Climb the Chulu East peak, a 6429m trekking peak north of Annapurna massive that provides breathtaking views across to the Annapurna II, III and IV, Gangapurna, Glacier Dome, Dhaulagiri, Tilicho Peak and Manaslu and a prospect to trek through one of the most popular trekking areas of the world, the Annapurna circuit. Chulu East peak climbing is challenging, with long day walk on the snow, especially on the summit day but the trek is equally fascinating, starting off the Chulu East Peak climbing journey from a sub-tropical banana groves in Beshishahar(Chame), and after a few days we are above the tree line surrounded by huge snow capped peaks. The Chulu East climbing trip with Annapurna Circuit trek is unmatchable with any other trips in the world for its spectacular mountain scenery, trekking and mountaineering challenges and the exposure it provides on the variety of ecosystems, diverse cultures and an ever changing landscape – lush, green paddy fields and oak forests, arid deserts, the deepest gorge and some of the most fascinating mountains make Chulu East Peak Climing with Annapurna Circuit Trek one of the appealing trekking and climbing adventure.
Note: There is often confusion regarding Chulu chain of peaks. There are four Chulu Peaks, Chulu West, Chulu Central, Chulu Far East and Chulu East. Among them if you are a beginner climber keen to try an ice climbing in the Annapurna region, Chulu Far East is the one for you. Chulu West and Central are technical peaks and you need previous climbing experience. Chulu East although not very technical is a difficult one as the summit day is very long (12-13 hours), hence you need a lot of stamina and mental commitment with skills of using climbing equipment well. Once on the summit, the captivating sceneries from all the Chulus are worth enough the effort you do and the vista will remain in your memory for ever. Best season for climbing the Chulu peaks is spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November).
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Chulu East Peak Climbing and the Annapurna Circuit -19 days Day to day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,338 m/4,390 ft)
Welcome to Kathmandu. As you land at Kathmandu Airport (Tribhuvan International Airport), finish your custom formalities (visa, etc.) and get to the airport waiting terminal, you will find our representative waiting to greet you. He/she will be holding Icicles Adventure Treks and Tour signboard. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private vehicle. You can either rest in your hotel or shop around Thamel for any gears for your trek. Accommodation: City Hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu (1,338 m/4,390 ft): Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
After breakfast we start a guided tour to several medieval and spiritual sites in Kathmandu which are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambhunath) and Buddhists shrine (BouddhaNath) which is one of the large Stupas in the world. Later after sightseeing program, we will introduce you with your trekking guide and have a small pre-trip meeting. You can also take an opportunity to hire/buy any last minute trekking equipment or bargain for your souvenirs at the many stores. You are advised to pack your things and be set up for your Chulu East Peak Climbing adventure that will begin the next day. Accommodation: Hotel. Included Meal: B
Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Chame (2,710m/8,890ft)
We make an early departure from Kathmandu this morning for BesiSahar. It is a beautiful journey to the trek road head. We set off for Pokhara after breakfast. Driving today is adventurous and pleasant as it winds down hugging the mountain side through terraced fields. Following the side of Mahesh River we come to the Trishuli River. We follow Trisuli River side all the way up to Mugling where Trisuli River confluences with the Marshyangdi River. After crossing a bridge over Marshyangdi River we head further west to Pokhara. If you are on the right pane of your vehicle the journey today provides plenty of opportunity to view cultivated terraced fields, rivers, streams, green valleys, rocky gorges, farmlands and typical rural life of Nepal. We take lunch break in a restaurant along the way. Leaving Besishahar we drive up to Chame. On this drive, the scenery will impress right from the moment of leaving Besisahar. The jeep track follows the Masryangdi river upstream through gradually a narrowing and increasingly lush valley all the while with the water of the Masryangdi raging violently below. Weather permitting provides great views of Himalchuli (7893m) and Ngadichuli (7541m) who belong to the Manaslu Range of mountains. Driving Time: 8-9 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 04: Chame to Pisang (3,300m/10824ft)
