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Thread: Phu and Naar valleys

  1. #1
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    Default Phu and Naar valleys

    Has anyone trekked though the Phu and Naar valleys (to Phu and Naar respectivelly)?? They are located somewhere north of Dharapani - Manang portion of the AC. After Naar, the trek goes over a 5300m pass (narrow one, not like Thorung La) and rejoins the AC at upper Pisang. I got a current map of the area and it looks very interesting. Might want to explore them. If I decide to do that, depending on the info I get, I need a much longer time, I believe. There seem to be no technical climbing requirements in season.

  2. #2
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    Default info about Phu and Nar Gaon/village trekking.

    Greeting from Kathmandu.

    This info is writing you more than 24 years experience guide/organizer.

    Of course, Phu and Nar Gaon located north of Dharapani/Koto or for easy to understand; these villages are located backside of Pisang peak. There is possible trekking. You can pass Kang La 5350m After Nar and Phu village trekking and can join Ngawa/Honde trial of AC. Kang La pass does not require technical if there is no snow. It is little bit difficult to decent to Ngawa village from top of Kang La because of really down steep and windy sometime. There is few trekkers visit than Throung La because this trek is depends on camping. There is no teahouse at Nar and Phu village.

    It requires special trekking permit to visit Nar and Phu Gaon. This is as follows:
    Manang District: - Areas of Nar, Phu, and Northern area of Tilche Village of Thochhe Village Development Committee (For September to November per week per person US$ 90 and December to August per week per person US$ 75).

    I have sent email with itinerary and briefing of Phu and Nar village. I hope that you like it.

    Cmlama

  3. #3
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    Default naar-phu

    Did this trek last summer (hoping that high ridges will keep monsoon clouds&rains away).
    There is a permit required for the area. Only one checkpoint - at the entrance into Naar-Phu Khola valley in Koto (just before Thame). There is no checkpoint if you enter from Ngawal over Kang la. You can reach Dharmasala - two huts permanently open for shelter - in one day from Koto. From there you can reach Naar village in one day. There are 3 lodges in Naar. To go to Phu it is necessary to camp. No lodges in Phu or on the way. There are all new bridges, fine paths and another shelter is being built in Kyang on the way to Phu by ACAP. Coming from Ngawal it is a long climb to Kang la with very steep last section - similar to the upper section of Mesokanto (Jomsom side). Must be unpleasant in snow but there was none in summer. Locals say the best season is september.
    If you want to do it cheap - find an agency which will provide just permit, porters (with their own tent, stove...), and bring your own tent, food.

  4. #4
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    Default thanks kolobar and cmlama

    Thanks kolobar and cmlama for your valuable info. Sounds fascinating.

    How big is Phu, what's there?

  5. #5
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    Default naar phu

    Your question motivated me to create a gallery on the web with (not particulary well scanned) photos from Naar Phu. It is here: http://www.finnko.si/naar-phu/index.htm.

    Both villages are small but lively. There is quite large nygma gompa on the top of the hill opposite the village. Nearby is a "magic" spring with healing water. Also the area is known for yarsa gumba - should be interesting if you visit during picking season (spring). You can continue from Phu along Phu khola to reach pastures (kharka) in the foot of glaciers&peaks further north. There is a side valley which was traditional way to Tibet - 3 days from Phu but difficult one crossing glaciers as I was told. So if the weather is good (not in my case) it is worth staying in Phu at least 3 days.

  6. #6
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    Default amazing stuff!

    Thanks for the pics kolobar. I enjoyed seeing something concrete of the area. Phu and Naar look like fascinating places, and the treks there remarkable. Some questions, if I am not stretching the friendship...
    1. Did you have to get any permits and pay any fees (apart from the usual ACAP fee) to get into those areas?
    2. It looks like you went in the monsoon. What period exactly?
    3. I understand the descent from Kangla is steep, so I assume if there is snow it could go either way... Sometimes snow makes descent easier, sometimes it makes it deadly... What do you think?

    Second part of September, and early October, looks like the period I will go there.

