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The Tibetean Route Manaslu Nepal

Posted On:Thursday, June 13, 2024
Mt. Manaslu View

The Tibetean Route Manaslu Nepal.

In this text is Tibetean meant ethnic Tibetean in the Nepal.

No altitude but attitude. (Manaslu 8163 m. alt.)


The 2015 earthquake in Nepal impressed me most. Not only Kathmandu was affected but countless families got homeless. It made me decide to become a tourist to support the tourism industry in Nepal. Families could gain an income again from tourists.

The Himalayan virus seemed very contagious. I became a Himalayan adventurer losing kilos on the higher pass Thorong La Pass. Not only the mountainous terrain is very beautiful but foremost the people living a Tibetean life style.

I would like to thank my wife Ligia and daughter to let me go three times not only to the roof of the world or the third Pole. It feels meeting the end of the world where human civilization and settlements end to be present. In one breath I thank my friend Jan Pieter de Boer walking faster than planned and taking on challenges which appeared after understanding what the itinerary was only saying between the lines. Turning over sixty is not a guarantee you will make it.

The ethnic Tibetans at higher altitude teach you no altitude but altitude and offer a life style which after passing Larke La 5100 m. became even more attractive. Lots of interesting philosophy, pure nature, pure lifestyle, pure food. I also thank my physiotherapist Benjamin Bos with all the best advice for a sore knee or back and training style. He gave me the idea of walking staircases packed with 10 kg. The very best proven way of training.

Jan Pieter we made it , slightly different from planned , but still after planning we crossed the Himalaya on foot, not by bus. Going on foot is far the best option. The Nepali , Sherpa or Ghurka adapted their DNA in a period of 10,000 years , an advantage we can not share. This might be the safety valve for conserving natural surroundings at a high level. Dery ramrochha. Very Beautiful.

May 2024 Amstelveen




Global position

The Manaslu cirquit trek is quite close to the south border of China.

At some stages the distance seemed about 8 kilometers. Whe often had an average speed of one kilometer per hour. At the speed of one kilometer per hour we could take in a lot of detailed impressions. Taking pictures was not so easy. Lack of oxygen makes you wobbly in your legs.

A tripod is not a luxury to have with you but we had no capacity to carry this too.

Walking in this terrain can never be expressed in kilometers more realistic are hours influenced by the weather and physical condition. Those who are interested might try to count kilometers.



Day 1 16th April: On arrival at Kathmandu airport 1,340 m meet our staff and transfer to hotel.

Landing at Kathmandu and Nepal international airport, where our guide or staff receives you for the short drive to your respective hotels in the hub of Kathmandu Thamel.  After checking into your  room with rest after a jet lag, and then rendezvous with another group member of Around Manaslu Trekking, where our guide/leader will brief you with information regarding the treks, hotels and lodge with Nepalese culture, do’s and don’ts. Evening enjoys a grand welcome dinner in typical Nepalese restaurants with various native cultures as entertainment. The hotel was in this case Hotel Bhudda Chakisibar Marg Thamel.

Worthwhile to visit are Budenat Stupa with the Mandela drawing school. The Budhanath Stupa is masivve construction and you are allowed to go round it clockwise.

The monkey temple is also interesting  because the view at the top of the cleansing 365 stairs to monkey territory. Phasphatinath shows a traditional cremation spot. The tour is very commercial from the point of the tourguide. Creating a studyfund in the west takes more time. Confronting talk shows how people struggle to get further in life.

Patan Palace is amazing because it seems pretty original and is not very much visited. Patan is from the seventeenth century. Not an overkill of details but very good atmosphere. The Soundbowl shop across the square  is in one word a miracle. Ask for the trick with the bubbling water. If the stick is stroked around the bowl the water inside will start bubbling and fizzling. The shopowner is not pushy and explains a lot about the self produced sound bowls.

In case you enjoy a huge breakfast Thamel Park Hotel is excellent after Nepalese standards. Most hotels also the neighbouring ones offer storage rooms for excess luggage. The English cooked breakfast is worth it.

At Kathmandu  buying nuts is not a problem but dried fruit is difficult to buy. Dates are fantastic power food in your backpack conquering high altitude tracks. More than 5000 meters will be proved not to be a piece of cake.


(Patan Palace Kathmandu)


Day 2 17th April: At Kathmandu with options for tour with time for trek preparations.


At Kathmandu is a free day where one can join in our interesting sightseeing tour options, as the capital Kathmandu of Nepal is steeped with historical and religious monuments of world heritage sites. Afternoon at leisure and preparation for Around Manaslu trekking, starting next early morning with an exciting overland journey to Nepal Mid-West.

The second day in Kathmandu is very useful for optimizing your luggage and food stock. Also in case a large part of your luggage from home is delayed you might get it in time. We planned this on purpose.

Garden of Dreams is an oasis of peace in the heart of the City with a Bouganville trees.  Close to Art Deco architecture in the garden. People are eager to earn. He would learn to fly one day must first learn to

Royal bath Patan Palace Kathmandu



Drinking water.

