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Old 20th March 2023, 19:57   #1
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Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

I just got back from a solo-trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal. This was my first attempt at trekking solo, and wanted to capture the details, the process, my itinirary, photos of the trail and logistics involved in completing this trip. If there are any questions related to the trek I will try to answer them to the best of my limited knowledge.

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Note: Above pics are from my mobile phone (Google Pixel 6) and processed on Snapseed. I ditched my Sony mirrorless camera to reduce my backpack weight, and I never missed it. Most pics in the following posts are unprocessed, straight out of the phone camera.

Last edited by sachinayak : 22nd March 2023 at 11:24.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 11:31   #2
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

My first high-altitude trek experience was in July 2019 (at the age of 42). This was the Tarsar Marsar trek (13165ft/4012m) with Indiahikes. It was possibly the best introduction to high-altitude/Himalayan trekking. I was bitten by the trekking bug and subsequently did multiple easy/moderate treks in the Himalayas – including Kedarkantha (12500ft/3810m), Sandakphu (11930ft/3636m), Buran Ghati (15000ft/4572m) twice (autumn & summer) and Har-Ki-Dun/Maninda Lake (13000ft/3970m) over the next 3 years.

Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal-day0treks.jpg

Each of my treks was a great learning experience – what to carry and (more importantly) what not to carry, how to tie your shoe laces (as basic as this), how to layer up when trekking, how to layer up post the trek, stretching before and after the trek, altitude sickness symptoms to look out for and much more.

With each trek, I tried to accomplish something different. I tried trekking across different states, trekking in different seasons and most importantly I tried carrying my own backpack. Should one carry his/her own backpack or offload it – is a very tricky question. If Indiahikes had not offered the offloading option, I may never have attempted trekking. Immediately post booking a trek, I would head to the “Offload Backpack” section. But I always wanted to carry my own backpack (just seemed like the right thing to do). In my 2nd Buran Ghati trek, I only offloaded my backpack on the summit/pass crossing day. In my last trek (Har-Ki-Dun/Maninda Tal), I carried my backpack all through (though I must sheepishly admit that a fellow trekker who offloaded his backpack carried my rather-heavy drone battery pack). However I was slowly getting there.

Earlier this year, I started pondering over “What next?“.

Surprisingly, the answer just presented itself – Solo Trekking. This was much easier said than done. I started trekking at a “not-so-young” age (most fellow trekkers I meet are in late 20s or early 30s). I had barely completed a full trek carrying my own backpack. Carrying tent/food/supplies would mean pushing my body and my luck too much. I had never used gpx maps or navigated independently on any of my treks. And staying all alone in the wild, is certainly not my cup of tea (my fellow trekkers can vouch for this – I would politely request for all horror story discussions to be deferred till the last night on any trek). A key factor, however, was that it would cause a lot of concern and strife to my near & dear ones, compounded further with almost no phone/network coverage on most treks.

I kept exploring options until I stumbled upon something that seemed to address all my concerns – trekking in Nepal. Trekking is a big business (and unfortunately not as raw/pristine as in India), but this worked perfectly for me. Most trekking trails are fairly well documented and marked – physically and digitally. There are tea-houses all along the trail – thus food/stay is taken care of. Most trails/tea-houses have decent connectivity (at a price) and solo trekking is quite common there (thus not a concern in terms of safety).

I started researching on the Khopra Ridge trek, but slowly shifted focus to a much easier trail – the Mardi Himal Trek, which would offer great views of Machapuchare, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli amongst others. The trail isn’t too difficult and has numerous stay options offering the flexibility to come up with a Plan B, if needed. It was a perfect match. While the ideal trekking season is Autumn (Oct-Nov) or Spring (Apr-May), I had to carve out time from my work/family schedule. The last week of Feb 2023 was the only available option, so just went ahead with it. In hindsight, this was a blessing as very recently Nepal Tourism Board announced that engaging a registered local guide is now mandatory for FIT (Free Independent Trekkers) from April 1, 2023. Things were slowly but surely falling into place.

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Planning the trek was very engaging. There is a lot of information available online including many videos on YouTube. Also got in touch with a fantastic group of backpackers and trekkers (on FB), who were very responsive. Armed with a bits and pieces of information, I started chalking my itinerary. The basic premise was to be very fluid and take each day as it comes. The trek offers numerous tea-houses which let you change your plan at runtime if need be. So all I had pre-determined – were my travel dates (to book my flight tickets).

