Hiunchuli Peak Climbing

Trip Overview

Hiunchuli peak is the extension of the Annapurna south.  It was first summited in October 1971 by an American Peace Corps Expedition under the leadership of Craig Anderson.  Between this peak and Machapuchhre is a narrow section of the Modi Khola valley that provides the only access to the Annapurna Sanctuary. The major fascinations of the Hiunchuli Peak trekking are passing through Modi stream, terrace field, taking bath at hot water spring at Jhinu Dada, wonderful sights of Annapurna range including Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) peak.

Detail Itinerary

Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (914m.) which takes about six hours.
You depart for Pokhara (915m,). As you climb out of the Kathmandu valley, only to quickly descend again to the Trishuli River, you follow upstream to its junction with the Marshyangdi River. You follow the Marshyandi gently up through heavily terraced fields and small hill towns to the Seti River that takes you directly into Pokhara. Having pleasant weather, Pokhara is tourist’s paradise with full of natural as well as cultural heritage sites such as lakes, caves, temples of Buddhist and Hindus along with mountains. You can observe views to the north across the hills and Phewa Tal (lake) to the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. This drive will take most of the morning, leaving much of the afternoon to fall in love with its beauty.

Day 02: Trek from Pokhara (915 m.) to Nayapul (1050m.) by car, which takes approximately one and a half hours drive.Now, you begin your trek from Nayapul (1050m.) to Tirkhedhunga (1577 m.). via Birethanti (1065m.) which takes about four and a half hours. After breakfast at hotel, you could drive for 1 and a half hours to Nayapul. Then, you start trekking. The first part of your trek is easy passing through numerous small villages and settlements. Afterwards you could ascend gently to the final destination of the day. The majority of people here are Gurungs and their religion is Buddhism. They are engaged in various agricultural activities, tourism business and some are employed in Gorkha and Indian regiments.

Day 03: Trek from Tirkhedhunga to Ghorepani (2675 m.) which takes about six hours. To begin your trek, you could ascend steeply for the early 2 hours and then ascend gently passing through Ulleri (2070m.) and Banthanti, Magar villages. On the way, you could see good view of Machhapuchhare or Fish Tail (6997m.), Hiunchuli (6441m.), and Annapurna (7219m.) South. Now, your trail is quite easier passing through rhododendron and shadowy trees and descends gently up to the final camp. You could see some of the wild life such as monkey and various species of birds.

Day 04: Trek from Ghorepani to Poon Hill (3180m.) to Tadapani (2675m.) which takes about five and a half hours. Early morning trip to Poon Hill (3232m.) to enjoy the sunrise view over Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m.), Tukuche Peak (6920m.), Nilgiri (6940m.), Varaha Shikhar (7847m.), Mt. Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Annapurna III (7855m.), Machhapuchhare (6993m.), Annapurna IV (7525m.), Annapurna II (7937m.), Lamjung Himal (6931m.) and other numerous snowcapped mountain peaks. After breakfast trek Ghorepani to Tadapani (2650 m.). After walking for almost one and a half hour you reach Gurung Hill which has splendid mountain views. From here you follow small forests filled with rhododendron, bamboos until you reach Deurali. The trail goes steeply down through deep forests all the way to Banthati. It takes one hour from here to reach Tadapanil After breakfast trek from Ghorepani to Tadapani (2731m.) through the deep forests of rhododendrons, bamboos and oaks. En route, you frequently see waterfalls, rocks, wild animals, local birds and green scenarios. Tadapani is a small village surrounded by beautiful forests which grants you a magnificent view of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Fishtail, and Annapurna II and so on.

Day 05: Trek from Tadapani (2675m.) to Ghandruk (1950m.) which takes about three hours. It is a very easy trek which descends gently all the way through rhododendron, oak and other kinds of dense forests. You can hear different kinds of birds chirping on the way. This is one of the popular destinations for the bird lovers. Ghandruk is a big Gurung village. There is a handicraft centre and Gurung museum. From this village you have good views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna (7455m.), Annapurna III (7755m.) and Fishtail.

Day 06: Trek from Ghandruk to Chhomrong (2040 m.) which takes approximately four hours. At the beginning of the day, you ascend gently for an hour up to Ghandrukkot (2100m.) and descend steeply to the Kimron Khola (1700m.). Immediately, a steep ascent and walk at a level for an hour and still ascend gently to the final camp. Chhumrung is a gateway to Annapurna Sanctuary trek and inhabited by Gurung, one of the major Ethnic group of Nepal.

