Trip Highlights of Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek 2022
View of the Eighth World Highest Mountain: Manaslu which is a beauty beyond description
Budhist Pilgrimage site: Tsum Valley adds the charm with its traditional Buddhist cum Tibetan culture
Traditional lifestyle untouched by the modernity
Rich of the wildlife: Himalayan Thar, Blue Sheep, Leopard, and other more than 100 animal species
The Manaslu Valley Trek is more remote and spectacular than many, with rough steep tracks and limited accommodation during the trek. It is culturally fascinating with strong continuing links to Tibet in the upper Buri Gandaki (called Nupri ‘the western mountains’) and the Tsum Valley, and even has the Larkya La (5100m) as a challenge. The views of Mt Manaslu, eighth highest mountain in the world, are marvelous and close.
There is limited backup in case of an emergency and it is probably not a good place to go if you have a fear of heights, since tracks can be narrow and hang out over the valley in places. The trek around Manaslu can be done as a lodge trek except for the night before the Larkya La (although a tent should be carried in case the simple lodges are full elsewhere) while Tsum requires a tent or home stays organised in advance and there are only two lodges at present (and very few functioning toilets and no showers/bathrooms) but every year they have better then better facilities accommodation and foods
The remote Tsum Valley side-trip should not be missed. In nine trips to Nepal this was the absolute highlight, with strong, friendly, hospitable people, a living Buddhist culture and untouched wildlife because of Buddhist prohibitions on hunting. Tsum comes from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’, which means vivid and we can only agree. The people are poor, since they have been bypassed by development for centuries, but this means their unique culture has remained intact.
My Clients (Nepal guide Info team ) said : “Tsum Valley was FANTASTIC. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to be very different from where we’d already been but as soon as we made that right turn off the main track it suddenly seemed we were entering a hidden valley full of untouched forest so beautiful we called it the Garden of Eden.”
I guided this route in May 2012 with another two couples, and two porters. We took 18 days (11 days for the Manaslu part and 7 days for Tsum) although it can be done in more or less. In particular, there are lots of ways to see Tsum Valley – this is what we did. The skies would be clearer in September-October.
Hassles and costs: A special Restricted Area permit is required for Manaslu and a separate one for Tsum. These permits require that you have a registered guide and a party of two or more. The Manaslu fees are: September – November $US70 $US50 for the first week (then $US10 per day) or December – August $US50 for the first week (then $US7 per day). For Tsum the same periods apply but the fee is $US 35 for the first week. In addition, you will need a TIMS card (Trekker’s Information Management System), so you’ll need 8 photos for all this. In addition, you will need to pay both the Manaslu Conservation Area Park (MCAP) fee (Rs2000) and the Annapurna Conservation Area Park (ACAP) fee (Rs2000) for the section from Dharapani to Besisahar after you join the round-Annapurna trail. So you might as well farewell tour guides in Dharapani and add the round-Annapurna leg, exiting down the Kali Gandaki as we did, making it a 35 day trek in total.
Shangri-La Maps have just released a 1:100,000 map of the Tsum Valley, available in Kathmandu, which covers the Manaslu trail from Arughat Bazar to Ghap and all the Tsum Valley, although with some mistakes (eg there are no hot springs at Lokpa).
Lodges are often local bhattis with only dal bhat on offer and hard beds above the smoky kitchen, although you can raise porridge, tsampa, noodles, omelette and roti at most places.
While simple, they are clean and friendly for the most part. There are small shops in most villages with limited stock (soap, toilet paper, batteries, bottled water, biscuits, noodles, beer, whisky). Fleas can be an issue.
There are signs in most villages pointing Awards to Larkya La, with times to the next village that are usually accurate. The Tsum is similarly marked. Since many people don’t know where there are lodges, and since there were neither maps nor track notes for Tsum before, here is some current information which we hope will make the route more popular and so help improve the number and standard of the lodges.
Useful Information :
Travel insurance is mandatory for all clients undertaking any trip. It should provide adequate security for the full duration of the tour to cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter rescue and loss of luggage. Make sure that your insurance policy covers up to 2500-5000 meters of altitude more info please drop a mail
2. Packing List
Sun-Cream and Lip Balm with high SPF
T-shirt, Vests and Shirt
Waterproof Jacket and Trousers
3-4 pairs of socks
Day pack (30-40 liters)
Water bottle (Minimum 2 liters)
Small Hand Towel
Sleeping Bag for up to -15 Degree Celsius