After multiple revisions, I chalked out a plan (also a Plan B)
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Note: Numbers in orange indicate the expected hours of ascent, while those in green indicate the expected hours of descent on that specific day.

For detailed information around logistics, travel, expenses, permits, navigation, accommodation etc. please refer my notes in my last post on this thread.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 11:33   #3
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

DAY 1: FLY TO KATHMANDU

I had an early morning flight from BLR to DEL, arriving at Terminal T1. After a quick transfer to Terminal T3 I was ready to board my next flight to KTM, after a hassle-free immigration process. Indigo itself has 3 flights daily on the DEL-KTM sector. Thankfully both flights were smooth and just past noon I landed in KTM.

Post immigration, I got out of the airport, but without a SIM card or any local currency (was only carrying 500 Rupee notes). A local store outside the airport, helped me get some local currency (at a premium) and I took a local bus (20 min) to Rathna park. From here, the Nepal Tourism Board office is a 10-min walk. Once I had my permits (took around 20-30 mins) I walked down to my hotel. It was drizzling now, so quickly got my Indian currency exchanged to NPR, bought a pair of trek poles (for details on gear rentals/purchases refer the notes section at the end) and post a lovely nepali dal-bhat at Paru Thakali Kitchen (highly recommended), I wound up for the day. The long day was coming up and I needed to be well rested.


Nepali Dal Bhat (unlimited refills)
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Old 22nd March 2023, 11:41   #4
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

DAY 2: KATHMANDU – POKHARA – DHAMPUS – SUIREDANDA

This was to be a long day. I started early (5:30AM) to the airport, but had to wait for the airport to open (at 6AM). I had booked the second flight of the day to Pokhara, but since I was early at the airport, they put me on the first flight instead. The flight however got delayed due to poor weather at Pokhara, but finally took off (an hour later than scheduled). This was my first ATR flight, a 25 min one cruising at an altitude of 12000 ft (the Mardi Himal base camp is at a higher altitude than this). Thankfully after an uneventful flight landed shortly in Pokhara.
Pro Tip When flying KTM-PKR, the seats on the right side offer amazing views of some Himalayan mountain peaks.

From the airport, i hired a private cab (bargained from 6K to 3K NPR, but probably a fair price is ~2.5K) and after a quick breakfast enroute, was on my way to Dhampus. There are cheaper public transport options, but I was already running late. Reached Dhampus and started my trek around 10:45 AM (a little later than planned). Being a Monday morning the place was rather quiet. The trail however was beautiful and ascents gradual. The weather forecast predicted rains post 2pm. So I kept moving steadily with minimal breaks and within an hour reached Pothana (where the route merged into the primarily trail from Kande). I continued to Pitam Deurali (another 45 mins) and headed to Suiredanda (my destination for the day). The last 20-30 minutes of the trail, from Sanjay Deurali to Suiredanda, was very steep and this completely sucked out all my energy. Any thoughts of continuing further to Dodkharka or Musalbari were promptly quashed. It was starting to rain as well, so called it a day.

Found a solitary tea-house in Suiredanda. I was the only guest here and it was quite isolated. The stay was very basic but I was quite tired and also very hungry, so it did not matter. After a quick lunch, I had a short nap. I spent my evening chatting with my host and playing with his pet dog. Life in the mountains is quite tough for the locals. Sourcing water itself is a mammoth task. They collect rainwater and use that in the toilets or in kitchen for cleaning vessels. Not that I wasn’t aware earlier, but such conversations helps one appreciate (yet again) how blessed a life we are leading. Post an early dinner, I wound up for the day. It was cold and I was worried. I started questioning myself on my decision of trekking solo. At the same time, I was excited on how things would unfold going forward.

Note: There is an alternate route from Pitam Deurali to Forest camp, that has a much gradual ascent and is easier, but is relatively new. So I did not explore that option (most trekkers nowadays go via that route).


