Baruntse Summit Trek, Nepal

32 Days

Price from: £4450.00

Mountaineering
Trekking

A stunning summit trek to one of Nepal's great peaks

This is a perfect expedition for those seeking to push themselves towards higher peaks, being nestled comfortably in height between the 6000m and 8000m summits.

  • Baruntse Summit Trek, Nepal image
  • Highlights
  • Experience Nepal
  • Manageable summit trek
  • Magnificent panoramic views
At 7220m the objectively safe South East ridge of Baruntse is deservedly increasing in popularity. Despite being situated only a few miles from Everest it offers a stunning and remote trek to Base Camp, amazing views of Makalu and a very exposed but technically easy summit day. It is an ideal expedition for those who are interested in going above 8000m in the future yet still offers the logical next step for those who have been successful on a 6000m peak such as Island Peak, Mera Peak or Aconcagua.  Climbed on fixed lines with our regular Sherpa team this is arguably the definitive Himalayan expedition.

Participation Statement
Mountaineering and trekking can be dangerous and carries an inherent risk of injury or death. Our professional leaders will continually undertake dynamic risk assessments to minimise the level of risk but it is impossible to reduce the risk entirely, nor is it desirable to. Objective dangers such as avalanches, rock fall and altitude illness will occur in the mountains. Participants must understand and accept these risks and take responsibility for their own involvement.

Accommodation

Combination of hotels, tea houses and camp sites depending on location

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Kathmandu and complimentary transfer to your comfortable hotel just outside Thamel, the bustling hub of Kathmandu. Meet up with the rest of your team and your leader for a full briefing and equipment check. (H)

Day 2

Early morning flight to Lukla (2850m). This 40 minute flight deposits you in the foothills of Everest at the jaw dropping Lukla airport perched on the very side of a cliff. Here you will the meet the rest of our team of porters who will load up your kit bags and head off up the trail. The first days easy walking takes us away from the bustle of the main Everest trail and heads south to the village of Poyen (2800m). (C, B, L, D)

Day 3

Trek to Pangkonngma (2845m). We turn away from the main trade route from the south, contouring around the hill side before climbing steeply to a ridge line. As the view opens up we traverse too the welcoming village of Pangkonngma. (C, B, L, D)

Day 4

Trek to Nashing Dingma (2600m). A second leisurely day as we climb up through the bamboo and rhododendron thickets to cross the Pangkonngma La (3170m) which offers fine views of Mera Peak across the Hinku valley. Our route then descends to cross the Hinku Kola before a steep pull up to a lovely campsite at Nashing Dingma. (C, B, L, D)

Day 5

Trek to Chalem Kharka (3600m). The trail today leads over the Surke La (3085m) before continuing to climb through pine and rhododendron to our campsite just beyond the village of Chalem Kharka. (C, B, L, D)

Day 6

Trek to Chunbu Kharka (4200m). As we climb the scenery becomes far more rugged and alpine as we emerge from the tree line. The bulk of Kanchenjunga and Jannu offer spectacular views to the east. (C, B, L, D)

Day 7

Trek to Khote (3550m). A steep but short climb gives us access to the main Hinku Valley which runs north beneath the intimidating west face of Mera Peak. We make a steep descent to the valley floor to the large settlement of Khote and a leisurely afternoon by the river. (C, B, L, D)

Day 8

Trek to Tagnang (4350m). Another short day as we ascend through stunning alpine scenery. The distinctive summits of Kusum Kanguru and Kyashar dominate the views while the bulk of Mera Peak rises to the east. (C, B, L, D)

Day 9

Trek to Khare (4950m). The track climbs through the moraine to the village of Khare nestled below the glacier emanating from the Mera La. (C, B, L, D)

Day 10

Cross the Mera La (5300m). Descend to Rato Odhar (5000m). The climb to the Mera La traverses the glacier with a risk of crevasses. With a good path the way is obvious and safe with crampons but after heavy snow this can be a real struggle and the team will rope up for safety. We pass the Mera Peak Base Camp and drop in to the remote Hunku Valley which offers our first view of Baruntse still two days walk away to the north. (C, B, L, D)

