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Higher Limits Trek

Upper Mustang Trekking - 18 Days

Upper Mustang Trekking is the hinterland enriched with mainly barren ridges, deep canyons, eroded cliffs and Moraine valleys. Its landscape is unrivaled for it has a stupendous wilderness, pristine scenery, snow capped peaks, spectacular 16th century monasteries and many other unique attractions. The view of wind swept Kali-Gandaki valley, vast spaces around Kagbeni and vast ridges that straggle high mountains provide a mind-blowing experience.

Nepal’s Mustang region preserves a life almost unchanged for centuries. It lies hidden behind the Himalayan giants of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna at the very roof of Asia on the arid Tibetan plateau. It has long been isolated from the outside world (and only opened to trekking groups since 1992!). As you make your way through this secluded land, you’ll pass brightly painted chortens (Buddhist shrines) and tiny villages guarded by enormous monasteries. Vistas include unusual and arresting views of the snow-covered Himalaya to the south, and desolate high plateaus, deep canyons, and an ocean of windswept hills the colors of a desert sunset to the north. Once at the walled capital city of Lo Manthang, you’ll absorb a great sense of timelessness and appreciation for an ancient culture as you discover the ruins of old forts, monasteries rich in art and history, and caves replete with magnificent religious statues.

Mustang is the old kingdom of Lo. Actually the capital of the Mustang district is Jomsom, but the real Tibetan style district lies north of Kagbeni and is usually referred to as Upper Mustang. The real capital, Lo Manthang, where the present king lives, is a fantastic square-walled town sitting on the ‘Plain of Prayers’. The small kingdom of Mustang, closed to westerners until 1992, is an enchanting land of windswept vistas, red walled monasteries, and feudal towns. This tiny kingdom was not only a major corridor of trade from the 1400’s to before the Chinese occupation of Tibet, but also figured importantly into early Buddhism in Tibet. The temple of Lo Gekhar in eastern Mustang was built by Padmasambhava after his triumphant battle and still stands guard today.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive in airport pick up and transfer to hotel
Day 02: Sight-seeing of Kathmandu Valley
Day 03: We drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara {914m} – 6 hrs.
Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom {2700m} – 25 mins. Flight
Day 05: Trek from Kagbeni to Chuksang {2900m} – approx 5 hrs
Day 06: Trek from Chuksang to Samar {3150} – approx 3 & ½ hrs
Day 07: Trek from Samar to Geling {3510m} – approx 5 hrs
Day 08: Trek from Geling to Ghami (3490m.) via Ghami La (3520m.) – Approx 5 hrs
Day 09: Trek from Ghami to Tsarang (3620m.) – Approx 5 hrs
Day 10: Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (Mustang) (3730m.) – Approx 3 hrs
Day 11: Rest day at Mustang
Day 12: Trek from Lo-Manthang to Ghami (3490m.) – Approx 6 hrs
Day 13: Trek from Ghami to Chuksang (2900m.) – Approx 6 hrs
Day 14: Trek from Chuksang to Muktinath (3795m.) – Approx 7 hrs
Day 15: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2713m.) – Approx 5 hrs
Day 16: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara
Day 17: Fly or drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 18: Departure for home

Cost Include

  • Airport to hotel to airport pick up and drop by private car/van/bus
  • 3 night hotel in Kathmandu B/B
  • 2night hotel in Pokhara B/B
  • Guided Kathmandu valley sightseeing tour with English speaking tour guide
  • Annapurna conservation area project (ACAP) fee permit
  • Special permit for Mustang area trek
  • Trekking Map of Mustang  region
  • Full Board Plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation, tea or coffee) during trek
  • Join Nepali Cultural Program with dinner,
  • Hotel in Kathmandu as your requirements.
  • An experienced licensed holder English speaking trekking guide, a cooks, cooks helper, required porters and others helping staffs.
  • Food, drinks, salary, insurance, equipment, transportation, accommodation, and local tax for all trekking staffs,
  • All local Transportation from to Kathmandu by tourist bus, car, flight and van.
  • Medical kit box
  • New TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems)
  • Camping equipments all kind of Tents-Sleeping, dining, kitchen, toilet and sleeping bags, mattress down jacket etc.
  • All government tax

Cost Exclude

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara Approx, US$12 to US$ 17 per day.
  • International flight and departure tax
  • Sightseeing/Monuments entrance fee
  • Domestic airport tax( Nepali Rupees Rs.170)
  • Nepal entry visa fee US$ 25 (duration 15days from date of issue), US$ 40 (duration 30 days from date of issue) and US$ 100 (duration 90 days from date of issue) you can easily issue your visa upon arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. You will require two passport size photos.
  • Personal Trekking Equipments
  • Any kinds of Bar bills Mineral water, Alcoholic drinks, Juice etc.
  • Your travel insurance
  • Any Expense of Personal Nature/Helicopter Rescue
  • Tips for trekking staff ( Tipping is expected but not compulsory)
  • Any other expenses which are not mantioned on price includes section.

