Saturday, July 9, 2011

* MANASLU–GANESH HIMAL–MESOKANTO PASS THRO’ APRIL 13 - MAY 15/2011:

MANASLU–GANESH HIMAL–MESOKANTO PASS THRO’ APRIL 13 - MAY 15/2011:


Our 33 day GHT (Great Himalaya Trail) trip through Ganesh Himal – Tsum Valley – Manaslu – Tilicho Lake & Meshokanto Pass went extremely mesmerizing!
On 13th April 2011, my friend Sigi, Ram Kumar Rai & Kaila Rai drove from Kathmandu to Syabrubensi (the starting point of Langtang, Gosaikunda & Ganesh Himal trek).

For the first 9 day we spent in the beautiful region of Ganesh Himal. After that we descended to the official trail of Manaslu trek, continued till Philim, and then we had to be branched for the Tsum valley a sacred    Himalayan pilgrimage valley situated in the northern Gorkha, Nepal.
Traditionally, the valley was a culturally distinct geographical area called ‘Tsum Tso Chuksum’, which means thirteen provinces ruled as a single territory. The ancient remains of the Tsum kingdom are still visible today.

Again, we came to connect on Manaslu trail & continued to the top (Larkya Pass 5135m), then dropped to Dharapani the main trail of Annapurna circuit trek, continued up to Manang then headed toward Tilicho Lake 5000m the World’s highest. We had to set up our tents at the shore of lake & slept over night (-15 d/c at night!). Thus, we still walked further up to Mesokanto Pass 5200m, and dropped to Mustang lower, flew out to Pokhara.

Regarding Ganesh himal & Tsum valley-Manaslu trek: are situated in the centre of Nepal as trekking gems, the Ganesh & Manaslu Himals, and both major regions are the Country’s best–kept secretes. Many would argue that the Manaslu circuit trail is the best general trek in the Country, with colorful art, culture, tradition & dramatic valleys against a back drop of classic Himalayan peaks. The Ganesh Himal is one of the least visited regions in Nepal, and offers the adventurous trekker some wonderful opportunities for genuine exploration.
Throughout both regions Gurung, Tamang, Magar, Ru-Pa, Larke & Siar people blend to create perhaps the most ethnically interesting series of valleys throughout the Himalay.

Itinerary options abound and provide some of the most fantastic range of GHT routes in the whole of the Nepal Himalaya. The Tamang Heritage trail can be combined with more strenuous routes into and around the Ganesh Himal. Tsum, a remote Larke valley to the north of the Ganesh Himal, is accessible from the Manaslu circuit. If you want to do the full circuit trek and cross the impressive Larkye La, a large saddle to the north of Manaslu, you can explore the massive natural amphitheatre of Mountains at Bhimtang before descending to the Annapurna Circuit.

Summary: A true gems of the Himalaya, (Ganesh Himal & Tsum valley-Manaslu Trek) have it all: stunning Mountain vistas, enchanting cultures, some of the most beautiful sections of trail in Nepal, and all around the 8th highest Mountain in the World.

For more pictures to see: https://www.facebook.com/prem.rai2/media_set?set=a.204890486219759.48864.100000964284786&type=3


ITINERARY:
 
* DAY 01: KATHMANDU - SYABRUBENSI (1460m) 7:00 HRS DRIVING:

We drove to Syabrubensi by Landcruser & it took us 7 hours including 30 minutes lunch break at Trisuli bazaar. It was good driving on the rough Pasang Lhamu high way. We could see many nice landscape views & passing forest, villages, rivers, mountains, fields & its beautiful terraces.
At Syabrubensi we stayed at Budhha Guest House, which is nice one with hot shower & good food.

* DAY 02: SYABRUBENSI - PARVATIKUNDA (2570m) 6:00 HRS.
For the first 2:30 hrs strenuous walk upto Bahundanda, where we had light lunch then continued to Ghatlang another 2:30 hrs (2300m), and it’s a big village around 150 stone slate roofed houses. 98% people of here are Tamangs as Buddhist. Still we had to go unto Parvatikunda village as our second night destination, it took us 1 hour more, after arrived we set up our tents & slept o/n. There are about 20 houses.

