This trip introduces you to peak climbing from ground zero with Mardi Peak having one of the lowest altitudes among all of Nepal’s trekking peaks…but still goes over 5000m.
Mardi Himal sits pretty less than fifteen miles north of Pokhara towards the southern end of the Annapurna range. This is one of the lowest trekking peaks and the least frequented in Nepal. Basil Goodfellow’s pictures of Mardi Himal, taken in 1953, gave European and western climbers their first idea of the peak; however, the year 1961 saw the first ascent of Mardi himal by Jimmy Roberts and two Sherpas to help them summit via the western flank. Despite talks about some other route in the making, Roberts’s route is the only recognizable one for ascents.
The Mardi trekking climb is an avenue that opens up to sights of some great alpine scenery, lovely flowing rivers and lush green cultivated fields with rolling valleys that stretch for miles. The merry trails through beautiful forests, friendly villages and the absorbing cultural diversity make this odyssey worth the grit trekkers must face on the journey. The deeper we penetrate the Mardi route, the further we get from the civilized world on the outside, but the natural wonders of nature that envelop us on the way as we make it to the Mardi summit will be the perfect start to a whole lot of big climbs we would sure love to do as we continue to discover the true wilderness of Nepal’s Himalayas.
Trip Duration : 12N/ 13D
Peak Climbing Code: STE/PC/04
Trip duration: 13 Days
Grade: Hard…but can be done, the wilderness hereabouts teaches us so much about life
Activity: Cultural tour/Trekking/Climbing
Starts/ends in: Kathmandu
Accommodation: Hotel with Camping on the trail
Meals: Full board - tasty and healthy meals provided on the trail
Transportation: Flights, Private car and Tourist Bus
Max Altitude: 5587m
Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2 : Free at your own leisure
Day 3 : Fly to Pokhara and Trek to Mardi Pul [1,050m]
Day 4 : Trek to Odane Hill [2,510m]
Day 5 : Trek to Kumai [3,049m] – approx – 6-7 hrs
Day 6 : Trek to Khorchon [3,568m]
Day 7 : Trek to Base Camp [4,100m] – approx 5-6 hrs
Day 8 : Climb to the Summit of Mardi Himal [5,555m] and Return to Base Camp [4,100m]
Day 9 : Trek to Kumai [3,049m]
Day 10 : Trek to Ghachok [1,067m] – 7-8 hrs
Day 11 : Trek to Pokhara
Day 12 : Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 13 : Departure for that lovely place we call ‘home’ – Farewell Buddies!
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
It is fantastic flying into Kathmandu on a day with clear blue skies. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks spread down below you are almost rapturous, and begins a whole sequence of memorable experiences that stay with you for a real long time.
An escort from our office will meet you at the airport and reach you to your hotel. Our representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be oriented about your daily activities. This is your first overnight in the valley of temples, probably the most in the world
Day 2: Free at your own leisure
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about what to do in your next free day.
The choice is yours: either you can stroll around the nearby market on your own or you can opt for a half/full day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. The cost for this extra tour is not added in the trek cost and you have to pay extra depending on the places you choose to visit. This extra tour gives you deep insights into Nepal’s iconic monuments that have been recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites. Sansui Treks will give you an orientation on your program & you will also get the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have regarding our upcoming adventure. When this is done, you might find time to shop around the city in the evening time if you need any gears for the trek. Overnight at your hotel
Day 3: Fly to Pokhara and Trek to Mardi Pul [1,050m]
Your trip starts with a 35-minute flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. During the flight, you will get to view the most thrilling sights of the Himalayan range. As the flight lands in Pokhara, you will be enthralled by the irresistible visual treat of Manaslu and other enchanting Himalayan peaks of Nepal. The trek begins in Pokhara. On reaching Pokhara, there is enough time to trek to Mardi Pul which is about three hour’s walk from Pokhara. You start by trekking up the busy trail to Hyenja, past the developed stretch of the ever-growing suburbs of Pokhara and the new water irrigation project. This is the major trade route and is usually active with trekkers. Shortly after passing the original Tibetan Refugee Camp, the trail separates. You take the right-hand branch which leads north across paddy fields and then follow the west bank of the Seti Khola. You follow the trail to where it drops down to the river just after the confluence of the Seti and Mardi Kholas and cross the small bridge which leads to the village of Mardi Pul.
