Pisang Peak Ascent

Introduction

Pisang Peak Ascent (6091m) is a moderately difficult mountaineering expedition, but it combines well with the trail of globally renowned Annapurna Circuit. Therefore, it has been an attraction for aspiring mountaineers without a good climbing experience, who can have a taste of mountaineering in Nepal and superb trekking at a single trail. Generally we follow the Annapurna Circuit Trek from Beshishahar to Pisang village in order to reach the peak. From this village, it is a day’s trek to reach the base camp (4400m). The camp is set up in a pastureland, called Kharka in Nepali because it serves as a seasonal grazing land for the livestock of the people living near it. From here we move up to the First High Camp (5400m) at a saddle in South-western ridge. We make the final push up to the summit following the same ridge from this camp. The final leg of the ascent consists of steep inclinations of ice and snow, and this is the most challenging part of the climbing. Once at the top, climbers enjoy outstanding views of Annapurna peaks like Tilicho, Annapurna II and IV, Gangapurna as well as the Glacier Dome. Then all the labor and effort involved in climbing vanish at once! Then we descend back to the base camp on the same day, and make our return journey.

Coming back from the same path is not the good way to end your journey. Instead, combine the trek of Manang Valley over the highest pass of the world at Thorang La (5416m), come down to Muktinath and Jomsom and board a flight from there to Pokhara after the successful climbing. You will collect memories to last over your life and know that this is simply the superb way to end the journey.

Trip Facts

Trip Duration: 19 nights and 20 days

Trip Grade: Moderately strenuous

Minimum Altitude: 850 m, Pokhara

Maximum Altitude: 6091 m, Pisang Peak Summit

Itinerary Outline

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m)

Day 2: Bus Journey from Kathmandu to Beshisahar (85om)

Day 3: Beshisahar to Bahundanda (1310m)

Day 4: Bahundanda to Chamje (1430m)

Day 5: Chamje to Dharapani (1950m)

Day 6: Dharapani to Chame (2630m)

Day 7: Chame to Upper Pisang (3,700m)

Day 8: Upper Pisang Acclimatization Day (3700m)

Day 9: Upper Pisang to Pisang Peak Base Camp (4380m)

Day 10: Base Camp to High Camp (5400m)

Day 11: Summit to the Peak and back to Base Camp (6,091m)

Day 12: Pisang Peak Base Camp to Manang Valley (3,450m)

Day 13: Manang to Yak Kharka (4,110m)

Day 14: Yak Kharka to Thorong Pedi (4,600m)

Day 15: Cross Thorong La (5416m) in Morning and Descend down to Muktinath (3800m)

Day 16: Muktinath to Kagbeni (2800m)

Day 17: Kagbeni to Jomsom (2,800m)

Day 18: Jomsom to Pokhara (850m) flight

Day 19: Pokhara to Kathmandu

Day 20: Final Departure

Itinerary Details

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m)
Outdoor Himalayan Treks will be waiting for you at the airport on your day of arrival. One of our office representatives will welcome you there as soon as you land and take you to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day for yourself, when you can relax and freshen up your body and spirits. If all the preparations including the permits and documentation can be done on this day, we will proceed on our journey immediately next day. However, if things remain to be done, then you will be spending a further day in Kathmandu. In this case you can go on a guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu, which abounds with numerous magnificent monuments. Please feel sure on the fact that you will be introduced with your team in Kathmandu before starting the journey.

Day 2: Bus Journey from Kathmandu to Beshisahar (85om)
An epic bus journey, which takes about 8 hours, will reach us to Beshisahar. As the road runs through several twists and turns in hilly terrain, you will also catch the glimpses of Nepalese villages. These glimpses will include things ranging from terraced farmlands cut into hills to farm works, from typical thatched roofed houses to villagers tending their flocks and hauling loads. In the evening, we reach Beshishahar and stay in a good lodge.

Day 3: Beshisahar to Bahundanda (1310m)
From Beshisahar to Bahundanda, it is the defining terrain of Nepalese hills and mountains: streams and rivers, fountains and rice farms, forests and villages. And you have to make several climbing ups and climbing downs as it is not the trail over smooth lands. In normal condition, it takes approximately 6 hours to reach the final stopover at Bahundanda. The small village perched on an extended ridge takes its name from the Brahmins settling here (Bahun meaning Brahmin and Danda meaning hill in Nepali). We will spend the night at a tea house.

