Nestled between the Indian subcontinent and the frozen plains of Tibetan Plateau, Humla lies hidden in the far northwest corner of Nepal. Limi Valley located in North part of Humla was recently open for trekkers in 2002 AD. Since then every year only few westerners visit this area for holiday. Limi valley is one of the most beautiful and remote places left to visit in entire Himalayas. The serenity, tranquility of rugged landscape, ancient Tibetan traditions and charms, are the main attraction of this area.
While on Humla Limi Valley trek, we also see panoramic scenery of Himalayas such as Saipal (7031m), Byas, Rishi, Api, Kanjirawa, Kanti and Gorakh Himlayan range. Further, if we are lucky we could see rare flora and fauna, like marmot, wolf, wild yak, blue sheep, wild ass (Kyang) musk deer, hare, himalayan black beer and occasionally the snow leopard in this exotic region.
a. Humla Limi valley trek crosses high Himalaya altitude of over 5000m with extreme temperatures of -10 to -20 degree. It is crucial to follow expedition style camping trekking facilities with highly experience Sherpa and staffs.
b. The itinerary is well designed in order to allow proper rest and acclimatization to cope high altitude. Though trekkers should have well fitness and in good health condition.
c. Flight between Nepalgunj to Simikot and vice versa is generally reliable. In case of bad weather, flight is cancelled often and to avoid missing international flights, we recommend 2-3 days extra at end of your trip.
Also be prepared to pay some extra money for Helicopter flights. Make sure that you have full-fledged insurance coverage arrangement. In our program there is two night as buffer day in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Day 01- Arrival in Kathmandu
Welcome to Nepal! Ramdung Expedition representative will meet you at the airport and bring you to your hotel in Kathmandu. You can take a rest or if you are arriving earlier, can visit around the city.
In the evening we will hold a briefing session regarding your trip and get to know your Nepali trekking companion. We’ll be happy to answer any question you may have. O/N Hotel.
Day 02- Sightseeing trip / Trek preparation
Kathmandu valley is has fantastic UNESCO world heritages all around. Today after the breakfast, you’ll be visiting Boudhanath Stupa (the largest Buddhist shrines in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temple in the world), Durbar Squares (Palaces and fortresses of medieval Kings). The lifestyle of the Nepalese people, holy sadhus and monks, the fascinating history and the awe-inspiring architecture will be the highlight of this day. You can also buy or rent any needed gear or clothing from trekking/mountaineering shops. O/N Hotel (B)
Day 03 – Fly Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. Transfer to Hotel
We take an hour's flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj in Western part of Nepal. Nepalgunj is a border town near Nepal India border and is the gateway to Simikot of Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town of Nepal with influences from both the Nepal hills and plains well as local Hindu & Muslim cultures. Some sightseeing places in Nepalgunj include Mini Zoo, Muslim bazaar, or if possible and interested take a walk into nearby villages can be done. We have to also make preparation for tomorrow's flight to Jhupal. O/N Hotel (BLD)
Day 04 - Fly Nepalgunj to Simikot (2950m)
50 min flight Morning flight to Simikot with glimpses of the snowy mountains like Mt Saipal. Simikot is a small town perched on a ridge above the Humla Karnali river and offers wonderful views of the deep valley. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 05 – Simikot to Dharapuri (2300m)
We start with a short, 1-hour ascent to reach a mountain pass at an altitude of 3150m. From there we descend for about an hour to Majgaon. The trail leads us through a pine forest where you will see local Hindu and Buddhist people in their traditional attire accompanied by their herds of cattle. The cattle carry the load for people in this part of the world because there are no other modes of transport. Once we pass Majgaon, the track gets uneven, around one corner it’s a descent and around another corner, its time to ascend! This particular topography is called Nepali flat. The scenery will be green and lush along this pleasant journey today. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 06 – Dharapuri to Kermi (2670m)
Today is less work and rather more fun. The trek is unusual as the altitude persistently changes within a matter of a few hundred meters. The trail stretches alongside the Karnali River as it works its way through narrow gorges. There will be some high rocky slopes and you will suddenly find yourself walking on the banks of the river. You will get to closely observe the pattern of cultivation as your trek continues along the farming areas of the local people. Most of them grow barley, buckwheat, potatoes and rice. Since your day is done early, you can take a 30 minute walk to enjoy bathing in some nearby hot springs. Kermi Village is the first of the many Buddhist villages you will come across on your trek. It is an agriacultural village and has two monasteries, Lakiyo Gompa and Lhundrup Choeling Gompa. The former is a few centuries old and is 45 minutes away from where we will camp and the latter is relatively new and was built less than a hundred years ago. It takes 30 minutes to get there from the camp. The monasteries are not often visited by the tourists. We will settle down for the night while the howls of jackals and hyenas keep reminding us that we are in the lap of nature. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 07 – Kermi to Yalbang (3020m)
