Saribung Pass and Summit Expedition
Nepal

On summit of Saribung La at 6,042m
  • TRIP TYPE: Mountaineering
  • TRIP GRADE: Challenging
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: International Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 5 - 12 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 07 Oct 2021

Details

This is an expedition to the Nepal Himalaya where we cross Saribung La at an altitude of 6,042m. There is also an option to climb to the summit of Saribung at 6,328m.

Saribung Expedition is an adventurous trip through a very remote region in Nepal. After leaving the Annapurna Circuit at Chame we walk to the isolated village of Phu. From there we hike up into the remote Phu valley. At the head of this valley we cross the rarely trekked Saribung La pass to enter Upper Mustang. There is an option to climb Saribung peak (6,328m) which is 300m higher than the pass.

Saribung Peak would be suitable if you have basic mountaineering skills. You should also have previous experience of trekking at high altitude. The climbing route is a moderate angled snow slope on a glacier with crevasses. For this expedition we use international leaders working together with Sherpa guides. Having an experienced leadership is key for a safe and enjoyable experience. The leaders will provide refresher training for key mountaineering skills during the trip.

We designed our Saribung Pass trek itinerary for gradual acclimatisation to high altitude. This increases your chances of crossing Saribung La and making an ascent of Saribung. This works better by starting from the Phu side where we trek up to Pokharkang Base Camp (5,030m). This trail is rarely visited by other trekkers. It is a beautiful valley with blue sheep often seen grazing near Base Camp.

For many years we organised expeditions to Mera Peak. Over the last 5 years we found the climbing route on this mountain congested with many other groups. In 2019 we launched Saribung Expedition as a less busy 6,000m expedition in a remote region of Nepal. Another 6,000m expedition you could consider is Dhaulagiri Circuit with Dhampus Peak.

  • 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 this region.
  • We organised a group expedition to climb Saribung in April/ May 2019 and also a reconnaissance expedition led by Jo Clark in November 2018 where she and our Nepalese crew successfully crossed Saribung La pass. For more information on how these expeditions went please take a look at our Trip Reports.
  • We work with some of the best mountain leaders and guides with deep knowledge and experience of the Himalaya and Karakoram. Unlike many other operators we still allocate appropriately trained international leaders for more remote and technical trips like Saribung Expedition.
  • Our itinerary has been carefully designed for gradual acclimatisation to high altitude in order to maximise your chances of safely crossing Saribung La pass and making an ascent of Saribung peak. Acclimatisation works much better by starting from Phu side and before our approach to Saribung we trek up to Pokharkang Base Camp (5,030m). This trail is rarely visited by other trekkers and is a beautiful valley with blue sheep often seen grazing near Base Camp.
  • Read our AITO Traveller Reviews for Saribung Expedition 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.
  • 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 Saribung 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 Saribung Expedition. During high season we have a TMC representative from our UK Operations team based in Kathmandu.

Route Map

Itinerary

Arrival in Kathmandu

No meals

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

Flying into Kathmandu on a clear day is in itself an unforgettable experience. The Himalayan peaks are only a short distance north of the capital of Nepal as seen from the plane. After customs, you will pass into the passenger pick-up area outside the building. You will see a Mountain Company signboard. Our representative will be waiting to welcome you to Nepal. After transferring to your hotel you have the rest of the day free. You can rest after your long journey or get out to explore Kathmandu. You can also make final preparations for the trek. You will hear the Nepalese word for hello ‘Namaste’, you will never forget that word after this holiday.

 

Breakfast

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

This morning your leader will give the trek briefing and check your gear. We will collect your passports from you so that we can apply for the trekking permits. The rest of the day is free to explore Kathmandu and to pack your bags. You can leave a bag at the hotel with items not needed on trek.

