Everything to know about Poon Hill Trek

A trek to the mountains is one of the most popular wishlist entry on many journals. The feeling of having the cool breeze (even chilly at times) on your face as you make your way up the valley towards the mountains is a wonderful experience. Here we put up everything to know about Poon Hill Trek, under the following headings: 

  • Nepal and Nepal tourism
  • History of Poon Hill Trek
  • Places to stay during Poon Hill Trek
  • Quotation for Poon Hill Trek
  • Best season to visit Poon Hill Trek

Nepal and Nepal tourism

The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a landlocked country which borders China in the north and India in the south, east and west. Bangladesh is located in the southeastern point of Nepal. The widely used language here is ‘Nepali’ and they are known for their bravery and honesty world-wide. Nepal is the home for eight of the ten tallest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. It is also the home for many historic Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries, like the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. 

Tourism is the largest industry in Nepal, and it proves to be the main source of revenue for the Nepalese people. With possession of the eight highest peaks in the world, Nepal is a hot spot destination for tourists, mountaineers, rock climbers, and adventure enthusiasts. Therefore, Mountaineering and other types of adventure tourism and ecotourism are important to the economy of Nepal.

Nepal tourism

History of Poon Hill

Poon Hill, also known as Ghorepani, is a village in the Myagdi District of the Dhaulagiri Zone of northern Nepal. The literal meaning of the word ‘Ghorepani’ is “water for a horse” in Nepali, where ‘Ghore’ means “horse” and ‘pani’ means “water”. The more commonly used name for Ghorepani is Poon Hill, and Poon Hill lies 17 kilometers from the district of Beni and is at an altitude of around 2874 meters.

This village lies within the territory of the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA), therefore every visitor is required to have a National park permit to visit. The place was used as a resting spot by the ancient traders where they found water for their horses, hence the name speaks for itself. Since the construction of roads started the main source of income for the residents of Poon Hill shifted from trading to tourism. Since then, the economy of the villagers at Poon Hill has taken a toll for the better.

Places to stay during Poon Hill Trek

Your pick up point may vary, if you are coming from Kathmandu, you will need to be in Pokhara. But if you are already at Pokhara, then your journey starts from Nayapul, from where you begin your trekking towards Tikhedhunga for the night. From Tikhedhunga, we head towards Ghorepani, through Ulleri. The basic accommodation here is tea houses. Early morning we head towards Poon Hill which is a 6 hours walk.

Then we come back to Ghore Pani and go down towards Tadapani for a night’s stay. From Tadapani, we take the trail through Ghandruk and Landruk till we come to Tolka. After a goodnight’s sleep at Tolka, we walk towards Dhampus. From Dhampus, we take an hour-long drive to Phedi. And from Phedi, another 2 hours drive back to Pokhara. We will have a rest day at Pokhara, where you can go for sightseeing around. Then depending on your itinerary, we head back to Kathmandu.

canteen on a away to  Poon Hill

Quotation for Poon Hill Trek

The trek to Poon Hill is a relatively short but really sweet trip since you will be experiencing the view of several mountains on a short span of time. The trip can either begin from Kathmandu or Pokhara, but the nearest town near the entrance to the trekking trail is Pokhara. Depending on the choice of itinerary, you may land up resting for a day at a hotel in Pokhara. Our journey begins with a 1.5 hours drive to Nayapul from your hotel in Pokhara. 

After you drop off at Nayapul, it’s time to pick up your rucksacks and begin the hike towards Tikhedhunga (roughly translates to “sharp stone” in Nepali). The trek takes about 4 hours and it’s not a difficult trek either. With an elevation of 1540 meters, you will trek along gentle plains and well-maintained path and riverbank trails. You also come across the orange fields while walking along the banks of the river Bhurugundi Khola. Your rest will be at a tea house at Tikhedhunga. 

