Tsum Valley Trek - 19 Days

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Group size: 1-12 people Max-Altitude: 3,700m/12,136ft
Destination: Nepal Fitness Level: Moderate
Arrival on: Kathmandu, Nepal Departure from: Kathmandu, Nepal
Meals: Breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara & all meals during trekking
Accommodation: Deluxe hotel in Kathmandu. Home stay/Guesthouses during trekking.

Trip Introduction

Discover the secret Tibetan Buddhist land lying at the edge of one of the most secluded Himalayan valleys. Tsum Valley is one of world's remotest Himalayan Valleys which was also a restricted region until recently. The trek to Tsum Valley takes you into the majestic surroundings of the Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal, and Boudha Himal ranges. The region once being part of Tibet looks completely different from what you will find elsewhere. The people of Tsum Valley or the Tsumbas belong to Tibetan origin with their own ancient form of dialect, art, culture and religion. Very few adventure travelers have made it to this high and mysterious valley, which used to be an important trade link with Tibet. In the initial days, we trek the route of Around Manaslu Trek or the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The Tsum Valley lies on the northern part of Manaslu and used to be a restricted area until 2008. The region is still less exposed in comparison to other touristy areas, with relatively virgin and less beaten paths in comparison to the more popular regions. The Tsum people have their own way of family life, which may be quite surprising for many outsiders. All the brothers in the family are married to a single girl, what you may call a practice of polyandry.