Drive to Jagat (10 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We leave Kathmandu early in the morning by private bus. It is a scenic drive with occasional glimpses of mountain peaks. At Dumre we turn off the Pokhara highway. We drive north following Marsyangdi River to Besisahar. We drive beyond this town passing a new hydro-plant built at Bhulbule by the Chinese. We arrive at Ngadi and change vehicles from our bus to local jeeps. We continue the drive to Jagat where we camp in the garden of a lodge.

During the months of April, May and October it will be very hot and humid. The temperatures can be more than 30 Degrees Celsius for the first few days of the trek. We have chosen the months that are likely to have optimal conditions for Saribung. It is important to bring plenty of water, wear a sun hat and apply sun cream.

Walking 16km (7 hours)

Walking ascent 950m

Walking descent 330m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Shortly after leaving Jagat there are views of the 200m waterfall at Chamje. We descend to the river and cross over a bridge to return to the quieter East side of the valley. There is a new walking trail called NATT around the Annapurna Circuit away from the jeep track. Along the way we see small farms and terraced fields. We follow a path of stone steps climbing up and descending the spurs along the valley. The trail passes through huge boulders fallen from the mountains above. There is a steep ascent on a good trail to the beautiful and colourful village of Tal. After about four hours walking we stop for lunch at Tal.

After lunch there is a section of the trail along the base of a cliff next to the Marsyangdi River. After about a three hours walk we arrive at Dharapani at an altitude of 1,940m. There are several shops and lodges in this village.

Walking 13km (6 hours)

Walking ascent 900m

Walking descent 300m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Dharapani we climb up to the village of Bagarchap. Then we walk through the forest following the river to Koto. Today, there are great views of Annapurna II (7,937m) and Lamjung Himal (6,932m) up the valley. If you look back you will be able to see Manaslu (8,154m) and Peak 29 (7,833m). It is a 5 to 6 hours hike to Koto located at 2,600m.

 

Walking 17km (8 hours)

Walking ascent 1,440m

Walking descent

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We start off with a permit checkpoint at Koto and then leave the Annapurna Circuit. We enter the Naar Khola valley and this trail is quieter and less frequented by trekkers. We follow a good trail through pine forest. Further long the valley narrows to a deep gorge with the torrent running through it. The path is undulating and wanders around several spurs. After a short descent we cross the Naar Khola on a bridge. There is a hot spring 50m downstream on a slippery the path.
 
After about 4 hours of walking we arrive at a small clearing in the pine forests where there are a few tea houses. We continue ascending the valley then past a waterfall. This is near another clearing in the forest at 3,250m called Dharmasala. Afterwards we walk up a steep trail for a further hour to Meta. This place is also known as Methang and used by Naar villagers as a winter retreat. Meta is above the tree line and here the valley begins to open. There are superb views of the surrounding area, including a view of Mount Kang Garu.

Walking 8km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 900m

Walking descent 350m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

This is a shorter day to allow for acclimatisation now we are close to 4,000m. We contour up the valley passing through some derelict villages until we reach Kyang. Kyang is also an abandoned village but there are now some tea house lodges.

Walking 8km (4 hours)

Walking ascent 850m

Walking descent 760m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we continue climbing up the valley following the Layiju Khola. We cross several ridges in and out to reach the gates of Phu village. We continue along the river side and finally cross onto the far bank to reach the village. We have time in the afternoon to explore this beautiful village perched on the hillside.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

This is an essential day for acclimatisation. We go for a short walk in the morning to gain altitude and help us acclimatise. We have the option to walk towards Himlung Base Camp or in the other direction towards the Naar Phu pass. We visit the Tibetan influenced hilltop monastery outside the village.

Walking 5km (4 hours)

Walking ascent 700m

Walking descent 100m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We make our way up the valley and cross back over the river. We climb a steep trail to 4,450m. As we move above Phu, the trekkers disappear and the trail becomes more remote. We contour the hillside and walk past several stupas. From here we descend into the last abandoned village of the valley called Nagarou. Blue sheep are often seen around the village along the valley sides, as well as many domestic yaks. Look out for the cave above the village. Below the village of Nagarou, there is a bridge where we will cross to the other side of the river. We follow the trail which steepens then contours to a yak herders' camp.

