Mardi Himal Trek – 13 Days
Mardi Himal (5587m/18331ft), lying less than fifteen miles north of Pokhara, is the most southerly mountain of the Annapurna range. Among the four trekking peaks in Annapurna region, Mardi Himal is a five day slog up to the Mardi Khola to approach the peak. It is the lowest and perhaps the least climbed or visited of the trekking peaks in Nepal. Taking on this trek we get the sight of beautiful mountain views, sparkling rivers and lush green terraced fields. Mardi Himal trek takes us through beautiful forests, interesting villages and valleys, the cultural diversity being the main attraction of this trek.
The attention of western mountaineers was first drawn to Mardi Himal by the photographs of Basil Goodfellow, taken in 1953. However, it was not until 1961 that the mountain received its first ascent. Jimmy Roberts, with two Sherpas, first climbed to the summit by a route on its west flank.
Best seen from the south, the mountain terminates the South-West ridge of Machhapuchhre as a distinct and separate mass, at right-angles to that ridge. From some viewpoints it seems little more than an outlier on the south-west flank of Machhapuchhre. On Mardi Himal’s South-West Face are three well-defined ridges rising from rock buttresses and separated by hanging glaciers. Mardi Himal’s East Face is separated from Machhapuchhre ridge by a col (5200m). Our trekking route of ascent reaches this col from a glaciated amphitheater that rises above a hidden plateau; the ‘Other Sanctuary’, so called by Roberts.
The peak provides a commanding view of the Annapurna Range along with a spectacular vista of the Machhapuchhre. Despite its lowly latitude the mountain obviously has a great deal of potential for those interested in small-scale exploratory mountaineering and the ridges already mentioned present obvious climbing challenges at a reasonable standard
Day 1: Arrival KATHMANDU (1300m/4265ft)
Arrive at Kathmandu International Airport where you will be warmly welcomed by our representative and check in to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore this historic and vibrant city.
Day 2: KATHMANDU
After breakfast we depart the hotel for a full-day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu, the “city of glory.” We visit Durbar (Palace) Square, the epicenter of religious and cultural life, an area filled with old temples and historical significance with old glorious Newari architecture. Some of the sights include Kal Bhairav, Hanuman Dhoka, Taleju Temple, Kasthamandap and Kumari Ghar; home to the Living Goddess. Afterwards we visit Swoyambhunath Stupa, said to be one of the oldest Buddhist stupas in the world, which is majestically set high on a hill overlooking Kathmandu Valley. We proceed towards Pashupatinath Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This massive temple complex sits alongside the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the courtyard of the temple, whereas tourists can see the temple from the eastern side of the Bagmati River. Later we visit Boudhanath, a Buddhist Stupa said to be one of the largest in the world. This massive structure stands tall with four pairs of eyes each facing the four cardinal directions, watching for righteous behavior of mankind and for human prosperity.
Day 3: Fly to Pokhara (884m/2900ft) & Trek to Mardi Pul (1050m/3445ft)
Our trip starts with a 25minute flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara during which we enjoy the magnificent and sensational sights of snow clad mountains. From Pokhara we start our trek through the busy trail to Hyenja, past the new water irrigation project. Shortly after passing the original Tibetan Refugee Camp, the trail divides. We take the right-hand branch which leads north across paddy fields and then follow the west bank of the Seti Khola and follow the trail that drops down to the river just after the confluence of the Seti and Mardi Khola and cross the small bridge which leads to the village of Mardi Pul.
Day 4: Trek to Odane Hill (2510m/8235ft)
The trail follows the east bank of the Mardi upstream before turning right up the hill to the Gurung village of Riban (1676m) and move ahead along the route which now becomes much steeper as it climbs uphill from the village, shortly after which the trail divides. Taking the right-hand trail past some cow sheds the trail now becomes even steeper. We climb through bamboo forest towards a massive slab of grey rock. The path bears around to the left on to the rhododendron covered ridge. Despite the steepness of the route, the ridgeline path offers ever-increasing views of the surrounding country. The path passes through a small clearing, Lalghar Kharka, and continues along a faint track to a high point on the ridge, which is Odane Hill.
Day 5: Trek to Kumai (3049m/10004ft)
Being careful of the false trails we continue along the ridgeline for the reward of the previous day’s hard work with cool mountain air and a stunning panorama, with Machhapuchhre (6997m) straight ahead. To the west is the Annapurna I (8091m), towering above Annapurna South (7219m) and Hiunchuli (6441m), the western bastion guarding the entrance to the Annapurna Sanctuary. To the east are views of the granite mass of Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna IV (7525m) and Lamjung Himal (6986m), like the bulk of a sleeping elephant. Further east beyond the Marshyangdi are the triple giants of Manaslu (8156m), Peak 29 (7835m) and Himalchuli (7879m). Eventually, a short, sharp climb leaves the main forest behind and leads us to a fine camping area amid alpine grassland at Kumai.
Day 6: Trek to Khorchon (3568m/11707ft)
Today is a short yet relatively steep trail. Leaving Kumai, we continue climbing steeply along the ridgeline to grazing pastures called Khorchon.
Day 7: Trek to Base Camp (4100m/13452ft)
The trail now leads steeply across a ridge line to a hidden plateau beneath the south face of Mardi Himal and the South-West Ridge of Machhapuchhre and then trek along the trail to reach the Base Camp at around 4100m.
Day 8: Trek back to Kumai (3049m/10004ft)
Leaving the Base camp, we descend through the high grazing country called Khorchon and follow the same trails back to Kumai.
Day 9: Trek to Ghachok (1067m/3501ft)
Today, we descend for nearly eight hours to reach Ghachok. Descending steeply we reach Odane Hill and just before the high point a small track goes left down the east flank of the ridge, dropping steeply to grazing country and a good lunch spot at Hile. Later, the trail further descends more steeply to the prosperous farming village of Ghachok, in the valley of the Seti River.
Day 10: Trek to Pokhara
Today is the last day of our trek, as we continue along the direct route crossing the Seti River to the east bank and follow the main trail south. Descending down the east bank of the Seti, we finally reach Pokhara in about five hours.
Day 11: Fly back to KATHMANDU
From Pokhara we fly back to Kathmandu and are dropped to the hotel. This is a leisure day which can be utilized buying gifts and souvenirs for your friends and family. In the evening you will be invited to join a farewell dinner reviewing great photos and share experiences of the trip.
Day 12: Kathmandu: Departure Day
Fly back HOME or extend your HOLIDAYS.
If you prefer to stay longer, you can consult us for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, mountain biking, Tibet, India or Bhutan tours etc.
Our team will drop you to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport for your departure.
Namaste & we hope see you again soon!
Cost, Includes and Excludes
- All airport/hotel pick up and drop in private car/van
- 3 Star Hotel including breakfast
- An experienced English speaking Trekking Guide and a Porter during trek.
- Salary, food, insurance and lodging cost for guide and porter
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Tea/Coffee during trek.
- National Park Permit and TIMS for Everest.
- Air fare from Kathmandu to Pokhara and return flight to Kathmandu and domestic flight departure taxes.
- Nepal entry visa fees.
- International airfare and departure tax.
- Bar bills, laundry and other expenses of personal nature.
- Travel insurance including evacuation.
- Tips for local staffs, guides and porters.