Drinking water is a problem along the full length of the route.  A Steripen can be a solution for the bacteria we are not used to. The Ultraviolet light needs quite some batteries which are not standard size. For particles the Carbon filter can be good.

Thinking back, we should have brought Norit from Europe for indigestion.


At Kathmandu Internet connections are good in comparison what we would experience later on.

The N-cell phone company service is not good on the Manaslu trek. What seems to work is Namaste (telecom) service.



Day 03 18th April: Drive to Soti Khola 730 m via Arughat 570 m – 06 hrs journeys.


Around Manaslu Trekking starts with an early morning drive to Nepal Mid West, where the journey leads on the main Nepal highway past many interesting towns and villages with farms to reach the Gorkha district in Arughat. From here we continue driving along the raging Buri Gandaki River upstream on warm-low areas of paddy fields and terraces to reach at Soti-Khola for the first overnight stop of the adventure.





(Garden of Dreams Kathmandu the capital at is very best)

On this track bicycles, gravel bikes or mountain bikes might be useful. A cycle lane or corridor would be ideal. If only there would be one main road with a separate cycling lane also useful for pedestrians would be an enormous improvement.

The drive takes more than 6 hours, probably 8 to 9  because of the bad road surface. The muddy parts can become too muddy n the  Monsoon, the rainy period of the year.  We had a remarkable good driver Tikaram telephone  9860921958. Especially on the way back from Dharapani to Kathmandu he proved to be a true master of off road driving. The Mahindra Scorpion is suitable for the route.

Local bus at Sotikhola, naturally fourwheel driven.


A last road stops after Machha Khola.

Day 04 19th April: Trek to Machha Khola 930 m – 06 hrs.

The number of walking hours is for most Dutch tourists not realistic. Especially if you want to take in culture make ‘sidewalks’  off the route you need many hours more. Taking breaks to take in nature and make side walks takes on average 40% more time.



Beginning our first day walking  from Soti-Khola, where our route takes you into a steep valley, within thickly forested areas and  passes a number of small villages that dots the green hillside, and then walking into a wide valley opposite near a large tributary stream that joins Buri Gandaki River. (Khola means river)  Nice views of the cultivated terrace of Lapses upper village as our walk descends to a wide, sandy riverbed following a trail that meanders below a steep, craggy valley side. As the walk progresses  leading to a climb towards Machha Khola for an overnight stop, a village with a number of tea shops and a small lodge, Maccha Khola means a Fish Stream or Fish River.

From Kathmandu you go down, descending  unfortunately but not bad for acclimatization. Kathmandu is built at 1250 m. From the first nights there are a gain in creating the first amount of red blood-cells to compensate the altitude.

Walking High Sleeping Low is the motto. The differences in height are almost perfect on this journey on foot. Proper footwear is required. Crampon ready ridged boots are over the top. Lots of grip on the sole are important and stability are important as well as shock absorbsion in the sole. Trekking or backpacking shoes do well. Make sure you have a spare pair of boots. Mini crampons might be necessary near the pass Larke La 5100 m.

Day 05 20th April:  From Machhakhola to Dovan 1,070 m via Tatopani (Hot Spring) 5- 06 hrs.

From here onward encounter many interesting farm villages and neatly cultivated fields as vegetation changes slowly due to altitude and climate-wise, as our morning walk leads to cross over a stream where Machha Khola (Fish Stream) name comes from, and then walk upstream towards Khola-Bensi village with Tatopani a place with natural & 39; hot spring ‘ As the walk continues where the valley becomes much narrow and steeper.b where our trail switches to the left bank of the river and then crosses a suspension bridge, after a short period of walk entering a patch of forest and then reaching Doban located on the high shelf of Budi Gandaki River. The motoring world stops here.

Tatopani is a hot spring village with a proper bath. Donkeytrains with donkeys carrying boxes and bags uphill. A donkey can carry upto 50 kg.

In the Himalayas Mountains start from 6000 meters above sea-level. Mountains around 7000 are called peaks and the true giants are 8000 m plus.  In comparison with the Alps everything is upscaled twice.

River and glacier beddings are most impressive. Standing next to a river you might see a stone valley of hundreds of meters deep.

In the afternoon it might rain around 16.00 h. The advantage is that the atmosphere is clearing up and getting the smog letting go.

The smog is a remarkable thing. As Nepal has no industry it must come from Kathmandu’s traffic. Only from this is not possible in such a wide range so India is also a suspect here. Kathmandu is also south-east so Kathmandu can not  bet the only suspect.  We have to find a way to solve some problems at least. Forces are huge.

Drinking water;

The empty waterbottle problem can made smaller by a Steripen.  The ultraviolet light kills the wrong bacteria in local drinking water. It is rather laborious and guarantees do not exist. The weird battery size is a problem. Better would be rechargeable Steripen lights. Additional you can also use a carbon filter. The rechargeable battery should be much bigger than the battery you buy in the shop. Three times the volume would be great.

In the heart of Jagat there is a Stupa with lots of Manistones inclined to the stupa. The manistones have engraved holy texts. The smog , which does not come from non-existing industry makes the full moon smokey yellow. She smog diminishes at 3000 m not much sooner.