Walking 7km (6 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From camp we continue following Layju khola up valley. Shortly   we turn into a small remote valley to the North West. It is a 300m climb up to our camp. Very few groups trek to Pokharkang Base Camp as most follow the main valley to and from Saribung. The area around Pokharkang Base Camp is a beautiful place to stay two nights.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

This is an exploration day to help our acclimatisation around Pokharkang Base Camp. As this valley is rarely visited, blue sheep are often seen grazing here. We will go on an acclimatisation walk toward the lake above camp.

Walking 3km (3 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we go a short walk to a pass at 5,190m. After walking up for about 1 1/2 hours  we reach the pass and will be able to see the glacier and Bhrikuti Base Camp. The descent is on an ill defined trail until we reach the river and cross to rejoin the main trail. From here we will spend 3 nights on the glacier as we make our way up to the Saribung La.

Walking 4km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we will be walking along glacial moraine for the whole day. It will be rocky and uneven with lots of up and down. There are some icy sections of trail. We will camp part way up the glacier at Saribung Base Camp to help acclimatisation before moving to Saribung High Camp tomorrow.

Walking 3km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We continue our walk up the glacier on similar terrain as yesterday. The views get better as we ascend towards High Camp and our first glimpse of Saribung Peak. This final climb will put us in a good position to cross that pass tomorrow.

Walking 11-13km (10 to 12 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Ascend Sarabung

We have an early start and we make our way for about an hour over the final section of moraine. At 5,910m we reach glacial ice where we stop to put on our mountaineering gear. From here we rope together and navigate our way for about 2 hours around the crevasses to the top of Saribung La. From the pass, we climb 300m to the summit of Mount Saribung. After celebrations and enjoying the view we return to the pass. We descend on the other side into Upper Mustang. After a short section on glacial moraine we cross the Khumjungar Glacier and reach the far side. It takes about 3 hours to reach Japanese Base Camp.

Walking 5km (3 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Japanese Base Camp we walk down to Damodar Kunda. This is an important Hindu religious site. The local belief is that if you swim underwater in the lake then you will be freed of all sin. We camp at Damodar Kunda  for the night.

Walking 10km (5 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Moving further down the valley we reach French camp. After we climb over our first pass of the Upper Mustang region. We ascend on small trails through some landslide areas for about 3 hours to reach 5,450m on the Batsyak Pass. We see good views of Upper Mustang before us from the pass. We traverse down to start with then there is a final steep descent into the Paisye khola. We spend the night at Bacha Khola Camp. This camp, along with Ghuma Thati are camps used by the pilgrimages to Damodar Kunda. There are several tin roofed buildings for shelter. We will camp next to these.

Walking 7km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

This morning we will climb a steep trail out of camp. We contour round and up towards Kyumu La for about 3 hours. From here you can see a great view of Mount Dhaulagiri. It is then a steep descent into the Kyumupanin Khola and a final hour walking down the river to the camp at Ghuma Thati. From this campsite there are breathtaking views looking towards Upper Mustang.

Walking 14km (7 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we will trek to Yara and this is the first village we have seen in over a week. After a climb of 1 1/2 hour we reach a high point (4,930m). We traverse around the edge of the mountain until we reach a ridge line. We begin our descent towards Luri Gompa. When we reach the Puyung Khola, we will follow it down to the village of Yara.

Walking 7km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We have a pleasant walk down the river valley as we leave Yara. We cross Kali Gandaki over to Charang village. This is the end of the trek as tomorrow we take jeeps down to Jomsom.

Jeep to Jomsom (8 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we travel by jeep as from Yara the new road has taken over from the trekking route. We drive through Chele and then change jeeps at Chusang. We continue through Tangbe to Jomsom. We stay in a lodge near the airport and then in the evening we will have a party with our amazing crew. We will also hand out tips to our crew as a thank you for all their hard work throughout the trek.

