Mardi Himal

Posted by Andy on Friday, October 29, 2010

This 7 day trek reaches a high altitude viewpoint above 4000 meters in just three days climbing up the richly forested Mardi Himal ridge toward Machepuchare (Fishtail Mountain). This is one of the newest trekking areas to be developed in the Annapurna region and offers a unique alternative to the better-known but more crowded treks in the region. The Mardi Himal is a narrow ridge that rises sharply up the southwest face of Machepuchare. The trekking is mostly through enchanting rhododendron forest and alpine meadows where there is an abundance of wildlife, spectacular mountain views, and a true wilderness experience. Descending into the Mardi Khola river valley near the end of the trek you’ll hike along village trails high above the valley floor, past waterfalls and through friendly Gurung villages where you’ll be greeted warmly by villagers who welcome the opportunity to share their unique lifestyle..

Highlights

  • Reach high altitudes with spectacular views in just a few days trekking
  • View the sacred Machepuchare peak close-up.
  • Trek through quiet forests with abundant wildlife.
  • Visit friendly Gurung villages
  • See the massive Annapurna South Himal from a unique viewpoint
  • Visit one of central Nepal’s only tea plantations

Duration
12 days

Trek dates
Daily from September to late December and February to late June

Pricing

Click here for a pricing request for this trek

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Detailed itinerary
Itinerary can be customized according to your needs and length of stay.

Day 01 – Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arrival at Kathmandu International Airport transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur. A short briefing will follow concerning the necessary formalities and your itinerary. Depending upon your arrival time you may spend free time visiting nearby sanctuaries or resting.

Day 02 – Sightseeing Cultural Day in Kathmandu
Half day sightseeing around UNESCO Bhaktapur / Kathmandu. Your guide will escort you on a tour of Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines that reflect the ancient local traditions. There is time to explore the city’s many places of interest on your own or take a rest while trekking permits are finalised. In the evening enjoy a delicious traditional Nepali dinner. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 03 – Transfer to Pokhara
Drive or fly to Pokhara, where the afternoon is free to enjoy the views of Lake Phewa. Take an optional boat trip on the lake or a microflight to see the Himalayas up close.

Day 04 – Drive to Khare and trek to Deurali (2100m). A quick drive from Pokhara up the Khare Valley and you will be trekking in less than an hour. From Khare (1700m) we pass first through Brahmin villages where homes are closely bordered by fields of millet and rice. The trail climbs steeply for about an hour until cresting at Thula Karkha (also known as Australian Camp) where you are greeted by your first panoramic views of the Annapurna peaks. The trails are very well-constructed in this area so it’s an easy half-hour hike to Pothana and the checkpoint for the Annapurna trekkers. We continue on broad stone trails to Deurali (2100m) where the views of Annapurna South loom before us. Overnight is at a teahouse along the narrow ridge separating two deep valleys. (3-4 hrs).

Day 05
– Trek to Forest Camp [2600m]
From Forest Camp the trail becomes very steep and you will need to be careful as you navigate over exposed roots and rocks. As you climb there will be flashes of white showing through the trees – these are the high glaciers of one of the greatest Himalayan peaks – Annapurna South – looming in the distance. When we finally emerge from the forest into a clearing that is Low Camp (3100m) the sacred Machepucherare with its distinctive fishtail-shaped peak rises before us , its lower flanks skirted by the Mardi Himal ridge that is now visible as a separate mountain apart from Fishtail. We will stay here overnight at a simple mountain lodge or camp on the broad field adjacent to the lodge. (4-5 hrs)


Day 06 –
Trek to Low Camp [3100m]
The trail leading up from Low Camp is basically a series of deep rain gullies so we need to be careful with our footing. After 30 minutes the forest finally opens into a clearing where we see the face of Annapurna South rise high and wide – an astounding view that can take whatever breath we have left to spare to spare. From here the trail breaks into a combination of scrub forest and open meadow. As we climb the ridge becomes narrower and soon we can clearly see the deep valleys on both sides. To our left we look straight down on the Modi Khola river valley and the villages leading up to the Annapurna Sanctuary; to our right we peer down on the Mardi Khola and Seti river valleys over 2000 meters (6500 ft.) below. On very clear days it’s even possible to see all the way back to the Pokhara Valley and Lake Phewa. The trail continues up the narrow ridge line to High Camp (3900m) where we stop for the evening at a mountain lodge. (3 – 4 hrs).


