Dhaulagiri Circuit
Nepal

Summit of French Col at 5,360m
  • TRIP TYPE: Mountaineering
  • TRIP GRADE: Strenuous
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: International Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 5 - 14 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 04 Oct 2020

Details

This is a challenging trek around Dhaulagiri the world’s seventh highest mountain with a crossing of two Himalayan passes over 5,000m.

Dhaulagiri Circuit trek explores a wild, remote and off-the-beaten-track area of the Nepal Himalaya. The trek starts at Darbang and then follows the Myagdi Khola river passing through beautiful Gurung villages with terraced fields framed by views of the Dhaulagiri massif. 

After walking up the narrow Chonbarden gorge towards Dhaulagiri Base Camp we cross French Pass into Hidden Valley. We have included two nights in Hidden Valley so you have the choice of two options for this day. Firstly you can spend the day exploring this area and our recommendation is to ascend a ridge on west side of valley with superb views of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiris and Annapurnas.

The second option for those with previous mountaineering experience is to climb Dhampus Peak at an altitude of 6,060m. If you like to climb Dhampus Peak there is an extra charge to cover the cost of the climbing permit.

After camping for two nights in Hidden Valley we then cross Dhampus Pass and start the long descent to Jomsom. At the end of the trek we fly out to Pokhara and back to Kathmandu.

  • We are Himalayan trekking specialists and we have been operating trips in Nepal for many years. Roland Hunter, owner and founder of The Mountain Company, has modified this itinerary based on his first-hand experience of the Dhaulagiri region.
  • The Mountain Company has organised fifteen treks around Dhaulagiri Circuit since 2008. For more information on how these treks went please take a look at our Trip Reports.
  • Read our AITO Traveller Reviews for Dhaulagiri Circuit where our overall holiday rating is 100%. Our approach to organising trips in the Himalayas has helped The Mountain Company win awards such as 2018 Gold Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year and 2015 Bronze Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year.
  • Our itinerary has been carefully designed to ensure sufficient acclimatisation as well as including a number of spare days to maximise the chance of crossing the passes and completing the Circuit.
  • Western branded tents are used for all of our camping treks in Nepal. These are high quality three person domed tents with plenty of space for two people sharing plus gear.
  • The Mountain Company will receive bespoke weather forecasts for the Dhaulagiri region from EverestWeather.com and from our in house forecasting throughout the duration of this trek.
  • We send a Thuraya satellite phone on all of our treks in Nepal. It is essential for your guide to have reliable communications with us for logistics, planning and group safety. We use GPS on Thuraya satellite phone to upload daily your location on to Google Maps so your friends and family can track your progress during the trek.
  • We provide all porters with windproof jacket & trousers, crampons and shelter as per International Porter Protection Group (“IPPG”) guidelines.
  • There will be a range of tasty meals for breakfast, lunch and supper. We give everyone in the group one chocolate or muesli bar per day (Mars, Twix, Bounty etc) and also provide Pringles and biscuits at tea time. For breakfast every morning we provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine.
  • We bring a comprehensive first aid kit plus high altitude medicine, antibiotics and other medicines. There will also be a portable altitude chamber (PAC or Gamow bag).
  • Pre trip support will be given by our Operations team with first hand knowledge of Dhaulagiri Circuit trek. During high season we have a TMC representative from our UK Operations team based in Kathmandu.

Route Map

Itinerary

Arrival in Kathmandu

None

Hotel Tibet

Flying into Kathmandu on a clear day is in itself an unforgettable experience, with the Nepalese Himalaya sprawling out below you. After customs, you will pass out of the restricted area and into the passenger pick-up area outside the building. You will see a Mountain Company signboard and our representative will be waiting to welcome you to Nepal. 

After transferring to your hotel, you will be given a chance to catch your breath and then be given a full briefing. The rest of the day will be yours to explore and to shop for any items that you require. You can leave a bag at the hotel with items not needed on trek.

Today you will hear the Nepalese word for hello ‘Namaste’, you will probably never forget that word after this trek.

