Nepal Far West Exploratory GHT
Nepal

49 Trees Planted for each Booking

Simikot
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Strenuous
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: International Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 4 - 10 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 03 Nov 2022

Details

Our Nepal Far West Exploratory GHT trek starts from Simikot and follows a number of remote river valleys in an anti-clockwise direction to the Tibet border at Hilsa. This trek is wild, remote, and very much an exploratory trek in the true sense of the word. A sense of adventure and flexibility is required if you would like to join this trek in November 2022.

This exploratory trek is the result of Adrian (Ade) Summers’ reconnaissance visit to Far West Nepal in April 2022. The original plan was to follow the classic The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) route in the Far West of Nepal. This goes from Jumla - Rara Lake - Simikot - Limi Valley to the Tibet border at Hilsa. But, after a few days, we found out there are new jeep tracks and roads all the way to Simikot and onto Hilsa. This section of Far West Nepal GHT is now obsolete for trekkers.

During our research for Ade’s recce, we identified a valley to the northeast of Simikot that is unaffected by road development. So we pivoted our plans to explore this very remote region where only a small number of expeditions have ever visited to attempt unclimbed peaks on the border with Tibet. We are really excited by this new trail as it is in fact far better than the original Nepal Far West GHT route that it has replaced. To find out more about Ade's recce and our Nepal Far West Exploratory GHT route take a look at our Blog article A Remote Trekking Option For Nepal Far West Section Of The Great Himalaya Trail.

After landing at the airstrip we leave Simikot and drive by jeep to our first camp at Dojam. From there we start the trek heading east along the Lurupya Khola before turning more northerly up the Chuwa Khola. We follow a narrow pony trail up the steep-sided valley. From near Syamboyak, the valley opens out as we follow the Dojam Khola. From Gurukpa camp we follow the Ning Khola where the valley retains its dry river bed appearance. 

Further up the valley is the Tibet border and the unclimbed peaks of Chandi Himal. Whereas we turn off to the West into a side valley. We start ascending to our camp at Medoking at around 5,150m in the shadow of an un-named peak at 5,894m. The next day we cross Nying La at about 5,500m and descend to our camp at Nying Kuna.

We walk out towards Limi Valley and on a rest day, we walk to a viewpoint to see Mount Kailash and the Holy Lake at Manasarovar. Our remote trek continues as we head West into the Sakya Khola valley located to the north of Limi Valley. Very little is known about this valley as has been rarely visited by foreign trekking or expedition groups. From here we cross over a broad pass around 5,000m heading south to reach Halji village in the Limi Valley. We have a rest day and visit Halji’s ancient monastery known as a Gompa. We continue our journey on the traditional route to Hilsa on the Tibet border before getting a jeep back to Simikot, and flights back to Kathmandu.

Important note: the exact locations and heights of the campsites are unknown and the map positions are only approximate locations.

Route Map

Itinerary

Arrive in Kathmandu

No meals

Hotel Ambassador in Kathmandu

You will be met on arrival at Kathmandu airport and driven back to the hotel.  Please provide travel plans on booking and we will arrange the pick-up and transfer.

Breakfast

Hotel Ambassador in Kathmandu

This morning your leader will give the trek briefing and check your gear. We will collect your passports from you so that we can apply for the trekking permits. The rest of the day is free to explore Kathmandu and to pack your bags. You can leave a bag at the hotel with items not needed on trek.

Fly to Nepalganj

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Soaltee Western Premium or Hotel Siddhartha

We take the flight to Nepalgunj in western Nepal. There are good views of the Himalayan mountains from the right side of the plane. Nepalgunj is the largest city in the Terai with a hot and humid climate.

Fly to Simikot (2,983m0

Drive to Dojam (2,470m)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After an early morning start, we take a flight to Simikot the main airport of the Far West of Nepal. After landing at the short takeoff and landing "STOL" mountain airstrip we drive approximately 3 hours to our camp at Dojam. The route will take us on the new road to Kharpunath where we stop for a break and visit the Temple. We will continue along a jeep road for another 1 ½ hours to our riverside campsite in Dojam. Depending on our arrival time we can visit the Monastery (Gompa) or relax in camp.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Walking for 6 to 7 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we start our trek using mules for porterage of our gear. We ascend a trail following the Chuwa Khola river. We walk through pristine forest and contour around various river gullies and ridges. We cross the Chuwa Khola river twice before arriving at our camp in the forest at a place called Syamboyak. This is near the junction of with the Tumling Khola.

