This remote upland area lies to the north of and in a rain shadow formed by the main Annapurna Himal. Huge glacial moraines abound etched deeply by wind erosion into fantastic pillars.
Chulu Far East ascent is not difficult and we will settle a high camp near the col. from that col we follow the long South-West ridge on snow and ice.
Although the approach up the Marshyangdi is relatively quick and involves no great altitude gain, the trek takes you through a wonderful variety of landscape and culture; from the subtropical lower reaches of the valley with its terraced fields where Gurung people dominate, to the ethnically as well as socially interesting Managba people of the upper valley, crossing rhododendron and pine forests. After the ascent our route crosses the Thorung La, a 5350m high pass before dropping to Jomsom downstream the Kali Gandaki river. We fly back to Kathmandu via Pokhara.
Arrival in Kathmandu Transfer to Bhaktapur
Free day in Kathmandu
Katmandu –Besishar –Khudi
Leaving Katmandu we make our way to the starting point near Dumre- driving time depends on road conditions. There are good views of Annapurna as soon as the road leaves the Katmandu valley and descends into the gorge beyond. Walk along the gravel trail to Khudi.
Khudi to Syange
There are good views of Himchuli and Manaslu as we descend to the Nadi Khola and then cross the Musi Khola on a suspension bridge and begin long ascent to Bahundanda (1310m). There are excellent views of the Marasyandi Valley ahead from the top of the hill. Cross the river to its west bank more to Syange (1190m). About 7-8 hours walk with one long ascent.
Syange to Tal
We walk through forest to the settlements of Jagat and Chamje (1430m) then we cross the Marsyandi to the east bank. Walking up though forests, we reach the board flat grassy valley of Tal (1075m) and enter into the district of Mustang. Tal resembles a 'Wild West' town with its many painted wooden verandahs. 6 hours walk, ascending for most of the day.
Tal to Koto
Leaving the valley on a rocky path close up against the valley wall, we descend to cross the Marsyangdi yet again reach the village of Dharapani (1930m) Continuing through we pass waterfalls to reach the police check post at Kuparkodo. There are wonderful views of Annapurna and Langtang from this point. We camp in the fields just before entering the village. About 6 hours walk gradually uphill all day.
Koto to Pisang
A short walk from Kuparkodo brings us to Chame (2630m), the administrative center for the Manang area. Continue to walk through pine forest crossing the river once again to reach the settlement of Tibetan Khampas before the village of Pisang.
Pisang to Ngwal
Reaching the upper village there views of Annapurna II & climb to the village of Chyeru (3675m) and from the range above we get good views of glacier doma and Gangapurna. Afternoon Rest Day
Trek to Chulu Base Camp
Trek to High Camp
Summit Day- Return to Base Camp
Hike to Manang
Manang to Leder
Leaving Manang we trek mostly above the tree line. From here there is a gradual ascent to Yak Kharta (4090m) to camp. The surrounding area is used mostly for grazing horses and yaks, but there are quite often herds of 'blue sheep' nearby. We will have time in the afternoon for an excursion from camp in search of local wildlife. About 4 1/2 hours walk.
Leder to Phedi
After breaking camp we cross the Jargeng Khola on a wooden bridge (4265m). Cross the remains of an old, rocky landslide to reach our campsite at Phedi (4400m) an open, rocky, flat area beside the river and our base for the crossing of the Thorung La the next day. There will be an acclimatization walk towards the pass during the afternoon. 5 to 6 hours of steady ascent.
Phedi to Muktinath
Ascent, sometimes over loose rocks, to reach a rocky pass marked with the gradient and after several false summits, the Thorung La (pass) finally comes into view marked by two large claims with prayer flags flying (5416m). The views from the top are simply stunning. We make a long, steep, descent to Muktinath (3800m) and camp in a field in the middle of the village. The ascent can take 3 1/2 hours or longer and the descent from 2 1/2 to 4 hours.
Muktinath to Jomsom
In the early afternoon we will descend through Jarkot with its impressive fortress to Kingar and Kagbeni (2810m) where the campsite is located. Kagbeni is like an oasis on this arid area with orchards and fields of barley along the banks of the Kali Ganda4i. We are rewarded with good views of Dhaulagiri during our descent. About 2 1/2 hours walk.
Fly to Pokhara
Drive to Kathmandu
Free day in Kathmandu
Life on Trek
Whilst on the trek, the Nepali guides and porters will ensure that you are well looked after. Every trek has an English speaking guide, known as the Sirdar, who is in overall charge. It is his responsibility to organize the trek en route and manage the guides and porters and deal with the local peoples and they are experts in trek organization, as well as being able to discuss the local culture, religion, and landscape. In addition there will be other guides, sometimes referred to by the generic term Sherpa, who will be your walking companions on the trek and will assist the Sirdar in organizing the logistic of the trek. On camping treks there will be full kitchen crew who are responsible for all aspects of catering. And finally there will be porters who are the transportation system of the Nepali mountains. They will carry the duffle bags and other equipment as necessary.
