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Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek - 24 Days

  • Trip Overview
  • Check list
  • Detail Itinerary
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The Tsum Valley, north east of the Manaslu (mountain of the spirit) trail, was first opened to trekking in 2008. In the Manaslu region, the Tsumbas of the Tibetan origin, speak a unique dialect and still trade to the north. The valley is rich in ancient art, culture and religion. It adds a richly rewarding extension to the Manaslu trek.

A scenic drive through the Middle Hills leads to the trail head beyond Arughat at Soti Khola. The Manaslu Tsum valley trekking trail crosses numerous ridges and villages as it rises to Philim. Here it turns east into the lower, then broader Upper Tsum Valley. Crops grown include barley, maize, buckwheat and potatoes. Look out for Himalayan Tahrs and Bharal (blue sheep); preyed on by the illusive snow leopards.

Highlights include the village of Chhekampar with its stone houses, slate roofs and Milarepa’s cave. The monastery at Mu Gompa and Rachen Gompa to the south has nuns of the Ngak-pa sect. Gumba Lungdang is another important nunnery where trekkers are welcomed at the evening puja. Their 360° views are amongst the best on the trek. From there a forest track leads to the Ganesh Himal Base Camp.

At Lokpa, the trail rejoins the Manaslu circuit and climbs through the Kutang – Nupri valleys (the western mountains: part of Tibet until the 1840s); peopled by another Tibetan community with its own distinct custom and language. The route is forested and gradually presents view of Himal Chuli, Ngadi Chuli and Manaslu with the glaciers that flow from their flanks.

In Samagaon, visit the Kargyu Chholing Monastery and Pungyen Nunnery. A high trail leads to the Manaslu Base Camp: the mountain was first conquered by a Japanese team in 1959.

Then, for two days, the trail climbs gradually toward the Larkya La, passing great vistas. The downward trek drops into the forested Marsyangdi Valley and joins the Annapurna Circuit Trail for the downstream walk to Tal and jeep/bus to Kathmandu.

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)
  • Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing and trek preparation
  • Day 03: Kathmandu – Arughat (670m/2,198 ft) Soti Khola (710m/2,330ft): 135km, 8-9 hrs drive
  • Day 04: Soti Khola – Machha Khola (890m/2,920ft): 14km, 6-7 hrs
  • Day 05: Machha Khola – Dobhan (1,000m/3,280ft): 11km, 6-7 hrs
  • Day 06: Dobhan – Philim (1,590m/5,216ft): 10km, 6-7 hrs
  • Day 07: Philim – Lokpa (2,240m/7,350ft) – Chumling (2,360m/7,750ft):10km, 6-7 hrs
  • Day 08: Chumling – Chhekampar (3,010m/9,850ft): 10km, 5-6 hrs
  • Day 09: Chhekampar – Nile (3,480m/11,415ft): 8km, 4-5 hrs
  • Day 10: Exploration day: Nile – Mu Gompa (3,709m/12,169ft) – Chhekampar (3,010m/9,870ft): 13km, 6-7 hrs
  • Day 11: Chhekampar – Gumba Lungdang (3,200m/10,496ft): 12km, 5-6 hrs
  • Day 12: Gumba Lungdang – Ripchet (2,470m/8,100ft) – Lokpa (2,240m/7,348ft): 14km, 7-8 hrs
  • Day 13: Lokpa – ‘New Bridge’ (1,675m/5,500ft) – Bihi Phedi (1,990m/6,530ft): 9km, 6-7 hrs
  • Day 14: Bihi Phedi – Namrung (2,660m/8,727ft): 8km, 4-5 hrs
  • Day 15: Namrung – Lho (3,180m/10,430ft): 4km, 3-4hrs
  • Day 16: Lho – Sama Gaon (3,530m/11,578ft): 8km, 5-6 hrs
  • Day 17: Sama: Rest and exploration day: Birendra Tal / Pungyen Gompa / Manaslu Base Camp
  • Day 18: Sama – Samdo (3,860m/12,660ft): 8km, 3-4 hrs
  • Day 19: Samdo – Larkya Phedi/Dharamsala (4,460m/14,628ft): 7km, 3-5 hrs
  • Day 20: Dharamsala – Larkya La (5,160m/16,930ft) – Bimthang (3,720m/12,201ft): 12km, 7-9 hrs
  • Day 21: Bimthang – Gho (2,515m/8,250ft): 12km, 5-6 hrs
  • Day 22: Gho – Dharapani (1,920m/6,300ft): 8km, 3-4 hrs
  • Day 23: Dharapani- Besi Sahar (760m/2,495ft) – Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft): 190km 7-8hrs
  • Day 24: Final departure

Note: Trekking distances and times are approximate: times differ widely from group to group.

Check List

  • Reading/writing material
  • First-aid kit; should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea
  • Re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking if any particular
  • Wet wipes for cleaning can be purchased in Kathmandu.
  • Health requirements arranged
  • Money: cash/credit card
  • Down Sleeping bag provided by Mountain Mart Trek in Kathmandu 
  • Light weight Towel
  • Day pack (25-30 liter) to carry your personal needs during the day
  • Torch/flashlight - headlamp style is ideal
  • Insect repellent, sunscreen and lip balm
  • Refillable water bottle - Min 1 Liter Aluminum or Nalgene polypropylene are best
  • Warm Hat
  • Sunhat/bandana
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves - wool or fleeced and gore tex
  • Scarf
  • Bag Liners to waterproof your bags (A duffel bag is provided to each trekker for trekking by MMT in Kathmandu)
  • Sewing Kit
  • Wind and waterproof Jacket & Pants
  • Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes (worn frequently prior to departure)
  • Socks: thick wool blend and thin cotton to be worn in combination - ensure boots fit such combination
  • Running shoes or sandals for evening
  • Wool jumper/sweater/fleece. Lightweight during summer, 1 heavyweight or 2 lightweights during winter months.
  • T Shirts 2 or 3
  • Shirt - Long Sleeved
  • Pants - lightweight long trousers (jeans are unsuitable)
  • Thermals upper and lower
  • Extra warm clothing during winter (December to March) layered clothing - thermals.

