Ascent to Lower Pisang on 1999-09-18

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:guides and trekkers
Date:Saturday, September 18, 1999
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Place:Lower Pisang
    Elevation:3200 m / 10499 ft

Ascent Trip Report

DAY #6 (SEPT 18) .... CHAME(2670) TO LOWER PISANG(3200) .... 6(35) hours, 10(53)km.

"sooba-ratry .... good night."

We woke up to a beautiful clear sunny blue skies, with the first superb views of the High Peaks, Annapurna 2 and 4. I go to sleep early everynight, rooster kept me awake since 4 oclock, I've been sleeping good the last number of nights, the cold hasn't affected me.

We arrive at Keleku shortly after leaving, deep gorge and vertical walls thru here, and start of tall pines trees and a drastic change in vegetation/climate. We are now at a good altitude, slow pace and no symptoms. To here the vegetation has been especially dense/green/lush and jungle-like, little evergreens and not many open areas.
Two hours into the day we stopped for breakfast at Bhratang, numerous trekkers at this apparent popular stop. This couple hired a porter to carry their gear for 7$ a day including hotels and all meals. Bought apples at an apple orchard.
Just past Bhratang the gorge is extremely narrow and the trail is cut into a vertical rock face, a long suspension bridge crosses the river to the westside and straight ahead of you on the otherside is a huge vertical granite face ..... visible from Pisang as you look back down trail. After the bridge you have a 1 hour stiff climb thru a beautiful tall pine forest, the aroma giving pleasure to your high-altitude/deep breathing as you huff and puff to higher altitude.
Not long after cresting the climb you come to a few Hotels, we stopped at Trekkers Inn for lunch, met/chatted up with my Swiss friends, the lady gave me home made hot spices to take home, asked for 10 rupees (7 cents).
We descended into the Manang long open valley, with evergreens and grazing animals (the first seen so far), passed a horse caravan and a helicopter landing spot, Pisang Peak dominating in the background .... a whole other world, the narrow/closed-in/jungle-like valley giving way to an open expanse/arid views, a major change in the environment/people's way of life.
It was just past 13h00 hours as we walked in to Lower Pisang (elev 3200m), an interesting looking village, I decided for an early stop. Raj checked us in to the Maya Hotel, a very clean, fairly new place. I have no altitude symptoms, however, Raj and I discussed/agreed to to stay 2 nights at our next stop (for acclimitization purposes as recommended by my guide book).

After 6 days I have concluded that Raj is not what we look-for in a good guide, his focus is not his client, doesn't explain things and answers for the people I ask the question to, he just ambles along during the day in a daze. Doesn't seem to like the fact I refer to the guide book ..... it's a cultural/language problem. He gets lost once we stop for the day, and definetely drinks a lot. Last night he drank 'til midnight so today he was sluggish/lagging behind, hardly eats during the day. He doesn't explain the costs involved at these stops, so I dont know if he's on budget, I wouldn't want him to be short.

Sunny pleasant day and a very cool evening (60F), had to put on my warm clothes, it'll stay like this 'til we get over/down Thorung-La. Today was the first day where I felt like being in the Himalayas.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:530 m / 1739 ft
    Elevation Loss:0 m / 0 ft
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
sunny pleasant day, cool evening 60F
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:530 m / 1739 ft
    Distance:10 km / 6.2 mi
    Route:up marsyandi river valley
    Trailhead:chame  2670 m / 8760 ft
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:0 m / 0 ft
    Trailhead:maya hotel,lower pisang  3200 m / 10499 ft

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