Day 07 –
Trek to High Camp [3900]
The way up from Low Camp to High Camp is very steep and the trail itself is basically a series of deep rain gullies in the forest so we need to be careful with our footing. After 30 minutes the forest finally opens into a clearing where we see the face of Annapurna South rise high and wide – an astounding view that can take whatever breath we have left to spare to spare. From here the trail breaks into a combination of scrub forest and open meadow. As we climb the ridge becomes narrower and soon we can clearly see the deep valleys on both sides. To our left we look straight down on the Modi Khola river valley and the villages leading up to the Annapurna Sanctuary; to our right we peer down on the Mardi Khola and Seti river valleys over 2000 meters (6500 ft.) below. On very clear days it’s even possible to see all the way back to the Pokhara Valley and Lake Phewa. The trail continues up the narrow ridge line to High Camp (3900m) where we stop for the evening at a mountain lodge. (3 – 4 hrs).


Day 08 –
Trek to Mardi Himal [4500m] and return to Low camp
We will rise early in the morning to start our climb along the narrow Mardi Himal ridge up to the high viewpoint at 4500 meters. From here the sun will be lighting up the full face of Annapurna South while Fishtail mountain looms directly overhead. From here it’s a challenging descent back to High Camp for a mid-day meal before descending down to Low Camp where we’ll spend another evening. (7 hrs)

Day 09 –
Trek to Luwang (1500m).
We descend from Low Camp down a very steep and at times difficult trail through the forest. We pass a shepard’s hut in a broad clearing after an hour’s hike where we can stop to rest our legs. The trails continues down steeply to the hillside village of Siding, about 500 meters above the river valley. We can stop for lunch at the home of the owner of the lodge at Low Camp. From Siding we continue along the western wall of the valley, crossing several streams and rivers, and passing idyllic little waterfalls that spill across the trail. We pass the charming village of Ghalel, trek through rice fields, and stop along our way at resting spots with commanding views of the Mardi Khola. By late afternoon we arrive at Luwang, a quaint and friendly Gurung village where we will stay with a very hospitable local family. (7 hrs)

Day 10 –
Trek to Khora Mukh; drive to Pokhara
Luwang is the site of a tea plantation which we can visit in the morning before our breakfast while the weather is still cool and the mountain views are best. There are over 1000 steps leading up from the village to the plantation. After a 30 minute climb we’re rewarded with spectacular view of Machepuchare looming at the head of the valley. In the tea fields there are often local women in colorful costumes picking the tea leaves. After returning to Luwang for breakfast we will descend down to the valley floor, stopping on the way to visit the local tea factory. We will arrive at Khora Mukh within an hour and then take a jeep over rough road for one hour to Humja. From here it is only 30 minutes back to Pokhara where we can celebrate our trekking adventure. Overnight is at a lakeside hotel.

Day 11 – Kathmandu

Return to Kathmandu by drive or flight

Day 12 – Departure

Transfer to Kathmandu  international airport for departure flight

The trek program is – because of weather or unforeseen events – subject to change.

Services and costs included in the price

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Hotel accommodations and breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Licensed and trained trekking guides
  • Porters for carrying goods and supplies
  • All accommodation during trek
  • All meals and hot beverages whilst trekking
  • Transportation to and from trail head
  • All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
  • National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
  • Equipment such as sleeping bag, tents, mattresses
  • Camp-site charges
  • Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
  • Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your insurance plan)

Services and costs NOT included in price

  • International airfares
  • Travel/trekking insurance
  • Excess baggage charges more than 16kg and hand bag more than 5kg in domestic flights
  • Visa fees
  • Rescue charge
  • Bottled Drinks (cold and alcoholic)
  • Expenses of personal nature
  • Permit and liaison officer fees (where applicable)
  • Lunches and dinners whilst not trekking