Manaslu Tsum Valley Trekking Detailed Itinerary:  

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)

Our Mountain Mart Trekking Company Airport Representative will meet you outside the Terminal Hall. Please, look for our Treks and Expeditions play card. Transfer to hotel, introduce your trekking guide and check the necessities. Afternoon stroll Tourist colourful market Thamel down town. 

Overnight in Kathmandu at  Boutique Hotel with breakfast 

Day 02: Full day Kathmandu City excursion

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tours to world heritage sites of Pashupatinath Temple-the holiest Hindu Temple on the bank of sacred Bagmati River, Bodhanath Stupa-the biggest Buddhist Stupa architecture in the world!  Patan Durbar Square is the oldest city in the Kathmandu valley with age old tradition also called Lalitpur-the city of fine arts. The visit covers the Durbar Square, the Krishna temple, the Kumbheswore temple, the Golden temple and many more. Swayambhunath Stupa-the 2000 years old legendary stupa on the hillock also nick-named as monkey temple. Your day tour ends Kathmandu Durbar Square Showcasing living goddess Kumari Temple, Nautale Durbar, the Kaal Bhairav, the Swet Bhairav, the freak Street and more.

Overnight in Kathmandu at  Boutique Hotel with breakfast 

Day 03: Kathmandu – Arughat (670m/2,198 ft) – Soti Khola (710m/2,330ft): 135km, 8-9 hrs drive 

A westward 70km scenic drive along the Prithvi Highway, through the forested Middle Hills, leads to Malekhu. A 30km secondary tarred road heads north, over the Trisuli Nadi, towards Dhading Besi and a rutted 35km dirt road northwest to Arughat on the Budhi Gandaki. The dirt road winds upwards towards the Gola Bhanjyang where panoramic views of the southern slopes of the Ganesh, Baudha and Manaslu Himals should be possible. 

The road then drops to cross the Ankhu Khola and later, at Arughat, the Budhi Gandaki that drains the Manaslu - Tsum region. A further ~3 hrs drive up the west bank of the river leads to Soti Khola. 

Overnight at lodge in Soti Khola
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 04: Soti Khola – Machha Khola (890m/2,920ft): 14km, 6-7 hrs

After breakfast, today’s trail rises gradually through beautiful Sal forests. It then undulates over forested and terraced ridges passed numerous waterfalls. The trail is generally narrow, at times clinging to the sides of cliffs. It later drops to pass rice paddies before climbing to the attractive Gurung village of Labubesi (885m/2,800ft). After crossing a suspension bridge at the spectacular Nauli Khola falls, the valley opens out and the trail drops onto gravel banks along the river before rising slightly to the village of Machha (Fish) Khola. 

Overnight at lodge in Machha Khola
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 05: Machha Khola – Dobhan (1,000m/3,280ft):11km, 6-7 hrs 

The trail follows the river, with minor ups and downs, often dropping to the gravel bar before crossing the Thado Khola and on up to Khorlabesi: where coffee, buckwheat and tobacco are grown. A trail from Gorkha joins the Manaslu circuit here and the GHT trail turns east from the Manaslu to the Langtang and Everest regions. 

Our trail then enters a lush narrow gorge that constricts the river’s progress. Beyond is a landslide with a dicey path, shortly before the triple hot spring spouts in Tatopani. The trail then climbs a ridge before crossing the Budhi Gandaki on a suspension bridge (to avoid a huge cliff face and waterfalls. A good staircase, leads to a landslide before a final ridge climb to Dobhan. 

Overnight at lodge in Dobhan
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 06: Dobhan – Philim (1,590m/5,216ft): 10km, 6-7 hrs

Exit over the Dobhan Khola and continue up the east bank of the Budhi Gandaki to the hamlet of Thulo Dhunga; above cataracts. Further on the gradient changes; the valley opens and the river flow at Yaruphant is placid. Cross an old suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola (from Ganesh II and VI), then climb to Thado Bharyang. Cross to the west bank of the Budhi Gandaki and follow the river gently upwards to the old village of Jagat: entrance and checkpoint to the restricted Manaslu Conservation Area. 

Cross a tributary and walk on to Salleri, via a cliff-side trail – with views of the Shringi Himal (7,187m/23,580ft) to the north. Descend to Sirdibas; and the first signs of Buddhist culture. Another suspension bridge leads to the east bank, and a tiring climb up to Philim: a prosperous Gurung village and the Chholing Sandu Gompa surrounded by fields of maize and millet. 

Overnight at lodge in Philim
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 07: Philim – Lokpa (2,240m/7,350ft) – Chumling (2,360m/7,750ft): ~10km, 6-7 hrs 

Traverse north of Philim, through lush grasses and scrub up the exquisite narrowing valley to the village of Chisopani and then the millet fields of Ekle Bhatti (one house, 1 600m/5,250ft). The trail then gradually descends, beneath a spectacular waterfall, into the gorge below and a junction before “New Bridge” which leads to the Larkya La.  To the right (east) a well-graded, exposed, zigzag track rises up through blue pines and rhododendrons, to Lokpa and the narrow Lower Tsum Valley. The Tsum region is home to ~4 000 people in 18 villages.

Descend through forest, crossing streams, before tackling a long and steep climb up the south side of the Siyar Khola gorge that drains the Tsum Valley. The high point is marked by flags at a turn in the valley with views across to the Shringi Himal above colourful grain, potato and bean fields. Descend to Gumlung and the Siyar Khola. Cross the suspension bridge and finally ascend the gentler narrow trail to Chumling. The houses are classic Tibetan but built with sloping roofs to cope with the abundant rain and snow. 