Not every body is aware of environmental problems and cans can be found aside the road. At Tatopani people wash their toddlers in the warm water spring. There is a basin created for common use.


Day 06 21st April: From dovan to Jagat 4- 06 hrs.

The morning walk leads across a broad gravel field towards Lauri stream and then crossing suspension bridge which leads to a climb on high trails and then descending into the open valley of Yara Khola, where our journey continues on for another hour to the village of Jagat. Jagat is a nice looking farm village of moderate size after Arughat; people here of mixed races Magar, Chettries, Brahman, Manaslu Bhatia  (Tibetan looking tribes)

and some Newar people lodge owners and shopkeepers.

Walk from Jagat descends to long stone steps to reach a river, where the path climbs on the terraced hillside at Saguleri, with a distance view of Sringi Himal 7,187m, walk continue with ups and down the trail as our route reaches a bridge over Buri-Gandaki. After crossing over a bridge where our trail winds up to reach Philim village for a short break and to observe this nice farm village with rich cultivated fields and terraces.


Jagat mainly is based on cattle an potato growing. Cow dung is used as fertilizer.  Only a fat bike without suspension might work in this region.

For lunch it Spring rolls Tebetean style are like a Welsh Pie can be recommended.

At Phillim the new temple is at the end of a steep stairway but the climb is rewarding. Incredible plasterwork. True Masters in this field. If the ornaments are painted it will be stunning.

The village people are warm and friendly. At Jagat there is also an office for the Manaslu Conservation Area Programme. They also provide information on wildlife. There are more big cats than only the Snowleopard. The Snowleopard encounter takes at least three weeks of patience. Taking pictures or filming is very hard.





Trekking hut in traditional style. Phillim.

Day 07 22nd April:  From Philim to Bihi Phedi 1,990 m 5-06 hrs.

After a good refreshing stop at Philim, a walk from here leads higher past scattered farm villages with the climb through terraces of golden fields of wheat and barley, to reach a rocky ridgetop covered within bamboo forest area towards Eklai Bhatti means a lonely Inn, at present few more shops has been coming up. After a rest walk towards Lokpa, where our route diverts toward North West to reach our overnight stop at Lokpa. Morning walk leads with some down section entering into sheer cliff walls after this dramatic section as our route continues on the much better path to reach Deng village, where houses and terrains completely change of more Tibetan like from here onward.


Stairs to temple.

After a short good rest, a few hour’s walk leads you to Bihi a small village for an overnight stop, where people are more of Tibetan origin with ancient Buddhist culture. Villagers of the area grow buckwheat, wheat, barley, and potatoes as staple crops since trekking gained popularity around the area, spinach, carrots, and cabbages are also grown.

In the heart of Jagat there is a Stupa, temple with many Manistones.


Siringi  with an altitude of 7000m. is towering above all as a majestic giant.

The landslides and stone avalances which are this day visible have made me think.

The direct cause of the landslides seem to be caused by cutting trees on an altitude of 4000 m. downwards. At the Anapurna Conservation Area Programme around Annapurna 1 and 2 this was less visible in 2016. From here there are no more Jeeps.

Day 08 23rd  April: From Behi-Phedi to Namrung 2,630 m / 8,629 ft 5- 06 hrs. 

From here where you can feel cleaner and cooler air, as morning walk continues for another two hours to a steep-sided and scenic valley, encountering Mani prayer stone walls as the walk leads to Gap a nice village with a stop for the possible lunch break. After Gap walk altitude gains entering into alpine and coniferous woodland where the path meanders steeply up as the valley opens out with extensive pastures and then crosses a large stream flowing from the glacier of Lianda.

On walk grand views of Manaslu with the native name as Kuang (Manaslu) Himal range with Pang Phuchin 6,335m, Saula Himal 6,235m with many unnamed peaks of above 6000m. Walk from here with gradual uphill as altitude gains at a slow pace as walk leads past farm village to reach Namrung for an overnight stop, the village also called Sho Namrug. The better houses are built with a timber reinforcement and even better of course with reinforced concrete pillars and beams. The drystone walls have no stability what so ever in case of an earthquake like 2014 when many lost their homes.

Wooden girders can easily connected and make the dry stone walls more stable.

Some comfort is offered by the fact is that you can rather easily pile up the stones again up to a new wall supporting a new house and roof. The stone slabs are most durable and sustainable.




On the road to Samagaun

Silua Peak is close by.


Day 09 24th April:  From Namrung to Lo-Gaon 3,180 m 4- 05 hrs. Lo-Gaon is also spelled LHO on maps.

With a peaceful overnight stop at Namrung, walk leads to more spread out farm fields and Yak herder huts and shelter, around this high Manaslu valley people are much engaged in farming during summer, where young folks in winter travel to big cities of Nepal and India for trade and to escape the cold winter. From here walk leads to a high and scenic valley all the way to Lo Gaon a nice village for an overnight stop, this will be one of the attractive villages around the Manaslu region, at Lo enjoy close views of the towering Manaslu North Face.

