Gateway to Mustang

Gateway to Mustang

Gateway to Mustang

Moderate
9 Days 8 Nights
  • Destination:
    Nepal
  • Region:
    Mustang
  • Type:
    Trek
  • Max. Altitude:
    2800
  • Activity:
    Lodge Trek
  • Group size:
    2 - 8
  • Accomodation:
    Hotel, Lodge
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  • This program is designed for the people who don’t wish to go to high altitude but still want a taste of the landscapes, rich variety of scenery, people and activities that the region of Annapurna has to offer. The first part of the trek will be around the lowlands of the Annapurna region whereas the second part will give you an opportunity to discover the gateway of Mustang.

    Along the Kali Gandaki river furrow dug in between the Annapurna Massif on one side and the Dhaulagiri Range on the other, this program will allow you to discover the semi-arid region of this big plateau and to approach the rich Thakali culture of these traders. During the trek, you will experience various tastes of legendary Nepalese hospitality.

    Trip Highlights

    • Interesting and picturesque landscapes
    • Pokhara, the major touristic destination
    • Discovery of culture, of breathtaking scenery, friendly heart-warming people

    What is included

    • 3 nights Hotel in Kathmandu as per program on Bed & Breakfast basis
    • 1 nights Hotel in Pokhara as per program on Bed & Breakfast basis
    • Local Lodge as per program on Full Board
    • Flight: KTM-Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara-KTM (Regular Flight) with airport taxes
    • Makalu National Park Fees & TIMS Permit Fee
    • 1 English Speaking Guide (from Kathmandu)
    • 1 porter for every 2 members
    • All staffs insurance & daily wages
    • All Airport transfers

    What is not included

    • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu
    • Personal Equipment & Insurance
    • Personal Expenses (Battery recharge on local lodge, laundry, telephone, etc)
    • Nepal Visa fee US $40 per person
    • Emergency Evacuation if required
    • Other personal Expenses
    • Tips for Staffs
  • Detailed Itinerary

    • Day 1

      Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350m)

      Meals: D
      Accommodation: Gokarna Forest Resort
      Depending on your arrival time, our representative will be at the airport to receive you and transfer you to your booked hotel.

      Evening dinner at the Hotel
      Meals: D
      Accommodation: Gokarna Forest Resort
    • Day 2

      Kathmandu – Pokhara (900m) – 25 minutes flights.

      Meals: BD
      After breakfast, we transfer to the domestic airport for your 25 minutes flight to Pokhara. This spectacular flight offers views of the Langtang, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges.
      Meals: BD
    • Day 3

      Pokhara – Jomsom (2980m) – 3 hrs walk

      Meals: BLD
      After an early breakfast you will be transferred to the local airport about 1.5 hrs before your departure time. The flight takes you above the forested area of Ghorepani then over the Kali Gandaki Valley in between the Dhaulagiri range in the west and the Annapurna massif in the east.

      Upon arrival in Jomsom, check-in at the resort which is located at a High Himalayan settlement of Thakali speaking people. At 2800 m, the resort is among the few places in Nepal where giant Himalayan peaks can be admired safely and yet at such close proximity. About 500 feet below the resort is the Kali Gandaki River which flows downstream to form the deepest gorge in the world.

      After the lunch at the resort, excursion to nearby villages. At first, visit Thinigaon where you can visit the Buddhist monastery and continue towards Kaisang Village and in the late afternoon, back to the resort.
      Meals: BLD
    • Day 4

      Jomsom – Kagbeni (2800m) – 1 hrs drive/ 4 hrs trek

      Meals: BLD
      Today we take an hour drive to reach Kagbeni. With Nilgiri (7108m) towering Jomsom, wind blowing from south to north, the route goes upstream the Kali Gandaki wide riverbed to reach Kagbeni, the gateway of Mustang. It’s a green oasis at the junction of the Jhong Khola and the Kali Gandaki. Kagbeni looks like a town out of the medieval past, with closely packed mud houses, dark alleys and a large, ochre-colored Gompa perched above the town.

