After an exciting overland journey into the Marsyangdi Valley and two days of hiking on the famous Annapurna Circuit, as far as Koto on the north side of the Annapurnas, we leave the much-trekked main trail and venture north through a rugged valley to the isolated village of Naar (4110m). From here, we strike out on a route that follows the Labse Khola and leads beyond the Chulu peaks into the almost unknown Damodar Himal.
Permits & Regulations
All trekkers heading into Upper Mustang are required to purchase a $500 per person permit, (included)which is valid for 10 days. You can stay longer, but every day after that will cost $50.
For more information please visit our FAQs section thank you.
Upon landing at Kathmandu International Airport, our staff will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, and in the evening join us for a typical Nepalese dinner. Your guide will take dinner with you and will provide an informal briefing about the days ahead.
We set off after an early breakfast for the drive westwards to the start of the trek, accompanied by our trek crew. After 3 hours or so, we arrive at the town of Mugling and stop for an early lunch at a roadside restaurant. Soon after leaving Mugling, we reach the small town of Dumre, beside the Marsyangdi River. Here, we turn north on a smaller road which follows the river. We cross the river on a long suspension bridge at Syange before climbing to our overnight accommodation at Jagat (1314m).
Today we begin our trek. Although the road continues up valley, its condition is very rough and it is much more pleasurable to walk from here. Where we can, we take the old trekking trail away from the road. From Jagat we start with a steady climb to Chamje, before descending to cross the river on a suspension bridge. Climbing once more, we enter the Buddhist region of Manang at the village of Tall (which means lake in Nepali). Here the terrain levels for a short section and the raging river slows to a lake-like appearance. Beyond Tall, the trail crosses the river again and continues for a further 4 kilometres to Dharapani (1943m).
The valley now turns towards the west, as we set off and hike to the interesting Buddhist village of Bagar Chap. Manaslu is now visible behind us and Annapurna 2 occasionally in sight on our left hand side, as we walk on the road at times and also find sections of village trail, passing through scattered pine forest and negotiating many stone steps.
There is a checkpoint in Koto where we have to present our permits. Beyond Koto we leave the Annapurna Circuit trail and head up the narrower and steeper gorge of the Naar Phu Khola. We start out on the left or western bank on a trail through beautiful woods and passing various temporary ‘villages’ used in the winter by the people of Naar and Phu. Soon the contrast with the Annapurna Circuit trail is striking and we are unlikely to see very many other trekkers as we make our way up this restricted valley. Camp tonight near the Naar Phu Khola at approximately 3000m.
The trekking today is a world apart from the Annapurna Circuit as we leave this popular trail behind. Only those trekkers with special permits to access this restricted area may proceed up the Naar-Phu Khola. There is a fair amount of up and down to negotiate and some sections of exposed trail hewn from the cliffs above the river, to reach Meta at 3560 metres. Beyond Meta we drop back down to the river and the bridge at Naar Phedi and set up our camp close to Sartek Monastery (3500m).
Taking care with our programme of acclimatisation, we have just a very short morning’s walk today up to the village of Naar (4110m) which is set amongst snow clad peaks and surrounded by fields of mustard and barley.
A day for acclimatisation in Naar. We cannot go higher without a day to acclimatise to our new altitude and this gives a welcome opportunity to explore this highly picturesque place. The people of Naar make their living from spinning and weaving. The village also boasts several colourful gompas which are well worth a visit, or it is possible to climb to the line of prayer flags on the hill above the village for more spectacular views. We spend a second night in Naar.
Leaving Naar we first make a descent into the valley of the Lapse Khola and crossing the river, we then start to climb. Our trek begins to take on a remote feeling as we leave all habitation behind. The trail which is often very indistinct stays high above the valley. We may meet the women of Naar up in these high mountains as they collect yak dung for winter fuel.
The trail again follows the Lapse Khola staying high above the river keeping approximately to the 4500 metre contour line. Towards the end of today’s short and easy trek the trail meets the valley floor again close to the junction of 2 streams. This is the place called Dovan and we camp here beside the river at around 4400m.
We continue to follow the Lapse Khola and then climb steeply up a moraine ridge into an open valley. There are several places where we can camp on the approach to the pass. The best of these is at an elevation of around 5000 metres in a spectacular location and with a backdrop of snow capped peaks.
A long hard day through a continuously spectacular landscape. It will take around 4 hours to climb to the Teri La (5595m). It is possible that we may encounter snow on the ascent and on the top of the pass. From the summit there are tremendous views over the Annapurna range and the nearby Chulu group of the Himalaya. Northwards lies the vast arid plateau of Tibet. Our location and situation here really feels like the off-the-beaten track adventure which is the essence of this trek. From the summit of the pass we make a steep descent at first and then follow a long contouring trail at around 5000 metres, crossing several spurs and ridges before a final steep descent to a stream which is crossed on stepping stones. The camp is a further 20 – 30 minutes walk away beside the Pasphu Khola (4745m).
