Saribung Pass and Summit Expedition
Nepal

35 Trees Planted for each Booking

Saribung expedition in Nepal
  • 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 having operated trips in Nepal for many years.
  • We organised an expedition to climb Saribung in April 2019. Jo Clark led our reconnaissance to Saribung in November 2018. For more information on how these expeditions went please take a look at our Trip Reports.
  • We work with the best mountain leaders. They have deep knowledge and experience of the Himalaya. Unlike many other operators we use international leaders for remote trips in Nepal.
  • We designed our itinerary for gradual acclimatisation to high altitude. It works better by starting from the Phu side of the mountain and not from the Upper Mustang side. Before our approach to Saribung peak we trek up to Pokharkang Base Camp (5,030m). This area is rarely visited by other trekkers. It is a beautiful valley with blue sheep often seen grazing near Base Camp.
  • Our AITO Traveller Reviews for Saribung Expedition have a holiday rating of 100%. Based on client feedback we won the 2018 Gold Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year. Read more about our Testimonials and Awards.
  • We use Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1 tents. These are expedition grade tents with plenty of space for two people sharing plus gear.
  • We pay for private weather forecasts from EverestWeather.com. We also use in house forecasting throughout the duration of this trek.
  • We send a Thuraya satellite phone on our group treks in Nepal. Your leader will have reliable communications for logistics, planning and group safety. We use GPS to upload your location daily on to Google Maps to track your progress during the trek.
  • We bring a comprehensive medical aid kit. There will also be a portable altitude chamber (PAC or Gamow bag).
  • We provide the porters with windproof jackets & trousers, crampons and shelter. We follow International Porter Protection Group (“IPPG”) guidelines.
  • We provide a range of tasty meals for breakfast, lunch and supper. We give everyone in the group a chocolate or muesli bar per day. For breakfast we provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine.
  • Our team with first hand knowledge of this trek provides pre trip support. During high season we have someone 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

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

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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
Book Now

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

  • All internal transport and transfers including airport collections.
  • Internal flights. The flights are from Jomsom to Pokhara & Kathmandu.
  • One day sightseeing in Kathmandu with Nepalese cultural guide and private vehicle.
  • Twin share rooms at Hotel Tibet or Hotel Ambassador in Kathmandu.
  • Breakfast only in Kathmandu, all meals included while on trek.
  • Twin share tents while on trek using our Western branded tents.
  • Trekking arrangements. Including permits and fees, tents, International and Sherpa guides, porters and cooks. The Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit  costs US$500. Peak permit to climb to the summit of Saribung is an extra cost.
  • Porterage. The allowance for your main bag is 20kg.
  • Weather forecasts from EverestWeather.com.
  • Thuraya satellite phone for organising logistics and medical evacuations. It can also be also used for personal calls at extra cost.
  • GPS tracking on Google Maps. 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. Our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) number is 10921. Our Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (ABTOT) membership number is 5365).
  • Pre departure support and advice from The Mountain Company. We are available by email, phone or face to face meetings.

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. Take a look at the kit list.
  • Peak permit to climb to the summit of Saribung.
  • Entrance to the monasteries in Lo Manthang (US$10)
  • Tips. Each trekker should budget for giving tips into the group fund. This should be in region of 21,000 Nepalese rupees (£135, US$175 or €150).
  • 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. Our team works hard to support you so that you can relax and enjoy trekking in Nepal. 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.

You can read more about our Camping Treks in Nepal on our Blog. This article explains the advantages of camping versus teahouse lodge treks. It also describes what the campsite set up is like and more about the food provided by our cooks.

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 poppadoms. 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.

Kit List for Saribung

This is the mandatory kit list for the safety of everyone in the group and to ensure a successful trek. You must have the following items tailored for Saribung trek. The group leader will check your gear in Kathmandu before 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. At the start of the trek you will experience hot conditions with temperatures up to 25 Celsius. You experience the coldest temperatures in Saribung High Camp at an altitude of 5,684m. Overnight lows here will be down to around -18 Celsius.
 
You should bring a rucsac or backpack for gear required during the day. Your pack should contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The weight limit is 5kg. A porter will carry the rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag. The weight limit for your duffel bag is 20kg. Please mark your bag on the outside for easy identification.
 
