Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek via the French Pass
- One of Nepal`s toughest and best circuit treks
- Truly trekking off the beaten track in the Nepal Himalaya
- Trekking across the French Pass and the spectacular Hidden Valley
- Superb views of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurnas
- Brilliant trekking in a remote part of Nepal
Amongst the peaks and high valleys of the Nepal Himalaya there are many long and demanding trekking routes and one of the best and most challenging of these is the circuit of Dhaulagiri via French Pass and the Hidden Valley. This is a classic adventure trekking holiday for those with previous high altitude trekking experience, which includes a taste of all of the trekking environments that Nepal has to offer. Beginning at Beni on the Kali Gandaki River, this superb trekking route ascends the lovely and unspoiled valley of the Myagdi Khola which flows southwards from the heart of the Dhaulagiri Himal. After 8 days of walking, through an ever-changing landscape, with numerous picturesque villages, we reach Dhaulagiri Basecamp and prepare ourselves for the crux of our route - the crossing of the ‘French Pass' (5360m). This tough, but technically straightforward pass lies close beneath the northern slopes of Dhaulagiri (8167m) and the mountain views on our ascent and descent are simply sensational. We have a day to explore the remarkable ‘Hidden Valley' before crossing the Dhampus Pass and making the long descent to Marpha in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Flying back to Pokhara from the airstrip at Jomsom, we have time to enjoy this lakeside town, before returning to Kathmandu. This is adventure travel at its best - a brilliant trek in a rarely-visited part of Nepal.
Is this holiday for you?
Much of the trekking on this holiday in Nepal involves straightforward walking on good trails. The trek is within our highest grade range on account of a number of factors including the unavoidably large altitude gains, the committing nature of the pass crossings and because there are a number of long or difficult days. The first few days we find ourselves tracing a way on good paths, through paddy fields and villages. Later, in the upper part of the Myagdi Khola, we will be following narrow tracks through forest, with good underfoot conditions. Approaching and crossing French Pass, we will encounter rough glacial moraine, scree, rock ridges with some degree of exposure (fixed lines may be used), and easy angled snow slopes. All group members will be required to bring crampons and an ice axe and should be competent in their use. (These can also be hired through KE). It should be noted that trekking at altitudes above 3000 metres (10,000 feet) makes greater demands on the body than walking at low elevations, and is of itself challenging even for fit hikers. Our itinerary is staged to allow the best possible acclimatisation but large steps in altitude are unavoidable because of limited campsite options. You will need to ensure you are physically prepared for the trek and you should be comfortable with walking for 6 or 7 hours each day on a variety of terrain with the occasional longer day, and to maintain this over several days.