- Sushant Lama
Mt Api or Api Himal is the highest peak in the Yoka Pahar Section of Gurans Himal in the extreme northwest corner of Nepal, near the border of India and Tibet. Although low in height among major mountains in Nepal, it rises exceptionally high in its local terrain up to 7312m. Its surrounding valleys are very lower than those surrounding high mountains situated at an altitude of 1,524m
Though located in a remote part of Nepal Mt. Api is extremely beautiful and full of exotic landscapes, friendly people, rapid rivers and spectacular forests. It is one of the unexplored regions of Nepal and natural resources are well preserved in its original beauty. Very few tourists visit Mt. Api due to this. Its beauty has increased enthusiasm among trekkers and mountain climbers in recent years.
A local person -Neeraj Bista says, “Really mesmerizing when sun rays fall upon the Mt. Api” There is a presence of around 47,000 natives around the mountain region who still speaks the archaic dialect of Tibetan and Nepali languages. They have their own culture, traditions, and unique style of living which attracts lots of tourists.
Mt. Api expedition starts after trekking up to Api Himal Base located at an altitude of 4,000m. Normally time took to reach the summit of Mt. Api is 20 days after constructing various camps at different elevations for acclimatizing and taking rest from Api Himal base camp and the whole expedition is completed in around 35-40 days.
Domestic tourist Prabhu Shrestha says.”Mt. Api is natural Heaven” Mysterious culture, panoramic view of mountains like Nanda Devi, Kappa Culi peak, Rajramba seen while trekking from Api Himal can melt anyone’s heart. Api, Nampa and Saipal, a trio of high mountains together form a small range of sharp and icy peaks that looks amazingly good. The name Api in Tibetan refers to grandmother and Nampa means holy father in the Tibetan language.
You are also able to visit the holy lake of Kali Dhunga during the expedition which is located 2 hours walk away from the Api Himal Base camp.
Views of the barren basin of beautiful Karnali river, mystical Saipal range, sacred Takh, and Changla Himal seen during the expedition are just phenomenal which melts the heart of travelers. Many people describe it as a paradise of extreme geographical conditions.
Mt. Api was visited by foreigners in 1833, 1905, and 1936 but the summit was not attempted. In 1954, Italians attempted to climb Mt. Api but were unsuccessful due to its difficulty. The first ascent was done in 1960 by Japanese climbers from the northwest route. On December 24, 1983, Polish climbers Tadeusz Piotrowski and Andrzej Bielu made the first successful winter ascent.
Best time for the expedition
The area is safe and sound for tourists. Summer is pleasant while winter is harsh and cold leaving the region filled with lots of snow. Autumn is considered the best for the expedition due to its favorable climatic conditions. Some expeditions occur during spring too.
Cost of Expedition
The cost is usually around US 11,500 $.
Mt. Api offers one of the best trekking and climbing trip in Nepal. But due to its location in remote areas and lack of promotion, its beauty has not been able to reach among tourists. If the government and local people come together in the promotion of the mountain then surely tourism can flourish here.
General Itinerary used by the private trekking agencies in Nepal are given below:
01: Fly from Kathmandu to Dhangadhi
02: Drive from Dhangadhi to Baitadi – Gokuleshwer
03: Trek from Baiadi to Ghana
04: Trek from Ghana to Lathinath
05: Trek from Lathinath to Ghusa
06: Trek from Ghusa to Batar
07: Trek from Batar to Jungle camp
08: Trek from Jungle camp to Api Himal base camp
09-26: Climbing period of Mt. Api
26-30: Trek Api Himal base camp to Gokuleshor
31: Drive from Gokuleshwor to Baitadi
32: Drive Baitadi to Dhangadhi
33: Fly back to Kathmandu
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