Day 11

Trek to the Five Lakes (5250m). We follow the Hunku Valley northwards with Baruntse becoming more prominent with every step. We leave the main trail to the Amphu Labtsa pass and camp on a flood plain next to the distinctive Five Lakes. (C, B, L, D)

Day 12

Trek to Baruntse Base Camp (5450m). Our final trek climbs a long curving moraine ridge before arriving suddenly at base camp nestled in a sheltered location by a small lake. The impressive south face of Baruntse towers above turning golden in the evening light. (C, B, L, D)

Day 13

Acclimatisation day and Puja at Base Camp. One of the great traditions of Himalayan mountaineering is the Buddhist Puja or mountain blessing, an extremely important moment for your team of Sherpas and a real highlight for many people. After lunch we take a short walk up the ridge behind base camp offering good views of our climbing route. (C, B, L, D)

Day 14

Climb to Camp 1 (6000m). The day starts with a long moraine ramp to gain the glacier above Base Camp. Depending on the state of crevasses we may need to rope up at this point and the route varies from year to year. Our aim is the gully which climbs directly to the West Col and offers access to the Upper Barun Glacier, the key to climbing the south east ridge. Fixed lines lead up to a small mixed section and the final easy 20 minutes across the glacier to Camp 1 dominated by the bulk of Makalu. We then descend all the way back to Base Camp to aid our acclimatisation. (C, B, L, D)

Day 15

Rest day at Base Camp. We take acclimatisation extremely seriously and it is the key to climbing 7000m peaks such as Baruntse. After our efforts of yesterday we have a relaxing day eating and drinking plenty to allow our bodies to continue to adapt. (C, B, L, D)

Day 16

Climb to Camp 1. We begin the final stages of our acclimatisation by climbing back up to Camp 1 to spend a night at 6000m. The view from your tent is arguably one of the best in the Himalaya as the sunset turns the pyramid of Makalu golden. (C, B, L, D)

Day 17

Climb to Camp 2 (6300m), Descend to Base Camp. The route to camp 2 follows easy snow slopes up to a broad saddle below the final summit ridge. There maybe a large crevasse to cross which can prove tricky in dry years. After stashing our equipment we descend all the way back to Base Camp to begin our final preparations for our summit attempt. (C, B, L, D)

Day 18

Rest day at Base Camp. (C, B, L, D)

Day 19

Climb to Camp 1. We follow the now familiar route up the scree, across the glacier and up to the West Col camp. (C, B, L, D)

Day 20

Climb to Camp 2. With the extra acclimatisation this short climb should not unduly tax your body, giving you plenty of time to relax and rehydrate before an early start the following morning. (C, B, L, D)

Day 21

Baruntse Summit day (7220m). Easy snow slopes lead up on to the South East Ridge. As the exposure increases we follow the fixed lines along the knife edge ridge which twists and turns. The crux is a short serac wall at 7000m which gives 20m of Scottish Grade II climbing. The angle eases as we approach the summit which offers views of five 8000m mountains. After the obligatory summit photos and celebration we aim to descend as far as possible possibly all the way to Base Camp. (7-10hrs ascent). (C, B, L, D)

Day 22

Spare summit day. We allocate a couple of spare summit days to allow for extra acclimatisation or poor weather. (C, B, L, D)

Day 23

Spare summit day (C, B, L, D)

Day 24

Descend to Base Camp. Our Sherpa team will clear the mountain as we trek down to Base Camp for a well deserved rest and even a shower. Our porters will be arriving to carry the whole Base Camp set up back to Lukla. (C, B, L, D)

Day 25

Trek to Amphu Labtsa Base Camp (5500m). An early start to dismantle our home for the last couple of weeks. A rough path leads below the south face of Baruntse towards the base of the Amphu Labtsa pass. (C, B, L, D)

Day 26

Cross the Amphu Labtsa (5780m), descend to Chukung (4750m). Our porters will head south with the majority of our Base Camp equipment as we will use tea houses for the rest of the trek back to Lukla. A steep glacier with sections of 40 degrees leads to the Amphu Labsta col. We will have to work as a team to rope our reduced team of porters safely over this technical pass. From the top we have a stunning view of our mountain as well as Everest, Lhotse and Island Peak. The descent involves an abseil and more fixed lines. A good path now follows the moraine of the Imja Tse glacier down to the welcoming village of Chukung and the luxuries of a tea house. (TH, B, L, D)

