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Upper Mustang Trek

Alpine Club of Himalaya - 14 days

    Regular days with
  • 0 - 10 km per day
Overview
Itinerary
Included
Accommodation
Safety
Training
Packing List
Alpine Club of Himalaya
FAQ
How To Book

Overview

> Off the beaten track
> Meet the Thakalis, Tibetan and Gurung peoples
> Exciting flights to Pokhara and to Jomsom
> Experience an ancient Kingdom

The former Himalayan kingdom of Mustang is an arid and starkly beautiful land. Long protected from mass tourism; its allure has come from its inaccessibility and its reputation as a last bastion of traditional Tibetan culture. Mustang has a long, rich and complex history that makes it one of the most fascinating corners of the Himalaya.

Mustang is an ancient Himalayan Kingdom which lies in the northern central part of Nepal and at the top of the Kali Gandaki River. This region is full of some of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries, ancient and isolated villages with quaint white washed houses. The restricted area of Tibetan influence lies north of Kagbeni, and Nepalese refer to this as Upper Mustang.

By choosing this trek through Mustang, we will be sampling a slice of history which may not be preserved for much longer. The sights of spectacularly fluted red cliffs and Mustang’s endless expanse of yellow and grey rolling hills will stay in our memory long after we go home, as will our experience of the Kingdom’s incredible little towns and the rugged gentility of its people. The trek takes us to the walled town of Lo-Manthang, a visually extraordinary place, home of the present Mustang’s King and full of beautiful temples and Gompa.

This itinerary is designed best to those who have some kind of previous experiences in high altitudes over (3840m/12599ft), and are fine walking 7-8 hours a day which allow us to walk a very long distances with required amount of high altitudes acclimatizing. The itinerary includes various landscapes and traditional Tibetan-like settlements. What are you waiting for? The Mustang is roaring!

Itinerary

What’s the plan?

Day 01 – Flight to Pokhara (884m)

After breakfast we take a 25 minutes flight from Kathmandu International Airport to Pokhara. In Pokhara we visit the deep, narrow gorge of the roaring Seti River from where we drive to Davi’s Falls and further to Gupteswar Cave and the Bat Cave. In the evening we go lazing by the Phewa Lake for a relaxing row on its sparkling waters. We stay in a hotel for the night.

Accommodation: Hotel
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 02 – Fly to Jomsom (2760m) and trek to Kagbeni (2800m)

We will catch a plane from Pokhara to Jomsom, one of the main towns in Mustang. It will take around 20 minutes to get there We will fly North-West from Pokhara towards great portal between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. You will enjoy beautiful views of the hills and mountains during your flight. From Jomsom, we will trek uphill for 3 hours alongside Kali Gandaki before we reach Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang. The village is located at the bank of two rivers.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 03 – Trek to Chele (3050m)

From Kagbeni the trail climbs immediately to a ridge marked by a small stone chorten, then descends and climbs over another ridge. After a few more ups and downs the trail climbs to Tange where we will get our first sight of black, white and red chortens that typify upper Mustang. About one hour beyond Tangbe we reach the village of Chhuksang (2980m) at the confluence of the Narshing Khola and the Kali Gandaki. Across the Kali Gandaki from Chhuksang are some spectacular red organ-pipe eroded cliffs above the mouths of inaccessible caves. We cross the Narshing Khola and continue north, making several ups and downs. We then descend to the riverbank near a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliffs, forming a tunnel through which the Kali Gandaki flows. The trek now leaves Kali Gandaki valley and climb steeply up a rocky gully to Chele (3100m/10171ft)

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 04 – Trek to Syangmochen (3800m)

The climb from Chele leads up a steep spur to a cairn and a view of Ghyakar across a huge canyon. A long wall of packed earth encircles Ghyakar and its fields. The climb continues – a long, steep, treeless, waterless slog – switch backing up the side of a spectacular steep canyon, then traversing to a cairn marking the Chele La. After crossing the ridge the trail enters a large side valley and makes a long gradual descent to Samar (3620m), surrounded by a grove of poplar trees. The trail from Samar climbs to a ridge, descends steeply to a stream, and then climbs back to a chorten. The trail goes to another valley crosses a stream and climbs up to the Bhena La at 3830m. The route skirts a gorge, crosses a stream and climbs slightly to Yamdo. We climb to yet another pass, the Yamdo La at 4010m, and then we descend to Shyangmochen (3800m).

