Situated on the northern perimeter of the Annapurna massif, Gangapurna is one of the massif’s tallest and most prominent peaks.
Rising above the arid landscape of the Manang Valley, Gangapurna is the sixth highest and fourth most prominent summit on the massif, with a height of 7,455 metres (24,457 feet) in elevation and prominence of 563 metres (1,847 feet).
Sandwiched in between Annapurna III and Tilicho Peak, it is also one of the most challenging summits to climb on the massif, requiring advanced ice, rock and snow climbing abilities.
However, the views from the summit are well-worth the effort of getting there. The top yields views of Manaslu, Chulu East and West, the Tibetan Plateau as well as a number of other summits on the Annapurna massif.
Quick Facts about Gangapurna
- Along with being one of the tallest points on the Annapurna massif, Ganagpurna is the twentieth highest peak in Nepal and the 57th tallest in the world.
- Due to its location in a remote, but also diverse and scenic, part of the Annapurna Conservation Area, many visitors will opt to combine an ascent of Gangapurna with a trekking expedition to Jomsom or Ghorepani.
- One of the highlights of an expedition to Gangapurna is the 10 day trek required to reach base camp. Along the way, climbers will pass through traditional villages and get the chance to see some of the region’s native flora and fauna.
History of Gangapurna
While the first successful expedition to the summit of Annapurna I took place in June 1950, Gangapurna would not be climbed until 15 years later, making out one of the last major summits on the massif to be reached.
The first successful ascent came on May 6, 1965, when an 11-man German expedition led by Günther Hauser reached the top of Gangapurna after ascending via the east ridge, which remains the most commonly used route.
Experience Required for Climbing Gangapurna
Climbing Gangapurna is considered an advanced mountaineering challenge. The ascent involves a number of highly technical sections of snow, rock and ice climbing, even on the easiest route.
Along with being a technical challenge, Ganagpaurna is a physically involved climb as well. Participants should expect to be engaged in consecutive hours of technical climbing with few places to stop and rest. As a result, most guides recommend climbers spend at least six months prior to the trip improving endurance, physical strength and flexibility.
The massif is also quite prominent, meaning that altitude sickness is another challenge to overcome. As a result, climbers need to spend plenty of time acclimatising on the peak prior to the final ascent.
Main Routes up Gangapurna
There are two variations of the one main route that is primarily used to climb Gangapurna: the eastern ridge route.
Starting in the Manang Valley, to the northeast of the peak, climbers ascend to the Gangapurna glacier.
From here, it is possible to climb the glacier, eventually arriving at the mountain’s southern face and making a 450-meter (1,480-foot) of the ice wall, which has an average grade of 55 degrees, before arriving at the eastern ridge line. Once on the ridge, climbers will use a mix of snow and rock climbing to continue on to the summit.
However, it is also possible to cross the Gangapurna glacier and make the 1,100-metre (3,600-foot) ascent of the mountain’s northern face, before arriving farther up on the eastern ridge and continuing on to the summit.
On both routes, there are various plateaus and other points available on the glacier and the mountain to set up high camps. Climbers usually set up three high camps in order to properly acclimatise before making the summit push.
Useful information about Gangapurna
Height: 7,455 m (24,457 ft)
Weather: During the climbing season, average daily temperatures hover around 15 ºC (60 ºF) at the base of the mountain and steadily decrease to below freezing as elevation is gained. The climbing season also coincides with the dry season on the mountain, so little precipitation falls.
Peak Climbing Season: April to May, September to October
Summit Window: April to May, September to October
Average Expedition Length: 40 days
Accepted Currencies: Nepalese rupee (NPR)
How To Get To Gangapurna
Any trip to Gangapurna will begin with a flight into Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), in Kathmandu. Most guides will opt to meet here and arrange transport to Pokhara or Chamje and make the 10-day trek to Gangapurna’s base camp.
Your travel route will vary depending on the expedition you choose. Please refer to the individual guides expeditions for more information.
Gnagapurna Equipment List coming soon