Mardi Himal Peak Expedition
- 21 days trip, airport to airport
- 11 days on trek, moderate challenging trek, PD grade Peak Climbing (strenuous)
- Maximum altitude 5587 metres
- 2 days rafting on Trisuli River
- 2 nights and 3 ays in Chitwan Jungle Safari
- 4 nights in Kathmandu, 3 nights in Pokhara
Mardi Himal is the lowest and perhaps least climbed or visited of the trekking peaks: it has a commanding view of the Annapurna ranges and a truly spectacular one of Machhapuchhre, the “Himalayan Matterhorn”, better known as Fishtail Peak. It is remarkable that so few westerners visit the picturesque valleys and ridges south of Mardi Himal, with their steep sides clothed in bamboo and rhododendron forest. High above, alpine pastures provide good grazing and a habitat for undisturbed wildlife.
Despite its altitude of only 5587 metres, Mardi Himal offers many exciting and testing demands for climbers. Although relatively easily accessible, this small mountain provides sufficient challenges for any enthusiastic mountaineer, compared to other peak counterparts with similar altitude: not only scaling the peak, but also getting there from Pokhara, with the ridges on the way also providing extra challenges.
Col. Jimmy Roberts, the well-known ‘father of Nepal trekking’, with two Sherpas, first climbed to the summit of Mardi Himal by a route on its East flank in 1961. The normal route of ascent reaches a col at 5200m, from a glaciated amphitheatre that rises above a hidden plateau; the ‘Other Sanctuary’, as Roberts called it. Although an alternative route has been made on the South-West face, Roberts’ original route is the only recorded line and the one used on almost all subsequent ascents. The southwest face of the peak has three well-defined edges towering from the rock walls and divided by hanging glaciers.
Although the route to the summit was tackled and introduced over five decades ago, the trekking trail itself was introduced only recently. The crowning point of the trek, is, of course Mardi Himal (5,587m), the triangular-shaped summit of which rises from the long ridge along the southern slope of Machhapuchhre, from where the superlative views, including a fine vista of the picturesque Pokhara valley, encompass many of the world’s highest peaks, namely Annapurna l (8091m), Annapurna ll (7937m), Annapurna lll (7555m), Annapurna lV (7525m), Annapurna South (7219m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8163m), Nilgiri (7041m), Machhapuchhre (6998m), Hiunchuli (6441m), Glacier Dome (7193m), Gangapurna (7454m) and Lamjung Himal (6986m). This unique trek is sure to provide outstanding views of many of these giants, particularly Machhapuchhre, which dominates the trail throughout, primarily because of its position as the southernmost mountain in the whole Annapurna range, thereby appearing unbelievably close.
Even though these huge and familiar-shaped peaks are nearby, there is still an essence of exploration on this beautiful trail, which leaves behind the more popular trekking routes and affords the opportunity to walk high on the ridge for the most part, looking down on scenery often only appreciated from afar or below. Beyond the mountain vistas, the dramatic scenery of the Mardi Himal trek is unforgettable, with its incredible landscape of rocks, hills and forests, colourful with rhododendrons in the Spring, and always home to many species of flora and fauna. Superb views of Lamjung ranges, Annapurna ranges, picturesque village and diverse community with the majority being Gurung, Tamang and Bramhin, and magnificent hilly landscapes will mesmerize you during the trek. This is one of the perfect treks that allow you to observe natural beauty and wild life as well, including Nepal’s national bird (Danfe Pheasant), its national flower (Tree Rhododendron), and many mammals, including Musk and Spotted Deer, Rhesus Macaque and Grey Langur Monkeys, as well as the Himalayan Thar.
Trekking through dense forests and discovering high alpine pastures adds to the sense of exploration; the sparsely scattered settlements at the beginning and end of the trail retain much of their traditional charm, receiving few visitors, apart from the shepherds and other animal herders who pass by on their way to summer pastures, as they have done from time immemorial. Exploration of the unique blend of culture, rituals and lifestyles of the various ethnic groups is a rare opportunity, as is the chance to discover hidden features of the area.
The entire Mardi Himal trek is dominated by a sense of remoteness, yet accompanied throughout by the sounds of both well-known and unfamiliar birds, and sometimes of silence – always with the ever-present Mahhapuchhre keeping vigil.
- Day 1
- Arrive in Kathmandu and transport to Hotel
- Day 2
- Kathmandu: half-day world heritage sightseeing (Monkey temple and Patan/Bhaketpur), and preparing for trek
- Day 3
- Morning flight to Pokhara (820m) and drive to Kande (1770m), and trek Pothana (1900m) or Pitam Deurali (2100m) via Australian camp (1880m)
- Day 4
- Trek to Kokar (Forest Camp) (2510m)
- Day 5
- Trek to Kumai (Low Cam (3050m)
- Day 6
- Trek to Khorchon (High Camp) (3900m)
- Day 7
- Acclimatization and rest day
- Day 8
- Trek to Mardi Himal Base Camp (4250m)
- Day 9
- Establish Advance Base Camp (4850m)
- Day 10
- Summit Mardi Himal (5587m) and back to Base Camp
- Day 11
- Return to High camp (3900m) and join other group
- Day 12
- Trek to Sidhing, (1700m)
- Day 13
- Trek to Lumre (1200m) and drive to Pokhara
- Day 14
- Pokhara: relax and leisure time, afternoon Nepalese Kitchen wrokshop (cooking lession) Day 15: Pokhara: leisure time [Optional extra activities Paraglading, Micro Light, Zip Ride and Mountain birking)
- Day 16
- Early morning drive to Charaudi and start rafting on Trisuli river, overnight camp on beach
- Day 17
- Rafting to Gaighat and drive to Chitwan
- Day 18
- Chitwan jungle activities: Elephant Safari and Bathing, other activities
- Day 19
- Finishing of final activities, and mid morning drive back to Kathmandu
- Day 20
- Kathmandu; leisure time or optional visit to Jamarko (EPHC), our project in support of disadvantaged children, and last night farewell
- Day 21
- Transfer to airport for international departure