Mardi Himal (5587 meters) is the name given to the feature of the long rising ridge and its summit that from the southwesterly lower slope of Mount Machhapuchhare (Mt. Fishtail). This peak is situated in the Annapurna region of Nepal.
This trek offers the opportunity to escape Nepal’s tourist trails to venture in to the deep forests and roam the high alpine pastures that flank the Annapurna ranges. Explore the traditional villages; get magnificent panoramic views of diverse landscape, amazing bio-diversity of culture are highlights of this trek.
From Pokhara we drive to Phedi and start our trek spending the first night at Dhampus (1700 m). Here you will get an opportunity to explore the native Gurung village and experience their Culture, tradition and their lifestyles. From Dhampus we trek through the forest of birch, rhododendron, and oak to reach Forest Camp (2550m) our second nights camp site. The next day we climb through the forest to reach Low Camp (3150m). En-route we get glimpses of Mt.Hiunchuli and Annapurna South. As we climb further through the forest up to High Camp (4100m) Annapurna South seems near enough to throw a rock at and Machhapuchare itself close enough to touch! The next day we will do a day trip which will take us just above 4500 meters in altitude to get panoramic views of the Himalayas including Annapurna I, Mt. Dhaulagiri Ganesh Himal and dozens of other peaks. After taking pictures we return back to camp and head further down to Forest camp. The next day hike downhill to Merabari for our final nights lodge. We start the descend the next day by hiking to Siding Village where we will board the vehicle and drive to Pokhara city.
DAY 01: ARRIVAL: TIA, KATHMANDU
Arrival in Kathmandu, met by a Khempalung Adventure representative and hotel transfer. Relax the rest of the day.
DAY 02: AM: SIGHTSEEING PM: TREK BRIEFING/LAST MINUTE ESSENTIALS PURCHASE
In the morning, travel through time as you explore the various UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kathmandu. Visit the temples and palaces of the Durbar Square with beautiful architecture, Swayambhu Stupa (Monkey Temple) and watch the Kathmandu Valley atop a hill.
In the evening a short brief about the trek and allow time to purchase last minute essentials.
DAY 03: FLY TO POKHARA
After leisurely breakfast board the waiting vehicle and drive to domestic airport.
Catch the 25 minutes flight to Pokhara. Upon arrival met by the waiting vehicle and drive to Hotel. Check in. Rest of the day is free to rest, relax and enjoy the lake side city on your own.
Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 04: FROM POKHARA DRIVE TO PHEDI & TREK TO DAMPUS (1700 METERS)
After breakfast board the waiting vehicle and drive from Pokhara to Phedi which takes around 45 minutes. Here meet the rest of the team and commence trek to Dhampus (1700 m). The trek starts immediately with a steep climb on a cobbled stone steps and through mixed forests and scattered settlement.
As you gain the elevation the trail becomes gradual passing through the villages and terraced rice and paddy fields and takes an hour to arrive at the Top View Lodge which marks the end of the steep path and arrival at Dhampus Plateau. From here the incline is much easier as the trail continues to climb steadily in more forested area and after about an hour we arrive at the entrance to Dhampus Village with a maze of houses and alleyways of stone walls. There are magnificent views of the mountains from west to east of the Annapurna South (7219m), Hiun Chuli (6441m), Mardi Himal (5587 m) and Machapucchre (6993m) to the north.
On arrival at Dampus we check in to one of the lodge to spend the first night of the trek. As your lunch get prepared one can take shower or free to relax and enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.
Drive Duration: 45 Minutes. Trek duration 3 – 3 ½ hrs.
Evening at leisure or free to explore the village
Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge
DAY 05: TO FOREST CAMP (2,550 M)
Weather permitting we will be able to see the spectacular over the Fishtail mountain which upon the rays of the sun hitting it turns to pink in the beginning and then then golden and on the backdrop at a distance will be the bare rock wall of Annapurna II still in shadow.
After breakfast we start the days hike. Today we will start our ‘secret trail’ leaving tourists, other trekkers and even villagers behind. Most of the hike will be steep uphill climb for most through thick jungle with beautiful views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. We enter an enchanted forest of birch, giant rhododendron, mountain oak, maple, and hemlock, camping in a small clearing far from the beaten trails.