Around Lo, visit its monastery with numerous chosen and Mani walls with views of Ganesh Himal towards the east.

The N-Cell sim-card seems useless completely in this area.  The sales person ignored the scope of the card completely. We have to accept the blunder. Namaste telecom seems better as we observe people talking through their service.

Fron Namrung the route leads to Gumna where you find a Gompa. There it is possible to walk to the south-west along a Hinang Glacier to Himal Chuli Base Camp at 4020. Himal Chuli is 7893 meters.


Ethnic Tibetean lady weaving an apron.


Fantastic original almost untouched forest walking between 500 year old trees in a forest fit for Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle book. Snow covered Manaslu North Face visible from the track. Beautiful village gates offering Mandalas on the inside. Plenty of flowers and rich in mosses. Most flowers are Rodondendron.


Practical agreement ; Take the lead. Have an agreement with the trekking company about using horses or donkeys and insist on eating together with cook , guide and porter. This creates more of a team spirit.


Every evening a team talk;



  • A helpful way to create a team is a team talk every single evening after supper.
  • Discuss distance and speed. For young Nepali the speed a 60 year old dutchman has is hard to imagine. It is much wiser to mention longer hours of walking. Because off the track there always side walks you can make.
  • Mention what to wear next day, what will the weather be like?
  • We like to be in touch an eat together. Nepali porters often eat separately. They say we as customers like or privacy. On the contrary we like to eat together. Som teahouses also insist on porters waiting for having clients have had their meal so they do not need to make such big amount of food in one go.
  • Discuss with the trekking company what you expect. Not all will be respected but give it a try.
  • Many guides have a completely different idea about how long a distance takes in terms of walking.
  • If you expect to walk 5 hours because that is in the description you do not like to be the distances to take 8 hours.
  • A First Aid Kit can not be overcomplete.
  • In addition to the descriptions it is good to make diagrams.
  • Guides must be able to communicate in detail in English. European level C1 is needed.

Ethnic Tibetean life:

Life in a village with a lot of Ethnic Tibetean culture has some advantages;

A;No constitutional monarchy. Less regulations.

B: No religious dominance. Buddhism and Hinduism offers more freedom than western churches.

C: No oil based society.

D: Less genetic manipulated food.

E: Lots of natural resourses not at least in the energy field. Hydro power is at hand. The distribution needs some help.



The Great Himalayan Trail High Route:

A spark of inspiration comes to walk the Great Himalayan High Route. The Manaslu trek is a part oft the Great Himalayan Trail.  Visit Himalayan Trek Ltd.  has experience. Avoiding higher passes means walking in the forest without a wide view. It offers lots of small impressions though. The Trans Himalayan High Route takes at least 150 days. Weight reduction is paramount. A dutch couple had a 7 people support team day and night. This was mainly also due to the way they used natural gas bottles. They used the plastic bottles but still. Kerozine causes trouble on higher altitude it is said.


Mani wall Ohmanipadmehum.



Day 10 25th April:  From Lo-Gaon to Sama-Gaon 3,530 m 4-05 hrs.

From Lo-Gaon walk is much easier but with a difference as high altitude wise where the route leads to a slow and gradual climb with constant views of the mountain with Peak 29 ahead, after a couple hour climb reaching into a patch of forest reaching at Shala village with an excellent view of Phungi, Manaslu and Himal Chuli. Walking for a few hours further where day completes on reach Sama-Gaon village, with a superb view of Mt. Manaslu.




Sama-Gaon village is one of the largest within the high Manaslu Valley, where natives are mostly farmers cultivating buckwheat, and barley which are the main crops in this high and harsh terrain, potatoes and some high and cold vegetables are also grown. Villagers around the high Manaslu valley descended from South West Tibet way back more than 400 years of history were custom and culture of ancient Buddhist heritage similar to its origin Tibetan predecessor. The local villagers are still active in trade and bartering across the border with Tibet taking a few days to reach the frontier of Nepal and Tibet, actually located on

(School building)

the old Trans Himalayan Salt Trade route of the two countries.

Beautiful rooms with shower. After 7 hours an lots of transpiration cold showers are not a great thing.




Sports tablets with electrolites and magnesium became crucial. However magnesium you can better take in throught footsoles in a bucket.

In Lo Gaon lots of people wear traditional clothing. Especially the women wear traditional costumes.

Long skirts, woolen aprons, woolen collorful waistbands. Lots of theses textiles are woven locally.



In many villages fabulous trees.

At the entrance of Sama Gaon there is a Police Checkpoint for the Manaslu Conservation Area Programme.




Day 11 26th April: At Sama-Gaon 3500 m. rest day for acclimatization and local excursion.

A free and rest day in this interesting village to support acclimatization before heading higher towards Larke-la Pass, with a spare day to explore this nice and scenic area and visit its old Monastery of Nyl red hat sect) sect of Buddhism. The monastery at Nyligpa is fascinating. Young monks play football daily.



Yak dung is the most important fertilizer.



Mingma T Lama’s Hotel Norling. Very fine people with clear values from Tibetean origin.

