A solitude away from crowds and an unadulterated mountain experience beyond mere numbers is what the Tukuche expedition will reward you with. Nestled between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs mountain ranges, Tukuche Himal at 6920 m is hard to find anywhere in a travel program, with a thankless height, just not seven thousanders.
Tukuche peak expedition is an aesthetic, easily accessible exploration through not so difficult ascent. The success on the summit will honor you with the view extending over four thousand meters down into the deeply incised Kali Gandaki valley with its tiny villages along with mighty Annapurna Massif, Nilgiri massif, and Dhaulagiri massif and having Tukuche Peak and the spectacular Dhaulagiri (8,167m) close by you enjoy the feeling of being part of the extreme heights of the Himalayas.
The mountaineer to conquer the summit of Tukuche was Hugh Merrick in 1969. It took him and his team 4 years to prepare for the expedition to this unfashioned mountain. The peak is located in the Dhaulagiri region 10 km Northeast of Dhaulagiri I.
Your trek begins with a short drive or flight to Pokhara and from Pokhara to the uncrowded and unexploited town of Jomsom. You will then follow the classic Dhaulagiri circumnavigation in a few days, going in the opposite direction over the Dhampus Pass to the lonely Tukuche Peak base camp located at 5100 m in the Hidden Valley. Two high camps are built on the way, and two weeks are available for preparation and acclimatization. You reach the summit via the technically relatively easy but beautiful northwest ridge, the difficulties of which only become more serious in the very last section.
Crystal clear air, wonderful views of fascinating mountains, fluttering of many colorful flags on the way, trekking through all climatic and vegetation zones, past crystal-clear mountain streams and through dense bamboo forest and meadows with countless rhododendrons, gigantic valleys, and gorges between Kali Gandaki, the lush green of the Nepalese lowlands are the highlights of this trip.
The expedition to Tukuche is moderately difficult; one because of its height below 7000 m, and second the northwest ridge, which is the most common route taken for the expedition, is not steep and doesn’t require high-level training and preparation you need for eight-thousander peaks. However, nearing the summit, you need periodic acclimatization, physical and mental fitness, and exceptional teamwork to make this trip a successful and unforgettable event of your life.
The Spring season from March to May will be the best months to embark on this journey. Clear blue sky, high-level visibility, calm and cool breeze, green lush vegetation and landscape, moderate temperature highly suitable for climbing the summit will accompany you during your hike. The autumn season from late September to early December is also suitable for this fantastic journey. However, the days will tend to be shorter, followed by cold wind and day by day decreasing temperature signaling the approach of winter.
The expedition is open for the summer season from June to August and the winter season from late December to February. Still, these months are not appropriate as the summer season can make you sweat through the skin with periodic heavy rainfall will obviously make the way slippery and pose a potential danger of landslides. If you don’t mind the skin-piercing chill wind, you can explore in winter, but of course, the visibility will be less, and there will always be unpredictable weather conditions with a possible risk of an avalanche.
The overall cost of this remarkable journey can range from $7000 to $9000 per person, inclusive of your stay in Pokhara, permit fee, accommodation and meal during trek, necessary equipment cost, porter or donkey charge, with high altitude climbing Sherpa salary.
However, the package excludes your Nepal Visa fee, personal expenses including tips to guide and porter and internet usage, meals in Kathmandu, personal travel, and medical insurance costs.
A 30 day Nepal tourist Visa will be appropriate for this trip, for which you have to pay a tariff of $50 per person upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International airport. Set aside $25-$30 per person per day for appetizing meals at any descent hotels or restaurants in Kathmandu.
Travel and medical insurance to trek to any high mountain in Nepal are mandatory for tourists. At $150-$200 for a 30 day time period, you can insure yourself and protect yourself from any unpredictable risk when you climb the high summits.
Put aside $500 for tips to guides, porters, and shopping in the valley.
Before setting about for a journey, you need a Tukuche peak permit and Annapurna conservation area entry permit. The Tukuche peak permit fee depends on the season you are traveling. If you choose Spring, a tariff will be $400 per person, trekking in autumn will cost you $200 per person, and winter and summer tours will cost you $100 per person. Annapurna conservation area entry permit charges you $30 per person. But you don’t have to fret about these permits, and your agency will take care of them on your behalf.
The common route taken for the expedition is through the northwest ridge, as it poses less risk and a high rate of success. The way from the base camp is initially flat to the foot of the massive scree ridge that forms the beginning of the northwest ridge. The first high camp is located before the beginning of the glacier. You will not face any difficulties, and you will have the chance for a good attitude adjustment. The ridge now becomes glaciated but flat and wide; two small climbs will lead you to the second base camp.
This forms the apex of a mighty glacial pool on the back stretching between the peaks of Tukuche East and West. A broad ridge with two short steep climbs and moderate difficulties leads up to the summit of Tukuche West which is reached in most seasons. The ridge to the somewhat higher Tukuche East, on the other hand, is long, razor-sharp, and heavily overpowered so that you always have to climb the steep west flank. An attempt to climb it can only be made here under the best conditions.