Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|4 November - 13 November 2021||On Sale|
Trek the mesmerising Nepalese Himalayas on our life-changing women-only challenge from Pokhara to Poon Hill.
Starting in the serene city of Pokhara, we’ll follow rivers in mountain valleys and climb through forests bright with rhododendrons. The panoramas of lush vegetation and snow-capped peaks are more than worth the challenging ascents!
We reach the highest point of our trek, Poon Hill (3,210m), by torch light for an unforgettable experience watching the sun rise over the surrounding peaks.
Staying in local guest houses by night and guided all the way by our fantastic trekking leader, who grew up in the Himalayas, this challenge will give you incredible insight into the Nepalese culture. We’ll pass through communities, chat with villagers and meditate with a monk in Kathmandu − the perfect calm after an epic climb!
The best part about this trek is that it’s all in aid of the charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice!
Step by Step
Due to the phenomenal popularity of the inaugural Step by Step challenge in 2020, we're delighted to bring back our women-only open challenge for 2021!
The majority of our open challenges welcome all genders, but Step by Step is a special opportunity for women to come together and conquer a mighty feat for charity.
Step by Step is an open challenge, which means you choose how you fund your trek. You can self fund your challenge costs and then make a personal donation or raise as much money as you can for the charity of your choice, with no minimum fundraising target; or you can commit to a minimum sponsorship target for your chosen charity.
We meet as a group for the first time at the airport in London and catch an overnight flight to Kathmandu, the fantastic capital of Nepal.
Here, our absolute gem of a ground handler, Dawa, greets us upon arrival and we transfer to our hotel in the city.
Once checked in and settled, Dawa gives us our challenge briefing to let us know more about what lies ahead of us. Then, we’ll head into the city for our first dinner together at one of Kathmandu’s restaurants.
After breakfast at the hotel, we catch a short domestic flight (approx. 25 minutes) from Kathmandu to Pokhara, a beautiful city set on the Phewa Lake and our gateway to the Himalayas.
Touching down in Pokhara, we enjoy the vistas of the nearby snow-capped mountains on a road transfer to our starting point in Nayapul.
Now our challenge commences. We follow the sub-tropical Modi Khola river valley through mountains towering above us on each side. This leads us to the large village of Birethanti on the old Nepal-Tibet trading route, a fantastic glimpse of life in the Himalayas.
Tonight, we stay in the pretty village of Syauli (1,230m) in a comfortable local guest house, typical of the region, nestled in the mountains, with gorgeous views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare.
Waking to breakfast at the guest house, we set off and climb a stone staircase. Although tough, this ascent rewards us with amazing views over the river valley and if we’re lucky, we may see some birds of prey.
After a short but steep climb, we reach Kimche (1,630m) and take a well-deserved break. Once we’ve caught our breath, we’re on to a wide, well-defined path now and follow it to Chane and on to Ghandruk, the largest village of the region (1,950m).
This picturesque Gurung village has an amazing backdrop of the snow-peaked mountains and is home to many villagers who have served in the British Gurkha regiments.
We find our guest house in the heart of the village and settle down for a good night’s rest.
Bidding goodbye to the terraced hillsides, we climb up through a forest of oak trees rhododendrons, the national flower of Nepal!
This stunning, natural scenery more than makes up for the ascent.
Birdsong will be our soundtrack, as we ascend past small waterfalls, lush vegetation and some brilliant views of the Himalayas.
Our tough but beautiful day’s trek ends at Tadapani (2,700m). With spectacular peaks surrounding us, this is the perfect place to settle in our hotel for the evening and watch the sun set.
We rise early today and jump on the opportunity to see the sun rise over the Himalayas. This lights us up for another spectacular morning of trekking through rhododendron forest, following an undulating route, until we come to Banthanti for an early lunch.
Refreshed, we jump back onto our feet and ascend higher through the forest, crossing several small streams and at last reaching the open ridges at Deurali (2,987m).
Now we’re pretty high up on the planet and nature rewards us for our hard work trekking with phenomenal mountain panoramas all the way to our hotel in Ghorepani (2,780m).