Overnight at lodge in Chumling
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 08: Chumling – Chhekampar (3,010m/9,850ft): 10km, 5-6 hrs

Cross the suspension bridge into new forest growing over a recent landslide. Pass a small water driven prayer wheel on a ‘Nepali flat’ path through lush forest, inhabited by white-faced langurs.  Continue  to Tanju and the small Damphe Gompa [with hundreds of small ceramic statues of Chenresig (Buddha of Compassion): a common feature in the valley]. Beyond Dumje are glimpses of the Ganesh Himal and Baudha Peak. Beyond Rainjam farm the trail drops to cross the Sarphu Khola that drains the Syakpa Glacier off Shringi Himal to the north. The trail then climbs, for some 2½ hours, on well-graded but exposed track, past Gho to the Upper Tsum Valley. 

Magnificent slate chortens, facing Ganesh Himal, herald the linked villages of Chhokang and Paro; collectively known as Chhekampar (place of wisdom).  Here the valley broadens but the stone houses nestle under cliffs to make full use of the spacious fields for barley, maize, buckwheat and potatoes. Herds of tahr frequently graze the wild cliffs to the north: and if not monitored can cause havoc in the fields. 

Overnight at lodge in Chhekampar
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 09: Chhekampar – Nile (3,480m/11,415ft): 8km, 4-5 hrs 

A shorter and easier route today: with much to explore on the wide flat valley floor on either side of the river. Visiting the sights can be divided over two days.

North of the river: From Chhekampar, walk past a local school at Kaye before reaching the clustered twin villages of Ngakyu and Leru. The Rachen Nunnery stands across the river. The trail then rises to a low ridge with chortens before Lama Gaon. 

Next is the village of Burji and nearby is Milarepa’s Cave (Piren Phu – Pigeon Cave) on the slopes of Langju Himal. There are two chapels and two caves. Features include an impression of Milarepa’s footprint and a rock in the shape of an elephant. His meditation place has been made into a gompa devoted to him; the other is devoted to the Nyingma-pa deities of the region.  

A little east of the cave, the retreat monastery Chi Phu, clings to the slopes higher up the Langju Himal.  

The trail then, perforce, crosses to the southeast bank of the Siyar Khola and joins the trail from Rachen Gompa to Nile shortly before Phurbe. 

South of the River: Before Ngakyu another bridge crosses to the southeast bank of the river and heads northeast to Rachen, Nile and on to Tibet. 

The Rachen Nunnery, established in 1905, is enclosed within spacious walls that form the outer residential cells for the nuns. The original small monastery (and a large prayer wheel) is in the southwest of the complex and is decorated with murals depicting the history of Buddhism. There are separate retreat buildings. It belongs to the small Ngak-pa sect – which forbids animal slaughter. A large and imposing new temple has been built within the grounds: spacious, light and decorated with acrylic paintings and bright hangings. The inner wall houses numerous deities in tall glass fronted cases.

Next is Phurbe and further up the trail, Pangdun: its gompa has a large prayer wheel. Beyond Pangdun, the valley gently curves towards the north. Next is an unusual round stupa before the impressive entrance gate to the large village of Chhule (Chhu Li, shady side). Thirty minutes above this village, to the south, is the 700 year old two storeyed Gonhgye Monastery; with superb views. 

Beyond the village, bridges cross a tributary (with an impressive waterfall ahead) and then the Siyar Khola back to the west bank – and a final short rise up to Nile. 

Overnight at lodge in Nile
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 10: Exploration day: Nile – Mu Gompa (3,709m/12,169ft) – Chhekampar (3,010m/9,870ft): 13km, 6-7 hrs

Make an early start for the 2hr walk up to the 77 year old Mu Gompa with another ¾ hr stiff hike up to the small 856 year old Dephyu Doma Nunnery (place of the birth of light) which is superbly situated at 4,000m/13,100ft on a small promontory; with Ganesh II as its primary view. Views of the western Ganesh Himal are visible to the left of an intervening peak. Mu only has the latter view (including Ganesh I) and a view back down the valley. Mu is the highest permanent settlement in the Tsum Valley. To the north are seasonal kharkas and passes to Tibet. Return to Nile for lunch, then trek back to Chhekampar. 

Overnight at lodge in Chhekampar
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 11: Chhekampar – Gumba Lungdang (3,200m/10,496ft): 12km, 5-6 hrs

Retrace the trail to the small gompa at Gho, then drop south to a wooden bridge over the river and continue to Dumje: which has a Tibetan herbal medicine clinic and school. The trail then leads up steeply (~3½hr), through magnificent pine, oak and rhododendron forest to a mani wall after which it traverses along an exposed route, before zigzagging up through huge silver pines to the gompa perched on a ridge.  The mountain views in all directions are fantastic: this is likely to be a highlight of the trek.

This 110 year old gompa with ~20 nuns (who each reside in a small cell), has an intense and engrossing puja late each afternoon. Visitors are invited to attend and permission may be obtained to sleep on the gompa veranda and use their kitchen and ablution facilities.

 Overnight at gompa in Gumba Lungdang
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

 Day 12: Gumba Lungdang – Ripchet (2,470m/8,100ft) – Lokpa (2,240m/7,348ft): 14km, 7-8 hrs

Descend on the trail back to Dumje, turn left to cross the Langdang Khola and take the south bank trail down the Siyar Khola and shortly the lower of two trails that crosses deep, impressive gorges on new bridges to the climb to the high fertile land and ribbon village of Ripchet. Several chortens adorn barley and buckwheat fields that have been cut from surrounding pine forest. Beyond the village, steep stairs lead down to Gumlung on the river before the trail climbs back through the forest to Lokpa. 