Trek Duration: 6 ½ – 7 Hour
Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge
DAY 06: TO LOW CAMP (3150 M)
After breakfast we continue to climb and we see the change in flora and fauna which turns to classic ‘cloud forest’ with mosses and lichen, tree ferns and orchids hosted by the hardier trees. There are natural windows in the woods that look out onto thrilling panoramas – towards Hiunchuli and the knife-sharp traverse towards Annapurna South. Far below, to our left, we can see the Modi Khola Valley leading up into the Annapurna Sanctuary.
We reach camp for lunch for it is wise not to go too high too fast. Though still surrounded by forest, we have spectacular northerly views of the ever-closer ‘Fishtail’.
Trek Duration: 4 ½ – 5 Hours
Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge
DAY 07: TO HIGH CAMP (4100 M)
After breakfast it’s just a short, steep climb and we are out of the forest. A ridge, now grassy and sometimes under snow, takes us up to High Camp which we shall reach at lunch time and where a second consecutive afternoon is spent acclimatizing and awestruck by the views. Annapurna South seems near enough to throw a rock at and Machhapuchare itself close enough to touch.
Trek Duration: 4 ½ Hours
Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge
DAY 08: EXPLORATION TO LOWER HIGH CAMP AND DOWN TO BADAL DANDA
An early wakeup call today we shall walk to Mardi Himal viewpoint (4,200 m) to witness the sunrise and mountains. (Headlight is neded) .
Reach the destination and enjoy the morning view at the Upper viewpoint and then hike back to High Camp.
After breakfast at High Camp, we will trek back to the Badal Danda where we can spend the evening watching Yaks, sheep’s gazing around.
Trek Duration: 6 ½ – 7 ½ Hours
Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge
DAY 09: TO SIDING VILLAGE (1750 M) & DRIVE TO POKHARA
After a relaxed breakfast, tired bodies make an unhurried decent through the shade of the forest and out onto terraced fields, down 2500 meters approximately in all (steep descend). This is a different route down to the upper Mardi Khola, the torrent that has been the ice and snow of the Mardi Himal. Although remote and still away from all the much-used ‘Tea-house’ trekking routes, our trek now takes on the mood of the arm valley and the friendly villages. Here we make our way along the banks of the Mardi Khola from the hill-side village of Siding, down through the lovely fields, past the simple farms and over the interesting bridges.
Board the waiting vehicle and drive to Pokhara
Trek Duration: 3-4 – Hours. Drive Duration: 2 ½ Hrs
Overnight at hotel
DAY 10: AM: FREE PM: FLY BACK TO KATHMANDU
After leisurely breakfast rest and enjoy Pokhara.
In the afternoon board the vehicle and drive to airport and catch the 25 minutes’ flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival met and transferred to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 11: FINAL DEPARTURE
Free for final minute packing and shopping until transferred to the airport for final departure.
Best Period: Mar, to May – Oct, to early Dec.
Time duration: 10 nights / 11 days
Trek Period: 05 Nights / 06 Days
In Kathmandu: 03 Nights
In Pokhara : 02 nights
Trek Type: Moderate +
Highest Altitude: 5000 + meters
Warning: Altitude Sickness.
Trek Start: Phedi
End Point: Siding Village
Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu & Pokhara / Lodges on trek
National Park: Annapurna National Park (7629 sq. kms)
Mountains: Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna South, Machhapuchhare, etc.
Rivers: Kali Ghandaki, Trishuli, Narayani
Tribes: Thakalis (Gurung)
Forests: Of Rhododendron and Pine.
Landscapes: Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains.
NEPAL TREK INFORMATION
What is Tea House / Lodge trek?
A simple way to under Tea house / Lodge is probably ‘a small hotel’. However this can sometimes be misleading, as they do not have high-end facilities like modern hotels in urban areas. The concept though is same as hotels in providing accommodations (rooms) and meals for guest staying in it.
So if one does a trek going from point A to B to C etc., and spending nights in these kind of lodges or teahouse is called a ‘Lodge Trek’ or ‘Tea House Trek’
Which areas in Nepal have Tea House treks?
The most popular regions for treks in Nepal are Annapurna, Everest Langtnag and Upper Mustang. All these places have good quality lodges, well managed, variety of food to choose from the menus available and boast of Wi-Fi, bakeries etc.
Around the areas that have lesser trekkers like, Makalu Barun, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga etc. the tea house/ lodge are very basic in comparison.
Basically good lodges have developed where foot traffic is the most and Annapurna, Everest and Langtang receive the most trekkers in Nepal.
Rooms in the Lodges?
