The Apple Brandy Trail 

The Apple Brandy Trail – Jomsom/Muktinath 

By far and away the most ridden trail in Nepal, this short mountain biking adventure takes you into the heart of the Himalaya and rips down some of the best trails in the Lower Mustang region, including the famous Lubra Valley Trail. The route follows the raging Kaligandaki (Black River), famed as being part of the deepest gorge in the world, splitting the massive peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

The upper part of the gorge is also called Thak Khola after the local Thakhali people who became prosperous from trans-Himalayan trade and are famed for their delicious food, apple growing and the making of local Apple Brandy, plenty of which we will be able to sample along the trail.

Our trail climbs up to Muktinath at the foot of the mighty Throng Pass on route from the Annapurna Circuit. From here there are many options for some amazing single track and downhill riding, past ancient monasteries and traditional villages. Bump along on cobble paths and get your feet wet in ice fed streams. This is surely one of the most spectacular short mountain biking holidays in the world. If you ride with the HST Team we will take you on trails other companies don’t know to hidden lakes, villages and single track descents.

You have to try it once in your life.

Who’s it for? Intermediate fun loving mountain bikers, mountain biking families and people who might be doing their first multi day trip. Trails are also adaptable for serious bikers with a short amount of time in Nepal. Great for Expats looking for a short getaway.

Length:- 5 Days from Pokhara to Pokhara, or 11 Days Kathmandu to Kathmandu

Fitness Factor:- Weekend riders accepted on this one. Just one big climb of 1000 m, jeep assistance can be deployed if your heart begins to pop out of your chest.

Skill Factor:- Any confident cyclist can do this trail, there are many trail options, so we can tailor the ride to suit your skill level. Still you should have ridden a bike more than a few times to be able to enjoy it.

Comfort Zone:- You might get sweaty palms from gripping the armrests of your seat during the 20 min flight to Jomsom, but the rest of this journey is quite civilized. Well set up Tea Houses, hot water, WiFi in most places and great food, even a porter to carry your bags.




Standard Itinerary (Pokhara to Pokhara)

Day 01 Pokhara to Jomsom by Flight and Bike to Kagbeni

Day 02 Kagbeni to Muktinath

Day 03 Muktianth to Tuckche via Lubra Valley

Day 04 Tuckche to Tatopani

Day 05 Tatopani to Beni and Transport to Pokahara

Package Itinerary (Kathmandu to Kathmandu)

Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 02 Nagarkot Enduro Ride

Day 03 Travel to Pokhara

Day 04 Pokhara to Jomsom by Flight and Bike to Kagbeni

Day 05 Kagbeni to Muktinath

Day 06 Muktianth to Tuckche via Lubra Valley

Day 07 Tuckche to Tatopani

Day 08 Tatopani to Beni and Transport to Pokahara

Day 09 Pokhara Sightseeing

Day 10 Travel to Kathmandu

Day 11 Departure


PRICE INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation:- 3 Nights in Kathmandu, 3 Nights in Pokhara,  04 Nights in Teahouses
  • Meals:- Breakfast (11), Lunches (09), Dinners 09). Tea and Coffee with meals only. Menu Choice – 2 items for Breakfast, 1 for lunch and 2 for dinner
  • Transport:- All airport transfers, support vehicles and shuttles as per itinerary
  • Porters for transport of Luggage
  • Guides :- 10 Days qualified mountain bike guide
  • Flights:- Domestic Only – KTM/POK, POK/JOM, POK/KTM
  • All guides and porters insurance and expenses

PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE

  • Drinks and meals outside of what is mentioned above
  • Internet, laundry and other personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance
  • International Flights
  • Tips and Gratuities


TRIP STARTING PRICE: – US$1485 Per Person, pricing is group size dependent. (11day package)


Group Joining Bookings of 2022 are NOW OPEN. For 2021 trips, please make an inquiry info@himalayansingletrack.com

