Mt. Dhaulagiri may not be as well known as Mt. Everest, but this is the seventh highest peak in the world at 8,172 m/26,811 ft. It wasn't conquered until 1960 by a Swiss expedition. Its white snowcapped peak has long stood defiantly against those who wanted to climb to its top. Some of the early attempts did end with avalanche and disasters. The mountain today has accepted its fate and conquerable, and can be safely climbed with incredible views from its summit.
Mt. Dhaulagiri is located west of Pokhara. It is not on the Chinese border, but completely within the nation of Nepal. To east Mt. Manaslu and Annapurna I, two peaks over 8,000 meters are visible.
The name "Dhaulagiri" is Sanskrit for "White Mountain" When you see it rising above the Himalayas; you will understand how it got its name. Its brilliant snowcapped summit stands majestically above the surrounding mountains. It stands like a dare, challenging anyone to conquer its lofty top.
The journey itself begins in Pokhara, the beautiful mountain city by the lake. This is where you will get your first glimpse of Dhaulagiri as it rises above the other peaks in the region. To stand at the edge of Lake Phewa in Pokhara while seeing its reflection in the blue waters will make you want to meet the mountain's challenge.
The expedition takes 52 days, of which 31 days will be spent climbing. Your journey with Bochi-Bochi's experienced team will allow you to conquer the mountain and to return once more to the land below.
DAY 1 – Kathmandu 1350 m/4,429 ft) – You will arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu where you will be taken to your hotel to rest from your long journey. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with traditional Nepali food and entertainment.
DAY 2 – 3 – Sightseeing in Kathmandu – Kathmandu is a fascinating city where Hinduism and Buddhism mix in harmony. Ancient temples, seven World Heritage sites, historical palaces and living goddesses are here for your enjoyment. There were once four kingdoms in the valley, and you can take these two days to stop, enjoy and explore. You can explore the city on your own, or we can arrange a guide and car for your convenience.
DAY 4 – Kathmandu to Pokhara (elev. 915 m/3,002 ft.) – Pokhara is an incredible city. It is Nepal's second largest city, but lacks the hustle and bustle of the country's capital. It is a lower elevation, which means that the vegetation is sub-tropical. Stand on the shore of Lake Phewa and see the mountains reflecting their snowcapped peaks in the water. Visit the temple located on the only island in the lake, or watch the waters of Devi Falls rush over the edge and into an underground passage that leads next to a temple deep inside the earth. We will either fly or drive to Pokhara. Either way, the trip will be awesome.
DAY 5 – Pokhara to Beni (elev. 830 m/2,723 ft.) – It seems strange to be descending on a mountain climbing trip, but then this is Nepal where the unusual always exists. It is a four hour drive from Pokhara to the village of Beni, which is on the confluence of the Kali Gandaki and Myagdi Rivers. We will spend the night in Beni.
DAY 6 – Beni to Tatopani (elev. 1189 m/3900 ft.) – It's been downhill all the way to Beni, but now the journey begins to climb as we begin driving toward Dhaulagiri. We follow the Kali Gandaki (river) to the north until we come to the hot springs at Tatopani. The trail passes through remote villages and past ancient temples. We can soak in the hot waters of Tatopani where we will spend the night.
DAY 7 – Tatopani to Ghasa (elev. 2010 m/6,594 ft.) – We continue to drive by the Kali Gandaki River as it makes its way southward from the High Himalayas. We are traveling opposite its flow as we drive by the canyons and gaining elevation. These are mountains roads, and we have a good vehicle although we travel slowly over the many holes and ruts. It wasn't long ago when the only way to get things into these villages was by donkey trains. The roads have made it possible to get good in and out of the mountains, thereby reducing costs to the local people. Still, we will see very little traffic but great mountain views. We will overnight in the village of Ghasa.
DAY 8 – Ghasa to Tukuche (elev. 2,590 m/8,497 ft.) – We continue our drive along the Kali Gandaki as it continues to narrow as well as become more and more turbulent. The drive passes on the west side of the river as we make our way to the village of Tukuche.
DAY 9 – Tukuche to Marpha (elev. 2,670 m/8,759 ft.) – Marpha is the end of the road, and this will be our last night riding. Marpha has temples, gumbas and the last remnant of civilization before we journey into the heart of Dhaulagiri.
DAY 10 – Marpha to Alubari (elev. 4100 m/13,451 ft.) – Today we start trekking and camping as this is a very remote area. We are climbing upwards on the trail. We take is slowly as we rise considerably in elevation. We will spend the night at Alubari
DAY 11 – Alubari to Hidden Valley (elev. 5100 m/16,732 ft.) – The trail moves upwards past summer karkas where locals have pastured yaks, goats and buffalo for centuries. These are deep forests between the karkas as well as mountain overlooks where we can see Dhaulagiri and Mt. Tukuche. We will cross Thapa Bhanjyang pass (elev. 5244m/17,204 ft). where the Buddhist prayer flags whip in the icy mountain winds. We descend into Hidden Valley where we will camp for the night.
DAY 12 – Hidden Valley to Dhaulagiri Base Camp (elev. 4750 m/15,584 ft.) – Today is the last day on the trail before we begin climbing. We will cross French Pass (elev. 5445 m/17,864 ft.) where we will be able to see Mt. Dhaulagiri, along with Mt. Tukuche West, Mt. Mukat Himal and Mt. Sita Churchura. The train continues to Dhaulagiri Base Camp where we will spend the night.
DAY 13 – Dhaulagiri Base Camp – Today is a day of checking equipment, acclimatization and preparation as we begin climbing our mountains. From the Base Camp, we can see several small mountains, including Mt. Dhaulagiri II, III and V. All three mountains are over 7,500 m/24,606 feet in elevation.
DAY 14 – 45 – Climbing Mt. Dhaulagiri (elev. 8,172 m/26,811 ft.) – We make our way from Base Camp and up the mountain. The climb upwards takes about twice as long as the climb down as we stop to acclimatize to avoid altitude sickness. Mt. Dhaulagiri may be lower than Everest, but it is still just as challenging. We will climb to the top of the mountain for some awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains. On day 45, we will return to Dhaulagiri Base Camp.
DAY 46 – Dhaulagiri Base Camp – Today we take a rest as well as stow away our climbing equipment and clean up after ourselves around the Base Camp. It is important to leave everything in pristine condition which is how we found it.
DAY 47 – Return to Hidden Valley (elev. 5100 m/16,732 ft.) – Today we begin to retrace our steps, crossing over French Pass and once more enjoying the great mountain views.
DAY 48 – Hidden Valley to Alubari Camp (elev. 4100 m/13,451 ft.) – We cross Thapa Bhanjyang pass on our way to Alubari Camp. This will be our last night of camping on the trip.
DAY 49 – Alubari to Jomsom (elev. 2720 m/8,923 ft.) – We finally meet up with an old friend – the Kali Gandaki River. However, we turn north from Marpha and follow the river to Jomsom where we will spend the night in a hotel with a real bed and a hot bath.
DAY 50 – Fly from Jomsom to Kathmandu – We will fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and then catch a flight to Kathmandu where we will return to civilization and our hotel.
DAY 51 – Kathmandu – It is a free day in Kathmandu. Rest, sightsee, visit royal palaces or some of the seven World Heritage Sites in the Valley. In the evening, enjoy a victory dinner with your fellow climbers as you celebrate conquering Mt. Dhaulagiri.
DAY 52 – Fly Home – It's time to leave beautiful Nepal. You've seen much, but there is still plenty more to see in this wonderful land called Nepal. Bochi-Bochi can help you plan for your next journey to this enchanting land.