Flight to Pokhara

Breakfast

Mount Kailash Resort

In the morning we take the flight to Pokhara and after checking to the hotel you have the rest of the day at leisure around Lakeside in Pokhara.

Drive to Darbang (4 hours)

Walking for 4.5km (3 hours)

Walking ascent 515m

Walking descent 100m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

In the morning we drive via Beni to Darbang. We should arrive in Darbang about mid-afternoon where we meet the rest of our trek crew. After Darbang we cross the suspension bridge and soon after start the climb to Dharapani. This village is mainly Gurung and Chettri and has our first view of Dhaulagiri to the north.

Walking for 9km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 720m

Walking descent 265m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Mountaineering

From Dharapani we walk through Takum and Sibang, these are prosperous villages with many terraced fields mainly growing rice and wheat. Today we pass classic Nepal scenery with traditional villages and mountain views. Many of the men in this area work overseas in the Middle East or in the British and Indian Ghurkas.

There are good views of Gurja Himal and Puta Hiunchuli to the west.  After crossing Dhara Khola on a suspension bridge we continue to Muri, most of the people living in this village are Magar.

Walking for 9km (7 hours)

Walking ascent 985m

Walking descent 535m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Muri we descend steeply to the bridge crossing over the Muri Khola. After passing through dense bamboo stands, the trail enters a number of clearings with fields and farmhouses. Further north the valley steepens and the trail is exposed in places. We camp in the grounds of the primary school in this village.

Walking for 6km (6 hours)

Walking ascent 950m

Walking descent 285m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Myagdi valley is usually wet as a result of its north to south orientation, as clouds approach from India they are forced up by Mount Dhaulagiri at the end of the valley causing precipitation.  You should expect to get some rain in the afternoons although it usually clears off again in the evening. It is for this reason that there is lush sub-tropical forest in Myagdi valley up to Sallighari camp, be careful walking here as it is often slippery especially over tree roots.

From Boghara the trail follows the west bank of Myagdi Khola through an undulating trail in forest. Look up to the cliffs high above the trail there are large bees nests where villagers collect honey. We stop for lunch at Lipshe at 2,080m then afterwards we continue walking in forest until we get to a clearing in the forest at Dobang with several teahouses and campsite.

Walking for 5km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 795m

Walking descent 110m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail continues through dense, lush vegetation of ferns, bamboo and rhododendrons. We cross to the east bank of the Myagdi Khola on a new cantilever bridge and then camp at a clearing in the forest at Sallaghari.

Walking for 4km (4 hours)

Walking ascent 520m

Walking descent 75m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Sallaghari we walk through pine trees, rhododendron and birch and once above the tree line heather, juniper and azaleas. The trail traverses through forest and then climbs to a grassy area on the lateral moraine where Italian Base Camp is located. High above camp is the impressive west face of Dhaulagiri with Tsaurabong Peak visible on the other side of the valley.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we can go for a walk to explore around Italian Base Camp or relax in camp. This day is essential for acclimatisation before ascending further in altitude towards main Dhaulagiri Base Camp.

Walking for 6km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 735m

Walking descent

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Italian Base Camp the trail descends steeply down lateral moraine to gain the glacier, in the past we have fixed a rope here to help the group and trek crew. We cross the glacier and then traverse along the moraine on the left side of the Chonbarden gorge. We walk along talus in the impressively narrow Chonbarden gorge to the snout of the Chonbarden glacier and then continue for another hour to Glacier camp. There are a number of ledges levelled in the ice of the glacier for our tents.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today is an essential acclimatisation day before walking to Base Camp tomorrow. There is an optional day walk up the glacier towards Base Camp to a large moraine ridge with views of Tukuche, little Eiger and icefall from NE Col plus valley heading towards French Pass. This morning walk takes four hours return.

Walking for 5km (4 hours)

Walking ascent 650m

Walking descent 65m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We follow a rough trail along the moraine covered glacier to Dhaulagiri Base Camp. From Base Camp the view is impressive with Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak and Little Eiger and further to the west lies Dhaulagiri II (7,751m) and IV (7,618m). One can also see the start of the climbing route through the icefall. In season there are likely to be expeditions camped on the moraine strip at Base Camp.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

This is another essential day for acclimatisation before crossing French pass over to our campsite in Hidden Valley at 5,100m. In the past some in the group have enjoyed going for a short walk towards French Pass in the morning while others relaxing in camp enjoying the views.