Very sympathetic talk with Mingma summiteer of Manaslu mountain. “Once and never again” not so good for family life. Like all summit attemps you start at night hoping no avalanche will take place.

Especially entering Soma Gaon is like going back in time. All has natural colours, earth and stone. Very little plastic. Lots of wood stone and steel. Dry stone walls used for almost all houses which are connected to eachother, efficiently saving a wall or two three per household. All stones are handcut and piled up.

Reinforcements are made out of wood.




(Mingma T Lama summiteer of Manaslu )




Samagaun First settlements





Super strong, Yak. Living preferably around 4000 m. alt. Wool, meet, instruments, milk, fat etc.


Celebrating the last school day, with the whole family. Drinking tea. Strong resilient people.

It seems the national sport next to croquet.


Day 12 27th April: From Sama-Gaon to Samdo 3,690 m 4- 05 hrs.Back in Time.

After a pleasant rest at Sama-Gaon, today a pleasant walk of more than four hours to reach the last village of Gorkha and Manaslu valley at Samdo, morning walk starts with a slow climb as elevation gradually gains with dry much air which makes the walk slower than earlier past days, trading slowly taking time for a short break to enjoy surrounding beautiful views of peaks and dramatic terrain.

After an exciting walk on the high valley of Manaslu and then reaching Samdo village taking a short climb to reach a small flat plateau where the village is located, a moderate size village of more than forty houses with about two hundred villagers living in this high harsh country.

At Sama Gaon we stay at the hotel of Mingma T Lama an early summiteer of Manaslu main Peak 8163 m.

To do the same job you need lots of training walks in the area up to 6000 meters. Mera Peak is a nice training mountain. It is not technical but Manaslu Mountain of the Soul is technical and steep. So do not overestimate one’s capabilities.

Mingma cleary stipulated once and never again. Family members are very scared and for good reason.

A summit attempt should always take place at night or very early morning in any case from 3 o clock.

Where ever you may sleep a Gaslamp liquid or fluid gas is very useful to keep your direct environment above O degrees Celsius is not a luxury. Even candles might work and help in case of illness.

Acute Mountain Sickness occurs often as well as food poisoning. The famous donkey trains , caravans do

Provide comfort transporting solar pannels windowpanes and windowframes etc. Food is hard to digest at this altitude.

In Sama Gaon there is a Medical Point not to be confused with a Hospital. That does not mean in any case that you leave your First Aid Kit home. This should not only contain bandages, sterile plasters, compeed or second skin but also sports tape Amoxiline, Norit! , Hansaplast, Loperamide, Kneebandages.

Sterilon First Aid scissors, ORS, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Dry leaves of Mint or preferably fresh ones.


Day 13 28th April: From Samdo to Larke Phedi / Dharama-Shala 4,470 m 3- 04 hrs.

On leaving the last final village of upper Manaslu valley, where walk leads to the end of the valley facing incredible views of snow-capped peaks of Manaslu which is also known as Kuang in the local language.

As the walk continues crossing a few icy streams to reach Larke Phedi means the bottom of the pass,n also called Dharmasala (travellers rest house/shade), wherein old days Dharam Shala  was also known as Larkey Bazaar, (where trade and bartering used to take place between merchant-traders and locals of Gorkha-Manaslu-Manang people and Tibetans on this remote isolated spot).


At Larke, Phedi afternoon is free for short walks and preparations for the next early morning long climb and descent crossing high Larke-La pass to reach the Manang areas.

An experience never to forget:

Slowly I get absorbed by a labyrinth of dry stone walls. No asphalt, no path, no road, no track no lane, no bicycles, no cars, no trucks, no train of course no nothing. Nepal has almost no railway track.

I trot through the mud an my boots are pulled into a vacuum of mud. Runnng becomes impossible not in the last case because of the wind and cold 6 Beaufort.

Donkeys and Yaks and cows live on the ground floor or a souterrain to stay even warmer. The lifestock is the heating system for the kitchen whick receives some warmth througt the gaps between the wooden floor shelves. On top of all a haystack in an attic. From a top floor a small boy at the age of 5 or 6 has spotted me from very far. Not so difficult because my 6 foot allows me to look over some walls enabling me to orientate myself.  The boy races down the ladder and runs to me. The small dwarf points to his fore head.

This gesture reminds met of Kagbeni or Manang or UpperPisang where strange gestures and big catfaces, dragons and demons chase evil intruders away. Many temples have these demons preventing bad influence affecting precious wisdom.

Slowly my brain realizes that the nose root which is addressed has not a threatening meaning this time.

The spot has to do in Hinduism with the third eye. Very remarkable that the boy addresses me. My clothes blend rather well in to the Tibetean culture. Dark woolen clothes and a brown woolen knitted hat.

Convinced about his goal he almost pulls my jacket into the direction of another dwarf in the front ground of the house and gate. Little brother has a bandage on his fronthead. Father’s attention is drawn towards me. Father’s presence is comforting. Ah there is an adult implied. Maybe urgency is disappearing.



Because of father I carry on. Why addressed the boy me is a mystery and remarkable.

What a clear mind. Maybe my glasses remembers the boy of a medic.

