Tharpu Chuli (Tent Peak) Oct 2017

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Trip Report
Nepal, Asia
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Oct 25, 2017
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Created On: Nov 7, 2017
Last Edited On: Nov 7, 2017

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In October 2017 our group planned a trek and climb in the
Annapurna region. We utilized a local Nepali company, Wilderness Experience to
provide logistics/support for both portions of the trip. Our trek route went
from Birethanti through Ulleri, Ghorepani, Tadapani, Chomrong and from Chomrong
to Machhapuchhre Base Camp. This portion to the trek took six days. A shorter
option into the area would be to start at Birethanti and get vehicle transport
(or hike) to Syauli Bazaar. From Syauli Bazaar hike through Ghandruck, Jhimu
Dada, Chromrong and on to Machhapuchhre Base Camp. This was our exit route.

Conditions have likely changed considerably since the 2005
original posting details and we found the lodgings to be quite reasonable all
along the way including Machhapuchhre Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp. Note:
the area is quite popular now and crowds have increased. Large groups are
common. The Nepali government currently does not pose any restrictions as to
the number of trekking permits issued for the area. Usually an early start in
the morning will allow you to get to the village destination of your choice and
have a room available.

The start of the route to descend to the South Annapurna
glacier is now somewhat non-descript. There was no large cairn/chorten marking
the start. Our guides indicated the start is now closer to ABC than it used to
be. The starting point is at: Latitude 28.53127 Longitude 83.88240 at
approximately 13355 ft / 4070 m. There is a short fixed hand line
(approximately 100 ft/ 25 m) to assist in descending the steep moraine side
wall. Lots of loose rock around and the path can be slippery if mud/snow exist.
The overall descent is 175 ft / 53 m which gets you down to a sub-bench of the
glacier. From here there is a discernable path with carins leading northwest
and gradually descending down slightly to the main glacier. The route/trail
along the glacier is relatively discernable and easy to follow in good
conditions. Carins and wands are placed along the route. Snow or foggy
conditions will make for challenging navigation along the glacier as the carins
will blend into the moraine material. Proceed in a northwest to northerly
direction along the glacier for 1.6 miles / to a point on the opposite side
where the trail will ascend the opposite moraine wall. This exit point is less
steep than the descent to the glacier but still has loose material. The top of
the exit point is at about 13760 ft / 4194 m. Once you have exited the glacier
you will be on a grassy trail that will head in a southeast direction
paralleling the glacier. In about ¼ mile the trail drops slightly and enters a
broad flat area which would make a great camp but there is no water. Proceed
another ¼ mile southwest along the trail to the deep gorge containing the
stream coming in from your left. This is the site of base camp at 13800 ft /
4206 m.

From base camp cross the stream and head east up the steep
grassy hillside. You’ll find a clearly defined path through the grassy hillside
after proceeding a short distance. After the first short steep section the gradient
backs off a bit and the trail crosses the stream once again and continues up
the ridge line in a northerly direction to the high camp location at 16466 ft /
5018 m with tent platforms for approximately 12 tents. Short distance to the
east is the toe of the glacier and running water. Other tent site locations
exist lower but lack reliable water sources.

The route to the summit begins directly above high camp and
proceeds through the rocky section to the west of the glacier. Carins and wands
exist marking the route but are somewhat difficult to spot as you wind through
the ledges. It’s about ½ mile and 770 ft / 234 m of ascent to get to the edge
of the glacier. Continue in a northerly direction up the glacier for 528 ft /
160 m then head northeasterly direction to the base of the fluted headwall.
Generally you will be heading toward the east side of the low point of the
headwall. At the headwall is the first of the fixed ropes that were in place
when we climbed. The bergschrund was easy to cross to gain the fixed rope. The
base of the head wall is 17780 ft / 5419 m. The top of the headwall is at 18180
ft / 5541 m making for an ascent along the fixed line of 400 ft / 121 m. From
the top of the NW ridge head southeast ¼ mi to the final narrow ridge that leads
to the summit. A fixed line was in place to the false summit when we were
there. It’s about 275 ft / 83 m ascent to the false summit. At the false summit
the 50 degree angle backs off and it’s about 300 ft / 90 m to the summit. My
GPS was showing the false summit to be at 18600 ft / 5669 m and the summit at
18652 ft / 5685 m. About 70 feet different than the listed height.


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Tharpu Chuli (Tent Peak) Oct 2017

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