Saribung Himal & Damodar Traverse

Days 28
Price On Request

This ascent of Expedition Peak of Saribung (6346) traversing across to Damodar Kund into the Kingdom of Mustang is truly a Himalayan Odyssey.

At a Glance

Trip Style
Expeditions Exploratory Treks
Mustang Annapurna
Best Time to Travel
end Sept - Oct/Apr - mid May

Saribung (6327m) located in the remote Damodar Himal, and close to the border of Tibet, this expedition is a challenging adventure but without technical difficulty. The route initially follows the Annapurna Circuit to Koto before heading off into the wilds of the Nar Khola Valley. The trails are rugged and at times requiring glacier travel. The climbing to this Expedition Peak is suitable for beginners and you complete the adventure by traversing through Damodar and Mustang regions to Jomsom before flying to the lakeside at Pokhara.


Day 1 -KATHMANDU (1360m)

Kathmandu, the incredibly diverse capital of Nepal is a fascinating blend of centuries old Hindu and Buddhist shrines, traditional architecture and a city embracing the 21st century. Upon arrival your leader will transfer you to the Shangri La hotel in Lazimpat close to Thamel, a popular choice with tourists, with colourful handicraft stalls, trekking gear shops and excellent restaurants. In the evening, after your trek briefing, your leader will join you out on the town for dinner.

Day 2 – KATHMANDU (1360m)

Sightseeing approx: 4 hours
Since Saribung is an expedition Peak, this day is allocated for Briefing on rules and regulations for a Himalayan expedition at the Tourism Board Office. After lunch, later in the day your leader will distribute your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket and inform you of departure time for the morning drive to the trek start.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 – KATHMANDU (1360m)

Free Day A full day in Kathmandu for optional sightseeing as we process the restricted area permits for Nar Phu and Mustang.
Meals included: Breakfast


Driving: 6 hours / Trekking: 2 to 3 hours.
You depart from Kathmandu early in the morning for the drive to Bhulbule where we commence the trek. The drive is quite spectacular, with mountain views of the Ganesh and Manaslu ranges, the tumbling white waters of the Trisuli River and the ever-present terraced hillsides. Upon arrival at the road head if conditions permit there may be the opportunity to drive further up the valley on the new road.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5 – JAGAT (1340m)

Trekking: 6 hours
From our lodge you follow the west bank of the Marsyandi River with the snowy peak of Himalchuli (7893m) dominating the skyline. In the afternoon we cross the Marsyandi to the east bank and, after a short distance, views of Manaslu (8156m), Peak 29 (7541m) and Lamjung (6986m) open out on the horizon. Beyond Ngadi we cross a small suspension bridge over the Musi Khola to start a gradual climb to the village of Bahundanda (1311m) located on a ridge top. After a short descent we again follow the river valley to lunch at Syange (1136m). In the afternoon the track follows a cut in the near-vertical cliffs high above the river to reach Jagat (1341m), a Tibetan village that served as a customs post on the old trading route from Tibet.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 – DHARAPANI (1890m)

Trekking: 6 hours
Today the vegetation changes to rhododendron and pine forest and the valley becomes narrower and steeper. We leave the village and soon cross the river on a large suspension bridge from where the trail ascends quite steeply, with the river tumbling through a maze of large boulders. After reaching the top of the zig-zag climb, amazingly the valley widens out to reveal the village of Tal, which nestles amongst the fields of barley, wheat and potatoes. We have now entered the district of Manang and we will take lunch in one of the many fine hotels here. The afternoon’s walk follows the river valley, crossing back to the west bank before gradually ascending to Dharapani (1890m) where we end the trekking day.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7 – FOREST CAMP (2830m)

Trekking: 7 hours
The valley now extends westward through dramatic fir and pine forests. After half an hour, we reach Bagarchap (2160m), the first village on the trek with typical Tibetan architecture. Here we may observe firewood stacked on the roofs in preparation for the long, hard winters. The village marks the transition between the lower, wet valleys and the higher, dry, arid area of the Manang valley. From here there are excellent views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II (7937m), and Annapurna III (7555m) up the valley. Down valley to the east, Manaslu and Peak 29 soar magnificently to the skies. Leaving Bagarchap, we cross a small wooden bridge beside a beautiful waterfall, and ascend to Laatamarang (2360m) the trail then continues to the police check post at Koto where we enjoy lunch. Spectacular as it has been so far, we now commence an even more impressive part of our expedition. From Koto, we complete the necessary formalities at the police check post and then cross the suspension bridge to follow the Nar Phu Khola through a forested and narrow valley. The trail has been improved in recent years but there is certainly an aura about this particular section of the trek. Having spent the previous days trekking on the well travelled Annapurna Circuit, we now head off the beaten track into stunning scenery. We camp around mid afternoon in a small forest clearing about three hours from Koto.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8 – META (3530m)

