Manaslu Camping Organized Trek : 16 Days


Manaslu Camping Organized Trek Nov. 2011

(Below given times are including a short breaks during the hike on the way)



Kathmandu – Arughat Bazaar 608m (8 Hrs/approx)
On 7th of November 2011, there were nine members including Dr. Claudia we left for Manaslu trek. It was good idea to leave Kathmandu early to avoid the traffic gridlock and (all being well) arrive at Dhadingbesi (580m) by lunch time. It is roughly a 4 hour bus trip. Dhadingbesi is a big city and it is headquarter of the district.  After having lunch here, we continued driving to Arughat (608m) of Gorkha. We arrived there by late evening, because of the bumpy rough road. At Arughat, there are many campsites and lodges to stay overnight. We did set our tents in middle part of the town, which is after the bridge over Budigandaki. Mainly Newars and Gurung people live in this town as both sides of the river. You can view west face of Ganesh Himal Range. There is a police check point as well.

Arughat – Lapubesi 885m (6 -7 Hrs/approx)
For Lapubesi we did hire a jeep to drive till Sotikhola (700m), it took us (1 hr and 40 minutes), between we mainly crossed Arkhet (620m) and Kurepani (820m), and both villages are beautiful with its farming terraces, green scrubby hills around.
After getting off the jeep, we officially began hiking to Khorsanebari (750m, 1 hour), had lunch here and then continued to Lapubesi, took us almost (4 hours) including some little break.  Lapubesi is a beautiful Gurung village with farming slope terraces. Where there are few basic teahouses and nice campsites, health post and telephone service are available.


Lapubesi – Tatopani 990m (7 – 8 Hrs/approx)
All the way to Tatopani trail goes along the west bank of Budigandaki, its pleasant hike just above the river through the scrubby forest and villages sometimes, between the villages of Khanibesi (970m) and Machhakhola (869m) and Khorlabesi are also good place to stop, at those places have some basic teahouses and nice campsites. We did stop at Machhakhola for lunch, from where you can view the north east Ganesh Himal.
Tatopnai means; hot spring, there are no pools made yet, only spouts good to wash things and take shower. At Tatopani there are two basic teahouses and nice campsite right above the River of Budigandaki.

Tatopani – Salleri 1353m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)
The trail from Tatopani to Salleri is through a dramatic gorge with many water-falls and few landslides. At the end of the Tatopani village, cross a suspension bridge to the east bank of the river and continue sometimes dense forest to Dobhan 1070m (1 hours and 30 minutes), still keep hiking along east bank of the river to Yaruphant 1170m (1 hour and 20 minutes), where there are few tea shops and nice campsite at the shore of the river, we had lunch there.  Few hundred meters climbing after Yaruphant you reach at the confluence of the Yara Khola (1 hour and 30 minutes) vertical cliffs rise on both sides of the valley as the trail continues on eastern bank for 15 minutes to a bridge, after a short climb and descent of 20 minutes you reach a flat area, where there are few tea shops and campsites.
10 – 15 minutes further, you enter Jagat 1340m. There are basic tea houses, telephone services, nice campsites; police check post and MCAP information center + you’re an officially entered to Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP).
Jagat is traditional tax collection point for trade to and from Tibet. From here you can view the Shringi Himal.
Beyond the village is the Pangaur khola about 20 minutes, cross using stepping stones and Log Bridge and in next 20 – 25 minutes you reach to Salleri, there are couple of campsites in the village.

