Day 12:To Dharamsala
(O/nt Altitude 4,460m/3.5 hrs approx.) The day’s walk starts easily enough. We cross the Budhi Gandaki for a final time and pause at the old stone wall of mani inscriptions bidding us well for progress over the pass. The trail gradually rises through juniper and tundra with a viewpoint overlooking the Larkya La glacier. Climbing further we arrive at the memorably Spartan Larkya Rest House. (B,L,D)
* No local lodges around in Dharamshala. Either camping arrangement would be made OR continue to Bimtang, which makes for a very long and challenging trek day (approx 11 hrs). If you would like to throw down the gauntlet taking the latter option, 2 nts would be scheduled in at Bimtang to allow for a day for much-needed rest & recovery.
Day 13: To Bimtang
(O/nt Altitude 3,590m/8- 9 hrs approx.) An early morning start is needed for what is to be a particularly tough and extended day. Approx 4 a.m. start to avoid gale force wind which usually gains in strength after mid-day at the pass.
After a long gradual climb alongside a moraine we make a short descent to a glacial lake and reach the head of the moraine (4,700m) which we cross to climb to the ridge top. Four frozen lakes lie below and then it is up to the crest of the Larkya La (5,100m).
The reward for these difficult trekking conditions is brilliant westerly views of Himlung Himal, Kangurru and Annapurna II as well as the looming omnipresence of Manaslu.
The descent is hardly any easier; we drop around 650m in less than an hour. Our trail then levels off onto yak pastures before finally reaching Bimtang, a collection of typical summer kharkas. (B,L,D)
Day 14: To Tilijet
(O/nt Altitude 2,300m/6.5 hrs approx.) The toughest days on the trail are behind us. We descend through meadows and through pine and rhododendron forest, we arrive in Hampuk and then the path drops further, following the course of the Dudh Khola, crossing the stream fed by the snows of the Kichke Himal and arrive at Karche and then onto the village of Gho – where rice is back on the menu and Nepalese ‘dhal bhat’ is revisited. Keeping to the west bank of the river, the afternoon is one of gradual descent to the Gurung settlement of Tilije which has a certain notoriety for apple brandy.
* Local lodges in Tilije can be seasonally closed - if that is the case, continue to Dharapani, further 1 hr’s walk. (B,L,D)
Day 15: To Jagat
(O/nt Altitude 1,300m/6 hrs approx.) Leaving Tilije we cross to the eastern side of the Dudh Khola and match the gradient of the river down to Dharapani. Here is Dudh Khola’s confluence with the Marsyangdi and also our meeting with the Annapurna Circuit trail which is ascending towards Manang.From this point down an all-weather road is under construction and this itinerary presumes needing to trek down to Jagat and transport from there. (B,L,D)
Day 16: To Besisahar
(O/nt Altitude 760m/7 hrs approx.) Chances are the road construction will currently allow for jeeps. If not then it is a long but easy day’s walk. (B,L,D)
Day 17: To Kathmandu (or Pokhara)
(6 hrs/ 5 hrs drive) We join our conventional transport for the return journey to Himalayan Encounters headquarters at the Kathmandu Guest House and a celebratory end of trek dinner. End of Expedition. (B)
MEAL CODES: (B=breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)