Trekking: 6 hours
The walk through the spectacular narrow valley is one of the most haunting and beautiful on the trek. A mixture of beautiful oak and rhododendron and bamboo forest, sheer cliffs towering for hundreds of metres above the trail, a series of suspension bridges as we cross back and forth as we ascend gradually up the valley. We will take lunch near one of the suspension bridges and in the afternoon we continue to follow the river before coming to the ACAP camping spot at Dharamsala. This is not an ideal place to stay so we will have plenty of time to ascend the steep hillside to the remote village of Meta (3,530m) lying at the foot of Kanguru Himal (6981m). In the late afternoon we can head up the hill towards the first camp on Kanguru where there are fine views of the Annapurna range to the south, Pisang Peak to the west and across the valley towards the village of Na.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 9 – KYANG (3820m)

Trekking: 5 hours
To aid the acclimatization process we will take today’s walk slowly as there is plenty to see and enjoy. The trail mainly contours around the hillsides and the scenery is in stark contrast to that of the lush vegetation of the Annapurna Circuit. Here in the Phu Khola Valley the barren landscape is as one would imagine that of Tibet. The bamboo is replaced by outcrops of scrub juniper and the occasional outcrop of fir. From Meta we contour to the open valley at Chaku (3560m) and then follow the right hand side of the valley to Jhunum (3580m) where on the opposite side of the valley the wild strata of the cliffs is an impressive sight. We will take lunch here, at the river below, surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery of the northern slopes of Kanguru Himal. In the afternoon we ascend to the deserted village and fields of Lower Chakku, formerly home to Khampa peoples from Tibet who established their home here in the 1960’s. The trail then enters a tributary valley and descends to a small river before ascending a series of small passes that lead to Kyang. The summer grazing pastures of Phu village.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10 – PHU (3980m)

Trekking: 4 hours
The walk from Kyang to Phu is one of the most exciting on the trek. From our camp at Kyang the trail immediately follows a spectacular route carved into the cliffs. (A head for heights an advantage!) This last only for a few minutes before descending to the canyon floor which is followed for a few hours, crossing a few tributaries where the art of rock hopping is quickly masterered! Soon the valley narrows and appears to be blocked by an impressive rock pillar that hides a short but spectacular zig zag climb to the gates of Phu. A ruined fort can be seen on the other side of the canyon and after following the narrow trail cut into the steep valley sides we descend to reach a group of impressive mani walls and stupa’s with the remote village of Phu nestling on the opposite side of the valley. This is a spectacular location, great mountain views and the houses of this stone built village built on top of each other. We make camp by the river and the afternoon is free to relax or explore the village.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 11 – PHU (3980m)

To aid acclimatisation we will take a rest day here and explore both the Tashi and Samdu Choling Monasteries and this remarkable village. There is a small local tea house here where there is an opportunity to try Tibetan tea and something stronger – the local brew – rakshi. Here we are only a short distance from the Tibetan border and an optional walk up the Layju Khola is highly recommended for spectacular views of both the mountains and a birds eye view of Phu village.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 12 - TSHARIN (4615m)

Trekking: 7 hours After crossing the Phu Khola we contour around the monastery and climb gradually with great views of Himlung Himal (7126) to the east. After an hour or so the trail reaches a pass at 4010m. From here we follow the right bank of the Phu Khola, passing a number of chortens, gradually ascending with great views of the Tibetan border peaks to the north. We enter the Jhyamdani Khola and descend to the deserted village of Nagoru Kharka where we take lunch. From here onwards the trail is poor and after traversing the hillside for a short while the trail drops to the river. There is no bridge, so it’s boots off and necessary to wade across the narrow river. After crossing to the west bank it is a steep climb up the valley that leads to the summer grazing pastures of Tsharin (4630m) where we make camp in full view of Chakku and Lagula peaks.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 13 - SARIBUNG BASE CAMP (4950m) Trekking: 6 hours