Timeline:
10:45 AM – Started trekking from Dhampus
11:45 AM – Reached Pothana
12:30 PM – Reached Pitam Deurali
01:30 PM – Reached Suiredanda


Pokhara Airport
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The lovely trail from Dhampus
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The trail is well marked
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The tea-house at Suiredanda
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Popular saying in Nepal – Dal Bhat Power 24 Hour
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Old 22nd March 2023, 11:46   #5
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

DAY 3: SUIREDANDA – LOW CAMP

After a good sleep, I woke up early to an unreal view. The weather was clear, and the scenery was oh-so-different. The place had clear views of the Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. Between the mountains, you could view the Dhaulagiri too (pics below). I was super excited. The weather didn’t seem cold any more (such a mental thing) and after a cup of lemon ginger tea, I started my trek for the day around 7:45 am.

This was one of the most underrated sections of the trek. Dense forests, a gradual meandering trail with not a single soul in sight (most take the easier trail). The number of birds on this section was just insane – Himalayan Bulbul, Rufuous Sibia, Minivets, White-cheeked Laughingthrush, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Blue-fronted Redstart, Gray Bushchat were some that I could identify without any binoculars. It was not just the variety of the birds, but sheer number of them that was mindboggling. It was an amazing experience walking through a lively forest bustling with bird activity.

A couple of hours later, I stopped for breakfast at Musalbari (while enjoying my first clear views of Mt. Machapuchare). Soon I was on my way to Forest Camp. On this section of the forest, I had an encounter with two groups of cattle. At first it was scary, so I left the trail and climbed higher into the forest. The cattle too were scared and left the trail to come face-to-face again with me. Once I realized they were more scared to see me, I just continued walking. The second group promptly made way for me as I marched ahead. I didn’t stop at Forest Camp but headed toward Rest Camp which I reached a short while later. After some snacks/hydration, continued towards Low Camp. The trail all through was gradual and through the beautiful forest. Post rest camp, to rescue camp to low camp the trail was much steeper and after huffing and puffing, I checked into the “Lali Gurans” tea-house at Low Camp.

Accommodation options at the Low Camp were “better equipped” compared to Suiredanda. There were multiple tea-houses to choose from. The host at “Lali Gurans” was very welcoming and quickly cooked a hot lunch. The weather meanwhile had completely changed. It was overcast, with barely a few meters of visibility. I was glad to have completed my trek for the day before the rain arrived. Afternoon/evening was pretty relaxing – had a short nap, chatted with fellow trekkers who were staying here or had halted for lunch/snack, chatted with my host trying to understand their lives, while I kept myself warm in the common dining hall which was equipped with a wood-fired central fire-place (also used to heat water/food). Post an early dinner, it was time to wrap up for the day.


Timeline:
07:45 AM – Started trekking from Suiredanda
09:30 AM – Breakfast at Musalbari
10:15 AM – Reached Dodkharka
10:50 AM – Reached Forest Camp
11:30 AM – Snack break Rest Camp
01:30 PM – Reached Low Camp


(L-R) Dhaulagiri, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli as seen from the tea-house at Suiredanda
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The “magical” forest section after Suiredanda
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Rhododendrons along the way
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Lali Gurans at Low Camp
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The common dining area
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Old 22nd March 2023, 11:53   #6
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

DAY 4: LOW CAMP – BADAL DANDA – HIGH CAMP

Woke up early to another crisp and clear morning with clear views of the mountain peaks. It was a standard pattern that was now emerging – crystal clear mornings offering amazing views, with clouds setting in shortly and some rain post noon. Thus, had a nice lemon ginger tea and set off early at 6 AM.

The trail was a mix of gradual and steep ascents. Within an hour I reached Badal Danda. In favorable weather conditions, it is generally recommended to stay at Badal Danda instead of Low Camp. You have much better views of the various mountain peaks from here. But for me, given overcast conditions, it was irrelevant. I had my breakfast (noodle-soup) here and after a short break was on my way to high camp which I reached a couple of hours later. While having breakfast, someone sighted a yak. I rushed out hoping to get some pics, but was not successful. Today the clouds had set in much earlier, and the mountain peaks were not visible post 8am. Most of my walk from Badal Danda to High Camp was through Badal (clouds). Was great as long as the rain stayed away.

