13 Days.  Max. Altitude 6,092m.
Fully supported and tented on climb and teahouses during approach/return.
Pre-trek Briefing:  HE Office (Kathmandu Guest House) 3 pm on day prior to Day 1.   Full attendance necessary for briefing with emphasis on individual equipment check (options for hiring etc).


Day 1: To Bandipur
(Approx 5.5 hrs drive. O/nt Altitude 1,050m The Old Inn)

By road west to the medieval hilltop town of Bandipur. The Old Inn has a charming ambiance, great food and (probably) the bonus of excellent mountain views including our objective. (B,D)

Day 2: To Chyamje
(O/nt Altitude 1,410m/7hrs approx.)

On account of rudimentarily completed road construction we can now use the Marshyangdi Valley all the way to Chyamje. However at present this may require a conventional vehicle as far as Besi Sahar then jeeps to complete the journey. So ends our vehicle approach. (B,D)

Day 3: To Bagarchhap
(O/nt Altitude 2,160m/7hrs approx.)

(O/nt Altitude 2,160m/7hrs approx.)

Day 4: To Chame
(O/nt Altitude 2,670m/6 hrs approx.)

We are now in the homeland of the ethnic Manang people. Forests are of fir and pine and there are fine views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II and Manaslu Himal. We trek through the little settlements of Timang Besi and Lattemarang, and so to Chame, the administrative headquarters for the Manang District. (B,D)

Day 5: To Lower Pisang
(O/nt Altitude 3,240m/5 hrs approx.)

With the Marsyangdi on its left, the trail gains 400m to the village of Bhratang, before crossing to the river’s other bank by an impressive suspension bridge and with the next couple of hours taking us to Lower Pisang (where it is worth noting the labelling – ie, Lower Pisang and Upper Pisang are villages, taking their name from Pisang Peak). (B,D)

Day 6: To Pisang Base Camp
(O/nt Altitude 4,380m/5 hrs approx.)

The climb now starts in earnest. We cross the Marsyangdi suspension bridge to Pisang Village’s upper half and leave the village using the high ground that is the rising ridge bordered by the two streams that come down from Pisang, the Kyumi Khola and the Tangra Khola. Thus through forest and alpine pastures we reach the meadow that makes a suitable Base Camp (B,L,D)

Day 7: Acclimatisation and Instruction Day
(O/nt Altitude 4,380m)

This is the right time and place for altitude acclimatisation. Thus a second night is to be spent at this height; for a key to acclimatisation is the body’s night time adjustment to the same altitude provided by a second night while using the day to go higher (to about 5,000m/4-5 hrs). At the same time it is also used for ‘dry’ instruction in ‘above-the-snowline’ mountain techniques.

The return to Base Camp is also valuable exercise for the body’s balance and its downhill muscular demands. (B,L,D)

Day 8: To High Camp
(O/nt Altitude 5,400m/4.5 hrs approx.)

No turning back this time around! Our route follows the south-north ridge with Pisang’s western flank and overhanging glacier ahead/left as we climb towards the shoulder which is to be the location of tonight’s camp. Typically, but subject to season, this is in snow. With our support team we here establish the High Camp, the final night before our push to the summit. It is a place of expectation and excitement. Long hours in warm sleeping bags is advised even if sleep is spasmodic. (B,L,D)

Day 9: To The Summit (6,092m/6 hrs) and return to the Base Camp
(6-7 hrs)

Summit day, by definition invariably a long and exhausting, dawn-sometimes-to-dusk, day to remember starts as early as light permits. First in shadow, for the sun is not yet above the eastern ranges, we proceed with rhythm and moderate pace. After maybe 4.5 hours, via a near vertical 100m snow slope and with the employment of practiced techniques, the ascending ridge breaks out onto a snowfield. Thus on up, up quite steeply, up wearily and up cautiously probing for crevasses. Maybe not yesterday, but today you will surely know that you have acquired the mantle of the mountaineer.

The summit is an astonishing 360 degree panorama, as good as the very best in the central Himalaya. The impact of scale and of grandeur is overwhelming, far above any cloud, it is as if you are on a par with Manaslu (8,163m) due East, Annapurna II and Lamjung due South, Machhupuchare to the south-west, Annapurna I due West, and the trans-Himalayan plateau of Tibet stretching, in darkening misty tones, away to the North.

With new energy sourced from adrenalin and achievement, we will descend by the same route past the site of last night’s High Camp to the relative comforts and oxygen of Base Camp. (B,L,D)

Day 10: To Pisang Village or Ghyaru
(O/nt Altitude 3,670m/ 3 hrs approx)

After the momentous day, you will be coming down in more ways than one. The intensity has passed, the day is relatively short and leisurely. Setting off from Base Camp, we head to the Marsyangdi, either back to Pisang or to Ghyaru, the village of fluttering prayer flags higher up the valley; and in either case to restaurants, showers and beds. (B,L)

NB. planning here is based on people’s decision (which would have been made individually before the outset), whether to continue independently to cross the Thorung-La so as to complete the Annapurna Circuit trekking route or to head back the way we came down the Marsyangdi Valley and onto transport to either Pokhara or Kathmandu. So here it is important to make clear that the expedition schedule itself is to return now to Kathmandu or, if you choose, to Pokhara.

Days 11-13: To Kathmandu or Pokhara; trekking and by road via Chame, Bajarchap, Bahundanda and Besi Sahar.

Expedition ends on arrival with dinner in Kathmandu (or Pokhara). (B then D in Kathmandu)

MEAL CODES: (B=breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

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