The Gurja Himal Expedition is a challenging and awe-inspiring mountaineering endeavor that takes place in the Himalayas, specifically targeting the Gurja Himal peak, which stands at an impressive altitude of approximately 7,193 meters (23,599 feet). Situated in the remote and rugged region of Nepal, this expedition attracts seasoned climbers seeking to conquer its formidable slopes and technical challenges. With breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks and unique cultural encounters with the local communities, the expedition offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for adventurers to test their mountaineering skills and experience the beauty and grandeur of the world's highest mountain range.
Only those who enjoy solitude places filled with wonders of nature know the true value of travel. Being alone, whistling with winds, and sleeping with the moon are best in the remoteness of Dhaulagiri. One such wonder in this range, Gurja Himal, is ideal for bona fide mountaineers who seek mountains to excel their climbing skills to the next level.
Even being 7,193 metres tall, Gurja Himal is visually mind-boggling. On top, scaling this peak gives proper expertise and confidence to summit other technical peaks like Ama Dablam, Himlung Himal, and Baruntse. The Scottish Grade III climbing grade of this peak demands technicality in climbers. Climbing this peak involves ascending and abseiling using a fixed rope. Also, the steep ridges are around 50 degrees, which makes it reasonably hard to climb. The long snow and ice slopes of Gurja Himal are best for alpinists who have some 6,000 metres of peak expedition experience.
Being the lowest among peaks in the Dhaulagiri range, Gurja Himal is an ideal place for mountain sightseeing. Countless peaks and the world's 7th highest mountain, Dhaulagiri, stand tall when viewed from its summit. Dhaulagiri II, III, IV, V, around Gurja Himal, stand taller than 7,620 metres. Also, three Churen Himal ranges, Churen Central, Churen East, and Churen West, are next to this peak. Another visible peak from the Gurja Himal area includes Putha Hiunchuli and False Junction Peak. The landscape around comprises countless moraines, glaciers, and fresh streams.
The history of climbing Gurja Himal dates back more than 50 years. In 1969, T. Saeki, A. Lnouye, Lhakpa Tenzing, and the other three expedition members from Japan submitted this peak. The West Ridge of Gurja Himal is a favourite route among climbers to reach the summit. For more than 15 years, before 1969, climbers were inefficient in discovering a possible summit route. For various reasons, for ten years between 1968-1979 A.D., Nepal Government stopped issuing permits for this peak. Since 1979, Gurja Himal peak has received hundreds of climbers. The remoteness and less-known Gurja Himal are perfect for climbers seeking authentic climbs.
We'll start the Gurja Himal expedition with a drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara and from Pokhara to Darbang. We'll commence our trek from Darband to Takam through Dharapani, Lumsang village, Gurja Village, and Darsinge village. We'll be hiking 3,600 metres at Darsinge Kharka. We'll climb to Burjung Kharka at 3,415 metres and finally to Gurja Himal Base Camp at 4,600 metres.
For the next 20 days, we'll be staying at Gurja Himal base camp, acclimatising, climbing, training, etc.
Our climbing Sherpa guide will assist you throughout the training and climbing period. You'll learn a considerate amount of climbing skills and gain confidence for the summit push.
We'll make a successful Gurja Himal summit push and return to base camp in an ideal weather window. We'll also organise a cleaning campaign at base camp to make the place free of pollutants.
If anyone from the expedition team feels tired, we'll have one extra buffer day before leaving for Burjung Kharka and back to Pokhara. We'll retrace the route back to Pokhara and drive to Kathmandu to end this trip.
The key to adapting to high altitude is acclimatisation. Without proper adaptation, some climbers fail to scale to the summit. Also, altitude sickness becomes a prominent issue when you lack acclimatisation in the Gurja Himal expedition.
Climbing Gurja Himal takes many preparations. The climbing period for this peak will be around 20 days which involves routine climbs. Also, you'll have rotational walks back and forth to various camps. There will be three camps, Camp I at 5,300 metres, Camp II at 5,900 metres, and Camp III at 6,500 metres. Thus, a routine climb to these camps makes you mentally, physically, and technically prepared for the summit push. Our climbing Sherpa will be guiding you throughout this entire expedition. Thus, our carefully designed climbing itinerary is best to dodge altitude sickness.
Gurja Himal's expedition takes around 40 days to complete. Thus, we'll be camping at Gurja Himal base camp and some high camps for 20 days. Our chefs will prepare nutritious meals while we stay in tented camps. You'll have to stay overnight on a twin sharing basis.