Flights 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 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. You can walk to Beni in three days and then drive to Pokhara. It is also possible to drive from Jomsom to Pokhara in one long day. There are frequent landslides or other delays on the road. There are also safety considerations with this option as driving in Nepal is risky too.

Sightseeing in Kathmandu

Breakfast

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

This is a one day guided sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley. We visit three out of the seven World Heritage Sites. You start off by visiting Patan Durbar Square. Afterwards you drive to the Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath. 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 in the valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Each place has great artistic and architectural traditions. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest separated from Kathmandu by Bagmati river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley. Its relative isolation reflected in its slower pace and more medieval atmosphere. In Kathmandu there is a bustle of activity especially in the bazaars and markets. While the city has expanded over the last 10 years it is still possible to see traditional buildings and temples.

Flight home

Breakfast

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

Dates & Prices

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2021

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 07 Oct 2021 to 31 Oct 2021 Trip Leader Cory Jones Price US$5,395pp
US$5,295pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$520pp
Availability 5 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
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2022

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 21 Apr 2022 to 15 May 2022 Trip Leader International Leader Price US$5,495pp
US$5,395pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$520pp
Availability 5 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now
Dates 06 Oct 2022 to 30 Oct 2022 Trip Leader International Leader Price US$5,495pp
US$5,395pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$520pp
Availability 5 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now

For private and bespoke trip, please contact us

Enquire Here

What's Included

  • Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit  (US$500). 
  • Peak permit to climb Saribung (if this option is chosen).
  • Internal flight from Jomsom to Pokhara and onto Kathmandu.
  • All transfers including airport collections.
  • One day sightseeing in Kathmandu with Nepalese cultural guide and private vehicle.
  • Twin share room at Hotel Tibet or Hotel Ambassador in Kathmandu.
  • Breakfast only in Kathmandu, all meals included while on trek.   
  • Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1 tents are used for our Saribung Expedition. These are expedition grade tents for three person with plenty of space for two people sharing plus gear.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, tents, western leader, Sherpa guide, ponies, porters and cook.
  • The porterage allowance for your main bag to be carried by a porter is 20kg. 
  • Bespoke weather forecasts for Damodar Himal region from EverestWeather.com throughout the duration of this expedition.
  • 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 onto Google Maps so your friends and family can track your progress during the trek.
  • 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.
  • Personal clothing & equipment, please see the Appendix for suggested kit list.
  • Entrance to the monasteries in Lo Manthang (US$10)
  • 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 in Lazimpat next to the Radisson. This is our usual hotel for our standard trips in Nepal.

We have used Hotel Tibet for over 15 years and our clients have enjoyed staying at this property. It has a good location, comfortable rooms and high level of service. There is a garden terrace next to the restaurant on the ground floor. On the fifth floor there is a 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.

Practical Information

Typical Day On Camping Trek in Nepal

We provide a comfortable experience on our camping style treks in Nepal. Our team works hard to support you so that you can relax and enjoy the trek. We provide personal tents, mess tent, kitchen tent and toilet tent(s). The camp will be set up and dismantled by the trek crew. We bring along a cook and kitchen helpers to provide the meals.

The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the trek crew. Before heading for breakfast you pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the trek crew pack away the tents. The porters arrange their loads and set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, between 7am and 8am, we start walking.

The pace of the trek is moderate as there is plenty of time in the itinerary to reach the camp for tonight. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around midday at a spot by the side of the trail. Our cooks prepare lunch for us and the food is usually ready by the time the group arrives.

After lunch we continue the walk and on most days we arrive to camp by mid afternoon. Some of the trek crew would have gone ahead of the group to set up camp and to put up the tents. On arrival to camp you will get a hot drink and biscuits. In the evening our cook will provide a three course meal in the mess tent around 6pm.

