01Oct
2019

Manaslu Circuit and Marsyangdi Valley, Annapurna, Nepal Trekking

We had arranged with Ramesh from Nepal Mountain Trekkers to do the Manaslu/Tsum trek as a part camping/part tea house trek. We had had Min (Sanjeev) as our guide before and specifically asked for him to guide us again. The team was very considerate of our needs and our comfort and we were well looked after. There were problems, which were out of their control – the weather was not settled and for the first part of the trek we did not have clear views of the peaks; there had been several landslips which made part of the trek difficult; and the main trail into Tsum valley was destroyed so that it was very difficult to go there. Despite these substantial difficulties, we had a great trek around Manaslu, and found the villages of great interest. They are culturally fascinating and we enjoyed conversations with people we met on trek, specifically Nyima from Gyap and Nyima from Samdo who are involved with development projects in their villages. Look out for solar showers in 2017 in Samdo, which are for the local people but also for trekkers and should raise some money for the community. It is inspiring to see again the resilience of the local people as they re-construct after the earthquake as this area was one of the epicentres of the 2015 earthquake. Crossing the Larkye La was not easy, but stunning and we have to mention Syam, our cook, who popped up unexpectedly at different parts of this walk to hand us drinks and snacks. That lifted our spirits no end! As we had extra time, because we had not been able to go into Tsum valley, we did part of the Annapurna circuit, went to Tilicho Lake, Moon Lake and Ice Lake. Here the weather was kinder and we got perfect views of peaks and blue lakes. As we came down again, we spent a night at Temang and saw the most fantastic sunset on Manaslu from there. Apart from the cook Syam, we wish to comment on Min who again was an excellent guide. When there are difficulties, he told us clearly what these were and involved us with making decisions about what to do. We would ask for him as our guide for a future trek. We also had DB (Dhan Bahadur) as our porter/guide for the Annapurna part and could not ask for a better companion. He is very helpful, and sociable, and very helpful when we found parts of the trails difficult. What could have been done differently? The main thing is that it would have been helpful to find out before the trek that it was difficult to get into Tsum and we could have adjusted plans in Kathmandu and got different permits, for example to Nar Phu instead. The Department of Immigration, who issue the permit for Tsum, should have known that the trail into Tsum was closed and stopped issuing permits – their colleagues based in the villages near the beginning of the Tsum Valley trek had certainly known for a number of days before we were approaching that part of the trek. Also on the Annapurna circuit the ‘road’ is having a significant impact. There is a real need for alternative walking trails to be made, maintained and clearly signposted. The ‘road’ has made it possible for the well acclimatized to visit amazing spots like Tilicho Lake in five rather than fourteen days. This means that the hotels and lodges in Manang and above are becoming overcrowded. Overall, we are very happy with the experience. We’ll just have to plan to go back to Tsum Valley another time, and would like to re-visit the high villages of Manaslu, and for a next trek, would plan to incorporate side treks, like walks to the border with Tibet. Thank you to all at Nepal Mountain Trekkers for an excellent trek.

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