At some point today your western leader will organise a training session for those in the group who have no prior experience of using ice axe and crampons. These basic mountaineering skills will be required for crossing the high passes to Jomsom.

Walking for 8km (7 hours)

Walking ascent 820m

Walking descent 320m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After an early breakfast we walk out of Base Camp along the moraine strip to cross over to the left hand side of the Upper Chonbarden glacier. A high lateral moraine ridge is visible further up the valley, we gain this by following a steep trail across the scree and talus. Once on the lateral moraine ridge, there are superb views back down the valley to Dhaulagiri I and Tukuche Peak.

At a large cairn on the lateral moraine ridge we turn off to make the final ascent to French pass. The approach to the pass is up easy angled snow slopes and as usual in Nepal the top is marked by Buddhist prayer flags and cairns.  The view from the summit of the pass is superb with Sita Chuchura, the peaks of the Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang, Tukuche Peak and of course Dhaulagiri I.

The descent from pass is on moderate snow slopes as we enter Hidden Valley. After a long descent you arrive to camp next to the river not far from the base of Dhampus Peak. You will notice once crossing into Hidden Valley there is only sparse vegetation of isolated patches of moss and grass as this area is now in an area affected by the rain shadow effect of Dhaulagiri.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Option 1: Exploration walk around Hidden Valley.

Please note that we will only cross French Pass on Day 14 if everyone in the group is sufficiently acclimatised, if anyone needs more time then we will delay by a day and cross today instead.

There are a number of options for day walks around Hidden Valley, one of the best is to walk up a ridge on the western side with views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiris, Annapurnas and down Hidden Valley. Please take a look at our blog for more information and photos from our day walk in October 2010

Option 2: Climb Dhampus Peak (6,060m).

There is an option to climb Dhampus Peak at an altitude of 6,060m for those with previous mountaineering experience.  If you would like to climb Dhampus Peak there is an extra cost to cover the climbing permit.

An early start is required for climbing Dhampus Peak as this day entails over 1,000m ascent from Hidden Valley at 5,050m to the summit at 6,060m. Depending on the current conditions the route ascends on moderate snow slopes and scree along a ridge to the summit. The view is sensational with views to Dhaulagiri, Annapurnas and into Mustang. This is optional climb is only suitable for those with previous mountaineering experience using ice axe and crampons.

Walking for 10km (9 hours)

Waking ascent 430m

Walking descent 1,400m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

This is a long day and by far the toughest on Dhaulagiri Circuit trek. After an early start from camp we start the climb up a moderate snow slope to gain Dhampus pass. There are fine views of Dhampus Peak to the left of the pass and to the right the beautiful ice flutings of Tukuche Peak.

From the summit of the pass the trail descends for about 100m before starting to traverse left into Kali Gandaki valley. Depending on the snow and ice conditions crampons may be needed for group & porters at this point. There is a very long traverse on snow usually taking about four hours before starting the steep descent to Yak Kharka. Throughout this traverse there are stunning views of Nilgiri and the western end of the Annapurna Massif.

Walking for 10km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 165m

Walking descent 970m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

There is a long descent today to the village of Marpha located in the Kali Gandaki valley. Marpha village has a Buddhist monastery, Tibetan whitewashed houses and paved streets. It is also famous for its apple orchards so well worth stopping here to get a glass of apple juice at one of the lodges.

In Jomsom we stay at one of the lodges located near the airport. After hot showers you can explore Jomsom, check emails then in the evening the cooks will produce a special last meal together. Later on we will hand out tips to our crew as a thank you for all their hard work throughout the trek.

Flight to Pokhara & Kathmandu

Breakfast

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

We take an early morning flight to Pokhara then connect onto another flight to Kathmandu.