After supper the leaders will discuss the plan for the next day. Afterwards people might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events or playing cards. After a tiring day most people head to their tent quite early for the night. Tomorrow is likely to be very similar as today! The only difference is that if we are crossing a high pass or climbing to a summit we leave camp earlier in the morning.

Food provided on Camping Trek in Nepal

While on a camping style trek in Nepal we provide tasty and nutritional food. We make sure there is more than enough quantity to go around as trekkers will be hungry after a long day on the trail. Over the years we have worked on increasing the variety of the menus. We have expanded the list of ingredients provided to the cooks so they have more to work with. Also in 2015 we purchased two food dehydrators with a vacuum sealing machine. We dehydrate a large number of different vegetables in Kathmandu before departure. This has transformed the quality of food especially on longer treks to remote areas.

For breakfast we provide porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis and eggs. There will be hot drinks including tea, herbal teas, hot chocolate and coffee. We provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine.

For lunch we stop at a convenient spot with water at the side of the trail. The cook and kitchen walk ahead of the group in the morning and lunch should be ready shortly after our arrival. After lunch we have time to relax before starting to walk again in the afternoon.

On arrival at camp in the afternoon you have biscuits and a hot drink such as tea or coffee. Around 6pm we serve a three course meal in the mess tent. The starter is often soup with popcorn or poppadums. We have a range of main dishes and carbohydrates including rice, potatoes or pasta.

We cater for a variety of dietary requirements. Our meals are suitable for vegetarians. If there is a meat dish then we also provide vegetarian options as standard. During booking we find out if you have any dietary needs and agree upon meal plans before departure. If you have any questions about the food provided please get in touch with us to discuss further.

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 Saribung

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 Saribung Expedition. 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 this trek you are likely to experience quite warm conditions and you will experience the coldest temperatures at Saribung High Camp at an altitude of 5,684m where overnight lows can get down to around -18˚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 20kg. 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

  • Double mountaineering boots with insulated inners (i.e Plastics) eg. Scarpa Vegas High Altitude or La Sportiva Spantik. There are other suitable boots available please visit a reputable outdoor store for further advice on latest products available. Please note double mountaineering boots are mandatory for Saribung. If you are UK based you can rent boots and other mountaineering gear from Expedition Kit Hire.
  • 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.
  • Ski goggles.

Climbing equipment

  • 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).
  • Gaiters. A pair of knee high gaiters used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground.
  • 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 -18℃. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. As the environment in Upper Mustang is dry and arid we also recommend bringing skin moisturiser and lip balm for use in the evenings.
  • 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 Saribung

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 Saribung Expedition. 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 the Saribung Expedition we can assess the level of risk and implement control measures to reduce this happening.

Our full threat and risk assessment for the Saribung Expedition is available 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 high passes in whiteout.
  • Severe bad weather and conditions when camping.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke).
  • Crossing a river with no bridge resulting in drowning and/ or a fall.
  • Rock fall and landslides.
  • Snow and ice avalanches eg crossing Saribung pass and climbing Saribung.
  • Falling into glacial crevasses eg while crossing Saribung pass and/or climbing Saribung.
  • 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 accident. We use a private bus or jeep from Kathmandu to Ngadi. Due to local rules we cannot take drive our bus to Jagat so we have to use local jeeps for this section of road and also at end of trek from Ghemi to Kagbeni and onto Jomsom.
  • Flight accident [see paragraph “Internal flights in Nepal” 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

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 Saribung

Saribung Expedition 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 for Saribung

Maps

Climbing: Damodar Hinal by Himalayan Map House  Scale: 1:50,000

Upper Mustang The Last Forbidden Kingdom High Route by Nepa Maps Scale: 1:80,000 This map will be included in your welcome pack when you arrive in Nepal.

Books

East of Lo Manthang: In the land of Mustang by Peter Matthiessen and Thomas Laird.

Mustang, a Lost Tibetan Kingdom by Michel Peissel.

 

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