  7. #7
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    Default naar phu

    Of course you are not stretching anything. That is what friends are for - and forums as well.
    You need a permit (beside ACAP permit) to enter Naar Phu area. The price was 70 usd per person for 1 week but it was said the price will soon change therefore 90 usd should be correct price.
    You can not get a permit individually. It is issued by Immigration office in KTM only. Agency has to provide quite some papers to get one (registration papers, staff insurance, even a list of food supplies etc.). The recipe to make it cheap is to find an agency which will apply for permit. You dont have to bring guide, cook, all kinds of assistents, mess tent, toilet tent etc. what is usual on organized agency trek. I just hired 4 porters from the agency (insurance!) who brought their own tent, stove, basic food etc. so the whole tour was not much more expensive than trekking from lodge to lodge. One porter was actually a lycenced guide but in fact he did not act like one since he had not been in the area before (and I dont want to have a guide when I am trekking on my own). But formally our trek was organized by an agency so policemen on the checkpost should be satisfied (although when we entred the area there was nobody there to check). Probably there is a misunderstanding on Yetizone forum about same topic. Liason officers are no longer required on treks in restricted areas but treks have to be organized - it depends on your arrangement with the agency how much staff you will have but I guess at least there should be a guide. That there are no more checkpoints in all maoist controlled areas is another issue.
    Timing: we were there in second part of July, beginning of August 2004 - monsoon time and I enjoyed walking by Marsyandi - very green, huge moisture, lechees, empty routes&lodges, Manang valley all pink from flowering buckweath. But I would not recommend it for the first timer on AC since views can be obscured for days and it is rather strange doing AC without seeing Annapurnas.
    I was expecting we will be in rainshadow when we reach Naar - Phu but I was wrong. There should be great views of Kangguru Himal, Himlung Himal, Chulus etc. but in fact we did not see much. It was raining even in Phu and there was no point in going further along Phu Khola in that weather.
    Kang la (Ngawal side) could be dangerous in snow - remains of snow can be hard surfaced and therefore slipery and first meters are steep and narrow. When there is no snow descend is OK since it is just scree. We did not have even a trace of snow. So considering your timing it should be OK (though winter 2003/4 was critically scarce with snow while this year there are reports of huge amounts of snow in Himalayas).

  8. #8
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    Default Excellent info

    Kolobar,
    Thanks a lot for the detailed info, this is very good. You made it very clear, so I now understand the situation.
    Yes, I have a couple of trekking agencies who are a bit indebted to me for recommending clients to them, so one of them will help me out, I am sure. I plan to be there in the second part of September and first part of October. I have never been to Nepal so "early" in the season, my other trips have been mostly December, with and April thrown in last year... I have seen the Annapurnas in all their splendour, so for me it's the expeirence of going to remote areas that's more attractive. Of course, views are not unimportant, but at this stage they take second place. I just love the mountain atmosphere in no matter what kind of weather.

    I was going to to AC with side trips Tilicho and Dhaulagiri Icefall, before this info on Phu and Naar came accross my way. Now I am set on this stuff.

    I am sure as I get closer to the action I may have some other questions. I will probably send you a private message on the board, with my email.

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
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    Default naar phu

    I am sure your choice of timing is right - weather&views should be fine.
    It is worth including Tilicho and Mesokanto since you will already have camping equipment. It is a short way out of the area since you are already acclimatized: 1. Ngawal - Khangsar; 2. Khangsar - Tilicho East; 3. Tilicho East - Tilicho North; 4. Tilicho North - Mesokanto - Jomsom.
    BTW: I added few more pics on the net.

  10. #10
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    Default naar phu-ME TOO!

    Wow, great pix kolobar!

    Pix on Naar n Phu region are pretty hard to come by in the net. Guess not many people have been there-yet.

    It kinda reminds me of the outer Dolpo circuit i did during late Aug-early Sept 2003 especially those awesome carved out trails that hang by the cliff.
    It was a pretty difficult trek and we had to wait 4 days in Nepalganj for the flight to Juphal to materialise!!!

    Hmm.... I'm definitely interested in Naar /Phu -keep this thread updated n if I'm free in Sept,I would really luv to come along!

    In the meantime-m still waiting for companions fot my coming Mustang trek........................anyone?????

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