Day 27

Descend to Pangboche (4000m). Fully acclimatised the walk back down the Khumba valley will fly by. We descend to the village of Pangboche which nestles below Ama Dablam and used to be the highest permanently occupied village before the development of tea house trekking created a demand for year round accommodation higher up the valley. (TH, B, L, D)

Day 28

Trek to Monjo via Namche Bazaar (2815m). After a couple of weeks in the mountains the smells of the forests are particularly vivid as you continue to descend. We have a late lunch in Namche Bazaar before continuing down to the small village of Monjo just outside the National Park boundary. (TH, B, L, D)

Day 29

Trek to Lukla (2850m). Our final days walking, alongside the Dubh Kosi, is a feast of colours, prayer wheels, chortens and mani stones. We eventually leave the river and make the climb back up to Lukla perched on the side of the valley. (TH, B, L, D)

Day 30

Flight to Kathmandu. If the weather is fine we make the short flight back to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu with its showers, restaurants and bars for a well deserved celebration! (H, B, L, D)

Day 31

Day enjoying the delights of Thamel and Kathmandu. Tours can be arranged to visit Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath and the World Heritage Site of Durbar Square This is also a spare day in case of bad weather or delayed Lukla flights. (H, B, L, D)

Day 32

Departure. Transfer to Kathmandu airport for your return flight. (B)

Reference

  • This itinerary is only a guide. Adventure travel in a developing country can be affected  by a huge variety of factors including weather, landslides, strikes, breakdowns etc. Our staff will work hard to give you the best possible experience but please be aware there are always some things outside our control.
  • Key of Symbols
  • H = Hotel, C = Camping, TH = Teahouse, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What's Included?

  • Trip planning, organisation and local logistics
  • Liaison officer for the expedition
  • Airport transfers in Nepal by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Complimentary welcome dinner with live Nepali cultural show
  • Experienced local mountain leader
  • Airline ticket - Kathmandu to Lukla return
  • All permits and entrance fees for National Parks
  • Hyperbar Chamber (PAC)
  • 2 litre oxygen bottle, mask and regulator
  • Satellite mobile telephone for emergency use (pay call)
  • Local Sherpas, cooks and porters/yaks
  • Daily wages, proper equipment and full insurance of whole staff
  • Accommodation at Thamel Eco Resort (boutique hotel) on a bed and breakfast basis in Kathmandu (3 nights)
  • Full board accommodation while in lodges (4 nights)
  • Full board accommodation while camping (24 nights)
  • Group equipment including HA mountaineering tents and ropes
  • Duffel bags for trek
  • Full base camp support
  • Discount clothing voucher for Cotswold Outdoors and Montane

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Tourist visa for Nepal (approximately US$40)
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches & evening meals in Kathmandu
  • High Altitude Food (food above base camp)
  • Optional Kathmandu sightseeing tour
  • Tips for porters and local staff
  • Costs incurred if the expedition finishes early or late
  • Costs incurred if you leave the expedition early 

FAQs

Q. How fit do I need to be?

A. Although technically easy, Baruntse is physically very demanding. The extreme altitude, heavy rucksacks and harsh environment mean most people will have to do some training prior to their expedition. Long days in the hills with a 15kg rucksack is the best training supplemented by aerobic training (running or cycling) and some lower body strength training. As a guideline you should be fit enough to manage three long days backpacking in the UK hills covering approximately 40-50 miles.

Q. I am a vegetarian. Will this be a problem?

A. No. The cooks in the Nepalese teahouses are experts at producing a huge variety of dishes from a very basic kitchen. Omelettes, Dal Bhatt, pancakes, potatoes, rice, momos etc. form the basis of a carbohydrate rich diet which is very useful to aid acclimatisation. It is also possible to order western dishes such as pizza and chips along with Pringles and Coke. In Kathmandu there is a wide selection of restaurants and it is possible to eat very well.

Q. I am concerned about porter welfare?

A. Our hardworking Sherpas and porters are fundamental to the success of our expeditions and are very much part of our team. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG) and work very hard with our local agent to ensure all our staff are well equipped, insured and provided for. We welcome your feedback on any aspect of this either during the trip or on your return.

