Nepal, where I went for around manaslu circuit trekking last November!
The Himalayas, the highest mountains of the world, cruel nature, awe, days spent with a heavy backpack, sleepless nights, altitude sickness, local guides, Sherpas, hard life of the locals, smiling and happy children, yaks, loaded mules, monasteries, monks, believers & more
For every enthusiastic mountaineer, climber, traveller – a promised land.
Did Himalaya call me? Did I respond to the call at the right moment? Are we ever ready to take that step? Do we accept it all with respect? Will our environment accept us? Do we say NO at the moment when it is needed? Will we ever have the opportunity to return?
There are so many questions in my head to which I don’t know the answer.
But I knew that my answer to one question was short and clear. I was here to experience this rough nature which knows no mercy. Here you fight yourself and test your physical and especially mental abilities, for which I never thought could be so strong and clear.
I have always respected the mountains, where I know I am a foreigner, and I’m grateful for every second which was granted to me up there in this mysterious world, which is left at the mercy of nature.
To see Manaslu up close, that was a long-time dream for me which came true.
Behind us is the tenth day of walking. I lie tired and full of expectations in the tent at 4460m high Dharmasala, dressed in almost everything I have and wrapped in my sleeping bag in anticipation of the coldest night and morning. In my head, plays a movie for which I know will soon end and I will have to return from tranquil Buddhist world back to the world that is worth nothing.
Around Manaslu Circuit Trekking November – Flight to Kathmandu
I arrived in Kathmandu, for which I thought in the beginning is the necessary evil and tax you have to pay to get a ticket and a permit to a definitely unforgettable life experience.
However, it grows on you. ?
The race with time and the office for permits to the park, and shopping for the last necessary things awaited us before we escaped into a completely different world.
Our small group was mixed – Alba from Spain, Chad from the USA, Steph from Australia and I and Ana from Slovenia. We didn’t know Alba and Steph, so we were a little worried how it will all turn out, but we got along perfectly.
We took the local bus from Kathmandu to Arughat and the next day continued to Soti Khola. Potatoes and corn were piled into bags and loaded in the middle of the bus. The locals were entering and exiting, only we persisted to the final point.
Up until the magical height of 3100m it all went like clockwork. From there on, we had some problems. The first was Chad who got sick on the evening when we arrived in Lho. He developed a headache and almost all the signs of altitude sickness.
At Samdo, Manaslu Base Camp, it was acclimatization day for the others and a nightmare for me. I had problems with my stomach because of food, and in addition, I got altitude sickness. Fortunately, another group had a doctor who gave me medicine. I limited the food and from there on continued with a minimum amount of it. Others were convinced that, because of my problems, we will turn around and return down the same route. But I didn’t give up. I gathered enough strength and made a short acclimatization.
Nepal is situated at the latitude of Cairo, so the climate varies from the Alpine. You start walking in the jungle, whereas the passes lie in the polar winter.
In the local mountains you run up and down for physical preparation with a small backpack and minimal amount of food and water. Still, you do approximately 1500 vertical meters (only up).
Here the conditions and distances were quite different.
After I read all the books of domestic and foreign authors and climbers, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and what to expect. Once I’ve done it myself, I can say that the theory pays off, yet can’t help you when you get altitude sickness and every step exhausts you.
5160m high Larkya La pass was for us the highest point, point of salvation. We were all aware that we need to conquer the last 700 meters and then everything would be easier, since we would go downhill most of the time.
And then came the day. Already the previous evening, we packed our backpacks, so we wouldn’t lose unnecessary time in the morning. Prakash woke us up at 3 am and when we got to the dining room, breakfast was already on the table. We started walking and to the pass it took us approximately 6 hours. It was freezing and we didn’t want to stop, because we were cold to the bone. Our water in the backpacks froze. After four hours we finally saw the sunrise, which warmed our cold bones a little. With the heavy backpack which accompanied me all the way and even heavier steps I climbed to the top of the pass, where the whole group had a big hug. Tears of happiness dropped uncontrollably and in me echoed satisfaction which will remain forever enshrined.
In the end awaited us a crazy jeep drive from the village Dharapani to Beshisahar. On one side, the vertical walls, and the road which you wouldn’t even call a road, and on the other side, an abyss and, in the depth, a river. At the beginning I found it interesting and enjoyed it, but after four hours of bouncing and straining of almost all of my muscles, I had enough of it and just wanted it to pass as soon as possible.
Since I’ve done the hike, I look at all those who dared to admit that they can do it and who stepped on the highest peaks of the world with completely different eyes.
I want to conclude with the words of Nejc Zaplotnik who forever remained under Manaslu and whose book ‘The Way’ was the reason why I chose this route. Anyone looking for goal will remain empty when it will be reached, but whoever finds a way, will always carry the goal with him.