Day 01: International Arrival in Kathmandu and Transfer to Hotel - 1,300m/4,264 ft
Upon our arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be warmly greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier. After completion of our custom formalities (Visa, etc), we pick up our luggage and look for our representative with Himalayan Glacier Trekking display board at the arrival gate. We will be then escorted to our hotel in kathmandu. After check in, we can either take a rest or hang around in the city or visit Himalayan Glacier's office site. It all depends upon our interests and condition. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner where you will experience excellent Nepalese cuisine which will also introduce you to the country's food culture.
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Preparation
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhists shrine (BouddhaNath) which is one of the large Stupas in the world. At the noon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Himalayan Glacier briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Overnight at Kathmandu.
Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Syange/Jagat [1100m/3608 ft]: 8 - 10 hrs
We have to begin very early today as we need to go a long drive to reach at our trek starting point. After breakfast, we leave Kathmandu at around 7 am and nearly after 8-10 hours' drive we reach Syange or Jagat (as per situation) via Besishahar. Enroute, we see more of countryside of Nepal that offers greeneries, rivers, villages, farms and beautiful mountain sceneries. However, the condition of road is not equally fine in all portion of our drive today. The road up to Besishahar is coal-tarred road, whereas after Besishahar the road is dusty and coarse though we can easily overlook it as we watch the outstanding sceneries through the windowpane. Overnight stay at Syange or Jagat Guesthouse.
Day 04: Trek Syange/Jagat to Dharapani [1,960m/6,430ft]: 7 - 8 hrs
Upon our breakfast, we start our journey today in a relax way. We enter Manang district after crossing a large bridge near Tal. The trail continues through barley, rice, potato fields and pine forests. After passing the village of Kodo we will be at Dharapani, one of the big villages in the Manang valley. Overnight at Dharapani.
Day 05: Dharapani-Chame [2,710m/8,891ft]: 6 - 7 hrs
Today, we negotiate a few steep forested ridges along with several landslides on route on the west. On the way to Chame, we encounter with the most sensational views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV (7,525m/24,688ft). Small hot springs add relief on our long day hard trek. Chame is the administrative centre of the Manang District.
Day 06: Chame- Pisang [3,300m/10824ft]: 5 - 6 hrs
A steep and narrow path through a very dense forest will bring us to the dramatic curved rock face, rising 1500m from the river. As the trail opens up we get surrounded by majestic Himalayan Peaks. We find ourselves in U-shaped valley of Manang hanging between two giant snow peaks. After walking through these wonderful sites we reach at Pisang. Overnight at Lower Pisang.
Day 07: Upper Pisang-Manang [3,500m/11,482ft]: 6 - 7 hrs
There are two routes that we can follow today. If taken upper route (Himalayan Glacier recommends), i.e., the route through Upper Pisang via Geru, the sceneries will be outstanding. We feel like we are horizontally in front of the majestic peaks. The panoramic views of the mountain peaks, such as Annapurna, Pisang peak, and several others will definitely allure us. We notice a contrast with the landscape and vegetation from today onwards. The cold and dry climate create a much harsher environment. We pay our memorable visit to Barge monastery, the largest in the entire district of Manang. Overnight in Manang.
Day 08: Manang: Rest
Today is the scheduled acclimatization day. It is not recommended to stay idle but a short walk to higher altitude will be better to get acclimatized with the altitude. Manang is a good place to do that as the next two days will be very challenging and tiring trek for us with rapid gain in altitude. We should never be confident with the altitude and always be cautious. Bhojo Gompa or Gangapurna Lake is worth visiting sites from acclimatization point of view. We make an easy excursion to a little distance away to a village called Vraga, a small old village with a monastery. At this juncture, we also make our short visit to the Himalayan Rescue Association where we can get some ideas about Mountain Sickness. Overnight at Manang.
Day 09: Manang to Leder [4200m/13,776ft]: 4 - 5 hrs
From Manang, we continue through alpine landscapes with high altitude vegetation and forests. A gradual ascent takes us to Yak Kharka and then to our today's camp. Our today's camp area is most used as the alpine pasture by the local people.
Day 10: Leder to Chulu West Base Camp [4900m/16,072ft]: 4 - 5 hrs
Today, we continue our trekking from Leder to Chulu West Base Camp. From the Base Camp, we can enjoy the views of Annapurna Himalayas. We may also like to discover the surrounding areas. At this point, we will set up our camp for overnight stay.
