Tsum Valley Trek


Tsum Valley Trek is the new and sacred Himalayan pilgrimage valley trek opened for foreigner only in 2008. Tsum Valley located north of the Gorkha district laid beyond the Ganesh Himal in Manaslu region. Tsum Valley also called hidden valley is secretly situated between the Himalayas. Surrounded by the Baudha Himal and Himal Chuli to the West, Ganesh Himal to the South & Sringi Himal to North; Tsum valley is traditionally vivid, rich in culture, religion and sacred arts. Resides by “Tsumbas” mostly of Tibetan origin practice the religion of Bon and speak their own language. Still polyandry system is alive here; all the brothers from a family do marriage with a single girl. 

Tsum valley once being a part of Tibet is really an unexplored and mysterious area and very different from any other area of the Himalayan region. The longest mani walls (over 250m) are at Dzong and Phurpe, wonderful monasteries, chortens and kaanis (gateway chortens to village) are scattered in the valley. The valley preserves steps of the great Buddhist Yogi Chyuchin Milarepa and story about Guru Padmasambhava circumbulation. Some resident of Tsum Valley reported that snow leopard, musk deer and the sign of ‘Yeti’ Abominable Snowman are seen. So we may get an opportunity to encounter with rear animals and mysterious Himalayan giant, the Yeti. 

Trekking in Tsum Valley starts from Arughat after 7-8 hours drive from Kathmandu and end at the same place. Initially, the Tsum Valley Trekking Trail goes along the Budhi Gandaki River ascending Budhi Gandaki Valley passing through dense forest, terraced fields and different villages. After entering the Tsum Valley, found the changes in vegetation from dense subtropical to thin alpine forest, culturally rich and unique villages, beautiful landscapes and scenery. Exploration of the historical monasteries like Rachen Gompa, Mu Gompa, Dhephu Doma Gompa; walk through the glacier and visit of the Milarepa cave is itself the reward of Tsum valley Terk.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival day in Kathmandu (1300m/4264 ft)
Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing & trek preparation
Day 03: Katmandu to Arughat (530m) drive and trek to Arkhet (760m) 7-8 hours drive and 1 hours trek
Day 04: Arkhet to Labubesi (880m) 6-7 hours 
Day 05: Labubesi to Tatopani (930m) 6-7 hours
Day 06: Tatopani to Philim (1590m) 5-6 hours
Day 07: Philim to Chumling (2386m) 6-7 hours
Day 08: Chumling to Chhokang-Paro (3010) 4-5 hours
Day 09: Chhokang-Paro to Nile (3361m) 5-6 hours
Day 10: Nile to Mu Gompa (3700m) 3 hours
Day 11: Mu Gompa to Burgi Village (3,245m/10644ft) via Milarepa cave: 5 hours
Day 12: Burgi village -Chumling (2,386/7,827ft) 5-6 hours
Day 13: Chumling to Philim (1,570m/5,103ft) 6-7 hours
Day 14: Philim to Khorlabesi (970m) 6-7 hours
Day 15: Khorlabesi to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft) 6-7 hours
Day 16: Soti Khola to Arughat to Kathmandu (600m/1,968ft): Walk 4 hours and drive 7-8 hours 
Day 17: Departure from Kathmandu

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival day in Kathmandu (1300m/4264 ft)
Upon arrival in the Kathmandu airport (TIA), you will be greeted by a representative from Black Diamond at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to the hotel. After the check in, you can either take rest; hang around in the city as it all depends upon your interests. In the evening, we will organize a Welcome Dinner at an excellent traditional Nepalese restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal. 
Hotel Encounter Nepal
Dinner

Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing & trek preparation
Today after breakfast we will 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 (Buddha Nath) which is one of the largest 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. Black Diamond briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure.
Hotel Encounter Nepal
Breakfast

Day 03: Katmandu to Arughat (530m) drive and trek to Arkhet (760m) 7-8 hours drive and 1 hours trek
After breakfast, we drive towards Arughat following the Prithvi Highway (Kathmandu – Pokhara Highway) along the Trishuli River and divert towards Arughat via Gorkha. After 4.5 hours drive, we reach Arughat and then 1 hour trek to Arkhet following beautiful river Budhi Gandaki. Overnight in camp or local lodge. 

Day 04: Arkhet to Labubesi (880m) 6-7 hours
Today we walk through the Budhi Gandaki valley passing several villages of the different culture. The trail is little ups and downs. Passing by gorge, some shady sal forests, and few waterfalls we reach the culturally rich Gurung village, the Labubesi village. 

Day 05: Labubesi to Tatopani (930m) 6-7 hours
Today is some ups and downs. After breakfast we down to Budhi Gandaki River, walk on the sandy bank and then climb up. We pass through several villages like Machhikhola, Khanibesi, Khorlabesi and finally reach Tatopani. Tatopani means hot water. In Tatopani, there is a natural hot water coming out from the ground. We can take a hot bath in Tatopani and get clean and fresh. 

