Dhampus Peak is a popular non-technical trekking peak in Nepal located in the northwestern Annapurna region. The 14 days Dhampus Peak climbing adventure offers an array of experiences starting with a trek from the last forbidden Kingdom of Mustang to an ascent to Dhampus Peak summit (6,012m/19,724ft). Dhampus Peak, also known as Thapa Peak, lies northeast of the seventh highest mountain of the World, Dhaulagiri (8,167m/26,795ft). It was first ascended in 1960 by Austrian mountaineer Kurt Diemberger. Since then, the Dhampus peak has gained high popularity for being one of the easier trekking peaks of the Annapurna Range.
The major attraction of the Dhampus Peak climbing trip is the view of some of the tallest mountains in the world, including Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Massif, seen from the peak summit. The trip also offers a chance to explore flora and fauna of the subalpine and temperate highlands of the Annapurna Conservation Area. Along with that, the experience of witnessing the unique culture and tradition of the ethnic Thakali and Tibetan Buddhist communities living in the ancient Mustang is astounding.
The Dhampus Peak climbing itinerary initiates with a drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara city then to Beni in the west. Trek starts towards Tatopani and progresses to the quaint villages of Ghasa, Larjung and Marpha along the Kali Gandaki river. Trek moves to a higher altitude from Yak Kharka and crosses Dhampus/Thapa Pass before summiting Dhampus Peak. After enjoying the jaw-dropping panoramic views, the trek progresses with a descent through the same route back to the villages of Kalopani, Tatopani, and Beni. The trip concludes with a drive back to Pokhara and Kathmandu. There are alternative routes to climbing Dhampus peak, one by making a circuit around Dhaulagiri starting from the west by crossing French Pass and heading to the east after the climb. However, the route mentioned here is easier and shorter.
Dhampus Peak climbing is most popular during Spring and Autumn but can also be done during Winter and Summer due to its non-technical nature. The Dhampus peak is snowy and mildly steep but straightforward and less physically demanding. There is an average of 5 to 6 hours of trek each day for eight days with one climbing day. It reaches a maximum altitude of 6,012m/19,724ft at the peak itself. Although a prior peak climbing experience is not mandatory, one needs to be physically fit to have the best climbing experience of their lifetime.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu City (1,400m/4,593ft)|
|Day 2||Trip Preparation and Sightseeing in Kathmandu|
|Day 3||Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara City (800m/2,625ft) - 200 km, 6 to 7 hours drive|
|Day 4||Drive from Pokhara to Tatopani (12,00m/3,936ft) - 6 to 7 hours drive|
|Day 5||Trek from Tatopani to Ghasa (2,010m/6,594ft) - 5 to 6 hours|
|Day 6||Trek from Ghasa to Larjung (2,550m/8,366ft) - 5 to 6 hours|
|Day 7||Trek from Larjung to Marpha (2,670m/8,760ft) - 2 to 3 hours|
|Day 8||Trek from Marpha to Yak Kharka (3,900m/12,795ft) - 5 to 6 hours|
|Day 9||Trek from Yak Kharka to Dhampus/ Thapa Pass (5,244m/17,204ft) - 6 to 7 hours|
|Day 10||Summit Dhampus/Thapa Peak (6,012m/19,724ft) and descend to Kalopani (3,930m/12,893ft) - 8 to 9 hours|
|Day 11||Trek from Kalopani to Tatopani (2,530m/8,300ft) - 5 to 6 hours|
|Day 12||Drive from Tatopani to Beni then Pokhara (800m/2,625ft) - 6 to 7 hours|
|Day 13||Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu - 6 to 7 hours|
|Day 14||Final departure from Kathmandu, Nepal|
Upon arriving at the Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be treated to the mesmerizing views of high-standing mountains surrounding hills and the Kathmandu valley. After completing your customs and formalities at the airport, head to the terminal, where our representatives will greet you at Third Rock Adventures. They will transfer you to your hotel based in Thamel, situated 5 km away from the airport.
After taking some rest at your hotel, you can visit our office which is nearby. In the evening, enjoy the lively streets of Thamel and enter the different shops, cafes, and pubs. Devour the authentic Nepali dishes offered to you in the welcome dinner.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.
After having breakfast, as suggested by your guide, you will head out to complete all the necessary documentation for the tour. We will collect our Dhampus Peak climbing permit from the respective authorized office. Also, as it is a climbing trip, you would require warm clothes and adequate trekking gear to carry along. Hence, you can visit a nearby trekking store to hire or purchase the necessary equipment on this day.