      After lunch, visit Muktinath which has religious shrines, important pilgrimage site for both Buddhists as well as Hindus. The Hindu temple is dedicated to Vishnu. Around the temple is a wall from which 108 waterspouts, cast in the shape of cows’ heads, pour forth sacred water. On the same route we retrace our steps back to the lodge.
      Meals: BLD
    • Day 5

      In Kagbeni

      Meals: BLD
      Today, we take a pack lunch for our day hike to Jeula Danda. This viewpoint has spectacular views of the high Himalayas like Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna South, Damodar Kunda, Tilicho and Mustang valley. After the visit, we get back to the lodge.
      Meals: BLD
    • Day 6

      Kagbeni – Jomsom – 4/5 hrs trek

      Meals: BLD
      Today, we will start early in order to avoid the strong wind blowing in the valley. En route, we visit the beautiful Bon village of Lupra. “Lupra valley” the part of Tibetan Plateau commonly known as “Roof of the world” and world’s highest and largest plateau amazes you with its enchanting beauty and even the dry looking feature of the valley looks out of the world landscape. And the view of some of the tallest mountain as you climb up is like icing on the cake. After visiting Lupra valley, we descend down to Jomsom.
      Meals: BLD
    • Day 7

      Jomsom – Pokhara – kathmandu

      Meals: B
      Take an early flight from Jomsom to Pokhara and then take a connecting flight to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu, we’ll transfer to hotel. Then you have free time to relax or head into the city. We find most people want to simply unwind and enjoy the hotel facilities – whatever you choose, we’ll help!
      Meals: B
    • Day 8

      Kathmandu

      Meals: B
      Today after the breakfast we’ll be touring around the Kathmandu valley. The Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath Stupa are the major sight-seeing areas around the Kathmandu valley. These all are listed in a world heritage sites. The Durbar square shows us the regal life of ancient periods. Pashupatinath temple is one of the most scared Hindu pilgrimages. Swoyambhunath temple and Boudhanath stupa is the Buddhist temple which is very popular around the globe. Swoyambhunath is also known as money temple stands on the hilltop west of the Kathmandu valley. It can also be known as the view point of Kathmandu valley. Boudhanath temple is the biggest Chorten ever made around the world.

      Later on, after the sight-seeing we will introduce to our fellow participants and discuss our trip preparations.
      Meals: B
    • Day 9

      International departure

      Meals: B
      Depending on your flight time you will be transferred to the airport. The airport checks in is 3 hours prior to the departure time and the hotel checkout time is 12 PM. In case our flight is late evening please let us know if you require half day use of the hotel.

      Our representative will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport.
      Meals: B
  • Visa

    Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry. If you wish to apply before departure the current visa cost is £20 for a 15 day visa and £35 for a 30 day visa for UK passport holders. The current cost of a visa on arrival is US $25 for 15 days, US $40 for 30 days or if extending your stay $100 for 90 days. All are multiple entry. The visa on arrival fee can be paid for in cash in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros. You will also need a passport photo. Application forms are available in the immigration hall (or for electronic passports there are visa registration machines which, after inserting your passport, automatically fill out a form for you). You must firstly join the queue to pay the visa fee, and then go to the relevant immigration desk to obtain your 15, 30 or 90 day visa stamp. There can be long queues for visas on arrival.

    Non UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).

    Vaccinations

    There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is present in certain regions only (such as Chitwan); you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the TRIP NOTES for complete advice on AMS.

    Eating & Drinking

    Breakfast is included throughout the trip and all meals are provided while camping (all breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners).

    Breakfast is included throughout the trip and all meals are provided while camping. On trek the breakfast will be a set menu usually consisting of porridge and toast. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. We do not include lunch and dinner in the tea-houses, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. Although most lodges have almost identical menus, they are reasonably extensive and offer a varied selection, ranging from traditional Nepalese dal bhat to pizza and apple pie.

    Although meat is available in the tea houses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges, and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.

    If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the suggested amount.

    Drinking Water

    Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

    We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas.

    All tea houses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat it with. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. In Nepal’s trekking regions most of the bottled water isn’t strictly ‘mineral water’ anyway but is UV treated, so it’s exactly the same technology. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions).

    SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Better still, a SteriPEN will pay for itself over the course of the trek and you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – you will end up spending the same or even less than you would on bottled water, plus you can keep it for future trips.

    If you prefer not to invest in a SteriPEN, the tea houses also sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.

    While camping boiled water is supplied for drinking.

    Weather

    The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to mid-May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go.

    Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking.

    Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views. At the highest altitudes although the days can be nice and sunny the temperatures can drop to 10ºC and much lower. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as minus 10ºC and lower at the highest altitudes.

    Pre-monsoon/spring: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 35ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring.

    Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes. Summit day will be a very early start (usually about 2am) and will be extremely cold. Although mostly it is calm and clear on summit day the mountain does occasionally get high winds. You need to be equipped for temperatures as low as minus 25ºC plus wind chill on summit day.

    Please remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.

    More Info

    This is a Tough+ trek. It is activity level 9 with 16 days walking and full porterage throughout. The maximum altitude is 6,189m (or 5,545m without Island Peak) and the average is 3,680m. There are some steep ascents and descents and some narrow trails. As this trek also ascends to very high altitudes participants should be confident of their physical fitness and must have previous experience of trekking at altitude and in snow.

    Although it is not compulsory to participate in the climb (the summit attempt is optional), anyone who does must have previous ice axe and crampon experience and know how to use a jumar and abseil device. There will be equipment checks and practice sessions for rope use, ice axe, crampon and harness use, abseiling and crevasse rescue. For safety reasons it is compulsory to participate in these sessions. If you do not take part the leader and climbing Sherpas will not allow you to take part in the climb.

    Though technically harder than Mera Peak, for those with the necessary experience this expedition is within the reach of those seeking their first Himalayan summit. The climb requires strong lungs and a great deal of will power - it is graded alpine PD+ and starts with some rocky scrambling to a glacier. We cross the glacier roped up (there is one ladder to cross), and then come to a 200m steep 40-45 degree headwall, which leads to a 20m summit ridge. We will rope up to cross the glacier and you will be walking with an ice axe, crampons and plastic boots. There are fixed ropes up the headwall (approximately 200m) and along the summit ridge. On the ascent you will need to use a jumar and on the descent you will need to use an abseil device.

    Please be aware that altitude can have a significant affect on your physical state. It is important that you take heed of the leader's advice and decisions at all times. The leaders are trained in first aid and are well aware of AMS symptoms and will keep a close eye on the group. We ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes.

    The climb itself is not recommended for anyone with a fear of heights or vertigo and the main trail itself crosses three modern suspension bridges over rivers and valleys - all of these have mesh sides but some are quite long and high.

    Equipment Checklist

    Body Wear

    • Gore Tex Jacket
    • Gore Tex Pant
    • Hiking pant
    • Fleece trouser and jacket or warm jumper - Recommended not thick but warm enough that fits inside the Gore Tex pant
    • Anti-sweat T-shirtEarmuffs/Ear warmers (optional)
    • Thermal inner trouser
    • Down jacket with hoodie
    • Thermal inner trouser
    • Down jacket with hoodie

    Head Wear

    • Sun Hat/Normal cap
    • Fleece or woolen hat
    • Earmuffs/Ear warmers (optional)
    • Sunglasses with UV protection
    • Buff Scarf / thin face mask

    Hand wear

    • Fleece or woolen thin gloves
    • Expedition shell gloves
    • Gore Tex mitten gloves

    Other Equipments

    • Sleeping bag (comfort rated - 15ºC)
    • 30 Litre Rucksack with cover
    • Large size Duffel Bag with padlock
    • Headlamp with spare batteries
    • Water bottles 1 Litre X 2
    • Thermos
    • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

    Washing kit & Toiletries

    • Waterproof washing kit bag
    • Towel - medium size
    • Washing soap, towel, tooth pest, tooth brush etc.
    • Sun Lotion Enough +30SPF (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
    • Hand wash & sanitizer
    • Toilet paper (you can buy this in the lodges)
    • Wet tissue

    Foot Wear

    • Trekking boots
    • Hollow Out Outdoor Slipper
    • Trekking socks (4-5 pair)
    • Snow Gaiter

    Optional Items

    • Trekking poles
    • Trainers or similar for use in the lodges
    • Shorts
    • Base layer leggings
    • Gaiter
    • Sleeping bag liner
    • Pillowcase
    • Ear plugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring)
    • Travel clothes
    • Camera
    • Pen-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
    • Repair kit – (egg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Accommodation

    This tour spends three nights in a hotel in Kathmandu and one night in Pokhara, four nights on the trek in lodges (tea houses).