Salleri – Deng 1875m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)

The trail now climbs an easy gradient to the resting place (50 minutes), good view of Shringi Himal. Descend to Sirdibas 1420m (35 – 45 minutes), continue via Ghatte khola to a long and high suspension bridge over the Budigandaki (there is police check post before crossing the bridge) and climb steeply 200m and reach to Philim 1570m (40 minutes).
At Philim, there are some basic tea houses, campsites, telephone services, Chhyoling Sandu gompa, nice Gurung village and a beautiful Shringi Himal view etc.
In (45 – 1 hour) you come at Eklebhatti 1600m, where, we had lunch, during food preparation time, we did collect some mountain paper from the tree. We did also collect fresh wild nettle leaves and cooked soup for lunch!
Next 45 minutes from here, 5 minutes before the bridge, there is a trail junction right hand trail goes to Tsum Valley and the left hand trail (Manaslu trail) descends to the river, where the trail begins a gradual climb as the valley turns westwards, keep following the main trail, soon you come at Nyakphedi 1660m. Another bridge across the Budigandaki is reach in (45 minutes), in the next 15 – 20 minutes, you cross back the same river using wooden suspension bridge and then you reach to Pewa 1700m (30 – 40 minutes). Next 50 minutes to 1 hour to Deng is good to stay overnight, there are couple of basic tea houses and good campsites with Shringi Himal views. Gurung people live in this village.


Deng – Namrung 2630m (6 -7 Hrs/approx)
The trail descends to a suspension bridge over Budigandaki , and then climbs roughly  110m to Rana village 1910m (45 minutes), now you climb up gently, some Nepali flat and come at Bhiphedi 1990m (45 – 50 minutes, keep continue further hiking through sparse pine trees and hamlets (1 hour), we had lunch at Sallaghari and then hiked to Ghap 2200m (1 hour and 30 minutes), there are couple of tea shops.
The valley now narrows and you pass through pine broad leaf forest to a spectacular canyon carved by the river (1 hour), which you re-cross in another 20 – 30 minutes on a large bridge. From the second bridge, you climb more steeply for almost 1 hour and 40 minutes to Namrung 2630m, where there are some tea houses, good campsites, permit check, hydropower + you can view Shringi and Ganesh Himal.

Namrung – Shyala 3500m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)
Leave Namrung by crossing Therang khola along an easy hike and you reach the scattered village of Barchham (30 minutes). The trail now climbs about 290m, on an easy gradient to Lihi 2920m (1 hour and 10 minutes), there are some tea shops and campsites are available. Descend and cross the Hinan khola and ascend an easy trail to Shyo 2880m (1 hour). Now, its an easy uphill to Lho 3180m (1 hour and 30 minutes), where there are few tea houses and campsites. Its quiet a big settlement with the views of massive Manaslu and other peaks. If you have time, explore the village’s maniwalls, Ribung gompa, which situated on a hill above the village. Then the trail descends to Thusang khola and climbs a steady gradient for 300m to Shyala 3500m (1 hour and 45 minutes). At Shyala, there are some tea houses and nice campsites. For mountain views Shyala is wonderful place.

Shyala – Samdo 3875m (4 Hrs/approx)
The trail dips through the Numlakhola before descending slightly and then becoming flat all the way to Sama 3520m (1 hour and 30 minutes). Where, there are many basic tea houses, nice campsites, many big maniwalls, chhortens with beautiful Manaslu, Naike peak, Larke and Samdo. There is police station as well.

“ It is always good idea to stay one or two more day at Sama; exploring the village and some of the surrounding view points as part of an acclimatization program. You also may visit the gompas of Sama + hike up to Birendra Lake 3640m (45 – 1 hour) to see the reflection of the Manaslu and Naike in the lake!
Another very popular place to visit is; the Pung Gyen gompa beneath the east face of Manaslu. To get there, you go back on the Shyala trail to a junction before the Numlakhola, where you should turn right and continue a long and sometimes steep climb for 3 hours.
For the gompa donation is expected, so you may donate as you wished. Still higher above is cave gompa and hotspring, but relaxing in the grassy land near the gompa and enjoying the view of Manaslu is popular pastime before returing to Sama (1 hour 45 minutes)”.
Because of our tight schedule; we continued towards Samdo 3875m, following an easy trail that runs parallel to the Budigandaki. After 45 – 60 minutes cross the outflow from Birendra Lake to summer herding area of Kermo Yak Kharka, where there is an excellent view of Manaslu from the impressive maniwall. An easy gradient trail continues for (1 hour) to a bridge over the river and climb towards up to Samdo 3875m (40 minutes).
At Samdo there are two basic tea houses and many beautiful campsites, there are big chhortens and a gompa as well. Comparatively the people of Samdo are poor.
It is good idea to add one more day to your itinerary for well acclimatization. Consider climbing up the slopes to the north of Samdo for some great view of whole Manaslu range.