Thankfully it didn’t rain until I checked into Hotel Trekkers Paradise at High Camp around 10AM. The host at this tea-house too was very welcoming. I had an early lunch and with nothing planned for the rest of the day, I decided to climb a little higher to help with acclimatization. Around 12PM, along with a few Czech trekkers, I started walking up towards the view point. With dense fog/cloud cover there was absolutely nothing visible, but we gained some good altitude in an hour of continuous ascent, spent some time there and came back to our tea-house. As soon as we got back, there was a major hailstorm (mixed with snow) and an hour later, the entire place had turned completely white. Evenings, as usual, were relaxed – chatting with fellow trekkers and the hosts, followed by an early dinner and by 8pm everyone had signed off for the day in anticipation of an early start the next morning.


Timeline
06:00 AM – Start from Low Camp
07:00 AM – Breakfast at Badal Danda
10:00 AM – Reached High Camp


Morning view from Badal Danda
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The tea houses at Badal Danda
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An elderly gentlemen (Aniruddha Choudhary) who carries provisions daily from Low Camp to High Camp
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Sometimes decision making is easy
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From High-Camp to view point
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After the hailstorm/snow
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Old 22nd March 2023, 12:08   #7
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DAY 5: HIGH CAMP – VIEW POINT – HIGH CAMP – LOW CAMP

Today was going the big day, and I just couldn’t sleep well. Could be out of excitement or the cold weather or both. Left my room for a loo-break at 3AM, and what a sight it was. The sky was clear and the Machapuchare Peak was visible in all its glory. Spent 30 minutes trying multiple long-exposure shots on my phone and it was worth it.

Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal-pxl_20230301_221720093.night_.jpg



Many folks start their climb around 3-4 am, but I had no such plans. Trekking solo also meant that I had to be extra safe than sorry. Thus, I started my hike just before dawn around 5:45 AM. The plan was to hike to the lower view point in a couple of hours and then based on weather conditions, decide if I should trek further till higher view point or return. The morning weather again was crisp and clear. However the snowfall on the previous evening had covered the entire trail with powdery snow and it would soon get slippery (when the snow would start melting). The trail involved a continuous ascent but it wasn’t too tough (at least initially). The snow had completely changed the look of the place, and I kept moving along.

Around 7:45 AM, I reached the lower view point. Met a few trekkers who were starting their descent. Hardly any trekkers had ventured beyond the lower view point (probably due to the snow, and hardly anyone had micro-spikes, me included). So I continued my hike slightly ahead and spent almost an hour just soaking in the beauty of the place.

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Started my descent around 8:45 AM and after navigating the slippery trail reached the High Camp around 10:15 AM. After a warm breakfast, I settled my bills and bid adieu to the wonderful host and continued by descent to Low Camp. The trail continued to be very tricky and slippery with the melting snow, so had to be careful. The trek poles were super helpful in these sections.

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A couple of hours amidst overcast and ominous weather I got back to Low Camp. I was still unsure if I would camp here tonight or continue further towards Sidhing. However steady rains over the next hour helped made it easy to decide. I decided to stay overnight at the Low Camp (at the same tea-house – “Lali Gurans”) and head to Sidhing early next morning. The stay was more relaxed this time around and the evening was spent sharing trek and photography experiences with other trekkers from around the globe.

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Some spicy Sandeko
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The wonderful host at Lali Gurans and the fireplace which worked overtime to keep us warm
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Last edited by libranof1987 : 22nd March 2023 at 12:49. Reason: Rule # 11
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Old 22nd March 2023, 12:18   #8
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

DAY 6: LOW-CAMP TO SIDHING TO POKHARA TO KATHMANDU

While at Low Camp, I was trying to check with some local guides on Jeeps from Sidhing to get back to Pokhara. Since this was an off-peak season, I would need to be in Sidhing latest by 9am. Getting a jeep post 9am would be more expensive and there would be no guarantee of finding one. So early morning, I joined a couple of Dutch trekkers and their guide who were descending to Sidhing. Along the descent the guide called one of the jeep operators and booked slots for all of us. The descent itself was through an amazing rhododendron forest. While we descended at a good pace, we did take a few breaks to enjoy the scenery.

Pro Tip: There are multiple tea-houses along the trail from Low Camp to Sidhing. In hindsight, I should have stayed at one of these places the previous day instead of Low Camp.



