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Thread: Ganesh Himal

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Packington, Leicestershire

    Default Re: Ganesh Himal

    Hi CyclingPaul and Sujoy,

    Our trip to Leh and Ladakh is on again! The FCO has revised it's travel advice. We fly to Delhi on the 21st/22nd and on to Leh on the 23rd. We have been warned that our trek route might be adjusted depending on conditions. Will report back on our return.
    * thesilvertops *

  2. #32

    Default Re: Ganesh Himal

    Great good luck and safe trekking!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Packington, Leicestershire

    Default Re: Ganesh Himal

    We're now back home in the Uk so here is my report on the situation in Leh and Ladakh and also on our trek from Rumtse to Kibber. We were in Leh from Monday 22nd to Thursday 25th August. When we arrived there, tourists were noticeable by their absence. However, by the time we left, there were many more around. The situation in Leh town was more or less normal.
    The flash flood came down the valley from the north of town, past what used to be a rubbish tip and down through the bus station area and on to the Indus. There is considerable damage in the bus station area with buildings destroyed/damaged and rubble/silt in some quantity. However, this pales into insignificance when compared to the village of Choglamsar, a few km SE of Leh. A cloudburst in the vicinity of Sabu to the north caused a massive flash flood to enter Choglamsar. It appears that the flood was trapped in the main street by the buildings and ran along the street until it was able to escape into the Indus. The roller shutters on shop fronts have been burst in and the rooms behind filled with silt and rocks to 1 or 2 metres deep. The main street is lined on both sides with piles of rock, stones and silt. We saw little evidence of this being cleared. A one-way system was in operation to cope with traffic. Two very damaged cars now sit on the far bank of the Indus having been carried there by the flood waters. Tibetan refugees seem to have suffered most with many killed and their homes destroyed. Villages further along the road have suffered to a lesser extent, i.e. Thikse. The road from Upshi to Rumtse has been totally destroyed and will not re-open for some time. Our guide said that
    there is no evidence of the existence of the road in the landscape. It's just disappeared. To get to Rumtse from Leh (normally less than 2 hours drive) we had to drive from Leh to Mahe Bridge, then to Tso Kar and then on to Rumtse from the south. It took just under 11 hours with stops!

    Markha valley was completely cutoff. An Exodus group managed to complete a version of the Markha valley trek a week ago but had many problems. All of the bridges have been swept away and every river crossing had to be waded. A number of homes are still buried under mud/rubble and there are believed to still be bodies buried there. A small number of trekkers (4?) are believed to be missing. Throughout our trek we saw evidence of flash flooding. Deep gouges wend their way down the sides of valleys terminating in huge piles of rock/silt. Sometimes, the piles are so big that they can be regarded as new ridges. The big problem in the villages hit by flooding is that the rock/silt has dried out and set hard. It has to be broken up piece by piece with a pickaxe before it can be removed. Very hard work if you have several cubic meters to remove. I took no photos of the destruction out of respect for the victims of the floods.

    The Trek

    The trek from Rumtse to Kibber was very tough. After the first day's hiking we were at or above 4500 metres for 11 days. The first 6 days to Tso Moriri involved crossing 7 passes with 6 over 5000m. One day involved two passes, the first at 5440 metres and the second, 5420 metres with a 300 metre drop in between. From Tso Moriri, we hiked in towards the Parang La for 4 days, crossed the pass early on the fifth, and walked out to Kibber on the 6th. We had to complete several river crossings and the Parang Char was the most difficult and most dangerous. Unfortunately, we had to cross at about midday and it would have been much better to cross at first light before the sun got to work on the glaciers. The weather was excellent, although too hot for the first 3 days. We only had one very brief shower whilst hiking along Tso Moriri. We only saw a few other trekkers - perhaps 35 at most - whilst on trek and we never had to share a camp site. Overall, fantastic, tough trek.

    Sujoy - some notes for you.