* DAY 03: PARVATIKUNDA - SOMDANG (3270m) 8:00 HRS:
We left at 8:00 am in the morning & arrived to Somdang at 4:00pm. Today we walked only in the pine & rhododendron forest, cross a pass called Khurpu Bhanjyang pass 3620m, then dropped to Somdang a little village, where only 2 official families live. Between not any village or lodge or tea shop. We had every thing to eat & cook, so we had lunch before the pass. This trail is wonderful! We did not see any single tourist, only very few locals.

* DAY 04: SOMDANG - UPPER TIPLING (2130m) 10:00 HRS:
Today’s journey was tough but still very beautiful; we had to complete it in one day as two days camp, because we wanted it, though we could set a tent between. Today also we crossed a pass known as Pangsang la 3830m, took 4.30 hrs from Somdang. Then we descended to upper Tipling another 5:30 hrs down hill through the pine, oak & rhododendron forest. At the Kharka between we met a 88 yrs old French man & his 9 Nepali helpers, he just did Ganesh Himal base camp & were heading as we just were coming from including the Pangsang la! Wow. At Tipling there are not any lodges, only beautiful Tamang stone slate roofed houses about 200.

* DAY 05: UPPER TIPLING - BORANG (1530m) 6:30 HRS.
Today we walked down & some up hill to Borang through the beautiful villages, fields & its numerous terraces cultivating wheat, potato, maze & vegetable etc. All day long we could see the Ganesh Himal range mountain, deep gorges & landscape. At Borang not any lodges or tea houses, we stayed at local house in the centre of village near by the public drinking water tap. But we cooked ourselves because they did not want to cook for us, only they proved us room to sleep in.

* DAY 06: BORANG - LAPA (1825m) 4:00 HRS:
Borang to Lapa took us 4 hrs, first 1 hrs descended to the suspension bridge, then few hundred meters another suspension bridge then steep trail in the cliff ascends through the forest and arrived to the beginning of village, you have to cross many houses, fields, terraces then you are on the top of this village near by school, there is a local lodge called Hilltop Guest House with few some beds as a whole common room. Very good chaw main you get there.

* DAY 07: LAPA - MONGNE KHARKA (2900m) 7:30 HRS:
We did an unforgettable trek today as well. We hired a local guide (Dhan Bdr) to show us the trail, because between Lapa & Yarsa is more confusing trails some leads to the forest, mountains, or wrong direction etc. Between Yarsa & Lapa not any villages besides some shelter of yak & cow.
At Mongne kharka we slept in the Inn was very nice, on the ground floor many caw slept and we had to cook & sleep & eat on the first floor. At night we could hear so often snoring cows & crying night birds!

* DAY 08: MONGNE KHARKA - KASHIGAON (1900m) 9:00 HRS:
Most clear weather today! Few hundred meters further we crossed the Mongne pass & started turning down to Yarsa. Walking through the beautiful dense forest of pine, rhododendron, oaks & breath taking Vista of Boudha Himal – Peak 29 – Himalchuli – little top of Manaslu – Himlung & so...awesome! We descended to the Yarsa khola 1515m, then ascent up to Yarsa village 1877m, now flat hike  to Kashigaon is beautiful village, 150 houses, from where you may also view wonderful mountain & landscape that you’ve seen along the way.

* DAY 09: KASHIGAON - KHORLABENSI (970m) 8:30 HRS.
Kashigaon to Khorlabensi is beautiful walk & bit long, but we took longer trail via Kerauja 2074m. Though we could take lower trail too, we wanted to go Tatopani directly Rumchet but it seemed too tough so we decided to descend down to Khorlabensi. We crossed mostly villages today, some steep & bushes, forests, fields, terraces & bridges etc. was very nice walk.

* DAY 10: KHORLABENSI - TATOPANI (990m) 1:00 HR:
Today we walked only one hour, because we got bit tired, so as rest day we stayed at Tatopani at the shore of Budhigandaki.

* DAY 11: TATOPANI - PHILIM (1570m) 8:00 HRS:
We left at 7:15 am, continued to Jagat alongside of Budhigandaki, stopped there for lunch had fresh Nettle leaves soup with rice, wow! Wonderful!! Then walked unto Philim.

