Destination: Nar Phu Valley and the Annapurna Massif
Essence of the trip:
This is a stunning trek into a secret part of Nepal that time forgot; an area once known as the “Forbidden Valley”. With a combination of scheduled and charter aircraft you will access, trek and wild camp in parts of central northern Nepal that very few outsiders have had the privilege of visiting. As an undeveloped area with no lodges, you will be camping in the wilderness and journeying through deep valleys, narrow paths and towering gorges experiencing awesome vistas across the infamous Annapurna Massif and the remote mountain ranges of the northern border of Nepal and southern Tibet.
This trip will give you:
A chance to access extremely remote communities, normally cut off from the outside world, interact and learn from the Nepali Tibetans.
A test of physical endurance and mental determination; trekking at high altitude over hidden mountain passes and through narrow gorges.
An incredible fixed wing flight over Himalayan peaks in the Annapurna Massif from Pokhara towards the remote airstrip at Hondge.
The challenge of the Kang La high pass; a steep ascent that takes you to over 5,200 metres above sea level.
The flight into Kathmandu on a clear day really brings home the epic extent of the greater Himalayan range; to the north the horizon is filled with white snowcapped peaks, to the south the sprawling Indian subcontinent; this is a vista that will remain with you for the rest of your life. Kathmandu is the historic and cultural heart of Nepal and presents an intriguing mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and a western mountaineering influence. Patan and Bhaktapur, its two major neighbouring cities, bear immense cultural and religious significances and as part of your high altitude acclimatization you will be taken on a gentle half day guided tour taking in the largest Nepalese-Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath and the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal.
The following day you will journey north, flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara along the Kali Gandaki Gorge, with exceptional views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges, and then by private fixed wing aircraft up to Hongde. Once at this high mountain airstrip, overshadowed by Pisang Peak (6,091 m) you will start your trek to Dhikur Pokhari. The route takes you downhill along the Annapurna Circuit with the opportunity to stop at local teahouses for a refreshing drink and a chance to interact with the local inhabitants. For your first night wild camping (3,060m above sea level) you will be surrounded by awe-inspiring views of the Annapurna Range to the west and Pisang Peak to the east.
Following a good night’s rest you trek further onto Chame and then to Koto (2,600m) from where your route turns north and you enter the ‘Hidden Valley’ – an area that until very recently was closed to trekkers. The valley remains relatively untouched by modern life and the inhabitants of the exotic communities of Nar and Phu, comprising roughly 350 Nepalese Tibetans, have retained their practices and cultures that date back centuries. Most of them are still engaged in Yak herding and farming. The trail initially enters a narrow gorge and follows the Phu Khola River climbing steadily, eventually passing behind a big waterfall and leading you to your high camp at 3,200m near Singenge Dhamamshala.
Today you’ll make an early start as there is an intense day of trekking ahead. Shortly after starting out the trail divides, either dropping down to Nar Phedi or continuing north to Nar village, your next port of call. Depending on our progress you should arrive in Kyang by early afternoon giving you plenty of time to enjoy the scenery in this truly wild valley. From Kyang the trail cuts into the rocks high above the Phu Kohola River giving you spectacular views into the upper Nar Phu Valley. Once at Phu village, you either have the opportunity of a full rest day or exploring the route into Tibet a little further up in the valley.
Day 11 will see you cross the Phu Khola River at Nar Phedi (two bridges) and climb steeply up under the north face of Pisang Peak and into Nar where you will enjoy a traditional Nepalese meal with a local family before spending the night camping on the out skirts of the village. The next couple of days are short but you will have to climb steeply to reach Kanmgla Phedi by lunchtime on day 13 in order to rest and prepare for the high pass crossing the next day. You will camp by the small lake often referred to as the ‘Ice Lake’ due to its milky blue colour. The penultimate day of your epic exploration of Nepal is a long one, however it is very rewarding and will leave you with a sense of achievement that is hard to replicate. You cross the high Kang La pass (5,280m) via a very steep ascent to the top of the pass where there are some breathtaking views of the Annapurna massif and plenty of incredible photo opportunities. From the top it is a fast descent to the valley floor and the village of Ngawal where there is time for a quick lunch with the local community before pressing on to you extraction point at Hondge.
This trip will take you to an exceptionally remote part of the Himalaya, giving you a rare insight into the secluded communities that survive at this high altitude. Whilst the trek is sure to be challenging, the earned experiences will stay with you a lifetime.
If you are interested in taking this trip and would like to discuss it in more detail with our team of experts get in touch here or call us on 0207 426 9899 (UK) or 1-888 341 9663 (US) to start planning your trip.