We spent the rest of the morning trekking through rich forest of blue pine and fir keeping alongside the river to Brathang. The old Brathang village used to be a Tibetan resistant camp fighting Chinese occupation of Tibet by making raids over the border. Today you see only an apple orchard with a couple of tea houses. We carry on walking through the forest, the trail clings on a cliff side for a while and as we cross the bridge, looking back the view of the huge rock face of Mui Tscho (Paunde Danda) is breathtaking rising about 1500m from the valley floor. After climbing steeply through the forest, there is a sudden change in the landscape as we enter the Upper Manang District. The valley becomes very broad and vegetation mainly pine, Juniper and berberis shrubs is very sparse. A beautiful and easy hour of walking in the shadows of Annapurna II brings us to Lower Pisang. By this point you would have trekked around to the north side of the Annapurnas and the views from here on are of Annapurna II and IV to the south and Pisang Peak and the Chulu East to the north. Walking Time: 5-6 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 05: Pisang- Julu Khola Meadow (3,900m/12792 ft)
We leave the Annapurna Circuit trail behind today and climb up above the river on the slopes of Pisang Peak. We begin with a gentle climb across the hillside through scrub pine and Juniper before a steeper section on a zig-zagging trail to the village of Ghyaru (3673m) with its collection of dry-stone-walled medieval houses built one on top of another. Our route continues on a superb contour trail offeringtremendous views of the Annapurna range until reaching the extensive fields and houses of Ngawal which is similar though bigger than Ghyaru. At Ngagwal we climb steadily to the small village of Chulu with its flour mill. We now climb up beside the stream for around 45 minutes to cross the khola on a wooden bridge. The steady ascent continues through fir and juniper to a small meadow and herder’s hut in view of two splendid waterfalls, which we should reach in around 1 hour from the bridge. Walking Time: 6-7 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 06: Acclimatization day
This is a necessary that you spend an acclimatization day at Julu Khola Meadow Camp prior to heading up to high camp. The order of the day is rest or perhaps a gentle walk. In the afternoon the guides will take us through the simple techniques of roped glacier travel and using fixed lines for safety. This is also a good opportunity to catch up on laundry, diary writing or other trek chores. Walking Time: 2-3 hrs. Accommodation: Camping. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 07: Julu Khola to Chulu East Base Camp (5,000m/16400ft)
The trail up to the high camp follows scree and snow slopes. Steep and relentless climb of about three hours to the top of the escarpment which generates the waterfalls which are in view from the camp. As we reach the top of this ridge, Chulu East comes into view. Our base camp for the mountain is set in a wide bowl an easy 15 – 20 minutes walk beyond the ridge top. It is important that we take an easy afternoon resting and drinking lots of fluid as part of the acclimatization process. Walking Time: 4-5 hrs. Accommodation: Camping. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 08: Base Camp to Chulu East High Camp (5,500m/18040 ft)
From our base camp a clear trail climbs up the moraine. Cresting the ridge we encounter a moonscape of glacial debris, the remnants of a receding glacier and we make a high camp beside a small glacial lake. Altitude at High Camp is 5255 metres. Approximately 1½ hours walking. Depending on the group we may take this day as a second acclimatization day at base camp and make the ascent to high camp on the following day. Your trip leader will decide. Resting at the high camp, we take a plenty of time to relax and prepare equipment and strategies for the next day. Walking Time: 3-4 hrs. Accommodation: Camping. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 09: High Camp to Summit and back to High Camp
Today is a very long and strenuous day for us. At 1am our climbing Sherpa will wake you up with a cup of hot tea. Have a very early breakfast before getting ready and stepping out into the cold night air. Dawn will be well on its way by the time we set off up the initial slopes to a prominent col which we should reach in about an hour from camp. Fabulous views of all the Annapurnas, Manaslu, the Ganesh Himal to the and to the north we can look over the dry barren landscape of Mustang and Tibet. Having had our fill of the scenery we can enjoy some more sensational climbing situations as we reverse our route first to the col and then to high camp. After some rest and refreshment here we continue the descent to high camp. Walking/climbing Time: 11-12 hrs. Accommodation: Camping. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 10: Contingency Day
In case on the planned summit day i.e. day 09, the weather turned bad, we will wait a day and try summit today.
