Api Himal Expedition in Nepal
Mountains are the crown of Nepal. The country has thousands of mountains in total if counted. Most of the mountain of the country lies in the area of the border region of Nepal and China. The upper region of Nepal is the mountainous region and has difficult topography than Himalayan region and Terai region. Also, the country shares some of the mountain ranges at the western part with India.
There are eight peaks that are above 8000m in Nepal which acts as major tourist attractions. Also, there are many below 8000m which are popular due to some unique features. The sad part is despite being beautiful, having enormous potential and some unique features there are some who do not get the attention and visitors that they deserve. Among those many hidden heavens are Api Himal expedition.
Api Himal is a beautiful peak located at the Darchula district of far western development region of Nepal. The mountains stand at the height of 7,132m from the sea level. The mountain range have some of the most specular peaks in the country. Among the mountain range of that place Api mountain stands at the top. Api translates to mountain in English. The local people call the mountain Api, which later became the specific name of the largest peak.
Api Himal is one of the most beautiful mountains in the region. However, there are other things which are as much beautiful and majestic as Api. The far western region of Nepal is truly an undervalued place. Despite having the most beautiful and surreal natural wonders the place is still isolated. Even the country people are unknown to the beauty of the Far western development region of Nepal. Nampa, Kapchuli, Jethi are some of the beautiful mountains of this region beside Api Himal.
Talking about the Api visit by the mountaineers and foreigners, it was known since the late 18th century. There have been records of visit of the mountain by the climbers, expeditions, foreigners in 1899 A.D. This visit was followed by other visits in 1905 and 1936 A.D. However, during this visit there was no attempt to summit the mountain. They were there just for the research purpose and were probably mapping and finding the routes for the expeditions in the upcoming years.
The first Api Himal expedition was attempted in 1953 A.D. The first attempt was 54 years after the first visit to the mountain. This expedition in Nepal was W.H Murray and John Tyson. Sadly, they could not reach the peak of the mountain. Then next year in 1954 A.D. Italians attempted the expeditions. This attempt also failed but they were as not lucky as the attempters of the 1953 A.D. Two of the crew of the Italian expedition died while attempting to reach the summit of Api Himal.
The first successful Api Himal expedition was done in 1960 A.D. Japanese team were the first ones to reach the summit of the mountain for the first time. They climbed through the Northwest face route of the mountain and were successful. This was the same routes that was attempted by the Italians in 1954 A.D. After the first successful Api Himal expedition various attempts were made to climb the mountain. Some were successful and some were unsuccessful, but attempt to climb were continued. This trend to climb has continued till today, but very few people attempt compared to the 8000m+ giants and popular mountains.
Cost of climbing Api Himal
Api Himal is one of the unvisited heavens of Nepal. Unlike the other popular trekking routes and mountains Api Himal do not have the same flow and popularity. The cost of Api Himal expedition may differ due to this very reason. The cost of the food items and staying cost do not differ so vaguely on the popular mountains and trekking routes. However, the reason of low flow of tourists may fluctuate the cost of Api Himal expedition.
The tourists who are coming to Nepal or even the local Nepali tourists if went to the expedition with travel companies and agencies, they are the ones who will arrange the whole trip, insurance, permits and all the required procedure and services. The cost hugely depends upon this factor also. The companies provide various packages and varied services which also have quite few ranges of prices. The user can choose the type of service and the cost plan they like.
Another thing comes along with popular travel route and popular mountain climbing is that lots of big agencies and companies are providing their services. This results in lots of package and cost plan from which the fellow climbers and travelers can choose from. From lots of companies and agencies the travelers can choose what suits them best and what they want. However, in case of Api Himal expedition this may not be the case. The mountain is not popular as others. Hence, there as few agencies and companies providing the same range of packages as other mountains.
With all the situations and a range of factors fluctuating the cost of the expedition. The average cost range of one person for Api Himal expedition is 12000-16000 USD. These may vary with season and time.
Time for Api Himal expedition
Mountain climbing or Mountaineering is a very tough thing to do. The expedition uses your body, mind, and courage to its peak limit. There are a range of factors that need to be considered before the beginning of a mountain expedition. The body, health and equipment’s are the things that need to be considered from the side of the travelers. However, there is one thing above all that need to be considered from the side of the mountain.
The climbing time is one of the most crucial things in every mountain climb, not just on Api Himal expedition. The climbers find a perfect window between the seasons which ease up their climb. As per the travelling companies, the best time for Api Himal expedition is the Autumn and Spring season. This season, have the most stable and sunny climate. This provides clear view from the lower places as well as from the peak. These seasons carry the most stable climate around the year, the stable climate lowers the chances of snow storms, avalanches which makes the expedition safe and easy.
These are the best time for Api Himal expedition; however, expedition still can be attempted on other seasons also. The expedition along other seasons is also not so uncommon but people prefer Autumn and Spring. There is also time around the year that should be avoided. These periods hold great risk to the climbers. Monsoon and winter season should be avoided by the climbers as these season bears the higher risks of accidents. Avalanches, high winds, snow storms are much common in the higher mountains during these seasons.
