Saribung Peak (6,328m/20,761ft) is a recently opened climbing peak located in the west, near the remote Upper Mustang region of Nepal, closely bordering Tibet. It was lately opened in 2006 for tourism, so it is a less known trail. The peak summit offers amazing views of the Damodar and Annapurna Himalayan Range, including Chhib, Kharsang, Gyajikhang, Bhrikuti, and Himlung peaks. Furthermore, the 25 days trip takes you to the isolated and restricted Upper Mustang, crosses Saribung La pass, and the Hidden Valley of Nar and Phu along the route.
Saribung Peak Climbing is a technically challenging climbing trip, so it is physically demanding, which would be best for trekkers with prior high altitude trekking experiences. Although guides will offer climbing training, it is beneficial to know a few mountaineering skills beforehand. The trip begins from Kathmandu and heads to Jomsom, traversing to Lo Manthang, trail heads from the Base camp to Camp I, and finally the peak summit. The trail descends to Nar Phu Valley and Jagat, then back to Kathmandu.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft) - Transfer to Hotel|
|Day 2||Trip Preparation in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft)|
|Day 3||Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) - 6 to 7 hours drive|
|Day 4||Flight from Pokhara to Jomsom (2,700m/8,856ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,217ft) - 25 minutes flight and 3 to 4 hours trek|
|Day 5||Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 6||Trek from Chele to Ghiling (3,570m/11,712ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 7||Trek from Ghiling to Tsarang (3,620m/11,874ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 8||Trek from Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft) - 3 to 4 hours trek|
|Day 9||Acclimatization and Rest Day at Lo Manthang, Cultural sightseeing hike|
|Day 10||Trek from Lo Manthang to Yara (3,650m/11,975ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 11||Trek from Yara to Luri Cave Gompa/Monastery (4,005m/13,139ft) - 3 to 4 hours trek|
|Day 12||Trek from Luri Gompa from Ghuma Thanti (4,600m/15,091ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 13||Trek from Ghuma Thanti to Namta Khola (4,890m/16,043ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek|
|Day 14||Trek from Namta Khola to Saribung Peak Base Camp (4,950/16,240ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 15||Acclimatization and Rest day at Saribung Peak Base Camp, Pre-Climbing training|
|Day 16||Trek from Saribung Peak Base Camp to Camp 1 (5,730m/18,799ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 17||Climb to the Saribung Peak Summit (6,328m/20,761ft) and back to Base Camp (4,950m/16,240ft) - 8 to 9 hours trek/climbing|
|Day 18||Trek from Base Camp to Nagoru (4,400m/ 14,435ft) via Saribung Pass (5,600m/18,372ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 19||Trek from Nagoru to Phu Village (4,080m/13,385ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 20||Trek from Phu Village to Meta (3,560m/11,679ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 21||Trek from Meta to Koto (2,600m/8,530ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 22||Trek from Koto to Dharapani (1,860m/6,102ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 23||Trek from Dharapani to Jagat (1,300m/4,264ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 24||Drive from Jagat to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,428ft, 205km) - 7 to 8 hours drive|
|Day 25||Final Departure from Kathmandu|
Saribung Peak Climbing is a 25 days trip blended with trekking in the Annapurna region's remote valleys and climbing in the newly opened Saribung Peak (6,328m/20,761ft). Climbing the peak that sits in the Damodar Himalayan Range is classified as challenging. The comprehensive package offers some major highlights, including views of Himalayan ranges, a walk past ancient settlements in remote valleys, and crosses many high passes in tough terrains.
The Saribung Peak Climbing itinerary commences a drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara then a flight to Jomsom, the gateway to the Mustang district. Trek begins from Jomsom to the mystical Kagbeni village. From thereon, walk along the Kali Gandaki River banks towards the Tibetan Buddhist village of Chele, the gateway to restricted Upper Mustang.
Trek continues to the Ghiling village after crossing the high passes of Taklam La and Dajori La. Head to Jhaite village and cross the Nyi La pass to one of the largest villages of Upper Mustang, Ghami. Crossing the Tsarang La pass, reach Tsarang village. From there, the trek takes you to the capital of the former Kingdom of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang. Visit any of the four main monasteries of Tubchen Gompa, Jampa Lhakhang, Choprang Gompa, Chode Gompa.
Crossing the Dhi La pass and the Dhi village, head to Yara. Explore the medieval Luri Cave and the Luri Cave Gompa and Tashi Kabum Monastery believed to be built in the 15th century to command a relic. The trek continues to Ghuma Thanti then passes the holy Damodar Lake towards Namta Khola river. Trek up to the Saribung Peak Base Camp for acclimatization and pre-climbing training. Proceed on to Camp I on the next day.