Another early start today, to trek up to Poon Hill, the highest point of our trek (3,210m) and one of Nepal’s best viewpoints.
We arrive by torchlight in time to catch a heavenly sunrise over the Himalayas. If it’s a clear day, we’ll see the 8,167m Dhaulagiri in the distance, dominating the spectacular skyline of the western mountains.
We hike back down to enjoy a well-deserved breakfast at Ghorepani, before continuing our descent through more fabulous forests to the village of Ulleri.
After lunch, our descent steepens and brings us to a small suspension bridge over the Bhurung Khola River. We end our day at our guest house in the village of Tirkedunga (1,550m).
We've made it to our last day of trekking! Today, we follow the Bhurungdi River all the way to our finish line at Birethanti Village.
Celebrating with an early lunch, we meet our coach and give our legs a blissful rest on a transfer back to our hotel in Pokhara.
Our afternoon is free for us to spend as we wish in this fascinating town. It’s a great chance to browse the shops for some souvenirs or amble to the lake for a boat ride!
We meet back up in the evening and dine out together at a Nepali restaurant.
After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to the airport and fly back to Kathmandu.
We now have the incredibly special opportunity to visit a local Buddhist monastery, spending a few hours in guided meditation, the perfect calm after a mighty challenge.
Tonight, we celebrate our achievement with our final dinner together, before getting some rest for our flight home tomorrow.
We're homeward-bound today. After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to the Kathmandu airport and catch our flight back to the UK.
Once we've arrived at the airport in London, we part ways and you make your own way home.
Pay your registration fee and your challenge costs yourself.
Pay the balance
Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
Step by Step in the Himalayas 2021 is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this trek will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.
This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, while exploring one of the world's most beautiful places and making a big impact for a vital cause.
We do strongly recommend you train for the trek and we'll send you a fantastic training plan once you sign up. This training plan builds up as time goes on, so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we jet to Nepal!
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Step by Step in the Himalayas 2021.
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising.
You may also want to reach out to the fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special.
Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome Step by Step challenge.
We fully support gender and sexual equality and the majority of our open challenges welcome all genders.
However, we've found that some women feel more confident taking on challenges in female company.
Step by Step gives women from all walks of life the platform, atmosphere and opportunity to come together and conquer a mighty feat for charity.
These women-only challenges also have an incredible camaraderie and you're likely to make friendships that will last a lifetime.
Your registration fee of £299 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £1,800 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:
In addition to paying your registration fee of £299 and either self funding your challenge costs or raising the minimum sponsorship, you will need to budget for:
You will of course need a pair of walking boots.
We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the event well before your departure date.
The health and safety of our participants are always our top priority. We hold your wellbeing at the front of our minds and we would never make a decision that would put you at risk in any way.
With even the government unsure how exactly the coronavirus situation will eventuate, we can't make any guarantees; but we can promise you that we will always put your health and security first and will always be just and flexible in any decisions we have to make, regarding postponements and transfers.
If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against travel to your challenge destination, the tour will either be postponed until a safer time or cancelled.
In this situation, we will email all participants registered for the challenge with options you can take, such as transferring to the postponed date or another challenge.
All tour operators and holiday insurance providers, including us, take our guidance from Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice. Dream Challenges is also proud to be a part of AITO, ATOL and ABTOT, which means our participants have extra protection from these organisations.
There are likely to be 30 to 35 participants, but no more.
We will stay in three-star class hotels, throughout this challenge except for on Days 3, 4 and 7, on which we'll be sleeping in comfortable mountain guest houses with amazing vistas.
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in Nepal, simply get in touch and we can find flight options for you.
Please let us know if you decide to do this at least 14 weeks before our departure date by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, it is not possible for you to come out of our internal flights to and from Pokhara.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy, which we will send you details of. You can however take out your own insurance providing it covers you for a charity trek in Nepal.
You will need to apply for a visa to obtain entry into Nepal, we will send you all the relevant information and forms in plenty of time.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the trek. The programme builds up gradually as the challenge gets closer.
We also have fantastic first-aid-trained challenge guides, a group of porters and two doctors accompanying us throughout the challenge.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home