Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek via the French Pass
Nepal, Trek & Walk, 18 days - from £1,795 (land only) - from €2,515 (land only) - from $2,900 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal.
Day 2: We fly to Pokhara, then drive down into the Kali Gandaki Valley and up the tributary Myagdi Khola valley as far as Darbang situted at an altitude of approximately 1100 metres. We set up the first camp of the trip at Darbang.
Day 3: We set off trekking, passing through several villages en route to the ridge-top settlement of Dharapani. We have lunch here, then continue our trek via Takam to Sibang (1770m). Walk distance: 13km. Ascent: 914m / Descent: 210m. Approximately 6 - 7 hours.
Day 4: Today, we trek to the large village of Muri where we stop for lunch , before continuing our ascent of the Myagdi Khola valley to Naura Bhir (1450m). Walk distance: 15km. Ascent: 840m / Descent: 1164m. 7 - 8 hours.
Day 5: We trek northwards, still following the Myagdi Khola, to the village of Baghara. We descend to the river before climbing again to the herders camp at Lapche Kharka (2000m). Walk distance: 13km. Ascent: 1377m / Descent: 686m. 7 - 8 hours.
Day 6: The trail continues climbing through forest to the open grazing area of Dobang. After lunch, continue to Sallaghari (2500m) where we make camp. Walk distance: 9km. Ascent: 1321m / Descent: 717m. 6 - 7 hours.
Day 7: Today, we trek through a forested area and across moraine to reach the area known as the 'Italian Basecamp' (3660m) where we make our camp below the stupendous west face of Dhaulagiri. Walk distance: 10km. Ascent: 969m / Descent: 189m. 4 - 5 hours.
Day 8: Continuing our ascent of the Myangdi Khola, we make the short but steep climb to our next camp known as 'Japanese Camp' or Chhonbardan Glacier Camp (4200m). There are great views of the Dhaulagiri peaks. Walk distance: 4km. Ascent: 548m. 3 - 4 hours.
Day 9: We are now above 4,000 metres and our next camp will be at 4700 metres so it is important that we include an acclimatisation day prior to going higher. A good day for resting and catching up with the laundry.
Day 10: Today, we trek across moraine of the Dhaulagiri West Icefall to reach Dhaulagiri Basecamp (4748m) which we should reach in time for lunch. We set up camp here in a fantastic location completely surrounded by Himalayan peaks. Walk distance: 8km. Ascent: 705m / Descent: 173m. 7 - 8 hours.
Day 11: After our significant recent height gain, we take a rest day here to help with our acclimatisation.
Day 12: An early start, crossing moraine to eventually reach a ridge that takes us up to the easy-angled snow slopes leading to the French Pass (5360m). We cross the pass to reach the 'Hidden Valley' behind Dhaulagiri.where we make camp at 5120 metres. Walk distance: 9km. Ascent: 889m / Descent: 462m. 6 - 7 hours.
Day 13: The Hidden Valley is a great place for a spot of exploration. This day also serves as a spare or contingency day in the case of delays up to this point.
Day 14: We climb back up to the level of the French Pass at the other end of the valley and then make the high traverse across to the slightly lower Dhampus Pass (5280m). Once over the pass, we descend steeply to our camp at Yak Kharka (3827m). Walk distance: 14km. Ascent: 339m / Descent: 1599m. 8 - 9 hours.
Day 15: Today we descend 1000 metres to the floor of the Kali Gandaki Valley and the pretty village of Marpha (2667m) on the Annapurna Circuit. A short trek north then takes us to Jomsom (2736m), where we stay in a lodge. Walk distance: 9km. Ascent: 107m / Descent: 1203m. 4 - 5 hours.
Day 16: We take the exciting flight to Pokhara, where we check in at a hotel and have the rest of the day to explore this picturesque lakeside town, with its spectacular Annapurna views.
Day 17: We have a morning flight to Kathmandu, where we check in at our hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 18: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.
GPS Trip Data
Click on the link below to view the detailed stats for this holiday via Garmin Connect. Tracked using a Garmin etrex20 you can see detailed mapping of the route, daily distances travelled, the total ascent and descent each day and maximum altitude.