I carry on and a lady calls me. Camping I understand and I answer that I sleep in a Teahouse.  Several minutes later I understand that she invited me to come in…..

For a tea. It is not unlikely the tradition.

After getting in to the middle of the old village I go up some stairs and get to the entrance of a Temple. A porter carries 3 pairs of prayer flags he uses for an adventurous climb.

The prayer flags must be blessed before use for the undertaking of an expedition.

The monk or Lama and the porter call me inside the temple. Because it is freezing cold I do not hesitate to keep my boots on an so I stay with the enormous door on the inside and close the double door to remain open so the wind would be very annoying.

First the Lama says some introductory prayers and later he starts rapeating a chant. The chanting is followed by hitting the gong and a soundbowl. After almost an hour the porter and I leave the temple and he guides me to the hotel. Back in present time.

The area of Larke Phedi or formerly named Dharam Shala the trading point has been changed into a kind of basecamp for the great pass. There are a few desent Teahouses or basic hotels but further infrastructure is non existing.

At this altitude not all is possible. 4400 meters imply that it can easily be minus 15 degrees Celsius at night. A very good sleeping bag for winter conditions or a four season bag is necessary.

If there is a congestion of tourists trekkers a night in a tent can be the only option.

The surrounding is not directly polluted in sense of lots of trash bottles and cans but the amount of wood needed to keep the kitchens running is a disaster for the environment.

The environment clearly suffers from cut trees to stone avalanches which come racing down. Snow avalanches are a safe distance. It would be good if the central government would start charging more the entrance of the Manaslu Conservation Area and be much stricter on fuel and plastic waste like the famous water bottle.

Eight years ago at the Annapurna Cirquit there were waterpoints. Against a descent price you could buy water and the plastic bottle was avoided. Many trekking mates do not bother this problem and this is a very sad thing. On the other hand sterilization methods need improvement as well. The mentioned Steripen is still limited in volume and only useful for one person.

The buildings at larke Phedi could also be heated up with sunboilers and suncollectors on the roof. Lots of trees could be saved.

In the end even for all those ladies cooking on a fire will be more healthy than in the present situation where a cook breathes way to much smoky air for a woodstove.

International help could  be very valuable assistance in this field.

The sunboiler with a parabolic mirror is maybe a solution within reach.

Also greenhouses might help to grow vegetables faster and more efficient.

The sun collector on the roof might help heating up water for a warm shower highly appreciated on these altitudes by trekkers. Taking a cold shower is asking for trouble because the altitude , tiredness and the plummeting temperatures at night are a difficult combination.

The situation of water usage is not very clear to me. Washing up the dishes is a difficult challenge at this height as well. Some accommodations were very untidy but most are making the best out of the situation.

Hydropower could also help to heat up dining rooms and kitchens.

Lots of villages are close to a point where hydropower could be realized.



The higher you come in the Himalaya’s the more energy you receive and the more hospitable people are.  Walking in a drystone wall village you should not be surprised to be invited to come in and drink YakCai. Yak tea is a bit peculiar in taste but very useful.

The tea has a butter taste combined with some salt and black or green tea.

The yak butter works like an energy bomb and the tea makes it digestible and the salt is really needed…………..sweating all day makes you losing lots of minerals.

Electrolite tablets with vitamins and magnesium and zinc gave us a rich feeling after a week of losing all possible minerals through tough walking in the foothills.




( Above 4500 m. you get into the ‘the Third Pole’ walking from prayer flag to prayer flag was the only option. Lots of false summits makes you wonder where is Larke La?)


The mountainpeople call any thing under 5000 meters a hill and those phenomena till 6000 meters a peak and the elevations above 6000 meters turn in to be baptized like mountains like the centre of this trip Manaslu above 8000 m.


“Other research shows Mount Everest ‘s glaciers have lost the equivalent of 2,000 years worth of ice over just the past three decades. In a 2019 report the ICIMOD said the Himalayan glaciers of the region would lose third of their ice if the average  global temperature was limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius. “ ( CBS. )



Day 14 29th April: Cross Larke La 5,215 m / 17, 110 ft and trek to Bhimthang 3,790 m 7-08 hrs.



Pheri Betaunla Thank you for the view on Manaslu looking downwards to Bimtang.



No altitude but attitude.

After rest and overnight at Larke Phedi, starting in the early morning before the crack of dawn where the walk leads to a steep climb past a few huts of Dharmasala, walking over the moraine of rocks and boulders in snow conditions, it will be an arduous job to find the right trail. However following our lead guide past the ablation area on the north of Larke glacier, with grand views of Cho Danda with Larke Peak, as walk progress with gradual ascent and much steeper to reach the top of Larke-la festooned with thousands of Buddhist colourful prayer flags. At the top marvel’s excellent panorama of Himlung, Cheo Himal, Kang Guru, and Annapurna II include a series of Manaslu peaks. The so called plateau is not a plateau actually. Many false summits which make it frustrating in the second half. You think you are there and than all of a sudden again descending and again ascending. The actual pass is in your far left hand corner. Many documentaries on You Tube show a far too easy reality which does not say how much time you have left from where you are. Also tourleaders are easily misguided and estimation of time is difficult.

