If you want to get your heart racing, rappelling down a 45m waterfall at Ghalel vallage in Nepal should do the trick! But how scary was it?
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HOW WAS RAPPELLING IN GHALEL?
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 were just staggering.
Preparing for rapelling
There were 14 of us so we split into three groups to make this is 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 a 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.
I edged down to the first platform where I was attached to the long rope for the descend down the rock. I managed to make up some pace in this section but as you hit half way 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.
At 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 against 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!
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!
RAPPELLING IN GHALEL: TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Where to go
Pokhara Canyoning is located in Ghalel Village of Kaski district of Nepal.
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