The lovely people at The Mountain Company have a passion for exploring off-the-beaten-track treks in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountains and they’re particularly fond of camping-style trips. For more experienced walkers, going on a camping trek means you can get away from the busier trails in the Everest and Annapurna regions of Nepal. When camping, you can access remote areas where you are unlikely to see many (if any) other groups.
You might not realise that it’s still possible to find rarely trekked trails in Nepal. You will meet locals from the villages that do not see many foreigners and are curious to talk to you.
The Mountain Company used the pandemic to pore over maps and dream up new adventures – which resulted in two brand-new treks for their portfolio.
The company works with mountain leaders with deep knowledge and experience. Unlike many other operators, they use International Leaders for more remote and technical trips like these ones. They also send a Thuraya satellite phone with these groups. It is critical for group safety, risk management and contingency planning in an emergency situation, to know the location of and to have reliable communications.
The Mountain Company’s Managing Director, Roland Hunter, commented:
“It has been fun during our Covid downtime to add new treks to our portfolio. We have developed new itineraries to explore the most remote places in the Himalayas and Karakoram. By venturing off the beaten path it is still possible to find wilderness treks in Nepal, Bhutan, India and Pakistan. With sustainable tourism in mind, it is better from a climate change perspective to travel for longer periods of time. Walking holidays have a lower carbon footprint due to using less internal transport. Exploring a remote region of the Himalayas is a perfect post-Covid holiday!”
Nanga Parbat Circuit in Pakistan
The first one is Nanga Parbat Circuit in Pakistan. This is an exceptional trip around one of the fourteen 8,000m peaks. This trek is not currently organised by any other international trekking operator. As Pakistan opens up to tourism the K2 Base Camp trek will get busier with other trekkers. Furthermore, the Pakistan Army is building a road to the snout of the Baltoro glacier by Summer 2023. There is no doubt that K2 Base Camp will continue to be a good trek but sadly it will be degraded to some extent.
This trek Pakistan is a remote trail around the ninth highest mountain in the world. This trek crosses three passes and the highest of these is the Mazeno La at 5,400m. You’ll visit three Base Camps used for climbing on the three faces of Nanga Parbat. These are Herligkoffer Base Camp for Rupal Face, Diamir Base Camp, and Raikhot Base Camp near Fairy Meadows.
Duration: 26 days from Islamabad. Group departures: 18th June 2023 to 13th July 2023.
Far West Nepal & Limi Valley GHT in Nepal
The second new trek launching is following The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) in Far West Nepal. This trip is called Far West Nepal & Limi Valley GHT. During Covid lockdowns, some of The Mountain Company’s trekkers asked them to research and design this rarely trekked trail as they planned to complete the entire GHT one section at a time.
This Far West Nepal GHT trek starts from Rara lake and travels to Simikot and then into Limi valley. This is the final section of The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) through the western region of Nepal to the border with Tibet. Rara Lake is Nepal’s largest body of water. It’s a beautiful place surrounded by rugged hills with snowy peaks. Nearby there is a forest with blue pine, spruce and cedar. The remote Limi Valley is a Buddhist area with small villages and monasteries.
Duration: 29 days from Kathmandu. Group departures: 6th November to 4th December 2022.