16th April 2022

$ 1,485 pp

5% Discount Applies for every rider over 4 Pax

14th May 2022

$ 1,485 pp

5% Discount Applies for every rider over 4 Pax

14th May 2022

$ 1,485 pp

5% Discount Applies for every rider over 4 Pax

21st Sept 2022

$ 1,485 pp

5% Discount Applies for every rider over 4 Pax

11th Oct 2022

$ 1,485 pp

5% Discount Applies for every rider over 4 Pax

27th Oct 2022

$ 1,485 pp

5% Discount Applies for every rider over 4 Pax

7th Nov 2022

$ 1,485 pp

5% Discount Applies for every rider over 4 Pax

27th Nov 2022

$ 1,485 pp

5% Discount Applies for every rider over 4 Pax

10th Dec 2022

$ 1,485 pp

5% Discount Applies for every rider over 4 Pax

Private and custom trips can be booked on any date suitable for your group. To Book send us an email .  Himalayansingletrack@gmail.com  

VISA INFORMATION

Entry visa to Nepal can be obtained either from the relevant embassy or consulate prior to your departure or at the airport on arrival to Nepal.

Visa on arrival can be applied for via the Immigration website. Just fill in the details online and then print a copy and bring it with you. Payment is made on arrival.

30 Days – USD40 90 Days – USD100

***Current travel situation in regards to Covid requires you to have a contract with a trekking company before arriving in Nepal, a PCR test pre departure and another on arrival. Please ask us for more details before planning your trip.

ARRIVAL INFORMATION

The international airport in Kathmandu, Tribhuvan is located about 7km from the city center. Most of our package tours include an airport pick up. Other options are to get a pre paid taxi from the desk at the airport. The rates are fixed and fair.

INSURANCE

Travel Insurance that covers evacuation from above 5000m is required for this trip. The current entry rules to Nepal also require your insurance to cover Covid related issues. Personal travel insurance is compulsory for you to join this trip. You must present a copy of your policy upon arrival in Nepal. Two companies we recommend for travel insurance are World Nomads and Covermore.

BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE

On this trip, the trails are a mix of rocky sections and powdered dirt/sandy sections, the trails are generally very dry and abrasive in most places. There is long climbs on most days and some bike carry and push involved in some places. Along the trails there will also be some river crossings.

Days comprise of an average 4 to 5 hours riding and plenty of time to explore and take photos.

We recommend the following specifications:-

• Full Suspension 130mm to 160mm travel all mountain style bike are ideal for this trip, but one that can climb.

• Tire recommendation is 2.2 to 2.3 something like a MAXXIS High Roller or Schwalbe Nobby Nic or equivalent is ideal for this trip.

• Tubeless is recommended and we also recommend you bring a little extra Liquid.

• Hardtails are also okay for these trip’s if that is what you ride.

You should provide for your OWN BIKE:-

  • Chain Links, Spare Chain
  • Dry Chain Lube
  • Mech Hanger or Drop Out for your model of bike
  • Brake Pads for your Model
  • Brake fluid for your Model of Brake


FOOD/MEALS

The food on the trail is pretty good. Menu items vary for the local staple Dhal Bhart (Rice, Lentils, Veg Curry, Spicy Pickle and optional Meat Curry to Noodles, Pasta, Rosti, Eggs and all kinds of soups and locally made flat breads, Oats and Potato dishes. Fresh Fruit generally limited in these areas.

Vegetarians and Vegans are not a problem at all, there are multiple menu items for both requirements that are filling and nutritious and high energy. Though we do recommend you to pack nuts, dried fruit and relevant energy items. If you have any dietary requirements, please contact us before the trip.

A note on food related Illness:- Most people coming to Nepal get some form of stomach upset. But there are ways to avoid this, in most cases it is not from the food in the teahouses, here are our tips to stay healthy:-

Stay away from oily food in the mountains. Most of us are not used to lots of oily food for every meal and combined with the physical exhaustion, cold and altitude it can lead to upset stomachs…Try and choose light options like Dhal Soups, Soups, boiled and poached eggs, hearty porridge, pasta and rice (non-fired) dishes- Be careful with your hands –wash, sanitize and wash again!

DRINKING WATER

This is an important topic, the tap water in Nepal is NOT SAFE to drink and mineral water bottles are an environmental hazard and we do not like our clients to use them. HST is trying our best to eliminate the need for disposable water bottles.