Journey to Far western region and Api
Day 1 And Day 2
Kathmandu lies in the central development region of Nepal. The city is the capital of Nepal located in the Bagmati district. Kathmandu holds the highest population in the country. The city was considered the best place to settle down from the ancient period. Previously, hundreds of years ago it became capital because it is surrounded by hills from all sides. The hills acted as a natural fort and had tactical advantages in war. From then Kathmandu was the destination where people all over the country dreamt of settling. The assessment of people gave Kathmandu many things. Culture, art, workforce all it had multiplied many times.
The rich history of Kathmandu makes it a unique place to start our journey. The place is filled with monuments, temples, monasteries which some are even believed to be thousands of years. It is our first destination during trekking. After arriving here one can either rest or even spend few days exploring the city before heading to the mountains for trekking. However, it is good to take few days off and explore the valley as it has much to offer.
Day 3 Destination is Mahendranagar
The destination of the third day of the Api Himal expedition is Mahendranagar. The travelers wake to have breakfast and then leave to mahendranagar. Travelers catch a plane from Tribhuvan International Airport to Mahendranagar Airport. After 50 minutes flight from Kathmandu the travelers will reach Mahendranagar.
Day 4 -Gokuleshor
The destination of the fourth day of the Api Himal expedition is Gokuleshor. The destination is 15 hours’ drive away from Mahandranagar. The night is spent at Gokuleshor.
Day 5- Karkale
karkale is about 4 to 5 hours walk away from Gokuleshor. The night is spent at Karkale.
Day 6 – Chiureni
Chiureni is about 6 to 7 hours walk away from Karkale. The day begins at Karkale and with full day of walking the travelers will reach Chiureni. The night is spent at tented camp.
Day 7- Makarighat
The 7th day of the Api Himal expedition begins at Chiureni with the goal to reach Makarighat. The destination is 6 to 8 hours walk away. The night is spent at tent.
Day 8- Seti
Seti is 5 to 8 hours walk away from Makarighat. The traveling time depends upon the walking speed and rest taken during the walk. The night is spent at Seti.
Day 9- Lawathi
Lawathi is the destination of the 9th day of the Api Himal expedition. It is 4 hours walk away from Seti and is at the elevation of 3000m from the sea level. The night is spent at tent camp.
Day 10- Simar
The 10th day of the Api Himal expedition begins at Seti with the goal to reach Simar. Simar is 6 hours walk away from Seti. The night is spent at camp tent.
Day 11- Dhawaliwadar
Dhawaliwadar is the destination of the 11th day of the Api Himal expedition. The destination is about 5 hours walk away from Simar. The night is spent at tent.
Day 12- Api Himal basecamp
The destination of the 10th day of Api Himal expedition is Api Himal basecamp. The basecamp of the mountain is located at the elevation of 4000m from the sea level. As, the altitude has highly increased from the beginning the travelers need to take care of themselves.
Day 13 The day of acclimatization
Day 13 is the day of acclimatization. The travelers this day take rest from the tiredness of the long trekking. They also prepare their trekking stuffs or equipment, and themselves for the climb that starts from tomorrow.
Day 14 to Day 27
From Day 14 to Day 27 the climbers would have climbed the mountain and will have returned to the basecamp. There are various activities that the climbers will perform during this period. From training exercise to habitation, study, and other activities. However, the most important and the goal is to reach the summit of the mountain.
Above the base camp there are three higher camps before the climbers reach to the top of the mountain. Gradually starting from the base camp, the climbers move to the higher camp. As, the altitude increases various complications may occur due to the elevated altitude and harsh climate. So, the climbers need to be incredibly careful and attentive to the surrounding.
Moving to the higher camps the climbers need to pass through rocky area, snow walls and go through ridiculously hard climb. As, the climber go to the heart of the mountain area the chances of avalanches, snow storm increases. The injury attained in those areas can be severe as there is extremely low chance of rescue.
Crossing the high camps, the climbers will reach the Api Himal peak. The peak is one of the astonishing places a mountaineer can be. Reaching the peak marks, the interval of Api Himal expedition. From the peak now the climbers need to return to the base camp.
The climbers now need to carefully get down to the base of the mountain. Carefully with great caution the climbers follow the same route going upward to get to the base camp.
Till day 27 the climbers will be at the base camp.
Day 28th- To Gokuleshor
Following the same route, the travelers now need to get back to Gokuleshor. With days of trekking the travelers will get to Gokuleshor.
Day 29- To Mahendranagar
From Gokuleshor the travelers will get the vehicle to reach Mahendranagar.
Day 30- To Kathmandu
From Mahendranagar the travelers can return to Kathmandu via plane or through bus. Returning to Kathmandu officially marks the end of the Api Himal expedition. The travelers can either rest at Kathmandu for few days or return through Tribhuvan International Airport.