The trek start and end point is Arughat, a seven hours drive from Kathmandu. The first half of the trek ascends the Budhi Gandaki Valley on good paths through a mix of dense forest, terraced fields and hill villages. As we leave the main Manaslu Trail for the Tsum valley, suddenly we get a feeling of entering truly into the hidden valley. While on the trek, we also pass through the alpine forests, glacial rivers, and enjoy the warm hospitality of ethnic people. Pass the lower Buri Gandaki regions of Liding, Machhakhola, Jagat and Philim. We also visit the ancient Gombas of the region such as: Rachen Gompa,Mu Gompa, Dephyudonma Gompa.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu & Transfer to Hotel (1,300m/4,264ft)
Upon our arrival in the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will drop us off at our hotel. After checking in, we take a rest or visit Himalayan Glacier’s office. We may also stroll in the streets of Thamel, a tourist hub in Kathmandu for some souvenir shopping. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier where you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine which will introduce you to the country's food culture. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Included meals:D
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) and Buddhists shrine (BouddhaNath) which is one of the large Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Himalayan Glacier briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Overnight at Kathmandu.
Included meals:B
Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Arughat (600m/1,968ft) 7-8 hours drive
A 7-8 hour's drive from Kathmandu into the western mountains takes us to Arughat via Dhadingbesi, headquarter of the Dhading district. Through the dirt road from Dhadingbesi viewing the greenery hills we reach Arughat, our trek start point. Arughat is a major town in the region and is divided in two parts with the Budhi Gandaki river flowing between them. Overnight at Arughat.
Included meals:BLD
Day 04: Arughat to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft): 5-6 hours
We cross the bridge over Budhi Gandaki and begin our trek from the western part of Arughat., we follow the stone-paved street north through the bazaar. We pass through the hydro- electric power plant, fields of rice and millet to Mangaltar, and through forests we arrive at Shanti Bazar. The trail to Budhi Gandaki valley now becomes steeper and the trek more difficult as we cross the Arkhet Khola on a suspension bridge, passing the shops of Arkhet Bazar. Descend to a high, cascading waterfall making a long steep slog up a ridge to Kuerepani. Then from here the trail descends to Soti Khola. Overnight stay at the campsite at Soti Khola. Overnight at Soti Khola.
Included meals:BLD
Day 05: Soti Khola to Maccha Khola (870m/2,952ft): 6-7 hours
Cross the bridge and trek through the beautiful Sal forests, then climb onto a ridge above huge rapids on the Budhi Gandaki. The rocky trail then weaves its way up and down, past two tropical waterfalls on a steep, rocky trail clinging to the side of a cliff. It eventually makes its way down and past a few rice terraces, then up and around to the Gurung village of Labubesi. Climb behind a rocky outcrop, where the valley opens and the Budhi Gandaki meanders among wide gravel bars. Drop to the sandy river bed and walk along rounded stones before climbing over a side ridge. Head down again to the river and traverse to Machha Khola village. Overnight at Machha Khola.
Included meals:BLD
Day 06: Maccha Khola to Jagat (2340m/7676ft): 6-7 hours
The narrow trail makes some minor ups and downs and eventually crosses the Tharo Khola, flowing in a rocky ravine, then reaches Khorlabesi. After a few more ups & downs there is a small trailside hotspring, from where we reach to Tatopani. From the Hot spring we climb over another ridge, then cross the Budhi Gandaki on a suspension bridge. Climb on a wide, well-crafted staircase, then across a landslide and over a ridge to Dobhan. Crossing a suspension bridge over the Dobhan Khola, the trail climbs on a rugged trail to Duman. Ascending up again to the Budhi Gandaki, we reach at Yaru Khola. Crossing a suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola we climb the stone stairs and then drop to the river and again climb more stone stairs to Tharo Bharyang. Cross to the west bank of the budhi gandaki, climb over a ridge, and trek along the river then climb towards the village of Jagat.
Included meals:BLD
Day 07: Jagat to Chisopani (1660m/5,445ft): 4-5 hours
After completing with the ACAP procedure, we climb over a rocky ridge to Salleri, and then descend to Sirdibas. The valley widens a bit as the trail continues up to Ghatta Khola. Continue upstream to a long simple hanging bridge. Climb up to Philim, a large gurung village. Philim valley is well known for Japanese made school and police station. Walk past Philim to the north across a forest with the views of the narrowing valley we reach Chisopani. Overnight at Chisopani.
Included meals:BLD
Day 08: Chisopani to Chumling (2,386m/7,827ft): 6 - 7 hours