Overnight at lodge in Lokpa
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 13: Lokpa – ‘New Bridge’ (1,675m/5,500ft) – Bihi Phedi (1,990m/6,530ft): 9km, 6-7 hrs     

Follow the trail down to the junction with the Manaslu trail up from Philim. Cross the Budhi Gandaki (below its confluence with the Siyar Khola) and enter its narrow gorge on an up-and-down trail with river crossings. After a suspension bridge the trail enters bamboo forest and rises to the village of Deng (1,800m/5,906ft). 

This is the entry point to Kutang or lower Nupri (part of Tibet until the 1840s): a region inhabited by Gurungs who practice Buddhism, have their own language and trade across the passes with Tibet. The trail crosses to the east bank and zigzags up to Rana. A short series of vertical switchbacks then lead to a log-bridge tributary crossing and an isolated water mill before the trail descends gently to the lodge at Bihi Phedi, high above the river.   

Overnight at lodge in Bihi Phedi
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 14: Bihi Phedi – Namrung (2,660m/8,727ft): 8km, 4-5 hrs  

The trail undulates above the river, drops to cross the Serang Khola and later enters an impressive S bend between sheer basalt walls. To the right, huge rocky crags appear – with a spectacular waterfall above fields of maize and wheat. Beyond the valley broadens and turns northeast; the trail crosses a bridge  before a well preserved entrance kani and walls of carved mani stones that lead to the attractive village of Ghap (2,250m/7,382ft) on the south bank. 

The trail then ascends through bamboo, rhododendron and oak forest (with birds that include the impheyan pheasant) above the steeply descending river. For a short section it is forced back to the north bank by sheer walls and re-crosses back to the south bank on a wooden bridge (above a natural stone bridge) at a point where the river thunders down a narrow defile. It then climbs steeply (for 1hr) away from the river to Namrung: a police checkpoint for permits. Before reaching the village, the trail overlooks the Tum Khola from Tibet whose waters considerably increase the Budhi Gandaki’s volume at the confluence (not visible from the trail). 

Overnight at lodge in Namrung
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 15: Namrung – Lho (3,180m/10,430ft): 4km, 3-4hrs

Namrung is the entrance to Upper Nupri (the western mountains) a region of purely Tibetan inhabitants who speak a (different) dialect of western Tibet and continue to trade across the passes; chubas are the common dress. 

The trail continues through a mix of forest and extensive barley fields: guarded by bear watchers (simple guard towers dot fields from Bihi Phedi to Shrip). In Lihi (2,900m/9,515ft), series of dwellings are grouped, each under a single shingled roof. There are impressive chortens, plus great views of Himal Chuli (7,893m/25,897ft) to the south. Only the Ganesh Himal is visible to the east. 

The trail then drops and enters a side-valley to cross the Hinang Khola (where a path leads south to the Himal Chuli BC). Beyond the double-span bridge it rises sharply to a detailed chorten from where impressive views of Ngadi Chuli (7,873m/25,831ft) rise above the side-valley walls. Beyond are the packed houses of Sho (2,960m/9,712ft). Good views continue on the climb, past a large prayer wheel on the trail, up to Shrip.  

On the walk up to Lho, Manaslu (8,156m/26,760ft, mountain of the spirit from the Sanskrit manasa – ‘intellect’ or ‘soul’, the 8th highest peak), Manaslu North and Naike Peak are revealed for the first time. A steep pull leads to the ridge and the large village of Lho. 

Many of the stone houses in this region have distinctive wooden decks and shingles. The large Ribung monastery above the village houses ~150 monks. The best spot for sunset and sunrise pictures is from a Kani above the village; reached by a walk through barley fields, past a long mani wall and old chortens. Rise early for sunrise shots of Manaslu.

Overnight in lodge at Lho
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 16: Lho – Sama Gaon (3,530m/11,578ft): 8km, 5-6 hrs   

The Budi Gandaki now flows far below in the valley north of the trail which passes the long mani wall out of Lho, before dropping steeply to cross the Damonan Khola tributary. It then follows a gentle stream upwards through exquisite mixed forest. Then a short climb to a plateau: and the badly deforested village of Shyala (3,520m/11,549ft). Huge mountains surround it: Himal Chuli (7,893m/25,897ft) and Peak 29 (Ngadi Chuli, 7,873m/25,831ft) to the south; Manaslu (8,156m/26,760ft) and large glaciers ahead; more snow-capped peaks to the west and north. 

Further on, the trail crosses a bridge over the Numla Khola that drains the Pungyen Glacier from Manaslu. Later a trail leads left to Pungyen Gompa. Continue down the broad valley, past a school, to a large chorten, beyond which a yellow kani leads to rows of houses with front courtyards that form the main part of Sama. The Kargyu Chholing Monastery stands above the far end of the village against a forested moraine. Only the upper sections of Manaslu and the Naike ridge are visible from the village. 

Overnight at lodge in Sama
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 17: Sama: Rest and exploration day: Birendra Tal / Pungyen Gompa / Manaslu Base Camp

Sama is the regional centre of Nupri. Explore the village architecture and customs: only potatoes and barley flourish in the short summers at this altitude. Cloth weaving for chubas (from local goat and sheep wool or Tibetan imported wool) and the manufacture of hooked rugs are important occupations for trade with Tibet. Yak and dzopkyo herds and horses are kept and traded.  

The Labrang (Lama’s Place) Gompa in the lower village and the Kargyu Chholing Monastery on the rise beyond the village, were established some 500 years ago when this region was first settled by Tibetans. The monastery architecture is unique with fine woodwork. There are eight temple buildings: the largest, Pemba Chholing Gompa, contains an impressive statue of Guru Rinpoche. It belongs to the Nyingma Buddhist sect and so most of its Lamas are married and live in dwellings at the complex.