Fully equipped Camping treks - accommodation is provided in spacious 2 person tents. We use this method for our climbing trips and some treks where lodges are less frequent.
Lodge trek - accommodation is provided in the local Nepali lodges, some times known as tea- houses. It is usually necessary to share a double room. We use this method for our treks in the Annapurna and Everest regions.
On camping treks, all food is prepared by the trek cook - an expert in preparing delicious camp food. And most importantly, special care is taken to provide well - boiled, purified drinking water. On lodge treks, food is provided in the lodge and this ranges from delicious local specialties to common western dishes. If necessary, bottled water can be purchased from the lodges for a small fee, although many trekkers prefer to use fresh water with the added precaution of a purifying agent. You could bring some Chocolate or special energy drinks for yourself as these are hard to get in the Himalayas.
A typical trekking day
A typical day revolves around the Nepal sunrise and sunset. The day starts with an early wake up call. You then pack up your gear and enjoy a rousing breakfast before starting your morning's walk. The Sirdar will already be organized loads to porters and or animals, and your group will then set off on the trail at a leisurely pace, enjoying the view and stopping to take photographs. After 2-3 hours walk you stop for lunch. This lasts for about 90 minutes which gives you time to relax, or explore the local village. The afternoon's walk is usually shorter and we arrive at the campsite or tea-house in plenty of time to relax and savour the surroundings. Later in the evening dinner is served, giving you an opportunity to sample the delicious food, talk over the day's events, and look forward to another special day on the trails of Nepal.
Health and safety on the trek General
A comprehensive first aid kit is carried on the trek. However we advise that you also carry your personal first aid kit which includes specific items of preference.
We will, in an emergency, arrange for helicopter evacuation. (Note that you are required to hold insurance for this unlikely eventuality).
All meals on our camping trips are prepared to strict hygiene standards specifically for our groups, under the supervision of the trekking staff.
We use tea-houses that we now have strict hygiene standards and provide a broad menu.
Anyone can be affected by Altitude Sickness. However, our itineraries are specifically designed to minimize the risks associated with trekking to high altitudes by building in acclimatization and rest days. In the event of any symptoms we will ensure that the individual descends to a lower altitude to gain a quick recovery.
And finally……….. It must be stressed that whilst trekking in the Nepal Himalaya is challenging and rewarding, you must be prepared for he occasional inconvenience or discomfort. The correct mental attitude to trekking is as important as being physically prepared.
All equipment and food, and your own personal backpacks are carried by the porters or pack animals. It is only necessary to carry a camera or small daypack ! On camping treks all necessary camp equipment is provided - this includes dining tent, dining table and chairs, toilet tent, foam mattresses, and all cooking equipment. The only kit that you will need to bring is your own personal equipment and clothing.
Recommended Trekking Kit
The following is a list of clothing and accessories that we recommend that you take with you. This is not intended to be a comprehensive clothing and equipment list, rather it is intended to act as a reminder of those items that we feel are essential for your comfort and convenience. However we recognize that you may have your own personal preferences for clothing which may be equally as suitable.
Walking boots with suitable ankle support that have been worn - in prior to the trek, and which are waterproof.
Trainer or casual shoes, for trekking andor for traveling
Warm socks for colder areas.
Gaiters ,,in case of rain or snow.
Loose, casual trousers for trekking.
Thermal leggings for colder areas.
Long skirt for women as an alternative to trousers
Selection of T-shirts, and long sleeved shirts, preferably not cotton.
Thermal shirt for colder areas.
Warm shirt, possibly fleece, for colder areas.
Fleece jacket or warm wool jumper.
Windproof, waterproof outer shell garment for higher altitudes.
Down jacket (optional for cold nights & mornings: can be hired in Kathmandu cheaply)
Wool or fleece hat, or balaclava.
Hat or cap for sun protection while trekking.
Sunglasses or goggles.
Sunscreen lotion and lip balm
Strong rucksack, or large holdall to be carried by porters
Day sack to be carried personally.
Plastic bags or stuff sacks to storeseparate trekking gear inside your main bag.
One liter water bottle.
Personal first aid kit to include essential items.
Sleeping bag 4 season.
Torch, ideally head torch.
Camera and film! - for those not to be forgotten shots of the Himalaya.
Toilet items and towel.
Large handkerchief bandana for neck.
Recommended Mountaineering Kit
In additional to the items mentioned above for trekking the following is a list of the additional specialist items which are required for the trekking peaks.
Plastic or Leather mountaineering boots, with gaitors & crampons that have been tested for a good fit.
Fleece trousers or salopettes.
Additional mitts and gloves suitable for climbing.
Ice ace, and ski poles (Note: ice axe can hired in Kathmandu)