Mardi Himal Trek Itinerary
Now if you’re still reading you’re probably interested in the details like how to get there and what to expect along the way so let’s get into it.
Firstly, if you’re planning on doing this independently you can catch a public bus from the Pokhara Baglung Bus Park – it’s very cheap, perhaps only 150 rupees or so, and it’s only 1 hour drive to the start of the trek which is generally Kande at around 1500m.
From here you trek until you reach a little place called Australian Camp, obviously being an Australian I was super interested to check this place out. But since the late morning cloud moved in by the time I arrived I decided to grab a coffee (this will be your last chance to grab an espresso coffee for a few days – but these guys hiked a 60 kilogram espresso machine up to this spot so you might as well take advantage of it!)
From here you’ll most likely head to Bhichok (2100m) for the night, but I was feeling pretty fit at the time so I continued all the way for Forest Camp 2550m. Just as a side note if you’re looking to get as fit as possible then check out my training plans!
Training in advance can be especially helpful as the lower terrain offers some interesting challenges, like high steps, slippery root systems in the undergrowth of this amazing rhododendron, bamboo and oak forests that makes for quite spectacular jungle trekking.
Once great thing is that you really have a lot of freedom of choice of how much hiking you do every day, for instance from Forest Camp you can choose to walk to low camp or perhaps middle camp which is what I chose to do. My advice is you just listen to your body and go slowly so you can acclimatise.
(If you’re unsure how to acclimatise watch my video on the 3 golden rules of altitude sickness)
You’ll probably start to really feel it once you reach middle camp around 3000 metres. And I can highly recommend staying put for an extra night here if you don’t feel so good.
It’s a great place to stay for an extra night because it is here that you reach the tree line where the forest begins to give way to an open Ridgeline – In fact, even if you look behind you to look back down the ridge where you can from you’re going to see amazing views so it’s pretty much 360 extravaganza at this point.
Also once you’re past the tree line the weather is generally a lot clearer, especially in the early mornings. You remain on this increasingly narrow ridge that faces the epic Macchapucchre. The trail takes you through the final village on the ridge which is called high camp at 3580m (some maps incorrectly state 3900m) which is for most people is the highest altitude at which they will sleep on the trek.
Once you’ve spent the night here it’s common to get up early and head to the real highlight of the trek which is simple called Upper View Point.
From the upper view point you can choose to continue up higher to Mardi Himal Base Camp at 4500m which is 100% worth it, as the ridge becomes increasingly finer and more dramatic as long as you trek along the ridge.
If you choose to do this though just be aware that there’s not a lot there, just a lean to tea shop which is basically just a guy huddled under a tarp who’s sole purpose is to make tea for passes by.
Maybe take a packed lunch for the day! You can buy some snacks from high camp the night before.
Now if you start doing the trek to Base Camp and the clouds are coming in rapidly I would probably turn around, because in limited visibility it can be dangerous and the views will soon disappear.
Only 3 days before I arrived, a solo Russian trekker went missing past Base Camp and there’s been no sign of her since. And that’s not the first time trekkers have gone missing here you’ll see the missing posters in the tea houses as you ascend.