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 05 – Trek to Ghemi (3510m)

From Shyangmochen, it’s a short gentle climb to the Shyangmochen La at 3850m, where the route enters another huge east to west valley. Descending past a large painted square chorten we can have a view of Geling to a trail junction. We take the right fork and descend to the picturesque village of Geling (3570m) with its poplar trees and extensive fields full of barley. The trail from Geling turns westward and climbs gently through fields up the centre of the valley, passing below Tama Gaon and its imposing chorten. Turning north, it rejoins the road and becomes an unrelenting climb across the head of the valley to the Nyi La (4020m). The descent down the pass is gentle for 45 minutes to the Ghemi La, a cairn on a ridge top about 45 minutes below the pass. The trail then drops steeply to the picturesque whitewashed buildings of Ghemi.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 06 – Trek to Tsarang (3575m)

Ghemi is the 3rd largest village in Lo and is surrounded by extensive fields. The trail to Drakmar and Lo Gekar leads to the west from the upper part of the village. The trail descends below the blue, grey and red cliffs across the valley to a steel bridge across Tangmar Chu, and then climbs past what is perhaps the longest and most spectacular mani wall in Nepal. Beyond the mani wall, the route climbs a rocky gully, then traverses to the Choya La (3870m). Once over the pass the route makes a long gentle descent past a prayer flag, then wanders across fields to Tsarang.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 07 – Trek to Lo-Manthang (3840m)

The trail descends about 125m from Charang, crosses the Tsarang Chu and follows the track to a cairn on a ridge opposite the village at 3580m, then enters the Thorung valley. The dirt road turns north and climbs gently to a large isolated chorten that marks the boundary between Tsarang and Lo. The road crosses a stream, and then becomes a wide thoroughfare traveling across a desert. Expect to see a like landscape painted in every hue of grey and yellow. Finally, from the Lo La (3950m), there is a view of walled city of Lo Manthang. A short descent leads us into the plain of Aspiration, and then the trail crosses a stream and climbs up onto the plateau of Lo Manthang (3840m/12,672ft), crossing an irrigation canal at the southern wall of the city of Lo Manthang.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 08 – Exploring Lo-Manthang

With a handful of temples and the King’s palace in town, plus some noteworthy sites in the surrounding area, there’s enough in and around Lo Manthang to keep us occupied for a couple of days. Lo Manthang is the highlight of this trek, so we don’t scrimp on our time here. There are two valleys above Lo Manthang. In the western valley are Tingkhar, Phuwa gompa and Namgyal gompa. Namgyal, situated in a spectacular setting atop a desolate ridge, is of the Gelug tradition and is the newest and most active gompa in Lo. On the two hills to the north of the town are the ruins of castles. The castle on the higher hill was the palace of Ame Pal, the founder of king of Mustang. On the lower hill are the ruins of the round castle of the queen. This is now a sky burial site.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 09 – Trek to Ghar Gompa

The trail from here to Lo Gekhar is not the main trading route and the area is crisscrossed with herder trail so a local guide is particularly useful here. The trail climbs steadily to a cairn that marks a pass at 4000m, offering a last glimpse of Lo Manthang. The trail climbs to a ridge at 4070m where a large cairn marks a pass into a side valley. We climb to the head of this valley and cross the Chogo La, at 4325m the highest point on the trek.The trail makes a short, steep descent to a wooden bridge across the Tsarang Khola, then climbs past an unpainted stone chorten and crosses a swampy meadow to Lo Gekar. Ghar Gompa is a small monastery in a grove of large trees. Ghar gompa means ‘house temple’ and carries this name because the structure is built like a house with small separate rooms.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10 – Trek to Geling (3570m)