After Ekle Bhatti cross the gorge and half an hour walk in the right side we get to see the big and beautiful waterfall and enter the pine tree forests. Descend down to trail going to the Tsum Valley. Climb through pine and rhododendron forests. Enjoy the views of Himalchuli mountains at 7893m  and Boudha Himal from Lokpa, a small beautiful village. Pass Lokpa, descend half an hour towards Lungwa khola and climbing jick jack difficult trail further two hours north through pines and rhododendrons we reach Gumlung. Crossing the Siyar Khola, finally arrive at Chumling, from where we can view Shringi Himal. Visit the old Chumling gompa, and the stone streets of the village.
Included meals:BLD
Day 09: Chumling to Chokhangparo (3,010m/9,903ft): 4-5 hours
Cross the suspension bridge onto the opposite bank. Enjoy the great views of Ganesh Himal. Walk past Rainjam to Serpu Khola crossing another bridge we arrive at the Gho Village.  Another continues 2 hours climb to Tsum takes us to the village of Chhokangparo. Weather permitting; enjoy the views of Himalchuli at 7893 meters and Ganesh Himal at7140m. Overnight at Chokhangparo.
Included meals:BLD
Day 10: Chokhangparo to Nile (3,361m/11,058ft): 5-6 hours
While climbing above Chokhangparo, better to be careful of altitude problems. Walk past Lamagaon crossing rope suspension bridge to the Rachen Gompa, which is also well known as Nunnery Gompa too. We make a small visit and then we cross the Shiar Khola. Continue walking through the well managed villages Lar (micro hydro power), Phurbe and Pangdun. Leaving old historic Stupa of Bhudda in a way crossing the village of Chhule, climb upstream and cross the bridge to finally arrive at Nile. If you consider we can make your visit to a famous monastery of Chhule which is located in the top of area.
Included meals:BLD
Day 11: Nile to Mu Gompa (3,700m/12,174ft): 3 hours
We are now almost close to the Tibetan border. Walk to the west bank of the valley through the Tibetan landscapes. Climb up to the Mu Gompa. We also visit the monastery. Then after, we make a visit to the Dhephu Doma Gompa.
Included meals:BLD
Day 12: Mu Gompa, sightseeing
Today we make a sightseeing of the whole Mu Gompa Region. Mu Gompa is the largest monastery in the region. The Gompa lies at the highest and most remote part of the Tsum Valley. After exploring the Mu Gompa area, you may also consider the option of getting to the base of Pika Himal (4865m).
Included meals:BLD
Day 13: Mu Gompa to Burgi Village (3,245m/10644ft) via Milarepa cave: 5 hours
Trek back through Chhule and Phurbe, on the east bank of the Shiar Khola. Finally we arrive at Burgi village. The Burgi village is a small beautiful village.  Climb up to the Milarepa's Cave Milarepa Cave (piren phu) is known for its mesmerizing glimpses of Poshyop Glacier, Kipu Himal and Churke himal.
Included meals:BLD
Day 14: Burgi village -Chumling (2,386/7,827ft): 5-6 hours
Continue trekking watching the greenery of nature and descend down to Chhokang Paro again. From their continue descending to Gho. Descending further, we arrive at the bridge over the Sarpu Khola. Trekking along the lower Tsum Valley takes you to again Chumling.
Included meals:BLD
Day 15: Chumling to Philim (1,570m/5,103ft): 6-7 hours
The trail continues to Lokpa. After lunch south on a flat trail we move ahead. Enjoy the gorgeous Samba Falls. Finally arrive at Philim after 6 or 7 hours long trekking. A trail passes through the Phillim village that leads to the Ganesh Himal Base Camp.
Included meals:BLD
Day 16: Philim to Khorlabesi(970m/3182ft: 6-7 hours
Trek starts today from Philim to Khorlabesi via Jagat and Tatopani.  Descend down to Sirdibas and we finally reach to Jagat. Further descend takes us to Yaruphant. The arid Tibetan climate now gives way to subtropical green vegetation. Continue trekking to Dobhan. Finally arrive at Tatopani. There is a hot spring at Tatopani. If interested, you may dip yourself in the hot spring and relax your tired muscles by soaking yourself in the hot spring. If not continue walking up and down from Tatopani to reach Khorlabesi, our rest place for the day.
Included meals:BLD
Day 17: Khorlabesi to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft): 6-7 hours
The trail crosses the Tharo Khola flowing in a rocky ravine. Head down again to the river and traverse to Machha Khola village. Walk along the Budhi Gandaki River to reach to Gurung village of Labubesi. Pass the two waterfalls on a steep rocky trail on the side of a cliff. We then reach Khursane. Walk along the ridge above Budhi Gandaki and cross the Sal forests. Finally, cross the bridge to arrive at Soti Khola.
Included meals:BLD
Day 18: Soti Khola to Arughat to Kathmandu (1300m/1,968ft): Walk 4 hours and drive 7-8 hours
Climb up to the ridge of Kyorpani. Descend down to the cascading waterfall. Trekking further arrive at Arkhet. Cross the Arkhet Khola. We are now leaving the Budhi Gandaki Valley. Arrive at Sante Bazaar; pass through the forests to Maltar. Finally, passing by the hydroelectric plant following the stone streets, we arrive at the Arughat Bazar. Back to Kathmandu along the banks of the Marsyangdi and Trishuli rivers with splendid views of green hills, mountains, farming terraces and villages on both sides of the road. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Included meals:BLD
Day 19: Farewell Friends
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take you to the airport approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Included meals:B