Advice; Make sure you save energy for the last half hour and make sure you start in a fit way in the dark around 3 o ‘ clock in the morning. Later is possible but will make the descending from the pass to Bimtang very difficult. Take your time and save energy going down to Bimtang.

Classic crampons are not needed in April and May.  Depending the actual temperatures mini crampons or spikes can be necessary descending on sheets of ice.

The first few hours are steep down, after a long climb to Larke La 5100 m. Walking poles or sticks are very practical when you are taller. A heavy backpack is also not helpful.

It is also important that if you need warm legs that you consider the following two options;

Classic Knickerbockers keep knees warm in combination with gaiters or long socks. It allows you to ventilate and there are no flapping trousers on the lower half of the leg.

Another good solution is wearing long cycling bibs for winter use possibly under a pair of shorts.

Shorts in combination with separate elastic cycling bib legs are even more flexible. You can lower the pipes or legs when when getting to hot.

Gaiters are a good thing if snow is more than ankle deep. The disadvantage is that you must be carefull with bare rock not wearing the laces which connect left and righthand side.

Many Nepali use a buf to cover the mouth and nose in case of strong wind.

Be aware: The wind can get very nasty on this plateau towards Larke La. 6 or 7 Beaufort is not an exeption. In the Netherlands e.g. we have also windy weather so we might be used to some fair amount of wind but do not get fooled. It can get very tricky. Do not forget to wear good gloves or mittens.

Passing a certain age hands might cool down and not warm up so easily.

At the plateau to Larke La windproofness is far more important than water proofness.

Waterproof clothing makes you far more wet than dry. Breathability is paramount to stay dry.

If your back gets humid of transpiration that is a huge leak of energy and warmth. Being tired , overheated and cooling down again can be fatal. A thermos bottle is heavy but not a luxury to give yourself an energyboost especially before the pass and the unavoidable descend is a matter of safety.

Once one thinks the end of energy has been reached you stil have a reserve of forty percent.

Though we are not special forces or Gurkhas it is almost unavoidable to get in the red zone.

I call it the red zone because you do not want to get there for safety reasons. It is important to keep good control over your legs. Getting down to Bimtang takes some very slippery paths and passages over smaller and wide raging streams. Being very late on the day a fall into the water is very risky unless you have enough spare clothes.

The role of wool can not be underestimated. Wool might be less advantages being completely soaked but you can wear it for days without getting smelly. Meronos wool is famous. Very good is to find a net shirt from whool produced by e.g. Helly Hansen and than wearing a thin undershirt helps.

A next boiled woolen shirt or sweater keeps the wind out en get the overload of heat leaving the body as well. I do not think one brand is warmer than the other but very few like the Scandinavians Helly Hansen and Devold make net versions or partial net versions of woolen underwear.

Cotton should be completely banned as a first layer because this can work like a spunge and cool you down.

Descending also requires the most of boots and socks. If you know your weak spots sticking  Compeet on sensitive parts of your feet is not a luxury. There are many hours to come in the coming days.

From here a long descent reaching to a valley called Garcia, with further hour walks on moraine ridge to Tambuche at 3,900m, the bottom of the pass, and then a short walk leads to Bhimthang for an overnight stop after a long, tough day walks. Tambuche offers a good lunch point. The chance it will rain there is big because the warmer air might hit the more cool air form the pass. Bimthang is a lovely place located on a wide green valley with a number of lodges adorned with prayer Mani walls, the area surrounded by green tall trees of rhododendron pines and oaks.

Bimthang is also a false descend. You can hardly see it and most Nepali guides have very much difficulty in planning. This beats head to head with foreigners who need to balance their energy output and walking speed. It helps the guides walk in the back of the pack and not in front.






At Larke La the oxygen level is at 40 % less. Larke La is 5100 m. App. 16.000 feet. It feels like 50 %. of oxygen loss.


Mountain and forest in one and the same landscape.


Acid rain has affected the fruit trees here as far as I can see. As Nepal has no industry the smog can come from as far as Kathmandu or even Northern India. Respecting the trees are paramount. Burning trees is a common aspect of life here.

Many students do not have an idea of the function of a tree to life.


Insurrance Helicopter service best option:

Osterreichische Alpen Verein of KNAV


If there is enough visitbility

If there is not too much wind.

If they get the right price

If they are addressed in the right way.

If they are not overloaded

If they only have to take the patient not his company.


Day 15 30th April: From Bhimtang to Gho 2,760 m 4 -05 hrs.

From Bhimthang rest of the journey is much easier with downhill walks with some short climbs on the route to Gho and Dharapani villages, morning with views of peaks heading with the gradual walk into thick alpine woodland. Walking into beautiful forested areas to reach a small clearing in the midst of woodland at Gho for an overnight stop, a small cattle and yak herders summer pasture and temporary settlement due to trekkers passing this route, where few lodges have been built to cater for the needs of travellers.



Day 16 1st May:  From Gho to Dharapani 1,725 m 3-04 hrs.