Day 11: High camp to Julu Khola
We drop down from Chulu High camp to Julu Khola Camp. Walking Time: 6-7 hrs. Accommodation: Camping. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 12: Julu Khola to Manang (3,540m/11611 ft)
A day of downhill starting with the return to Chulu village. We continue the descent to reach the main trail coming from Nagwal which turns and runs parallel to the Marsyangdi before dropping to Mungdi at which point we have rejoined the Annapurna Circuit trail. From Mungdi it is a further about one hour up valley to the bustling town of Manang where we rest the day and perhaps enjoy a celebratory food and drinks. Walking Time: 6-7 hrs. Accommodation: Camping. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 13: Manang to Yak Kharka (4,110m/13,484ft)
Continuing on from Manang we cross a stream and then the trail ascends by nearly 500m to Yak Kharka. We make the climb steadily through Tenki village. We descend as we head northward up the Jarsang Valley to cross the river then climb up to Yak Kharka. Herds of yaks and vegetations appear to thin out. We will feel noticeable difficulty breathing and other symptoms of altitude effects on us. We need to be more cautious from this point and drink a lot of water, walk slowly and steadily enjoying the views. Walking Time: 4-5 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 14: Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (4,600m/15,092ft)
Today is a gentle climb enjoying the mountain views as we ascend to Throng Phedi. After about one hour into the walk we arrive to cross a bridge at Ledar, and a great view of the Chulu mountains. We can spot herds of Himalayan blue sheeps grazing in the slopes and we may also see herds of yaks too. The trail climbs steadily through Ledar and then drops down to cross the Jarsang Khola. After a steep climb and traverse of a scree slope we arrive at Thorong Phedi, a small busy settlement catering to the needs of tired trekkers and climbers. There will be an acclimatizing walk in the afternoon up the trail to the high camp; adhering to one of the golden rules of altitude “climb high and sleep low.” Sometimes depending upon the weather, season we may walk up to Thorung high camp to make the next day easier. Walking Time: 3-4 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 15: Trek to Muktinath (3,800/12,467ft) via Thorung La pass (5416m/17764ft)
Today is a long trek starting before sunrise at 4-5 am to reach the pass by 9-10am otherwise weather conditions (strong winds) will greatly affect the journey, particularly at the Thorung La Pass (5,416m). We climb steeply on a regular route which is quite easy to follow. However, some problems may arise due to the altitude and snow. It often causes terrible problems to cross the pass if it is covered by heavy snow. About four hours climb up to the pass marked by the chortens and prayer flags will reward you with stunning views from the top of the pass. The view that awaits us is a fantastic 360 degree panorama. As we turn back to appreciate the effort of the morning, looming straight ahead is Chulu West, following to the right are several of the Annapurnas that have been with us these last few days. The pass is nestled in between Yakgawa Kang (6481m) to the north and Khatung Gang (6484m) to the south. The Kali Gandaki Valley spreads out in front of us and rising from the valley floor some 2500m below are a whole new range of mountains. It is a gentle descent to start with but gets steeper as we get nearer the base of the pass. There are fantastic views of Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche (6920m) and Nilgiri North (7069m) as we approach Muktinath. Muktinath is religiously significant for both Hindus and Buddhists and is a place of pilgrimage. You will see gompas, pagoda-style temples, and religious and culturally important architecture. Muktinath means place of Nirvana and is home to the Muktinath temple as well as several monasteries. It is said that all sorrows you feel are relieved when visiting the Temple, which is a scared pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. The prime pilgrimage month is September. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has 108 waterspouts around it. Another attraction nearby is the Jwala Mai Temple which has a gorgeous natural spring and an eternal flame fueled by natural gas. Walking Time: 7-8 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 16: Trek to Jomsom (2700m/8856 ft)
We will move through trail of Kagbeni to reach Jomsom. Today is comparatively easier downhill and level walk through through settlements of Jharkot and Eklebhatti settlements and then through wide Kali Ghandaki floodplains with fantastic views of Mustang valley, the Nilgiri Mountains and Dhaulagiri Ranges. Jomsom, capital of Mustang district is a windy and a little cold valley but like the beautiful wet hills and the view of Tilicho mountain as well. Walking Time: 4-5 hrs. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B, L, D
Day 17: Jomsom to Pokhara
A 30-minute morning flight takes us to Pokhara from Jomsom. Once we arrive at Pokhara airport, we then drive to the hotel. In the afternoon either we relax in our hotel or may have a sightseeing tour around Pokhara valley, which covers Fewa Lake, Devi’s water fall, Museum, Tibetan refugee settlement and Gupteshower cave, etc. Flight Time: 30 minutes. Accommodation: Local lodge. Included Meal: B
Note: You have the option to extend your trip with an extra day at Pokhara (Pokhara is a beautiful city to relax after a long trek), Chitwan jungle safari, rafting adventure, Bunjee Jum ping, Kayaking, Canoeing, Kathmandu valley shopping tour, Bhaktapur and Patan sightseeing, scenic Everest flight, mountain biking and other activities.
Day 18: Drive back to Kathmandu
We drive back to Kathmandu today. Try to get left pane of your vehicle to enjoy the river gorges, greeneries, mountains, villages and terraces during the drive. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performance.Driving Time: 6-7 hrs. Accommodation: City Hotel. Included Meal: B, D
Note: You have the option to extend your trip with an extra day at Pokhara (Pokhara is a beautiful city to relax after a trek), Chitwan jungle safari, paragliding, rafting adventure, Bunjee Jumping, Kayaking, Canoeing, Kathmandu valley shopping tour, Bhaktapur and Patan sightseeing, scenic Everest flight, mountain biking and other activities.
Day 19: Depart Kathmandu-Airport drop
Your Chulu East Climbing with Annapurna Circuit-15 days trip concludes today. Our airport representative will drop you at the international airport in Kathmandu for your departure flight from Nepal. We hope beautiful Nepal, the magnificent Himalayan sceneries, and unique cultural experience you got along your Annapurna Circuit Trek will stay in your memory lifelong and you will go back home with a sense of achievement. Included Meal: B
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