We'll also have tea house-based accommodation before and after reaching Gurja Himal base camp. Tea houses en route offer minimal meals that help keep up the energy levels. Also, you'll have comfortable overnights at these tea houses.
In Kathmandu, before and after your Gurja Himal expedition, you can stay at any hotel of your choice.
Gurja Himal climbing is best during Spring and Autumn months. In Nepal, these two seasons are best for climbing mountains. The utter clear weather, stable temperature, and elegant landscape make the expedition awesome in these months. Also, you could witness some festivals and rituals of Nepal at this time.
World Expedition Nepal focuses on and promotes peak climbing and expeditions in Nepal. We have been providing tour services since 2017 by registered and licensed under Nepal Government. In the Dhaulagiri region, we'll make sure that you'll have complete joy alongside the adventure of high-altitude climbing.
Our professional and experienced guides will ensure your utmost comfort and safety on Churen Himal climbing. We'll make this tour an unforgettable experience for you. Also, the health and safety of our clients is our primary motto. Our guides for these expeditions have mountain skills certification. They come with expertise in mountain medicine, first aid, and rescue operations.
We have fixed departures for the Churen Himal expedition for Autumn 2022. Book your trip with us and experience the thrill of climbing this 6,000 metres peak.
Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by a representative from the World Expedition Nepal. Look for someone holding a sign with your name or the World Expedition Nepal's name. After clearing customs and immigration, collect your luggage, and head to the arrival area.
You'll then be introduced to your guide or expedition leader, who will provide you with a warm welcome and brief you about the expedition. They will also provide you with any essential information and answer any questions you may have. From the airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu.
The drive from the airport to the hotel will give you a glimpse of Kathmandu's bustling streets, unique architecture, and vibrant culture. Depending on the time of your arrival, you might have some leisure time to explore the city or rest at the hotel after the long journey.
During the evening, there might be a pre-expedition briefing and orientation session at the hotel. The expedition leader will go over the detailed itinerary, safety measures, and logistics of the expedition. You will also have the chance to meet your fellow team members and get to know each other.
Day 1 is generally kept as a rest day to allow participants to recover from their travels and to finalize any necessary paperwork and permits for the expedition. It's essential to use this time to double-check your equipment and ensure you have everything you need for the trek and climb.
Meals: Dinner (provided at the hotel or a local restaurant)
Accommodation: Hotel in Kathmandu.
Permit Issue and Preparation
After breakfast at the hotel, the expedition team will take care of obtaining the necessary permits for the Gurja Himal Expedition. These permits typically include the climbing permit, trekking permit, and any other special permits required for the specific region you'll be trekking through.
While the team is busy with the paperwork, you'll have some free time to explore Kathmandu further or use the opportunity to do any last-minute shopping for personal items or equipment you might still need. Kathmandu offers a wide range of mountaineering and trekking gear shops where you can find high-quality equipment.
During this time, you may also need to pack your gear for the expedition carefully. Ensure that you have all the required clothing, technical equipment, and personal items specified by the expedition organizer. Double-check your gear list and make sure you haven't forgotten any essential items.
Last-Minute Shopping and Expedition Briefing: If there are any remaining items on your gear list, you can use the morning to do some last-minute shopping in Kathmandu. The city's Thamel district is a popular area for shopping, and you can find almost everything you need for your expedition.
In the afternoon, gather at the world expedition Nepal's office or the hotel for the final expedition briefing. The expedition leader will go over all the essential details, safety guidelines, and logistics for the entire expedition, from the trek to the base camp to the summit attempt.
During the briefing, you'll also receive information about the daily schedule, acclimatization plans, communication systems, and emergency procedures. Feel free to ask any remaining questions or seek clarifications on any aspect of the expedition.
After the briefing, there might be time for a final equipment check to ensure everyone has the required gear and is adequately prepared for the adventure ahead.
Overnight stay in Kathmnadu.
After breakfast at the hotel in Kathmandu, the expedition team will start the journey to Pokhara, a beautiful city located in the western part of Nepal. The drive is approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) and takes about 6 to 7 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic.
Leaving Kathmandu, the road initially follows the Trishuli River, offering picturesque views of terraced farmlands, hills, and small villages. The drive passes through scenic landscapes, and on clear days, we might catch glimpses of the stunning Himalayan peaks.
Around halfway through the journey, there will be a stop for lunch at a local restaurant or teahouse along the highway. We can savor traditional Nepali cuisine or other menu options available.
Continuing the drive, the road gradually descends to lower elevations, and as we approach Pokhara, we'll be treated to breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Pokhara is famous for its serene lakes, and the most prominent one is Phewa Lake, which adds to the city's charm.
