Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek via the French Pass
By: Alex Vogler, United States
Val is a great trip leader, with lots of knowledge of the Nepalese people. I like the fact that this trip was not overly commercialized. The views and scale of the mountains we saw was impressive. The day over the french pass is one of the best days of hiking I've ever had. Another great day was the walk through the forest to Chartare.
By: Elaine Duncan, Glasgow
Pokhara accommodation first class. Kathmandu base great as well, but Pokhara hotel surpassed this with super food and friendlier staff. Still each hotel was brilliant to come back to - the bathrooms were better in the hotel in Pokhara (Hotel Barahi) however. Difficult not to end up flooding the bathroom in the Hotel Shanker which wasn't something I intended. Food on trek was excellent, and equivalent if not better to that on the many treks and climbs I've done before. The crew (porters, cook, sirdar) brilliant and it helped particularly that the trek leader, Val, was fluent in Nepali - good cooperation between crew and trek leader. Pity there was not more time to stop and investigate the Hidden Valley - would likely recommend driving further on to start the trek beyond Beni. Worry about rockfall in a couple of areas meant that helmets would really have been a wise addition to the kit. Over 11 years I've been led by about 12 trek leaders and some are efficient, some are simply friendly but don't involve you much, some are more stand-offish. So I have experienced a variety of leadership styles but rare to get someone who has a mix of all that's needed. Val, was, in my opinion great. Had all the aspects of leadership roled into one. I enjoyed this holiday very much (mind you having dinner in minus 15 isn't fun but then I expect such things on these types of trips!). Happy that my love of high altitude trekking was satisfied. I love Nepal anyway but I would say the small cosier group, the input from Val, and the general profile of the trip gave me a fully rounded experience.