Another rather long day and another great day of trekking. We start by contouring high above the valley. The trail is not always obvious with sections of landslides to negotiate so it is important to stay together on this section. Eventually we begin to see signs of habitation with Chhorten and small herders’ buildings. There is also more vegetation, mostly scrubby juniper trees and finally we reach Yakpa (4315m) in the Upper Kali Gandaki Valley with its collection of old Tibetan houses.
Although this is a predominantly downhill day, it begins with an ascent which is quite steep and exposed in places. From the top of this climb there are great views back towards the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri and a wide open view across the high plateau area to the north. We now have a long descent as we lose 1000 metres of elevation to reach the small village of Tangge in Upper Mustang (3338m).
We enjoy a well-earned rest day. Tangge is a fascinating place and this is a great opportunity for an insight into local life in this trans-Himalayan village. This day may also be used at the leaders discretion as a contingency day in case of delays or for extra acclimatisation or camps prior to crossing the Teri La.
After an initial climb out of Tangge into an open valley, we descend to the confines of the Puyung Khola where we take our lunch in the steep-sided gorge. Climbing out of the gorge, we finish the day with a gentle descent to our next overnight halt in the attractive village of Yara Gauu (3605m).
We start the day with a steep climb up above the Kali Gandaki. Entering a narrow valley, we then follow an undulating trail to reach the road which is the main trekking route into Mustang. We follow the road for approximately 1 hour to Mustang’s capital, Lo-Manthang (3809m).
After breakfast, we have a couple of hours to look around Lo-Manthang. There is one main gate that gives access to the interior of the capital and the best way to get a look at the town is to climb up onto the roof of one of the inns. From the narrow streets of the town it is difficult to get a clear impression of the layout. The Raja’s palace is a four-storey building of mud and timber construction. Then, in the late morning, we will set off by jeep on the first stage of our 2-day journey to Jomsom. Today, we will have a bumpy drive of about 5 hours south through the heart of Mustang, passing colourful villages such as Charang, Ghami and Geling. Finally, we arrive at Samar at the crest of a rise overlooking the Annapurnas to the south. Samar was a major stopping place for the horse caravans of Tibetan traders and there are several caravanserai (inns) with stables here. We make our camp in the grounds of one of these old caravanserai.
We start the day with a couple of hours of pleasant trekking, with great views of Nilgiri and the Annapurnas ahead. We cross the Chele La (3630m) and drop down to Chele on a trail that is cut into a yellow conglomerate cliff, Below Chele, we cross the upper Kali Gandaki on a metal bridge and, shortly thereafter, we reach Chukksang, where we meet our transport for the drive to Jomsom. Arriving at this busy airport town of Jomsom will be quite a culture shock for us after more than 2 weeks seeing few other trekkers.
We take the short and exciting internal flight to Pokhara and then catch an onward flight to Kathmandu. (Please note that if, for any reason, the first of these flights is cancelled, we are obliged to travel from Jomsom to Pokhara by road. This is a long journey of as much as 10 hours on poor roads, but does provide an insight into the spectacular valley of the Kali Gandaki. In this eventuality, we will overnight in Pokhara, before flying on to Kathmandu on the following day). Assuming we have flown, the remainder of the afternoon is free for sightseeing. As a part of the trip package we have included complimentary evening meals at the finest restaurants in Kathmandu on each of the nights that we stay in the city. On this first night after our trek we will certainly have a party. Overnight at the group hotel in the city.
A free day in Kathmandu, which also allows us some contingency in case the flight out of Jomsom is delayed. If we have experienced no delays this is an opportunity for independent exploration amongst the colourful streets and temples of Kathmandu. This evening we will have a celebratory dinner to mark the end of a most excellent trip.
It’s your last day in Nepal! Grab some breakfast, and then take in some last-minute shopping in Kathmandu. We’ll make sure you arrive at Kathmandu International Airport with plenty of time before your flight home. At this time, we’ll say our goodbyes and bid you farewell, armed with warm memories and gorgeous photos to show your loved ones.
- * 1. All DOMESTIC FLIGHTS AND GROUND TRANSPORTATION TOURIST BUS OR PRIVATE VEHICLES.
- * 2. ACCOMMODATION IN 3 STAR CATEGORISED HOTEL IN KATHMANDU.