    You say that you would like to hike from Kibber to Korzok next year. You might like to consider going the other
    way although I appreciate acclimatisation is possibly the reason for your choice. Here is a brief description of the route for you:

    Leaving Kibber, the route follows a track and a path through fields before you descend sharply into a river gorge at about 4200/4300m. Cross the foot bridge and follow the smaller gorge straight ahead. Climb out of the gorge in about 45 minutes and keep walking ahead. You will drop down to some fields and a couple of buildings. The path then veers to the right and heads up to a small pass (as our guide called it) at 4730m. The trail then drops gently down to a camp site at 4565m. The path becomes steeper as you drop down into the gorge (same one as before) and to the river at about 4300m. Turn left, cross the river and make your way along for about 2 hours before the trail heads off uphill on the right. You will probably need to do 3 river crossings whilst in the gorge! You now have a steep, very rocky, and very uncomfortable hike up the hill to the Parang La - something like 1200/1300 metres of ascent. There is a camping place at around 5000 metres. This is the south side base camp. The Parang La is at 5580/5590 metres. Only a little snow on south side but a long glacier on north side. You will have to choose a route onto the glacier depending on conditions at the time. Head down the centre of the glacier (no crevasses) and bear left as you reach the snout. North side base camp is on the left side about 1 kilometre from the glacier. From here you will need to keep on the left side until a valley comes in from the right. Then cross the Parang Char and the side valley river. The trail now keeps on the right side until the final crossing of the Parang La just before the end of the valley (2 days hiking). Before you turn left to head for Tso Moriri, you need to cross the Parang Char one final time near Norbu Sumdo. Try to do this crossing at dawn. We did it at noon and it was very difficult. We had two ropes and lots of helpers. Margaret was washed off her feet but hung on to the rope and the cook boys and other trekkers managed to get her to the side somehow. She was soaked and we had to find dry clothes for her. Be aware that there are only a couple of camp sites in this section from the Parang La. Although there are a number of flat areas to pitch tents, there is little grazing for ponies, most having been destroyed by the flash floods. There are places to stop between Norbu Sumdo and Kyangdam(Tso Moriri) but the ground is very wet and you will be pestered by flies and mosquitoes - Yes!, mosquitoes of some sort. I had one bite me, it looked like a mosquito and when I killed it, it was full of blood - my blood! I thought they were'nt found above about 1500m. We only stopped for a couple of minutes then we got out of there fast. There is camping at Kyangdam and the next camping is at Korzok. No camping is allowed along the Tso Moriri. Korzok is.....uninspiring. However, I enjoyed a visit to the Gompa and there is a nice Mani/Chorten wall. You can also buy supplies, etc.,

    If you send me a private message with email address, I will send you a GPS/Google Earth data file so that you view the trail.

    Photos will be on my site soon and I will publish the web address on the forum when they're ready.
    * thesilvertops *

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Thumbs up Re: Ganesh Himal

    Quote Originally Posted by Oli View Post
    I've recently finished a rather unconventional trek through Dhading, near the Ganesh Himal, hiking from Syabrubesi (Rasua) to Gorkha. Assuming that some people may be interested to hear about the area then here are a few of my comments.

    This is not a "normal" trekking route, its certainly not listed in the Lonely Planet. We went a whole week without seeing another westerner. There are very few lodges and as we didn't have a tent we had to rely on local hospitality for food and shelter. This means it is necessary to sleep on a floor matt and eat dal bhat every day (neither being a problem for me). The locals speak a mixture of (often) Nepali and (usually) Tamang (we met Gurung and Sherpa, plus others). My guide (Naran Ghale) was absolutely essential, he saw to all my modest needs, carried my bag and sometimes even cooked. He knew the route (or how to find it) and led me places that I would never have managed to travel without his aid.

    It would be possible to explore this area with a small camping group but it would not be and immersive in the local culture. I didn't have to eat my dal bhat using my hand, but it seemed appropriate and that's what I did. I had a unique and personal experience, quite different from the standard treks on the main routes.