Day 4: Trek to Odane Hill [2,510m]
Leaving the Mardi Pul, the trail then follows the east bank of the Mardi upstream before turning right up the hill to the Gurung village of Riban [1,676m]. You move ahead along the route which now becomes much steeper as it climbs uphill from the village, past a chautara, shortly after which the trail divides. You take the right-hand fork which leads past some cow sheds. The trail has been steep so far, it further becomes even steeper. You 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 faded track to another clearing marking a high point on the ridge, which is Odane Hill. This is where we camp out for the night.
Day 5: Trek to Kumai [3,049m] – approx – 6-7 hrs
We begin our day with a gradual ascent along a ridgeline, but we got to be a bit careful with the trails around because some false trails can take us to nowhere and waste a lot of precious time. Today is a rewarding day with some gentle mountain breeze and stunning views of the big Annapurna mountains that include Annapurna 1 at 8078m, Annapurna south at 7273m, with Hiunchuli at 6336m and Himalchuli at 7540m and several other famous biggies etc. 3-4 of the world’s highest peaks are visible on this climbing trek and there’s enough of nature to stir our imaginations. We also enjoy the impressive views of the distant steep terraced paddy fields and villages that cling to the hillsides. This is followed by a climb through forest to our impressive campsite, high on a grassy knoll, providing more good views of the Annapurna group and Machhapuchare above us; this is where we finally settle down for the night.
Day 6: Trek to Khorchon [3,568m]
As we head out of Kumai, we continue a steep climb along the ridgeline to some pastures meant for grazing at a point named Khorchon at around 3,568 meters. We don’t hike much Today but whatever hiking we do is pretty steep and gritty and this is where we haul up for the night.
Day 7: Trek to Base Camp [4,100m] – approx 5-6 hrs
It’s from this point where we start to go above the tree-lines and we make a beeline for the mountain ahead. The trail goes steeply across a ridgeline to a veiled plateau beneath the south face of Mardi Himal and the South-West Ridge of Machhapuchhre; this particular area was called the ‘Other Sanctuary’, by Jimmy Roberts. We look around for a suitable area to set up camp at 4100m and this needs to be as level as possible. Shrubs of juniper and some berberis bushes are sprinkled across the grassy slopes, and slabs of black rock hover above us, forming the base of the glaciers and mountains above. At dusk, we relish the soft light that covers the mid-hills and plains below us to the east and south. The environs are cool hereabouts and we begin to set up camp for a hot supper and the coming night.
Day 8: Climb to the Summit of Mardi Himal [5,555m] and Return to Base Camp [4,100m]
Today, our operation is to the Summit of Mardi Himal. We set out at the very early break of dawn; morning hours (2.00-3.00am), we ascend steeply in our plastic boots with the help of our headlamps and the moonlight, picking a route through the moraine and rock up onto the glacier. We must anticipate some tricky technical difficulties, where determining routes and engrossing efforts will surely pose challenges. The risk we will face is in the couloir leading to the col below the East Face. Early noon is when avalanches may occur due to climatic changes, and this could influence changes in route and add to the degree of difficulties. The benefit of an early start will see us hiking in pretty stable snow conditions for the better part of the climb and we may need to fix ropes in some areas for the safety of the group; From Base Camp, we ascend steeply towards the col between the East Face of Mardi Himal and the connecting ridge of Machhapuchhre. Once we get to the glacier, conditions are more upfront and we can target the summit – head on. On summiting, members will forget the gritty climbing we had just been through; the rewards are colossal and unimaginable! The magnificent south face of Annapurna is almost within touching distance. And so is Machhapuchare, perched directly above us to the north. The views are unbelievably awesome! We can’t help but get emotional and our video cams are activated for some of the best sceneries on earth. This mountain is graded as: Alpine F. After basking in our successful venture, we gather any of our belongings and descend by the same routes of camp 11 and then 1 and get back to our base. We then catch up with our remaining crew and porters who will be waiting for us and then it’s a welcome rest and a sure celebration which we conclude on a truly merry note, never to be forgotten.
