Nepal Trek for Maggie’s

The Mardi Himal Trek for Maggie’s

Caroline Trotter is fundraising for Maggie’s Centres (


I signed up for this trip on a whim in February ………………  I then read the blurb !!!

The Mardi Himal Trek was described as  ‘’ a challenging trek in the Annapurna region that offers breath-taking views of the Himalaya mountain range  . ‘’

So I got training !


And on the 25th April I joined 8 other ladies to trek to base camp on the Mardi Himal mountain in Nepal.

The trip in brief  

This is a synopsis –  scroll down if you want a more detailed description.

We reached an altitude of 4450 metres,  with the trail taking us along winding paths and up steep steps, through small villages, rice fields, rhododendron forests and the Mardi Himal camps which host the teahouses, where we stayed.

We had all the weather possible.    Starting in hot sun going up to icy and snowy conditions through heavy rain and hail storms!

The first day we were in t.shirts and light trousers, then the next day was winter trousers and warmer layers, then winter trousers with waterproofs, then winter trousers, thermal layers and waterproofs again .!    We came prepared!

The Tea Houses

Originally, teahouses were little shops where travellers could stop for a rest and a cup of tea. Now they offer basic accommodation. with communal bathrooms located outside each tea house will have maximum 8 of rooms.


Fairly basic and no heating


All of the teahouses on the Mardi Himal route are owned and managed by local Nepalese families.

They all seemed to have the same menus –  but with slight variations on the dishes.

Dal Bhat                                                                                               Breakfast 


Dal Bhat –  Steamed rice with cooked lentils,  potato curry and some veg or pickles



 The day by day itinary 

Days 1 & 2 –Edinburgh to Kathmandu


Day 3 – Kathmandu to Pokhara   The Prithvi Highway connects Kathmandu and Pokhara.  And should have taken about 6 hours .  It really is a dirt track in places!   


Pokhara is in central Nepal, standing on the edge of the Phewa Lake and is well known as a gateway to the Annapurna range.


We stayed overnight in a nice hotel with pool in Pokhara.


This was the view from my hotel room the morning we set of on the trek  – I was so excited to see the mountain we were heading for  [ the pointy one is Fishtail which sits above Mardi Himal  –  our destination]


Day 4 – Trek from Phedi to Deurali  

Starting altitude 1146m, finishing altitude 2170mt. 10km distance

We had an hour  of climbing up steep stone stairs and it was hot.      

We then continued climbing until we reached Damphus village – stopping for lunch.

We should have had spectacular views of Mt. Machapuchhre (Mt. Fishtail) ,  but there was low cloud.  Still lovely views though of the foothills. 

We continued our trek onwards until we reached Deurali, where we found our teahouse for the night. Deurali is located on a ridge, with spectacular views over the Pokhara Valley and the Annapurna range.  But again the clouds were low.



Day 5 – Duerali to Low Camp via Forest Camp

Starting altitude 2170m, finishing altitude 2995mt. 13km distance


After breakfast, we began trekking on the ridge, hiking through lush green semi tropical forest, with vines and noisy birdlife.  The forest was thick with rhododendrons Nepal’s national flower –  but unfortunately the flowers were just about over at this level.


We had beautiful jungle views until we reached a clearing, which is Forest Camp, where we  had lunch.

After lunch we had a steep uphill start, until the trail leveled off, and we continued to walk through dense forests and villages until we reach Low Camp.


Overnight in Low Camp Teahouse.


Day 6 – Low Camp to High Camp  

Starting altitude 2995m, finishing altitude 3600mt. 5km distance

This was the day that we ascended above 3000m and the route got gradually steeper.   And the rain did not stop!

To combat altitude sickness we trekked slowly and steadily to ensure that we acclimatised effectively, finishing after lunch so we could rest and get used to the thin air.

We reached High Camp, wet and cold.  Had lunch and played bananagrams all afternoon while we dried off in the warm  teahouse dining room.  The bedrooms were very cold with no heating

The mules having delivered our bags headed back down as the altitude and cold was not good for them .!!!


Day 7 – High Camp to Mardi Himal Upper View Point to Base Camp and return to Low Camp

Starting altitude 3600m, Upper view point 4450m , [ base camp is 4500mt] descend to Low Camp 2995mt. 16km trekking


Today was the day we aimed to reach Mardi Himal Base Camp at 4500m. We left High Camp in the dark at 4am with head torches, and started our trek towards Upper View Point, aiming to get there for sunrise where a picnic breakfast awaited us.

The ascent was an undulating trail which was steep and narrow at times and involved many more steps and a lot of sustained climbing.  And by the time we reached height – thick snow.


There was in fact too much snow which was not expected and it was deemed too dangerous to go up to base camp We heard several avalanches all around  and so we had to content ourselves with Upper View Point. 

We had a break in the clouds and the sun came out affording us and amazing  view of the Himalayan vista.

We at last saw Mardi Himal itself (5587m), Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m), Hiunchuli (6441m), Baraha Shikhar (Mt. Fang) (7647m), Tent Peak (5695m), Singhachuli  (6501m), Machapuchhre (6993m) and many others.

After soaking up the views, and unfurling the Maggie’s flag, we were given crampons to trek back down the snowy route to Low Camp via High Camp for lunch.   Here we had the only remaining weather we had not experienced –  a very heavy hail storm !


Overnight Teahouse Low Camp

Day 8 – Low Camp to Sidhing

Starting altitude 2995m, finishing altitude 1894mt. 5km distance

After an early breakfast, we will treked down to Sidhing. This was a tough, steep descent on tired legs!

We lost a lot of height rapidly, with  much of the descent on tracks with some stairs in places

On reaching Sidhing, –  a beautiful little haven in the valley we had lunch and then we climbed into jeeps for  a bone shaker of a journey until we reach the main road, where we continued to Pokhara, ready for a shower and a celebration!  

Overnight Pokhara

 Day 9 – Pokhara to Kathmandu

After breakfast, we make our return journey by road to Kathmandu – but because of heavy rain and landslides the 6 hour journey took 12 hours!

Overnight in hotel in Kathmandu

Day 10 – Homeward bound


Here are a few images from Kathmandu and Pokhara