Later in the day, we will drive to the nearest landmarks listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square located in Basantapur/ Freakstreet. Explore its courtyards, temples, Hanuman Dhoka Museum, and status of high historical and cultural significance. From thereon, visit the Swayambhunath Stupa located in the city's western outskirts, from where a panoramic view of the city can be seen. Alternatively, you can visit Boudhanath stupa, one of the largest stupas in Nepal located on the northeastern end of the city. Pashupatinath Temple is another site worth high significance for being one of the most renowned Hindu temples worldwide.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, we will carry our belongings and head to the bus stop to take a ride to Pokhara City, located west of Kathmandu. The ride takes you alongside the Trishuli river on the Prithvi Highway. The long tour is certainly worth it as you get to relish the views of mountains, hills, and rivers flowing swiftly. From the snaky bends at Naubise to the views of adventure sports enthusiasts enjoying their rafting experiences, it is very exciting.
Upon reaching Pokhara city, you will be transferred to your hotel near Lakeside. After relaxing for a while, you can freshen up and head out to the lively streets of Pokhara. The major highlight of the city is most certainly Phewa Tal (Lake). The semi-natural freshwater lake is surrounded by shops, cafes, bars, and pubs on all sides. You can witness the beautiful setting sun in the evening. Depending on when you arrive, you can also hire a bicycle and ride around the lake.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Pokhara.
Today, you will take a drive to Tatopani in the west of Pokhara. The three to four hours scenic drive will take us through the Baglung- Pokhara highway. You will pass by the Set Gandaki River in the initial phase; you will progress to Kushma, then follow the Kali Gandaki River on the latter part of the drive before eventually reaching Beni. Beni Bazaar sits in the confluence of the Kali Gandaki River and Myagdi River and is a largely touristy area as many treks in the Annapurna region start from there.
The drive will continue from Beni alongside the Kali Gandaki River to Tatopani, following some lush green forest on the way. Tatopani village's name has been derived from the Nepali word for 'hot spring.' After the tiring drive, take a rest and interact with the locals in the evening.
Overnight stay in Tatopani.
After having breakfast, pack your belongings and begin your trek along the swiftly flowing Myagdi River to Ghasa. You will be passing by some charming villages on the way. You will be leaving behind the more facilitated shops and stores of Tatopani, so stock up on some supplies if possible. After crossing green pastures and forests in between, you will be passing by the Rupse Waterfall on the way. You can also make a brief stop at the Satyawat and Shiva temples.
You will reach Kopchepani where you can take some rest and have some food. There will be an ascend of over 1,000m/3,280ft on this day, so brace for the stone steps. There are untouched lush forests and giant rocks stacked on top of each other in some areas, resulting from rock slides from the steep slopes. Following the river, you will reach Ghasa.
Ghasa is a beautiful village that is significant for being the home to all six Himalayan pheasants, including The Himalayan Monal, the national bird of Nepal. The transitional village is green and full of nature.
Overnight stay in Ghasa.
Ahead of us, we have a six hours trek to the village of Larjung. Starting from Ghasa, the green path takes us to Kalopani to the northwest, following the Kali Gandaki river. Kalopani is translated to 'black water,' which is derived from the fact that it is from here that the Kali Gandaki river changes its color to a darker shade as it gushes down to the south. From here, the wonderful views of Annapurna I peak can be seen distinctly.
As we head further up north, we reach Larjung village. It is a large village that gives a taste of the Tibetan Buddhist culture. Upon reaching the village, you can rest and then do some sightseeing if you are up for it. The best places to visit are the Guru Sangpo cave, which is considered historical and religious. If time permits, then opt for a short hike to Bhuturcho lake and Sekung Lake. There are also important shrines of Gauchan and Tulachan in the village. One of the most notable festivals in Larjung is Lha Phewa, translated to 'Coming of the Gods," which is celebrated every 12 years by the ethnic Thakali tribe. Overall, Larjung is an interesting, culturally woven village in the Annapurna region.
Overnight stay in Larjung.
After having breakfast, begin your trek to Marpha village, which is on the north of Larjung. The quaint and beautiful path along some green and some dry terrain will follow the Kali Gandaki River on the side. You will cross the swiftly flowing river via a suspension bridge and head to Saura, where you can stop for tea. The path will open up to views of the amazing Dhaulagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world. There are small villages with patches of apple trees here and there with some pine trees in the forested areas along the route.
Marpha is an interesting village in the Mustang district heavily influenced by Tibetan Buddhist culture and traditions. You will spot many prayer flags and small chortans in this village that seem to be stuck in time with their authentic stone houses and straw roofs. Some homes are also built on high cliffs. Apples are a popular product here, and having a fresh one right out of the tree will get you amazed. You can also try out the famous sea Buckthorn juice, which is also grown here. The village is also home to Tibetan refugee camps and Tibetan settlers. If you reach early, you can visit Chhairo, a monastery near the riverside with art craft dating more than 300 years.