Important note: there is a significant safety risk to consider when flying on airlines in Nepal, if you would like to avoid STOL flight from Jomsom to Pokhara there is an option to extend your trek by to walking to Beni in three days and then driving to Pokhara (or taking a public bus from Jomsom taking a day to Pokhara). However there are also safety considerations with this option as driving in Nepal is risky too. For further information about the flight safety risk in Nepal please read our “Threat and Risk Assessment” plus “Jomsom STOL flight” sections of this Trip Dossier.

Sightseeing in Kathmandu

Breakfast

Camping

This is a one day guided sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley visiting three out of the seven World Heritage Sites. You will start off by visiting Patan Durbar Square then drive to the Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath followed by the last stop of the day at the Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath. The tour is likely to finish around 4pm and the rest of the day is free to further explore Kathmandu.

Three major towns are located in the valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, each having a great artistic and architectural tradition. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest is separated from Kathmandu by a river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley and its relative isolation is reflected in its slower pace and more distinctly mediaeval atmosphere.

In the streets of Kathmandu there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit as well as products imported from China and India. While the city has dramatically expanded over the last 10 years, on the outskirts of the valley it is still possible to see traditional houses set in landscape sculpted by contours of the paddy fields. These villages are alive with the colours of farm produce, ranging from pyramids of golden grain to the vivid red chillies of laid out on mats drying in the sun.

Flight back home

Breakfast

Transfer to Kathmandu airport for the flight back home.  End of trip.

Dates & Prices

We provide an early bird discount for the first people paying their deposits to make up our minimum group size

Switch Currency

2020

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 04 Oct 2020 to 23 Oct 2020 Trip Leader Jo Clark Price US$3,215pp
US$3,115pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$300pp
Availability Early Bird Discount Book Now

2021

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 18 Apr 2021 to 07 May 2021 Trip Leader Jason Day Price US$3,250pp
US$3,150pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$300pp
Availability Early Bird Discount Book Now
Dates 03 Oct 2021 to 22 Oct 2021 Trip Leader International Leader Price US$3,250pp
US$3,150pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$300pp
Availability Early Bird Discount Book Now

2022

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 17 Apr 2022 to 06 May 2022 Trip Leader International Leader Price US$3,295pp
US$3,195pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$300pp
Availability Early Bird Discount Book Now
Dates 02 Oct 2022 to 21 Oct 2022 Trip Leader International Leader Price US$3,295pp
US$3,195pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$300pp
Availability Early Bird Discount Book Now

For private and bespoke trip, please contact us

Enquire Here

What's Included

  • All internal transport and transfers including airport collections.
  • Internal flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and at the end of the trek from Jomsom to Pokhara & Kathmandu.
  • One day sightseeing in Kathmandu with Nepalese cultural guide and private vehicle.
  • Twin share room at Hotel Tibet or Ambassador in Kathmandu and in Pokhara at Hotel Mount Kailash.
  • Breakfast only in Kathmandu and Pokhara, all meals included while on trek.   
  • Twin share tents while on trek using our Western branded tents. These are three person domed tents with plenty of space for two people sharing plus gear.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, tents, International and Sherpa guides, porters and cook.
  • The porterage allowance for your main bag to be carried by a porter is 18kg (or 20kg for those climbing Dhampus Peak too). For the internal flights the weight allowance is 15kg for your main bag checked into the hold and 5kg for day pack carried with you inside the aircraft (we will send some of your gear by bus from Jomsom with the trek crew).
  • Bespoke weather forecasts for Dhaulagiri region from EverestWeather.com throughout the duration of this trek.
  • Thuraya satellite phone for organising logistics and medical evacuations, it can also be also used for personal calls at extra cost.
  • We use GPS on Thuraya satellite phone to upload daily your location on to Google Maps so your friends and family can track your progress during the trek.
  • Dhaulagiri Circuit trekking map given to you on arrival to Kathmandu.
  • Rubberised luggage tag posted to you before departure.
  • Full financial protection for all monies paid to us through our membership of Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (our ABTOT membership number is 5365) and having an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (our ATOL number is 10921).
  • Pre departure support and advice from The Mountain Company by email, phone or face to face meetings in London. After booking with us we will send our comprehensive “Nepal Pre Trip Information” notes.