Day 01: Arrival in Airport and transfer to hotel, rest day, itinerary briefing

Day 02: Sight-seeing of Kathmandu
Leave for full day sightseeing in Kathmandu valley includes the Hindu temple complex at Pashupatinath (An UNESCO world heritage site) & the biggest Buddhist Stupa at Boudhanath. Also visit Monkey Temple the Swyambhunath (2000 years old temple) and visit Patan city of fine arts. Back to hotel and stay overnight.

Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (914m.)
which takes about six hours.You depart for the six hours drive to Pokhara (915m,), 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. As you climb out of the Kathmandu valley, only to quickly descend again to the Trisuli River, you follow upstream to its junction with the Marsyangdi River. You follow the Marsyangdi gently up through heavily terraced fields and small hill towns to the Seti River that takes you directly into Pokhara. Having pleasant weather, Pokhara is tourist’s paradise with full of natural as well as cultural heritage sites such as lakes, caves, temples of Buddhist and Hindus along with mountains. You can observe views to the north across the hills and Phewa Tal (lake) to the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. This drive will take most of the morning, leaving much of the afternoon to fall in love with its beauty. You can also fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara which takes about 25 minutes. Overnight at your hotel in Pokhara

Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom and Trek to Kagbeni (2800m.)
and it takes about 25 minutes and trek from Jomsom to Kagbeni (2810 m.) which takes about four hours. You take the early morning flight which again will give close-up views of the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri and nearby satellites, 20 minutes flight in a small aircraft. Directly north of Jomsom is the pretty village of Kagbeni, There are about 80 families living here, most of them traders who are the link in the chain between modern Nepal and the Tibetan-type people of Mustang. Just out of Jomsom you cross a small hanging bridge and then walk along the banks of the Kali Gandaki.

The trail is pretty barren with craggy rocks and sand and is mostly flat, which makes it very easy going. This very easy, enjoyable start is at the same time picturesque, with views of big peaks all around such as Dhaulagiri (26,794ft), Tukuche (22,703ft) and in the west the awesome mountain above Kagbeni, Nilgiri (22,769ft). Over to the south and south-west can be seen the entire Annapurna Massif. You are more than likely to meet Indian pilgrims on their way to and from Muktinath on this stretch, and other Europeans for an hour or two who will be on the world-famous Annapurna Circuit. Upon reaching Kagbeni there is a taste of scenes to come in Upper Mustang, what with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green fields of wheat and barley and a large red gompa. At the police check-post at the north end of the village there is a sign saying ‘Restricted area, tourists please do not go beyond this point’. Here you will complete your paperwork formalities for you to enter this long-forbidden region of Nepal. ACAP have set up a very interesting information post here with displays of Mustang artifacts and photos. Your first overnight on the trail

Day 05: Trek from Kagbeni to Chuksang (2900 m.)
which takes about five hours. You trek right up the river valley, but you use a combination of the high trail and the riverbank pathways. The trail then widens significantly revealing an endless stretch of sand but the path is kept interesting by the passing of mule trains bearing goods from Mustang and Tibet. On the west bank of the river are some caves and Gompa Kang. Unlike most monasteries in Upper Mustang which are of the Sakyapa sect, Gompa Kang is of the Nyingmapa sect. You stop for lunch at the village of Tangbe, where you come across the first black, white and red chortens that typify Upper Mustang. The little town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys among white washed houses, fields of buck wheat and barley and apple orchards. Nilgiri Peak continues to dominate the southern skyline. Chusang village is only about 2hrs walk beyond Tangbe at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and the Kali Gandaki. There are three separate parts to this village and some ruined castle walls on the surrounding cliffs. Across the river from Chuksang are some spectacular red organ pipe eroded cliffs above the mouths of some inaccessible caves. We bunk out at Chuksang.

Day 06: Trek from Chuksang to Samar (3150 m.)
and it takes about three and half hours. There is a distinct change here, not only in the topography, but also in the culture, lifestyle and people, and the settlements become more scattered, smaller and more basic. The people of Lo or Mustang do practice agriculture, but because of the lack of rain and fertile soil, cultivation is in sheltered plots of land, scattering the brown landscape with patches of green. We carry on north, when you reach a huge red chunk of rock that has fallen from the cliffs above, forming a tunnel through which the river flows.