- * 3. HIMALAYAN MEMORIES TREK DUFFEL BAG,
- * 4. WELCOME DINNER WITH NEPALI CULTURAL SHOW.
- * 5. A PROFESSIONAL AND QUALIFIED TREKKING GUIDE
- * 6. ALL MEAL BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, AND TEA, COFFEE, ON THE TREK.
- * 7. ALL STAFF EXPENSES
- * 8. PORTER WAGES
- * 9. NATIONAL PARK ENTRY FEE.
- * 10. MUNICIPALITY CHARGE.
- * 11. ALL GOVERNMENT TAXES.
- 12. UPPER MUSTANG RESTRICTED AREA PERMIT FEE ($500)
- * 1. LUNCH AND DINNER IN KATHMANDU EXCEPT WELCOME AND FAREWELL DINNER.
- * 2. BOTH WAY INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE.
- * 3. PERSONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE AND EMERGENCY RESCUE INSURANCE.
- * 4. NEPAL ENTRY VISA FEE
- * 5. ALCOHOLIC STUFFS.
- * 6. FILMING PERMIT OF DRONE AND CAMERA
- * 7. EXTRA NIGHT ACCODAMATION IN KATHMANDU IF LATE DEPARTURE.
- * 8. PERSONAL EXPENSES, LAUNDRY, WIFI CHARGE, SOO ON.
- * 9. STAFF TIPS (MINIMUM OF 5% OF YOUR TOTAL TRIP COST
On your trek, every morning, you are awoken early by a Himalayan Memories Trek staff with a first cup of native tea or coffee, along with a bowl of warm water to freshen up. Next, you are served a full breakfast of local fare. Such as fresh fruit and vegetables where it is available. We mainly serve freshly made porridge, eggs, camp made breads etc.
While you have breakfast the Sherpa’s use this time to disassemble the tents, so make sure you pack all bags before sitting for breakfast. while some porters set off on the daily walk in order to make setups in advance of our arrival at the next stop/camp, so that when we get there, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the area.
Typically, our walks start soon after breakfast. After a couple of hours walk, we will stop for lunches. In general, the afternoon walk is shorter than the morning one, to give people time to visit neighbouring villages, to rest and to chat while the chefs prepare the supper.
As soon as you book your trip with Himalayan Memories Trek you should purchase a policy which covers trekking upto 5500m this will cover you any unexpected events force you to cancel. Your policy should also cover helicopter rescue in the event of an emergency evacuation.The only two methods of travel mostly are on foot or by helicopter once in the mountains. Obviously certain medical conditions are either so debilitating or urgent that the first option is not practicable as an evacuation method. Helicopter evacuation is very expensive and is also dependent on favourable weather conditions. Many of the helicopters are working at the limit of their operating altitude in the higher parts of the valley. Himalayan memories trek will be well placed to coordinate an efficient rescue but we must stress that there is no single definitive cost for a helicopter rescue, much depends on what else the pilot is doing in the area, how far the helicopter has to fly, where it started from and so on. The maximum is about $10,000 so your travel insurance should cover up to this figure specifically for rescue costs. The helicopter company will require a payment guarantee before they fly, this will be done by your insurance provider, opening a case number and arranging the relevant exchanges of information and certification. For this purpose, it is essential that you have the right policy and provide us with all the policy details. Our staff have got mobile phones and generally, there is somewhere near with a phone signal, or else one of the staff will go to the nearest place. The safety and stability of the injured person is the job of the group and the staff and anyone nearby who can assist because sometimes it can take hours for a helicopter to arrive. Thankfully many of the trails have first aid posts along the way, but every group should be prepared to help deal with an injured person and in this case, it goes without saying that the needs of that person are more important than the trek itinerary.
It will be a matter of the helicopter company ascertaining that it is safe to fly to the relevant location and then flying the casualty to a nominated location, almost certainly a hospital in Kathmandu. The helicopter will then be met by Himalayan Memories trek who will help to coordinate any further stages in the process. The helicopter will also fly into Kathmandu airport and our staff will arrange for a car or ambulance to take the person to the hospital. If for any reason the helicopter is unable to fly we will use our many local staff and contacts to coordinate an alternative rescue and treatment regime. Normally this means using horses or simply stretchering a person off the mountain to the nearest safe place or safe helicopter landing area. Again, this is something that will generally involve everyone.
1) Go slowly and take a full day for the hike rather than get there as fast as possible.
2) Drink lots of liquid.
3) Always give way to yaks right of way and when you meet one on a path with a drop to one side, always stand on the uphill side.
4) Don’t get caught out with inadequate clothing to cope with a rapid change in weather This is the high Himalaya and a clear bright morning does not mean the same in the afternoon.