Day 07: Trek from Chhomrong to Bamboo (2340m.) which takes about five hours. Leaving Chhomrong, the trail descends on a stone staircase and crosses the Chhomrong Khola on a swaying suspension bridge, then climbs out of the side valley. High above the Modi Khola on its west bank, the trail passes through the tiny settlement of Tilicho in forests of bamboo, rhododendron and oak. Climbing further on a rocky trail (beware of the stinging nettles) you reach three hotels at Sinuwa, at 2350 m. Climb in rhododendron forests to Kuldi, at 2520 m. This was once a British sheep breeding project; now the stone houses are an ACAP visitor centre and check post. In winter, it’s common to find snow anywhere from this point on. Descend a long, steep stone staircase into deep bamboo and rhododendron forests. It is then a short distance on a muddy trail to Bamboo Lodge (2340m.).

Day 08: Trek from Bamboo to Deurali (3230m.) which takes about five hours. Your trek gently ascends through bamboo forests with varieties of rhododendron and oak trees on the way. The first town you reach is Dovan (2630m.) where there are few lodges and camp sites. Now you pass through muddy trail which traverses high above the river. There are debris of avalanches except during winter season. After short trek, you reach at Himalayan Hotel (2900m.), the town named after the Himalayan Hotel. Beyond it, the trail steeply ascends up to Hinko Cave (3160m.), this named as a huge overhanging rock provides some protection against rain and avalanches. It takes approximately twenty minutes through normally ascending path to reach Deorali (3230m.)

Day 09: Trek from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (4170 m.) via Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3820m.) which takes about four hours.
From here, the valley widens and becomes less steep and you can see the gates to the sanctuary. The trail is less steep. As the trail continues into the sanctuary, it crosses two avalanche tracks on a narrow trail that hurdles up against the cliffs. After short trek you will be at Bagar (3310m.), a meadow and some abandoned hotels. The normal trail follows the left side of the valley. Now, the trail appears to gently ascent until you reach Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3820m.). Here, you find almost 6 to 7 lodges. This is one of the places, where you can enjoy the view of Mount Hiunchuli (6441m.), Annapurna South (7229m.), Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna III (7555m.), Gangapurna (7454m.) and Machhapuchhare or Fish Tail (6997m.). The path follows through alpine meadow and after some distance your trails go gently up. After a short trek, you begin to approach Annapurna Base Camp (4170m.). From here, you can see the views of several peaks at 360 degree.

Day 10: Trek from Annapurna Base Camp to Annapurna South Base Camp which takes about five hours. This day you trek along rocky glacier path. You can enjoy the majestic views of Annapurna I, Fish tail, Singu Chuli, Tent peak and many more.

Day 11: Trek from Annapurna South Base Camp to Hiunchuli High Camp which takes about five hours. The rocky trail goes straight up to High Camp. You can enjoy the same views of earlier day.

Day 12: Climb Hiunchuli Camp I. At the summit you can have closer panoramic views of Annapurna I, Fish tail, Singu Chuli, Tent peak and many more.

Day 13: Climb Hiunchuli Camp II. This day you will enjoy the same views of earlier days.

Day 14: Summit Hiunchuli peak and back to Hiunchuli Camp II

Day 15: Climb down Annapurna South Base Camp

Day 16: Trek from Annapurna South Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp

Day 17: Trek from Annapurna Base Camp to Dovan (2630m.) which takes about five hours. It’s much easier going down. You should have no problem reaching Sinuwa in a single day from Annapurna Base Camp. Now, you trek through Himalayan Hotel to Dovan.

Day 18: Trek from Dovan to Jhinudanda (1750m.) which takes about six hours. The path is descent up to Bamboo passing through forests with varieties of rhododendron, oaks and bamboo plants. After Bamboo, the trail goes steeply up to the Kuldi Ghar and now the trail is quite flat until you reach Sinuwa. You trek gradually descend to the Chhumrong Khola and you have to follow stone staircase for almost an hour to reach Chhumrong. The last part of the trail is steeply down to Jhinudanda. From the town you should walk down for 20 minutes to reach Hot Spring at the bank of the Modi Khola. You can relax at Hot Spring.

Day 19: Trek from Jhinudanda to Pothana (1600m.) which takes about five hours. The first part of the trek is descending and then appears through flat land until you reach Himal Pani. Here you find beautiful waterfalls. Beyond this town, the trail ascends gently crossing numerous streams and terraces. After short trek, you will be at Landruk (1640m.), a pretty big village inhabited by mixed community of Gurung, Magar and Brahmin as well. Now, the trail gently ascends to Tolka (1850m.) and then ascent and level path to Bherikharka. From here, the trail goes steeply up to Deorali (2100m.) with a view of different mountain peaks in panorama. Now, the trail gradually descends to Pothana passing through different oak forests. Pothana is a small town resided by Gurungs, an ethnic community of Nepal. From here too, you can enjoy the splendid views of various mountain peaks.

