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Nepal Hiking Vacation

Saribung Expedition

Highlights

  •   Attempt Saribung Peak (20,955')
  •   Monasteries, villages and palaces
  •   Phenomenal views
  •   Guest house stays and camping
  •   Instruction for glacial trekking
  •   Local flights & 4x4 drives included
  •   Majestic rural valleys
  •   Pristine subalpine forests

Description

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Join BACKPACKER Magazine and Wildland Trekking on a remote trekking and climbing expedition along the border of Tibet and Nepal. After acclimatizing in Kathmandu and Pokhara, we fly to Jomsom where we begin a 4x4 journey to the Kingdom of Mustang's capitol city, Lo Manthang. From Lo Manthang, we ascend into the stunning Damodar Himal, where we begin to see views of the Annapurnas and the trans-himalaya far into Tibet. We will trek until we reach the foot of a glacier and then keep ascending with the goal of climbing the moderate Saribung Peak. We then cross over Saribung Pass and descend down through the hidden valleys of Nar Phu until we reach a road at the village of Koto. This expedition provides a challenging peak ascent opportunity to an altitude of 20,879 ft! In addition, the ancient cultures of Mustand and Nar Phu, as well as the solitude of the area, compliment each other to make this one of the most interesting treks/climbs in all of Nepal!

Longtime BACKPACKER Editor-in-chief Jonathan Dorn is joining this special journey. It’s his first trip to Nepal, and he wanted it to be in a remote part of the deep Himalayas. This is it.

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Tea Houses + Camping
Difficulty:
Solitude:
Kathmandu, Nepal
20 days
$5200 Per Person

Travel to Nepal

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Trip Dates & Booking

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Trip Itinerary

Day 1

A Wildland representative will pick you up from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal and transport you to our hotel in Thamel (please arrive before 3 PM). We will have some free time to rest, eat and have showers. This evening we meet for team introductions and our orientation meeting. We then go out to dinner at our favorite local Nepali restaurant. Your guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Be sure to drink copious amounts of water in route, as flying and traveling will certainly dehydrate you. Self care begins immediately.

Day 2

This morning we enjoy our first Nepali breakfast at the hotel in Thamel. We then visit the famous “Monkey Temple” of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath. Once we are ready to leave Swayambhunath, we travel to the largest Buddhist stupa in the world, Boudhanath. After our temple tours, we travel back to Thamel. Lunch is on your own today and we will arrange a time to meet back at the hotel. For people who need to get gear, we will head to a local gear shop to get our personal climbing gear or anything else you need for the expedition. If you bring your own gear that is fine also. Subsequently, we will have time to wander the streets of Thamel, purchase last minute trekking supplies and rest at the guest house. We will set a time to meet for dinner and preparation for the following day.

Day 3

This morning after breakfast we take a 25-minute flight over the Himalayas to the lovely city of Pokhara. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel. We have a free afternoon to wander the streets and explore Phewa tal and Lakeside. Lunch and dinner is on your own today. We will meet back at the hotel and our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Days 4

This morning, we wake up early and head to the airport in Pokhara to take a flight to Jomsom. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel then have a free afternoon to tour around Jomsom. There are lots of monasteries, museums and other attractions to check out. Your guide can offer suggestions for lunch and dinner on your own. In case our flight cancels due to weather, we will take a Jeep or Bus to Jomsom, which can take around 11 or 12 hours. All part of the adventure! Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Day 5
  • Driving Duration: 8-9 hours

Today after breakfast, we board our 4x4’s and head out to the Kingdom of Lo Manthang. Our journey will take around 8 – 9 hours. Lo Manthang has a mixture of ancient Tibetan culture along with enchanting scenic beauty. We check into our guest house for the night and have free time until meeting for dinner.

Day 6
  • Lowest Elevation: 12,598 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 12,795 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 2-4 hours

Today after breakfast, we will explore the palaces, fortresses, and monasteries of Lo Manthang. We will also hike to Chhosar village. In Chhosar, we visit Niphu Monastery, one of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries in the region. We will also have time to explore Jhong Cave, the largest man-made cave system in Upper Mustang. Jhong Cave is five stories high with 40 rooms decorated with Tibetan scripts and Buddhist murals. After the insightful exploration of Chhosar, we hike back to Lo- Manthang for the overnight stay. Our guides will provide the plan for tomorrow.