An easy and rewarding hike beyond the monastery is to the Birendra Tal (3,450m/11,319ft) below the Manaslu Glacier. It can be viewed from a hilltop or from a stony beach and offers striking views of the mountain. ~3km, 1½hrs

Or, follow the trail towards Samdo to a bridge over the stream from the lake and then ascend the demanding trail that rises ~1 200m above the lake and the snout of the glacier to the Base Camp (~4,900m/16,100ft), ~8km, 5-6 hrs 

A walk to the Pungyen Nunnery (3,870m/12,697ft) that stands on a plateau above the Pungyen Glacier offers unbeatable views of the Nadi ridges and Manaslu from near the gompa. It also adds an illuminating perspective of the mountain and its satellites to the other views seen along the circuit trail.

Walk back along the trail, past the school, to the turnoff to the Pungyen Nunnery.  It lies over the ridge on a plateau above the glacier, and looks out onto Manaslu (known locally as Kang Pungyen).  The ~2½hr trail through summer kharkas (no teahouses) along the Numa Khola and Pungyen Glacier can be icy and slippery. Above the complex is a cave gompa with yet better views. 

Most of the gompa buildings were destroyed by an avalanche in 1953 and were only recently rebuilt. The avalanche was blamed on that year’s first Japanese expedition to Manaslu. They were the first to summit the mountain – in 1956. ~10km, 5-6hrs

Return to lodge in Sama for the night
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 18: Sama – Samdo (3,860m/12,660ft): 8km, 3-4 hrs 

Descend towards the Budhi Gandaki, that has turned north, and pass the lake and Base Camp trail as well as several mani walls as the valley begins to widen. This is an easy trail along a shelf above the river past juniper and birch forests that surround Kermo Kharka. A stone wall divides the region into two with a stile and animal gate that separates the Sama and Samdo herds. Further on, the trail drops to cross the Budhi Gandaki on a wooden bridge before climbing steeply onto a promontory above the confluence of the river with the Mayol Khola from the Samdo Glacier to the northeast. 

At the top is a stone arch, followed by fields before a white kani at the entrance to the village: an attractive, cold, yak and goat herding area. This was an ancient summer grazing region and was only settled in the late 1950s when the residents fled Tibet. They built the clustered dry stone houses with stone-slab roofs along a low ridge with fields below and behind the village. They trade to the north and south.  

Zigzag up yak tracks behind the village to any of several sets of flags on a high ridge for superb 270o views: with Samdo Peak (6,335m/20,785ft) and its dramatic glacial basin to the east; the Sama Valley and its ranges to the south (Manaslu is masked by a rocky peak to the southwest); while to the west is a bird’s eye view over the northern Syacha Glacier from Manaslu (partially hidden) and tomorrow’s trail to Dharamsala and the Larkya La. Samdo is the last village before Gho, in the Manang District. Only informal kharkas (with lodges) lie between these villages. 

Overnight at lodge in Samdo
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 19: Samdo – Larkya Phedi/Dharamsala (4,460m/14,628ft): 7km, 3-5 hrs 

Descend past the northern village fields to cross the Budhi Gandaki for the last time at the remains of the Larkya Bazaar site. The river turns north up the Pana Danda Valley. Follow the westward trail on grassy slopes with scrub juniper, rhododendron and lichen covered granite above the Syacha Khola Valley. The source of the Syacha Glacier that descends from the Manaslu North ridge comes into sight. The trail works its way gradually up the valley towards the Larkya Glacier beyond the Larkya La Phedi, called Dharamsala.  The guest house is a simple stone structure: with a kitchen and dining room, two separate buildings with 15 small double rooms, two tunnel-tents each with 8 cramped beds and a third for trekking staff. Short walks can lead to better views of the Larke (6,249m/20,503ft) and Naike (6,291m/20,641ft) peaks. 

Overnight at Lodge in Dharamsala
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 20: Dharamsala – Larkya La (5,160m/16,930ft) – Bimthang (3,720m/12,201ft): 12km, 7-9 hrs 

Today’s pass needs, if snow free, 3-5 hours to ascend the 800m/2,600ft to the summit and 3-4 hours to descend the 1,500m/4,900ft to Bimthang. It can be very cold, especially if windy. Snow and ice conditions demand more care and time. 

The trail along the northern moraine of the Larke Glacier is not steep or difficult but is long and continuously rocky underfoot. Snow poles line the route. From Dharamsala, it rises gently to a ridge followed by a long gentle climb to the vast and jumbled moraine. Larke Peak on the Larke Himal wall and Pawar Peak on the Cheo Himal emerge to the south and north of the glacier. A short climb leads to an ablation valley followed by a drop to pass the first of four small scattered frozen lakes. A gradual ascent to the left up the glacial moraine and a final pull leads to the first set of summit flags. Back to the east; look over the trail to Tibetan border ranges beyond Samdo Peak. The Larke Himal wall blocks more southerly views; the Pawar Himal views to the north. 

A long moraine-ridge runs from the first flags, parallel to the Larke wall and separated from it by a deep gully, to a second set of flags and astounding views ahead. (These flags also mark the border between the Manaslu and Annapurna Conservation areas.)

To the west peaks include (anticlockwise from the north) the impressive Pawar Peak (6,620m/21,720ft), Cheo Himal (6,820m/22,376ft), the Himlung pyramid (7,126m/23,380ft), Gyaji Kung (7,030m23,065ft), Kang Garu (6,981m/22,905ft) plus Annapurna II (7,937m/26,041ft) and its satellites away to the east. Below lies a magnificent basin within dramatic rock and ice walls from which flow a complex of glaciers. 