The next day we head towards Ghorepani village. You can catch glimpses of the Annapurna peaks as you make your way uphill. The total duration of the trek is 7-8 hours. We rise up early in the morning to get a good view of the sunrise at Poon Hill. It is a 45 minutes walk up the valley. On a clear day, the view of the Annapurna is nothing but majestic. After the wonderful sight, we head back down again to Ghorepani. After a brief rest and packing your belongings, we head towards Tolka. The total hike duration to Tolka is 7-8 hours. 

sunset

Your journey is almost at its end as we leave Tolka towards Dhampus. You can take in the sight of the green valley and get a magnificent view of Machhapuchhre. From Dhampus, we take an hour drive to Phedi. And from Phedi take a 2 hours to drive back to Pokhara back to your hotel. Finally a rest day at Pokhara, and if your quotation ends in Kathmandu, you will be taken there via a flight.

Best season to visit Poon Hill Trek

A trek to the valley leading to Poon Hill can be taken at any time of the year. However, the best season to visit Poon Hill is Spring and Autumn. It is definitely easier to trek in these parts when there is no rain or snow on the trail. So, when the weather is clear and the temperature is not extreme, you get the most of the views. During the Spring and Autumn seasons, the weather is pleasant. You can enjoy the pastures green and the clear blue sky which go hand in hand to bring out the surrounding landscape.  Even if the days are warmer, the nights can still be chilly. So don’t forget your warmest clothes.

A guide to Island Peak

A guide to Island peak

If you are looking for a guide to Island Peak Climb visit, look no further. Here are a few things that can help. Just to give you a heads up before you enter the realms of the mighty mountains. The climb is becoming extremely popular as more and more climbers visit the Island Peak Base camp. The point is at a height of 6189 meters. The following content includes everything to know about Island peak climb:

  • Island Peak: a History
  • Prologue for Island Peak Climb
  • Experiencing Island Peak Climb
  • Hotels and settlements during Island Peak Climb
  • Where to go on Island Peak Climb
  • When to visit Island Peak Climb
The climb is becoming extremely popular as more and more climbers visit the Island Peak Base camp.

Island Peak: a History

In 1953, Eric Shipton who came with the British Everest Expedition gave Island Peak its name. As it appears as an island in a sea of ice and snow, so the name. It was later changed to Imja Tse in 1983, but Island Peak is more popular than its latest name. The British Expedition originally used Island Peak as a training exercise. All before they made their historic ascent of Mount Everest in 1953.

The team who climbed Imja Tse comprised Tenzing Norgay, Charles Evans, Alfred Gregory, Charles Wylie, and seven other Sherpas. Since then the peak has been a training climb before making the ascent of the mighty Everest for many mountaineers. The British expedition of 1953 scaled the southwest summit of Island Peak. However, the first to make it atop the main summit was by the members of the Swiss team. The team included Hans-Rudolf Von Gunten and two unknown Sherpas.

Prologue for Island Peak Climb

The trip to the Island Peak is a popular trek. It includes all the necessary elements required to make your trek in the Himalayas a memorable one. The trekking path towards Island Peak walks us through the green valleys of the Himalayan region. You can indulge yourself in the century-old Nepali and Tibetan culture while you make your way towards the base camp. The Island Peak trip offers the most spectacular scenery of the mountain ranges located in the Khumbu Region. The path lies on the same trail leading the trekking party towards the famous Everest Base Camp. Until the path separates on reaching Dingboche.

You will come across many lodges and settlements in quaint villages as you go forward. You will also make your way through jungles filled with birds and dominated by Rhododendron trees and fir trees. The sceneries you come across on almost every turn once you travel uphill is also worth mentioning. That’s probably because there are numerous viewpoints along the path. Here you can envision the sight of the mighty mountains surrounding the area. 

Experiencing Island Peak Climb

Island Peak climb is a physically challenging climb. Not a technically difficult climb. We will provide guides for the trek and for the climb including porters to help you with your luggage. However, to be successful with the climb, one must be a fit and enthusiastic advanced beginner with basic climbing skills. We also have options to tweak the schedule as per the requirements. This is so that you can enjoy the journey to the maximum.