Day 06: Tatopani to Philim (1590m) 5-6 hours
Today we enter into the Manaslu restricted area. After breakfast, we walk through the villages and forests. Crossing Dobhan (confluence point of two rivers) we reach the Yaruphant from where we can see the open view of huge high hills and beautiful scenery. Crossing the Yaru Khola some ups and downs walk bring us to the tiny beautiful Gurung village Jagat where tax is collected on Tibetan trade. Walking along Budhi Gandaki River and climb over a rocky ridge to Salleri with views of Sringi Himal (7187m) then descend to Sirdibas (1430m) where we see the first signs of Buddhist culture. From there crossing the Nepal’s longest suspension bridge we climb continuously till the Philim village. We go entry the permits in check post in Philim. 

Day 07: Philim to Chumling (2386m) 6-7 hours
After breakfast, we start ascend and around 1 hour we reach Ekle Bhatti means alone teashop and after another one hour we get to see the big and beautiful waterfall. Then passing spectacular gorge and pine forest, we reach Gum Pul. Just above Gum Pul there are two ways to Ghap and Tsum Valley. We follow the right side trail to Tsum Valley. Passing through pine and rhododendron forest, crossing rivers, exploring culturally rich villages, enjoying beautiful landscapes and view of Mt. Himalchuli (7893m) and Boudha Himal, following zigzag and steep path we enter into Tsum Valley. Passing by Gumlung village and crossing Siyar Khola, finally we reach Chumling, from where we can see Shringi Himal and explore the village visiting old Chumling Gompa, the traditional houses, orchards, clinic and beautiful stone streets. 

Day 08: Chumling to Chhokang-Paro (3010) 4-5 hours
Today is an easy day. We trek ahead crossing the suspension bridge and through the forest. Enjoy the great view of Ganesh Himal. Again crossing a long suspension bridge, we reach Ripchet village. Passing by Gho village and crossing the Serpu Khola, continuous climb for 2 hours to upper Tsum takes us to Chhokang-Paro. If the weather is clear we can see the superb view of Himalchuli (7893m) and Ganesh Himal (7140m).

Day 09: Chhokang-Paro to Nile (3361m) 5-6 hours
Morning is easy, take time to explore the village. We climb north to the retreat where Lama Kongchog died after 26 years of meditation. His reincarnation, found in the village, was amazing (can see the DVD Unmistaken Child, available in Kathmandu).passing by small villages, local school, crossing rope suspension bridge and Lamagaon we reach Rachen Gompa. This Nunnery is the female equivalent of the Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu. Crossing the Shiyar Khola, passing through the well managed villages Lar, Phurbe and Pangdun, leaving old historic stupa, we reach the larger village of Chhule. We walk upstream crossing the bridge and finally reach at Nile. 

Day 10: Nile to Mu Gompa (3700m) 3 hours
We walk to the west bank of the valley. We climb through dry landscapes passing rows of chortons and viewing great mountains finally reach Mu Gompa. It is the largest and an ancient gompa in the region with over 100 monks. It is highest and most remote part of the Tsum Valley. We also visit the isolated 600 year-old Dhephu Doma Gompa (3900m) is 30-45mins uphill on the obvious westward track and has two resident nuns who report seeing snow leopards and musk deer. We are near to Tibetan border. On three sides now are tantalizing views of the border, with frequently used passes to the east (Ngula Dhojyang or Mailatasachin Pass, 5093m) and west (Thapla Bhanjyang, 5104m) just out of sight.

Day 11: Mu Gompa to Burgi Village (3,245m/10644ft) via Milarepa cave: 5 hours
Today we leave Mu Gompa quite earlier since we have to visit Milarepa cave. We trek back through Chhule and Phurbe, following the Shair khola and finally arrive in Burgi Village. We climb up to Milare cave (local name Piren Phu) where famous Saint Milarepa had resided and meditated. From cave we can look out over the stunning mountains spreading before us, and get tantalizing view of Churke Himal, Kipu Himal and the Poshyop Glacier.

Day12: Burgi village -Chumling (2,386/7,827ft) 5-6 hours
As we head downwards today the surrounding scenery becomes notably more verdant. We pass through Chhokan Paro, through Gho and pass over the Sarpu Khola River to arrive in the lower part of the Tsum Valley. Trekking along the lower Tsum Valley, generally flat trail brings us to Chumling.

Day 13: Chumling to Philim (1,570m/5,103ft) 6-7 hours
Today is easy trail. We descend to Lokpa and take lunch. After then the trail is pleasurably flat till Philim village. On the way we pass through beautiful water fall, called Samba Falls. From Philim there is a way to Ganesh Himal Base Camp. 