The descent begins from these flags and drops steeply off the moraine then traverses loose scree slopes down a set of steep zigzags to the grassy Dangboche Kharka (4,450m/14,600ft) almost directly below.           

The trail offers a bird’s eye view of the glacial action that feeds the upper Dudh (milk) Khola. From the Pawar Himal, the Salpudanda Glacier merges with the Ponkar Glacier below the medial Ponkar Lake (trapped between their moraines) and is then joined by the western Kechakyu Glacier to form the Bimthang Glacier that exists the valley.

From Dangboche Kharka the gradient eases and the trail follows the curve of the lateral moraine of the Salpudanda/Bimthang glacier into the lovely Bimthang Valley. A T-junction indicates a path up over the moraine to the Ponkar Lake or down to the scenic settlement of Bimthang (plain of sand). The Kechakyu Himal rises to the north and Manaslu’s northeast face and connecting ranges stand high above the valley to the east. 

Bimthang is now the summer grazing settlement for the people of Samdo. Before the closure of the Tibetan border it was an important trading post. The Tibetan Khampa warriors held a centre here in the 1970s. 

Overnight at lodge in Bimthang
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 21: Bimthang – Gho (2,515m/8,250ft): 12km, 5-6 hrs

A further 1,200m/3,900ft descent begins with a walk across the Bimthang Plain, a drop to cross the stony glacier then up and over the far moraine to enter magnificent pristine rhododendron and pine forest. Views back towards the Larke, Manaslu, Nadi and Chuli Himals are excellent all along this route. The trail descends along the west bank of the Dudh (milk) Khola past Hompuk (3,430m/11,254ft, a rock shelter near the bridge) and attractive Sangura Kharka (3,020m/9,909ft) before descending steeply to the highest cultivated land at Karche (2,700m/8,860ft). Beyond is a flood related landslide, more terraced fields and a steep ridge climb before dropping to the substantial (Gurung) village of Gho. 

Overnight at lodge in warmer Gho
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 22: Gho – Dharapani (1,920m/6,300ft): 8km, 3-4 hrs

After breakfast, trek through farmlands to the old paved village of Tilje (2,300m/7,546ft), then cross to the east bank of the river before descending rapidly towards the Marsyangdi Valley through scrub forest. Cross back to the west bank just before Thonje (1,965m/6,447ft) and then, in Thonje, cross the Marsyangdi Khola (from Manang) just above the confluence before joining the new road along the main Annapurna Circuit route in Dharpani at the perfect lunch time and end of the trek. Afternoon enjoy hot shower and wonder around this Tibetan village. 

Overnight at Lodge in Dharapani 
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Day 23: Dharapani- Besi Sahar (760m/2,495ft) – Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft): 190km 7-8hrs  

After breakfast, a jeep ride along the dusty and bumpy road to Besi Sahar and the paved road back to Kathmandu. 

Overnight in Kathmandu at  Boutique Hotel with Breakfast

[Alternatively, turn west on the paved road to explore the lake city of Pokhara (106km), beneath the Annapurna Himal, before driving or flying back to Kathmandu.]

Day 24: Final departure

After breakfast, transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your onward flight to your next destination. 

Note: Trekking distances and times are approximate: times differ widely from group to group.


Cost Inclusive:

  • All airport transfers
  • Boutique Hotel in Kathmandu for 3 nights with breakfast
  • City tour by private transport
  • Trekking permits and necessary paper work (Manaslu region/Tsum valley special trekking permit, MCAP and ACAP entry permit )
  • Private Jeep transport Kathmandu to Soti Khola (trail foot) 
  • Sharing jeep transport Tal (trail head) to Besishar and private transport to Kathmandu 
  • Full meals on your choice (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) during the trek
  • Supplementary snacks (energy bar, cookies and seasonal fresh fruit) 
  • Hot drinks (Tea & Coffee)
  • All mountain accommodation (soft comfortable private room/share bathroom) 
  • An experienced English-speaking Govt. registered professional trekking guide and Sherpa porters to carry luggage (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
  • Guide & porter salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes
  • Trekking equipment such as down filled sleeping bag, walking poles and duffel bag

Cost Exclusive:

  • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu
  • City entrance fees
  • Bottle drinks
  • Boiled water 
  • Wi-Fi
  • Electronic device re-charge in Mountain 
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance & evacuation
  • Tip

Trip Information Section

Meals

Eating is a big part of Holiday. Travelling with Mountain Mart Trek, you experience the vast array of wonderful food Nepalese, Chinese, Continental, Italian and several local cuisines. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are included in the package. Your guide will suggest delicious, hygienic and each place special food during your trip. Mountain restaurant owner prefer not to order many dishes and waste food as they would like to cater more trekkers with limited food before run off stuck. Its a week or more days hard work to porters and caravans to bring food to these places. During this trek you will usually have breakfast and dinner at the same Lodge, lunch will be eaten at one of the trail side restaurants en-route.

Accommodation

A Tea House is the combination of guest house, restaurant, and social hang out. Private rooms are available in most Tea Houses, except for high altitudes ones where it will be just dormitories. The lodges are fairly basic. The rooms are spare with twin beds and very little additional furniture. Blankets are generally provided. There is a large dining room-cum-lounge, warmed by the bukhara stove (an iron cylinder, fitted with a chimney duct, in which a log fire is lighted. There is normally no electric lighting in the rooms unless the village has hydroelectric power. The dining room usually hassolar lighting.
Most teahouses now also have electricity for charging small appliances - mobile phones and cameras - and there may be a small charge for this.

