Difficulty factors of Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek is a moderate level of the trek in the Himalayas of the Annapurna range. Although it is quite distant and isolated, trekking trails of this region are not difficult, it is pretty smooth on the legs. The path most of the time is wide and spacious for vehicles to drive by. Only a few segments of the trek is through narrow paths. The trail is a mix of paved and unpaved paths which sometimes includes crossing small rivers as well. All in all, the trek mostly goes through an unwinding path. Nonetheless, even though it is an easy path, the difficulty factors of Upper Mustang Trek still linger as it is also a high altitude area. Henceforth, in this blog, we are highlighting what are the concerning measures of the Upper Mustang Trek. And how one can avoid those glitches while on the trek.

Altitude and Mountain Sickness

The maximum height you will come across during Upper Mustang Trek is Lo Manthang at the altitude of 3850M above sea level. And the lowest height you will experience is at 910 M above sea level in Pokhara. The trek sure takes you to one of the greatest heights however it is completely achievable altitude. Nevertheless, conquering any height in the Nepal Himalaya sometimes gets testing and hence invites chances of getting mountain sickness.

The mountain sickness may be mild to dangerous depending upon the situation of people and how they approached the trail. Therefore, while doing any treks in Nepal Himalaya, one should make sure to approach the trek avoiding any chances of getting mountain sickness. There are several ways one can trek in the Nepal Himalaya without getting altitude illness. And some measures are mentioned down below:

  • Drink up to 4-5 liters of water
  • Do not rush while trekking
  • Follow the itinerary and the hours allocated for that day
  • Avoid eating any foods that may disturb your digestive system
  • Drink plenty of soups
  • Do not drink alcohol during trekking days
  • Must listen to your trek leader
  • Don’t forget to bring Diamox or medicines to tame down the symptoms of mountain sickness with the consultation of the doctor
  • Take frequents breaks in between the journey

These are some tips which will be helpful to evade getting mountain sickness. Apply these tips while you are on the trails to Upper Mustang and save yourself from ruining your holiday plan.

Upper Mustang Weather Difficulty

Geographically mustang is located in the rain shadow area. Hence, it remains dry most of the year as it receives low precipitation. It gets most windy during April and May nevertheless, the normal windy condition is what you will get to experience whenever you choose to visit Mustang.

The recurring wind will challenge the people in moving forward in their journey. Hence, for some, experiencing windy weather conditions is a new and amazing thing to experience. However, due to this reason, we advise you to wear at least 2 or 3 layers of clothes to avoid the crispy wind. On the whole, even though being windy is one of its specialties, the region does experience all four seasons like the rest of the trails of Nepal Himalaya. So in our below section, cram the highlights of Mustang during spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Upper Mustang Weather in March, April, and May

March, April, and May in Nepal is spring so Mustang, during these times is greener than ever. It is also the windiest time of all year so wearing more than one layer of clothing is necessary despite the warm weather. It is comparatively warm during days and chilly during morning and night.

On the same note, the temperature around this season ranges from 16 to 22 degrees Celsius in the day and -6 to -2 during the night time. The dust level is low so you will see the clear views of the mountains surrounding the region. All in all, it is one of the best times to visit Mustang hence the flow of tourists is quite high.

Upper Mustang Weather in June, July, and August

June, July, and August are summer and monsoon in Nepal. And since Mustang lies on the leeward area, it rarely experiences rain making it one of the suitable places for trekking in Nepal even during monsoon. And the weather remains hot during the day and chilly at night.

The temperature around this time ranges from 13 to 20 degrees Celsius during the day and drops to -3 to 0 degrees Celsius around night time. On the whole, it is one of the favorable times to trek in upper mustang. Hot days may make you uncomfortable and your trek difficult but overall it is a nice time for trekking in Upper Mustang.

Upper Mustang in September, October, and November

September, October, and November are autumn in Nepal and it is one of the best times to trek in Nepal. The weather around this time is splendid and trekkers will get to see clear blue skies and the crystal clear picture of Trans Himalayas and Annapurna range along with Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and Nilgiri.

