Gorakh and Changla Himal Exploratory with Tim Macartney-Snape

Starting From

$7,499/person

Number of days

30

Start Location

Nepal

Group Size

6-12

Operated by

World Expeditions

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An exploratory trek to the remote Gorakh and Changla Himals in western Nepal

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Arrive Kathmandu

You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag, down/fibrefill jacket and climbing pack. Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all World Expeditions clients arriving today. Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.

In Kathmandu, sightseeing Kathmandu Valley

This morning a sightseeing tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, returning to the hotel by 2pm. In the afternoon you may have time to explore Durbar Square, Patan, Swayambhunath or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world.

Fly to Nepalgunj

This morning we take a flight to Nepalgunj which is situated on the Terai plains near the southern border with India. Being where it is, Nepalgunj is oppressively hot for much of the year, in stark contrast to our later forays into the mountains. Nepalgunj is a cultural melting pot, with Hinduism and Islam the main faiths. It is also home to Bageshwori Temple, one of the most important Hindu temples in Nepal.

Fly to Simikot and commence trek into the gorge of the Karnali River

Our flight to Simikot is set to depart early and on arrival at the airport, which is situated at around 2900m, we will be transferred to the trailhead where we will meet the rest of our crew. We're now in the Karnali River Basin which lies between the mountain ranges of Dhaulagiri in Nepal and Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand, India. From its origins on the Tibetan plateau near Lake Mansarovar the Karnali River flows toward the Ganges, fed by an array of glaciers on the way. It is considered one of the great trans-himalayan rivers and its brilliant blue waters snaking through the mountains are a sight to behold. Our first trekking day involves dropping down into the gorge of the Karnali where we will set camp in the Humla district for the first time.

Exploratory trekking and climbing amid the Gorakh and Changla Himals

Our route, though somewhat planned, is exploratory in nature. After five days of trekking we find ourselves in the sub-alpine zone, the valley opens out and the spectacular peaks of the Gorakh and Changla Himals begin to show themselves. After about eight days trekking we will make the base of our first 5000m pass. It is unknown if any trekking groups have ever crossed it but the views from the top promise to very spectacular. The next phase of this exploration will take us to the base of an unclimbed peak, Lachuma Chuli (6781m) which is on the Tibet border and for those interested; we will mount an expedition to climb it. You will need to let us know prior to departure if you’d like to be included in the climbing party so the appropriate permits can be arranged and extra climbing sherpas engaged. The optional semi-technical climb will naturally be dependent on conditions on the ground and those not wanting to attempt the peak will have the opportunity to explore a high pass on the border. Even if not climbing the peak, basic climbing gear such as crampons (and boots to take them), harness and ice axe will be needed on the trip for possible snowy pass crossings or should any easy smaller peak reveal itself. There may or may not be steep terrain to negotiate on a passes - if there is, rope will be fixed and the pass negotiated in an orderly and safe manner. Indeed we may be turned back at several points by an impasse but we will simply find another way around - there is always another way around, the trick is to find the most interesting one possible! During our explorations, our support team of porters and crew will be on hand to keep things running smoothly, with our wilderness campsites set up, equipment carried and hearty meals provided, leaving us to revel in this truly magnificent place.

In Simikot

We will return to Simikot via the high passes of the West Changla Himal. Today is the final day, before returning to Kathmandu, of our magnificent traverse which has taken us on a journey through some of the most remote and untrodden trails in the Nepal Himalaya. We will spend the night in Simikot.

Fly to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj

This mornings flight will take us back via Nepalgunj to Kathmandu. On arrival to Kathmandu, we transfer to the Radisson Hotel for overnight accommodation.

Trip concludes Kathmandu

After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport.

Additional Information

After the very successful 2016 Api Himal Exploratory trek, Tim is returning to Nepal's far west for more exciting exploration. The area remains a treasure trove of unexplored trekking and climbing, in this early 2019 trip, he plans to explore the complex tangle of peaks to the north-east of Simikot. For those who have been everywhere else to those who just prefer to get well off the beaten path, this trek promises to offer one of the treks of a lifetime. Sub-tropical valleys, flowering rhododendron covered hillsides, alpine ridge traverses, high valleys below 7000m peaks, glaciated passes and cultures ranging from the Hindu aligned tribes of the foothills to Tibetan aligned Bhotias in the north, this trek offers all the diversity of the classical Himalayan trek - all over ground that has seldom or never seen a foreigner. The only pre-requisite for this trek is that you be reasonably fit and have a love for getting off the beaten track. Typically, as with most exploratory treks we will be following local paths everywhere up to the alpine zone where plants stop growing in profusion - from any such place upwards, the route will be on scree, moraine, snow and rock. From Kathmandu we will fly to Nepalgunj in the Terai before taking a small aircraft to the far western outpost of Simikot, not far from the Tibetan border. Our first day involves dropping down into the gorge of the Karnali River, one of the great Trans-Himalayan rivers. Before reaching the river we turn eastwards and begin a gradual climb up one of its larger tributaries. Surprisingly quickly we leave the villages behind as the forested valley sides become steeper. After five days of trekking we find ourselves in the sub-alpine zone, the valley opens out and the spectacular peaks of the Gorakh and Changla Himals begin to show themselves. After about eight days trekking we will make the base of our first 5000m pass. It is unknown if any trekking groups have ever crossed it but the views from the top promise to very spectacular. The next phase of this exploration will take us to the base of an unclimbed peak, Lachuma Chuli (6781m) which is on the border with Tibet and for those interested; we will mount an expedition to climb it. You will need to let us know prior to departure if you’d like to be included in the climbing party so the appropriate permits can be arranged and extra climbing sherpas engaged. The optional semi-technical climb will naturally be dependent on conditions on the ground and those not wanting to attempt the peak will have the opportunity to explore a high pass on the border. Even if not climbing the peak, basic climbing gear such as crampons (and boots to take them), harness and ice axe will be needed on the trip for possible snowy pass crossings or should any easy smaller peak reveal itself. There may or may not be steep terrain to negotiate on a passes - if there is, rope will be fixed and the pass negotiated in an orderly and safe manner. Indeed we may be turned back at several points by an impasse but we will simply find another way around - there is always another way around, the trick is to find the most interesting one possible! After these explorations we begin making our way back towards Simikot via high passes of the West Changla Himal, in the knowledge that we have embarked something almost unheard of in the twenty-first century - a trekking and climbing expedition in a virtually unexplored area.

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