* DAY 12: PHILIM - CHUMLING (2386m) 8 HRS:
Today’s trek was beautiful & strenuous, because it would be best idea to make Chumling as two day camp from Philim. About 3 hrs to Lokpa (2240m) stay there and next day to Chumling. Because between Philim & Chumling is mostly up & some down hill through the thick forest along the right bank of Shiar khola. At Lokpa is one basic lodge with few some beds, you get dal bhat. At Chumling also one basic lodge with some beds & get dal bhat as well.

* DAY 13: CHUMLING - CHHEKAM (3031m) 6:00 HRS:
We continued walking along the western bank of Shiar khola, had lunch at the Rainjam dobhan 2485m. Confluence Shiar khola to the eat & Sarpu khola to the west. Nice campsite. The rest hiked upto Gho & started strenuous trail to Chhekam, but beautiful with the view of Ganesh himal, Boudha, Sringi & more many. After Gho or Chhekam the valley has opened widely.

* DAY 14: CHHEKAM - NILE (3361m) 7:00 HRS:
Today’s hike was most pleasant due to the easy trail, only little climb & mostly 90% flat gradual up through the beautiful spacious fields, villages, gumbas can see in the cliff, high mountain surrounding, numbers of chhortens & mani walls etc. We had lunch at Phurpe 3100m. Then to Nile 2 hrs in slow motion including rest.

* DAY 15: NILE - MU GUMBA 3700m – CHHEKAM (3031m) 7:00 HRS:
At 7:30am we left for Mu gumba, it took us 2 hrs to reach there, we enjoyed very much while walking along the Shiar khola. We saw many yaks & some flock of blue sheep were grazing on the opened grassy land. Mu gumba is beautiful, from where you can see wonderful landscape, mountains, the deep valley, and way to Tibet etc…We returned back to Nile again, had lunch, pick up luggage & continued to Chhekam via Rachen gumba.

* DAY 16: CHHEKAM – LOKPA (2240m) 8:00 HRS:
We walked down Gho, then we split the trail to the left side, had to be dropped at the Shiar khola & cross the wooden bridge. Then continued hiking along the east bank of Shiar khola. The trail is most beautiful & cool; we had lunch into that thick forest near by the water stream found. Today we crossed 7 different type of wooden bridges.

* DAY 17: LOKPA – DENG (1875m) 4:30 HRS:
We had to be dropped to the junction took 1:10 hrs (1 hr further Philim there is Iron Bridge over Budhigandaki, from where to the left follows to Manaslu valley & to the right alongside of Shiar khola leads to Tsum valley trek). After that we took easy walk to Deng & slept o/n. There is a basic lodge now.

* DAY 18: DENG – NAMRUNG (2630m) 7:30 HRS:
We continued walking along the Budigandaki till 45 minutes beyond Rana village, then Sigi & I crossed Budigandaki again and climbed up to Prok village (2397m), the trail condition is strenuous through the blue pine forest, water falls etc. We reached to village & its very beautiful unique one! Spacious green wheat fields, nice houses, gumbas, surrounding by mountains, kind & friendly people. We had to be connected on the main trail & got together with Ram & Kaila at lower Ghap. After having lunch we hiked to Namrung.

* DAY 19: NAMRUNG – SAMAGAON (3520m) 8:30 HRS:
Though, we did it as one day camp, normally it would be two camp when you considered regarding the acclimatization. Still enjoyed & was very beautiful hike. We did lunch at Shyo, walked up to Shyala 3300m, had some Chhyang (local beer), continued to Samagaon & slept over night.

* DAY 20: REST DAY IN SAMAGAON:
At 5:00am, we hiked up to Birendra Lake situated at altitude of 3640m.  It took us 1 hour to reach there. Into the lake you can see the beautiful reflection of Manaslu & Nange himal. We returned back to lodge via Sama gumba is very nice trail.

* DAY 21: SAMAGAON – SAMDO VILLAGE (3875m) 2:30 HRS:
This morning we had very pleasant walk to Samdo, because the trail condition is flat & gradually going up on the west bank of Budhigandaki, and we could see hundreds of blue sheep in many different flocks, yaks, marmot, Eurasian griffon etc.We really enjoyed it.