A steel bridge spans the river just in front of the tunnel and north of here the Kali Gandaki becomes impassable on foot. The trek now leaves the valley and climbs steeply up a rocky alley to the village of Chele. Watch out here for the ferocious Tibetan mastiffs which are chained to many of the houses. From Chele you climb a steep spur and then continue ascending along the side of a spectacular steep canyon to a pass. Beyond the pass you descend on a pleasant trail to Samar, situated in a grove of poplar trees. This is a major stopping place for horse and mule caravans. Overnight in camps

Day 07: Trek from Samar to Geling (3510 m.)
which takes about five hours. You climb above Samar to a ridge and then descend into a large gorge past a chorten before entering another valley filled with juniper trees. You then cross a stream and after climbing to a pass, you descend along a ridge to Shyangmochen a tiny settlement with a few tea shops. Nearby is Rangbyung, a cave containing stalagmites which have formed in the shape of chortens and one of the holiest places in Mustang. The trail climbs gently from Shyangmochen and you enter another huge valley before descending to Geling with its extensive fields of barley. As in all the settlements of Mustang, the white and ochre-painted houses are constructed using mud and stones, with roofs made of twigs, straw and a mixture of mud and pebbles. Overnight in camps

Day 08: Trek from Geling to Ghami (3490 m.)
via Ghami La (3520m.) and it takes about five hours. From Geling the trail climbs gently through fields, up the center of the valley, passing above the settlement of Tama Gun and an imposing chorten. You then begin a taxing climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La [3840m]. The descent from the pass is quite gentle and about half an hour further on we come to a trail junction; the right trail is the direct route to Charang, the left trail leads to Ghami. Ghami is a large white-washed village sheltered by overhanging cliffs. Overnight in camps

Day 09: Trek from Ghami to Tsarang (3620 m.)
which takes about five hours. Today’s walk is through perhaps the driest part of Mustang, and much of your energy will be spent negotiating loose, dry soil. However, the magnificent views of the countryside, from the gentle contours of the north to the rugged mountains in the east and west, are a source of inspiration. Finally, you come to Charang, a large spread-out village at the top of the Charang Chu canyon. At the eastern end of the village is a huge dzong [fortress] and a red gompa which houses an excellent collection of statues and thangkas. Overnight in camps

Day 10: Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (Mustang) (3730 m.)
and it takes about three hours. You will spend part of the morning exploring the interesting village of Charang and its large monastery, before setting out for Lo Manthang. You climb gently above the valley to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Charang and Lo. The trail then broadens and eventually you get your first view of the walled city of Lo Manthang. The city has only one entrance so you circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north east corner.  Overnight in camps

Day 11: A day for rest at Mustang.
Today is free to explore the fascinating city of Lo Manthang, untouched since the 14th century. The city contains about 150 houses, as well as residences for its many lamas. There are four major temples within the city and one of these, Champa Lhakang, contains a huge clay statue of Buddha as well as elaborates mandalas painted on the walls. The king’s palace is an imposing building in the center of the city and is occupied by the current King and Queen. Although his duties are largely ceremonial, the King is respected by the people and consulted about many issues by villagers throughout the kingdom. Your first overnight at Mustang

Day 12: Trek from Lo-Manthang to Ghami (3490 m.)
which takes about six hours. You continue your journey on the highland route, crossing alpine meadows before dropping down a steep eroded alley to Dhakmar for lunch. After lunch, you walk through the pretty valley, climb to a ridge and descend from there back to Ghami. We then crash out at Ghami

Day 13: Trek from Ghami to Chuksang (2900 m.)
and it takes about six hours. You trek through wide and gentle path with some ascends and descends. The trail passes through desert like places though you can see some small thorny bushes. On the way, your trail goes along the river. You come across some small streams. To reach from Ghami to Chuksang, you cross Kali Gandaki River. Overnight

Day 14: Trek from Chuksang to Muktinath (3795m.)
which takes about seven hours. The trail follows gently ascend and winding path passing through almost desert like places. On the way, you see at a distance some agricultural fields, apple orchard and some human settlements. You can enjoy beautiful deserted landscape, Caves, old Tibetan Style Villages, apple Garden, Yaks Herds, Sheep Herds, straight up to the Muktinath, visit Monastery believed to be built in 15th century, walk about twenty minute to Muktinath Temple, where you can enjoy a holy bath of 108 Taps, Visit Monastery, Natural flaming and Hindus Temple. The people of Muktinath are close to the life style, culture, religion and idea of Tibetan people.  Overnight Muktinath

Day 15: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2713 m.)
and it takes about five hours. This is an Easy day, the trail gradually ascends to Eklebhati at Kali Gandaki River valley, walk another two hours along the wide sandy and windy valley. The trail moves between two hills.