Walking for 5 to 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Staying on the west side of the valley we progress through the forest as we ascend in altitude. If we are lucky we will see Nepal's national bird the brightly coloured Danphe birds and Griffon Vultures soaring over head. We come out of the jungle to arrive at our camp at Phokung / Dhyauling (3,888m) near the junction of the Lor Khola.

Walking for 5 to 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Soon after leaving camp we cross over the Dojam Khola and follow the river on a riverside trail. We meet the Lacbam Khola on our right. Again we cross on a traditional wood bridge before continuing to follow the river and reach our camp at Gurukpa.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Walking for 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

At Gurukpa the valley splits and we follow the west side of the valley along the Ning Khola. The other side of the valley is fed by the glaciers in Tibet flowing down from the Chang La. it is a shorter day today as we set up camp in a spectacular spot near the riverside.

Walking for 4 to 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The landscape starts to open up and with the scenery, we feel we are in a remote region of Tibet. We continue our journey along the Ning Khola. It is a long mornings walk to our campsite at Tashi Lung. In the afternoon we will take time to relax and prepare for the climb up to the pass.

Walking for 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We follow the river valley for a short distance before turning off left into a side valley. Here we ascend in the shadow of an un-named peak at 5,894m. We set up camp called Medoking before the Nying La pass. If we are lucky we may be able to spot herds of Blue Sheep in the upper pastures.

Walking for 7 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We continue along the valley to gain more height and cross the Nying La at approximately 5,500m. After a rocky descent, we enter a remote valley which will eventually lead us to the Limi Valley. It is a challenging day, but we are rewarded with amazing mountain views that few people have ever seen.

Walking for 5 to 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We follow a lovely trail along Nying Khola river as we descend this remote valley.

Walking for 5 to 6 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We follow the Nying Khola to Trakste. We might have a few river crossings today. We arrive at Trakste and this is the first sight of civialisation for quite a few days.

Walking for 6 to 7 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We leave the Trakste watershed as we head north following the old trade route to Tibet.

Walking on day trip for 4 to 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we have a rest day. For the energetic, there is an opportunity to walk up to a viewpoint for a view of the sacred mountain of Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. This is about a 4 to 5 hour round trip but is very worth the effort.

Walking for 7 to 8 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Feeling refreshed from our rest day we continue along the old Tibet trade route and descend to meet the Sayka Khola river. We leave the trade route to head west following the Sayka Khola. After about an hour we reach our camp at Tagfu / Phyalang.

Walking for 7 to 8 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We follow the Sakya Khola river in a wide-open valley. We camp in the river valley before the point where we need to head south in order to cross into the Halji Valley.

Walking for 7 to 8 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We leave the Sakya Khola to head south as we walk over a broad col. We trek past a lake and the high point at approximately 5,050m, before descending and meeting the Halji Khola river valley. We follow the valley and descend to Halji village and the ancient Gompa of Halji.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After a number of hard days, we will spend a well-earnt rest day in Halji village. Halji is the biggest and most important village in Limi Valley. We will visit the 800-year-old Rinchhen Ling Gompa monastery.

Walking for 4 to 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We leave Halji and follow the Limi Khola river to the west. We are trekking on good trails through upland pasture and we see Buddhist mani walls on the way. We cross to the north side of the river before we reach Tiljung after about 4 or 5 hours of trekking. We take the rest of the day to explore and relax in the ethnically Tibetan village of Tiljung.

Walking for 7 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We leave the barley fields and farmland of Tiljung behind we enter a more rocky and steeper valley trail now following the Humla-Karnali river. On the way, we will hopefully visit a sacred meditation cave,  Cha-sa Nam-ka Dzong. This is the meditation cave of Lotsawa Rinchen Sangpo, a well-known interpreter of Buddhist scriptures. This is an ancient caravan route from Tibet into the Limi Valley and we continue our upper valley traverse to arrive at our camp in Manapeme after about 7 hours. Interestingly the camp gets its name from the Mani Mantra engraved on a large rock.

Walking for 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We follow the Humla-Karnali river and trek above the gorge.  We finally descend and across the bridge above the Humla Karnali River to arrive at our destination of Hilsa. This is the border town of Nepal and Tibet. This is a busy border town and you will notice the contrast in development on both sides.