Day 7
  • Lowest Elevation: 11,122 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 13,241 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 8 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 7-8 hours

Today is the first day of our trek. We gradually ascend from Lo Manthang until we reach Lo-La Pass (12,959 ft). This is the last place where we will be able to see Lo-Manthang. After some ups and downs on the trail, we arrive in Dhi village. We keep ascending until we reach the village of Yara. We check into our guest house and have free time until meeting for dinner. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Day 8
  • Lowest Elevation: 11,122 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 13,139 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 4 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 4-5 hours

Today, we trek from Yara to Luri Gompa. We start the day by walking by the river and gradually walking uphill to the Luri Cave Monastary. This is an ancient and well-known cave-monastery that was built in the 14th century. Inside the cave, we will see a large ancient Chorten and many pictures and statues of religious figures. We will set up camp at Luri and have free time until dinner is served. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Day 9
  • Lowest Elevation: 13,139 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 16,437 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 7 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 7-8 hours

After a hearty breakfast, we begin our walk up the trail as it winds up through a large pastureland where we can see beautiful snow-capped mountains. We continue for 4-5 hours and head down to camp at Ghuma Thanti. We will set up camp and have free time until dinner is served. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Day 10
  • Lowest Elevation: 16,043 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 17,880 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 6 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 7-8 hours

This morning after a hearty breakfast, we begin our ascent up and over two passes, the Kyuma La and Batsyak La. After crossing the passes, we come to the high alpine lake called Damodar Kunda. Damodar Kunda is a holy lake visited by Hindu pilgrims and is situated in a rain-shadow zone of the Himalayas, north of the magnificent Annapurna range. We then continue downhill to Namta Khola, set up camp and have free time until dinner is served. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Day 11
  • Lowest Elevation: 16,043 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 16,240 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 4 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours

After breakfast, we begin walking up to the Khumjungar Glacier. Our guides will provide a thorough briefing about glacier travel regarding technique and risk management considerations. When we are all ready, we begin walking on the Khumjungar Glacier until we reach Saribung Base Camp. At Saribung Base Camp, we will set camp. We will be completely immersed with views of snowcapped mountains. We will have dinner and go to bed early. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Day 12
  • Lowest Elevation: 16,240 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 18,766 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 3 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 4-5 hours

This morning after breakfast, we walk up for about 3-4 hours to the High Camp and set up our camp there. Then have lunch and after lunch, our guides will provide thorough training on peak climbing techniques and proper ways of using our climbing gear. i.e. ice axe, harness, ascenders, etc. The training will also include the use of ropes. We will spend the rest of the day helping our acclimatization. We will have dinner and go to sleep in preparation for the following day.

Day 13
  • Lowest Elevation: 16,240 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 20,761 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 8 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 8-9 hours

Today is an exhilarating day we have all been waiting for, where we attempt to climb Saribung Peak. We start early in the morning and climb to the top of Saribung via the glacial moraine. We will be walking very slow and once we reach the top, we will have amazing views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges along with the Damodar Himal and Chhib Himal mountain ranges. After celebrating at the top, we head back to the base camp, where we will have a well-deserved dinner. We go to sleep and our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Day 14
  • Lowest Elevation: 16,240 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 19,783 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 11 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 8-9 hours

Today is the one of the highlights of our trek, as we cross the frozen Saribung Pass. We travel on a steep trail through the snow as we make a strenuous climb to the snowbound Saribung Pass. After relishing the Himalayan views from the top of the pass, we descend to Nagoru on a moraine path. We will set camp in Nagoru and have free time until dinner is served. Our guides will provide the plan for the following day.

Day 15
  • Lowest Elevation: 13,123 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 15,091 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 5 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 5-6 hours

This morning after a hearty breakfast and well-deserved rest, we begin our hike with amazing views of Mt. Himlung, Mt. Nemjung, Mt. Cheo, and Mt. Pokarkang. We trek from Nagoru to the ancient township of Phu in the Nar Phu Valley. Phu is inhabited by people of mixed ethnicity such as Lama, Gurung, and Ghale allowing us to observe the traditional Buddhist culture and lifestyle. The very ancient Buddhist Monastery known as Tashi Lakhang Monastery in Phu is registered as one of the world's 108 great Buddhist Monasteries. It is believed to be one of the last monasteries built by Karmapa Rinpoche. Upon arrival, we check into our guest house and have free time to explore the area until we meet for dinner.

Day 16
  • Lowest Elevation: 11,482 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 13,385 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 10 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 7-8 hours

This morning after breakfast, we begin hiking down valley. We will stop in Kyang village for lunch and then continue until we reach our tea houses in the village of Meta. We will observe the ruins of abandoned castles of the Khampa settlements, an Eastern Tibetan culture that lived unlawfully in places like Jhunam, Chyakhu, and Kyang. We will have remarkable views of Kangaru Himal and the Annapurna ranges. We will take rest until dinner is served.