The trail doday is flat or slightly uphill, passing alongside fields planted with barley and buckwheat. You can see beautiful lizards sunning themselves on rocks. After 2 hours you cross a small pass then it is a steep 20 minute descent until you reach a big metal suspension bridge over the Sali river. The walk goes through beautiful pine forests now and below you will see the emerald green Karnali River. Above the village there is a beautiful monastery, the Namkha Khyung Dzong Monastery which is the biggest in the region with around 130 monks living there. Inside the monastery there is a big statue of Sakyamuni Buddha and some smaller statues, among which a statue of Guru Rinpoche. The monastery has a school and a clinic, which you can visit as well. At 7 am and 4 pm there is a daily puja (a Buddhist prayer ceremony) that you can attend (please remain silent and sit down along one of the side walls, behind the monks). O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 08 – Yalbang to Muchu to Tumkot (3380m)
From Yalbang, the path goes high above the Karnali river again, after about 20 minutes passing the little village of Yangar. Mostly the path is flat with some ups and downs and at some sections the path is spectacularly carved into the rock face and you find yourself walking in a kind of three-sided tunnel. Noticeable changes in the surrounding as it is getting rockier and the big pine trees make way for smaller bushes. You cross the Karnali River by a big wooden suspension bridge and climb high above the Karnali river and walking along the upper side of a deep gorge. The emerald green Karnali river flows far below you. Along the way you may meet big flocks of sheep carrying salt from Tibet, an old trade still existing today.
Sometimes you see big tents which are temporary restaurants and shops and can be a nice place for tea, soup noodles or just to refill your stock of snacks, like biscuits. After 3 to 4 hours, you arrive in the charming village of Muchu. Onwards to Tumkot It’s an hour walk to Tumkot. Actually, the main trail doesn’t pass through the village, but some small teahouses and a campsite, the actual village is 20 minutes south of the trail. Close to the campsite lies a very interesting monastery of the Sakya lineage, the Dhungkar Choezom Monastery, one of the most important Sakya monasteries in the Tibetan region.
The monastery lies on a hill, it’s a 20-30 minutes climb to get there. It is the only Sakya Monastery in Humla, and one of the few monasteries of this lineage in Nepal. If the caretaker is around, he will happily show around. His enthusiastic explanations show how committed he is with the fate of the monastery. Unfortunately the beautiful wall paintings are in desperate need of renovation. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 09 – Muchu/Tumko to Yari to Thado Dunga (3750m)
The trail climbs slowly but steadily, with a few steep climbs in between. Pretty soon after leaving Tumkot, you can see the changed landscape: it gets rockier and desolate. The few trees left are low junipers. Part of the trail goes over the dirt road being built at the moment, it is still uncertain when and if the road will ever be finished. You cross the small village of Pani Palwang with a couple of teahouses along the way, a nice place for a cup of tea or a lunch break. It’s another hour and a half to Yari or Thado Dunga Yari. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 10 – Thado Dunga to cross Nara la pass (4620m) to Hilsa (3720m)
Today you cross the Nara La pass 4620m. It’s a long and tiring climb, but the views are awesome! As the trail climbs, the landscape gets more desolate. Trees disappear completely and the landscape looks more and more like Tibet. Sometimes you meet large caravans of mules, dzokpas or yaks. The bigger yaks are an impressive sight. From Tado Dunga the trail becomes steeper and it’s a 2 hour climb to the pass, if there’s snow it will take longer. At about half an hour from the pass you may come cross a few big tents that serve foods and drinks. You can see the Nara La pass in the distance, but due to the altitude it is still a hard climb to get there. You can recognize the pass by the pile of stones (it brings good luck to add one) and the strings of Tibetan prayer flags, carrying the prayers far away with the strong wind.
Ahead a breathtaking view of Tibet and towards back lies Yari far below. The other side of the pass almost feels like being in Tibet. You are surrounded by barren mountains of brown, copper, ash and dark yellow shades. From the pass it’s a long descent to Hilsa, close to the border with Tibet. You can choose to take the longer dirt road or a steep shortcut down. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 11 – Hilsa to Manepeme (3990m)
We leave Hilsa after crossing a big metal bridge. At the other side of the river, a small and slightly difficult trail winds its way over a slope, until it connects with a larger trail at the top. This trail follows the Karnali river towards east right up to Manepeme. The path climbs gradually with a few steep ups and downs. You walk in a dramatic landscape of bare, steep rocks of amazing shades. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 12 – Manepeme to Til (4000m)
The trail winds its way through the high, steep rocks. After about 2 hours, you can choose the level small path or the larger steeper one. The small path passes a very interesting meditation cave, Ya Yip Phuk. This was the meditation cave of Lotsawa Rinchen Sangpo (985-1055), a famous translator of Buddhist scriptures. His activities were crucial to the revival of cultural exchange between Tibet and India, paving way to the so-called second dissemination of Buddhism in Tibet. The trail is surprisingly green at some parts, with some juniper trees and bushes among the bare rock.