Q. I would like a single room and tent. Is this possible?

A. Accommodation in Kathmandu is on a twin room basis with a member of the same sex or a double room where requested. During our trek most tea houses offer basic twin rooms. Where possible we can offer the option of a single room or tent (approximately GPB15 supplement per night) although this may not be physically possible in some tea houses.

Q. Is it possible to charge camera batteries, MP3 players etc?

A. Nepal has an electricity supply of 220V using round two pin and three pin sockets in two sizes. Powercuts are common but our hotel has a back up generator. Many of the tea houses are now offering a charging service for a small fee. You should bring your normal charging unit and a travel adaptor.

Q. Is Nepal safe?

A. Nepal is one of the friendliest and safest developing countries in which to travel. However as it emerges from a decade of civil war there are still frequent strikes and small pockets of unrest. We support the British government campaign: Know Before You Go. This provides invaluable information on any potential risks as well as lots of other useful information.

Q. What equipment will I need?

A. You will be supplied with a detailed equipment list on booking but you will require the following specialised equipment: 1) Double mountaineering boots (B3) 2) Crampons 3) Ice axe 4) Climbing harness 5) Jumar 6) 7000m Down Jacket 7) 4-5 season sleeping bag If you are looking to purchase new equipment team members receive a discount at Cotswold Outdoors and Montane. If you need to get any additional equipment in Kathmandu then we recommend Shonas. Their own brand mitts and down booties are particularly good. You will be able to leave any spare clothing and equipment in our hotel in Kathmandu. Please note for our Kathmandu - Lukla flight there is a 15kg checked baggage restriction.

Q. What happens if I get ill?

A. When travelling in developing countries there is always a risk of illness or accident. Our staff will work hard to reduce this risk to an acceptable level. Our itineraries include extra acclimatisation and spare days in case of inclement weather or illness. This gives us plenty of flexibility to deal with any unexpected occurrences. All our leaders have a current mountain first aid qualification and the expedition will carry an extensive first aid kit.

Q. What insurance do I require?

A. It is a requirement of your booking with Activus Outdoors that you have adequate travel insurance for the planned activities which covers you for emergency medical, repatriation and rescue expenses, including the use of helicopters, up to the maximum altitude of your trip. We also recommend you have cancellation cover as your deposit is non-refundable. Some good insurers for high altitude trips are Snowcard and BMC.

Q. What previous experience do I need?

A. This expedition is suited to regular winter mountaineers with some altitude experience, ideally to 6000m (e.g. Mera Peak, Island Peak or Aconcagua). Climbers with a strong alpine background have also been successful on this peak although the effect of the altitude on their performance will be an unknown. Baruntse gets an alpine grade of AD and features plenty of exposed Scottish grade 1 ground with one steep Grade 2 wall at 7000m. Experience on glaciers, crevasse rescue and using fixed lines is useful but not essential as full instruction will be given.

Q. What visas do I require?

A. The following is the latest information we have on file. However it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities and ensure you have the correct visa or the means to get one on arrival. British passport holders can purchase their tourist visa on arrival in Nepal. You will need approximately US$40 in clean unmarked bills, your passport with a least 6 months validity beyond the end of your trip, an application form and a passport photo. We will send you an visa application form with your joining pack which you can fill in in advance in order to save time at Kathmandu airport on arrival.

Q. Who will be leading my expedition?

A. One of the most important factors affecting the enjoyment and success of your expedition is the quality of your leader. Activus leaders have successfully led expeditions to all seven continents, they have climbed 8000m peaks, they are active in mountain rescue, they train and assess mountaineering instructors and are out walking and climbing in all conditions across the UK everyday of the year. As soon as your trip is confirmed we will look to appoint a suitably experienced leader who will be in contact with you prior to the trip departing. They are selected on their communication & group management skills as well as their experience and qualifications. Many of our leaders are members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors or British Mountain Guides. For trekking holidays they may also be a member of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders. All leaders will also hold a Mountain First Aid Certificate. Smaller groups may use one of our regular local leaders. This will be discussed with you prior to any decision being taken.

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If you have any questions about this activity please do not hesitate to ask.

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