Upon arrival in Pokhara, the team will check into the hotel, and we'll have the evening to relax and enjoy the lakeside atmosphere. Pokhara offers various activities, such as boating on Phewa Lake, visiting the World Peace Pagoda, or exploring the local markets.
This day serves as a crucial transition from the bustling city of Kathmandu to the peaceful and scenic surroundings of Pokhara, and it allows the team to rest and recharge before commencing the trek to the base camp of Gurja Himal.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (on the way to Pokhara)
Accommodation: Hotel in Pokhara
After breakfast in Pokhara, Our team will set out on a scenic drive to Darbang, which is the starting point of the trek towards the Gurja Himal base camp.
The journey from Pokhara to Darbang covers a distance of approximately 135 kilometers (84 miles) and takes around 5 to 6 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. The drive offers beautiful views of the surrounding hills, terraced farmlands, and small villages.
The road passes through lush green landscapes and crosses several rivers and suspension bridges, adding an adventurous touch to the journey. Along the way, we'll have opportunities to catch glimpses of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, which are simply awe-inspiring.
We'll likely stop for lunch at a local restaurant or teahouse en route to Darbang. Enjoy a delicious meal and take in the tranquil atmosphere before resuming the drive.
Upon arrival in Darbang, the team will settle into the local guesthouse or lodge for the night. Darbang is a small village in the Myagdi district of Nepal and is the gateway to various trekking routes, including the one leading to the Gurja Himal base camp.
As this marks the beginning of the trekking adventure, the team will take some time to organize the gear, distribute loads among porters (if applicable), and prepare for the upcoming days of trekking towards the base camp.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (on the way to Darbang)
Accommodation: Guesthouse or lodge in Darbang (basic accommodations)
The trekking adventure begins! After breakfast in Darbang, the World Expedition Nepal team will set off on foot towards Takum, passing through the charming Dharapani village along the way.
The trail initially leads through terraced farmlands and small settlements, giving us a glimpse of the local lifestyle and agriculture. We'll be walking alongside beautiful rivers and lush green forests, creating a picturesque setting for our trek.
As we continue on the trail, we'll reach Dharapani village, which is a great place to take a break and rest. The village offers a fantastic opportunity to interact with the friendly locals and immerse yourself in their culture.
Leaving Dharapani, the trail gradually ascends through forests of rhododendron and oak trees, providing shade and a refreshing atmosphere. Along the way, we might come across small tea houses or resting spots where we can enjoy snacks or beverages.
As we approach Takum, the landscape opens up, offering glimpses of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Takum is a small village with basic guesthouses or tea houses where we'll spend the night. The village allows us to experience the simplicity of life in the mountains.
In the evening, we can relax and enjoy a warm meal while reflecting on the first day of trekking and the beautiful landscapes you encountered.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Basic guesthouse or tea house in Takum
After breakfast in Takum, the trek continues as the team sets off towards Lumsang Village. This day's trek offers diverse terrain, picturesque landscapes, and opportunities to interact with the local communities.
The trail gradually ascends through beautiful rhododendron and oak forests, providing shade and adding to the charm of the journey. Along the way, we may encounter streams and small waterfalls, offering refreshing spots to rest and enjoy the natural surroundings.
As we gain elevation, the views of the surrounding mountains and valleys become even more stunning. We'll have plenty of opportunities to take photos and appreciate the scenic beauty of the region.
As we approach Lumsang Village, we'll notice a change in the landscape and architecture of the settlements. The village is likely to be more traditional and less influenced by modernization, offering a glimpse of authentic rural life in the Himalayas.
Upon reaching Lumsang Village, settle into a local guesthouse or tea house for the night. The hospitality of the locals is heartwarming, and you'll have the chance to experience their culture and traditions firsthand.
In the evening, we can explore the village, take a stroll around the area, and perhaps interact with the friendly locals. Enjoy a delicious meal prepared by the hosts, and rest well in preparation for the next day's trek.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Basic guesthouse or tea house in Lumsang Village
After a hearty breakfast in Lumsang Village, the trekking adventure continues towards Gurja Village. This part of the trek offers diverse landscapes, including forests, terraced fields, and charming villages.
The trail may include some steep ascents and descents, but the effort is rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Keep your camera ready to capture the natural beauty that unfolds before us.
As we through Gurja Village, we'll have the chance to observe the local lifestyle and architecture of the traditional houses. The villagers are known for their warm hospitality, and we might be greeted with friendly smiles and gestures.
Throughout the trek, we'llhave ample opportunities to immerse ourself in the peaceful ambiance of the Himalayan region, surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature.