5) Do not wander off by yourself and always make sure people know where you are. Anything can happen and a slip on scree or moraine can mean getting cold very quickly while waiting for someone to come and help.
6) Part of the trek is on lateral moraine and some places are slippery. There is no need for crampons but simple care where you are walking is important.
7) Remember that the best approach to safety is to prevent an accident happening in the first place.
Our treks allow a good time to acclimatise and as a mountain guiding outfit we always want to ensure the trek is safe. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of safely reaching base camp also greatly reduce. We follow established mountaineering principles of height gain on all treks to altitude.
Your main item of luggage should be a sturdy kit bag, duffel bag or similar. This will be carried during the trek by porters or pack animals and must weigh no more than 15kg. You should also bring on your holiday a day-pack of approximately 30 litres capacity. It is possible to leave items not required on trek at the hotel in Kathmandu. For your international flights, please check the baggage allowance with your airline.
The basic idea of the trekking gear for the Himalayas. This Himalaya trekking kit list aims to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night.
You will be given a detailed kit list after booking, but the main points to cover are as follows:-
* BAGS – Rucksack or duffel bag for a porter to carry plus a day pack to be carried by you. Your day-pack should be comfortable and capable of carrying everything you need for the day, plus any valuable items such as a camera and passport.
* SHELL – Top and bottom waterproofs to keep off wind/rain.
* PUFFY LAYER – A puffy jacket, filled with either down or synthetic, designed to be worn while doing physical activity in the outdoors is essential for your kit. This layer will not only keep you warm on the trail should it be cold, but also help you stay cosy in lodges and tea-houses. Often times, these places do not have heat outside of the common area, so a warm puffy jacket will come in handy.
* LAYERS – Shirts, trousers, shorts, T-shirts, jumpers and jackets, hats and gloves. We advise that you do not wear cotton while trekking. Cotton can actually make you colder, and in certain cases, give you hypothermia. Look for synthetic or merino wool material for your layering system.
* BASE LAYER – Thin layers to wick away any sweat and to wear for cold mornings. Both top and bottom. At least two sets.
* UNDERWEAR – We recommend non-cotton. 5-7 pairs.
* FEET – Comfortable Lighter footwear to change into in the evenings. Always be sure that footwear is well-broken in prior to arriving in Nepal. For socks we advise using non-cotton socks with plenty of cushion. If you are prone to blisters, consider getting silk sock liners. 3-5 pairs.
* SLEEPING – Warm sleeping bag (3-4 season) to get a good night’s sleep at the lodges (they also have blankets)
* DRINKING – Water bottles should be hard plastic (Nalgene), not throwaway bottles. We also advise that you do not bring a water bladder. Hose lines can freeze, and if you use boiled water, the hot water will melt your water bladder. For purification methods, we encourage you to bring a UV Filter (SteriPEN), iodine tablets, or a back-country water filter. Please bring spare batteries if you have a UV filter and at least one other method for sterilising water.
* WASHING & MEDICAL quick-dry travel towel, first aid kit, blister kit, extra toilet paper, hand sanitiser, lotion (the air is quite dry), lip balm,
* SUN CARE – sunglasses, sunhat, sunscreen
* TREKKING – trekking poles, umbrella, dry bags, waterproof cover for your rucksack
* PERSONAL ITEMS – cameras, books, headlamp, music, journal, etc.
(Personal first aid kit contents)
Water Purification Tablets
Approximately $450 (or equivalent in pound Sterling, Euros) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including porter and trek crew tips, drinks etc. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. Pound Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATM’s in Kathmandu using your debit or credit cards. (Fee applies) During the trek it is possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer on most days. Please be aware that since everything has to be carried up by porters or animals, these items become more expensive as you gain altitude.
Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. Normally the porters and any other trek staff are given their tips at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Your Guide will advise the group on an appropriate level of tipping. Most groups will hand out the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the holiday. we recommend that each group member contributes around 5 to 10 % of your total trip cost to these tips. At the end of their trek many people also like to donate various items of equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks are always warmly received by the porters. Your guide will make arrangements for a fair distribution (possibly by raffle) amongst the trek crew. Please note that you will have the opportunity to tip your guide separately during dinner on the final evening of the holiday. If you felt your guide was especially helpful, please consider an appropriate bonus to him or her of 20% of group tips.
Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running cheap trips that promote the practice of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider. Your porters work extremely hard to carry your gear, advance set ups and keep your journey safe and enjoyable, sometimes at their own risk and peril. We could not complete our journey without them. They have families, too, and we all want to have an enjoyable, rewarding expedition full of great memories! Tashi Delek!