Begin your climb early at 1 AM the next day, passing snowy slopes and rocky terrain to the Saribung Peak Summit (6,328m/20,761ft). Enjoy the views of peaks like Chhib, Kharsang, Gyajikhang, Bhrikuti, and Himlung. Hike back to the base camp, then cross the challenging Saribung La pass at 5,600m/18,372ft to reach Nagoru. Enter the remote and restricted Phu village and visit Tashi Lhakhang monastery.
Move on to the Khampa settlements in Jhunam and Chyakhu, then descend to Meta Village. From Meta, proceed to the village of Koto by crossing the Nar Phu valley. From thereon trek to Dharapani after crossing the villages of Timang and Danakyu. Proceed to Jagat from Chyamche and drive to Kathmandu via the Prithvi Highway for a final departure homewards.
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Welcome to the land of the Himalayas! Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu, fulfill your customs formalities. You will find a Third rock Adventures representative eagerly waiting for your arrival at the terminal. After greetings, you will be transferred to your hotel in Thamel.
You can either take some rest at the hotel or visit our office nearby. In the evening, head out to the streets of Thamel to enjoy the vibrant market of the tourist hub. Enjoy your authentic Nepali dinner along with our team.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu city is full of surprises, particularly when it comes to culture and heritage. On this day, you will take a fully guided tour of the various UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city. Start by driving to Basantapur, where you can take a stroll in the courtyards of Kathmandu Durbar Square that once held the fortress of the former Kings of the city.
From there on, you will take a religious trip to the Pashupatinath Temple, the most popular Hindu temple revered by a disciple of Lord Shiva. From thereon, head to the outskirts of the valley in the west to visit Swayambhunath Stupa/Monkey Temple. It is a whitewashed dome atop a hill, one of the most popular Buddhist pilgrimage. If you wish, you can opt to visit the Boudhanath stupa located on the northeastern side of the city, one of the biggest stupas in the world.
Along with your guide, you will also go to collect the permit for trekking in the remote areas of Upper Mustang and Nar Phu Valley, which you’ll be visiting on the trip. You can also ask questions to your guide regarding any doubts that you might have while having pre-trip discussions before going to bed check all the necessary packing lists.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Early in the morning, after having breakfast, you will take on a long drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, the city of lakes. The drive is scenic with the view of the Himalayas in the Annapurna region, rolling hills, and river tributaries along the Prithvi Highway.
Upon reaching Pokhara, you will be transferred to your hotel near the lakeside. You can choose to take some rest, then head out to the nearby Fewa Lakeside and enjoy a stroll.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Pokhara.
After having breakfast, head to the airport in Pokhara for a flight to Jomsom, the gateway to the mystic Mustang district. As you land in the Jomsom Airport, you will be amazed by the arid landscape and the strong winds blowing.
From there on, begin your trek for the day to Kagbeni village. The Kali Gandaki valley opens up to high cliffs and dirt roads. You will reach Lubra and head to Ekle Bhatti. Along the way, visit the Bon-Po Monastery.
Kagbeni village in the lower Mustang sits atop a cliff and offers mesmerizing views of Mt. Dhaulagiri. You will find ancient brick-laden settlements and even a monastery. After arriving at your tea house, enjoy some local drinks and food. Apple products are most popular in the area because the weather is apt for apple farming.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Kagbeni.
After having a delicious breakfast, head towards Chele, which is the gateway to the restricted area of Upper Mustang. Get the Restricted Area Permit ready to be shown at the checkpoint. You will continue walking along the banks of the Kali Gandaki river, where you might be lucky to find rare fossilized Shaligram. Along the way, Nilgiri mountain will be on full display.
Continue your trek to the Tangbe village and then to Chhusang village. There you will spot Mani walls and chortens along the way. Crossing a bridge over the Kaligandaki River, you spot 16 caves above a tunnel, reflecting the age-old settlements in this rural area. Continue a steep trek to the Tibetan Buddhist village of Chele, parched above a hill.
Overnight stay at teahouse in Chele.
After breakfast, we begin our trek uphill. It will be a tough trek to Ghiling. On the side of a cliff, take sideways than upwards, then trudge into the village of Samar. Crossing the Taklam La pass (3,624m/11889ft), continue to the Dajori La pass (3,735m/12,253ft). You will be amazed by the Ramchung and Chugsi prehistoric caves along the way.
Eventually, with the beautiful view of mountains along the way, you reach Syangboche village. However, the trek does not stop here because we will head further and make our stop at Ghiling. The settlements in this village have been spread across a wide plateau. You can settle your belongings in a tea house then head to the nearby monastery.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Ghiling.