Upon arriving in Gurja Village, we'll be welcomed at a local guesthouse or tea house, where we'll spend the night. Relax and unwind after a day of trekking, and perhaps interact with the locals to learn more about their customs and way of life.
Gurja Village serves as a stepping stone for further progress towards the Gurja Himal base camp, so take this time to rest and prepare for the upcoming days of the expedition.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Basic guesthouse or tea house in Gurja Village.
After breakfast in Gurja Village, the world Expedition Nepal team will continue the journey towards Darsinge Khark. This leg of the trek involves gaining significant elevation, providing more stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The trail may lead through dense forests and open meadows, with opportunities to spot local wildlife and various species of Himalayan flora. As we gain altitude, the vegetation might change, and we may encounter alpine plants and shrubs.
Throughout the day, we'll pass through several small settlements and remote shepherd huts, offering insight into the traditional way of life in these remote regions.
As we approach Darsinge Khark, we'll notice the landscape becoming more rugged and mountainous. The views become even more impressive as we ascend to higher elevations.
Darsinge Khark is a grazing pasture area used by local shepherds during the summer months. We'll find basic accommodations in the form of tea houses or temporary shelters. The atmosphere at Darsinge Khark is serene and remote, providing a true sense of being in the heart of the Himalayas.
In the evening, we can enjoy the peaceful surroundings and savor a warm meal while reminiscing about the day's trekking experiences.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Basic guesthouse or tea house in Darsinge Khark.
After a hearty breakfast at Darsinge Khark, the trekking adventure continues towards Burjunga Khark. This part of the trek offers a mix of terrains, including meadows, rocky paths, and occasional streams.
As we leave Darsinge Khark behind, the trail may take us through scenic alpine meadows, where we can witness the beauty of the high-altitude landscapes. Keep an eye out for yaks and other mountain animals grazing in the pastures.
The trail might involve some gradual ascents and descents as we make our way towards Burjunga Khark. The views of the surrounding mountains, including the spectacular Gurja Himal, will continue to inspire and amaze us.
During the trek, take the time to enjoy the tranquil surroundings and appreciate the untouched natural beauty of the region. The peaceful ambiance of the Himalayas makes this journey truly unforgettable.
Upon arriving in Burjunga Khark, settle into a basic guesthouse or tea house, where we'll spend the night. The simplicity of the accommodations is compensated by the warmth of the hospitality offered by the locals.
In the evening, we can interact with fellow trekkers and share stories of the journey so far. Enjoy a warm meal and rest well, as the trek continues towards the Gurja Himal base camp.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Basic guesthouse or tea house in Burjunga Khark
After breakfast in Burjunga Kharka, the team will embark on the final leg of the trek towards the Gurja Himal Base Camp. This part of the journey is exciting and challenging, as we'll be gaining significant altitude and approaching the base camp of the majestic Gurja Himal peak.
The trail may involve steep ascents over rocky terrain, and we might need to cross moraines and small streams. As we gain elevation, the air becomes thinner, and the surroundings become more rugged and alpine.
Throughout the trek, keep an eye on the awe-inspiring views of the Himalayan peaks that surround us. The sight of Gurja Himal itself will motivate and inspire us to continue our ascent.
The base camp of Gurja Himal is a special place that offers unobstructed views of the massive mountain and the surrounding glaciers. The team will set up camp at a suitable location near the base of the peak.
Once we arrive at the base camp, take some time to acclimatize and rest. The altitude at this point is considerable, and it's essential to allow our body to adjust to the thin air.
In the afternoon, the expedition leader and climbing Sherpas will brief the team about the plan for the summit push and the technical aspects of the climb. The base camp will serve as our home for the next several days as we prepare for the summit attempt.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Camping at Gurja Himal Base Camp.
During this extended period, the focus of the expedition will be on the climbing aspect of the Gurja Himal peak. The team will undergo acclimatization and gradually ascend to higher camps to prepare for the summit attempt. The itinerary during this period is flexible and subject to change based on weather conditions, team's progress, and other factors.
Here is a general outline of the climbing period:
Day 11-12: Acclimatization at Base Camp Spend these initial days at the base camp for further acclimatization. The team will go on short hikes and practice essential mountaineering skills to prepare for the climb ahead. The climbing Sherpas will also set up advanced base camp (ABC) and possibly Camp 1 during this time.
Day 13-15: Ascend to Advanced Base Camp (ABC) Trek from the base camp to the advanced base camp (ABC), located at a higher elevation. The ABC serves as a staging point for the summit push. Here, the team will continue acclimatization and rest before moving to higher camps.