What's Not Included

  • International flight to/from Kathmandu.
  • Travel & trekking insurance.
  • Nepal visa for 30 days.
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu.
  • If you like to climb Dhampus Peak there is an extra charge to cover the cost of climbing permit.
  • Personal clothing & equipment, please see the Appendix for suggested kit list.
  • Tips.  Each trekker should allow for tip amounts into the group fund of 21,000 Nepalese rupees equivalent to £150, US$200 or €170.
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”.

Accommodation

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

Hotel Tibet is located in Lazimpat next to the Radisson and is our usual hotel for our standard trips in Nepal.

We have used Hotel Tibet for over 15 years and our previous clients enjoy staying at this property due to its good location, comfortable rooms and high level of service. There is a garden terrace next to the restaurant on the ground floor and the roof terrace with the Yeti Bar overlooking the city.


Camping in Nepal

We use both Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1s and Quechua tents for our camping treks in Nepal.

Mount Kailash Resort in Pokhara

Mount Kailash Resort is situated in a good location along a quieter section of Pokhara Lakeside and has fine views of the lake and the mountains.

This property has been recently built in modern style and the rooms are spacious with amenities including en-suit bathroom, television, air-condition and free Wi Fi. There is a well kept garden to relax in and also a swimming pool.


Practical Information

A Typical Day On Camping Trek

The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the assistant guides. Before heading over to the mess tent for breakfast you will pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the tents will be packed away and, after the porters have arranged their loads, they will set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, probably between 7am and 8am, we start walking. The pace of the trek is leisurely with plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around 11am at a spot by the side of the trail and is prepared for us by the cooks.


There is more walking after lunch and normally you will get into camp by mid afternoon with the tents already put up by the local staff. In the evening a three course meal is served in the mess tent around 6-7pm. After supper the international leader will discuss the plan for the next day with the group. People might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events for a while before retiring to their tent for the night.

While on the trek, the cook will provide good quality food in sufficient quantities.  For breakfast you are likely to get porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis, omelettes and a range of hot drinks. For our camping treks in Nepal we provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine. On arrival to camp in the afternoon you will be given tea and biscuits and a three course meal will follow later in the evening.

Communications

We bring a Thuraya satellite phone for logistical, safety and personal use. Personal calls charged at £4 (US$5 or €4.50) per minute and £2 (US$3 €4.50) to send and receive SMS text.

Clothing and Equipment List for Dhaulagiri Circuit

For the safety of everyone in the group and to help ensure a successful trek, you are required to have the following items in our clothing and equipment list tailored for Dhaulagiri Circuit trek. Your gear will be checked by the group leader in Kathmandu prior to departure for the trek.

As a reminder, the weather on this trek will vary season to season and day to day as you ascend to higher elevations. During the first couple of days on Dhaulagiri Circuit trek you will experience hot and humid conditions with temperatures around 25˚to 30˚C. You will experience the coldest temperatures in Hidden Valley at an altitude of 5,050m where overnight lows will be down to around -15˚C.

Each trekker should bring one backpack for gear required during the day. Your day backpack will contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The maximum weight allowance for back pack is 5kg. The rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag will be carried by a porter. The maximum weight allowance for your duffel bag  is 18kg (or 20kg for those climbing Dhampus Peak). Please ensure that your bag is marked clearly on the outside for easy identification.

We suggest you print the kit list and tick items off as you pack them then weigh your kit bag before you come on trek.

Footwear

  • Walking Boots. A pair of water repellent boots with ankle support. Boots must be in good condition, the best approach is to get new boots and break in before the trek. Over the years of organising treks in Nepal we have had several boots fall apart so it is essential you also bring trail shoes as a backup.
  • Trail shoes. Can be used around camp and as a replacement if your walking boots fall apart!
  • Sandals. fully enclosed sandals are best to protect your feet during river crossings. These are required for river crossings as well as two trekking poles.
  • Walking socks.