Day 4: Bahundanda to Chamje (1430m)
After breakfast, we walk down the trail running beside terraced rice-fields, and further down a rocky drop-off towards Syange village. We cross the Marsyangdi River over a suspension bridge and move along the riverside to a village called Jagat. One of the beauties of Annapurna Circuit Trek is the cultural diversity of the region falling in the trail. As people belonging to different ethnic groups are living in the villages, we can see myriad of culture during the trek. Before we reach Chamje, we reach a magnificent, huge fountain with that name. Walk further for shirt time and we reach Chamje village for rest.

Day 5: Chamje to Dharapani (1950m)
We will cross the Marsyangdi River again after starting from Chamje, and follow it up to Tal. Tal is a scenic little village at the bottom of a huge waterfall. With several ups and downs passing through farmlands that grow potatoes, corn and barley; and forests with rhododendron and pine trees, we reach Dharapani. The last leg of the trek is a little tougher, consisting of steep upward walk. We will reach Dharapani late in the afternoon and spend our night at a lodge.

Day 6: Dharapani to Chame (2630m)
In terms of time, today’s trek is similar to that of yesterday. The landscape also gradually changes , with the welcoming views of some Himalayan peaks on the pleasant side and some landslides on the unpleasant side. As we move higher and higher, we meet villages bearing heavy influence of Tibetan culture and lifestyle. It becomes evident from the village named Bagarchhap. We see apple orchards and pinewoods as we move through Dhanaqi, Ratamang, and Koto villages. Our final stopover is Chame, the district headquarters of Manang district. The place lends good views of Annapurna peaks, and we can also go to a natural hot-spring. We stay at a hotel at night.

Day 7: Chame to Upper Pisang (3,700m)
We leave the main Annapurna Circuit Trek trail today and head towards our destination: the Pisang Peak. The route passes through pine forests, and is surrounded by peaks. As we near the destination village, we can have a wonderful view of Manang valley, a U-shaped tract of flatland lying between Himalayan peaks. The end consists of an unpleasant steep ascent for less than an hour, but we spend the night pleasantly, with the thought of nearing Pisang Peak. The village bears more and more influence of Tibetan culture, Tibetan architecture, customs and traditions. Upper Pisang also houses a magnificent monastery and offers marvelous scenery of Annapurna Himalayan range. As usual, a lodge will serve for our food and accommodation for the night.

Day 8: Upper Pisang Acclimatization Day (3700m)
We will spend a day in this scenic village, which not only helps us beat the fatigue of trekking but also acclimatizes the body in growing altitude. During the day, take some hike around the village and take in the marvelous views of Annapurna, Tilicho, and Gangapuran peaks. Also a visit to the monastery is worth it.

Day 9: Upper Pisang to Pisang Peak Base Camp (4380m)
It is only about 4 hours hike today, up from the village via thin woods of high altitude and alpine pastureland. But, it is desirable because of the considerable altitude gain. The camp is set up in the flat space of the pastureland, where we spend the night at the tent for the first time.

Day 10: Base Camp to High Camp (5400m)
Within five hours after setting up from the base camp, we reach a saddle on the south-western ridge of Pisang Peak and set up our camp there. This place is covered in thick snow during winter.

Day 11: Summit to the Peak and back to Base Camp (6,091m)
Your dream of standing at the top comes true today. For this you will follow the ridge until reaching a steep incline of ice leading to the summit. This is the technical part of the climb, requiring you to use climbing gears like the ropes. After negotiating the difficulty, you will stand at the summit and enjoy an undreamt-of panorama of Annapurna Himalaya. Then you will come down to the base camp.

Day 12: Pisang Peak Base Camp to Manang Valley (3,450m)
From the base camp, we return to Pisang village and continue our journey to Manang village. The initial part of the route as far as Hongdre village is a gentle downward course. Breathtaking views of Annapurna peaks enliven our journey all the way. We walk past a village called Braga, which houses the largest and perhaps the grandest monastery of the entire Manang district, and also visit the monastery. Finally we reach Manang. Manang is inhabited by Managi people, an ethnic group of Nepal rich in customs and culture. We are back to Annapurna Circuit again. We will be in a lodge at night.