Trekking: 6 hours You are now very close to the Tibetan border and todays walk takes us into the heart of the Lugula Himal to our base camp for the attempt on Saribung. The first part of the walk is on a small yak herders trails following the western side of the Phu Khola Valley. After a couple of hours the trail bears west behind the peak of Pokarkan(6342m) where Blue Sheep are often seen grazing on the hillsides. The trail ascends steeply from here leading to a an easy walk over a small pass at (5010m). From here there are magnificent views of Bhrikuti and Chaku Himal as the trail descends to base camp located high on the lateral moraine of the Bhatchauk Glacier.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 14 - SARIBUNG BASE CAMP (4950m)

Rest & Acclimatisation Base camp is sighted at this location as it’s the last position for running water. The camp is surrounded by wild mountain terrain and there is a true feeling of being in a very remote wilderness location. Today we will take a rest and acclimatization day to help with our preparations for the climb ahead. During this day we will update our rope skills and check provisions and porter loads for the days ahead.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 15 - GLACIER CAMP (5425m)

Trekking: 6 hours
Today is a tough day as we need to cross the glacier and ascend to our next camp. Initially we follow the valley then descend the lateral moraines to cross the rubble strewn glacier. There is no trail so walking on the screes means one steop forward and two steps back! However, the scenery is absolutely stunning and more than make up for the effort. We camp under the shadow of Bhrikuti Himal’s southern face and looking up the valley we get our first view of Saribung Himal.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 16 - CAMP 1 (5730m)

Trekking: 3 hours
The way ahead is much easier today climbing gradually all the way. From camp we follow the moraines onto the glacier. After an hour or so the glacier splits into two valleys, the right hand valley heading towards the Kunlun Pass(6035m)and our trail bearing left into the Bharchauk Cwm. This is a magnificent amphitheatre of snow covered mountains where only a handful of people have ever been before. We camp on glacial moraines with Saribung Himal towering above us. We will reach camp by lunchtime and the afternoon is free to relax prior to our summit attempt. There are a number of small crevasses close to the camp so caution is advised when venturing out of your tent.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Days 17 & 18 - SARIBUNG SUMMIT ATTEMPT (6327m)

Climbing: 8 hours
Two days are allocated for the ascent of Saribung and the descent across the pass that leads to Damodar Kund. You leave early in the morning from camp and cross the snowfield that leads to the slopes of Saribung. The route is never too steep but you will rope up from camp to ensure safety whilst ascending the crevassedtrail. Depending on snow conditions it will take around three hours to reach the pass. From here the slope steepens a little and the summit of Saribung should be reached in a further two hours. The views are sensational looking north to Tibet and to the west our audacious route back to Jomsom via Damodar Kund. From the summit we retrace our steps back to the pass for the descent to the western watershed. Whilst we are climbing our Sherpa team will secure the route and assist the porters across the pass. The descent to our camp below the pass should take a further two hours or so.
Meals included: 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

Day 19 - DAMODAR KUND (4980m)

Trekking: 9 hours
You head down the glacier with magnificent views of Khumjungar Himal (6759m) and Chhiv Himal (6591m) dominating the skyline views. The trail is good to start with, winding past spectacular penitentes of ice on the glacier, but then it becomes rough going on screes until we reach the frozen lake at the snout of the glacier. After the lake, we steadily descend on narrow trails until we reach Damodar Khund in the afternoon. The lake is a particularly holy site for Hindu pilgrims who make the arduous journey during the month of August for the annual full moon festival held here. You continue to an excellent campsite near a small stream about half an hour past the lakes.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 20 - DAMODAR KUND (4980m)

Rest Day
After two long days you take a rest day at this attractive spot so that we can explore and recuperate. There are blue sheep here and fossil beds with ammonites on the hillside opposite our camp.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 21 – PHARSE KHOLA (4820m)

Trekking: 6 hours
You are now on the pilgrim trail and the track improves, except for the first section, which has been destroyed by a massive landslide and needs to be circumvented. After that, you climb steadily in a spectacular brown landscape to a high pass at 5495m. Clouds permitting, there are views of Dhaulagiri (8167m) to the south and the now familiar peaks of the Damodar Himal behind us. From the pass you plunge dramatically down to camp in the bed of the Pharse Khola.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 22 - YARA (3605m)