    In Kathmandu, we normally use a 3-star hotel, located within walking distance of the Thamel.

    On the trek, we will stay in teahouses for the most part. Some days there may be no tea house at lunchtimes – on these days we carry a packed lunch. The tea houses are basic but adequate; please be realistic about what to expect in the mountains.

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  • Overview

    This program is designed for the people who don’t wish to go to high altitude but still want a taste of the landscapes, rich variety of scenery, people and activities that the region of Annapurna has to offer. The first part of the trek will be around the lowlands of the Annapurna region whereas the second part will give you an opportunity to discover the gateway of Mustang.

    Along the Kali Gandaki river furrow dug in between the Annapurna Massif on one side and the Dhaulagiri Range on the other, this program will allow you to discover the semi-arid region of this big plateau and to approach the rich Thakali culture of these traders. During the trek, you will experience various tastes of legendary Nepalese hospitality.

    Trip Highlights

    • Interesting and picturesque landscapes
    • Pokhara, the major touristic destination
    • Discovery of culture, of breathtaking scenery, friendly heart-warming people

    What is included

    • 3 nights Hotel in Kathmandu as per program on Bed & Breakfast basis
    • 1 nights Hotel in Pokhara as per program on Bed & Breakfast basis
    • Local Lodge as per program on Full Board
    • Flight: KTM-Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara-KTM (Regular Flight) with airport taxes
    • Makalu National Park Fees & TIMS Permit Fee
    • 1 English Speaking Guide (from Kathmandu)
    • 1 porter for every 2 members
    • All staffs insurance & daily wages
    • All Airport transfers

    What is not included

    • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu
    • Personal Equipment & Insurance
    • Personal Expenses (Battery recharge on local lodge, laundry, telephone, etc)
    • Nepal Visa fee US $40 per person
    • Emergency Evacuation if required
    • Other personal Expenses
    • Tips for Staffs
  • Detailed Itinerary

    Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350m)

    Depending on your arrival time, our representative will be at the airport to receive you and transfer you to your booked hotel.

    Evening dinner at the Hotel
    Meals: D
    Accommodation: Gokarna Forest Resort

    Day 2 : Kathmandu – Pokhara (900m) – 25 minutes flights.

    After breakfast, we transfer to the domestic airport for your 25 minutes flight to Pokhara. This spectacular flight offers views of the Langtang, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges.
    Meals: BD

    Day 3 : Pokhara – Jomsom (2980m) – 3 hrs walk

    After an early breakfast you will be transferred to the local airport about 1.5 hrs before your departure time. The flight takes you above the forested area of Ghorepani then over the Kali Gandaki Valley in between the Dhaulagiri range in the west and the Annapurna massif in the east.

    Upon arrival in Jomsom, check-in at the resort which is located at a High Himalayan settlement of Thakali speaking people. At 2800 m, the resort is among the few places in Nepal where giant Himalayan peaks can be admired safely and yet at such close proximity. About 500 feet below the resort is the Kali Gandaki River which flows downstream to form the deepest gorge in the world.

    After the lunch at the resort, excursion to nearby villages. At first, visit Thinigaon where you can visit the Buddhist monastery and continue towards Kaisang Village and in the late afternoon, back to the resort.
    Meals: BLD

    Day 4 : Jomsom – Kagbeni (2800m) – 1 hrs drive/ 4 hrs trek

    Today we take an hour drive to reach Kagbeni. With Nilgiri (7108m) towering Jomsom, wind blowing from south to north, the route goes upstream the Kali Gandaki wide riverbed to reach Kagbeni, the gateway of Mustang. It’s a green oasis at the junction of the Jhong Khola and the Kali Gandaki. Kagbeni looks like a town out of the medieval past, with closely packed mud houses, dark alleys and a large, ochre-colored Gompa perched above the town.