At low camp – the left is the descent to Sidhing while the right is the trail from Forest Camp
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The gorgeous rhododendron forest along the way
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Parting shots of Machapuchare
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By 9 AM, after a 2.5 hour descent, we reached Sidhing, where our jeep was waiting. The jeep also ferries locals to Pokhara, that to on a muddy/slushy trail. It was crazy and uncomfortable, but at least we were on our way. By around 11am, we reached Pokhara and I headed straight to the airport. Bought tickets at the counter and an hour later was in Kathmandu. Due to cloudy weather, the mountain peaks were not clearly visible on this flight though. This was my first experience of flying a Bombardier Dash-8 (Q400).


My return flight (Shree Airlines) and some mountain peaks hiding behind the clouds
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At KTM, I took a bike to Thamel and checked into my hotel and enjoyed a hot-shower after almost a week. Explored Thamel a bit before wrapping up for the day. My first solo trek was over and I needed to catch up on some sleep.


Some food
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Last edited by libranof1987 : 22nd March 2023 at 12:44. Reason: Rule # 11
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Old 22nd March 2023, 12:23   #9
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

DAY 7: KATHMANDU LOCAL SIGHTSEEING

Thanks to Pathao, local sightseeing was quite easy. Took a bike to Pashupatinath Temple (no pics allowed here). The main temple had a long line so skipped that and visited all the other temples in the complex. From here, I walked to the Buddha Stupa and after briefly exploring the place took another bike to Swoyambhu Mahachaitya (aka the monkey temple). You need to climb up 365 steps to visit this temple, but this now seemed like a piece of cake. The temple complex is bustling with activity and given its location on top of a hillock, provides a great view of Kathmandu city.


The Buddha Stupa
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The Steps at Swoyambhu Mahachaitya
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Swoyambhu Mahachaitya
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Later in the evening I visited the Durbar Square (a UNESCO heritage site). This square hosts multiple buildings – temples, palaces, administrative buildings – many of which collapsed due to a major earthquake in 2015.


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Being a weekend, the Durbar Square was crowded. With Magic Eraser on my phone, I was able to knock off some bystanders from the above pics (not perfect but a super useful feature)

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Old 22nd March 2023, 12:29   #10
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

Day 8: KTM to BLR via DEL

Took a morning 10:30 AM flight from KTM to DEL and after a few hours layover was on my flight from DEL to BLR. Uneventful flights (the way I would prefer) and I was back from a weeklong adventure – my first solo trekking experience in the Himalayas. It was back to business as usual. Bring it on.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 12:31   #11
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

POINTERS/LOGISTICS TO HELP PLAN YOUR TREK

VISA: Indian citizens do not need a visa to enter Nepal. If you are flying in, you need your Passport. If travelling by road (yes, this is an option too) you need your Passport or Voters ID. Aadhar card is not accepted, though is helpful to get a SIM card (covered later). Flying “abroad” with no documentation was eerily smooth.


PERMITS: You certainly need an ACAP permit, since this comes under the Annapurna Conservation Zone. You “may” also need a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems) card. There is conflicting information if this is really needed, but I got it done. ACAP costs NPR 1000 and TIMS costs NPR 600 for SAARC visitors. You can get permits from the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu (near Thamel). Good part – they are open till 5pm on Sundays too. You can get the permits from Pokhara as well. Carry 4-6 photographs for this. During my trek, however, I did not come across any checkpoint where my permits were checked.


CURRENCY: Nepal is a completely cash-driven country. While in most places in KTM/PKR, Indian currency works, carry local currency to avoid any hassles. Officially only 50 and 100 rupee notes are valid, but in Thamel (the tourist hub of Kathmandu) I was able to change all my 500 rupee notes into NPR. The conversion rate is fixed – 1 INR = 1.6 NPR.


PHONE & DATA: There are 2 primary operators – NCell and NTC (Nepal Telecom). They have a counter at the airport, as you head out, but is more expensive here. Getting a SIM card/data pack is a hassle-free process and there are numerous outlets in Thamel, where you can get this done. I got an NCell SIM in Thamel (100 NPR for the SIM Card and 500 NPR for 20GB data, valid for 28 days). On the trail, at most places I had decent network coverage. Even in my tea-house at High Camp, I had enough connectivity to send messages (no attachments), which was good enough.


