Ultimate Manaslu

Trek to the Sacred Tsum Valley and Ganesh I Base Camp
Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 30 days
Arrive: Kathmandu, Nepal
Depart: Kathmandu, Nepal
Lodging: 4 nights hotels, 1 night guesthouse, 24 nights full-service camping
Meals: All meals included except 3 lunches and 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level: 24-day trek on steep trails, 5-8 hours a day, altitudes between 4,000-16,850 feet


  • Trek in one of Nepal’s most remote and spectacular regions
  • Sublime scenery, from beautiful Gurung villages to snow-capped Manaslu (26,759')
  • Wilderness Travel’s famous full-service camping!

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  Future dates have not been set for this trip, but you can see the “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” below (there may be small changes to the itinerary for the future departures, and prices will be finalized closer to departure). Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!

Nestled between the Ganesh Himal to the west of Kathmandu and the popular trekking destination of the Annapurna range, is a lesser known group of spectacular glaciated peaks that includes the soaring summits of Manaslu (26,759'), the 8th highest mountain on earth, and Himalchuli (25,895'), the world’s 18th highest peak. The trek around Manaslu opened to travelers in 1991 yet the remote nature and extreme terrain of the Buri Gandaki river canyon have helped this stunning Himalayan region remain one of the best kept trekking secrets in Nepal. With Himalayan Trip Leader extraordinaire Gary McCue, we invite you to join us on this incredible “ultimate” trek expedition that not only completes the trek around Manaslu via the Largye La (16,850') but also leaves the main trail to journey into the newly opened sacred Tibetan valley of Tsum and hike up to Ganesh I (24,350') Base Camp for stunning alpine panoramas. Tsum is a Tibetan sacred landscape that has been an important pilgrimage destination for centuries for Tibetan Buddhists. Our journey brings us through virgin stands of forest, seldom visited monasteries, and the base camp used by climbing expeditions preparing to scale Manaslu. Join us for the “ultimate” Manaslu trekking experience!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Kathmandu, Nepal

Explore fabled Kathmandu, with its extraordinary Buddhist and Hindu temples. On Day 3, a day’s drive brings us across the Middle Hills of Nepal to Arkhet Bazaar.

Days 4-15
Buri Gandaki Canyon / Tsum Valley / Ganesh Base Camp

We trek through agricultural villages typical of the Middle Hills of Nepal, home to a mosaic of peoples, in particular Gurungs, Magars, Tamangs, Newaris, Brahmins and Chetris. Our route winds from rice paddies into dense forest. Trekking northward, we enter the lower Tsum Valley, then head up to Ganesh Himal I Base Camp, enjoying vistas of a stunning array of Himalayan peaks and glaciers. In the Upper Tsum valley, we visit Rachen Gompa, a large Buddhist retreat with over 200 nuns, then retrace our steps down to the forests of the lower Tsum region.

Days 16-27
Punggyen Gompa / Largye La / Dudh Khola / Marsyangdi

After a visit to the secluded meditation retreat of Serang Gompa in the hidden valley of Kyimolung (“great bliss”), we journey into the remote realm of Nupri, passing small villages. We visit Punggyen Gompa, below the soaring east face of Manaslu, with the option to hike to Manaslu Base Camp (12,650'). After crossing the Largye La (16,850'), we descend into the magnificent Dudh Khola canyon, with fine views of Manaslu’s west face. Eventually we join the famous Annapurna Circuit trail, where the Gurungs are fantastic hosts, and continue down the Marsyangdi Valley through delightful villages and terraced farmlands.

Days 28-30
Kathmandu / Depart

We drive back to Kathmandu through lovely rice terraces and enjoy time to explore Kathmandu. Depart on Day 30.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 6, Very Strenuous. Most hiking is between 5,000 and 15,000 feet, and the maximum elevation reached is 16,850 feet, the crossing of the Largye La on Day 24. Trip members carry only a daypack with camera, jacket, rain gear, water bottle, and other small necessities. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed; the group will spread out along the trail during the day to cover a normal maximum of 6 to 10 miles per day (5-9 hours of hiking). There are a number of days on this trek when the walks are shorter, as well as rest days, allowing ample opportunity for day hikes and for exploring the villages, monasteries, and beautiful surroundings near our campsites. Trail conditions can be primitive, and there is a good bit of up-and-down (often 2,000- to 3,000-foot gain or loss in elevation per day). Extremely cold conditions are normally encountered in the highest altitude areas.