Day 16: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara
which takes about 25 minutes and stay overnight at hotel in Pokhara. The flights are available during the morning time. The strong breeze blows during the after and frequent change of the weather prevent the flight being landed and taken off in the afternoon. During the flights in morning, the sky looks very clear which makes you able to enjoy the splendid views of different mountain peaks. Refresh & overnight in the city of lakes

Day 17: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
by tourist mini bus and stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu. While driving from Pokhara to Kathmandu, you head up to Damauli, Dumre, Muglin and Kurintar where the Nepal’s first Cable car is operated to reach to Manakamana Temple. En route, you could enjoy the mountain views, green sceneries, rice terrace fields, vegetable fields and people being engaged in their daily life activities. From Naubishe you climb up to Thankot, the gateway to capital city. You can also fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu which takes about 25 minutes. In the evening, we will visit a well known Nepali kitchen for dinner; & as you savor your meal, you will be entertained to an exciting cultural dance performed by the local belles. This is a complimentary outing on behalf of Higher Limits Trek & Expeditions for the good welfare of our guests. Overnight at your hotel in Kathmandu

Day 18: Departure for home
after breakfast do some last minute shopping & packing & prepare for departure home. Our company escorts will be on standby at your hotel to take you to the airport for your connecting flight home.

Start Price (USD) AVAILABILITY Booking
A private departures on any day all around the year can be arranged for this trek/tour, for more details and dates E-mail info@higherlimitstrek.com

AVAILABILITY OPTIONS

OPENED: This date is available and open for bookings.
LIMITED: There are very limited number of available places on this departure. Immediate booking.
GUARANTEED: We have reached minimum numbers and this trip is guaranteed to depart.
CLOSED: This date is currently unavailable. Please contact us, if you are interested in travelling on this date.

Your Program Duration = 18 Days
All the Prices are in USD ($) Per Person.

MEALS:

Every day’s Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is included in the package during the trek. This will be a dish of Nepali, Indian or Continental source cooked by the lodging you stay at.

PACKING LIST:

While packing for “Upper Mustang Trekking,” warm clothing is important to ensure comfort and safety, while non-essential gear such as a knife may simply come in handy. Here we have a suggested packing list to guide you in preparation:

  1. Walking (Trekking) boots and sandals for rest (Shoes should be water proof)
  2. A water & wind proof down jacket
  3. Woolen T-shirt/base layer
  4. T-shirts
  5. A thick pullover/fleece
  6. Shorts / skirt for sunny days
  7. Trousers / track suit or long pants
  8. Thermal long underwear
  9. Water bottle
  10. Warm socks (woolen is best)
  11. Swiss army knife
  12. Flashlight with spare batteries
  13. Sunglasses
  14. Sun cream
  15. Personal medical supplies
  16. Towel
  17. Day pack for your valuables (camera, money, Passport etc.) and rucksack or duffel bag for your clothes
  18. Warm woolen hat
  19. Sun protection hat
  20. Gloves
  21. Rain Coat
  22. Sleeping Bags -20Degree
  23. Walking Poles & many more…..

(Note: This is just a guideline to help you on your preparation)

ACCLIMATIZATION:

Keep in mind that you will be traveling above 4000m during the journey to around the Lo-Manthang. Walking fast at such elevation could lead to medical complications (Acute Mountain Sickness) which could be serious. There is less oxygen compared to sea level in high-altitudes places. The higher, altitude will be the less oxygen in air. Your body needs a days to acclimatize to this environment, which is why we will stop one day rest in Lo-Manthang as for explore around and the rest day.  Although we provide information regarding AMS insurance, the only option for treatment is descending (evacuation). We advise that clients with known heart, lung or blood diseases, or clients over the age of 60 to discuss with their doctor before traveling with us.

HEALTH & EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

This trekking involves five to seven hours walking per day. However, it is some part of this trek at very high altitude, which will take a physical toll. There are no special physical or training requirements, but high altitude experience & walking is a benefit.

 

Dario Cappelletti

Hi
My name is Dario. I’m from Como, Italy. If you are going to trek in Nepal.
I take some minutes to recount you my experience. With 4 friends I trekked Upper Mustang last November. Our agency was Higher Limits Trek and it was a great choice. Gopi is a very reliable and friendly person. He was very good at organizing the trek and fulfilled patiently all our requests.
We had no problem in anticipating him money for the trekking permit (550 $ per person!). He made also our stay in Kathmandu very comfortable.

We asked him a reliable guide and so he was. Our guide was always friendly and professional. He successfully solved some unexpected problems (rent a horse when a friend was sick, found soon a jeep when our return flight to Pokhara was suddenly cancelled due to foggy weather).
If I ever return to trek in Nepal I will choose Gopi and his company Higher Limits Trek again. If you have questions, feel free to ask. From now I wish you all a great Himalayan experience, like the one I had.

Regards
Dario
Dario.cappelletti@tin.it
Como, Italy
14/11/2010

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Higher Limits Trek & Expedition Pvt. Ltd.
P.O.Box. No.12386
Thamel Marg | Kathmandu | Nepal.
Telephone: 00977-1-4410237
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