The temperature around this time in Upper Mustang stays around 12 to 20 degrees Celsius and during the night it drops to -8 to -4 degree Celsius. As it is one of the most convenient weather to do trekking in Nepal, it receives heavy traffic amongst other seasons.

Upper Mustang in December, January, and February

December, January, and February are winter here in Nepal and Upper Mustang during this time remains mostly inactive. As the weather gets biting cold, people of the upper region also descend to lower regions where the weather is at least bearable. Hence, the cold temperature will be testing making it nearly impossible to trek in the upper region.

Therefore, trekking in Upper Mustang during winter is not recommended. Nevertheless, if it is the only time you are available to do this trek, you may head for trekking up to lower Mustang. The temperature ranges around 0- 5 degrees during day time and drops to -25 to -20 degrees during night time. The temperature during the daytime is bearable however, night time will be very difficult to pass.

Trekking trails of Upper Mustang

The trekking trails of Upper Mustang are wide and not that rugged or rough. However, some segments on the path are difficult because it is narrow and requires walking or driving past the paths constructed on the edges of the cliffs. The path over the Kali Gandaki gorge is one of the difficult and frustrating paths on the whole journey. It is small, narrow and if you make a mistake of looking down, it will only make you dizzy. Because you will find yourself walking on the track that directly drops to the deepest end of the gorge.

The depth of the gorge is still unknown. The trekking route to Upper Mustang follows a motor route but while trekking, a classic trekking route is taken. Over the years, ever since the trekking in this region is allowed, the trek route keeps forever changing. The roads are being made and trekkers are fearing that it will not be much before the development will steal its beauty. As much as it is nice for development to take place in this region, many are in terror that it may lose its authenticity.

Physical Fitness and training for the Upper Mustang Trek

Upper mustang trek is doable by both novice trekkers as well as experienced trekkers. However, it is very important to be healthy and physically fit to do this trek. Similarly, doing early physical exercises and training that increase your cardiovascular capacity is suggested. Trekkers looking to trek in Upper Mustang should do exercises like swimming, hiking, running, brisk walking, and jogging. And similarly, to make sure to walk for 5 km in just 30 minutes before the date you start your hiking to Upper Mustang. Overall, Upper Mustang is not a difficult trek. So anyone can explore the magnificence of this place.

Final Words

Upper Mustang is a secluded area thus trekking in this region requires much preparation. With organizing trekking permits for trekking in Upper Mustang to knowing the climatic condition of this region, it is very important to know these things beforehand. Upper Mustang is truly a beautiful place that every trekker will find interesting to explore despite its challenges. After all, the place is filled with exotic highlights that are uncommon to other trekking trails of Nepal. Do plan your adventure here and surprise yourself with its mystical beauty.

About Author

Balaram Thapa, an executive director at Nepal Hiking Team had a long journey before making NHT one of the revolutionary tour operators in this competitive field of Tourism. He finished his Bachelor’s degree in Travel and Tourism from Tribhuwan University in the year 2000.

He started his career as a trekking support staff in 1998 and gradually earned a status of trekking leader. He has trekked several trekking routes such as Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Everest, Kanchenjunga, Mustang, Makalu, etc. Thus has immense knowledge about the trekking routes of Nepal. Alongside this, he has also organized several tours to Bhutan and Tibet as a tour guide. He has traveled to Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Italy promoting Nepal’s tourism.

After earning lots of experience in this field, he wanted to explore his own business ideology. He along with his brother- Ganga Raj Thapa start their own company, Nepal Hiking Team in 2009. He is friendly and works side by side with the staff inspiring and motivating them. He is an expert travel consultant and handles all the concerns of travelers regarding their trip. He inspires people to travel new and unique destinations and implement the same ideology on himself as well.

He started his journey 22 years ago and has immense experience in this field. His passion for traveling has made his 22 years of working journey, a precious phase of his life. And he plans to continue doing this and add more years in it.

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