There are some points where we have assigned an extra day for acclimatization. You can make full use of that particular day. There will be no hassle for lodging during your trek. There are lots of cozy lodges to stay in along the trail. Hosts of these lodges and tea houses are well known for their hospitality. Not to forget our guides. Despite the extremity of the terrain and the harshness of the climate our guides are well trained too. They can help you to reach the base camp and make the climb successfully.

Island Peak climb is a physically challenging climb.

Hotels and settlements during Island Peak Climb

The only hotel you might get the luxury of staying in will be when you are in Kathmandu. As you make your way up the valleys, the altitude rises rapidly. And the face of civilization falls with the same vigor. But since you will be taking the popular trekking trail leading to many base camps. Including Mount Everest Base camp. And there are numerous villages with comfy lodges at cheap rates at your disposal.

Your first lodging in the mountains after leaving Kathmandu will be held at Phakding. A small hamlet located on the banks of Dudh Koshi. As you go further up the valley, you will reach Namche Bazaar inhabited mostly by Sherpas. Here as well, there are a number of small cozy lodges and tea houses to spend the night in. While reaching Deboche via Thyangboche from Namche, you might notice a drop in the density of the villages you pass. The hosts at these settlements are friendly people and are well known for their hospitality.

While reaching Deboche via Thyangboche from Namche, you might notice a drop in the density of the villages you pass.

 You will have a night’s halt at Lobuche where you will be spending the night at a tea house settlement. The same applies when you make your way to Gorak Shep and downhill towards Dingboche. Even if the days are relatively warmer in the mountains, the night can be extremely chilly and windy. So it is important you keep yourself warm to avoid getting sick at this altitude. However, during the night, enough blankets will be provided to keep yourself warm. As you reach the Island Peak Base camp, the camping experts will help you set up camps. We will take a night’s rest before our attempts on climbing the Island Peak.

Depending on the itinerary you have chosen, we may visit the 2nd Base camp of Island Peak. Here we will need to set up another campsite for the night. As you retrace your steps, you will be visiting the same places you stayed at earlier. Until we fly back to Kathmandu. Where you will get the first sight of modern civilization after more than 15 days in the Mountain region.

Where to go on Island Peak Climb

The normal and easier route involves the starting of the trip after your arrival in Kathmandu. You will have an equipment check on the first day. And also to get a briefing about the importance of acclimatization at high altitudes by our staff. Before your trek, you can visit the religious Boudha of the Buddhists. And the Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath of the Hindus to receive blessings before you embark on the mountain journey. On the 3rd day, we fly to Lukla airport via Kathmandu Airport, from where your trekking starts. The first place we come to is Phakding.

It is a small hamlet on the banks of the river Dudh Koshi. The location has several lodges scattered along the river. We stay for a night in one of those lodges. The next day is an uphill climb towards Namche Bazaar, which is the capital of the Khumbu Region. Namche is inhabited mostly by the sherpas well known for their hospitality. A day is set for the acclimatization session as the trail gets steeper from here on. You can also witness the Namche Haat, held on Saturdays at the nearby market place. On this day, the Tibetan merchants are allowed to cross the Nepal Tibet Border and sell their wares. It is definitely a colorful sight. if you wish you can purchase souvenirs to take back home in memory of your mountain trip.

After our entertainment at Namche, we head uphill and make our way through to Thyangboche and Thyangboche Monastery. This monastery is visited by many climbers to pay respect to Lord Buddha. And still, some visit the monastery for the splendid viewpoint at this location. It is one of the high altitude Monasteries in the world. After coming together with this holy place, we make our way to Deboche to rest for the night.  After visiting the Deboche Convent which was completely restored by Climb High in 2015, we make our way to Periche.

The trail is on a broad and gently sloping valley leading to Phalang Karpo (4340m). The trail leads us to excellent viewpoints for Tawachee and Cholatse peaks at a height of 6440 meters. As we make our way to Dungla, the trail becomes steeper. We come across a row of snow monuments built in the memory of the brave climbers. They died on their attempts to climb Mount Everest. As the trail lowers a little, we reach the valley of Lobuche (4930m). The total hike from Pheriche takes 4 to 5 hours.