Trekking: 8 hours
From Pharse Khola we climb steeply westwards to cross an un-named 5300m pass, then drop down a frozen river to the pilgrim huts at Ghumna Thanti. Then it’s over one more pass before we begin a long descent towards the unique villages of the Trans Himalayan Mustang region. The scenery is dry and arid and the villages reflect a Tibetan lifestyle from a bygone era. When we reach the river upstream from Yara, we have the opportunity to visit the ancient gompa at Luri, famous for its spectacular location amongst rock pinnacles and its 14th century paintings. Yara is about an hour further on and we will camp in the courtyard of a large house in the village.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 23 - TANGBE (3360m)

Trekking: 7 hours
From Yara, the trail traverses relatively flat country until after about two hours we suddenly find ourselves on the brink of a deep river gorge. Descending steeply, we cross the river then climb for an hour or so to another pass before dropping again to another relatively flat section of trail. The trail climbs again to another, lower, pass before finally descending through a windy gap in the rock pinnacles to the fascinating village of Tangge, where we camp. Tange is a very unspoiled Mustang village with a number of interesting chortens.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 24 - CHHUSANG (2955m)

Trekking: 8 hours
Our last trekking day is long but rewarding. We start with a steady three hour climb to the Para La (4180m) before dropping to the only inhabited location of the day at the herders camp at Paha (4100m). From Paha, the trail stays relatively level at over 4000m for several hours as it winds along a high ridge with spectacular views of Upper Mustang and the peaks of Dolpo. There are sensational views into the deep and colourful gorges south of the ridge before the trail finally starts to descend to the Kali Gandaki river at Chhusang. The descent is steep and follows a complicated path through the cliffs and pinnacles before finally arriving at our lodge in Chhusang.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 25 – JOMSOM (2730m)

Driving: 2 hours
From Chhusang we drive in jeeps to Kagbeni and then onto Jomsom, a dusty and wind-swept town where we spend the night in a lodge to await our flight back to Pokhara the following morning. The day has been kept short as contingency time in case of delays with jeep travel on the return leg of our journey.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 26 - POKHARA (860m)

Flight time: 25 mins
We rise early in the morning for the return flight to Pokhara where we return to the Hotel Barahi, located close to the lakeside. After a welcomed shower, we have the rest of the day free to relax or do some exploring. There are various small museums scattered around town including the renowned International Mountain Museum.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 27 – KATHMANDU (1360m)

Flight time: approx 30 min After breakfast we are transferred back to the airport in the morning for our return flight to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu we are met and transferred back to our starting hotel. The rest of the day is free to do souvenir shopping or further sightseeing. Located in the south of the city, Patan is also worth a visit with its own Durbar Square full of historic structures and statues of past kings.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 28 - DEPART KATHMANDU (1360m)

Your trip ends today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements. A departure transfer to the airport is included.
Meals included: Breakfast

Dates and Price

Dates Price Single Sup Status Book/Enquire
- On Request Available Any Date Book Now

If the trip dates don't match your available dates we can run a private departure for just your friends or family. Just fill up this form and we can discuss the options

Price Includes

  • Arrival & Departure International Flight Transfers
  • 4 nights accommodation at Shangri La Hotel on B&B basis Twin Share
  • 1 night accommodation in Hotel Barahi Pokhara on B&B basis Twin Share
  • 22 nights lodge and tented accommodation on trek on Twin Share
  • All meals on the trek
  • Trek Pack comprising of Down Sleeping bag, Fleece Liner, Down jacket and kitbag
  • Climbing Boots, Ice Axes, Crampons, Harness,Ropes,Carabiners
  • Experienced Climbing Sherpa
  • Experienced English speaking local leader trained in Wilderness First Aid
  • Insured and Fully equipped porters and support crew
  • Domestic airport transfers
  • Medical Kit
  • Portable Altitude Chamber/Bottled Oxygen
  • Trekking and National Park Permits
  • Nar Phu Restricted Area Permits
  • Saribung Expedition Climbing Permit
  • Jomsom to Pokhara Flights
  • Flights  Pokhara – Kathmandu
  • Transfer from Kathmandu to Besisahar in a private vehicle
  • Transfer from Besisahar to Jagat or Nadi in a local jeep
  • Pre departure trek dossier
  • Trekking map

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Nepal visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches and Dinner in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • Items of a personal nature, laundry
  • Tipping to the crew


A fantastic journey into the pristine Nar Phu valley, crossing over the Saribung La after the summit into Damodar and Mustang was far out. Thanks to Mick and the team, it made the whole adventure exceptional. Thanks.

Lindsay Abbotts

United Kingdom

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