Day 11: Chulu West base camp to camp I [5100m/16,728ft]: 4 - 5 hrs
From the Chulu Base Camp, we continue hiking towards Camp I. The route is not that technical. But it would be better to remember that we are climbing on high altitudes. At this juncture we relish the magnificent views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains including Manaslu, Gangapurna and Lamjung Himal.
Day 12: Rest & Acclimatization at Camp I
Today will be the rest and acclimatization day at Camp I. While we rest at camp I, the climbing leaders and other staffs make way to Camp II and supply the equipments for the camp. Later, they return back to Camp I. We may rest and if interested walk around Camp I.
Day 13: Camp I to Camp II [5,530m/18,143ft]: 4 - 5 hrs
Today, we leave camp I and continue climbing the rock band to Camp II. The route is not that technical but we may have to use ropes, crampon, and ice-axe. We set up Camp II at 5,530m /18,143ft. Some visitors also attempt the summit directly from Camp I. However, since the climb is relatively straightforward from the Camp II until the summit, we make an overnight stay at Camp II for proper rest and acclimatization.
Day 14: Summit Chulu West [6419m/21,055ft] and back to Camp I: 9 - 10 hrs
It is our summit day, and it is going to be long day. Therefore, we would wake up much earlier today. Each moment we have to work hard through the icy high-altitude trail but the outstanding high Himalayan scenes are such tempting that our eyes love to watch more over the horizon than on our trail. After summiting, we return back to Camp I.
Day 15: Camp I to Leder: 5 - 6 hrs
From Camp I, our return path descends all the way to Leder. While descending, we enjoy the panoramic views of the Annapurnas and other peaks. We make our overnight stay at Leder and celebrate the summiting of Chulu West Peak.
Day 16: Contingency Day
There is no such guarantee that we can get quite a favorable weather on our planned day for the summit. So this day is used as a contingency in case if we are unable to summit the Chulu West Peak on the scheduled date due to bad weather condition or some other reasons. Sometimes somebody in the group may get some problems in acclimatizing well enough to make the ascent. Since. the day can be used in that condition too. If the trip goes smoothly, we do not need this spare day.
Day 17: Leder to Thorong Phedi [4450m/14,596ft]: 3 - 4 hrs
Today, we clean up the base camp and head for Thorong Phedi. It is going to be mostly an easy way walk downhill. However, we do not forget that we are still in high altitude area.
Day 18: Thorong Phedi - Thorong Pass [5416m/17,765ft] - Muktinath [3,800/12,467ft]-Jomsom [2,715m/8,910ft]: 7 - 8 hrs trek and 2 hrs drive
At the beginning, we cross the famous high pass of Thorong La today. An early start is important to complete the mission. We reach Muktinath, an important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhist after crossing the pass. Muktinath hosts a Vishnu temple and a monastery nearby demonstrating the religions harmony in Nepal. For the Hindus, the region is a "Muktikhsetra" or the region of liberation or salvation. There are water spouts channeled for the stream running above the temple. We enjoy the tremendous stunning views of Dhaulagiri peak from Muktinath. From Muktinath, we continue back to Jomsom on a local bus.
Day 19: Jomsom to Pokhara by flight
Upon the completion of morning breakfast, we check in the airport to fly back to Pokhara, a 30-min dramatic flight to Pokhara between gorge of the two huge mountains, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Upon arrival at Pokhara airport, our guide will escort us to the lakeside hotel. We utilize the rest afternoon for discovering the beautiful Pokhara valley leisurely. While walking along the bank of Fewa Lake one of the biggest lake of Nepal, we cannot stop admiring the state of Fish Tail Mountain reflecting in the lake. We can also take a boat around the Fewa Lake or just can take an hours' walk to the World Peace Pagoda. At the evening, we engageg on exploring around the lakeside.
Day 20: Drive back to Kathmandu: 6 - 7 hrs
Today upon our breakfast, we make a 200 kilometers drive back to Kathmandu from Pokhara. It will be better to hold on the left pane of the vehicle to enjoy the scenery through the route. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, we will be escorted to our hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. We can spend the evening either leisurely or perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping. Finally, we celebrate dinner together with Himalayan Glacier's trekking staff.
Day 21: Final Departure
Our journey in Nepal comes to an end today! Himalayan Glacier escorts us to the airport for our flight time. Approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will escort us to the airport and bid farewell greetings. On our way to home, we will have plenty of time to plan our next adventure in the wonderful country like Nepal.