Samdo – Dharamshala 4460m (3 Hrs & 30 Minutes)
From Samdo the trail continues to a bridge across the Gyala Khola, climb the trail on the far side to a large pile of mani stones (50 minutes). Now you climb an easy gradient with the views of Naike, Larke and the north face of Manaslu for 2 hrs and 40 minutes to Dharamshala 4460m, where there is a large emergency shelter, recently set up a couple of large Chinese tents to sleep in.

Dharamshala – Bhimtang 3720m (8 – 9 Hrs/approx)
We did start at 5am, before sunrise and climb an ablation valley to view of Cheo ridge.  Some prayer flags on the top of the valley 4690m (1 hour and 45 minutes), but still to get to the Pass, trail crosses through rough moraine (1 hour and 20 minutes to  the another shelter 4905m. From here the trail begins to climb more steeply to the top of the Larkya La 5160m (1 hour and 45 minutes). On the top of Larkya La is a roofless shelter you can see and many prayer flags.
In the south, right in front of you is standing a huge massive white wall of the Larkya Himal range and in the north Cheo and Pawar (Cheo) Himal range.
After 15 -20 minutes’ descent; a magnificent view of Himlung, Kang Guru, Gyagi, Menjung, Annapurna II and IV.
Now, you descend on the steep slope, which is covered by snow or icy in winter and spring season (and may require a hand line) for 1 ½ hrs. But in Oct/Nov. season is very dry and normally no snow or ice over the pass of steeply slope down, though I would carry 20 – 30 meters rope with me. Beneath you are three glaciers spotted with several turquoises lakes; head for the ablation valley to the left of all the glaciers.
And rough gradient leads down to campsite of Bhimtang 3720m (3 hrs) belong to 6 tea shops including newly built.

Bhimtang – Yak Kharka 3020m (2 Hrs & 30 Minutes)
As I’ve seen many people take an extra day to have relax at Bhimtang after many day tough hiked via Larkya La, well Bhimtang is a bit windy place, so we made a decision to descend down to Yak Kharka, which decision was perfect. It took us 2 hrs and 30 minutes exactly without any break.
“After 15 – 20 minutes you hiked from Bhimtang will reach a moraine with fantastic views of Manaslu west face and Ngadi Chuli (Peak 29) in the south east, Himlung and Cheo Himal in the north.
Now, you cross a branch of glacial melt and then turn left, cross some more moraines before crossing the main stream of glacial melt and then climbing ridge of lateral moraine topped by few prayer flags (15 – 20 minutes).
The trail descends a little steeply through pine and rhododendron forest for 20 minutes and soon you meet to a gentle downhill gradient and keep continue towards the Dudh Khola through beautiful forest and you arrive at Yak Kharka, there is a large tea shop and very nice campsite area surrounding by green forest with the view of the north Manaslu and west part of Larka Himal.

Yak Kharka – Karte Manang 1875m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)
From here the trail condition is a bit difficult to follow across some big landslides and through scrubby forest to the scattered settlement of Kharche 2700m (1 hour and 30 minutes).The trail now climbs strenuously ridge that just into the center of the valley before a long descent to Goa village 2515m (1 hour and 45 minutes), where there are couple of tea houses. It is now an easy downhill to the large Gurung village called Tilje 2300m (1 hour), we did lunch break here.
And then you cross a bridge and pass a school, after 20 – 30 minutes we came to join the new broad dirt track and we continually followed it till to the suspension bridge, crossed it and reached to Thonche village 1930m (55 minutes). At the center of this village, you bit turn to left and descend to the suspension bridge over Marsyangdi River, in 10 minutes you come to joint to the main Annapurna circuit NATT trail at Dharapani 1925m. Where there is a police check point, so you’re checking out of Manaslu and checking into Annapurna (ACAP).
In Dharapani, there are several lodges to stay. We descent through this long village till end and cross back the Marsyangdi river using the suspension bridge and followed the left bank trail of the river, finally we reached to Karte Manang 1850m (30 minutes). The school’s ground was provided us to us as campsite; well you should pay the fee as school asked. It is situated just above the Marsyangdi River. At Karte, there are few numbers of tea houses.