Day 16-20: Establish Higher Camps (Camp 1 and Camp 2) Climbing Sherpas and team members will set up Camp 1 and Camp 2 at strategic points on the route. Camp 1 may be located at around 5,500 meters (18,045 feet), and Camp 2 could be situated around 6,000 meters (19,685 feet). Multiple rotations between ABC and these higher camps will help in acclimatizing the team further.
Day 21-25: Summit Attempts The actual summit push is made during this period. The climbing team will move from Camp 2 to Camp 3 (if necessary) and then launch the final push to reach the summit of Gurja Himal. Weather conditions, team fitness, and other factors will determine the timing of the summit attempt.
Day 26-29: Contingency Days These days are reserved for contingency and flexibility. If the summit attempt is successful earlier, they may be utilized for rest and recovery at lower camps. However, if weather conditions or other challenges delay the summit bid, these extra days can provide the team with more opportunities to reach the summit.
Day 30: Descend to Base Camp After completing the summit attempts or if it is clear that further attempts are not feasible, the team will descend back to the base camp. This descent will be gradual to allow for proper acclimatization during the climb down.
The climbing period is the most challenging and critical phase of the expedition. It requires excellent teamwork, mountaineering skills, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Safety will be the top priority, and decisions will be made based on the team's well-being and the prevailing conditions.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (at respective camps)
Accommodation: Camping at Advanced Base Camp (ABC), Camp 1, Camp 2, and Camp 3 (if used)
After the climber's successful summit attempts or upon concluding the expedition (based on the itinerary and the team's achievements), it's time to start the journey back towards lower altitudes. The descent from the Gurja Base Camp to Burjunga Khark is part of the trekking phase of the expedition.
The trek is likely to take around 5 to 6 hours, and it involves descending through the rugged and scenic terrain. As we leave the higher elevations behind, the air becomes thicker, and the surroundings gradually change to alpine forests and meadows.
While descending, we'll retrace some parts of the route we took during the ascent, offering familiar views of the Himalayan landscapes. The journey down can be equally rewarding, as we'll have more energy to appreciate the beauty of the region.
Upon reaching Burjunga Khark, settle into a local guesthouse or tea house for the night. This marks the end of the climbing phase of the expedition, and we can celebrate the team's achievements and reflect on the incredible experiences of reaching the Gurja Himal summit.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Accommodation: Basic guesthouse or tea house in Burjunga Khark.
After breakfast in Burjunga Khark, the team will resume the trek back towards Gurja Village. This part of the descent provides an opportunity to revisit the beautiful landscapes and settlements we encountered earlier in the expedition.
The trail may involve some gradual descents and occasional ascents, as we navigate through meadows, forests, and traditional villages. The warm hospitality of the local communities will continue to welcome us along the way.
As we approach Gurja Village, we'll notice the change in scenery and altitude, with the landscape becoming less rugged and more hospitable. Gurja Village serves as a charming stopover on our return journey, offering a glimpse of the local way of life in the mountains.
Upon reaching Gurja Village, settle into a local guesthouse or tea house, where we'll spend the night. Take some time to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings after a day of trekking.
In the evening, we can interact with the locals, share stories of our expedition with them, and perhaps even join in their traditional cultural activities or festivities.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Accommodation: Basic guesthouse or tea house in Gurja Village
Trek from Gurja Village to Dobang (2,600m/8,530ft) via Lumsang Village
After breakfast in Gurja Village, we'll resume the trek and retrace our steps back towards Lumsang Village. Enjoy the familiar landscapes and revisit the places we passed through during the ascent.
Upon reaching Lumsang Village, we'll take a different trail towards Dobang. The trail may involve some ups and downs, as well as crossing streams and forests.
Dobang is a small settlement located at an elevation of approximately 2,600 meters (8,530 feet). It provides a comfortable resting place for trekkers, surrounded by the beauty of the Himalayas.
Trek from Dobang to Lulang Village (2,200m/7,218ft)
After a small brek in Dobang, we'll continue the trek towards Lulang Village. The trail might involve some gentle ascents and descents as we make our way through the lush forests and picturesque landscapes.
Lulang Village offers a glimpse of traditional Nepali village life, with its terraced fields and welcoming locals. The village is situated at an elevation of approximately 2,200 meters (7,218 feet), providing a pleasant climate and beautiful surroundings.
Upon reaching Lulang Village, settle into a local guesthouse or tea house, where we'll spend the night. Take some time to relax and explore the village, enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the region.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Basic guesthouse or tea house in Lulang Village
Trek from Lulang Village to Darbang (1,670m/5,479ft) - Duration: 5 hours
After breakfast in Lulang Village, we'll begin the trek towards Darbang. The trail may involve some gentle descents as we make our way through forests, terraced fields, and charming villages.
