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Dhaulagiri Circuit

Subash Shrestha May 23, 2020

Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is full of remoteness but one of the exciting climbing destinations. This circuit is in the Dhaulagiri Zone rising in the deepest gorge in the world(i.e. Kali Gandaki). This trek is an extreme and exigent. The trek includes two passes above 5000 m; French Pass (5360m) and Dhampus Pass (5234m).

The Dhaulagiri Circuit is the route that few visit but doesn’t mean that it lacks an exciting atmosphere. This circuit has one of the most scenic and iconic environments. Dhaulagiri ranges used to be considered as the highest peaks in the world when it was first discovered in 1808. Then 30 years later, it was passed to Mt. Kanchenjunga and finally to Mt. Everest. So, it was this range to be considered as highest at that time where other mountains were not scaled. This circuit was discovered by the French team during 1950 and honoured as French Pass which leads to a place known as Hidden Valley.

dhaulagiri circuit

This circuit offers series of mountain views like Dhaulagiri I (8167m), Dhaulagiri II (7751m), Dhaulagiri III (7715m), Dhaulagiri V (7618m) and Tukuche Peak (6920m). The circuit has highland passes with uninhabited valleys, forest covered with high alpine and some cultivated terraced hills. The circuit includes various forest types to dry land with no trees; leading to the peaks. With the forest of oak, deciduous trees along with juniper forest also lead to the mountain covered with rhododendron during spring. Besides, up to the height of 4500m, sparse vegetation can be found and the area of rare animals and birds including Snow leopard and Danphe. Similarly, people earn by selling cheese produced by them besides, working as a mountain guide.

To complete the circuit it takes around 18 days with the difficulty level high. Reaching Beni from Kathmandu, the trek heads towards Muri after crossing Dharapani taking 3 days long. Then reaching to Italian Base Camp on the 8th day, acclimatization. Usually one day is for acclimatization before heading towards Dhaulagiri Base Camp. After Dhaulagiri Base Camp, it’s time to head towards Phedi to lead ahead for Kalopani through Thapa Pass (5250m). On the 17th day, we head to Jomsom from Yak Kharka and then an early morning flight to Pokhara. Finally, back to Kathmandu.

The trek is like a test for the limits of their capability, endurance and strengths. Though the trek circuit tests you hard but some comfort can be gained, offered by the tea houses.

  • Highest Elevation: 5360m

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