Day 13: Manang to Yak Kharka (4,110m)
We wake up in the morning, have breakfast and start our upward journey towards Thorung La. From Manang, the top of the pass is a massive 2,000m climb. Today’s trek, however, goes in a leisurely pace. It consumes about 5 hours at most under normal conditions. We pass several rivers and villages like Tenki Manang and Gunsang up the Marsyangdi valley. As we make it to the stopover early in the afternoon, we have an entire afternoon at our disposal. Go on some short hikes around, and if lucky, you may be able to see Himalayan Tahr, wild goats, and elusive snow leopard.


Day 14: Yak Kharka to Thorong Pedi (4,600m)
The entire day goes on going up and up, and we can decide it to break at the bottom of Thorong La or further up at High Camp (4860m). Starting from Yak Kharka, we reach Leadar after one hour, then climb up the eastern side of Jorsang Khola, cross it and walk further to reach the foot of the world’s highest pass. As we reach there early in the afternoon, we have lunch here, and if in good health, climb to High Camp. From the High Camp, it is easier to reach the pass early in the morning to have great views.
Day 15: Cross Thorong La (5416m) in Morning and Descend down to Muktinath (3800m)
If we start from Phedi, it will be a long day. We start quite early in the morning to reach the pass just in time to have sublime scenes. The vistas that this pass offers are fabulous by all standards: in the south will be gleaming the Annapuran range, to the west will be Kali Gandaki valley and to the north will be Thorungtse peak. The pass itself is marked by chortens and prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Then we descend all the way down to Muktinath on the other side of the pass. We now see the desert-like landscape of Upper Mustang. Muktinath is a holy place for both the Hindus and Buddhists.

Day 16: Muktinath to Kagbeni (2800m)
A leisurely walk for about 4 hours takes us to Kagbeni. We will swiftly reach the floor of Kali Gandaki valley and walk on either side of the river to reach Kagbeni. There is a monastery over two centuries old near Kagbeni. We visit the monastery in the afternoon and spend the rest of the time exploring this old settlement.

Day 17: Kagbeni to Jomsom (2,800m)
We will walk through the sandy banks of the Kali Gandaki river and look for fossilized rock called Saligram. Hindus worship as the incarnation of Lord Bishnu. But we have to complete this before the afternoon winds start to blow in the riverbank. Then we reach Jomsom, the headquarters of Mustang district. Mustang is inhabited by the Thakalis, another ethnic group of Nepal, who have their own unique customs and traditions.

Day 18: Jomsom to Pokhara (850m) flight
Early in the morning, we fly over the Himalayas from Jomsom to Pokhara. There are a lot of activities to engage our day in Pokhara, the tourist hub of Nepal. You can do boating in Phewa Lake or go on a hike to the world peace pagoda. Just hang around the market and along the bank of the Phewa Lake, taking in its serene view.

Day 19: Pokhara to Kathmandu
You can choose to fly or to drive to Kathmandu from Pokhara. While the flight takes about 45 minutes, the drive takes about 7 hours.

Day 20: Final Departure
We will drop you at the Tribhuvan International Airport and see you off there.

Guidelines

Fitness Level:

This trip requires you to be in good health and physically fit. So, we recommend thorough physical examination before you start the trek.

Skills:

Your need to have experience of mountainous terrain and trekking experience. The basic skills involved in climbing like the handling of climbing equipments are necessary; and some experience of ice-climbing is desirable.

Travel Insurance:

  • Make sure that you are insured against cancellations, accidents, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of, or damage to, baggage and personal effects.
  • In emergency situations, we will arrange for a helicopter rescue, medical treatment and after care for you. All these costs shall be borne by your travel insurance company.

Required Equipments/Gears:

  • All Climbing gears
  • Sleeping bag
  • Down jacket
  • LED headlight
  • Water bottle
  • First-aid kit
  • Water purification solution
  • Trekking poles
  • Raincoat
  • Sunglasses
  • Full fingers gloves
  • Socks
  • Thermal cap
  • Fleece
  • Sunscreen

Notes:

  • You can choose to bring these equipments yourself. However, we can help you get these things after you arrive here if you want to travel light.
  • We will arrange your pick-up/drop-off according to your flight schedule.
  • We can customize this itinerary according to your interests and preferences.

Documents required:

  • TIMS Card
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit and Climbing Permit
  • Scanned copies of passport sized photo and passport of each participant
  • Travel insurance

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