Our office in Kathmandu has free water refills. You should bring along some form of water purification. HST will not be purchasing bottled water for this trip.

ACCOMMODATION

During the biking leg of the trip you will be accommodated in TEA HOUSES which are a form of mountain lodge. Standard varies from place to place, rooms are simple in some cases we get attached bathrooms, in other bathrooms are shared. Rooms are not heated, but are clean and comfortable and have the following:-

• Limited Internet and 3G is available in 70% of the areas. The signal may not always be fast but it is there.

• Power and access to charging – All teahouse have this and you can charge phone, cameras and lights. In some teahouses a small charge is applicable for this (100nrs). But the electricity is very limited. Carrying a Power Bank or spare batteries is recommended on this trip.

• Hot water is available in all teahouse, but can vary depending on sunshine (some places is solar). Hot water is not automatic so please tell the guide you need it and he will make sure the hotel provides it.

Hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara are 3 star with all facilities.

CURRENCY

The NPR – Nepalese Rupee and it comes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Notes with 1 and 2 paisa coins. Most places in tourist areas like Kathmandu and Pokhara will accept USD, EURO, POUNDS and other major currencies.

For travel in remoter regions like Annapurna/Upper Mustang you should carry local currency in smaller denominations.

ATM’s withdrawing up to 30,000nrs at a time can be found everywhere in the tourist centers of Kathmandu and Pokhara and also there is one ATM in Jomsom and Manang. Beware the local banks charge 300nrs to 500nrs per transaction above any charges your own bank may charge you.

MONEY EXCHANGERS

Can be found all over the tourist areas and you can negotiate a little for better rates. On The street money exchangers give a much better rate than banks and hotels.

CREDIT CARDS are accepted in bigger hotels and business, the local service charge is normally 4%.


What is the risk of Altitude Sickness?

On this trip there is very little chance for altitude sickness. 

How will my bike be transported?

Bikes are transported in our Twin Cab Bolero with a padded tail gate. Our drivers are all professional and caring when it comes to looking after bikes. When the bikes go on the mountain flights to places like Jomsom, the wheels are removed and the bikes padded and placed in the cargo hold. 

What Happens if I get Sick?

If you get sick, you have options that include, returning to either Pokhara or Kathmandu with a member of our support team, staying and resting in place for a day or using a support vehicle to travel to next destination. It depends on severity of sickness and options available to the group at the time. For serious illness, immediate Helicopter evacuation will be undertaken. 

What level of training do the guides have?

All our guides hold the Government regulation trekking guide license as per the Law of Nepal. On top of this, as per our own company policy, Himalayan Single Track is the ONLY mountain bike company in Nepal to have international licenses mountain bike guides either through the MBLA Scheme or the MIAS Scheme. This is because to date Nepal Tourism sector does not have a safety regulation standard for mountain bike guides. On top of this all our guides have Valid wilderness first aid certification. 

Is tipping expected in Nepal?

Tipping is not compulsory but it is expected and very much appreciated. 

What sort of food is on offer in the guest houses?

Teahouses have a wide variety of simple and hearty foods like Momos, Chow Mein, Rice dishes, pasta, eggs, vegetables and curries as well as breakfast items, porridge, cereal, omelets and local breads. 

What happens if my bike breaks?

Our guides will try their best to fix the bike. Where possible a replacement bike will be brought to you, though given the remote terrine of Nepal, this make take an extra day or so. 

Do you take pictures of the trip?

Most of our guides will take photos of the trip for you. We also have specialized photographers/Videographers you can book for the trip if you need to. (Extra Charges Apply)

What if the mountain flights don’t go?

All mountain flights are weather dependent. If the flight does not go, you will get the option to drive on the same day or fly on the following day. 

Do I need a sleeping bag?

In most cases a sleeping bag liner is sufficient. In the colder months its a good idea to bring one. Blankets will also be available at the teahouses. We will send you a packing list relevant to the trip with full details once you have booked.

What time of year is this trip best?

This trip is in a region affected by the Monsoon. The best time for the trails is March to May and Late Oct to Jan.