As you head out of the Ghiling village, take a steady climb to the Jhaite village. The biggest challenge of the day will be crossing the Nyi Pass at the elevation of 4,010m/13,156ft. From the pass, you will reach one of the largest villages in Lo Manthang called Ghami. From thereon, you cross a suspension bridge above the Ghami river and cross the second pass Tsarang La (3,870m/12,696ft). Then, you will pass by the Drakmar village and eventually reach Tsarang.
The village of Tsarang is inhabited by Tibetan Buddhists, so the culture is heavily inclined towards it. You can leave your backpack in the tea house and head on to Tsarang Gompa, which is over 500 years old monastery. Tsarang was once an important hub between bordering Nepal, Tibet, and India for salt trade. It is certainly a change in scenery from the past few days because you will spot green fields of crops.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Tsarang.
On this day, begin your trek to the capital of the former kingdom of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang. Head to the oldest monasteries in Mustang called Ghar Gompa, climbing alongside the Tsarang river. From there, take a descend to the canyon to cross the Lo La pass (3,950m/12,959ft).
You will be graced with the views of amazing Annapurna I, Bhrikuti Peak, Tilicho Peak, and Damodar Kunda along the way to Lo Manthang. The village takes you back in time as you witness the old mud-brick houses and gompas. Influenced heavily by Tibetans, the village is home to the former king of the Upper Mustang. After the long trek, you can take some rest at a tea house and enjoy the scenic views.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Lo Manthang.
As you head above 3,000m/9,842ft, you will witness a sudden drop in the oxygen level. Hence for your body to familiarize itself with the change, acclimatization day is vital. Also, this day will give you a chance to explore the unique Lo Manthang further. There are four major temples in Lo, a few of which you can visit on this day. You can visit the Chode Gompa, the main monastery in Lo, Tubchen Gompa, with a huge assembly hall for worshipers. Or you can visit the Jampa Lhakhang temple, also known as the God House, and Choprang Gompa, translated to New Gompa.
Lo also witnesses an annual 3 days Tiji Festival where the entire village of Lo, along with neighboring villages, comes together to enjoy the chronicle of Guru Rimpoche and Buddhist relics. The festival is held in the courtyard of the King's palace, and the monarch also attends the performances.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Lo Manthang.
You will be leaving behind Lo Manthang to head to Yara village. Initially cross the Dhi La Pass at the elevation of 3,950m/12,959ft. Then, the trail takes you to Dhi village. The village is filled with crops grown by the locals. Cross a small river and head along the; left bank. Continue the trek by ascending steeply towards Yara.
Witness caves on the high stone walls depicting the medieval settlers of this remote area. As it is a long trek, you can take a rest and have some local delicacy.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Yara.
Today is one of the shortest trekking days in the trip where you will be heading to Luri Cave Monastery. On the ridgeline to the north above Yara, take the short yet steep climb to Luri. The Luri caves are mesmerizing, but the Gompas/Monasteries are even more fascinating. The monastery is known to have been erected in response to a divine command from a deity in the 15th century. You can witness images, chortens, and the status of relics. The decorative mandala is beyond imagination.
You can also check out the Tashi Kabum, which is somewhat a replica of Luri Cave Gompa. You can find a beautiful mandala and a destructed Chorten. Your guide will share secrets of the ancient times that depict the construction of these caves.
Overnight stay at tented camp in Luri Gompa.
The trail from Luri Gompa to Ghuma Thanti is very arid, with strong winds. As you reach the destination for today, you will witness a scattered sheeting settlement in Ghuma. For about an hour you have to take a descend to the flat floor. Many trekkers and worshippers visit Ghuma Thanti because it falls on the trail to Damodar Kunda/Lake.
Ghuma Thanti does not have any major highlights except Kyamupani river views. The large Tibetan Plateau sees several camps in the area along with a few permanent settlements.
Overnight stay at a tented camp in Ghuma Thanti.
After breakfast, take a brisk walk uphill early in the morning, then take a descend. You will then cross a high pass at the elevation of 5,600m/18,372ft which is the biggest challenge of the day. One of the major highlights of the day is that you will get to witness Damodar Kunda/Like, which is a highly regarded pilgrimage site by Hindus and Buddhists. You can relax for a short while here and take some pictures.
Eventually, as you continue your trek from thereon, you will reach Namta Khola. Your camp will be set near the river. Drink some warm soup and take a rest after the exhausting trek.
Overnight stay at a camp in Namta Khola.
Head further closer to Saribung today as you reach its base camp. The trail gets even more challenging on this day with tricky turns. As there are no tea houses or lodges in the area, it is mostly isolated, so pack your lunch for today and stay hydrated.
