You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 4.30-5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. This evening we will head out for dinner, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members.
Overnight: Radisson Hotel
Today you have a full day to explore Kathmandu’s bustling streets and significant landmarks. You may wish to start by exploring the city’s two most important World Heritage Listed spiritual sites: Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple and an important cremation site; and Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist shrine outside of Tibet. Alternatively you could wander through the markets and shops of the busy Thamel precinct or explore some more of the city’s significant sites such as Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) or the World Heritage Listed plazas of Patan, Bhaktapur or Durbar Square.
We travel west from Kathmandu towards Pokhara, following the winding road over the valley rim and down alongside the Trisuli River. This is a busy road and there is much to see. We are also reminded of our journey's aim; to trek among the mighty Himalaya, with the Annapurna, Ganesh and of course Manaslu ranges intermittently in view. We turn off the main road shortly after Mugling and follow the Dorandi Khola northwards to Gorkha and Arughat Bazaar. Our first nights camp is set beside the Buri Gandhaki river.
An easy walk today along the banks of the Buri Gandakhi river. We enjoy clear views of the Ganesh and Shringi Himal as we pass through numerous Gurung villages before reaching our camp in a small village beside the river at Liding.
Today's walk follows a trail of constant ups and downs through forest as we continue to head upstream along the Buri Gandakhi. We descend to the wide, sandy riverbed for lunch then continue along a winding mountain path overlooking the river. The forest then gives way to farmland as the valley again opens up and we stop to make our camp.
The Buri Gandakhi gorge is narrow with sheer cliffs on either side and the morning's trail begins by following a cliff path along the east bank before passing hot springs at Tatopani and then crossing the Dodan Khola. As we begin to climb, the Buri Gandakhi valley undergs dramatic change, widening considerably and with white sandy beaches at the riverside. The trail then heads up a steep ridge before a long descent to the river. We enjoy a spectacular campsite tonight at Yaru Khola.
A day of relatively easy ups and downs as we follow the river upstream. We cross a number of tributaries before arriving at our camp beside the river at Philim.
Continuing on, we occasionally have to trek high above the river to skirt around narrow gorges that prohibit a path. The trail takes us through pine forest scattered with rhododendron. We make our way to the lower trail which again follows the Buri Gandakhi below the Gurung village of Ngak and camp an hour's walk past Deng.
We climb initially and then descend to cross a suspension bridge to the opposite bank. There are more riverside undulations and mani walls and chortens may be seen, signs of the distinctly Tibetan territory into which we are entering. The valley trail keeps to the northern bank below the village of Bih. Bih is known for its family of master stone carvers and along the trail today we see flat stones carved with intricate figures and stupas. Just past Bih we catch glimpses of the Shringi Himal and continue along the northern bank of the Buri Gandakhi until we reach the dominantly Tibetan village of Ghap for lunch. We then continue up through the forest densely vegetated with pine and birch to our jungle camp amongst the trees just before Namru.
We cross the bridge to the village of Thanje then continue and emerge on the banks of the Marsyangdi Khola. We are now on the main trekking trail, evident by the number of tea shops selling cakes and beer! It is a long but easy downstream to enter the wide, flat valley and on to our campsite at Chamche.
The trail now basically follows the Marsyangdi downstream, before entering a pristine forest of pine and rhododendron which during the spring months puts on a brilliant display of color. Keep your camera handy today as the views of the Himlung and Manaslu Himal are again spectacular.
Soon after setting off today the unique shape of Larkya Peak becomes visible. The trail upwards is very gradual but at this altitude we take our time. It takes us approximately 5 hours to reach the pass, with the last section becoming quite steep but it is well worth the effort. The mountain vista to the west is incredible - Himlung Himal (7126m), Chap Himal, Gyaji Kang, Kang Guru (6981m) and Annapurna II (7937m). The descent from the pass is very steep across ice and scree as we follow the glacier. Progress is slow and careful but eventually we enter the valley of the Burdin Khola and continue to Bimtang and our camp for the night.
After a couple of stream crossings, the Larkya Glacier appears on the opposite bank. We steadily climb, skirting around the Sarka Khola to camp at a small brick hut at the base of the Larkya La (pass).
We descend to cross the Damonan Khola then ascend again along a narrow path through the forest to Namru with its check post then continue through the forest path past small Tibetan villages towards Ligaon. It is likely that we will encounter our first yak today and there is also a troop of monkeys who often come down to the river here to drink. We have uninterrupted views behind us of Ganesh III and IV and Baudha Peak and to our right the Kutang Himal stands high as the natural border between Nepal and Tibet. Before us our first real mountain panorama opens up with the peaks of Himalchuli (7893m), Peak 29 (7871m) and finally Manaslu (8163m).
Today has been set aside for acclimatisation. There is an optional walk up the ridge below Manaslu to base camp (4500m), approximately 1500ft, in snow, to gain spectacular views of Manaslu, glaciers and lakes.
We cut diagonally across a rocky riverbed and climb a small ridge to a clearing. An amphitheatre of snow covered peaks including Manaslu. Manaslu North (7157), Peak 29 and Himalchuli surround us. The valley opens up and we continue along grassy slopes and small ridges which finally gives way to cultivated fields of Sama village. The trail takes us out of the grasslands and into wider territory as we skirt around some glacial moraine then descend to the riverbed. The view of Manaslu is superb today.
The final day of our trek brings us to Jagat. Here we will pick up our 4WD vehicles and transfer to Bhulbule, approx. 2 hrs, where we change vehicles for our drive to Kathmandu which may take up to 8 hrs. NB. We may, if conditions are good, pick up our 4WD vehicles in Chamche, otherwise the local jeeps are available in Jagat. Overnight Radisson Hotel.
The trail takes us out of the grasslands and into wilder territory as we skirt around some glacial moraine then descend to the riverbed. Excellent views of the peak of Manaslu today. We soon reach the Tibetan Refugee village of Samdo, a wild place with a substantial village of some 200 permanent residents. Day 14 ois a rest day. Relax and enjoy the surroundings or explore Lajyung Bhanjyang valley
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further arrangements have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to further destinations will be transferred to the airport.