Manaslu 2011

Location: Nepal

Duration: 28 days

Group size: 34 adults

Heading west out of Kathmandu, we drove to Arughat Bazaar, the starting point of our circuit of the Manaslu Himal.  This trek starts at below 1000m so the days are very warm and the nights are pleasant.  We were even brave enough to swim in the rivers for the first couple of camps.  The trek took us through a rural landscape, changing as we slowly gained height.  The culture also changed as we climbed, to more Tibetan in nature, with solid stone houses built around a courtyard, prayer flags and Buddhist monasteries.  The high point of this trek was crossing the 5200m Larkya La.  The ascent was fairly gentle, but long.  We set out before daybreak in temperatures of around -10 but as soon as the sun hit the snow the temperatures rose rapidly to +30, making the climb exhausting.  The views of the Manaslu Himal behind us and the Annapurna Himal ahead were stunning.  The descent from the pass was much steeper and fairly treacherous in the now soft snow.  Soon we were in warmer climes and joining the Annapurna Circuit.  For fifteen days we had hardly seen another trekker as we travelled around Manaslu.  Within half an hour of joining the Annapurna Circuit we saw many more people than during the previous fifteen days.  So it remained for the three days we spent on this much busier trail until we reached the end of our trek.  Then it was back to Kathmandu for some shopping and sight seeing. The group had raised a significant amount of money for Happy Home, the orphanage we support, and some spent a very happy couple of hours visiting it and spending some time with the children. Some took the early morning Everest flight before the end came all too quickly and we were bound for home.