) 6h [300m ascent – 1 210m descent]

On a very pleasant trail with superb views of the Annapurna Range we reach Gyaru, a beautiful Manangi village and the trail descends steeply to Upper Pisang at 3300m, the starting point for Pisang peak ascent. The path now joins the classic Annapurna Round one in a narrow forested valley till Brathang, a village previously inhabited by the Kampas.

Overnight at Camp
DAY 24: Brathang - Dharapani (1900 m) 6h 30 [400m ascent – 800m descent]

The trail goes downstream the Marshyangdi river through fields of barley at Tilung and Chame. Further on is Koto, the gateway of Naar Phu hidden valley while starting from the classic Annapurna Round. The path crosses a large stream, makes some ups and downs through oak and maple forests till Latamarang and descends to Dhanakyu, a settlement at 2290 metres. Descending through forests, the path reaches Bagarchap, with its well-maintained, whitewashed Diki Gompa then further down reaches Dharapani, a village at the junction with Manaslu Round trek.

Overnight at local lodge
DAY 25: Dharapani – Syange (1050m) 6h 30 [450m ascent – 1 250m descent]

The route now descends following the west bank of the Marshyangdi river passing by a mani wall before crossing the river on another bridge and entering the broad, flat valley of Tal with the river meandering through it.Today is our last day trekking descending along the Marshyangdi river and reaching lower altitude makes us sweet more.

Overnight at local lodge
DAY 26: Syange – Besi Sahar – Kathmandu

At Syange we now meet the under construction Besi Sahar – Manang road and we board into a local bus that drives us to Besi Sahar, where our private vehicle is waiting for us. It is a long drive to Kathmandu where we are so happy to meet our comfortable hotel again.

Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
DAY 27: In Kathmandu

Free day in Kathmandu.

Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
DAY 28: DEPARTURE

Transfer to airport for return flight.

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