Sunday, September 2, 2018

Api Himal Exploratory - November 2017

api nampa conservation area trekking
The spectacular cliff trail trekking of Api Nampa Conservation Area.
Greetings from Leh, Ladakh, India. I have not written on the Himalaya Alpine Guides blog in quite some time.  Time to catch up a bit. Let's begin at the end of 2017. In November 2017, I made an exploratory trek into far west Nepal with the goal of making some small climbs of lesser peaks of the Api Nampa massif and learning more about the fascinating local culture.  Jerry Clayton, Nick Godfrey, Anna Fridlyanskaya, Gomba Sherpa, and many others joined me for this expedition. The plan was simple. Arrive Kathmandu, fly Nepalgunj, and drive into the foothills beneath the Api Nampa watershed.

Over the course of three weeks, we trekked, explored, did some small climbs, met a local who had a pet Himalayan Tahr he'd raised from birth, and breathed clean air. I am ready to go back for two big mountaineering objectives. One is an unclimbed 6000 meter peak, and the other is a face on Nampa itself. Contact me if you'd like to learn more about climbing, skiing, trekking and exploring in Nepal's Api Nampa Conservation Area. - Luke Smithwick

Also, check out this interesting publication on the Raute people of Far West Nepal. They pride themselves on being the last hunter-gatherer culture of Nepal.

The South Wall of 6757m Mount Nampa

api nampa trekking
Another view of the spectacular trekking (left) trail into Api Nampa Conservation Area

Dusk on 6850m Jethi Bahurani after an afternoon snow shower
A lammergeier soars above Api Nampa Conservation Area

What people say about Himalaya Alpine Guides:


“Just want to thank you (Luke) again for looking after us on the recent expedition and making sure we had everything. And not to forget the rafting, that was special. I had a great great time and experience with you all.” -L. Tanpian, Indonesia

“We got great value in the experience, food, regional expertise, Luke!!.  Perfect attitude all around!”
-E. Grapa, Mexico

“This was, without question, one of the most magnificent trips I have done.  The best trekking food I’ve ever had.”
-A. Slinger, England

“Having spent three superb weeks in Lahdaq and remote Zanskar with Luke, I can heartily recommend him as a guide. In addition to the requisite alpine skills and Himalaya experience, Luke is blessed with sharp instincts, sound judgement and a considerate regard for his clients’ abilities and needs. With great good humour, Luke and his expert team guided us to places that exceeded all expectations, and gave us brilliant opportunities to experience them for ourselves. Almost a year later, I am still mining the rich vein of impressions gained during the exploratory and adventurous leg of our trek through Zanskar, and feel that I owe Luke and his team a debt of gratitude worth more than any amount paid. My advice to anyone wanting a real adventure in that part of the world, as opposed to a mere holiday, can be distilled into four words: go with Himalaya Alpine.” -R. Cross, New Zealand

“The level of service was amazing, brilliant food, tents up quickly, being helped over any potential difficult piece. It was a fabtrip.”
-I. Caroline, New Zealand

We really enjoyed the “boutique” style. Exceptional guides / cook, comfortable equipment: tents conzatina folding mats, plastic mats under tents, etc. I was impressed with the resources provided on my trek last year which influenced my decision to do this trip but this trips resources (people, equipment) surpasses last years – pretty impressive!” -K. Bond, Australia

“A great trip.  I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting a different trekking experience.”
-M. Cook, Canada

“I just wanted to say thanks again. I think about the trip all the time, it was everything I expected. Thanks.” -G. Zjilma, Canada

“Lots of great memories. Thank you. Keep in touch.” -B. Ryan, Australia

“I just wanted to thank you for the trip. It was a beautiful journey. Thank you for this.” L. Vindevoghel, Switzerland

“Thanks for a great trip.” -J. Clayton, USA

“I trekked the Upper Zanskar Traverse with Luke and his competent team last year and have been recommending them to other interested trekker friends ever since. I have trekked in many areas and this has been one of the most memorable treks for me. This was due to Luke’s leadership and expert team, the comfortable conditions upon arrival at our campsites and the stunning, isolated area we were traversing. It was a completely different adventure trekking experience and one that is still extremely vivid to me although many months have passed. I would not hesitate to trek again with Luke and his outstanding team.” -K. Bond, Australia