The path climbs very steeply for about half an hour to Lamka La 4300mr then it’s an easy downhill walk to Til for about a hour and half. Chörtens (stupas) start to appear signaling the approach of the village. You will be greeted by the sight of the monastery and retreat houses, white buildings attached high to a slope whereas the stone houses of the inhabitants blend in with the surrounding. The abundance of greenery at Til will surprise you. The village is surrounded by birches and terraced fields with barley, both are bright yellow in September-October. Two beautiful snow capped mountains with impressive glaciers tower above the village. The campsite lies 45 minutes downhill from Til next to a river. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 13 – Til to Halji (3660m)
It’s an easy day to Halji so you can wander around the villages and visit the monasteries. The path follows the Limi river upstream and is relatively flat. Along the way, look out for mountain goats and blue sheep! If you are very lucky you might even see a snow leopard from here on.
As with Til, it takes a while before you see Halji appearing, as the village is blends completely with the environment. In Halji the monastery of Rinchenling Gompa is in the village itself. Built in the 14th Century it belongs to the Kagyugpa lineage and is the main gompa in the Limi Valley serving as its religious centre. It has been beautifully restored (with help of Nepal Trust) and is worth a visit. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 14 - Halji to Jang (3930m)
It’s an easy 4-hour walk from Halji to Jang, along the Limi Khola (river). Jang is the third and the last village in the Limi Valley and as with the other villages, it’s a magical place to be. It’s a very special feeling to be in such a secluded place where the Tibetan culture still continues relatively untouched, far from the modern day world as you can be. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 15 – Jang to Talung (4370m)
Campsite in the middle of nowhere It will be hard to leave Jang, knowing you will be leaving the Limi Valley and its authentic Tibetan villages with their friendly people. In the coming days there won’t be any more villages until Kermi and you will be walking through completely desolate landscapes. The trail goes up slowly but steadily. The thin air will force you to walk slowly.
Day 16 – Talung to cross Nyalu La (4949m) to Shinjungma (3620m)
Today takes you to the highest point of the trip. We reach Nyalu La Pass which is a challenging feat. Your work way up the pass is surely going to be a daunting task. Once you reach there, you will be rewarded by 360 degree views of Humla and Tibet and some glorious mountains; Mount Saipal (7031m) and Mount Kailash (6714m) The path climbs down after you are beyond and across the pass. The altitude plummets to 4630 meters by the time you reach Lake Selma Tso. The downward slope continues on its course all the way down to Shinjungma. Overnight in camp.O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 17 – Shinjungma to Kermi (2670m)
Today you go back to civilization at Kermi village. You will drop below 3000 m for the first time in 10 days. It’s a pleasant walk through pine and birch forests and along the beautiful Salli Khola, with rocks towering on both sides of the trail. The trail meets the Karnali river again and turns east towards Kermi village. In Kermi you can relax your tired muscles in the hot springs, a great reward for your efforts of the last days. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 18 – Kermi to Simikot (2950m)
It’s a pretty long day today to Simikot. The first part up till Darapuri (2300 m) and Majgaon (2290 m) is pleasant walking. The trail is Nepali Flat, sometimes going up and down. From Majgaon a long climb of about 2 hours waits at the Karnali river up till a pass just over 3000 meter. But after the pass it’s just 30 more minutes walk to Simikot and a well-deserved beer and hot shower. O/N Camping (BLD)
Day 19 - Flight Simikot-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu.
Early morning flight back to Kathmandu, via Nepalgunj. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. You can spend the evening leisurely, perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping and celebrate dinner together with Ramdung Expedition staffs. O/N Hotel (BLD)
Day 20/21 – Contingency or spare day
We have two days as contingency or spare day in case of flight delays or any unforeseen circumstances that hampers the entire trek schedule.
Leisure day. Options: mountain flight or sightseeing tour. A free day in Kathmandu, please notify our staff if you want to go for a guided sightseeing tour or board the early morning mountain flight. O/N Hotel (B)
Day 22 – Trip ends, farewell and departure
The journey in the mountains of Nepal comes to an end today ! At last approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight, a representative from Ramdung Expedition will drop you to the airport. (B)
Normally, we use following 3 star standard hotels in Kathmandu depending on availability in our trekking package.