Today, the last day walk of this great adventure around Manaslu a pleasant and leisure walks downhill through the wooded country to reach Telje village, a nice place by the raging Marysangdi River, with rest and stops the last climb of the trip from Telji after crossing a suspension bridge to reach at large and nice lovely Dharapani.

This village is located at the junction of the famous and popular Annapurna Circuit trail and the Around Manaslu Trekking route. Dharapani is located on a river gorge with lovely tree lines around where motorable has been constructed for the past few years, the village provides excellent lodges.

Leaving Bimtang descending.

For crossing the river in order to reach Dharapani you need to go through a labirynth of rocks and the river bed.


Day 17 2nd May: From Dharapani drive back to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel with free afternoon.

after a marvellous adventure around Manaslu, completing our scenic walks taking a morning Drive from Dharapani, where ride leads to follow Marysangdi River for sometimes past Tal Besi- Chamje and Jagat villages, and then downhill to warmer low areas back into paddy fields to reach a large town at Besishahar, the headquarter of Lamjung district.

From Besishahar switch to another vehicle for an exciting overland journey to Kathmandu, where the drive leads past many farm villages and towns, as our drive joins the main highway of Kathmandu and Pokhara at Dumre town, from here an easy and interesting drive to reach back into hustle and bustle city life of Kathmandu, with rest of the evening free at leisure in the hotel.

Day 18 3rd May: International departure for homeward bound.

After a wonderful time in Nepal with an amazing time in the high Himalayan mountains on Around Manaslu Trekking, your last day in the country of awesome adventures where our staff and guide transfer you to the airport for your flight back home or to the next port of call.






Equipment List Packlist

Travel document: passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets, voucher, and a passport-sized photo.

Hand Sanitizer really useful now and then especially when water is not easy to get.

Reading/Writing materials

Binoculars only useful when the visibility is good.And only realistic to bring in a larger team of at least 6 people or

With horses or donkeys.

First-aid kit (containing lip balm, aspirin/ paracetamol, Band-Aid, bandage for sprains, iodine or water purifier, epipen if applicable


Moleskin for blisters, antiseptic for cuts, anti-bacterial throat lozenge, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for diarrhoea, re-hydration powder, Norfloxacin or
Ciprofloxacin, antibiotic for toothache e.g. Amoxiline
Giardia, Diamox and any extra
prescription drugs you are currently taking)

Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruit, candies, and snack foods. Protein bars are sometimes difficult to keep in your bag so you have to wrap them up well. Figs are doing well.

Money-Cash After Kathmandu there is no opportunity to get money from a bank.

Swiss Army Knife

Sleeping Bag four season, winter of expedition sleepingbag. When tired a warm bag comfortable till minus 25 degrees minus is not a luxury imagine it is cold at altitude  e.g. 4000 m. and you are exhausted or ill.

Lightweight towel 2 is better.

Swimsuit useful at hot water springs.
Toiletries (quick-drying towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, multipurpose soap, deodorant, nail clipper, face, and body
moisturizer, feminine, hygiene
products, small mirror

Day pack (with waist straps) at least 25 l till 40 l.

torch/flashlight/headlamp important for summit days or going over a pass.

Lighter firebar waterproof matches

Insect repellent

Earplugs and eye mask in case your roommate is snoring.

Small padlock

Refillable water bottle Nalgene is practical

Sun hat Sunglasses, Scarf

Bag Liner at lower positioned villages or camps very practical in combination with blankets.

Sewing kit

Wind and waterproof shell jacket and trousers (preferably breathable fabric) A windjacket can be more important than a rainjacket.

Running shoes or sandals. At some rivercrossings it is unavoidable to walk through the water.

Comfortable walking shoes boots. Give them a proper try and wear-in time.

Socks: thick wool blend and thin cotton to be worn in combination

Lightweight thermal gloves


Underwear and shorts
T-Shirt 2 Or 3
Long sleep shirt WOOL
(Special Checklist for summer)
Trekking/Hiking boots with spare laces
Lightweight long trousers (no jeans)
Special Checklist for winter and High Altitude:
34. Layered clothing /Thermals and extra warm clothing during winter (December-March)
1 heavyweight or 2 lightweight wool jumper/sweater/fleece jacket
Fleece wind-stopper jacket (optional)
Down jacket or down vest
Fleece Or wool trousers/pants
Heavyweight gloves or mittens
wool or fleece with a waterproof shell outer
A four-season sleeping bag/sleep minus 20 degrees Celsius
sheet Thick, warm wool hiking socks
Gaiter (optional)
Special Checklist for Summer
Lightweight wool
Umbrella/waterproof jacket and
trousers (May—September)
Sunscreen lotion with maximum SPF
Water bottle

Electrolites in tablets


A real warm downjacket can be very useful and comfortable in the eveninghours after your meal.

The ANWB office was not always very sure what to say. Very important is that helicopter expenses are covered.

Probably more value for money is a membership of the Ostereichische Alpen Verein.

An alternative might also be KNAV the Netherlands. Koninklijke Nederlandse Alpen Vereniging.


Marc Bemelmans