Day 20: Trek from Pothana to Dhampus Phedi which takes approximately three hours and drive from Dhampus Phedi to Pokhara by car. The trail is gently descent up to Dhampus, a village mainly inhabited by Gurung. Now, you trek through flat land for some distance and steeply descend to Dhampus Phedi. Now you take vehicle to drive from Dhampus Phedi to Pokhara.

Day 21: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu that takes about seven hours. While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli,, Dumre, Muglin and Kurintar where the Nepal’s first Cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. En route, you could enjoy the mountain views, green sceneries, rice terrace fields, vegetable fields and people being engaged in their daily life activities. From Naubishe you climb up to thankot, the gateway to capital city. You can also fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu which takes about 25 minutes.

Equipment List

Footwear:

Running shoes: For travel and easy walking
Sport sandal: That can be worn with socks. (Teva, Chaco)
Lightweight hiking boots: Leather or fabric/leather with sturdy mid-sole and a Vibram sole.
Climbing boots: Plastic double boot. Aveolite liners for warmth recommended. (Vasque, Koflach, Scarpa)
Booties: Synthetic or down isulation. Any brand with thick foam soles.
Lightweight socks: Three to four pairs synthetic/wool blend (Bridgedale, Patagonia, Smartwool)
Mid-weight socks: Three to four pairs synthetic/wool blend (Bridgedale, Patagonia, Smartwool)

Clothing:

Lightweight long underwear top: (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)
Mid-weight long underwear tops: Zip-T neck design is good. Light colors are better for tops because they are cooler when hiking in direct sunlight and just as warm as dark colors when worn underneath other layers. (Patagonia, North Face, Mountain Hardwear)
Lightweight long underwear bottoms: (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)
Mid-weight underwear bottoms: Dark colors are preferable because they do not show dirt. (Patagonia Capilene, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-op)
Briefs: Four pairs synthetic or cotton. Running shorts also work well for underwear. (Patagonia Capilene)
Short-sleeved shirts: Two synthetic; most nylon running shirts or athletic shirts work. (North Face, Patagonia, or any brand of PowerDry)
Jacket, synthetic or fleece: Synthetic jackets or pullovers are a great alternative to fleece because they are lighter and more compressible. Primaloft type fill or Polartec 100 or 200 fleece is recommended. (Wild Things Primaloft, Patagonia Puff Jacket)
Synthetic insulated pants: Primaloft or Polarguard 3D. Full side zips are recommended. Mountain Hardwear Chugach 3D pants are an example. An acceptable alternative are fleece pants Polartec 100 or 200, but they are bulky, heavier and less versatile.
Down insulated jacket: Expedition weight with a hood. (Marmot, North Face, Mountain Hardwear)
Waterproof breathable jacket & pants: Jacket must have a hood, pants must have full-length side zips. (Arc’Teryx, Marmot, Mountain Equipment Co-op)

Head & Hand Gear:

Liner gloves: Lightweight synthetic (Patagonia Capilene or any brand of PowerStretch)
Windstopper fleece gloves: (any brand of Windstopper fleece)
Gore-Tex Mittens w/ pile liners: Expedition weight liner for the first pair, second pair should have a light weight pile liner. (Outdoor Research)
Bandana: Two to three traditional cotton style.
Sun hat: Any lightweight hat with a good brim or visor.
Wool or fleece hat: Any brand of warm hat that can go over ears.
Balaclava: At least one. Some people layer a very thin Capilene balaclava under a thicker fleece one.

Accessories:

Sunglasses #1: For high altitude. 1 pair of high quality 100%UV and 100%IR with a minimum of 80% light reduction, side shields such as those found on “glacier glasses” are not recommended, but size and shape of lens should offer maximum protection from bright light on snow.
Sunglasses #2: One pair high quality 100%UV and 100%IR, for lower elevations, also as a backup. It is important to have a spare pair of sunglasses.
Ski goggles: (Bolle, Smith)
Gaiters w/reinforced lowers: Short, simple gaiters are best, such as Outdoor Research’s Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters.
Headlamp w/spare bulb: (Petzl, Black Diamond)
Spare batteries: For headlamp and other gadgets you bring.