* AY 22: REST DAY:
Actually, we did not do anything today except walking around the village & taking pictures.

* DAY 23: SAMDO – DHARMASHALA (4460m) 3:00 HRS:
Today we did wonderful hike to Dharmashala; we had spectacular views of Manaslu, Naike himal, Larkya peak, Cheo, Himlung himal and many others. The trail condition is gradually going up, easy walk and opened grassy slope, can see numbers of marmot, blue sheep and yaks along the way.

* DAY 24: DHARAMASHALA – BHIMTANG (3720m) 7:00 HRS:
We had very beautiful trek to Bhimtang via Larkya pass 5105m. with spectacular, picturesque & breath taking view of Mountains including Himlung & Kangaroo, Larkya pass etc.

* DAY 25: BHIMTANG – DHARAPANI (1930m) 9:00 HRS:
We had very beautiful walk today; through the pine & rhododendron forest still in full of bloom! Though in one day to Dharapani is bit tough, normally its two day camp. But we really enjoyed it to be connected on the mail trail of Annapurna circuit.

* DAY 26: DHARAPANI – CHAME (2630m) 6:00 HRS:
We did a pleasant walk to Chame.

* DAY 27: CHAME – PISANG (3250m) 5:00 HRS:
Still this trail is beautiful & less crowded easy climbing gradual up hill.

* DAY 28: PISANG – MANANG (3570m) 4:00 HRS:
We took lower trail to Manang via Humde, actually we had very good hike with good weather & beautiful view of Mountains.

* DAY 29: MANANG – TILICHO BASE CAMP (4030m) 7:00 HRS:
We had beautiful day to Tilicho base camp hotel. It took us bit longer than normal but we stopped for tea break at Khangshar village 2:30 hrs further Manang, then had lunch at Shree kharka 1:20 hrs from here. Then continued to Tilich base camp took middle trail via landslide area.

* DAY 30: TILICHO BASE CAMP – TILICHO LAKE (5000m) 4:00 HRS:
Today we had beautiful but tough hiking up to Tilicho lake the World’s highest lake, categorized as World heritage site. Weather was perfect, we could view mesmerizing views of Manaslu, Himlung, Himalchuli, Annapurna II, IV, Tarke kang, Rocknoir, Chulu west, Pisang peak, Khangshar kang or more many. Also seen numbers of blue sheep & yaks along the way. We set up tents at the shore of lake & slept over night, while sleeping in the night many time made me awake by the laud sounds of avalanches in Tilicho peak just across the lake standing as a huge wall!

* DAY 31: TILICHO LAKE – KHARKA (3900m) 10:00 HRS:
We walked to Kharka on other side via Mesokanto pass 5100m, which is technical, so I would not recommend doing it without fully equipped & well experienced guide. Instead you may cross Tilicho pass though northern side, which is much easy & safer, though would be bit longer. Anyway we had very good adventurous hike & really enjoyed.

* DAY 32: KHARKA – JOMSOM  (2710m) 4:00 HRS:
We descended to Jomsom via the beautiful village as our last day trek, till to the top of Thini we had to walk through the Juniper forest & bush was so nice with good smell. In Thini all the fields are full of greenery of wheat, barley, potato & vegetable etc. We could view clearly the lower Mustang valley including Marpha, Syang, Dhumba, Thini, old & new Jomsom etc.

* DAY 33: JOMSOM – POKHARA (820m) 20 MINUTES:
We flew to Pokhara by Tara air was pleasant air journey, we saw wonderful Mountain & landscape while in flight. Finally landed at Pokhara airport & drove to Lakeside, the trip ended for this time!


NOTE: Duration for Manaslu Circuit Trek is: 19 - 21 days.

"Please let me know if you are interested in any of these treks. I can help you arrange any treks or itineraries in Nepal. You can make any of these treks longer or shorter to fit your stay in Nepal."



Contact:

Prem Rai
At PREMS NEPAL TREK PVT. LTD.
Lakeside - 6, Pokhara, Nepal.

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