    After lunch, visit Muktinath which has religious shrines, important pilgrimage site for both Buddhists as well as Hindus. The Hindu temple is dedicated to Vishnu. Around the temple is a wall from which 108 waterspouts, cast in the shape of cows’ heads, pour forth sacred water. On the same route we retrace our steps back to the lodge.
    Meals: BLD

    Day 5 : In Kagbeni

    Today, we take a pack lunch for our day hike to Jeula Danda. This viewpoint has spectacular views of the high Himalayas like Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna South, Damodar Kunda, Tilicho and Mustang valley. After the visit, we get back to the lodge.
    Meals: BLD

    Day 6 : Kagbeni – Jomsom – 4/5 hrs trek

    Today, we will start early in order to avoid the strong wind blowing in the valley. En route, we visit the beautiful Bon village of Lupra. “Lupra valley” the part of Tibetan Plateau commonly known as “Roof of the world” and world’s highest and largest plateau amazes you with its enchanting beauty and even the dry looking feature of the valley looks out of the world landscape. And the view of some of the tallest mountain as you climb up is like icing on the cake. After visiting Lupra valley, we descend down to Jomsom.
    Meals: BLD

    Day 7 : Jomsom – Pokhara – kathmandu

    Take an early flight from Jomsom to Pokhara and then take a connecting flight to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu, we’ll transfer to hotel. Then you have free time to relax or head into the city. We find most people want to simply unwind and enjoy the hotel facilities – whatever you choose, we’ll help!
    Meals: B

    Day 8 : Kathmandu

    Today after the breakfast we’ll be touring around the Kathmandu valley. The Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath Stupa are the major sight-seeing areas around the Kathmandu valley. These all are listed in a world heritage sites. The Durbar square shows us the regal life of ancient periods. Pashupatinath temple is one of the most scared Hindu pilgrimages. Swoyambhunath temple and Boudhanath stupa is the Buddhist temple which is very popular around the globe. Swoyambhunath is also known as money temple stands on the hilltop west of the Kathmandu valley. It can also be known as the view point of Kathmandu valley. Boudhanath temple is the biggest Chorten ever made around the world.

    Later on, after the sight-seeing we will introduce to our fellow participants and discuss our trip preparations.
    Meals: B

    Day 9 : International departure

    Depending on your flight time you will be transferred to the airport. The airport checks in is 3 hours prior to the departure time and the hotel checkout time is 12 PM. In case our flight is late evening please let us know if you require half day use of the hotel.

    Our representative will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport.
    Meals: B
  • Essential Info

    Visa

    Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry. If you wish to apply before departure the current visa cost is £20 for a 15 day visa and £35 for a 30 day visa for UK passport holders. The current cost of a visa on arrival is US $25 for 15 days, US $40 for 30 days or if extending your stay $100 for 90 days. All are multiple entry. The visa on arrival fee can be paid for in cash in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros. You will also need a passport photo. Application forms are available in the immigration hall (or for electronic passports there are visa registration machines which, after inserting your passport, automatically fill out a form for you). You must firstly join the queue to pay the visa fee, and then go to the relevant immigration desk to obtain your 15, 30 or 90 day visa stamp. There can be long queues for visas on arrival.

    Non UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).

    Vaccinations

    There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is present in certain regions only (such as Chitwan); you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the TRIP NOTES for complete advice on AMS.

    Eating & Drinking

    Breakfast is included throughout the trip and all meals are provided while camping (all breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners).

    Breakfast is included throughout the trip and all meals are provided while camping. On trek the breakfast will be a set menu usually consisting of porridge and toast. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. We do not include lunch and dinner in the tea-houses, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. Although most lodges have almost identical menus, they are reasonably extensive and offer a varied selection, ranging from traditional Nepalese dal bhat to pizza and apple pie.

    Although meat is available in the tea houses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges, and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.

    If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the suggested amount.

    Drinking Water

    Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

    We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas.

    All tea houses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat it with. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. In Nepal’s trekking regions most of the bottled water isn’t strictly ‘mineral water’ anyway but is UV treated, so it’s exactly the same technology. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions).

    SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Better still, a SteriPEN will pay for itself over the course of the trek and you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – you will end up spending the same or even less than you would on bottled water, plus you can keep it for future trips.

    If you prefer not to invest in a SteriPEN, the tea houses also sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.

    While camping boiled water is supplied for drinking.

    Weather

    The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to mid-May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go.

    Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking.

    Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views. At the highest altitudes although the days can be nice and sunny the temperatures can drop to 10ºC and much lower. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as minus 10ºC and lower at the highest altitudes.

    Pre-monsoon/spring: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 35ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring.

    Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes. Summit day will be a very early start (usually about 2am) and will be extremely cold. Although mostly it is calm and clear on summit day the mountain does occasionally get high winds. You need to be equipped for temperatures as low as minus 25ºC plus wind chill on summit day.