Driving by jeep for 9 to 10 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We have an early start for a long day in a jeep driving to Simikot. We will stop off and have tea and lunch at various villages on the way. We will arrive in Simikot in the late afternoon and explore this historic regional centre.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Fly to Nepalganj

Fly to Kathmandu

Breakfast and Lunch

Camping

We have an early start for an early 1-hour long flight to Nepalganj in the lowland of the Terai. It is hot and humid as we are just a few miles away from the Indian border. If all goes well after a short break we board our flight to Kathmandu, with hot showers and cold beers.

Breakfast

Hotel Ambassador in Kathmandu

Fly home

Breakfast

Transfer to Kathmandu airport for the flight back home. End of trip.

Dates & Prices

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2022

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 03 Nov 2022 to 02 Dec 2022 Trip Leader Adrian Summers Price US$5,695pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$295pp / US$495pp
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What's Included

  • All internal transport and transfers including airport collections.
  • Internal flights. The flights are from Kathmandu to Nepalganj and to Simikot. After the trek flights are from Simikot to Nepalgunj and then to Kathmandu.
  • Twin-share rooms at Hotel Tibet or Hotel Ambassador in Kathmandu.
  • Breakfast only in Kathmandu, all meals included while on the trek.
  • Twin-share tents while on trek using our Western branded tents.
  • Trekking arrangements. Including permits and fees, tents, International and Sherpa guides, porters and cooks.
  • Porterage. The allowance for your main bag is 15kg.
  • Weather forecasts from EverestWeather.com.
  • Thuraya satellite phone for organising logistics and medical evacuations. It can also be also used for personal calls at extra cost.
  • GPS tracking on Google Maps. Your friends and family can track your progress during the trek.
  • Trekking map given to you on arrival to Kathmandu.
  • Rubberised luggage tag posted to you before departure.
  • Full financial protection. Our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) number is 10921. Our Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (ABTOT) membership number is 5365).
  • Pre-departure support and advice from The Mountain Company. We are available by email, phone or face to face meetings.

What's Not Included

  • International flight to/from Kathmandu.
  • Travel & trekking insurance.
  • Nepal visa for 30 days at US$40 (approx £25).
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu.
  • Personal clothing & equipment. Take a look at the kit list.
  • Tips. Each trekker should budget for giving tips into the group fund. This should be in the region of 21,000 Nepalese rupees (£135, US$175 or €150).
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”

Accommodation

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

Hotel Tibet is in Lazimpat next to the Radisson. This is our usual hotel for our standard trips in Nepal.

We have used Hotel Tibet for over 15 years and our clients have enjoyed staying at this property. It has a good location, comfortable rooms and high level of service. There is a garden terrace next to the restaurant on the ground floor. On the fifth floor there is a roof terrace with the Yeti Bar overlooking the city.


Camping in Nepal

We use both Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1s and Quechua tents for our camping treks in Nepal.

Practical Information

Typical Day On Camping Trek in Nepal

We provide a comfortable experience on our camping style treks. Our team works hard to support you so that you can relax and enjoy trekking in Nepal. We provide personal tents, mess tent, kitchen tent and toilet tent(s). The camp will be set up and dismantled by the trek crew. We bring along a cook and kitchen helpers to provide the meals.

The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the trek crew. Before heading for breakfast you pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the trek crew pack away the tents. The porters arrange their loads and set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, between 7am and 8am, we start walking.

The pace of the trek is moderate as there is plenty of time in the itinerary to reach the camp for tonight. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around midday at a spot by the side of the trail. Our cooks prepare lunch for us and the food is usually ready by the time the group arrives.

After lunch we continue the walk and on most days we arrive to camp by mid afternoon. Some of the trek crew would have gone ahead of the group to set up camp and to put up the tents. On arrival to camp you will get a hot drink and biscuits. In the evening our cook will provide a three course meal in the mess tent around 6pm.

After supper the leaders will discuss the plan for the next day. Afterwards people might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events or playing cards. After a tiring day most people head to their tent quite early for the night. Tomorrow is likely to be very similar as today! The only difference is that if we are crossing a high pass or climbing to a summit we leave camp earlier in the morning.

You can read more about our Camping Treks in Nepal on our Blog. This article explains the advantages of camping versus teahouse lodge treks. It also describes what the campsite set up is like and more about the food provided by our cooks.