Day 9: Trek to Kumai [3,049m]
After a hot healthy breakfast, we say bye to our Base camp, and descend through the high grazing country called Khorchon and backtrack the same trails we earlier hiked through to Kumai. We set up camp, enjoy our meal and crash out for the night
Day 10: Trek to Ghachok [1,067m] – 7-8 hrs
Today is a pretty lengthy hike downhill as we descend from Kumai and this becomes a physical challenge for our wobbling weary knees, evident also because we lose the altitude gained as we head down to the valley. Descending on an ascended route, we reach Odane Hill. Just before the high ridge, a small track veers left down the east flank of the ridge, plunging steeply to pasture country and a great lunch spot at Hile. As we head for high noon, the trail further descends more steeply to the flourishing farming village of Ghachok, in the valley of the Seti River. Today we descend for nearly eight hours to reach Ghachok. This is where we set up camp for the night
Day 11: Trek to Pokhara
On this day it’s the last hike of our trekking journey, as we stroll along a straightforward route crossing the Seti to the east bank and cling to the main trail south. Descending down the east bank of the Seti, we finally reach Pokhara in about 4-5 hours. Once we reach Pokhara, we can simply relax and chill out with some beers on the laidback banks of the serene Fewa Lake to soak in the astonishing natural beauty of this City of Lakes. Overnight at our hotel by the lakeside
Day 12: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu
After our breakfast, we head down to the airport for our flight back to Kathmandu. On arrival, we will be met and transferred to our designated Hotel where there is no fixed program for the rest of the day. It’s actually your day to do as you please. You can relax or shop around for some souvenirs to take back home for the loved ones, or simply explore what you left out on your arrival
Day 13: Departure for that lovely place we call ‘home’ – Farewell Buddies!
Today is free to relax and do your own things; perhaps some last minute shopping or pen a few post cards to the loved ones at home, until your departure or to commence any additional trips or activities you may have booked. If you are departing, you’ll be transferred to the international airport in time for your return flight home. Meeting you has been a wonderful experience that Incentive Holidays will cherish for a long, long time; & on your way home, you’ll be thinking of a trip that will linger in your memories for a whole lifetime which we are sure will become fireside stories to be told to your loved ones on a cold winter night for the generations to come. Till we meet again one day…its bye for now.
Please Note: The above itinerary should be taken only as a guide line; it could change due to weather owing to unfavorable climatic conditions, availability of clean water and campsite, trail or any other unforeseen circumstances. In case of a trek Itinerary alteration or if it needs to be re-routed to another area, your Group Leader or Sherpa Guide will make the final decision after consulting with the trekking group. We must keep in mind that this venture occurs in mountainous regions where the going can get pretty tough, especially when we get to the higher elevations. However, the risk comes down to the bare minimum with Incentive Holidays because we know the land and go the extra mile in ensuring that you enjoy this journey…your way, at your pace.
A ‘Camping trek’ is a term used for sleeping in tents. The tents we provide are ‘Two men or couple domes’ or ‘A’ shaped. A foam mattress with insulation underneath is used for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows. It’s a matter of choice, if you want, you bring your own ‘Air pillow’ and freak out anyways, and this is adventure in the wild…the rougher it gets the better.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection with this program, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a choice of their own. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website. Accommodation is never a problem, the choice exclusively yours.
At ‘Incentive Holidays’ – its zero tolerance on cutting of cost when it comes down to feeding our trekking guests, because we know how tough it is on the trails; we ensure that the lodges provide three tasty, bountiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast is ‘king-size’ [the first meal of the day] consisting of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereals followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.
After a lengthy gritty day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice and pasta dishes completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The local trek leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain extremely high standards of health over many years of planning treks - and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for. ‘Gluttony is a sin’ but there are no restrictions on the grub we serve to our guests on the mountains; we leave it up to our trekking guests who are the best judge of their own appetites.
Note: All our Nepali staffs [guides and porters] are insured [life and medical].
Popular Sightseeing places in Kathmandu:
Half day sightseeing includes visit two of these places and full day sightseeing includes three of these places inside the ring-road of Kathmandu. Besides the above mentioned places, the charges will apply depending on the distance accordingly.
Trekking and climbing in Nepal offers different geographical conditions, some are more challenging than others. Some of our expeditions have determined objectives or goals that require teamwork, being helpful and an optimistic spirit for all members to make the trip successful, eventually rewarding and a journey enjoyed by all. Being very fit and healthy enables participants to cope with the rigours of the trip through all conditions as members hike through difficult geographic territory throughout the odyssey; being mentally prepared for different experiences on some of the most rugged terrain on earth is also just as important. We strongly suggest that those enlisting for this venture correspond with us to make sure you’ve made the right choice to do this trip and that you are confident and physically fit enough for a journey into the true wilderness of the Himalayas. Its only you that knows your body better than anyone else.