Less than fifteen miles north of Pokhara, as the crow flies, Mardi Himal is the most southerly small peak of the Annapurna range: from some viewpoints it seems little more than an outlier on the south-west flank of Machhapuchhre.
Although the route to the summit was tackled and introduced over five decades ago, the trekking trail itself was introduced only recently. Mardi Himal (5,587m), is the triangular-shaped mountain 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, encompassing 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 often 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.
Trekking through dense forests and discovering high alpine pastures adds to the sense of exploration; the sparsely scattered Gurung and Magar 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 as yet unexplored 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 Machhapuchhre.
The ten-year celebration of North Lewisham Scout expeditions to Nepal starts with the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu and exciting visits to various world heritage sites in the Valley. There will be an exhilarating although short flight to Pokhara, during which there should be an almost unending vista of snowy peaks.
Superb views of Annapurnas and Dhaulagiris will be enjoyed throughout the trek, which begins at Nayapul, a short road journey from Pokhara. The early part of the trek is dominated by dense forests of Rhododendron, Oak, Magnolia, Pine and Bamboo, rich with birds, butterflies and many mammals, including Muntjac and Musk deer, also Rhesus Macaque and Grey Langur monkeys: even an outside chance of spotting the endangered Red Panda or Black Bear!
The up–and-down trail passes through narrow gorges, alongside mountain streams and rushing rivers, traversing high ridges and deep valleys, with Gurung and Brahman villages to be visited and enjoyed along the way, providing a unique cultural experience of some of the Nepalese ethnic groups living in the Annapurna foothills.
Another aspect of the trek is the ascent of Pun Hill, the famed site of a 360 degree panoramic view of the Annapurna range, from a completely different viewpoint to that from the Mardi Himal ridge. To enjoy the spectacular panorama at its best, dawn is the ultimate time to see the mountains, as the golden sun rises above them.
The last few days of the trek will see a reunion with the Mardi Himal Summit Team, and back to Pokhara together, where there will be a couple of days’ rest and relaxation, including optional activities, such as Nepalese Cookery Experience, Paragliding, Mountain biking, Pony trekking, Zip Ride, or enjoying peaceful boat excursions on Lake Phewa. Then follows a resurgence of physical activity – white water rafting on the Trisuli River, en route to Chitwan National Park for jungle experience including elephant riding, dug out canoe and bullock cart rides, before driving back to Kathmandu.
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Trip Info (Tour/Trek Styles) Explained
This style of trip is organized for specific groups of people (families, friends,school and college students, colleagues, business associates etc.), and is closed to outsiders. If you are interested in this particular trip departure date then please get in touch with us.
Open to All
This trip departure is open to all. However, if you are interested in this particular trip departure date but want your own private group, then please get in touch with us.
Lodge Based Trip/Trek
This trip/trek is lodge (teahouse) based. All accommodation, including food, is provided in local lodges. Occasionally however, where a large group is concerned we may choose to send our own cook along, as well, to take care of your food hygiene and to cook some special additional items.We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s) and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
Camping Based Trip/Trek
This trip/trek is camping (tent) based. We will provide one 3-man tent for every two people, also single tents, where requested, on payment of supplementary costs. All food and drinks are provided by our experienced cook and his kitchen team. We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s), cook, kitchen crew, food and drink, and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
Guide, Accommodation & Porter only
In this trip neither food nor transportation is included. Clients are responsible for food and local transportation, and our responsibility is to provide insured guide, insured porter, and all necessary permits. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Clients pay for their own accommodation. Any additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, We can arrange hotels and international airport transfer, on request.
Self Guided Budget Trip
This trip is specially designed for low-budget travellers who prefer fairly basic facilities with reduced services. It is a pre-requisite that a porter is hired for any self-guided trip, which is an ideal set-up for those who enjoy independent travel with minimum cost. We have added support to minimise the hard work of planning and costing, and we will be available to help in the unlikely event of an emergency. We will arrange all documentation (including permits), before you arrive in Nepal, so that you are free to get on with your adventure, relying only on your porter to help you on your way. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Hotel accommodation, local transportation and international airport transfers may be arranged, on request.
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