The rooms are very basic in most places. In some very popular areas like Annapurna and Everest high-end rooms with attach bath and flush toilet and ruining hot/ cold water have come out in the recent years. However these kinds of lodges are very few and not available in all places on the trek route.
Basic room’s sizes are on an average of 8 feet by 8 to 10 feet. They have twin cots with mattress and pillows. Most lodges provide blankets, however for hygienic regions it’s advisable to carry a good sleeping bag of your own. The walls are pretty thin and noises carry. Earplugs are recommended to be carried.
In more remote areas one may only get dormitories for accommodations and dinning and sleeping arrangements may be in the same common area.
Toilets in the Lodges
Most lodges have several common toilets inside the lodge. The number depends on how big the lodge is. On an average a lodge having 15 /18 rooms may have 3 /4 common toilets. The toilets are very basic and no flush or running water is available in the toilets. Please bring you own Toilet paper. Drums with water and a mug are the ways to flush!
In Annapurna and Everest region we try and provide rooms with attach bath
where available. However, do note that there are only a handful of places where this kind of facility is available.
Food in lodges
Menu in most places especially the more popular trekking routes have extensive looking menus ranging from local, Tibetan to western delicacies. Items like Dal Bhat (rice, vegetables and lentils), pizzas, pastas, momos (dumplings), noodles, soup, fried rice etc., are amongst the common ones in all menus.
Our recommendation is to avoid meat, as in most places porter carry the meat to lodges without any hygienic way to keep the meat fresh on the way. It takes at least few days to reach the lodges. Even the canned meat items are not recommended, as one has no way to check the expiry date etc.
Recommended food items are the local ones like Dal Bhat, Momos (Dumplings), noodles etc, as they are freshly made in comparison to other food items. Please remember the cooks in the lodges are ‘not chefs’, very few are trained professionally as most have learned through looking at other cooks cooking in the same lodges or similar ones in the area. Basically sticking to local food is best as they are hygienic and fresh.
For breakfast pancakes, porridge, toast (not available everywhere), eggs etc. are available in all lodges.
There is a common dining area with fireplaces in all lodges. This is not only a place to eat but also a good place to unwind, interact with fellow trekkers, read a book, play board games or cards and relax.
Everyday our guide will help you and provide information on what choices to make in which places / lodges for food.
Drinking water on treks
One can get boiled water or bottled mineral water or filtered water in the Everest region, Annapurna and Langtang region. On an average a liter of water will cost US $ 1.50 to US $ 4.00 per liter. As one gains altitude on trek or goes further from the urban areas the higher the cost of drinking water.
Showers during treks
Hot or Cold showers are available everywhere in the Lodges. In some lodges, especially as we go higher in altitude instead of showers a bucket of hot water may be the option.
A hot shower cost on an average of US $ 3.00 to US $ 5.50 per shower. The higher we go the more expensive the bath.
We recommend not to take too may baths on treks specially if one is going to high altitude treks. The reason being the temperature drops rapidly as the sunsets and getting the body temperature back to normal after shower at high altitude becomes difficult. This increases the chances of catching cold and walking with cold at high altitude with thin cold air is not a pleasant experience. So please try and avoid taking showers as much as possible.
Electricity on treks
Electricity hasn’t reached all places in Nepal. So electricity is limited to certain areas of the trek. On an average one has electricity till about 3500 meters in altitude. As we gain altitude solar system has been set up in all lodges.
Rooms have lights only till places where electricity has reached. So where electricity has not reached there are no room lights. Dining hall, toilets and all common areas have electricity through the night even if it is being supplied through solar system.
Charging camera batteries, mobile phones can be done at the dining hall upon informing the management. They charge on an average of US $ 2.00 to US $ 6.5 for getting the batteries fully charged. The higher we go the more expensive to charge.
We recommended that you put your batteries in your sleeping bags at night to keep it warm as in cold the batteries drains energy very fast.
Wi-Fi and mobile phone on treks
Annapurna and Everest regions have lodges that provide Wi-Fi. A cost of US $ 5.00 to $ 12.00 depending on what data package they have is charged on per hour or per day basis.
Other trek areas have not developed this facility.
Annapurna and Everest region has good mobile connectivity. Other areas don’t have much coverage but the mobile network connection is growing. Please enquire via mail about the mobile phone coverages on trek routes for details.
One can get a mobile phone sim card on arrival at the airport. Passport photocopies with passport size photo (one) is required.