Important Note

Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.

Included in the Cost

  • All ground transportation by private vehicles
  • 3-star hotel in Kathmandu
  • All accommodations in tents and suitable Guest Houses during the treks
  • Down jacket, 4 seasonal sleeping bag (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
  • Welcome & farewell dinner
  • All porterages costs
  • All cost for a Himalayan Glacier leader (First Aid and Eco trained English Speaking) and sherpa assistant. Trek leader helps each individuals while on trek
  • All necessary paper works and permits
  • Travel & Rescue arrangements
  • Exclusive Medical Kit Bag
  • All government and local taxes if necessary
  • Himalayan Glacier Kit Bag

Not Included in the Cost

  • Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs)/ International airfare to & from home city/
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Lunch & evening meals in Kathmandu.
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses e.g. phone calls, laundry, bar bills & extra porters
  • Tips for guides and porters.
  • Optional trips and sightseeing if extend

Travel Insurance

It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.

Accommodations

Accommodations are included in the trip cost and HG Trekking has chosen. During this trekking to Tsum Valley you will spend three nights at 3 -star in Kathmandu (Hotel Moonlight) or similar category hotel, and other time in comfortable two men camping tent, foam mattress, 4 season sleeping bag will be provided. In some places accommodation can be provided by lodges and guest-houses also, if their hygienic conditions are good enough. We maintain standard comfort in every matter based on the enforceable conditions such as weather calamities. All hotel accommodations & tent is based on twin share. On request single supplement will be charge US$250.

Toilet Facilities

On trek, toilet facilities are available near by your tent is an optimum distance in a toilet tent. After use of such facilities, wastes will be cover with necessary natural preservation.

Meals

All Meals on full board basis will be provided during trekking in mountains. Three meals a day will be provided from the teahouse/lodge menus but the meals in this particular route are expected great meals. Each day dinner and breakfast are taken in the same place you spend the night. Lunch will be taken on the way to destination in a tea shop. Pay attention, please, this region of Tsum valley doesn't have developed tourist infranstructure (and it is main attraction of this region), so the choice of the meal is poor enough. Mainly you can take Tibetan bread, dal bath, tsampa porridge other simple local food. Be ready for this.

By the way, you can hire especial kitchen team from our company, and it will follow with your group during the trek. But this will raise the price.

Breakfasts are provided in the hotel in Kathmandu.

Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements

Himalayan Glacier only employs and train Nepalese leaders and local staff. By employing and training local people they put something back into their communities. HGT currently train all their Guides in the following courses and your Tsum Valley Trek leader will be one of the fully train Trek Leader.
  • Intensive Wilderness First Aid KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project)
  • Trekking Guide Training - Nepal Government's Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation department of Hotel Management & Tourism Training Centre of Nepal.
  • Eco Trekking Workshop & Adventure Meet TAAN (Trekking Agents Association Of Nepal)
  • English Language - KEEP
  • Conservation & Biodiversity - KEEP
  • Rock & Ice Climbing & Mountaineering (optional) Nepal Mountaineering Association

Our Trek Leaders obviously speak the English language but consider this is not our mother language and this enables a HGT traveler to pick up and use a few of the local greetings and get first hand experience of the local culture. The guides and porters know the route direction like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and it shows.

Our operation is smooth as a safety concern; there will be one Leader, one assistance leader and one sherpa porter on each group of two. This ensure if in case one get sick, it would not disturb the itinerary, the trip still running as plan as in itinerary. And please understand that our group start from 2 and maximum it goes up to 10 which is good team to communicate and facilitate in every manner.

Porters Protection

Each trekker is allowed his/her gear bag weighted not exceeding 15kgs/33 pounds that Himalayan Glacier Trekking strongly stand on porters rights and solely against any exploitation on its operation. And we are closely working with IPPG (International Porters Progress Group)

Responsible tourism practice

Trekking are gently in the Himalayas during the recent days, areas like Everest, Annapurna & Langtang. We therefore do our best to reduce minimal impact on each trip to the mountain and all Himalayan Glacier trips aim for "zero footprint" impact on the natural environment and the people who live off its resources. We enforce a number of do"s and don"ts for our customers and staff when out in the wilderness. Himalayan Glacier Trekking and Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) had done some clean up campaign in the past and support its other environment awareness activities. read more...

Acclimatization

Our Trekking to Tsum Valley is planned with high degree awareness of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Going up too fast causes a medical condition serious enough to kill. The higher the altitude the less oxygen there is in the air. In the most remote area the altitude is near about 4000m and requires good acclimatization, hence your trek itinerary is gradually ascending getting up these height where you expect 40% less oxygen than at sea level. Your body needs many days to adapt to this, so for a safe trek it absolutely essential to allow for sufficient time for acclimatization. Sensible planning is therefore required to minimize the risk of AMS.

We advise specially the guest(s) with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headaches, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder are symptoms of AMS.

Check out "Altitude illness" by Dr Jim Duff HGT itineraries are designed to try to prevent AMS but it is important to remember, some people can be more susceptible than others.