Hotel Manang. Located in touristic hub, Thamel. www.hotelmanang.com
Hotel Utse. Located in touristic hub, Thamel. www.utsehotel.com
Hotel Manaslu. Located in Lazimpat near to Thamel area. www.hotelmanaslu.com
while on trek, the lodges are fairly basic but perfectly adequate for the mountain type service. Two people will be accommodated in each room mostly in twin beds with foam mattresses. If you prefer private accommodation, you can choose “single supplement” option. It is important to consider that some places in the trek do not have sufficient lodges and rooms; in this case you’ll have to share room. Some lodges now have showers (charged at $3-$5).
FLIGHT DELAYS IN NEPALGUNJ TO SIMIKOT
Flight between Nepalgunj to Simikot is generally reliable. Being Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) mountain airstrips, flight is dependent on the weather. Delays often happen if there is poor visibility or high winds. In case of bad weather, flight is cancelled often and to avoid missing international flights, we recommend 2-3 days extra at end of your trip.
it is mandatory to have travel insurance for the trekking and please submit us photocopy before departure to mountain. Standard policies often only cover medical evacuation to 4000m so make sure it covers up to 6000m.
You are expect to trek about 5-7 hours covering distance of 10-15 kilometer daily depending on trial conditions and state of the weather. You’ll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside and high elevations. Trekking with a guide is not only safer but also for more enjoyable experience. Our guides and porters are expert in Himalayan treks and have more than one decades of experience in average.
It is recommended that you prepare for trek with suitable training such as climbing hills/stairs, jogging, exercise and gym to improve your stamina few months prior to trek. The trek will be more enjoyable if you are fit.
MEALS AND DRINKS
There are plenty of excellent restaurants to serve food and drinks in Kathmandu such as Rum doodles, Fire & ice, La Dolce Vita, Ktoo Steak House, Everest Steak, New Orleans, Gaia etc. Breakfast is provided at your hotel every morning. It will cost $ 3-7 per meal depending on meals item chosen and restaurant.
While on trek, the lodges or teahouse provide good quality food in sufficient quantities. Meals whilst on trek are included in the package which is breakfast, lunch, dinner and hot drinks. You can choose your meal from hotel menus. Meals in lodges are varied ranging from traditional Nepalese daal bhaat to pizza, apple pie, steak, pasta and so on.
It is safer to drink bottled, boiled and filtered water. A reasonable variety of both hard and soft drinks are available in cities and while on trek. You can purify your own water if you carry a canteen or water bottle and iodine drops or tablets.
Spring starts from March until May where temperature fluctuated between 20°c to 30°c. From June to August is summer season which is also time of monsoon with occasional thunderstorms and hot temperatures. From late September to end November is autumn and is best for trekking activities. Winter is from late November to February.
The trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the elevation and time of the particular day. In the mountains between 1000m-3500m, the night generally will be cool around 5°C and during the day temperatures every so often rise to 20°c. At the higher altitudes, temperatures range from 15° to -15°c.
Tips is not mandatory but generally after hard work something extra is expected. We recommend a tip for guide and porter as at least $70 (more will be appreciated).
CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST
The following are what we recommend to bring as clothing and equipment needed for the trek. Trekking gear can be rented or purchased in Kathmandu at cheaper price; we can assist you with necessary arrangement. Except for your day pack, your luggage will be carried by porters. You’ll have strong and hospitable porter for two people. The weight limit for trek is 10-13kg per person. One porter can carry 20-25kg weight. Before the trek, you can store all your excess baggage in Kathmandu at hotel or at our office and take only which is required for the trek.
Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
Sun Hat or scarf
Cotton tees or thermals
Gloves for hand
Lightweight cotton pants (long)
Thin inner socks
Thick, warm wool hiking socks
Comfortable Trekking boots
Sleeping bag rated to -20
Trekking bag or duffel bag
Large plastic bags (keeping items dry inside trek bag)
Trekking poles (recommended, optional)
Lonely Planet Nepal: A guide book of Nepal.
Annapurna: A book by Reinhold Messner about his expedition experience in the dead zone of Annapurna.
Trekking in Nepal: Written by Stephen Bezruchka is an nice book for all treks with and bibliography of additional books.
Trekking and climbing in Nepal: Written by Steve Razzetti, this book gives comprehensive knowledge of major trekking trails and climbing peaks.
Nepal Handbook: By Kerry Morgan. Recommended specially for Kathmandu Valley sightseeing’s.
Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya: By Stan Armungton. This book has detailed trek descriptions including restricted areas of Mustang, Manaslu, Dolpo and kailash.
Into Thin Air: By Jon Krakaur. A personal account of the Mount Everest disaster.
Travelers Tales: Edited by Rajendra Khadka, Traveler’s Tales, and San Francisco.
Mustang: A lost kingdom by Michel Peissel.