Karte Manang – Jagat 1300m (5 – 6 Hrs/approx)
After 1 hour you hiked on the broad dirt road without any single traffic, and then cross a suspension bridge (to avoid the road) over the Marsyangdi River and passing  narrower carved cliff trail through the deep gorge with beautiful waterfall views, and descent at the river bank and continue a head to Siran Tal 1730m (30 minutes). After 5 minutes, you get to hike through the cliff carved trail and descent at the main Tall village 1700m (20 minutes). Where there are several lodges, police station, telephone services, and safe drinking water station and at the far end of the village is Nepal Army post, right from here the trail descends to Lower Tal (30 minutes), entering to scrubby forest and you come at Sattale 1640m (45 – 50 minutes). Still you have to descend down to another suspension bridge is rough + steeply and scrubby forest trail, cross the bridge and ascend to join the road at Chamje 1430m (45 – 60 minutes). Where there are some lodges. We did stop for lunch break. Now we took walk all the way to Jagat 1300m (1 hour) on the broad dirt road without any single traffic. Jagat is beautiful place to stop as overnight. Where there are several tea houses and nice campsites. It would be good idea to book it earlier, before you arrived here, because good campsite would be occupied by others.

It was our last night of this trip + also was one of our client’s “Birth Day!” Our Chef Bak Dhoj Rai made a delicious cake! All staffs wanted to have alcohol and everyone had it and finally we all danced and sang many beautiful songs and we all enjoyed it very much!

Jagat – Besishahar – Kathmandu 1300m (8 Hrs)
We hired a jeep to Besishahar, took us 3 hrs actual driving and then we did change a car for Kathmandu took another 5 hrs, transferred to Hotel.
Thus our wonderful Manaslu trek was over safely and in good health!


Itinerary;

Day 01:Nov.07/2011: Kathmandu – Arughat Bazaar 608m (8 Hrs/approx)
Day 02:Nov.08/2011: Arughat Bazaar – Lapubesi 885m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx) 
Day 03:Nov.09/2011: Lapubesi – Tatopani (hot spring) 990m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)
Day 04:Nov.10/2011: Tatopani – Salleri 1353m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)
Day 05:Nov.11/2011: Salleri – Deng 1875m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)
Day 06:Nov.12/2011: Deng – Namrung 2630m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)
Day 07:Nov.13/2011: Namrung – Shyala 3500m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)
Day 08:Nov.14/2011: Shyala – Samdo 3875m (4 Hrs/approx)
Day 09:Nov.15/2011: Rest at Samdo
Day 10:Nov.16/2011: Samdo – Dharamshala 4460m (3 ½ Hrs)
Day 11:Nov.17/2011: Dharamshala – Bhimtang 3720m (8 – 9 Hrs/approx)
Day 12:Nov.18/2011: Bhimtang – Yak Kharka 3020m (2 ½ Hrs)
Day 13:Nov.19/2011: Yak Kharka – Karte Manang 1850m (6 – 7 Hrs/approx)
Day 14:Nov.20/2011: Karte Manang – Jagat 1300m (5 – 6 Hrs/approx)
Day 15:Nov.21/2011: Jagat – Besishahar 760m - Kathmandu 1300m (8 Hrs)
Day 16:Nov.22/2011: Transferred to the International Airport and fly home!

See you soon again!!



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Prem Rai
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