After our entertainment at Namche, we head uphill and make our way through to Thyangboche and Thyangboche Monastery.

After a night’s halt at Lobuche, we make our way towards Gorak Shep and come across Everest Base camp. This campsite normally has the place bustling with people climbing or practicing to climb during Springtime. You can ponder on the thought of being stuck in the campsite while trying to make the ascent of Everest. We turn in a cozy settlement at Gorak Shep after a tiring trek keeping in mind the main task up ahead the next day. That is because we will be heading uphill to climb Kala Pattar at a height of 5455 meters.  Kala Pattar is a great vantage point to envision the magnificence of the sunrise. The rays that fall on Mount Everest, from such close proximity, and at such a great height. After the enlightening sight, we head down towards Dingboche to rest for the night. 

The trail is on a broad and gently sloping valley leading to Phalang Karpo (4340m).

The following day, we leave Dingboche towards our primary destination, the Island peak Base camp. The hike is about a 5-hour walk from Dingboche. We trek across Imja valley towards Chukkung,  a small summer settlement at a height of 4730m. The view from Chukung towards Island Peak is tremendous and not to be missed. From Chukkung, we keep heading uphill on Imja valley. Then finally arrive at our destination, the Island Peak Base camp where we set up camp for the night.

The day after this is kept aside for acclimatization to the higher altitude. Also to recheck your equipment and get basic practice to climb Imja Tse from our climbing experts. The next day is a summit day. We scale the island Peak which is at a height of 6189 meters with the help of our climbing experts. After a tiring climb of the Island Peak, we head towards the next base camp to camp for the night.  

After witnessing the climb we head downhill towards Pangboche and Namche, where we spend a night in each village. From Namche, we make our long walk back to Lukla Airport through the bank of Dudh Koshi. We fly back to Kathmandu, where you can get the first hit of civilization after almost 2 whole weeks.

When to visit Island Peak Climb

Spring season from March to May. And the Autumn season from mid-September to November are the best seasons for this trip. Although Island Peak Climb can be made during the winter season, the cold temperature might not be suitable for everyone. Monsoon is another season not good for visiting the island peak. Or anywhere nearby in the context as the trekking trails are muddy and slippery. Not to forget the view is foggy and clouded from the best viewpoints in the world. 

Successful Three Peaks Trip

The Khumbu Three Peaks 

In November 2016, Seth Alan and Kara Larsen, from Boulder, Colorado US did the classic Khumbu Three Peaks climbing expedition (Everest region) comprising of Lobuche East 6119m, Pokhalde 5806m, and Island peak 6189m with high passes to cross over in between.

The trip was perfect, even the forces of nature were on their side!

The trip was for 25 days. It was challenging. And it needed some endurance to achieve every objective. But they made it.

Overall …. a perfect trip.

Thanks to our friends who came to do this with Climb High.  Cheers!

Check the link for the great pics,

East Lobuche:

https://goo.gl/photos/pxXsHdbwJid18NbA8

Imja Tse/ Island Peak:

https://goo.gl/photos/N3Pr9BkTqXZg1DnX7

Testimonial 

In November 2016, my wife Kara and I took our second trekking trip with Climb High Himalaya.  The trip was 25 days trekking and climbing Lobuche East, Pokhalde, and Island Peak with some extra days to see Gokyo Lakes, Everest Base Camp, etc.  It was another great adventure in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Sangey, our guide, was excellent.  He is an extremely strong and knowledgeable mountaineer. Sangey always ensured our safety from climbing on steep snow to crossing a tricky stream. And even avoiding a minor hazard when trekking on an otherwise easy trail.  At times, he literally ran back and forth between Kara and me. While he made sure we were safely connected to our fixed line when passing knots. Sangey was also a great ambassador for Nepal. Who obviously enjoyed sharing his wisdom on climbing (often with less experienced guides from other companies), taking us to beautiful places, showing us wildlife, helping us understand the culture, etc.

