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Upper Mustang trek

We explore glorious Upper Mustang

We start with a full Upper Mustang trek to the fabled city of Lo Manthang then head west into the high country for some m

Outline Itinerary


We start this trip with the Upper Mustang Wild trek-climb team...

Day 1 - arrive Kathmandu 1350m

2 - fly Pokhara

No rest for the wicked, we fly to Pokhara in the afternoon, all permits in hand.

3 - fly Jomsom, trek Kagbeni ~2800m

We fly to Jomsom and start trekking! Kagbeni is a gorgeous village.

4 - trek Tsaile

Yay, we are in panoramic Upper Mustang!

5 - trek Shyangboche / Ghiling

6 - trek Lo Gekar / Samduling

We plan to take a different route from last year.

7 - trek Lo Manthang 3800m

8-9 - stay Lo Manthang 3800m

The gompas have to been seen to be believed.

10-15 - trek to BC

Into the unknown! We have time to explore while further acclimatizing. We will have two rest-acclimatization days.

16 - peak climb

The peak can be straightforward. We have a choice of two routes, one on snow and one a rock scramble.

17-19 - trek Chharka 4780m

On day 17 we say goodbye to the Upper Mustang team, they head back with the climbing gear (and other gear) that we don't need. Now lighter and leaner we continue exploring!

We cross the Kekyap La, if we haven't already.

20-22 - trek Tinje

We cross the Mo La, 5030m and then continue along the river for a couple of days.

23 - trek Shimen

There is a good chance we can partly resupply here with low quality Chinese rice and rice flour.

24-27 - trek ??

**New. Between Shimen and Pho are two route options, naturally we will take the unknown one!

28 - trek Pho

And another day, another pass, the Yambur La 4813m.

29 - trek Pung Kharka

This is where the remote high route really kicks in. It should be seven days trekking to the next village. Today we climb and then cross the Nyingma Gyalzen La 5563m/18,250ft.

30 - trek Chyangdi Khola

We cross the Yala La of 5414m/17,750ft.

31 - trek Takla Khola

32 - trek Thajuchaur

33 - trek Shilenchaur /Kharka

Over one more smaller pass we go!

34 - extra day

I hope we can have a rest day somewhere in this section above, lets see how our progress is.

35 - trek Tiyar

I think this is the first village...

36-39 - trek Gamgadhi

It is likely that we reach Gamgadhi, the district headquarters of Mugu, in three days and then we have a couple of hours walk to Talcha Airport, which itself is only half and hour from Rara Lake.

40 - fly Kathmandu

We will fly via Nepalganj or Surkhet, and then continue to Kathmandu.

41 - Kathmandu spare day

This partially covers possible flight delays.

Day 42 - depart


+ Upper Mustang

+ stunning, otherworld scenery

+ remote, little trekked route

+ magical Dolpo

+ a landscape photographer's paradise

+ REAL exploration!


(2011: 25 Sept-5 Nov, 42 days)

No current trek,

see Our treks for other GHT exploratory treks



trip deposit US$1000

Hotel single supplement included


Jamie McGuinness

Mobile: (+977) 98021 49789

on trek satellite SMS: +88216 21273393

Arrival hotel

Hotel Shakti, Thamel

tel: 441 0121, 442 9508

Local office contact

Expedition Himalaya

Tel: +9771 400 1066

Nabin Trital: +977 98510 04278

Pasang Nuru: +977 98130 91051

Our service includes

airport transfers

2 star hotel in Kathmandu, single with breakfast

domestic flights as needed, local departure tax

group transportation by private vehicle

entrance fees and permits as needed

expedition-style trek:

all meals and hot drinks on trek

roomy single tent on trek

Our service excludes

insurance, Nepal visa, meals in Kathmandu

international flights, equipment rental, alcohol, bottled water and soft drinks, laundry, tipping and other items of a personal nature


It is critical to bring the right gear. Most importantly do bring sturdy trekking boots. These must be almost new tough fabric and leather trekking boots, and slightly tougher than the lightest available, or be all-leather trekking boots. As an example, Scarpa make the Mistral GTX, which is their lightest, but the Kailash GTX is a bit tougher, but still light. The all leather boot alternative should be tough with real ankle support, such as the New SL M3.

For the climb we have a choice of two routes, a glacier snow route which means we can actually traverse the mountain or a high pass crossing and a rock scramble to the top. Your choice of gear will very much depend on which route appeals, we will discuss in detail.

Upper Mustang

Kim says: Sculpted canyons with wild rock formations, medieval villages, ruined fortresses, royal palaces and mysterious, ancient cave hermitages, Tibetan Buddhist gompas and soaring snow-peaks characterize this spectacular region, a thumb sticking up into the Tibetan plateau. Mustang is a Kingdom tucked away amongst the deepest river gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki River. It is a remote and starkly beautiful region, home to Buddhism as well as the remnants of the older, mystical Bon religion and Tibet's arid high desert bordered by some of the Himalaya's highest snow-peaks.

Glorious Upper Mustang

- Jamie

Dolpo map

Check out this map of Dolpo on the GHT website, and do click on the lower right most control to go full screen, then click on the text to activate. Click to zoom in..

Real exploration

2011 update: on our 9 previous 42 day exploratory trips we have many firsts or major achievements that we haven't previously publicized.

2011 GHT - first commercial trek team across the Lakyap/Kekyap passes (thanks, Paulo Grobel). We rerouted the GHT near Bhijer, saving a 5368m pass crossing. Crossed the high route between Dolpo and Mugu without incident (it is a tough route!).

2010 GHT - successfully climbed Saribung, 6328m, 100% team success.

2009 GHT - first commercial trek team to trek Chyangtang to Makalu Base Camp the direct way (Robin Boustead was the first).

(2008 no commercial trek but Jamie discovered the crucial pass for the current 2012 trek after guiding James Vlahos for Nat Geo; thanks Nepal Trust)

(2007 Manaslu Wild 35 days - explored Tsum to the Tibet border)

2006 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers ever to the top the Umbak La to Tibet.

2005 Kanchen Gola Wild - probably first commercial trek to cross Lumbasamba, Kanchenjunga to the Makalu region, crucial for the GHT.

2003 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to the top of Tipta La (after Joseph Hooker in 1848)

2002 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to the Ghari La

2001 Kanchenjunga Wild - first trekkers to the Chabuk La, first peak ascent, saw snow leopard

(2000 Manaslu High 32 days - trekked the Tsum valley prior to it being opened)

1999 Kanchenjunga-Makalu 42/75 day trek (!)

(1998 - Wild Kanchenjunga 38 days - the trek that started the Kanch series; we didn't meet another trekking group)

Photo galleries of the 2010 trip

We had a classic exploratory adventure, check out Jamie's Picasa slide shows.

2010 GHT best shots Picasa slideshow by Jamie


2010 GHT Saribung to Phu Picasa slideshow by Jamie


2010 GHT Manaslu Circuit Sama and down Picasa slideshow by Jamie
2010 GHT Upper Mustang Picasa slideshow by Jamie


2010 GHT Phu to Kang La Picasa slideshow by Jamie


2010 GHT Barpak and Gorkha trek end Picasa slideshow by Jamie
2010 GHT Luri Gompa Picasa slideshow by Jamie


2010 GHT Manaslu Circuit Tilje and Larkya La Picasa slideshow by Jamie


2010 GHT Night Shots Picasa slide show by Jamie


The Great Himalaya Trail is the longest and highest trekking trail in the world, a trail from one end of the Himalaya to the other and Jamie and friends, Robin Boustead and Richard Bull particularly, are deeply involved in promoting and trekking it.

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