Following a relatively difficult route, you will eventually reach the base camp. You will spot a few camps on the plateau. The snow isn’t deep in spring and autumn, so it is perfect during these seasons.
Overnight stay at a tented camp in Base Camp.
As there will be a high rise in altitude on the days ahead, your body needs to get accommodated to it. Hence, this day is a chance to acclimatize as well as get some pre-climbing training. After having some breakfast, your guide will demonstrate to you the basic skills required for climbing like belaying, rappelling, and so on.
You will also be taught to use climbing equipment like Harness, Ice ax, Ascender, Crampons, Karabiner, and others. This training not just helps you in the following day’s trek but also offers high confidence before the climb. Clear all your queries by asking your guide if any doubts. Furthermore, you can hike up to the nearest viewpoint to observe the Damodar and Annapurna mountain range if you like.
Overnight stay at a tented camp in Saribung Peak Base Camp.
Today you will begin your climb from the base camp to Camp I. The trek will be a little more challenging as you walk past rocky and snowy terrain. We take an ascend along the moraine on the east glacial side. Passing through the ice blocks, you will cross the western moraine to reach your destination. View of Damodar Himal is in full glory.
The guides will have already set up your camp, so you can pack your luggage and take some rest. Have lunch, then stroll around a bit to observe the mountains that are in full display. Go to sleep early, as you will have to wake up in the morning even before sunlight to start your climb to the Saribung Peak.
Overnight stay at a tented camp in Camp I.
This day is the most anticipated day of the entire trip as you will be conquering the summit of Saribung Peak. Early in the morning, at around 1 am, your climb will begin. As the winds in the mountain region are unpredictable during the day time, it is best suited that you begin the climb early in the morning to avoid the dramatic weather change.
You will begin with an ascent to the rocky terrain and steep slope. Pass through crevassed glaciers that lead to deep snow slopes. The climbing training comes in handy as cross the slopes. Ropes will already have been laid where necessary by the crew. Taking slow and steady steps, you will finally reach the peak summit. It is an absolute delight to be standing at such a height with views that are a feast to the eyes.
Apart from the pride of climbing the summit itself, the blue sky gently tucks the peaks of Chhib Himal (6,650m/21,817ft), Kharsang Peak (6,225m/20,423ft), Gyajikhang (7,038m/23,091ft), Bhrikuti (6,460m/21,294ft), and Himlung (7,126m/23,379ft) around the peak. After the excitement settles in, click some pictures and videos for memory. Then gently take a descend to the Base Camp for the night.
Overnight stay at a tented camp in Base Camp.
Although you will be leaving the amazing peak behind, get excited to head into the remote terrain of Nagoru. After having breakfast, begin the trek to the Saribung Pass (5,600m/18,372ft), which is another challenge and triumph for the day. Take a quick descend while following a stream through a trail that is covered with snow.
Along the way, you will catch your breath and grab some lunch. From there, taking many ascends and descends, you will head to a more alpine terrain as you reach Nagoru.
Overnight stay at a tented camp in Nagoru.
The landscape sees a drastic change as it gets more arid than snowy, unlike the days earlier. The Tibetan plateau offers a chance to witness the removed valley lapped with snow-capped mountains surrounding the small village of Phu. While you were engrossed with views of snow-covered giants in the past couple of days, today, you will be introduced to the unique culture and heritage of the ethnic Gurung, Ghale, Lama, and Tibetan Buddhist communities living in the area.
Upon reaching the Phu village, you can see the plantation of crops and animals grazing in the pastures, depending upon the season of your trip. After reaching your tea house, unpack your belongings and leave them there. You can head to the Tashi Lhakhang Monastery, which is the final monastery among the 108 world’s Buddhist monasteries built by relic Karmapa Rimpoche. As you marvel through its beauty, you can also view the Himlung Himal peaking at a horizon.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Phu Village.
After breakfast early in the morning, take a walk on the Tibetan Plateau and pass by the village gate. From there take a descend to the narrow valley trailing along Phu river and reach Kyang. Along the way, you might spot Blue Sheep in the isolated region.
Following a rocky path, you will head to Khampa settlements in Jhunam then Chyakhu. You will spot ruined forts here. It was once the settlement of Tibetan Refugees. Along the way, views of Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal will pop up to make the day even better. Take a descend then reach Meta village.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Meta.
Walk to the restricted area of the Nar Phu valley on this day. Take a steep descend and trek to the lovely pine forest. Pass by several streams and waterfalls and cross a few suspension bridges to reach Koto village. Along with the views of Annapurna II, you will also be graced with Manaslu peak. Enjoy a warm, authentic dinner at Koto and interact with the locals.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Koto.