Darbang is a small town located at an elevation of approximately 1,670 meters (5,479 feet). It serves as a gateway for various trekking routes in the region, including the one leading to Gurja Himal.
As we descend, we'll re-enter the lower altitude regions, and the landscapes will gradually change. Enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the local communities along the way.
Upon reaching Darbang, settle into a local guesthouse or lodge, where we'll spend the night. Take this time to relax and reflect on the incredible journey we've undertaken in the Himalayas.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Accommodation: Basic guesthouse or lodge in Darbang.
After breakfast in Darbang, we'll begin the scenic drive back to Pokhara. The journey covers a distance of approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) and takes around 6 to 7 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic.
Leaving Darbang, the road initially follows the Myagdi River and offers picturesque views of the surrounding hills and landscapes. The drive takes us through charming villages and terraced fields, providing insights into rural life in Nepal.
As we progress towards Pokhara, the landscape changes, and we'll catch glimpses of the stunning Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges in the distance. The beautiful Phewa Lake welcomes us to Pokhara as we approach the city.
Upon arrival in Pokhara, check into our hotel and take some time to relax and enjoy the lakeside atmosphere. We can explore the vibrant lakeside area, visit the World Peace Pagoda, or simply unwind after the long drive.
In the evening, we can treat ourself to a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants offering a variety of cuisine.
Meals: Breakfast (at the guesthouse or lodge in Darbang) and Lunch (on the way to Pokhara) Accommodation: Hotel in Pokhara.
After breakfast at the hotel in Pokhara, we'll begin the scenic drive back to Kathmandu. The journey covers a distance of approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) and takes around 6 to 7 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic.
The drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu offers stunning views of the hills, rivers, and terraced fields, providing a glimpse of rural life in Nepal. We'll pass through charming villages and towns along the way, making the journey as memorable as the destinations.
As we approach Kathmandu, the landscape changes, and we'll notice the bustling urban environment taking over the serene countryside. The drive is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the incredible experiences and memories from the expedition.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, we'll be transferred to our hotel. Take some time to rest and freshen up after the long drive. In the evening, we can explore the vibrant streets of Thamel, a popular tourist area known for its restaurants, shops, and lively atmosphere.
Meals: Breakfast (at the hotel in Pokhara) and Lunch (on the way to Kathmandu) Accommodation: Hotel in Kathmandu.
After the adventurous Gurja Himal Expedition, we'll have a well-deserved free and rest day in Kathmandu. Take this day to relax, recuperate, and reflect on the incredible journey we've undertaken. We may choose to explore some of the fascinating cultural and historical sites in Kathmandu, such as Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath Temple, or Boudhanath Stupa. Alternatively, we can spend the day leisurely strolling through the vibrant streets of Thamel, doing some last-minute souvenir shopping, or simply resting at our hotel.
In the evening, there will be a farewell celebration dinner with the World Expedition Nepal team. This special dinner is an opportunity to come together one last time to celebrate the successful expedition and to honor the achievements of the team. The dinner will likely include a cultural program, showcasing traditional Nepali dances, music, and performances. It's a delightful way to experience the rich cultural heritage of Nepal and create lasting memories with your newfound friends and expedition team members.
Meals: Breakfast (at the hotel in Kathmandu) and Farewell Celebration Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Kathmandu.
On the final day of your journey, you'll have breakfast at the hotel in Kathmandu. Depending on your departure flight schedule, you may have some free time for any last-minute activities or shopping. A representative from the expedition company will assist with your transfer to the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu for your departure flight.
As you bid farewell to Nepal, you'll carry with you unforgettable memories of the Gurja Himal Expedition and the warm hospitality and cultural richness of this beautiful Himalayan country.
Meals: Breakfast (at the hotel in Kathmandu)
The Gurja Himal Expedition is a challenging and demanding endeavor that requires experience, physical fitness, and technical mountaineering skills. Some of the difficulties and challenges that climbers may face during the expedition include:
Gurja Himal has an elevation of 7,193 meters (23,599 feet), which means climbers will be operating at extreme altitudes. Altitude sickness can be a significant concern, and climbers must be well-acclimatized to handle the thin air and low oxygen levels.
Gurja Himal is a technical peak that requires proficiency in various mountaineering skills, including ice climbing, rock climbing, and using specialized equipment like crampons and ice axes. Climbers should have previous experience with high-altitude climbs and be comfortable with fixed ropes and crevasse crossings.