Drinking water:

Mountain Mart Trek provides unlimited chlorine/Iodine treated water during the trek. All tea houses have mineral water and boiled water for trekkers upon additional cost. We discourage the purchase of Mineral water and bottled water while on the Trek as plastic bottles aredifficult to dispose off and have become an environmental problem

Route Map

Mountain Mart Trek offers you complementary route map and T-shirt

What to take

This is a very active trip, meaning you will be on the move most of the time, so pack as lightly as possible. We provide one porter for every two travellers; your trekking gear will be carried by the porter in a duffel bag that we will provide. The maximum the porters are allowed to carry 15 kgs per trekker means 30 kgs from 2 trekkers . Unnecessary luggage can left in Kathmandu Hotel and its absolutely free of cost. .

Important to note:

Please read the Checklist section of this trip notes for additional details of what you need to bring for the trek on this trip. You will need to bring a comfortable medium sized day pack to carry the things that you will need during the day. This should have a waist strap or (better) a padded waist belt. The weather is subject to change in high altitude so layered clothing is recommended throughout the year.

Why Travel with Us?

Our outdoor staffs are fully insured and well equipped. MMT offers attractive salary packages to guides, porters and other trekking staffs. We also pay sustainable salaries/wages during low season when no work is available. Our porters may carry a maximum mass of 30 kilograms.

We have extensive logistical experience in both individual and group tour operations. We customize your holdiay as per requirment and  always endeavour to meet ultimate expetation. MMT tour operaters are professionalize in Nepal trekking, high adventure passes, climbing and mountaineering, cultural tours, white water rafting and many more.

Safety and trip comfort are no compromises and top priorities of the company inclusively to both clients and trekking crews. Our trekking leaders are pharmacy trained and have considerable knowledge on AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) from different training workshops conducted by HRA (Himalayan Rescue Association), KEEP (Kathmandu Education Invironment Project) and TAAN (Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal) . We believe health is wealth:  Guides and porters are fully insured and sufficient trekking gear is supplied by MMT.  Emergency First Aid Kits are carried by trek leaders for health support for clients and trekking staff.  We are constantly in communication with our trek leaders about weather issues which might influence trips.

We are an independent ultimate outdoor adventure team, based in Nepal, who explore and experience the unspoiled flora, fauna and landscapes of the towering Himalayas as well as the treasures of myth and legend of Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Mountain Mart Treks offers a splendid alternative solution for adventure, fun, research, and eco tourism to these South Asian countries. We believe each our happy client is our next trek.

Mountain Mart Trek has numerous fixed departures trekking tours to match several travelers. Besides, we also offer customize guaranteed departure dates upon your advice and make happen comfortably. MMT will organize treks for groups with specific interests and will adjust itineraries for groups with age-specific requirements. Group sizes can range from a single trekker up to a maximum of 10 people

Our trekking team has more than 20 years route experiences in remote adventure, peak climbing, expeditions, culture and nature research, whatever your condition we will help you to achieve your final goal. We believe in adventure beyond the fun.   We are more specialized in unbeaten and unspoiled nature finder trekking operator..

Our prices are extremely competitive and our service will touch your feelings. We have a good business relationship with domestic and international airlines, hotels and resorts and are the sole agents for several treks and tours. We guarantee fair prices and top class unexpected Services.We offer a transparent travel service and no hidden costs will hit our clients during their trip.

MMT offers a one stop travel solution and is proud to inform our valued clients that all types of travel service, including international air bookings, visa services for India, Tibet, Bhutan, and China are on offer. Apart from trekking, we are the sole agents for mountain climbing expeditions, white water rafting, wildlife safaris, cultural tours, bird watching tours as well as budget and group tours to Tibet and Bhutan

Fixed Departure

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December, 2017

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Frequently Asked Questions Section

  • Foreigners other than Indian citizen, who intend to visit Nepal must hold a valid passport prior to apply for a Nepal visa. The passport must have six months validity from the date of arrival. Travelers can obtain a Nepalese visa upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, or at a border immigration office. One recent copy of a passport size color photo is required to apply for Tourist Visa to Nepal.

    Visa Fees: 

    • The fees payable only in USD dollars for obtaining a visa on arrival at any border are as follows:
    • A Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 15 days: US$ 25 payable only in USD dollars.
    • A Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days: US$ 40 payable only in USD dollars
    • A Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 90 days: US$ 100 payable only in USD dollars
  • Yes, our Airport Representative will be there to greet you outside the Terminal Hall (after you have completed passport, immigration and visa requirements) He will be displaying our Mountain Mart Treks & Expedition logo with your name on it. You will then be transferred to your hotel.

  • Mountain Mart Treks & Expeditions is all about providing you with local insights as well as adventure. With that in mind, we use a mixture of local buses and taxis, private mini buses for city sightseeing and airport pickups and sometimes land cruisers for journeys into the mountains, to and from trekking points. The choice of vehicle will also depend on the size of your group. See the “Price Includes” section for your trek’s options. All vehicles are maneuverable and flexible enabling us to take you through the narrow roads of Nepal. We carefully omit to talk about he crazy, exciting, heart thumping driving that whips you from place to place.

    Should you have special transport requests, please contact us.

  • We use standard rooms, as per our “Price Includes” section, in Kathmandu. We serve you lodge double room available in the route in sharing basis. This service provide as per trekking plan you purchased with us. Lodges are mostly in village, which allows you to buy sweets and drinks, which we do not carry with us. For Tea House (lodge) trekking you will get a double room, on shared basis, as per your trekking plan.

  • Most treks are suitable for anyone who is moderately fit. No previous experience is required. To condition yourself for trekking, some physical fitness programs such as regular walking, running, swimming, and hiking are recommended before you embark on your journey. Any person suffering from a pre-existing medical condition or diseases must seek medical advice before considering a trek. Whilst on a trek, it is common to experience some discomfort before you become fully acclimatized to altitude.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner each day, as per itinerary, is included. If you have any special dietary requirements please inform us beforehand.