Day 14: Philim to Khorlabesi (970m) 6-7 hours
Today we can feel the change of climate from alpine cold to temperate hot and arid Tibetan land to subtropical green vegetation. After breakfast we descend down passing many villages -Sirdibas, Jagat, Yaruphant. We stop at Tatopani and relax the tired muscles by soaking ourselves in the hot spring. We then continue to Khorlabesi. 

Day 15: Khorlabesi to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft) 6-7 hours
After breakfast we walk through the rocky narrow valley along the Tharo Khola. We head down following the water way to Machha Khola and then following Budi Gandaki River reach Gurung village of Labubesi. Ahead we pass by the two waterfalls and reach Khursane. Walking alone the ridge above Budhi Gandaki and then descending through the sal forest, finally we arrive at Soti Khola. 

Day 16: Soti Khola to Arughat to Kathmandu (600m/1,968ft): Walk 4 hours and drive 7-8 hours
Today is a long day. We have to walk for 4 hours to reach Arughat and then we drive 7-8 hours to reach Kathmandu. We start trek quite earlier climbing up to the ridge of Kyorpani and then down to the Arkhet passing the waterfall. Crossing the Arkhet Khola, leaving the Budhi Gandaki Valley we reach at Sante Bazaar. Finally following the stone street, passing by hydroelectric plant we arrive at Arughat Bazaar where we board our transport and drive back to Kathmandu along Marshyandgi River and Trishuli River. We reach Kathmandu in the evening. Relax in hotel and in late evening we celebrate the farewell dinner together for successful completion of Tsum Valley Trek.
Hotel Encounter Nepal
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17: Departure from Kathmandu
After breakfast you are free till departure time. If you have more time you can do shopping or sightseeing around Kathmandu. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight, a representative from Black Diamond drops you to the airport.

Fixed Departure Date

2015
Jan- 4, 9, 18, 25
Feb- 1, 8, 13, 22, 27
Mar- 1, 6, 15, 20, 29
Apr- 3, 12, 17, 26
May- 1, 10, 15, 24, 29
Jun- 5, 14, 19
Sep- 4, 13, 18, 27
Oct- 2, 11, 16, 25, 30
Nov- 6, 15, 20, 22, 29
Dec- 6, 11, 20

Please do contact us for other dates. 

Price Includes:

  • All transfers, sightseeing, airport pick up and drop by private vehicle
  • Kathmandu to Arughat to Kathmandu by private vehicle
  • 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast (Hotel Encounter Nepal- www.encounternepal.com or Hotel Norbu Linka- www.hotelnorbulinka.com) or similar 3-star hotel as per availability.
  • 13 nights accommodation in guest house/lodge
  • Welcome dinner in Nepalese Restaurant with cultural show
  • Farewell dinner
  • All meals during the trek (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • English Speaking Guide during sightseeing
  • Entrance fees in the monuments
  • An experienced guide, porters (1 porter for 2 people) during the trek
  • Salary, insurance, equipments, transportation, food and lodge for the guide and porters
  • Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are needed to be returned)
  • All necessary paperwork and permits
  • Travel and rescue arrangement
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes.

Price Excludes:

  • International airfare
  • Nepal Visa fee
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
  • All kind of drinks
  • Extra night accommodation than the scheduled itinerary
  • Tips for guides, porters and driver

The Trekking Group
For Tsum Valley Trek, you will have experienced trekking leader/guide, assistant trekking guide (1 assistant guide for 4 trekkers) and Sherpa porters for carrying the luggage (1 porter for 2 trekkers). This arrangement ensures that if anybody in the group is sick, still we can lead the trip as planned. We can run the Tsum Valley Trek even for 1 person and the maximum of twelve people as we've found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you'd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.

Health & Experience Required
Tsum Valley Trek is a moderate level trek suitable for nature loving trekkers who carry the ability to walk 5-7 hours a day with a light backpack in high altitude. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in lower altitude, so it is advisable as well as supportive for this trek to do light exercise, jogging in nearby hill few weeks prior the trip. For this trek, we don’t need any technical skills and prior experience of trekking. However, the essential assets to accomplish this trek successfully are physical fitness, self confidence and strong determination.
Please do visit your medical doctor, consult him before heading to such altitude trekking destination. Those who have a problem with heart, lung, respiratory or blood should talk with their medical doctor and take his reference and report us before planning this trip with us. We deserve not to take those on our trip who are having such medical conditions.

Travel Insurance
It would be best to you to make a travel insurance before the trips that will be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to cancellation, medical issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we don't arrange or sell insurance. 