Clothing

  • Waterproof and Windproof jacket (with hood) and trousers (goretex or similar). For use if it rains or snows during the trek and in windy conditions.
  • Trekking trousers. (eg. Mountain Hardwear Mesa V2 or The North Face Paramount Peak) Minimum two.
  • Soft Shell Trousers.
  • Long sleeve tops or shirts (not cotton). Minimum two.
  • Micro fleece.
  • Mid to heavyweight fleece or synthetic/ primaloft top.
  • Sleeveless/ gilet or body warmer type fleece / synthetic top. This will help keep your core warm while not bulking when layering up. Gilet can be used in combination with base layers, other fleeces and down jacket to provide maximum warmth and insulation.
  • Thermals or base layer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
  • Fleece or synthetic pants. To be worn around the lodge or added as an additional layer when the temperatures start to drop higher up.
  • Medium weight down jacket.

Heads and Gloves

  • Fleece gloves.
  • Warms mittens and/or gloves.
  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf. (eg. Buff Headwear or purchase a #myTMCbuff).
  • Headtorch.  Bring extra batteries.
  • Sunglasses. The lenses need to be Category 4 rated and should have side protection or wraparound design to prevent light getting through to your eyes that could cause sun blindness.

For crossing the passes

  • Mountaineering ice axe with leash.
  • Crampons. The best type for Dhaulagiri Circuit are universal crampons that you can use with normal trekking boots such as Stubai Universals or Kahtoola KTS crampons.
  • Helmet (mandatory as there is risk of rock fall in Chonbarden gorge).
  • Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best). Having two poles is mandatory as required for your safety on steep and loose sections of the trail, river crossings and for walking through deep snow higher up.
  • Gaiters. A pair of knee high gaiters used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground.

Additional climbing equipment for Dhampus Peak

  • Climbing harness with two 60cm slings, four screw gate carabiners, Figure 8 belay belay device and 3m of 5mm static cord for prusiks. [we have a limited number of “Harness packs” for rent, this includes harness (medium size Black Diamond Alpine BOD), belay device with large carabiner, three screwgate carabiners, Petzl handle ascender, two slings and prussik cord. Please contact TMC office for further prices and availability]
  • Jumar ascender (eg. Petzl handled ascender).
  • Mountaineering boot suitable for 6,000m peak (eg. Scarpa Phantom Guide).

Personal equipment

  • Sleeping bag. Maximum overnight lows will be around -15℃. Note: it is possible to rent a bag in Kathmandu from Shonas Rental.
  • Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag. A liner protects your sleeping bag from getting dirty and helps by adding extra insulation to keep you warm at night.
  • Sleeping mat (eg.Thermarest). On trek we provide everyone with one foam mat however we recommend two layers for maximum insulation and comfort. We also provide everyone with a pillow.
  • Daypack. Recommended size is 40 litres or larger as you need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing as well as climbing gear and down jacket. The pack should have a good waist belt. It is also a good idea to bring a rain cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold- drybags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).  You may use a hydration pack lower down but the tube will freeze in the cold so ensure you still have 2 water bottles.
  • Pee bottle. Highly recommended as means you do not have to get up to find toilet tent at night! For men you can use an old water bottle for women take a look at SheWee.
  • Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Aqua or Aqua Mira).
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books, ipod and cards etc.
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer. We suggest you keep this in your day pack for use after a toilet break during the trek or before eating any snacks. We provide sanitizer for use before meals.

Travelling

  • Duffle bag for your personal gear on the trek (carried by a porter). A rugged, waterproof duffle bag made of a plastic material 100-120 litres in size is recommended eg. Mountain Equipment 100l or Rab 120l. Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Kathmandu.
  • Toiletry bag, soap, travel towel, toothbrush, travel wash etc. You will be provided with toilet paper on trek.

Personal first aid kit

Note: we provide a comprehensive group first aid kit but please bring personal medications and other items you might use regularly such as:

  • Any personal medications.
  • Blister treatment (Compeed patches are the best)
  • Rehydration powder (eg Dioralyte).
  • Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
  • Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
  • Throat lozenges.
  • Diamox (helps with acclimatisation).