Food provided on Camping Trek in Nepal

While on a camping style trek in Nepal we provide tasty and nutritional food. We make sure there is more than enough quantity to go around as trekkers will be hungry after a long day on the trail. Over the years we have worked on increasing the variety of the menus. We have expanded the list of ingredients provided to the cooks so they have more to work with. Also in 2015 we purchased two food dehydrators with a vacuum sealing machine. We dehydrate a large number of different vegetables in Kathmandu before departure. This has transformed the quality of food especially on longer treks to remote areas.

For breakfast we provide porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis and eggs. There will be hot drinks including tea, herbal teas, hot chocolate and coffee. We provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine.

For lunch we stop at a convenient spot with water at the side of the trail. The cook and kitchen walk ahead of the group in the morning and lunch should be ready shortly after our arrival. After lunch we have time to relax before starting to walk again in the afternoon.

On arrival at camp in the afternoon you have biscuits and a hot drink such as tea or coffee. Around 6pm we serve a three course meal in the mess tent. The starter is often soup with popcorn or poppadoms. We have a range of main dishes and carbohydrates including rice, potatoes or pasta.

We cater for a variety of dietary requirements. Our meals are suitable for vegetarians. If there is a meat dish then we also provide vegetarian options as standard. During booking we find out if you have any dietary needs and agree upon meal plans before departure. If you have any questions about the food provided please get in touch with us to discuss further.

Communications

We bring a Thuraya satellite phone for logistical, safety and personal use. Personal calls charged at £4 (US$5 or €4.50) per minute and £2 (US$3 €4.50) to send and receive SMS text.

Kit list for Far West Nepal GHT

This is the mandatory kit list for the safety of everyone in the group and to ensure a successful trek. You must have the following items tailored for Nepal Far West GHT trek. The group leader will check your gear in Kathmandu before departure for the trek.

As a reminder, the weather on this trek will vary season to season and day to day as you ascend to higher elevations. At the start of the trek you will experience hot conditions with temperatures up to 25 Celsius. You experience the coldest temperatures with overnight lows down to around -12 Celsius.

You should bring a rucsac or backpack for gear required during the day. Your pack should contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The weight limit is 5kg. A porter will carry the rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag. The weight limit for your duffel bag is 15kg. Please mark your bag on the outside for easy identification.

Print the kit list and tick items off as you pack them then weigh your kit bag before you come on trek.

Footwear

  • Walking Boots. A pair of water repellent boots with ankle support. Boots must be in good condition, the best approach is to get new boots and break in before the trek.
  • Trail shoes. Used around camp and as a replacement if your walking boots fall apart!
  • Sandals. Enclosed sandals are best to protect your feet during river crossings. Required for river crossings as well as two trekking poles.
  • Walking socks.

Clothing

  • Waterproof and Windproof jacket (with hood) and trousers (goretex or similar). For use if it rains or snows during the trek and in windy conditions.
  • Trekking trousers. (eg. Mountain Hardwear Mesa V2 or The North Face Paramount Peak).
  • Soft Shell Trousers.
  • Long sleeve tops or shirts (not cotton).
  • Micro fleece.
  • Mid to heavyweight fleece or synthetic/ primaloft top.
  • Sleeveless/ gilet or body warmer type fleece / synthetic top. This will help keep your core warm while not bulking when layering up. Gilet used in combination with base layers, other fleeces and down jacket. This provides the most warmth and insulation.
  • Thermals or base layer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
  • Fleece or synthetic leggings. Worn around the camp or added as a layer when the temperatures start to drop higher up.
  • Medium weight down jacket.

Head and Gloves

  • Fleece gloves.
  • Warms mittens and/or gloves.
  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf (eg. Buff Headwear).
  • Head torch. Bring extra batteries.
  • Sunglasses. The lenses need to be Category 4 rated. They should have side protection or wraparound design.