You will be heading to the greener landscape of Dharapani with many settlements. After having breakfast, on your first leg, cross the small villages along the way until reaching Timang village. The trail from there gets a little rough as you descend to Danakyu village, where you can stop for lunch. Continue your walk through a flat trail until you reach Dharapani.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Dharapani.
This is your final trekking day for the trip as you move to Jagat. The route takes a descend to the Marsyangdi River by crossing an iron bridge. Cross the upstream of the river and head to Kotro. From the long thrilling suspension bridge over the river descend to Tal Village.
The trail leads to a rocky path and into a dense forest until reaching Chyamche. There will be a lot of steep stone steps that will be climbed on this day. Impressive streams and large waterfalls will greet you. From thereon, continue your trek until you reach Jagat.
Overnight stay at a tea house in Jagat.
On this day, bid farewell to the wonderful Annapurna region after the amazing trek and climb. After a short walk from a rocky trail to Syange and Bhulbule, take a ride back to Kathmandu city. You can observe the settlements along the way with locals performing their daily chores. As you enter the Prithvi Highway, views of rivers, rolling hills, and mountains flood your sight.
Upon reaching Kathmandu City, you will be transferred to your hotel. After a warm bath and some rest, you can opt to head out to the streets of Thamel to do some souvenir shopping. Enjoy a farewell dinner with our team.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.
After having breakfast, you will be transferred to the Tribhuvan International Airport by a Third Rock Adventures representative. We will bid you farewell and hope for your return to Nepal in the future for more amazing trips with us. On the way back home, reminisce the triumphant climb to the summit of Saribung, the Himalayan views from there, and the restricted and mysterious Upper Mustang and Nar Phu Valley.
Saribung Peak Climbing has a strenuous level of difficulty as you will be ascending the soaring height of 6,328 meters. There are challenging high passes during trekking over 5,000 meters; therefore, your high-altitude trekking and alpine climbing experience will be a plus point. Good health and strong determination are key factors for you to embark on an adventure to the top of Saribung Peak. The well-crafted Saribung peak climbing itinerary entails two acclimatization days and pre-climb training that are pragmatic and advantageous.
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (mid-September to November) are the best seasons for Saribung Peak climbing. The weather is favorable and grants ideal conditions for trekking and climbing during these seasons. There is less snow and clear mountain views for a pleasant climbing experience. Monsoon and winter are considered off-seasons, and we do not recommend climbing during these seasons.
You will be served full-board meals during the trek and at the camping site. You will be staying at the best available local tea houses in the mountains that serve authentic Nepalese and western dishes. In addition, you can savor freshly-cooked and healthy meals prepared by climbing cook at tented camps above 4,000m.
You have many options with accommodation in Kathmandu; however, for the climbing group, we choose and recommend a 3-star hotel - Oasis Kathmandu Hotel or Thamel Boutique Hotel in Thamel. On the trail during trekking, we will arrange and ensure the best available local teahouses for you. Generally, teahouses feature two beds with a mattress, pillows, blanket, and flush toilets. For climbing accommodation, you will rest nights in a tent with form mattress.
Third Rock Adventures provides mountaineering equipment, including tents, room accessories, climbing rope, ice screws, snow bar, ice hammer, etc. In case of personal preference, you can bring it from home. Please do note that most of the climbing gear is available on hire in Kathmandu.
We have prepared a list of the right equipment and appropriate gear for peak climbing in Nepal. Check the packing list for Peak Climbing Equipment.
For Saribung Peak Climbing, you need a travel insurance policy covering all activities and altitudes included in the itinerary. There are chances of Acute Mountain Sickness at higher altitude, and therefore travel insurance is highly recommended. However, before buying insurance, make sure it offers suitable coverage for the cost of helicopter evacuation and hospitalization in case of an accident or medical emergency. Also, check for vaccination requirements as some travel insurance policies makes it mandatory to immunize yourself before you leave your country.
Saribung Peak rises to an elevation of 6,328m, and this implies that the thin air and challenging trail to the summit has a potential threat of altitude sickness. And for this very reason, the well-crafted itinerary of Saribung peak climbing entails acclimatization day and pre-climbing training. To prevent AMS, we advise you to keep your body hydrated and abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages and smoke. Our guides always carry a first-aid kit and pulse oximeter (to measure the oxygen level in your blood) with them. The mountain leaders assigned are experienced, astute and perceptive who can quickly assess the situation. In case of health hazards and unforeseen circumstances, the team will handle it.
Images: Jean-Marie Hullot, Dave Scott, shingola, jamie