Rappelling down a 45m waterfall in Pokhara | Nepal

by Vanessa Wanders Miles

If you want to get your heart racing, rappelling down a 45m waterfall at Ghalel village in Nepal should do the trick! But how scary was it?

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Getting from Pokhara to Lwang Ghalel

We drove through the town of Gandaki where there was a completely naked man casually walking through the streets with his little plastic bag he was carrying just about covering his manhood. I was wondering if this was something native to Nepal but judging by the looks on the faces of the locals, my guess is not!

A real snapshot of village Nepali life can be seen once we hit the Annapurna Conservation Area with women working in the vibrant rice fields and children playing in the streets. The views of the mountains with random waterfalls dotted that was just staggering.

Preparing for rappelling 

There were 14 of us so we split into three groups to make this easier to manage. We all headed down to the base of the 45m high waterfall to get our gear on; wetsuits, waterproof jackets, safety harnesses, and helmets. My big tip here would be to go down one group at a time, I was in the third group and I got colder by the minute, my hands started to turn a little purple, and lose feeling in my fingers. Stay warm for as long as possible.

Each group was given a practice session on rappelling techniques against a rock. Followed by this was a briefing on how to handle each part of the rock face and the drop at the end. So, armed with the information and the right gear, now we had to do it for real!

Time to go over the top!

Being so cold, I couldn’t wait to get started so I marched up the mountain waving my hands around to get the feeling back to make it easier to guide the rope in this crazy little adventure. On reaching the top, we were all locked onto the rope for safety. I took a glimpse over the edge… yup this was high, my stomach turned slightly but I was super excited to do this.

Over the top to start rappelling down 45m waterfall - Nepal - Wanders Miles

Start rappelling down 45m waterfall

I edged down to the first platform where I was attached to the long rope for the descent down the rock. I managed to make up some pace in this section but as you hit halfway the power of the waterfall on your head was immense. I slipped a couple of times but got my footing back on the rock. You just have to keep going and keep your head straight.

In the end, the guides pull on the rope so you are away from the waterfall, this was purely for the photo opportunity. As they loosened the rope and I went back towards the waterfall, I span around like I was in a washing machine, not once but twice. It was really hard to catch my breath and regain control of the sheer power of the waterfall. The guides pulled the rope hard again to bring me out of the waterfall. Once I had a moment to calm down, I dropped into the water pool at the bottom. I did it!

Rappelling down 45m waterfall in Ghalel Village, Nepal - Wanders Miles

How scary was it?

It was terrifying to start with, the spinning round was worrying. Getting out of the water, my legs felt like jelly. Total adrenaline rush! Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat!

Finisihed rappelling down 45m waterfall - Ghalel in Nepal - Wanders Miles


Where to go

Pokhara Canyoning is located in Ghalel Village of Kaski district of Nepal.

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Amy 13th September 2017 - 3:14 pm

Wow! What an awesome adventure! I’ve always wanted to give it a try but haven’t had a chance yet…

Julie 26th September 2017 - 9:13 pm

That is completely amazing! I love adventure, but I’m not sure I would do that! Good for you!

Aadil Shah 11th July 2018 - 7:36 pm

This is awesome.

Vanessa 11th July 2018 - 10:41 pm

It was such an adrenalin rush – loved every minute, even when I was spun upside down with the force of the waterfall!

Morgan 7th November 2019 - 7:10 am

Wow! As an avid rock climber this looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing this Vanessa!

Vanessa 8th November 2019 - 11:36 am

It sure was an experience, that water is so powerful!


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