We climb to a ridge, then across a valley to a cairn and a pass at 4170m. The route crosses some alpine meadows to a crest then drops down a steep eroded gully overshadowed by red rock towers to the upper part of Drakmar. Then the trail from Drakmar descends alongside a stream passing the stone walls and fields of the extensive village of Drakmar, and then climbs to a ridge chorten and onto a ridge at 3710m. It then descends to another stream and makes a short climb to the upper part of Ghemi. Descending to the lower part of Ghemi, we follow the upward route, climbing to a cairn on the Ghemi La and contouring upwards to the Nyi La (4020m). Then we make a steep descent into the Geling valley.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11 – Trek to Chele (3100m)

From Geling, we descend gently to Chhungar, a large chorten, house and camp site beside an apple orchard at 3750m. The trail then makes a long traverse past a Mani wall to the three houses of Tama gaon at 3710m. A steep set of switchbacks down a rocky canyon leads to a stream, and then the trail climbs to a huge painted chorten before rejoining the Geling trail near the ridge, just below the Shyangmochen La. Finally, retracing the upward trail through Yamdo and Bhena to Samar, we descend to Chele.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12 – Trek to Jomsom (2720m)

From Chele, we continue trekking down towards Chhuksang. It takes about 4-5 hours from here to reach Kagbeni. We can easily continue another three hours or so to Jomsom to be on location for a flight the following day.

Accommodation: Tented camp
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 13 – Flight to Pokhara and Exploring the City

We take the early morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. The remaining time we can spend enjoying Pokhara. We can have the pleasure of enjoying the scenic beauty of Pokhara as it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Nepal.

Accommodation: Hotel
Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 14 – Flight Pokhara – Kathmandu

From Pokhara we fly back to Kathmandu. This is the end of our adventure.In the evening you will be invited to join the optional FAREWELL party reviewing great photos and share experiences of the trip. Staying at the hotel for the night is also optional.

Food: Breakfast, lunch

Included

Included:

√ Pick up and transfer to and from airport
Your trekking company will be able to pick you up from your hotel and return you after the trekking. If you need a transfer to and from the airport of Kathmandu, then this can also be organized.

Tented Camps during Trek
During the trek we will stay in basic tented camps. You will be comfortable, but do not expect too many luxuries.

Returns Flights Kathmandu – Pokhara
The stunning flights from to Pokhara and back to Kathmandu are included in the price and will be arranged by your trekking company.

Return Flights Pokhara – Jomsom
The cost of ticket, airport taxes and transfer for your flights from Pokhara to Jomsom and back are included in the price.

√ English speaking guide and a porter
One porter per two trekkers. This way you don’t have to carry your complete equipment yourself. The guide speaks English.

√ Salary, food, insurance, and accommodation for guide and porter
The total amount covers not only your own basics, but also those of your guide and porter. No unpleasant surprises.

√ Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared during the trek. The meals are basic, but will give you enough energy for your appetite. Fruit is also available after each meal.

√ Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are also organized by the trekking company. Every morning fresh coffee and tea are made. There are scheduled breaks to enjoy this.

√ Permit and TIMS
The total amount includes costs for the permit. This also applies to the TIMS Card, to the Trekkers Information Management System.

√ Down Jacket and Sleeping Bags
In order to pull in the Himalayas as prepared as possible, it is important to bring a good down jacket and sleeping bag. These are provided by your trekking company.

√ Alpine Club of Himalaya kitbag and t-shirt
We provide you with a Alpine Club of Himalaya branded kitbag and a t-shirt. Not only are they ideal for trekking, but they are also beautiful souvenirs.