    Please remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.

    More Info

    This is a Tough+ trek. It is activity level 9 with 16 days walking and full porterage throughout. The maximum altitude is 6,189m (or 5,545m without Island Peak) and the average is 3,680m. There are some steep ascents and descents and some narrow trails. As this trek also ascends to very high altitudes participants should be confident of their physical fitness and must have previous experience of trekking at altitude and in snow.

    Although it is not compulsory to participate in the climb (the summit attempt is optional), anyone who does must have previous ice axe and crampon experience and know how to use a jumar and abseil device. There will be equipment checks and practice sessions for rope use, ice axe, crampon and harness use, abseiling and crevasse rescue. For safety reasons it is compulsory to participate in these sessions. If you do not take part the leader and climbing Sherpas will not allow you to take part in the climb.

    Though technically harder than Mera Peak, for those with the necessary experience this expedition is within the reach of those seeking their first Himalayan summit. The climb requires strong lungs and a great deal of will power - it is graded alpine PD+ and starts with some rocky scrambling to a glacier. We cross the glacier roped up (there is one ladder to cross), and then come to a 200m steep 40-45 degree headwall, which leads to a 20m summit ridge. We will rope up to cross the glacier and you will be walking with an ice axe, crampons and plastic boots. There are fixed ropes up the headwall (approximately 200m) and along the summit ridge. On the ascent you will need to use a jumar and on the descent you will need to use an abseil device.

    Please be aware that altitude can have a significant affect on your physical state. It is important that you take heed of the leader's advice and decisions at all times. The leaders are trained in first aid and are well aware of AMS symptoms and will keep a close eye on the group. We ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes.

    The climb itself is not recommended for anyone with a fear of heights or vertigo and the main trail itself crosses three modern suspension bridges over rivers and valleys - all of these have mesh sides but some are quite long and high.

    Is this Trip for you?

    Equipment Checklist

    Body Wear

    • Gore Tex Jacket
    • Gore Tex Pant
    • Hiking pant
    • Fleece trouser and jacket or warm jumper - Recommended not thick but warm enough that fits inside the Gore Tex pant
    • Anti-sweat T-shirtEarmuffs/Ear warmers (optional)
    • Thermal inner trouser
    • Down jacket with hoodie
    • Thermal inner trouser
    • Down jacket with hoodie

    Head Wear

    • Sun Hat/Normal cap
    • Fleece or woolen hat
    • Earmuffs/Ear warmers (optional)
    • Sunglasses with UV protection
    • Buff Scarf / thin face mask

    Hand wear

    • Fleece or woolen thin gloves
    • Expedition shell gloves
    • Gore Tex mitten gloves

    Other Equipments

    • Sleeping bag (comfort rated - 15ºC)
    • 30 Litre Rucksack with cover
    • Large size Duffel Bag with padlock
    • Headlamp with spare batteries
    • Water bottles 1 Litre X 2
    • Thermos
    • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

    Washing kit & Toiletries

    • Waterproof washing kit bag
    • Towel - medium size
    • Washing soap, towel, tooth pest, tooth brush etc.
    • Sun Lotion Enough +30SPF (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
    • Hand wash & sanitizer
    • Toilet paper (you can buy this in the lodges)
    • Wet tissue

    Foot Wear

    • Trekking boots
    • Hollow Out Outdoor Slipper
    • Trekking socks (4-5 pair)
    • Snow Gaiter

    Optional Items

    • Trekking poles
    • Trainers or similar for use in the lodges
    • Shorts
    • Base layer leggings
    • Gaiter
    • Sleeping bag liner
    • Pillowcase
    • Ear plugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring)
    • Travel clothes
    • Camera
    • Pen-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
    • Repair kit – (egg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    This tour spends three nights in a hotel in Kathmandu and one night in Pokhara, four nights on the trek in lodges (tea houses).

    In Kathmandu, we normally use a 3-star hotel, located within walking distance of the Thamel.

    On the trek, we will stay in teahouses for the most part. Some days there may be no tea house at lunchtimes – on these days we carry a packed lunch. The tea houses are basic but adequate; please be realistic about what to expect in the mountains.


  • Gallery

Difficulty Level
Moderate

Moderate

Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

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