EXPENSES: Typical expenses could be categorized into accommodation, food and transportation. Most tea-houses on the trail offer basic but comfortable accommodation at a very low price (300-500 NPR) if you have at least 2 meals there.

Food is typically more expensive (Black Tea costing 80-130 NPR, Double Omlette costing 200-300 NPR, Fried Rice/Noodles costing 450-600 NPR and the ubiquitous Dal-Bhat costing 600-750 NPR). The menu at all tea-houses is identical, with prices increasing gradually as you reach higher elevation. Some places may charge you for drinking water, mobile charging and internet while some offer it for free.

Transport costs can vary significantly. The Mardi Himal trek starts from Pokhara. You can fly to Pokhara or take a bus. I flew (yes even after the recent Yeti Airlines crash) as it was a 25 min flight v/s a 7-9 hour bus ride. Typical flight tickets cost 3800 NPR each way. From Pokhara, you need to get to Kande (150 NPR/1 hour bus ride) or Dhampus (2500 NPR/1.5 hour cab ride) before you start your trek. On your return, you need to take a shared jeep from Sidhing (1600 NPR/2 hours) to get back to Pokhara. I carried 30K INR, which was more than enough for my trek (excluding my flight tickets to and from KTM).


SHOPPING/GEAR: If you need to buy/rent gear, there are many options in Thamel. The most recommended place is Kalapatthar Trekking Gear (to buy) or Shona’s Alpine (to rent). I needed a couple of trek poles (highly recommended) and got good ones at Kalapatthar for NPR 900 each. There are cheaper ones here too, but the quality is markedly inferior. They had Windproof Jackets for 1000-1300 NPR, Trek Pants for 900-1200 NPR. This place however is extremely crowded (just check any Youtube video), so be prepared to push your way through.


NAVIGATION: Download Maps.me on your phone and download the offline map. Even without network, you can easily navigate yourself along the trail using GPS (works in airplane mode too). The trail is marked very well with white/blue marks all along the trail. So the risk of losing your way is rather low. Do check with locals for any updates on the trail (new or easier routes etc.)


GETTING AROUND: Download Pathao or InDrive app for getting around in Kathmandu. Equivalent to UBER/OLA and offers a bike/car option. Extremely convenient specially for a solo traveler. Getting to Thamel from KTM Airport costed 150 NPR on Pathao Bike Taxi, while the airport pre-paid cab costs 700 NPR. Pathao however needs a local number/SIM.


If you have any questions on this trek, please post the same as a comment and I will revert at the earliest
sachinayak is offline   (25) Thanks
Old 23rd March 2023, 05:16   #12
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd March 2023, 06:36   #13
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re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

The true Himalayan experience. Thanks for sharing. Are there any conditions to get permits? Like fitness criteria or age limit? Is is mandatory to hire a guide?
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Old 23rd March 2023, 10:16   #14
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Re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

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Originally Posted by trippytragopan View Post
The true Himalayan experience. Thanks for sharing. Are there any conditions to get permits? Like fitness criteria or age limit? Is is mandatory to hire a guide?
There are no pre-conditions to get permits. If at all, they need an insurance number (many fake it, i had taken an insurance cover for the trip, which was under 1K). From April 1, hiring a local guide is mandatory for all areas except the Kumbhu region (Mt. Everest), which is quite ironical.

Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal-press_release1678449182_resized1920.jpg

There is a lot of backlash against this ruling from the western backpacker and trekkers community. As far as I know, this has been introduced multiple times in the past and then withdrawn post the backlash. Need to wait and watch.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 15:20   #15
A M
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Re: Trek Report: My solo trekking adventure to Mardi Himal in Nepal

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Originally Posted by sachinayak View Post
POINTERS/LOGISTICS TO HELP PLAN YOUR TREK

VISA: Indian citizens do not need a visa to enter Nepal. If you are flying in, you need your Passport. If travelling by road (yes, this is an option too) you need your Passport or Voters ID. Aadhar card is not accepted, though is helpful to get a SIM card (covered later). Flying “abroad” with no documentation was eerily smooth.
Just a small correction, you do not need your Passport even if you're flying in, a Voter ID enables you to enter Nepal. Adhar card is not accepted though.
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