Machhapuchare –Mardi Himal Trekking the famous triangular skyline that is seen from Phewa Lake at Pokhara is the most southerly high point of the Annapurna Massif, the awesomely majestic grouping of mountains in the central Himalaya that includes 5 of the 12 highest mountains in the world and all five are seen at close quarters on our route. As we shall soon see, from a closer and more westerly vantage point, the mountain possesses twin peaks thus its name ‘Machhapuchare’ – ‘Fishtail’. Mardi Himal is our access route and is the name given to the long rising ridge and its crest that form the south westerly lower slope of Mount Machhapuchare. Ours is an eight day expedition climbing through the forests, above the tree-line and on up to form our high altitude camp at 4,100m. We establish this ‘High Camp’ with a view to climbing up towards the knoll of Mardi Himal (5,588m) from which vantage point there are the most amazing close-quarter views of all.
Machhapuchhre – Mardi Himal Trekking is a newly opened route and hidden treasure in the Annapurna region. This trek is best destination to avoid the crowd. Mardi Himal trek offer imaging view of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchre and Manaslu ranges. Mardi Himal base camp, Jhinu Hot Spring and Ghandruk village is the major attraction of this trek.
Mardi Himal trekking starts at Dhampus Phedi after 1/2 hours driving from Pokhara. The trail is good, first slowly up, then a bit steeper to Dhapmus (2060m – About two hour), then after that slightly up hill to Pothana (1950m) then up again to Deurali (2150m). There is a right turn in Deurali sign posted “Forest Camp” the trail is through jungle, at first up then undulating on the top of a ridge, there is a section just over half way where the trail drops steeply and then slowly gains height and then back onto the ridge and into Forest Camp (2600m). The trail is initially quite steep leaving Forest Camp but soon gets less steep as you again get upon the ridge. The trail leaves Low Camp again in jungle, but the trees soon start to get smaller and after about one hours trekking broke out of the jungle and onto the open ridge with spectacular views of Machhapuchhre ahead and Annapurna South to my left. It is possible to continue trekking along the ridge for another 4 to 5 hours to Mardi Himal Base Camp (4500m) and return to High Camp in around 4 hours – This makes a long day but there is also a viewpoint about half way, the imaging view can be from here. After that, we return all the way down to Siding.Then Next day cross Mardi Bridge head to Hemja village which is very close to Pokhara.
Total wilderness experience, unforgettable short camping journey, stunning south face view of Mardi Himal and Fishtail, best photographic site, undisturbed wildlife and forest.
Fly or drive to Pokhara, by land 7 hr. drive and by air 30 minute, morning transfer to trailhead and start trek, after the trek again drive back to Pokhara from the take out place.
Max. Altitude 4120 m.Mardi Base Camp, 5-6 hr. average walk in a day , moderate deep forest trail.
Late Sept. to Dec. and April to May.
Camping or Tea House stay or Home stay , need porters for all gear and food for camping.
Day- 01: Drive to trailhead Phedi – Pothana Deurali (2150m) 5 -6 Hours.
Meet Hotel at Pokhara, Our Guide give Briefing about the Trekking Trip. After breakfast ,Drive to drop-off point and set off on foot to Suikhet.Dhampus Phedi In the afternoon, we climb from Phedi steeply up to the main trail along the ridge to Dhampus. Lunch at Dhampus village , Continue Trek to Pothana. Here our first night’s tea House camp is in full view of Machhapuchare and Fewa Lake (L,D)
Day- 02: Pothana Deurali (2550m) – Forest camp 5-6 Hours.
Dawn should bring a spectacular sunrise: ‘Fishtail’ pink turning to gold, the more distant bare rock wall of Annapurna II still in shadow. Today we will start our ‘secret trail’ leaving tourists, other trekkers and even villagers behind us. We enter an enchanted forest of birch, giant rhododendron, mountain oak, maple, hemlock and daphnie, camping in a small clearing far from the beaten trails. (B,L,D)
Day- 03:Forest camp – Low camp ( 3400 m ) 4-5 Hours
As we climb the flora has turned to classic ‘cloud forest’ with mosses and lichen, tree ferns and orchids hosted by the hardier trees. There are natural windows in the woods that look out onto thrilling panoramas – towards Hiunchuli and the knife-sharp traverse towards Annapurna South. Far below, to our left, we can see the Modi Khola Valley leading up into the Annapurna Sanctuary. We reach camp for lunch; for it is wise not to go too high too fast. Though still surrounded by forest, we have spectacular northerly views of the ever-closer ‘Fishtail’. (B,L,D)
Day- 04: Low camp – High camp ( 4100m ) 4-5 Hours.
Just a short, steep climb and we are out of the forest. A ridge, now grassy and sometimes under snow, takes us up to High Camp which we shall reach at lunch time and where a second consecutive afternoon is spent acclimatising and awestruck by the views. Annapurna South seems near enough to throw a rock at and Machhapuchare itself close enough to touch. (B,L,D)
Day- 05: Exploration day ( 5150 m, ) 4-5 Hours.
Our breakfast will be earlier than usual. Then with packed lunch we set off to reach our objective. Conditions being favourable, our party should reach up to 5,150m and only the crest of Mardi Himal itself separates us from the south face of Machhapuchare. The great ice fields and blue glaciers of the Sanctuary Wall lie below. Annapurna I, highest of all is beyond, and around us, and an arc from horizon to horizon, from Dhaulagiri to the Ganesh Himal, are a dozen or more glistening snow-bound giants. You are standing on a spot that has been your constant aim for days now. A place, a time, a view that is almost impossible to equal – and you’ve earned it. Whatever our achievement, by 1300 we need to descend, returning to the welcome steaming mug, the hot food, the shelter of High Camp. (B,L,D)
Day- 06: High camp – Siding (1760m) 6-7 Hours.
After a relaxed breakfast, tired bodies make an unhurried decent through the shade of the forest and out onto terraced fields, down 1600 m in all. This is a different route down – down to the upper Mardi Khola, the torrent that has been the ice and snow of the Mardi Himal. Although remote and still away from all the much-used ‘Tea-house’ trekking routes, our expedition now takes on the mood of the arm valley and the friendly villages. Here we make our way along the banks of the Mardi Khola from the hill-side village of Siding, down through the lovely fields, past the simple farms and over the interesting bridges. There is no doubting this is indeed idyllic Nepali countryside. (B,L,D)
Day- 07: Siding – Mardipul (915 m) 4-5 Hours.
So the Earth does have flat places! The path from Siding now follows the contour of the river valley gradually down between the pastures and through Tamang and Gurung villages. Further on the trail skirts an outcrop (B,L,D)
Day- 08: Mardipul – Hemja (Milanchowk) & drive back to Pokhara 2-3 Hours.
Today is the last day of trek, After Breakfast at Mardi pool, continue trek gradually up to hemja village. Catch the bus to pokhara from Milanchow. You will reach pokhara after 30 minutes of Drive. Free stay at Pokhara. (B )