Accommodations
All accommodations for Tsum Valley Trek are on twin sharing basis included in the trip cost and are chosen based on standard of hygiene, standard of service and food, location, etc. There are two types of accommodations during our trip. You will spend two nights in 3-star hotel in Kathmandu and 08 nights in standard teahouse/lodge during trekking. Basically, there are unheated rooms with wooden beds and foam mattresses in mountain. We provide attached rooms as much as possible, however, teahouses/lodges of some places only have shared washing and toilet facilities. If you are a solo traveler, you will share a room with someone else of a same sex of your group. If you prefer a single room, you can get single rooms on request by paying a single supplement.

Why Us?
Black Diamond is primarily dedicated to satisfying our travelers from around the globe. We give our best in this field because we are committed to providing you with the best services possible from our side. 

Meals
During the Trek, you can enjoy typical Nepali cuisine, different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) from pizza and chips to apple pie. You can even enjoy hot chocolates, variety of breads, variety of drinks, and snacks. Breakfast of a day will be provided from the teahouse/lodge menu where you spent your night. Lunch will be served on the way to the destination, dinner and breakfast in the teahouse where you will spend the night. A welcome dinner, a farewell dinner and breakfasts will be provided during your stay in Kathmandu.

Equipments & Packing List
It is best if you pack the following for your trek:
Head:
- Sun hat or scarf
- Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection

Lower Body:
- Under Garments
- Hiking shorts
- Lightweight cotton long pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
- Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants

Feet:
- Thin, lightweight inner socks
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks
- Hiking boots with spare laces
- Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals) Gaiters for hiking in winter to the base camp

Upper Body:
- T-shirts
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket *

Hands:
- Lightweight gloves
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer (seasonal)

Accessories:
- Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees F
- Headlamp (e.g. Petzl Zoom) with spare bulbs and batteries
- Trekking Bags/Duffel bag 
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Large plastic bags - for keeping items dry inside the trek bag
- Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
- Trekking Poles 
- Water bottles
- Toiletries (Small wash towel, Toilet papers etc)
- Ear Plug (who know some people on a group are snoring)

Toiletries
- 1 medium sized quick drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Deodorants
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Feminine hygiene products
- Small mirror

Personal Hygiene
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Antibacterial hands wash

Extras/Luxuries
- Binoculars
- Reading book
- Trail Map/Guidebook
- Journal & Pen
- Walkman
- Pencils and small notebooks
- Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble
- Swimming customs (for Kathmandu & Trek)

Acclimatization
AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) may cause from the altitude of 2,500m and altitude above 8,000 m is considered as “death zone”. The amount of oxygen decreases as altitude increase. Strike of AMS merely depends on a person to person and it may cause even death. The initial symptoms of AMS are mild headache, loss of appetite, stomach disorder and later it increase as short breath, dizziness, fever, nausea and vomiting, and feeling very weak. Only the prevention from AMS is to ascending slowly and only the cure is to descend quickly. Black Diamond Expedition designed the itinerary of Tsum Valley Trek allowing the plenty of time to acclimatize.

Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements
To make your Tsum Valley Trek successful, enjoyable and memorable the most important thing you need to realize is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek leader and the crew members with the ability to operate your duration in the mountain smoothly. Black Diamond only employs the experienced, trained and professional staffs who have fact and up-to-date knowledge about culture, history, flora, fauna and geography of Nepal. Trek leaders of Black Diamond are also trained on biodiversity and environmental issues, potential medical issues during their trek, English language, etc:
•    Intensive Wilderness First Aid
•    Trekking Guide Training
•    Eco Trekking Workshop & Adventure Meet
•    English Language
•    Conservation and Biodiversity
•    Rock climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (for expedition leaders)

Porter Care
To say the truth, Nepal’s trekking and expedition industry is boost because of tireless effort of local Sherpa porters of Himalaya. Their physical effort to carry supplies, equipments, baggage and overall support make the trip to remote areas possible. But the history of their exploitation and abuse was so regrettable. To combat this, we are strictly committed to porter rights. We provide them more facilities and care as our trekkers would get. We have made full insurance of them against all the possible bad incidents, health and even helicopter rescue insurance. And for the porter's sake we require that all trekkers keep their luggage bag weight under 15kgs/33 pounds. 

Environmental Concerns
The Manaslu Region is stunningly beautiful but equally fragile. Future generations have just as much of a right to appreciate it as we do and so the tourism industry has an obligation to protect and preserve it. We employ a 'zero impact' policy on the natural environment and the traditional communities that live there. We enforce a number of do's and don'ts, and our experienced staffs can advise you on how to minimize your impact.

Best Season
Autumn (mid Sept to mid Dec) and spring (March to May) are the best seasons for the Tsum Valley Trek. The weather is sunny and warm, with outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing. Also in the winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) Tsum Valley Trek can be done but we need to be fully prepared to fight against cold.
Weather in Himalayan region is unpredictable and change frequently. Your planned itinerary may need to be changed because of bad weather condition considering your safety. 

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.
 

 

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