    Syabrubesi - Gatlang - Somdang - Tipling - Borang - Lapa - Tawal - Majuwa - Lapibesi - Korlakholabesi - Laprak - Barpak - Sarkigaon - Gorkha

    Trek notes
    Starting in Syabrubesi we head west, up the steep hill on the opposite side to the Langtang valley then follow the road round the hillside to the top end of the village of Gatlang. The villages in this valley are the "Tamang Heritage Trail", our lodgings for the night would best be described as "home-stay".

    Day 2 follow the Road to Somdang, not actually on the road but taking the direct route up the hill and repeatedly crossing the road as it zigzag up through the rhododendron forest, over the ridge and down to the village of Somdang. This place used to service the now disused mine, now there are nearly two lodges. We spent two nights here with a day hike up to Jaisuli Kunda (4500m)

    The road continues a short way up the hill from Somdang then stops quite abruptly before the kharka below Pansang Danda (3740m). We cross the pass (not taking the high route south over the hills to Betrawati) and descend the long steep trail down through blooming rhododendron forest to the village of Tipling. Although Tipling is larger than Somdang there are no lodges, we stay in the 'pasal' ('shop', but its more like a storeroom)

    Next day is on a good trail as we go down the valley, through the village of Sertung and smaller agricultural settlements. Weather is beautiful and we have some occasional views up towards the Ganesh Himal. Borang is a large village, we head downhill to below the village and find a home-stay in a delightful end terrace residence. My room is an extension above the veranda, 3' wide, 4' high and 8' long; on the floor is a bamboo matt and the walls are lined with newspaper from November 2004 (I was in Kanchenjunga at the time it was printed), a lovely place to stay.

    We cross the Akhu Khola and head a short way up the side of an adjacent valley to the village of Lapa. Quite a large village with a good stream running through its centre, it has a "youth group building" a church and something of a hostel where they offer me a choice of meat or fish with my dal bhat!

    Over Barmachet Danda and through Kachet we follow a number of difficult (in many ways) paths and trails until we find our way through Rigaon and (at last!) to Tawal, tired hungry and rained upon we gratefully receive hospitality and shelter.

    Next day is much easier, we cross a river valley and up over a ridge then contour round to Majuwa - this is Naran's home village, we stay at his house, meet his family and of course have a most hearty welcome.

    From Majuwa we go round to cross into the valley of the Buri Gandaki. On the opposite side to the road coming up from Arughat we pass through Manbu (teahouse with chop suey for lunch) and descend slowly down to the river where we cross over and stay at a trekkers lodge in Lapubesi. We are back on the tourist routes.

    One (short) day up the Buri Gandaki valley we stop at Korlakholabesi, a good lodge with nice freshly ground home-grown coffee. The lodge is busy with a camping group and assorted locals (mostly all heading to/from the Tsum Valley) but I have a good room and tasty food.

    Up over the big ridge, with stops in Laprak & Barpak. This trail isn't busy but its used more than I had expected for groups to start the round Manaslu circuit (from Gorkha rather than Arughat). Presently we come down into the Daraudi Khola valley, it is open and flat, the road is pushing up it and we make quick progress down towards Gorkha.

    We stop in a bhatti at Sarkigaon, near the bottom of the hill rising up to Gorkha. They don't get many guests there now that the locals all ride the bus up to town. On our last day the Maoists hijacked all the buses to take their cadres to a rally so we all have to hike up to Gorkha on foot.

    Google map


    I'll post more details if anyone has any questions or I recall some useful anecdote, and of course a link to the photos when I get some up on Flickr.

    Sharon: I'd be very interested to know what route you took, if you recall the details of placenames...?
    Hi Oli, I'm very interested by your feedback on your Ganesh trek because I would also to do a trek in this area:
    -how did you meet your guide-porter?
    -is it easy to find a pasal or another place in each village to lunch & to sleep?
    thanks in advance for your reply
    perhaps could we talk directly by mail? ciao

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