Physical Condition & Experience Requirements

Walking in this high land of Tsum Valley region usually require maximum 6-8 hours of walking everyday. We suggest you to be prepared max 14 Km of walking or jugging exercise everyday 3 months before your wonderful Tsum Valley Trek starts because you are walking on high altitude for long and short days. And also you must need a positive attitude and a strong determination; previous hiking experience preferred and technical experience preferred. You must have lots of willpower, tolerance of harsh conditions and reasonable fitness, good health and physical condition are the basic measure of your success. It is vital that participants with pre-existing medical problems or conditions make these known to HG Trekking at the time of booking. Medical and evacuation expenses are the responsibility of the participant. It is also important that you consult your doctor for vaccination and other medical requirements for your trip. Himalayan Glacier reserves the right to require a medical certificate prior to booking your trip.

Best Time to Travel

The best months are September, October & November during the Autumn season and after March, April & May during the spring season are consider as the best seasons for doing this trek. Regarding monsoon season at summer time we do not suggest to try this route from June till August. But at autumn months weather is perfect: there is no rain, and it is warm enough.

Equipments & Packing List

This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Also understand that the items listed below will vary a little according to the season and the trek duration. Those items marked by an asterisk (*) are provided by Himalayan Glacier inclusive in the service. The weight limit for your luggage is 33 pounds or 15 kg. Remember that your luggage will be carried by your porter but you are required to carry a day-pack (with your valuables or anything important) on your own. We also suggest that you pack only what is necessary.

Important documents and items

  • Valid passport, 2 extra passport size photos, airline tickets
  • Separate photocopies of passport, visa form (easily obtained at Kathmandu airport), proof of insurance
  • Dollars, pounds or Euros in cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport, for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to purchase your own drinks and gifts
  • Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards for withdrawing funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards), traveler's checks, etc.

Head

  • Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
  • Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
  • Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Prescription sunglasses (if required)

Upper Body

  • Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
  • Light and expedition weight thermal tops
  • Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
  • Down vest and/or jacket *
  • Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable

Hands

  • 1 pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves.
  • 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
  • 1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)

Lower Body

  • Non-cotton underwear briefs
  • 1 pair of Hiking shorts
  • 1 pair of Hiking trousers
  • 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
  • 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
  • 1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric

Feet

  • 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
  • 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
  • 1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support,  broken in)
  • 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
  • Cotton socks (optional)
  • Gaiters (winter only), optional,  low ankle high version

Sleeping

  • 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)*
  • Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)

Rucksack and Travel Bags

  • 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3000-4500 cubic inches, can be used for an airplane carryon)
  • 1 large duffel bag *
  • A small daypack/backpack for carrying your valuables, should have good shoulder padding
  • Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
  • 2 large waterproof rucksack covers (optional)

Medical

  • Small, personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
  • Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
  • 1 skin-blister repair kit
  • Anti-diarrhea pills
  • Anti-headache pills
  • Cough and/or cold medicine
  • Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
  • Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
  • Water purification tablets or water filter
  • 1 set of earplugs
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies

Practical Items

  • 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing-repair kit
  • 1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches
  • 1 compass or GPS(optional)
  • 1 alarm clock/watch
  • 1 digital camera with extra cards and batteries
  • large Ziplocs
  • 2 water bottles (1 liter each)
  • 1 small folding knife
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • 4 large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks

Toiletries

  • 1 medium-sized quick drying towel
  • Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
  • Multi-purpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
  • Deodorants
  • Nail clippers
  • Face and body moisturizer
  • Female hygiene products
  • Small mirror

Personal Hygiene

  • Wet wipes (baby wipes)
  • Tissue /toilet roll
  • Anti-bacterial hand wash

Extras/Luxuries

  • Reading book
  • Trail map/guide book
  • Journal and pen
  • iPod
  • Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble, playing cards (to help you pass the time at teahouses and/or camps)
  • 1 modest swim suit
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Voltage converter (from 220 to 110)
  • Plug adapter (2 round pegs to 2 flat pegs)
  • Lightweight pillow case (in case your teahouses provide you with pillows) or use your own stuff as a pillow

Additional Information

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684

Source:www.himalayanglacier.com