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Manaslu High Trek ( 21 Days)

Duration :

21 Days

Description :

Due to its proximity to Tibet the remote and fascination region north of Manaslu has until recently been off limits to trekking groups. The glacier hung east and north faces contrast dramatically with the sheer golden wall of rock that forms the west wall. However, it is the inaccessibility of the region that sets it apart from other trekking routes. As we follow the Buri Gandaki Gorge northwards, the people, villages and landscapes become increasingly Tibetan in character. It is a privilege to witness first hand this rare culture and civilization. In particular the sacred Buddhist near Sama and Samdo offer a fascinating insight into Tibetan Buddhist practices. The Nepal Government strictly regulates the trekking to Manaslu and are trying to preserve the social and physical character of the area. Trekking is allowed only if accompanied by a liaison officer. All food and cooking fuel has to be carried in and all rubbish carried out.
Day   Activity
  1   An early start for the six hours drive from Kathmandu to Gorkha. The trek begins with a steep climb to Gorkha Durbar, perhaps Nepalâ??s most famous fortress- the eighteenth century stronghold of Prithvi Narayan Shah where he launched his grandiose plan to unite the Himalayas into one great mountain state. His armies were the forbearers of the Gurkha soldiers still serving in the British Army. We camp close to the fortress at a fresh water spring called Ghoda Kali. Altitude 4500ft.

  2   We trek northwards up to the small town of Pipalthok and on to Khoki Ale Bhanjyang, where a steep stairway leads up to Taple School. From here we follow a ridge down into a sub-tropical region of Bananas and Papayas. We camp in a flat river valley about two hours later. Altitude 2800ft.

  3   The route takes us northeast to the busy market town of Arughat Bazaar; following the river northwards towards snow-covered peaks in the distance we camp near the small settlement of Arket. Altitude 2000ft.

  4   We continue up the Buri Gandaki River while the valley gradually narrows to a dramatic gorge, with rock cliffs on both sides and numerous waterfalls. Trekking through forests of oak we finally come to a side, flat clearing where we camp overnight. Altitude 2300ft.

  5   The river valley widens as we press on northwards through the small town of Labubesi, and then a section of undulating trail takes us to we cross the Macha Khola, a tributary of the Buri Gandaki river, across a large suspension bridge and later a footbridge over the Namyung Khola to our campsite for the night. Altitude 3200ft.

  6   The route undulates gently to Tatopani, where there is a hot water spring and then moves once again into a narrow rocky gorge. We cross a bridge from the west bank of the Buri Gandaki to the east, and from here the trail becomes very spectacular, climbing staircases up the cliff sides past waterfalls and rapids. We come to dramatic section where the Buri Gandaki crashes down some 400ft beyond which the river widens and meanders to its Junction with the Yara Khola. A short day, but our campsite at the confluence of the two rivers is truly spectacular. Altitude 4200ft.

  7   We follow the western bank of the river past the police check post at Jagat, and then re-cross to the east before climbing to advantage point offering good views of the Ganesh Himal range. Buddhism becomes increasingly evident as we head further north with â??chortensâ? on the trail as well as prayer flags and â??Maniâ? walls. The people here are of either Tibetan or Tamang descent, the latter distinctive for their very large gold-disk earrings. We camp in fields near the village of Pangsing. Altitude 5200ft.

  8   A longer day with some difficult terrain. A path cuts through the gorge cliffs with dramatic views of the raging Buri Gandaki winding up to the confluence with the Shiar Khola. Beyond here the vegetation becomes more alpine with pine trees replacing the subtropical forest. A new trail has been dynamited through the gorge north of Ngyak, creating an exciting (and at times difficult) route up to Deng, where we camp near the river. Altitude 6200ft.

  9   Today the trail cuts abruptly to the west, still following the Buri Gandaki, but on a gently wind undulating route above the gorge. We cross the river at Ghap and walk through beautiful conifer forests before re-crossing to the northern bank to make our camp for the night. The river in this area has cut out fantastic designs in the cliffs. Altitude 7000ft.

  10   The morning, again through some lovely conifer forests, brings us to the town of Narnru, at 9500ft, and finally to Lhogaun, where we camp with superb views of the northeast face of Manaslu. The people of its area are all either Tibetan or Gurung, and have closer ties with Lhasa than Kathmandu. Very little Nepali is spoken and traditional Tibetan dress is common. Altitude 10,400ft.

  11   A half dayâ??s walk to the monastery at Ramanan Kharka, south of the main trail and at the base of Pungen Glacier. From there the view of Manaslu massif are spectacular- the northeast face seems to rise vertically above us. There are also some sacred Buddhist caves in this area. Site of a monthly pilgrimage on the full moon. Altitude 11,400ft.

  12   We return to the main trail, following a path through narrow steep side gorge, which brings us down once again to the Buri Gandaki. From here we trek northwest to the town of same (13200ft), which gives superb views out across the Manaslu Glacier. The Gompa in the area is worth a visit, either in the afternoon or early next morning. Altitude 11400ft.

  13   A pleasant and easy walk across wide-open meadows. Yaks and horses can be seen grazing before re-crossing the Buri Gandaki and climbing a short distance up to Samdu. In this area you are likely to see Himalayan Mussa, a type groundhog. An alternative route follows a high ridge to the west with views over Manasluâ??s glacier lake.

  14   A day spent either resting at Samdo, where there is plenty to explore in the town or a strenuous full day walk to get magnificent views of all the surrounding peaks and passes. This hike takes us in a northeasterly direction, towards the Tibetan border. It involves some scrambling, and a climb to 14600ft.

  15   We trek to Larkya Bazaar, formerly a busy trading town, but reduced by the closure of the Tibetan frontier to little more than a â??Kharkaâ? for grazing animals. Here we leave the Buri Gandaki, and head west towards the Larkya La Pass with just one lone house. Once again the views are magnificent, particularly of Manasluâ??s north face. Altitude 14500ft.

  16   An early start for the crossing of Larkhaya La Pass. Approximately five hours of ascent, at first gradual but later quite steep brings us to the top of the pass, at 17100ft. We have stunning views of Himlun Himal and Cheo Himal on the Tibetan border to the west. The descent from the pass is steeper and there is a fair chance of snow on the ground. We recommend gaiters and a walking stick for this section. The descent gradually becomes less severe as we reach Tanbuche at 1350ft. Finally we come to Himdakothi, a beautiful green meadow with a stream running through it, where we camp overnight. Views of Phungi Himlun Himal, Cheo Himal and Manasluâ??s northwest face can be seen. Altitude 12200ft.

  17   Trekking southwards with more wonderful panoramas of the surrounding mountains, we cross the Dudh Khola (milk river) and enter a beautiful forested area. Manasluâ??s sheer, golden west face is in more of less continual view in stark contrast to the snow and glacier covered east and north faces. We have lunch at Karche, and then continue to the large Gurung village of Tilje. Altitude 7400ft.

  18   We continue south through a landscape that gradually opens up into wide, green valleys, very different from the sheer cliffs walls of the Buri Gandaki. At Dharapani we merge with the Annapurna Cirucit trail and follow it southeast to Jagat, where we camp. Altitude 4400ft.

  19   We descend to Bahundanda and then continue down the Marsyangdi valley to Ngadi. We have a chance to swim in the Nagdi Khola close to our overnight camp. Altitude 3000ft.

  20   We continue down to the Marsyangdi Valley with a fairly level stretch of walking to Besi Shahar.

  21   Drive back to Kathmandu.

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Exotic Treks and Expeditions
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