√ Altitude Sickness & First Aid Kit
The guides carry an altitude sickness kit to monitor your pulse rate, oxygen saturation and heart rate twice a day (very useful for monitoring the symptoms of altitude sickness (AMS) at altitude).

√ Helicopter Service in Emergencies
Check whether this is reimbursed by your travel insurance and otherwise take out a supplementary travel insurance package for this.

Excluded:

× Visa for Nepal
Your trekking company will not take responsibility for the travel visa for Nepal. This should be organized by yourself. Contact your local Nepalese embassy for the latest visa information.

× Flights to and from Nepal
The total amount is also exclusive of flights to and from Nepal. To get an idea of which airlines are flying on Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), have a look at the website.

× Accommodation in Kathmandu including breakfast
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

× Personal expenses
All personal expenses such as drinks at the bar, washing and other similar expenses are for your own account.

× Travel Insurance Including Repatriation
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Nepal.

× Tipping
Tips for guides and porters are exclusive. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous and read our blog post about tipping when you are planning to go trekking in Nepal.

× Desserts, Hot Shower, Hot Water, Mineral Water and Wi-Fi
Certain luxuries such as desserts, a hot shower, hot running water, bottles of mineral water and Wi-Fi should be missed during a typical trek in the Himalayas. The water we encounter along the way is drinkable and is heated or boiled by us.

Accommodation

Accommodation

During the trek we stay in lodges or teahouses. The teahouses are basic of nature. Some of them have a squatter toilet, while others provide a western style alternative . Showers do not always have hot water and most tea houses charge for the use of hot water. Some teahouses have access to the internet, but always at extra charge. Please read our blog about the teahouses in Nepal. 

teahouse-trekking-nepal

Safety

Safety

Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks. In addition, the routes are ideally designed to give you enough time to acclimatize.

While the intention is to stick to the described route, a certain degree of flexibility is built in. In some cases it may be necessary to change the route here and there. The mountains are full of surprises, and the weather in the Himalayas is unpredictable. The guides continuously carry out risk assessments throughout the expedition. It is therefore best to plan a number of extra days in Nepal for possible unforeseen circumstances. Read all about altitude sickness here.

Training

Training

Do you make it to your destinations as planned? Often this depends on the unpredictable weather in the mountains. However, it can also depend on your own physical condition.

Do you like walking, have you done trekking at altitude more often and do you sport twice a week on average? With a little extra training, you’ll soon be ready for this beautiful trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas.

Is this the first time that you are trekking at altitude? Make sure you are well prepared. This is important for your safety, but also for that of your team. Make sure you start six months in advance with an hour’s walk twice a week. Click here for a complete training schedule to prepare you for your adventure.

Packing List

Packing List

Trekking in Nepal requires decent gear. Especially the basics like an 80-90l backpack and quality trekking socks. Read an extensive blog here about what to bring with you.

Documents
– Passport
– Travel insurance
– Boarding passes for flights
– 2 passport photos
– Driving License
– Dollars in cash
– Credit card (make sure you have $500 available on your card in case evacuation by helicopter is required)

Sleep
– Sleeping bag
– Extra sleeping bag lining

Footwear
– Mountain shoes: 3 or 4 season lightweight
– Slippers or sandals for the city
– Aircraft shoes (optional)

Clothing
– Make sure you have non-cotton clothing for during the trek
– 2 t-shirts with underlayer (e.g. running t-shirts)
– Fleece / softshell jacket
– Waterproof jacket
– Down jacket for warmth
– Travel and citywear
– Underwear
– Trousers for underlayer (optional)
– Waterproof pants
– Trekking pants
– Trekking shorts (optional)
– 2 thick trekking socks
– Lightweight and breathable trekking socks
– Gloves and woolen hat

