This article is continuing of previous article – Dhaulagiri Trek. Part 1, where you can get information how to start trekking to this area from Pokhara city and mountain villages which are on the beginning of the trek.
Real trekking begins from Italian Base Camp in altitude 3660 m where you can enjoy the last roof in simple guest-house. From now you have to camp in your tent and eat your own food till Marpha village.
I stayed 2 nights in Italian Base Camp to acclimatize myself. During the day I trekked to altitude 4600 m on foot of Dhaulagiri I, and came back. Acclimatization is very important as prevention of high sickness. Also, my body was get used to the high altitude from previous trek – Everest Base Camp, which I made 3 weeks ago with pause in Kathmandu and Pokhara city.
The most dangerous part of this trek was immediately after Italian Base Camp. You have to break through the deep canyon formed by glacier. Need to go down, and up. It was extremely steep, full of dust and small rocks. I went down literally by my ass. It was hard, but worse was to walk up from the canyon. It was too high and too steep. I was afraid that I slip and fall down. When I break through this canyon, I was really happy.
My first camping night was in Swiss Base Camp in altitude 3730 m. It is not far from Italian Base Camp, but I lost time breaking through the canyon. This night was another extreme of this trek. Whole night was very strong wind full of dust. Dust was everywhere, even in all zips.
After these two extremes, next trekking was quite nice, sometimes little bit cold, especially during the night. Strong sun during the day warms you up.
Next day I was trekking on glacier covered by rocks passing Japanese Camp. I camped on the glacier near Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Sleeping on the glacier is very interesting experience. During the night, glacier was cracking because of expanding in low temperature. Whole night I was hearing strong cracking noise which made me uncomfortable, because I was afraid that it will break under the me. But it did not. There were just cracks inside the glacier.
Another day, I trekked through the French Pass (altitude 5360 m) to the Hidden Valley. There was only small area with the snow. Except this, there was no snow when I was trekking there in the beginning of December 2016. I camped over night in Hidden Valley in altitude 5140 m. It was the highest camping on this trek. This valley is quite flat area in high altitude. You can play football there if you want. There is a big river where you can take water for drinking.
After Hidden Valley I continued through another pass – Dhampus Pass (altitude 5244 m). From there, there is a nice view on both, Hidden Valley and Annapurna and Nilgiri range. This place was quite windy in afternoon. So, I was continuing to trek further to find good camping spot – some little flat area with less wind and with source of water. On the top there is a problem to find a water. Usually it is from melting glacier, or snow which you have to melt.
Finally, I found my camping spot, in Yak Kharka Camp (altitude 4900 m). Only source of water was snow, which I melted in my gas cooker. I set up here my base camp for Dhampus peak which I wanted to climb.
Next day, I started to climb on Dhampus peak from Yak Kharka Camp by east side which I decided it is good. After few hours I reached only one of the sub-peak and from there was impossible to climb on main peak, so I came back to my base camp. I decided to climb on Dhampus peak another day by official path from Dhampus Pass.
The official path to climb Dhampus Peak starts from Dhampus Pass. In the morning I left my staff in my base camp and walk to the pass where I started trekking towards Dhampus Peak. It was not hard, just little bit steep with small rocks. I reached another sub-peak. There is possibility to trek to main peak, but I decided not to. Reason was that I was completely alone with no climbing gear, and last part looked quite risky. It was covered by snow and need to go little bit down and up by steep path. So, at least I enjoyed another Dhampus Sub-peak in altitude around 5950 m. It was the highest place I walked in my life till now.
After 3 nights in Yak Kharka Camp I trekked down to Marpha village (altitude 2670 m). Marpha village is part of Around Annapurna Trek which I continued trekking, but in opposite direction then every tourists there.
My photos from this trek (from Italian Base Camp, through French and Dhapmus Pass, till Marpha village):
=== Knaper ===