Personal equipment

  • Sleeping bag. Overnight lows down to -12 Celsius. It is possible to rent a bag from Shonas Rental in Kathmandu.
  • Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag. A liner protects your sleeping bag from getting dirty. Also helps by adding extra insulation to keep you warm at night.
  • Sleeping mat (eg.Thermarest). On trek we provide everyone with a foam mat. We recommend two layers for insulation and comfort. We also provide everyone with a pillow.
  • Day pack. Recommended size is around 40 litres. You need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing and climbing gear. The pack should have a good waist belt. It is also a good idea to bring a rain cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold dry bags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles. Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best. You may use a hydration pack lower down but the tube will freeze in the cold so ensure you still have two water bottles.
  • Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best). Two poles are mandatory for your safety. These will be helpful on steep sections of the trail and river crossings. Also for walking on snow or ice higher up.
  • Pee bottle. Recommended as means you do not have to get up to find the toilet tent at night! For men you can use an old water bottle. For women take a look at SheWee.
  • Sunscreen and lip salve with a high SPF.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Aqua or Aqua Mira).
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books and cards etc.
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer. Keep this in your day pack for use after a toilet break during the trek or before eating any snacks. We provide sanitizer for use before meals.

Travelling

  • Duffel bag for your personal gear on the trek. Will be carried by a porter. Rugged and waterproof made of a plastic material. Size 100-120 litres. Eg. Mountain Equipment 100l or Rab 120l. Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Kathmandu.
  • Toiletry bag with soap, travel towel, toothbrush etc. We provide toilet paper while on trek.

Personal first aid kit

We provide a comprehensive group first aid kit.  Please bring personal medications and other items you might use such as:

  • Any personal medications.
  • Blister treatment (Compeed patches are the best)
  • Rehydration powder (eg Dioralyte).
  • Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
  • Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
  • Throat lozenges.
  • Diamox (helps with acclimatisation).

Risk assessment for Far West Nepal GHT

You should be aware trekking in a developing country involves a risk of personal injury or death. You must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement. Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may experience extreme conditions and unpredictable weather. There could be last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in a team is an important aspect of our trips.

We have performed a threat and risk assessment for our Far West Nepal GHT trek. Our trips have a degree of risk. This is part of the attraction of adventure travel and why so many people choose to join this type of holiday. By identifying the hazards we assess the level of risk. We have control measures in places to reduce this happening or to reduce the impact.

Our risk assessment is available to clients on request. We have listed below a summary of the significant risks and hazards identified by us:

  • Falls and trips resulting in physical injury eg. slipping on ice or falling off the path.
  • Altitude illness including but not limited to AMS, HACE and HAPE.
  • Getting lost or becoming separated from group.
  • Severe bad weather and conditions when camping.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke). Please note during the months of April and October it will be very hot and humid at the start of the trek.
  • Crossing a river with no bridge resulting in drowning and/ or a fall.
  • Rock fall and landslides.
  • Snow and ice avalanches.
  • Lightning strike.
  • Wildlife, pack animals (e.g. donkeys or horses) or stray dogs. Pack animals can knock people off the path. Dogs can attack and bite. Discuss rabies vaccination with your doctor.
  • Earthquake.
  • Risk of fire in the hotel or lodge.
  • Endemic local diseases. Discuss vaccinations with your doctor before departure.
  • Physiological injury. Such as heart attack, appendicitis, hernia, toothache etc. in a remote area.
  • Road traffic or flight accidents. Read paragraph “Internal flight".
  • Contaminated food and/ or water.

This trip visits a remote area. You are away from the usual emergency services and medical facilities. Evacuation for a serious injury requiring hospitalisation could take up to several days. This delay could impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the usual means of evacuation. They are not always available or hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.

Internal Flights

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (“FCDO”) travel advice from UK to Nepal states that “STOL airstrips in Nepal are among the most remote and difficult to land on in the world and are a challenge for even the most technically proficient pilots and well-maintained aircraft.” For their latest advice please take a look at their Safety & Security section under Air Travel.

There have been a number of recent air accidents in Nepal and in December 2013 The European Union banned all airlines based in Nepal from flying in the 28-nation bloc under the latest changes to a list of unsafe carriers.  For more information on Nepal’s air safety profile take a look at Aviation Safety Network.

Suggested reading and maps for Far West Nepal GHT

Maps

Far-West Great Himalaya Trail Series Map 1: 150,000 by Himalayan Maphouse

Books

Wild-West Nepal a Pictorial Journey Paperback – January 1, 2013 by Bharat Bandhu Thapa (Author)

A Trekking Guide to West Nepal: Limi Valley, Rara Lake, Mugu, Api, Saipal, Kanjiroba, Kailash & Guge (Himalayan Travel Guides) by  Sian Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons

 

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