A HIGH AND WILD TRAVERSE TO THE ANCIENT WALLED KINGDOM OF LO-MANTHANG
- Kingdom of Mustang
- Hidden Valleys of NarPhu
- Adventurous crossing of the Teri La pass
Hidden by swirls of mountain mist, the magnificent panorama view of Annapurna massif appears remote and forbidding. Our first destination is Naar Village located in the extreme northern reaches of the Manang district. The remote villages of Naar and Phu have about 500 combined permanent inhabitants whose livelihood depends on raising livestock (yak), growing potatoes and barley and trading with villages located in the regions of Lower Manang. The Nepal government’s recent decision to open up NarPhu to trekkers has evoked little impact to the pastoral lifestyle of this area. Apart from the occasional researcher and climbing expedition permitted to climb Himlung, Ratnachuli and Gachikang, few foreigners have entered this area and tourism infrastructure is almost non-existent. From Besisahar, we will gradually ascend the Marsyangdi River Valley to Koto. Here, we head northwards and enter the recently opened NarPhu Valleys of Upper Manang.
Passing through the chorten gate that designates the entrance to NarPhu, it’s as if we’ve been transported into a land where time has stood still. The Himalayan Pine quickly gives way to high plateau, remote Tibetan villages built of stone, ancient Buddhist monasteries and grand views of the Annapurna Range. This magical area is known to have one of the highest concentrations of snow leopards per square kilometer of anywhere in the world. After several days of exploration, we regrettably exit this mystical valley on a route that follows the Labse Khola and leads beyond the Chulu peaks into the virtually unknown Damodar Himal. The high point of our route is the generally snow-bound Teri La (18,235 feet), a pass ‘discovered’ by Bill Tilman in 1950. The heart and soul of our long and varied route is a spectacular week of trekking through a wild and uninhabited area between the Teri La and the upper Kali Gandaki Valley, with camps at elevations of between 13,000 and 16,500 feet. We enter the Kali Gandaki Valley at the beautiful village of Tangge and spend another delightful week exploring the ‘Forbidden Kingdom’ of Mustang, including a visit to the walled settlement of Lo Manthang.
The Lost Valleys of NarPhu to the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang Trek (Camping Trip) is part of our Epic Himalayan Journey Series! These trips are led by one of our experienced trekking guides and represent the gourmet trekking offerings of the great Himalayan Range. We are also able to arrange this incredible trek starting on any day of the week during the months of mid-March to late May and August through October for groups of 2 to 12 people. Please contact us with any questions or to receive a detailed day to day Trip Itinerary.
During the trek, we will follow the ‘New Annapurna Trekking Trail’ (NATT) where possible. This new series of trails will not keep us off the dirt roads 100% of the time, but does significantly reduce the amount of time we have to walk on the dirt roads along the main Annapurna Trail.
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu. Met upon arrival. Transfer to hotel.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu. Hotel.
Day 3: Drive to Jagat Village. 9 hour drive. Camp.
Day 4: Trek to Dharapani Village. 5-6 hours of trekking. 6,230 feet. Camp.
Day 5: Trek to Koto – the Gateway to NarPhu. 5 hours of trekking. 8,660 feet. Camp.
Day 6: Trek to the winter settlement of Meta. 7-8 hours of trekking. 11,710 feet. Camp.
Day 7: Trek to Kyang. 4-5 hours of trekking. 12,530 feet. Camp.
Day 8: Excursion to the village of Phu (13,020 feet). 8-10 hours of trekking. Return to Kyang. Camp.
Day 9: Trek to the Naar Village of Naar. 8 hours of trekking. 13,485 feet. Camp.
Day 10: A day for rest, acclimatization and exploration in Naar Village. Camp.
From Days 11 to 15 we will travel on a recently-opened and remote track, over the high and wild Teri La Pass, which connects the “Lost Valleys” of NarPhu with the “Forbidden Kingdom” of Mustang.
Day 11: Into the Lapse Khola Valley. 6-7 hours of trekking. 14,000 feet. Camp.
Day 12: Trek to the Teri La base camp. 4-5 hours of trekking. 14,800 feet. Camp.
Day 13: To Teri La high camp. 6-7 hours of trekking. 16,830 feet. Camp.
Day 14: Cross the Teri La and descend to Pasphu Khola. 8-10 hours of trekking. 15,015 feet. Camp.
Day 15: Trek to Yakpa. 5-6 hours of trekking. 14,040 feet. Camp.
Day 16: Trek to Yara Village. 7-8 hours of trekking. 11,400 feet. Camp.
Day 17: Rest day in Yara Village and excursion to Luri Gonpa. Camp.
Day 18: To the Forbidden Kingdom of Lo-Manthang! 6 hours of trekking. 12,500 feet. Camp.
Day 19: Exploration day in Lo-Manthang. Camp.
Days 20-23: Trek to Jomsom. Lodge.
We walk out from Lo Manthang to Jomsom. On our return route, we will camp at Ghami, then at Samar, and then at Kagbeni, which will leave us with only a two hour walk to Jomsom on the fourth day of our walk out.
Ghami: Beginning our trek out of Mustang down the Kali Gandaki Valley there are two route options. Depending on which is chosen, we will either cross the Chogo La (14,174 feet) or the Lo La (12,960 feet) and Choya La (12,697 feet) to Ghemi at 11,516 feet. 5-6 hours of trekking.
Samar: Today we cross Nyi La (13,190 feet) and the Shyangmochen La (12,632 feet) before arriving Samar, where we camp at an old caravanserai. En route we are treated to great views southwards to the Annapurna Massif. 5-6 hours of trekking.
Kagbeni: We cross the Chele La (11,910 feet) to Chele, where we cross the Upper Kali Gandaki on a metal bridge, then meander through Chukksang and Tangbe to finally reach the colorful monastery village of Kagbeni (9,220 feet). Tonight is our last camping under the stars. 5-6 hours of trekking.
Jomsom: After a visit to the ancient monastery in Kagbeni, we will make the short walk south across a beautifully-sculpted windswept plain to the airstrip town of Jomsom (8,925 feet). Arriving in this bustling town we check into a lodge near the airstrip. 2 hours of trekking.
Day 24: Fly Jomsom to Kathmandu (via Pokhara). Hotel.
Day 25: Free day in Kathmandu or contingency day on trek. Hotel.
Day 26: Transfer to the Kathmandu International Airport for our departure.