Sangey and his team went well out of their way to make sure we successfully reached our goals.  Sangey pre-climbed most of Lobuche and all of Pokhalde the day before Kara and I attempted them to make sure he understood the current conditions and picked the best route.  We had high camps on Lobuche East and Island Peak, a huge benefit that many other groups did not enjoy.  On Island, the high camp was very difficult for the porters as there was no water available.

Therefore, extra trips were required to bring up water.  We were one of two teams on Island that had high camps on our summit day.  Many people turned back before reaching the summits of Lobuche East and particularly Island Peak when we were climbing.  Sangey’s careful planning holds a large part of our success in the adventure. He also had good route finding and his attention to how Kara and I were doing, and the use of high camps even when such camps were difficult.

Here’s another example of just how nice the team was and how lucky we were to have them.  When Sangey, Kara, and I left the snow on both Lobuche East and Island Peak, several people from our group, including Pasang the cook, met us to offer hot tea and cookies and to carry our bags the last mile or two into camp.  Though unexpected, it was a really nice and welcome gesture given how tired we were.

Things went so well for us that we had several buffer days scheduled (for flight delays and lost luggage, bad weather, sickness, etc) that we didn’t use.  We were heading to India next and had cut that portion of the trip short. Since we wanted to try to rearrange our somewhat complicated travel plans. So we needed to reach India sooner and change our schedule, once in India. Satyawan, from the Climb High office, rearranged most of our plans as we were trekking back to Lukla. Once in Kathmandu even waited in line with us at the Jet Airways office to help us change plane tickets.

Between Satyawan and Amber, also at the office, planning our trip and then executing on those plans, even given the changes, couldn’t have been easier.

I would recommend Climb High Himalaya to anyone without reservations.  They went well beyond our expectations to make sure we had the best possible experience.  Thank you Climb High for another awesome trip!

Climb High the first to summit Larkya peak this season!

Larkya Trekking Peak in Nepal

The first to summit Larkya peak this season! And the only so far …… 26 April 2016

Paul Anderson and Daniella Aburto started the trek to the Tsum Valley. The trek began from Kathmandu on the 8th April with Climb High.

Tsum Valley in sacred Buddhist texts means ‘The Hidden Valley of Happiness’. The allure of the Tsum Valley is the unique blend of Nepal’s best offerings–big mountain views. With numerous monasteries and nunneries, traditional culture, and friendly people.

They continued their trek to the Manaslu  Circuit. And then reached the base camp of Larkya peak on the 24th April. Base camp is close to the Larkya La, a pass of 5,135 m.

Next day, it took them 6 hours to make it to the high camp with steep slopes while approaching. Consequently, the weather at this altitude was severely cold, high-velocity winds, lots of snow. And it wasn’t easy to set up tents though the staff eventually did manage to put them up.

The summit day started very early with Ang Sange Sherpa and Enos Rai as the guides. It was a long climb on snow slopes that are steep but they made it. It’s always the feeling of having achieved when on the summit, and you forget all the pain and the hardship endured. Likewise, the weather held up offering an excellent view from the summit with the beautiful Manaslu in the backdrop.

Paul Anderson wrote: ‘New altitude record for myself atop Larkya Peak @6,249m/20,501ft! Spectacular Manaslu (the world’s 8th highest mountain) behind me. My dad Murray gave me this Aussie flag almost 20 years ago when I first left home, it’s been with me on all my travels and climbs around the globe since’

Namaste! First of all, let me thank you/Climb High for an incredible experience!

The Manaslu/Tsum trek and Larkya Peak climb were amazing and everything went according to plan. Sangey, Dawa and others did an outstanding job – well done to all!

Paul Anderson & Daniella

California, U S A

Climb High – First Mera Peak Ascent 2016

Climb High Himalaya were the first team to climb Mera Peak this season – our  guide Ang Sange Sherpa led client Raimund Mair from Austria to the summit on 16th March 2016. Several other teams turned back, but Ang Sange and Raimund were able to find a way through the crevassed glacier to achieve a great summit day!

IMG_1683 IMG_1680 IMG_1684 IMG_1682 IMG_1681