The weather in the Himalayas can be unpredictable and harsh. Sudden changes in weather can lead to dangerous situations, such as avalanches and storms. Climbers must be prepared to face adverse weather conditions and be flexible with their expedition schedule.
Gurja Himal is located in a remote and isolated region of Nepal. Access to the mountain can be challenging, and rescue operations in case of emergencies may take time. Climbers must be self-sufficient and equipped to handle any unexpected situations.
The expedition involves long and strenuous days of trekking and climbing at high altitudes. Climbers should have excellent physical fitness, endurance, and mental resilience to handle the physical demands of the journey.
Unlike more popular trekking peaks, the infrastructure in the Gurja Himal region is limited. Accommodations and facilities may be basic, and climbers should be prepared for rustic conditions during the trek and at base camp.
The Gurja Himal region may have less established trails compared to well-trodden trekking routes. Climbers may need to navigate through challenging terrain, and route finding can be tricky, especially in adverse weather conditions.
A successful expedition requires strong teamwork, communication, and cooperation among all team members. Climbers must be able to work together effectively, support each other, and make collective decisions for the safety of the entire team.
The cost of a 37-day Gurja Himal Expedition can vary significantly depending on the expedition operator, the level of services provided, the number of climbers in the group, and the logistics involved.
As mentioned earlier, the cost of a guided Gurja Himal Expedition typically ranges from $12,000 to $20,000 USD per person for a standard expedition package. However, a 37-day expedition might involve additional costs due to the extended duration, increased logistics, and additional services provided.
The best months for the Gurja Himal Expedition are typically during the spring and autumn seasons in Nepal. These months offer the most favorable weather and climbing conditions, making them ideal for mountaineering activities in the region.
Spring Season (March to May):
Spring is one of the most popular and best times for the Gurja Himal Expedition. During this season, the weather is generally stable, with clear skies and relatively mild temperatures at higher elevations. The snow and ice conditions are usually favorable for climbing, and the mountain views are stunning. The colorful rhododendron forests in lower elevations add to the beauty of the trek.
Autumn Season (September to November):
The autumn season is another excellent time for the Gurja Himal Expedition. Like spring, the weather is stable, and the skies are clear, providing excellent visibility of the surrounding mountains. The temperatures are generally comfortable, and the risk of avalanches and storms is relatively low. The trails are dry and well-defined after the monsoon season, making trekking and climbing more manageable.
For the Gurja Himal Expedition, climbers require several permits and documents to legally undertake the expedition in Nepal. The necessary permits include:
A climbing permit is the primary permit required for any climbing expedition in Nepal, including Gurja Himal. This permit is issued by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) or the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) through authorized trekking agencies or expedition operators. The climbing permit grants climbers permission to climb the specific mountain during a specific period.
Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) Permit:
Climbers need to obtain a Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) permit to join any trekking expedition. This permit is obtained through registered trekking agencies or expedition operators.
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP):
The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) is required since Gurja Himal is located within the Annapurna Conservation Area. The permit is issued by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) or the conservation area authorities and aims to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of the region.
TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) Card:
The TIMS card is required for all trekkers and climbers in Nepal, including those participating in the Gurja Himal Expedition. It is an essential tracking and safety measure introduced by the Nepal Tourism Board and helps to ensure the safety and well-being of trekkers and climbers.
All foreign climbers need a valid Nepal visa to enter the country. Nepal offers visas on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and various land border entry points. However, it's advisable to check visa requirements and regulations based on your nationality before your travel.
During the trekking phase of the Gurja Himal Expedition, climbers and their support team will stay in various accommodations along the trail. The accommodations are typically basic guesthouses, teahouses, or lodges found in the villages and settlements en route. In higher altitudes, the availability of accommodations may be limited, and climbers might need to stay in tented camps.
Food: In the lower elevations, such as in Pokhara and during the initial days of the trek, you can find a variety of food options at teahouses and restaurants. The menu at these places often includes a mix of Nepali, Indian, and international dishes like rice, dal (lentil soup), curries, momos (dumplings), noodles, pasta, and more. As you ascend to higher altitudes, the food options become more limited, and the menu may primarily consist of traditional Nepali dishes and simple meals to cater to trekkers' needs.
The expedition team will typically have their own cooks who prepare meals at the base camp and higher camps during the climbing phase. The food provided at these camps is designed to be nutritious and energizing, suitable for sustaining climbers during their ascent and descent.
Accommodation: The accommodation along the trekking trail to Gurja Himal is basic but comfortable. In lower elevations and well-established trekking routes, you can find guesthouses and teahouses with twin-sharing or multi-sharing rooms. Rooms may have basic amenities like beds, blankets, and shared bathrooms with cold or hot water facilities, depending on the altitude and location.