Day 17
  • Lowest Elevation: 8,530 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 11,482 feet
  • Trekking Distance: 11 miles
  • Trekking Duration: 7-8 hours

Today we descend along the Naar Khola as we walk through beautiful alpine forests. We cross many small streams and suspension bridges and have lunch half way. We then continue until we reach the village of Koto, where we check into our teahouse and have free time to rest, even shower until our last dinner on the expedition is served. Tonight, is a great time to have a party and reflect on our accomplishment. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Day 18
  • Lowest Elevation: 2.952 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 8,530 feet
  • Driving Duration: 11-12 hours

This morning will be an early one. We leave Koto in our 4 wheel drive jeeps and drive to Besisahar. Depending on the time, we will either have lunch in Besisahar or an hour or so later. We will board our private bus to the ride back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, we will check into our hotel and have free time until meeting for dinner.

Day 19

Congrats team! Today is a day to refresh, relax and wander the streets of Thamel for some last minute shopping. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening.

Day 20

Today is our last day in country. Our shuttle driver will come to our hotel, 3 hours before your flight departure and deliver you back to Tribhuvan International Airport. We hope you have had a great time and thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking and Backpacker Magazine.




Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Transportation for the duration of the trip
  • Tea house lodging during part of the trek
  • Stock and porters to transport gear and supplies
  • Professional, certified Himalayan hiking and mountaineering guides
  • The majority of meals (lunch and dinner on days 2, 3 and 4 are excluded, as is lunch on day 19)
  • Gear including a tent, helmet, ice axe, ropes and locking carabiners
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • Permits and fees (including TIMS Card)

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Gear: backpack, trekking poles, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, mountaineering boots, harness and crampons
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • Lunch and dinner on Day 2
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Kathmandu and Day 2 lunches/dinners
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (required in Nepal)
  • Gratuity for tipping your guide(s) and local crew. Tipping is optional but appreciated; the industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost split between all staff, based upon the quality of your experience. USD is recommended. (Please see packlist for details.)
  • Gratuity for tipping your guide(s) and local crew. Tipping is optional but appreciated; the industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost split between all staff, based upon the quality of your experience. USD is recommended. (Please see trip packet for more details.)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This Nepal hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guides.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

Wildland Trekking representative will pick you up at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. Please arrive before 3pm on day 1.

Our packages include pick-up/drop-off from the airport in the starting/ending city on first and last day. Please check with your Adventure Consultant for availability of special arrival or departure needs. This may require additional transportation fees.

Your guide will contact you approximately 45 days before your trip begins to answer any questions you have and coordinate your rendezvous.


Age Restrictions

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join this trip
  • Anyone younger than 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian


Trip Insurance Requirements

Field evacuation and repatriation insurance is required on all Nepal trips as a condition of partnership terms with our Nepali vendors. We also recommend medical insurance.

If you need to purchase field evacuation or repatriation insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance and policies meet all Nepali requirements.

For information on the recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664
If you already have the required insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions (of particular note for Nepal is to check field evacuation elevation limits).

Please bring a copy of your insurance policy to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.


Weather in Nepal

Nepal is home to the highest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas. Kathmandu is at an elevation of 4600 feet (1400 meters), but the high points on our Nepal Treks are very high (19,000 to 20,700 feet). Because of these wild elevation changes, the temperatures and weather can also vary wildly.

The average temperatures and precipitation in the Himalayan region are:

Kathmandu Himalayas (11K ft)
Month Hi Low Precip Hi Low Precip
March 75° F 46° F 10 mm 49° F -10° F 31 mm
April 82° F 54° F 29 mm 55° F -10° F 36 mm

Accommodations

Apsara Boutique Hotel

Hotels

6 nights

This trip has 6 nights spent in hotels - 4 nights in Thamel at the Apsara Boutique Hotel (pictured above), 1 night in Pokhara, and 1 night in Jomson. The hotels in Pokhara and Jomson are comfortable, clean hotels and are booked based on current conditions of the various options.
(wifi)

Nepali Teahouses

Nepali Tea Houses

6 nights

Tea houses are inns/guest houses with sleeping rooms and home cooked meals. They vary depending on their remoteness. Lower ones have more amenities, such as flush toilets, showers and nicer dining rooms. As we ascend, they get more rustic with simpler toilets and more basic amenities. Rooms are communal with 2 or 3 beds.

Nepal Camping

Tent Camping

7 nights

Tent camping is in premier 4-season tents. Group gear is transported by pack animals and human porters. Guests provide their own sleeping bags and pads on this trip. We recommend packing a zero degree or warmer sleeping bag and inflatable sleeping pad.

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

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