Mardi Himal
Nepal

Siding village
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Moderate
  • TRIP STYLE: Tea House
  • TRIP LEADER: Local Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 2 - 10 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 06 Mar 2021

Details

Mardi Himal trek has incredible mountain views including Annapurna South, Mount Machhapuchhre (also known as Fishtail) and Mount Hiunchuli.

Mardi Himal trek contains all of the elements of a classic Nepal trekking experience including villages, wildlife, panoramic mountain views and range of landscape from forest to high alpine. The mountain views from Mardi Himal are superb including Annapurna South, Mount Machhapuchhre (also known as Fishtail) and Mount Hiunchuli.

Mardi Himal trek visits a quieter area in Annapurna region of Nepal than the more popular Annapurna Base Camp, where you will see relatively fewer other trekkers and meet friendly locals along the way. Over the last few years a number of lodges and homestays have been built along Mardi Himal ridge therefore it is now possible to do this as a lodge based trek rather than having to bring in a camping crew.

  • We are Himalayan trekking specialists and we have been operating trips in Nepal for many years. Roland Hunter, owner and founder of The Mountain Company, has modified this itinerary based on his first-hand experience of the Annapurna region.
  • Read our AITO Traveller Reviews for Mardi Himal where our overall holiday rating is 100%. Our approach to organising trips in the Himalayas has helped The Mountain Company win awards such as 2018 Gold Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year and 2015 Bronze Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year.
  • The Mountain Company will receive bespoke weather forecasts for the Annapurna region from EverestWeather.com and from our in house forecasting throughout the duration of this trek.
  • We send a Thuraya satellite phone on all of our treks in Nepal. It is essential for your guide to have reliable communications with us for logistics, planning and group safety.
  • We provide all porters with windproof jacket & trousers, crampons and shelter as per International Porter Protection Group (“IPPG”) guidelines.
  • We bring a comprehensive first aid kit plus high altitude medicine, antibiotics and other medicines. 
  • Pre trip support will be given by our Operations team with first hand knowledge of Mardi Himal trek. During high season we have a TMC representative from our UK Operations team based in Kathmandu.

Route Map

Itinerary

Arrival in Kathmandu

No meals

Hotel Tibet 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.  A full briefing will be given in the afternoon.

Sightseeing in Kathmandu

Breakfast

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

This is a one day guided sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley visiting three out of the seven World Heritage Sites. You will start off by visiting Patan Durbar Square then drive to the Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath followed by the last stop of the day at the Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath. The tour is likely to finish around 4pm and the rest of the day is free to further explore Kathmandu as well as to pack your bags for the trek starting tomorrow morning. You can leave a bag at the hotel with items not needed on trek.

Three major towns are located in the valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, each having a great artistic and architectural tradition. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest is separated from Kathmandu by a river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley and its relative isolation is reflected in its slower pace and more distinctly mediaeval atmosphere.

In the Valley the landscape is dramatically sculpted by the contours of the paddy fields. The towns and villages are alive with the colours of farm produce, ranging from pyramids of golden grain to the vivid reds of chilli peppers laid out on mats to dry in the sun. In the streets and towns there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit.

Fly to Pokhara

Drive to Phedi (1 hour)

Walking 7km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Teahouse lodge

After breakfast, we take the morning flight to Pokhara. On arrival we drive to the road head at Phedi and start your trek to Pothana where you stay in a teahouse lodge for the first night.

Walking 7.5km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Teahouse lodge

From Pothana you walk up to a place called Pitam Deurali where you will turn off the main Annapurna Sanctuary trek and continue along a quiet trail through a dense forest of oak, maple, hemlock and rhododendron. Tonight we stay at one of the lodges in a clearing of the forest at Forest Camp or also known by the locals as Kokar.

The lodges at Kokar are quite basic and there is no dining room so you will probably have meals in kitchen with the owner, so in some ways this is more like a homestay and is a good opportunity to get to know this friendly family from Siding village.

Walking 4km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Teahouse lodge

From Forest Camp to Low Camp the trail continues through the forest however as we ascend the vegetation starts to change with more rhododendron and the trees are covered with moss, lichen and tree ferns.

At Low Camp there are two basic lodges one with a dining room with open fire. The view from Low Camp is superb with Mount Machhapuchhre visible up the valley.

Walking 4.5km (4 hours walking)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Teahouse lodge

An hour or so above Low Camp the trail breaks out above tree line and towards the west there is a good view to Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. The trail continues along the Mardi Himal ridge mainly on grass with some isolated rhododendron bushes along the way. Look out for the colourful Danphe pheasant on this section of the trail.

 The lodge at High Camp is larger than lodges at Low Camp and Forest Camp, this one has eight rooms and a separate dining room with heater. The view from the lodge is superb to Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail).

