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In a rain-shadow area of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges lies certainly one of Nepal’s final Tibetan utopias, unknown by the plenty because the Higher Mustang.
With stellar vistas of Himalayan peaks on the paths and semi-arid moonscape terrain, getting your Himalayan trek on is a Mustang-do. The weather-beaten residents are largely Gurung and Thakali, inhabiting dwellings near the Kali Gandaki River, 12,800 ft above sea degree.
Different ethnic teams, such because the Kami/Damai, Magar, and Thakuri, additionally comprise Mustang District’s populace. Though come winter, when circumstances turn out to be even harsher, the locals are likely to migrate to areas decrease down.
Higher Mustang, previously the Kingdom of Lo, is the northern a part of the Mustang District of Gandaki Province. The province encompasses three rural municipalities of Lo-Manthang, Dalome, and Baragung Mukichhetra. Throughout our hike in September 2022, life in Higher Mustang revolved round animal husbandry, tourism, and commerce.
The additional we ventured, the extra we craved the traditional monasteries, centuries-old sky caves, and Tibetan-style villages from a bygone period dwelling to whitewashed dwellings with firewood stacked upon the roofs. Including within the historically clad individuals tending their cattle, horses, and mules, it was like nowhere else.
Yup, it’s a little bit dear to enter this area of Nepal. As a previously restricted kingdom and demilitarized space — as a result of presence of CIA-trained guerillas — it was opened as much as the world in 1992.
Gloriously, that is exactly what makes it one of the vital geologically and culturally preserved locations on Earth, by the respective isolation of the realm from the exterior world. For sure, the rewards out of your funding and hefty footslog will come at you tenfold. Right here’s how.
Trekking within the Higher Mustang
Fast Info Concerning the Nepal Higher Mustang Trek
- Elevation: 9,200-14,107 ft.
- Mountaineering season: March to early November
- Minimal group dimension: Two (together with a licensed information)
- Transportation to Kagbeni: Vacationer bus or a personal jeep from Kathmandu/Pokhara, or a flight to Jomsom plus a half-hour taxi experience.
- Ten-day trek length: 100 miles, averaging 10 miles per day.
Problem of the Hike
The hike is average to strenuous, the place you’ll be climbing from 9,200 to 14,107 ft. Total, the paths are in good situation, and no technical expertise are wanted greater than placing one leg in entrance of t’different.
Anticipate 6- to 8-hour days of steep ascents and descents blended with “Nepali flat” (undulating gradients). Take further care to barter scree-covered terrain the place the trail can slender with vertiginous drops.
The footslogs (particularly the 17-miler) are price each step on account of placing landscapes set excessive in opposition to a Himalayan backdrop — all of which hit you with a uniquely commanding view.
10-Day Trek Itinerary
Good to Know
- The itinerary has been custom-made to maintain you on a extra distant path circuit.
- Hit the paths by 7:30 am to complete mid- to late afternoon when the wind picks up.
- Discover your souvenirs on the river beds — black-colored ammonite fossils.
The Itinerary: Distances and Timings Under Are Approximate
- Journey Day: Pokhara to Kagbeni
- Day 1: Kagbeni to Chele – 9.5 miles, 6 to 7 hours, and 10,006 ft.
- Day 2: Chele to Sangboche – 9.7 miles, 6 to 7 hours, and 12,600 ft.
- Day 3: Sangboche to Dhakmar – 10 miles, 6 to 7 hours, and 12,532 ft.
- Day 4: Dhakmar to Lo-Manthang – 10.6 miles, 7 to eight hours, and 12,600 ft.
- Day 5: Jhong Sky Caves, Chhoser – 9.5 miles, 5 hours, and 13,025 ft.
- Day 6: Exploration of The Final Forbidden Kingdom of Lo-Manthang – 12,600 ft.
- Day 7: Lo-Manthang to Yara – 10.5 miles, 7 to eight hours, and 11,833 ft.
- Day 8: Yara to Tange – 11.5 miles, 7-8 hours, and 10,630 ft.
- Day 9: Tange to Chhusang – 17 miles, 8-9 hours, 11,676 ft.
- Day 10: Chhusang to Kagbeni – 7.5 miles, 3 hours, and 9,200 ft.
- Journey Day: Kagbeni to Pokhara
- Higher Mustang Restricted Space Allow: $500 per particular person for 10 days. The allow begins and ends from Kagbeni in Mustang.
- Annapurna Conservation Space Undertaking charge: $23
Nepal Higher Mustang Packing Checklist
- Photo voltaic panel/exterior energy financial institution
- SteriPEN Extremely (USB chargeable) and a filter, a LifeStraw, water bottle/hydration bladder, Water-to-Go, Squeeze Water Filtration System, or water-purifying tablets
- Maps.me app: offline path map
- Sun shades (polarized)
- Stitching-repair equipment and superglue
- Flip flops
- Toiletries and high-SPF sunscreen for the physique, face, and lips
- First-aid equipment: Altitude illness tablets corresponding to Diamox, Compeed (blister second skins), electrolytes, chilly and flu capsules, and diarrhea tablets
Good to Have
Topography and Local weather
Notably, the altitude of this itinerary rises from 9,200 ft to 14,104 ft above sea degree. Higher Mustang boasts a barren moonscape. Wind-sculpted sandstone and irregular moraine terraces outline the steppe panorama.
Blessed in a rain shadow, the trans-Himalayan local weather of Mustang experiences rather a lot much less rain than different tropical areas of the nation. It’s cool and semi-arid.
Meals and Lodging
After all, you’ll lunch en route at teahouses alongside the way in which. However it’s the etiquette to dine in your night meal within the guesthouse the place you’re overnighting.
The information will know one of the best teahouses and lodges, relying in your finances and wishes. Twin rooms with an hooked up toilet are from $4 to $12.
Worthwhile Ideas for Visiting the Nepal Higher Mustang
- On-arrival Nepal Higher Mustang vacationer visa: 15 days is $30, 30 days is $50, and 90 days is $125.
- Usher in unmarked, new U.S. greenback payments for a visa/trekking allow (Nepalese rupees will not be accepted).
- The Division of Immigration points permits to non-Nepalis in a minimal mountain climbing group of two (together with the information plus a trekker) for Mustang.
- To be granted a trekking allow, an utility kind along with your paperwork (journey insurance coverage protecting the utmost elevation achieve, two passport photographs, Covid vaccinations, and passport) will likely be submitted to the Division of Immigration by way of a registered Nepalese trekking company.
- Discover a trekking accomplice(s) if touring solo or promote your journey for others to hitch right here.
- If inclusive package deal treks are unappealing, DIY – guides cost $25 to $50 each day.
- The company we used for a information and permits: Essence Treks & Expedition, Pokhara.
- Respected feminine guides can be found at 3Sisters Journey Trekking, Pokhara.
- Additionally, take into account hiring a porter (round $25 per day) should you would quite handle a daypack. The much less weight you carry within the Nepal Higher Mustang, the better the through-trekking, significantly at larger elevations.
- Proceed “Namaste,” the native greeting for hiya, with “Dai” (means “massive brother” when addressing an older male than you), “Bai” (“little brother” when addressing a youthful male than you), “Didi” (“massive sister” when addressing an older lady than you), or “Bahini” (“little sister” when addressing a feminine youthful than you), and the locals will assume you’re a local!