 

Threat and risk assessment for Dhaulagiri Circuit

Participants should be aware trekking, mountaineering and travelling in a developing country are activities that involve a risk of personal injury or death. As a condition of booking you must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement.

Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may experience extreme conditions, unpredictable weather and last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in team is an important aspect of all of our trips.

As a part of our planning process we have performed a detailed threat and risk assessment for our Dhaulagiri Circuit trek. It is worth pointing out all of our trips have a certain degree of risk, this is of course part of the attraction of adventure travel and why so many people choose to join this type of holiday. However by identifying the potential hazards on Dhaulagiri Circuit we can assess the level of risk and implement control measures to reduce this happening.

Our full threat and risk assessment for Dhaulagiri Circuit is available to clients on request. For your information we have listed below a summary of the significant risks and hazards identified by us:

  • Falls and trips resulting in physical injury eg. slipping on ice or falling off the path.
  • Altitude illness including but not limited to AMS, HACE and HAPE.
  • Getting lost or becoming separated from group eg. crossing Dhampus pass in whiteout.
  • Severe bad weather and conditions when camping eg. in Hidden valley at 5,000m.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke). Please note during the months of April and and October it will very hot and humid with temperatures often more than 30 Degrees Celsius for the first three days of the trek.
  • Crossing a river with no bridge resulting in drowning and/ or a fall.
  • Rock fall and landslides eg walking in Chonbarden gorge.
  • Snow and ice avalanches eg crossing French and Dhampus passes.
  • Lightning strike.
  • Wildlife, pack animals (eg. donkeys or horses) or stray dogs. Pack animals have been known to knock people off the path. Dogs can attack and bite, we advise you discuss rabies vaccination with your doctor.
  • Earthquake.
  • Risk of fire in the hotel or lodge.
  • Endemic local diseases. We advise you discuss vaccinations with your doctor before departure.
  • Physiological injury such as heart attack, appendicitis, hernia, toothache etc. in a remote area.
  • Road traffic or flight accident [see paragraph “Jomsom flight” for further information about STOL flights]
  •  Contaminated food and/ or water.

This trip visits a remote area where you are away from normal emergency services and medical facilities. In case of a serious injury requiring hospitalisation evacuation could take up to several days and may impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the most usual means of evacuation, however they are not always available or they may be hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.

Internal Flights for Dhaulagiri Circuit

Please note that flights from Nepal’s Short Take-Off & Landing (“STOL”) mountain airstrips such as Jomsom are dependent on the weather. Delays often happen if there is poor visibility or high winds.

In all of our itineraries visiting areas with STOL mountain airstrips we include one extra day in Kathmandu at the end of the trip in case of delays flying back. If you are delayed longer than this our office in Kathmandu can help reschedule your international flights however there is likely to be a fee charged by the airline for this. You will also have to pay for all of your additional costs incurred in Kathmandu as a result of the delay such as accommodation and meals.

British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (“FCO”) travel advice to Nepal states that “STOL airstrips in Nepal are among the most remote and difficult to land on in the world and are a challenge for even the most technically proficient pilots and well-maintained aircraft.” For their latest advice please take a look at their Safety & Security section under Air Travel.

There have been a number of recent air accidents in Nepal and in December 2013 The European Union banned all airlines based in Nepal from flying in the 28-nation bloc under the latest changes to a list of unsafe carriers.  For more information on Nepal’s air safety profile take a look at Aviation Safety Network.

Weather and climate for Dhaulagiri Circuit

Dhaulagiri Circuit trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the altitude and the time of day. In the mountains between 1,000m and 3,500m the nights will be cool, normally around 5˚C, and during the day temperatures sometimes rise to 25˚C. At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 15˚C to -15˚C.

The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to May, with October and November generally recognised as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom.

Suggested reading and maps for Dhaulagiri Circuit

Maps

Dhaulagiri (Nepa Trekking Maps) by Map Himalayan Maphouse 1:87,500 This map will be included in your welcome pack when you arrive in Nepal.

Books

Annapurna by Maurice Herzog

The Ascent of Rum Doodle by WE Bowman

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