Accessories
– One backpack: 35 liters
– A duffel bag or backpack with straps to go over your back (Max 8kg weight for the porters to carry)
– Drybag or waterproof cover for your backpack
– Water bottle/thermos: at least 2 litres.
– Sunglasses
– Sunscreen
– Personal medication
– Inhaler, blister plasters, etc.
– General toiletries, contact lenses, spectacles (if necessary)
– Towel
– Electronics
– Headlight, travel adapter, phone & charger
– Lip balm
– Book
– MP3/Music and headphones
– Hand disinfectant, biodegradable wet wipes

Alpine Club of Himalaya

Alpine Club of Himalaya

Alpine Club of Himalaya is a trekking and tour company run by a group of enthusiastic tourism professionals. For over two decades, we have been helping travelers from around the globe make their dreams come true at the foothills or at the peaks of The Himalayas, Nepal.

Whether you wish to scale the world’s greatest mountain ranges at 7,000m, 8,000m, or below 7,000m, or you wish to start with less demanding base camp treks such as Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Langtang Region Trek, or treks in many other regions, our experienced trekking and climbing guides are ever ready to help you reach your goal.

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Best Season
If you have read our blog post about the best time for trekking in Nepal, you will know that every season in Nepal is suitable for trekking. However, in certain times of the year the one area of Nepal is more favorable than the other. Most people who go trekking in the Everest region and Gokyo Valley do so from March till the beginning of June and from September till the end of December. The Annapurna Region is best enjoyed in March to May and from October all the way to December. Just like Everest, you can trek in Annapurna all year round. The same seasons are most popular when talking the Manaslu Circuit and the Langtang Valley. The Upper Mustang is your choice during the Monsoon season when the rest of the country gets more rainfall. The Upper Dolpo is perfect most of the year, especially from March all the way to November.

Porters
Bookatrekking.com strives to only work with providers who treat porters in a fair manner. Without porters, there is no trekking in Nepal. They are the heart and soul of your adventure and they every day carry part of your gear. Bookatrekking.com always tries to find a balance between an affordable trekking adventure and the fair treatment of porters.

Tipping
Porters are partly dependent on tipping. The cheaper your trekking, the more likely it is that the salary for porters is low. In any case, this must be compensated with tipping. It is an unwritten law in the Himalayas. On your way to Everest Base Camp you will notice that the amount of tipping is a hot topic. At the end of the trek there is an opportunity to give tips. The rule of thumb is to count 10 to 15% of the total amount of the trek. This can be divided into 60-40. The 60% of the amount goes to the guide and 40% is for the porter(s).

Currency and Payment Methods
We recommend you to bring US dollars or euros to pay for your visa, further travel and other costs. It is easiest to travel in Nepal with US dollars. Nepal has reasonable banking facilities with branches of a number of international local commercial banks. Credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted. ATMs can be found everywhere in Kathmandu and Pokhara. There are ATMs in larger cities during the hikes. However, it is a good idea to bring enough money from Kathmandu or Pokhara as in Nepal you never know if the ATMs will work.

Visa Nepal
Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu you can get a tourist visa. USD 25 for 15 days from the date of issue, USD 40 for 30 days and USD 100 for 90 days tourist visa. You need two passport photos. You can apply for an online visa here.

Vaccinations
No immunizations are required visiting Nepal, but it’s always worth checking which vaccinations are recommended and check you are up-to-date with all your boosters.

Although you can get vaccinations in Kathmandu, it’s generally better (and often cheaper) to get them before your trip. Either way, it’s always worth consulting with your local doctor or nurse for up-to-date travel and inoculation advice at least 6 weeks before your planned departure date.

The main recommended vaccinations for Nepal are Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Meningitis. Boosters are also recommended for Tetanus, Polio, Mumps, and Measles. Depending on your travel plans, you may also consider inoculations against Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis B, and Rabies. This is especially important if you have young children, plan to stay for an extended period of time, working in healthcare, or visiting rural areas and the lowlands of the Terai Region.

How To Book

How does it work?

On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 20% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.

Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.

After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on support@bookatrekking.com

The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.

Cancellation Policy

You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.

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