The Himlung Himal 7126m rises to the north of the Annapurna massif (in the hidden valley of Naar Phu). This expedition is aimed at lovers of wild terrain and who wish to climb a first summit of 7000m in an exceptional environment!
Besides the high altitude mountaineering the region’s ancient architecture, ancient custom, culture, and biological diversity is sure to amaze anyone. The high peaks, isolated Phu village, narrow gullies, forests, springs, old monasteries, and unique ancient settlements are a stunning part of the journey to Base Camp. It is a beautiful course of alpinism from its Base Camp to the Summit.
The ascent of Himlung Himal is characterized above all by an exceptional stage. We have 15 days to climb from basecamp at 4825m to the 7126m high summit (a 2301m vertical height gain). This will need to be done in stages as we will need to firstly acclimatize ourselves to BC (phase one) then to about 6000m while climbing (phase two).
Once we have completed our acclimatization phases and rested for two days we should be ready to push through to the top in steady steps through our three camps above BC.
We establish our Base Camp at an altitude 4,850m on a grassy land. While our strong team of Sherpa staffs set up camps, expedition members have the chance to going up and down for acclimatization. Three higher camps will be set up above the Base Camp. Camp 1 at 5,450 meters. Camp 2 at 6150 meters. Camp 3 at 6375 meters. The last part of the summit involves steep and icy climb. Technically Mt. Himlung is not so difficult. After submitting, descend to Camp 3. The next day, descend to the Base Camp.
Basecamp to camp 1
The new base camp also called ‘French base camp’ is comfortable, with water nearby and sheltered from avalanches. The logistical challenge remains to pitch the camp as it seems a bit complex when crossing through the Pangir Glacier on big inconvenient boulders and the way up the moraine on the right bank is exposed to rock fall.
Camp 1 to Camp 2
Access to Base Camp from Camp 1 is quite simple and very quick (2 to 3 hours) on a trekking terrain, with moraines and small valleys. The snow conditions may alter the progression, of course, but there is no slope subject to avalanches on the way up.
From Camp 1 heading on to camp 2, the traverse across a perched scree slope leads to the side of the glacier. Following the side of the glacier (crevasses and disturbed terrain, rocks and snow…) until climbers can stand up on the flatter glacier, with big steps; a few twists and turns are needed. Depending on the season and the snow conditions, this part represents the trickiest part of the ascent. We continue up on the glacier, avoiding a few crevasses. We find suitable terrains to set up our camp on the ‘Glacier Camp’. It is pleasant and vast enough to welcome several groups. It seems subject to little, if any, risk of avalanche (to be verified depending on conditions). We climb with ropes attached together on the glacier, which shows little danger of falling into crevasses.
Camp 2 – Camp 3
Heading to Camp 3 from Camp 2 is a comfortable reach; we climb by continuing up on the icy escarpment up to the last place before the ridge (a few ups and downs). 2 – 3 hours max from camp 2. With little or no risk of avalanches from the slopes above (to be double-checked under exceptional snow conditions).
Summit – Camp 2 or 3
The climb is long and cannot be reduced with an additional high camp. The first part of the ascent consists of reaching the pass across snowy slopes, a little bit steep (30°) and exposed. Fixed ropes are often installed by the lead guide and once we are past that, then the slopes become less steep, with a few flat bits.
After the crevasse opening, which is generally not a problem; the slope on the side of the ridge becomes steeper. This is the steepest part of the whole climb: about 400m at 30/35°. In hard/frozen snow conditions, there is a high risk of falling, so we install fixed ropes on this part as well. The route then reaches a less steep ridge, up to a flatter section before the small final slope. After the summit, we descend down to camp 2 or camp 1. Then the next day we head to base camp, pack all our gears and celebrate our summit success, reflect and have a more joyous night, and prepare for the next day’s journey towards Kathmandu and thus ending our trip.