Climbing Equipment:

Ice axe: General mountaineering axe. 60 cm length is good for most people but it does depend on your height. Shaft should be straight, not curved. You will need a leash to attach your axe to you harness as well as a “wrist loop”. Bring a commercial leash designed for glacier travel or 6 ft of 9 / 16 inch webbing and your guide will help you construct one. (Grivel, Black Diamond)
Crampons: 12 point step-in (Grivel, Black Diamond)
Harness: Alpine style, you should not have to step through leg loops to put it on and off. It should be lightweight and fully adjustable. (Black Diamond)
Carabiners: Two large locking “pear” shaped, 6 regular mountaineering carabiners (avoid small gate specialized sport climbing ‘biners) (Black Diamond, Petzl, Clog)
Prussik cord: 20 feet of 6mm perlon which is also known as static accessory cord.(don’t cut it, bring in one piece)
Ascenders: One left or right hand orientation, does not matter (Petzl)
Rappel device: Figure 8, ATC or Trango Pyramid

Camping Gear:

Backpack: 5000 cubic inches (80 liters) or more, internal frame. Top opening mountaineer’s rucksack style is best. Avoid large zipper openings and excessive outside pockets. Larger packs are better than smaller, because they are easier to pack with cold hands and they distribute loads more effectively. (Gregory, North Face, Dana, Arc’Teryx)
Small day pack: Optional, should be small and simple, can double as stuff sack or organizer, useful for airline carry-on and for while touring in cities. (Black Diamond, Lowe)
Sleeping bag: Expedition quality rated to at least minus 20F (-25C) ((Marmot, North Face, Moonstone)
Sleeping pad: Inflating, full-length (Therm-a-rest)
Foam pad: (Ridgerest)
Water bottles: Two 1-liter, leak-proof wide-mouth. (Nalgene, Lexan)
Lightweight steel thermal bottle: (Zojirushi, Nissan, Outdoor Research)
Pee bottle: One 1-liter, leak-proof wide-mouth (Nalgene, Lexan)
Pee funnel for women: (Freshette)
Pack towel: Small or medium size. Do not bring “terrycloth”, bandanas work in a pinch. (PackTowl)
Trekking poles: Make sure they are adjustable and can extend or shorten. (Leki, Black Diamond)
Swiss army knife: Remember not to leave in carry-on bags for any international or domestic flight.
Large mug, plastic bowl, Lexan fork and spoon: lightweight metal is ok. (MSR)

Medical & Personal:

Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher, non-oily (Dermatone or Terrapin)
Lipscreen: SPF 30 or higher, any brand
Toiletry kit: toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, alcohol-based anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial soap, comb/brush, shave kit, lighter, small long-burning candle, needle/thread, throat lozenges (bring travel size bottles to keep you kit small)
First-aid kit: Ibuprofen/aspirin, assorted band-aids, moleskin, little of hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin-type suave, Nu-skin spray, small gauze pad, roll of adhesive tape, tweezers, safety pins, small bottle of water purification tablets. Include any prescription travel meds that might prescribed by your doctor. (antibiotics, Diamox, sleep aids)
Zip-loc bags: Always useful
Baby wipes
Ear plugs: Very useful in noisy lodges and tents. Available in most hardware stores.
Water purification tablets: Such as Potable Aqua brand iodine tablets. You will be given plenty of purified water during your trek and climb, but one bottle of backup purification tablets is always a good idea for your travels. They are especially useful in hotels on you way to Nepal. You should not drink untreated tap water anywhere in Asia and bottled water in some rare cases might not be available.

Travel Items:

Expedition duffel bag: 8000+ cubic inches (130+ liter). Light colors are better for labeling with your name. Buy something well built with large, strong zippers. These bags are strapped to Yaks! (North Face, Patagonia “Black Hole”, Wild Things “Burro Bag”)
Travel bags: Extra duffel bags are useful for storing things in Kathmandu, in Namche and at Base Camp. Most soft sided “carry-on’ type bags work well. (Camp Trails “Packable”, Wild Things “carry-on”) You might also use extra large stuff sacks. Plan to fly to Nepal with two large duffels, and some smaller bags for organizing inside.
Nylon stuff sacks: Several different sizes, light colors preferable for labeling. (Outdoor Research)
Long sleeve shirt: Cotton, comfortable
Hiking shorts and/or skirt/sarong: 1 pair (any brand of Supplex short)
Lightweight pants: One pair (any brand Supplex or “stretch woven” pant)
City clothes for Kathmandu and Bangkok: Casual, one or two changes. Kathmandu is warm in the daytime, cool in the evenings. If you stay in Bangkok it is hot and ropical.
Passport belt/pouch
Small padlocks: for locking duffel bag(s)
Book(s)
Journal
Camera / video camera w/ extra batteries: We suggest plenty of non-rechargeable power, such as lithium batteries. Cold weather is hard on ni-cad and regular alkaline batteries and solar recharging is not always an option.
Film: Bring plenty, it is expensive in Nepal. Be sure to keep in your carry-on luggage, in clear zip- lock bags so that it can be inspected at airports. If you bring a digital camera, bring extra media storage cards.

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Trip Facts

  • Trip Duration:21 Days
  • Trip Grading: Strenuous
  • Max Altitude: 6,441 m
  • Group Size: 2-10pax

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