At higher altitudes and during the climbing phase, accommodation is primarily in tented camps. The expedition team will set up camps at strategic points during the ascent, including advanced base camp (ABC), Camp 1, Camp 2, and possibly Camp 3, depending on the climbing route.
Altitude sickness is a real concern during any high-altitude trek, including the Gurja Himal Expedition. The trekking trail to Gurja Himal involves a significant gain in elevation, and climbers will be spending extended periods at high altitudes. Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), can occur when the body does not acclimatize properly to the reduced oxygen levels at higher elevations.
The risk of altitude sickness increases as you ascend to higher altitudes, and it can affect anyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or previous climbing experience. Symptoms of altitude sickness can range from mild to severe and may include:
If left untreated or if symptoms worsen, altitude sickness can lead to more severe forms, such as high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE) or high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), both of which are potentially life-threatening.
To minimize the risk of altitude sickness during the Gurja Himal Expedition, climbers and their support team will follow a well-planned acclimatization schedule. This involves ascending gradually and spending additional days at certain elevations to allow the body to adapt to the changing altitude.
Proper acclimatization practices include:
Gradual Ascent: Avoid rapid ascents and allow enough time for the body to adjust to higher altitudes.
Hydration: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, as dehydration can worsen altitude sickness symptoms.
Rest Days: Incorporate rest days into the itinerary to give the body time to adapt to higher elevations.
Climbing High, Sleeping Low: Practice "climb high, sleep low" by ascending to higher altitudes during the day but sleeping at lower elevations.
Pay Attention to Your Body: Be aware of any symptoms of altitude sickness and communicate with your trekking guide or expedition leader if you experience any discomfort.
Medication: Some climbers may take medications like acetazolamide (Diamox) to aid acclimatization, but this should only be done under medical supervision and after consulting a doctor.
Yes, carrying some amount of cash during the Gurja Himal Expedition is advisable. While there may be some opportunities to use credit or debit cards in major towns like Kathmandu or Pokhara, once you begin the trek to Gurja Himal and reach higher elevations, access to banking facilities and ATMs will become limited or non-existent.
Here are some reasons why carrying cash is essential during the expedition:
Remote Locations: The Gurja Himal region is relatively remote, and most of the villages along the trekking trail do not have banking facilities or electronic payment options. Cash will be necessary for any expenses in these areas, such as purchasing snacks, drinks, or souvenirs.
Accommodation and Meals: While your expedition team will handle most of the accommodation and meals during the trek, there might be times when you need to cover additional expenses on the trail or at teahouses. Having cash on hand will ensure you can pay for any extra services or purchases.
Tips and Gratuities: It's customary to tip the expedition staff, including guides, porters, cooks, and support staff, as a gesture of appreciation for their hard work and support. Tipping is typically done in cash, so having enough cash with you will enable you to show your gratitude to the team members.
Emergency Expenses: In case of unforeseen situations or emergencies, having cash can be vital. It may be necessary for medical expenses, evacuation costs, or any other unexpected needs that may arise during the expedition.
Local Transactions: In the villages, settlements, and markets along the trail, cash is the primary form of currency for most transactions. You'll find it more convenient to pay for small purchases or services with cash.
During the Gurja Himal Expedition, we may encounter a variety of wild animals and plants, especially as you trek through different ecological zones and altitude ranges. The region is known for its diverse flora and fauna, offering trekkers and climbers the opportunity to experience the rich biodiversity of the Himalayas. Here are some of the wild animals and plants you might encounter during the expedition:
Preparing the right clothes, gear, and climbing equipment is crucial for a successful and safe Gurja Himal Expedition. Here's a comprehensive list of items you may need for the trekking and climbing phases:
Other Essential Gear:
The most common route for the Gurja Himal Expedition is from the village of Darbang in Myagdi district, Western Nepal. However, there may be alternative routes that have been explored or may become available in the future. It's essential to consult with experienced trekking agencies or expedition operators for the most up-to-date information on alternative routes.
One potential alternative route to the Gurja Himal Expedition might involve accessing the mountain from a different starting point or approaching it from a different direction. For example:
Jomsom - Muktinath - Gurja Himal: An alternative route could involve starting the expedition from Jomsom in the Mustang region and trekking through the Kali Gandaki Valley to Muktinath. From Muktinath, the route could be extended to reach Gurja Himal base camp.
Beni - Dobang - Gurja Himal: Another possibility could be starting from Beni and trekking through the Dhaulagiri region, passing through Dobang, and then continuing towards Gurja Himal base camp.
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