Every participant must understand that this trek is truly challenging—you should be in excellent physical condition. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in top physical shape for the trip. There are also dangers inherent in any expedition traveling to remote wilderness regions, especially when they involve travel to high altitude. These dangers include everything from rock falls to the possibility of a serious fall, accident or sickness without access to the means of rapid evacuation. The availability of medical supplies or the adequacy of medical attention, once provided, cannot be guaranteed and cannot be expected to measure up to western standards. Each trek is an expedition. Although we are accompanied by a support crew staffed by experienced veterans of the Nepal Himalaya, it takes cooperation and flexibility from each participant to ensure a successful trek.

Altitude Acclimatization
Please also note that individuals vary widely in both their physical response to high altitude and the ability to acclimatize and, since physical fitness does not confer any protection or facilitate acclimatization, it is impossible to predict how you will adapt to the altitude. The greatest protection is avoiding rapid ascents and allowing time for acclimatization. Your body can adapt to altitude if given time. We feel this itinerary specifically provides that option, but you must individually pace yourself to go slowly and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Do not push too hard regardless of how physically fit you may be or feel.

Early symptoms of high altitude sickness include: headache, nausea, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, vomiting, dry cough, irregular breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of ankles and eyelids. It is not uncommon to experience some of these symptoms when you first arrive at high altitude and then to have them decrease in severity within a few days. It is important that you inform your Trip Leader immediately of any symptoms or discomfort, however minor, so that they can help you monitor the situation. Please be aware that remaining at high altitude in spite of alarm signals from your body may result in serious illness or even death.

Medical conditions that are aggravated or complicated by high altitude include heart diseases, lung diseases, pregnancy, anemia, and sickle cell disease. It is imperative that anyone with any of these conditions consult their physician in detail before attempting this trekking expedition.

Explanation of Trip Levels

Gary McCue

Gary McCue literally wrote the book on trekking in Tibet and he has pioneered some of our most amazing Himalayan expeditions, including the In the Footsteps of Heinrich Harrer, a trek that retraces the final stretch of the journey of Heinrich Harrer, author of the classic adventure Seven Years in Tibet, and The World's Highest Trek, which brings trekkers up as high as 21,000 feet on Mt. Everest. Gary is the author of the definitive Trekking Tibet: A Traveler’s Guide, now in its third edition. "I have a "trek philosophy" known as laid-back trekking (LBT). In a nutshell, it's based on how the slower you go (as long as you don't come into camp in the dark!), and the closer to the back of the trek group you are, the more often amazing things tend to happen. One can race along the trails anywhere in the world and have mostly a view of the toes of their boots, but if you slow it down, you can take in the incredible surroundings and really experience what attracted you to a region in the first place." Gary's strong connection to the Himalayan people opens many doors. He speaks Tibetan, lived in Nepal for many years, and now resides in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney, Australia.

Upcoming Trips:

In the Footsteps of Heinrich Harrer, September 6-28, 2015
Tibet: The World's Highest Trek, May 29-June 27, 2016

Client Testimonials:

Gary is excellent in every way. It was an incredible experience. Terry C., New Albany, IN Gary is the best. Everything you would want in a trip leader—knowledge, experience and fun. Randy R., Edgewater, MD Gary is the most competent guide I have experienced. One would be hard pressed to find a more personable and knowledgeable individual in the trekking business. Scott S., Fresno, CA
Tibet: The World's Highest Trek
Gary is a gem. His vast knowledge of the area's history and culture, as well as his numerous contacts, all added immensely to the trip. Karl G., El Cerrito, CA
Hidden Kingdom of Mustang
Gary was outstanding in every way. He's why I signed up for the trip. It was a long trek, and he made it worthwhile, every day! Bravo! Alan R., Santa Cruz, CA
Ultimate Manaslu

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2


Kanha National Park Extension

Gameviewing in one of India’s Great Wildlife Reserves

Wildlife & Natural History
5 days  -  Level 2

South India Extension: The Malabar Coast

Cochin and a Cruise Along the Backwaters of Kerala

Cultural Adventures, Walking
4 days  -  Level 1+

taj mahal agra india cultural tour

Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension

Romantic Rajasthan, Land of Princes

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1


Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2


wat arun bangkok thailand

Bangkok Extension

Discover the Beautiful Cultural Monuments of Bangkok

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Chiang Mai Extension

Explore the Wonders of Northern Thailand

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Phuket Extension

Explore a Jewel Set in the Andaman Sea

Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking
4 days  -  Level 2