Walking 9.5km (6 to 7 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Teahouse lodge

The plan for today is to wake early for sunrise view of the mountains then after an early breakfast walk up the ridge towards Mardi Himal. There is a well-established trail through the grass with a couple of steeper sections however overall not too challenging. Look out for the dzos (yak/ cow crossbreds) grazing up here as well as Danphe pheasant. In the summer the sheep and goats from lower villages are brought up to graze in this area so you will pass a number of herder’s huts along the way.

After three hours you should reach Upper View point at 4,200m this is where one can look into the Annapurna Sanctuary and the panorama view is spectacular looking at south face of Annapurna and all of the peaks in the Sanctuary as well as Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail). We return to High Camp for lunch and then in the afternoon we descend back to Low Camp.

Walking 3.5km (3 to 4 hours)

Drive to Pokhara (2 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Mount Kailash Resort in Pokhara

On the return trek we take a different route so completing a circuit, from Low Camp there is a trail that goes down to Siding village rather than going back down Mardi Himal back to Kokar. Siding is a traditional Nepalese village and still very much away from the busier treks. Siding is the road head and we take a jeep out through the villages of Kalimati and Ghalel to Lumre and onto Pokhara.

Breakfast

Mount Kailash Resort in Pokhara

Today is a free day to rest and relax in Pokhara after the trek, go shopping or to explore and sightseeing around the city by yourselves. It is possible to hire a boat to row out on Phewa Tal lake and visit Barahi temple on an island in the lake.

Fly to Kathmandu

Breakfast

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

Transfer to Pokhara airport for the flight back to Kathmandu.

Fly home

Breakfast

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

Dates & Prices

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2021

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 06 Mar 2021 to 16 Mar 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,575pp Single Supplement:
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US$275pp / NA
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Dates 20 Mar 2021 to 30 Mar 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,575pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 03 Apr 2021 to 13 Apr 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,575pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 10 Apr 2021 to 20 Apr 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,575pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 24 Apr 2021 to 04 May 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,575pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 02 Oct 2021 to 12 Oct 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,575pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 23 Oct 2021 to 02 Nov 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,575pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 20 Nov 2021 to 30 Nov 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,575pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 11 Dec 2021 to 21 Dec 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,575pp Single Supplement:
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2022

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Dates 05 Mar 2022 to 15 Mar 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,595pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 19 Mar 2022 to 29 Mar 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,595pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 02 Apr 2022 to 12 Apr 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,595pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 09 Apr 2022 to 19 Apr 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,595pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 23 Apr 2022 to 03 May 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,595pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 01 Oct 2022 to 11 Oct 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,595pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 22 Oct 2022 to 01 Nov 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,595pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 19 Nov 2022 to 29 Nov 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,595pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 10 Dec 2022 to 20 Dec 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,595pp Single Supplement:
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For private and bespoke trip, please contact us

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What's Included

  • Return flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
  • All transfers including airport collections.
  • One day sightseeing in Kathmandu with Nepalese cultural guide and private vehicle.
  • Twin share room in Kathmandu at Hotel Tibet or Hotel Ambassador and in Pokhara at Mount Kailash Resort.
  • Twin share room with common bathroom while on trek.
  • Breakfast only in Kathmandu and Pokhara, all meals included while on trek. Trek meals include breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and biscuits plus two course dinner (soup and main meal) plus up to two cups of hot drinks per meal.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, trekking guide(s) and porter(s). We provide one trekking guide for group size of two people and two guides for a group size of three people and three guides for group size of six people plus.
  • Bespoke weather forecasts for Annapurna region from EverestWeather.com throughout the duration of this trek.
  • Thuraya satellite phone to ensure our guides have reliable communications with us for logistics, planning and group safety.
  • Annapurna trekking map given to you on arrival to Kathmandu.
  • Rubberised luggage tags posted to you before departure.
  • Full financial protection for all monies paid to us through our membership of Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (our ABTOT membership number is 5365) and having an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (our ATOL number is 10921).
  • Pre departure support and advice from The Mountain Company by email, phone or face to face meetings in London. After booking with us we will send our comprehensive “Nepal Pre Trip Information” notes.

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, please see the Appendix for suggested kit list.
  • Tips (guidance on amounts included in our “Nepal Pre Trip Information” notes).
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”.

Accommodation

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

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

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


Teahouse lodge in Nepal

While on trek at a teahouse lodge in Nepal there are twin share rooms with common bathroom and a heated communal dining room. 

We will provide all meals at the lodges and include breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and biscuits plus two course dinner (soup and main meal) plus up to two cups of hot drinks per meal. We regularly inspect and select the best lodges in each location.


Mount Kailash Resort in Pokhara

Mount Kailash Resort is situated in a good location along a quieter section of Pokhara Lakeside and has fine views of the lake and the mountains.