  • Hot showers will be available in some lodges at your own expense.

  • Electricity will not always be available, especially in more remote areas. Carry a second set of charged batteries with you – and don’t forget your adapters! Your guide will know where you will be able to charge your batteries next.

  • There are telephones in a few villages along the routes from which you can make international calls. Cell phone reception cannot be relied on in the mountains and in many regions not at all. If required, we can supply a satellite phone service. Please inform us should you need this service, which must be at your expense.

  • In most cities yes, to some extent, however once you leave the cities behind, you can only use cash. Make sure that you take sufficient Nepalese rupees for your needs in small denominations. In some places, Dollars, Euros and Pounds will be accepted.

  • It all depends on your spending habits. 15 to 20 US$ a day will be enough to buy bottles of water, chocolates, souvenir shopping of local crafts when available and a few drinks. You can buy these things only in certain villages.

  • Tips are always expected. It is good to tip trekking staff at the end of a trek. The standard recommendation for tipping is for each person, in a group of 10 or more persons, to tip the guide US$ 10 per day and each porter US$ 3 per day. For groups of one or two persons and above USD$ 12 per day for guide and USD$ 5 for porter is recommended.

  • Please bring a water bottle to fill with purified water. We will provide you with purified water to each day. So you don’t need anything unless you want to bring your own water purifier (If so, please inform us beforehand). You can also buy mineral water in some villages along the trail.

  • All stuff what you have are not necessary to take to trekking as this makes your porter extra heavy and things can be lost and damaged during the trek. You can leave such stuff at your Hotel in Kathmandu or Mountain Mart Trekking store. Luggage storage facility is absolutely free of cost.

  • We plan each trek to depart at our customer’s convenience. Usually, a day or two after you fly into Kathmandu; spend a day or two in the capital, meeting the team, checking on all the gear and then departing after breakfast on the prearranged day.

  • A valid Passport – which must be valid for at least 6 months after you return from your tour. It needs to contain few blank pages. Bring minimum five copies of passport size photos to issue your arrival Nepal visa (which is payable only on USD cash) and trekking permits

    • Travel insurance; keep a separate photocopy with Mountain Mart Trek and into your main baggage.
    • Cash and Traveler’s Checks: keep serial numbers and proof of purchase separately.
    • Flight tickets
    • Emergency contact numbers for T/C’s, banks, insurance, family contacts.
    • Passport photos:
      • One for your Nepal entry visa at the airport.
      • Four for your trekking permit and more photos for a multiple entry visa for onward trips to your next port.
    • Visa fees are:
    • US$ 25/40/100 for 15 days/30 days/90 days multiple entry that is payable only in USD cash. Maximum number of days should be included in the section about extending a trek.
    • Departure taxes are included in flight tickets to any destination since 2005.
  • Yes, our company insures all our trekking staff: guides, cooks, Sherpas and porters.

  • Whilst on a trek, our porters will take care of your luggage service as per the “Price Includes” section. Your porter may carry a maximum of 15kg of luggage per person, in a soft bag A porter carries two trekkers’ bags (30kg).All you need to carry is your small day bag with personal belongings, camera, water, sun cream and sufficient warm and rain clothing for the day.

  • Weather in the Himalayas is notoriously difficult to predict: expect the unexpected. Nights are generally much cooler than the day. In winter (December to February) nights can be cold while days are beautiful (and warm when the sun is out). Snow can fall at any time of the year. Temperatures can range from 15°C to 25°C above 5000m. It is important to stay warm and dry in any conditions – so carry sufficient gear in you pack each day.

  • Yes, providing your group size meets tour agreed minimum, we include a free place for a leader, company representative and teacher.

    • 16 participants in a group – get free trekking packages for one leader.
    • 25 participants in a group – get free trekking package for two persons.
    • 40 participants in a group – get free trekking packages for three persons.
  • The safety and well-being of our clients is our first priority. Whilst acknowledging that there are inherent risks in all travel that can never be totally eliminated, we endeavor to minimize any risks or dangers that have the potential to lead to any more than reasonable level of physical or emotional distress for our clients, staff and partners.

    We aim to do this by:

    • Ensuring the chosen itinerary is appropriate for your group.
    • Seeking medical assurance from you that medical advisor prior to trekking departure to ensure all travellers are suitable for the challenge ahead
    • Ensuring that our guides are all first aid trained, carry a comprehensive first-aid kit and are fully competent in handling emergency evacuation procedures
    • Ensuring that our guides carry mobile or satellite phones: Mobile or satellite phone communication is available on most trekking routes which provide direct access to our company.
    • Providing a doctor to escort all school trekking groups and on request for charity challenges. Insisting that a complete risk assessment be provided prior travel and trek.
    • Requiring each client to complete and sign our risk assessment form prior to departure for a trek. Insisting that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers and trekkers. Insurance documentation to be provided prior to any trek.
  • A trekking holiday should never be about making it to the final point quickly. Along the route we can add days at your request (with additional costs to cover guides, porters, accommodation and food if given sufficient time to make the arrangements.

  • Yes, there are many options and choices to extend your holiday before or after your main trek. Please browse our trip extension on home page and the following suggestions offer a few possibilities:

    • Everest Flight – A one hour early morning flight to see Mt Everest and its surrounding peaks. A ticket
    • includes the flight plus transfers to and from the airport (weather permitting).
    • Trisuli River Rafting – A one or two day package, including return road transport.
    • Chitwan Jungle Safari Package – 2 nights 3 days. Longer trips are also available.
    • Kathmandu City Tour
    • Meditation Tour- 2/3 days
    • Tibet Tour
    • Bhutan Tour
    • India Tour
    • Volunteering at a School in a Village.

Please contact us for more ideas and information: whatever your interests?

Altitude Map:

Route and Altitude map

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