This trek is a relatively new route located in the Annapurna region which is officially opened for Tourist in 2012 and has yet to command large crowds like other treks in the region. A richly diverse trek it takes you through beautiful forested areas though to rocky mountain terrain and several base camps which may have snow depending on the time
Situated just east of one of the most popular treks of Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp trek, the Mardi Himal trek is a hidden gem. Few trekkers make their way to the Mardi Himal Base Camp spectacularly situated at the base of Mardi Himal and the impressive Machapuchhre. The trail goes along small winding paths, through magical rhododendron forests until you climb out of the forest at an elevation around 3,300 m. The landscape changes quite abruptly into a rugged high mountain landscape, with amazing views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. From High Camp (3580 m; some maps incorrectly mention 3900 m) you can climb up to Mardi Himal Base Camp in about 3-4 hours, which offers spectacular close up views of the entire Annapurna Range. There are simple guesthouses and homestays along the entire route. If you plan to do this trek in the winter months please check with a local tour operator if the lodges are open. –
Fly to Kathmandu Pokhara drive for about 40 mints to Kande on Pokhara Baglung highway. The trail climbs for about 1 ½ hrs to the ridge at 2,060 m. The clearing in the forest with lodge settlement is known as ‘Australian camp’. The place is scenic with the panoramic view of Annapurna range and Pokhara valley. The trail further winds through the rhododendron forest to the mountain pass called ‘Deurali’. Deurali is overlooking into the Modi Khola valley wedged between Annapurna South and Mardi Himal / Mt Fishtail.
After spending beautiful morning in the ridge top village of Deurali, we head off the main Annapurna trekking trail and follow the forested ridge to Forest camp. Since this is new trekking destination, there are no teahouses along the way and we need to carry pack lunch and sufficient water. The day’s walk in the rhododendron forest is beautiful with gradual uphill.
The trail further climbs along the ridge towards Mardi Himal and Mt Fishtail. From Badal Danda, we leave the tree line and arrive in shrubby alpine zone. Snowcapped peaks of Annapurna South, Huinchuli and Fishtail looms in a distance above deep valley on the either side. High camp is a small pasture after the climb with 3 lodges. Here you find yourself above the clouds and closer to snowcapped peaks.
The day trip is more difficult than other days with steep climb and longer walk. Trail becomes more vertiginous at some points with uneven and steep rocky steps. The first steep climb will take about 2 hrs to the ridge top which is marked as MBC (Mardi Himal Base Camp). However the real base camp will take about another 2 hrs along the ridge. The view is amazing all along the ridge. While Mardi Himal and Mt Fishtail appear right above us, view of Annapurna I, Gangapurna and Annapurna III also appears at a distance.
Ghalegaun is a colorful village with picturesque hills and mountain scenery. This is one of the unspoiled habitats of Gheles, the famous Gurungs, the legendary ‘Gurkhas’ of western Nepal. The village is splendid microcosm of Nepalese village with the blend of exotic culture and natural beauty. Ghalegaun is 205 km northwest of Kathmandu and 125 km northeast of Pokhara. Perched at the ridge top at 2,095 m, the village hosts the close up view of western Himalayas including Machhapuchhare (6693m), Annapurna(8091m), Annapurna II (7939m) Annapurna IV (7525m), Lamjung Himal, Bouddha Himal (6974m), Himalchuli(6747m) and other small peaks.
The trail climbs down steeply through rhododendron and Maple forest to the permanent settlements closer to valley basin. Ghale is a self sufficient Gurung village with rich culture and happy people. The village is the best place to watch Nepalese countryside lifestyle and enjoy the organic food. The village farmers also grow organic tea in 50 hectors of land. Farmers offer homestay accommodation. The waterfall in the outskirt of the village offers one of the most exciting cannoning adventure.
It will take about 25(minute) to get to Kathmandu Airport.
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