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 for this trip. 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 we have had several boots fall apart so you should also bring trail shoes as a backup.
  • Trail shoes. Used around camp and as a replacement if your walking boots fall apart!
  • Sandals. Enclosed sandals are best to protect your feet during river crossings. Required for river crossings as well as two trekking poles.
  • Walking socks.
  • Mountaineering socks for time spent on the mountain (eg Bridgedale summit socks).
  • Gaiters. A pair of knee high gaiters used to keep boots dry if walking through snow or on wet ground.
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).
  • Soft Shell Trousers.
  • Long sleeve tops or shirts (not cotton).
  • 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 used in combination with base layers, other fleeces and down jacket. This provides the most warmth and insulation.
  • Thermals or base layer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
  • Fleece or synthetic leggings. Worn around the camp or added as a layer when the temperatures start to drop higher up.
  • Medium weight down jacket.
Head and Gloves
  • Fleece gloves.
  • Mountaineering gloves.
  • Warms mittens.
  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf (eg. Buff Headwear). 
  • Head torch. Bring extra batteries.
  • Sunglasses. The lenses need to be Category 4 rated. They should have side protection or wraparound design.
Climbing equipment
  • Climbing harness. Plus two 60cm slings, four screw gate carabiners, Figure 8 belay device and 3m of 5mm static cord for prusiks. [we have a limited number of “Harness packs” for rent. Please contact TMC office for further prices and availability].
  • Jumar ascender (eg. Petzl handled ascender).
  • Crampons. The best are universal crampons that you can use with trekking boots. Such as Stubai Universals or Kahtoola KTS crampons.
  • Mountaineering ice axe with leash.
  • Climbing helmet.
Personal equipment
  • Sleeping bag. Overnight lows down to -18 Celsius. It is possible to rent a bag from Shonas Rental in Kathmandu.
  • Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag. A liner protects your sleeping bag from getting dirty. Also helps by adding extra insulation to keep you warm at night.
  • Sleeping mat (eg.Thermarest). On trek we provide everyone with a foam mat. We recommend two layers for insulation and comfort. We also provide everyone with a pillow.
  • Day pack. Recommended size is around 40 litres. You need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing and climbing gear. The pack should have a good waist belt. It is also a good idea to bring a rain cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best). Two poles are mandatory for your safety. These will be helpful on steep sections of the trail and river crossings. Also for walking on snow or ice higher up.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold dry bags 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 two water bottles.
  • Pee bottle. Recommended as means you do not have to get up to find the toilet tent at night! For men you can use an old water bottle. For women take a look at SheWee.
  • Sunscreen and lip salve with a high SPF.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Aqua or Aqua Mira).
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books and cards etc.
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer. 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
  • Duffel bag for your personal gear on the trek. Will be carried by a porter. Rugged and waterproof made of a plastic material. Size 100-120 litres. 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 with soap, travel towel, toothbrush etc. We provide toilet paper while on trek.
Personal first aid kit
 
We provide a comprehensive group first aid kit. Please bring personal medications and other items you might use 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).

Risk assessment for Saribung

You should be aware trekking in a developing country involves a risk of personal injury or death. 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 and unpredictable weather. There could be last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in a team is an important aspect of our trips.

We have performed a threat and risk assessment for our Saribung trek. Our trips have a degree of risk. This is part of the attraction of adventure travel and why so many people choose to join this type of holiday. By identifying the hazards we assess the level of risk. We have control measures in places to reduce this happening or to reduce the impact.

Our risk assessment is available to clients on request. 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.
  • Severe bad weather and conditions when camping.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke). Please note during the months of April and October it will be very hot and humid at the start of the trek.
  • Crossing a river with no bridge resulting in drowning and/ or a fall.
  • Rock fall and landslides.
  • Snow and ice avalanches.
  • Lightning strike.
  • Wildlife, pack animals (e.g. donkeys or horses) or stray dogs. Pack animals can knock people off the path. Dogs can attack and bite. Discuss rabies vaccination with your doctor.
  • Earthquake.
  • Risk of fire in the hotel or lodge.
  • Endemic local diseases. 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 accidents. Read paragraph “Internal flight".
  • Contaminated food and/ or water.

This trip visits a remote area. You are away from the usual emergency services and medical facilities. Evacuation for a serious injury requiring hospitalisation could take up to several days. This delay could impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the usual means of evacuation. They are not always available or hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.

Internal Flights in Nepal

Flights from Nepal’s Short Take-Off & Landing (“STOL”) airstrips are dependent on weather. Delays often happen if there is poor visibility or high winds.For our itineraries with flights to or from STOL we include one extra day in Kathmandu at the end of the trip. This is in case of delays flying back. If the delays are longer we will help reschedule your international flights. There is likely to be a fee charged by the airline for this. You also have to pay for costs incurred in Kathmandu as a result of the delay such as accommodation and meals.

You should read the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (“FCDO”) travel advice to Nepal. For their latest advice take a look at their Safety & Security section under Air TravelThere have been some recent air accidents in Nepal. The European Union has banned Nepalese airlines from flying to Europe. For more information on Nepal’s air safety profile take a look at Aviation Safety Network.

Weather and conditions for Saribung

We have chosen the dates for optimal conditions on the high pass and the summit of Saribung. By April and May in the Spring season the weather is warmer and the snowline is higher than March. This decreases the chance of deep snow blocking the pass. In the Autumn season we organise the trek during October also because the weather is warmer. Later into November the temperatures cool off and there is a higher chance of snow above 5,000m altitude.

Saribung La trek has a wide range of temperatures. This depends on the season, altitude and time of day. In the mountains between 1,000m and 3,500m the nights will be cool around 5 Celsius. During the day temperatures sometimes rise to 25 Celsius. At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 15 Celsius to -18 Celsius.

We have written a blog article When is the best time to go trekking in Nepal Himalaya? This has information about the weather and conditions in Spring and Autumn seasons. It also explains the differences between the trekking regions of Nepal.

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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