Overnight stay in Marpha.
A five-hour trek awaits us today with a visit to the most famous locations in the Mustang district. There are no complaints about climbing to a higher altitude as you'll be passing lush forests with amazing views.
Yak Kharka translates to "alpine pastures," which are suitable for Yaks to graze. Locals bring their yaks to feed during the plush pasture season, but during the dry season, the place is silent. You will experience stronger winds as you head higher. There are a couple of facilities in Yak Kharka, from safe drinking water to a Bakery! Imagine having a piece of cake at this high altitude. The tents are set up at Yak Kharka by the team, so you can enjoy food and hot drinks after settling down.
Overnight stay at Yak Kharka.
Today is one of the challenging days of the trek as you will be crossing the Dhampus/ Thapa Pass, also a major highlight of the trek. There are more than 1,000m/3,280ft of change in altitude, so you need to walk slower, which means that you will have to wake up early in the morning to get ready for the long trek.
Along the way, you will witness some tall waterfalls forming icy blocks due to the cold climate. Walking on the snow-laden path with different views of Mt. Hongde, Dhaulagiri range of mountains, Gurja Himal surrounding you is phenomenal. The winds were strong in the past, and crossing it isn't easy, but the views are worth the effort.
Overnight stay in Dhampus Pass.
The most anticipated day of the entire trip is here - summiting Dhampus Peak! We will get up early in the morning before dawn to avoid getting caught up in the strong winds of the day. Our goal is to reach the summit during lunchtime and head back to Kalopani from there. Our team will have laid out the ropes, so you need to be prepared by putting on and carrying the required climbing gears. With small steps, you will head in the steep snowy path upwards.
You can see the clouds smoking up in the mountains, and you will be walking through the mist. As you gain elevation, the sights just keep getting better. The vast white landscape of gigantic peaks comes into the display. Take brief stops to catch your breath as the climb is steep. Following the footsteps of your climbing leader, you will eventually reach the vertical wall of the Dhampus Peak and head right on top. The summit is beautified with Buddhist prayer flags fluttering in the strong winds. There is ample space at the top, and some areas of the peak are uncovered by snow. So, take a moment to enjoy the triumphant climb to the top by leaning on a rock there. From the Dhampus Peak summit, you will witness views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Sita Chuchura, Tukuche peak, Thorong Peak, Mukut Himal, Annapurna South, and many more.
After enjoying the climb, you will make a decent to Kalopani village, lying just before Tatopani on the same trail. The decline is certainly easier and quicker than the ascend. Crossing the rocky terrain on the bank of Kali Gandaki River, you reach Kalopani.
Overnight stay in Kalopani.
The trek today is easy and quick as we will be retracing our steps back to Tatopani. Following the subtropical vegetation following the swiftly flowing Kali Gandaki, you descend to cross a bridge to reach a waterfall. Relish the final views of mesmerizing natural waterfalls as you head back to Tatopani.
Upon reaching Tatopani, you can relax in the hot pools there to relieve your exhausted muscles before you take a good night's sleep.
Overnight stay in Tatopani.
Finally, the trekking days are over, and you will be bidding farewell to the lovely Annapurna region as you take a drive from Tatopani back to Beni. After breakfast, a scenic drive will take you to Beni, then back to Pokhara. The ride is long so that you will doze off easily after a soothing bath at your hotel.
In the evening, enjoy yourself with your trekking team and newfound friends near a pub or restaurant near Lakeside.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Pokhara.
After having breakfast, pack up your belongings and take a drive back to Kathmandu. Following the Prithvi Highway, the road passes through vast pastures, terraced fields, green hills, and swiftly flowing Trishuli. As you reach Kathmandu city, you will be transferred to your hotel in Thamel.
After relaxing for a while, explore the streets to buy souvenirs like Dhaka caps, arts and crafts, thangka paintings from local shops. You can enjoy a much-desired multi-cuisine meal or an authentic Nepali dinner from a variety of restaurants.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.
The time to bid farewell is here, as this is your last day in Nepal. Our representatives will transfer you to the Tribhuvan International Airport after a hearty farewell depending upon your flight schedule. There are certainly stories of the Dhampus peak climbing experience and the views of the amazing Annapurna range of mountains that you will share with your friends and family. If these memories prompt you to travel along with us again shortly for a similar adventurous journey, please contact us again.