This property has been recently built in modern style and the rooms are spacious with amenities including en-suit bathroom, television, air-condition and free Wi Fi. There is a well kept garden to relax in and also a swimming pool.


Practical Information

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.

Clothing and Equipment List for Mardi Himal

For the safety of everyone in the group and to help ensure a successful trek, you are required to have the following items in our clothing and equipment list tailored for Mardi Himal trek.

As a reminder, the weather on this trek will vary season to season and day to day as you ascend to higher elevations. During the first couple of days on trek you are likely to experience quite warm conditions and you will experience the coldest temperatures at High Camp at an altitude of 3,600m where overnight lows can get down to around -10˚C

Each trekker should bring one backpack for gear required during the day. Your day backpack will contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The maximum weight allowance for back pack is 5kg. The rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag will be carried by a porter. The maximum weight allowance for your duffel bag  is 15kg. Please ensure that your bag is marked clearly on the outside for easy identification.

We suggest you 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.
  • Gaiters. A pair used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground.
  • Walking socks.
  • Trainers or trail shoes. Can be used in lodge in the evenings.

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. Minimum two pairs of trousers.
  • Long sleeve shirts. Minimum two shirts.
  • Micro fleece.
  • Mid to heavyweight fleece.
  • Sleeveless or body warmer type fleece.
  • Thermals or base layer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).

Handwear:

  • Fleece gloves (only required for winter treks).

Headwear:

  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf. (eg. Buff Headwear or purchase a #myTMCbuff).
  • Sunglasses. The lenses need to be Category 4 rated and should have side protection or wraparound design to prevent light getting through to your eyes that could cause sun blindness.
  • Bring extra batteries.

Personal Equipment:

  • Sleeping bag. Maximum overnight lows at Mardi Himal High Camp will be around -10 Celsius. Note: it is possible to rent a bag in Kathmandu from Shonas Rental.
  • Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag. A liner protects your sleeping bag from getting dirty and helps by adding extra insulation to keep you warm at night.
  • Recommended size is 30 litres or larger as you need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing such as down jacket etc. 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- drybags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).
  • Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Acqua or Acqa Mira).
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books, ipod and cards etc.
  • Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best).
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer (optional).

Travelling:

  • Small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Toiletry bag including toothbrush, etc.

Personal first aid kit

Note: we provide a comprehensive group first aid kit but please bring personal medications and other items you might use regularly 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.

Threat and risk assessment for Mardi Himal

Participants should be aware trekking, mountaineering and travelling in a developing country are activities that involve a risk of personal injury or death. As a condition of booking 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, unpredictable weather and last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in team is an important aspect of all of our trips.

As a part of our planning process we have performed a detailed threat and risk assessment for our Mardi Himal trek. It is worth pointing out all of our trips have a certain degree of risk, this is of course part of the attraction of adventure travel and why so many people choose to join this type of holiday. However by identifying the potential hazards on Mardi Himal we can assess the level of risk and implement control measures to reduce this happening.

Our full threat and risk assessment for Mardi Himal is available on request. For your information 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.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sun burn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke).
  • Lightning strike.
  • Wildlife, pack animals (eg. donkeys or horses) or stray dogs. Pack animals have been known to knock people off the path. Dogs can attack and bite, we advise you discuss rabies vaccination with your doctor.
  • Risk of fire in the hotel or lodge.
  • Endemic local diseases. We advise you 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 accident [see paragraph “Internal flights in Nepal” for further information].
  • Contaminated food and/ or water.

This trip visits a remote area where you are away from normal emergency services and medical facilities. In case of a serious injury requiring hospitalisation evacuation could take up to several days and may impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the most usual means of evacuation, however they are not always available or they may be hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.

Internal Flights

British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (“FCO”) travel advice 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.

Weather and climate for Mardi Himal

Mardi Himal trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the altitude and the time of day. In the mountains between 1,000m and 3,500m the nights will be cool, normally around 5˚C, and during the day temperatures sometimes rise to 25˚C. At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 15˚C to -10˚C.

The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to May, with October and November generally recognised as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom.

Suggested reading and maps for Annapurna region

Maps

Nepal Trekking Map Himalayan Maphouse Scale: 1:900,000 This map will be included in your welcome pack when you arrive in Nepal.

National Geographic Annapurna Trekking 1:135,000

Books

Annapurna south face by Chris Bonnington

Himalayan Pilgrimmage by David Snellgrove

Annapurna by Maurice Herzog

True Summit: What Really Happened on the Legendary Ascent on Annapurna by David Roberts

The Ascent of Rum Doodle by WE Bowman

A Nepalese Journey: The Essence of the Annapurna Circuit (Mountain Photography) by Andrew Stevenson

Nepali Phrasebook by Lonely Planet

 

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