• Raj Kumar Basnet
  • Last Updated on Dec 31, 2023

The Trek to the Manaslu region is among the budding travel destinations in the Himalayas. What adds more value to trekking is adding Tsum valley to your itinerary. This reasonably new trekking trail takes you to some of the most secluded villages and settlements in the Himalayas, untouched by modernity and living in harmony with nature. The trek to Tsum valley is best done in December because of the eccentricities that behold you during the month!

What makes trekking the Manaslu region so unique? Well, prepare to be mesmerized by the aesthetics of the trail that leads you to Tsum valley. Although this particular trek is not as popular as commercialized tourism destinations such as the Annapurna and the Everest region, this region still has a lot to offer. With the magnanimous Himalayas bestowing you their spiritual blessings; the impeccable hospitality of the local people; off-the-beaten trekking experience, and the natural beauty of the Himalayan landscape; the Manaslu and Tsum region has what it takes to make your trip worthwhile.

More so, the breathtaking panorama of the Nepalese Himalayas, juxtaposed with the auburn landscape of snow-laden hills alongside the beautiful traditional settlements of the Tsum valley, truly makes this trek stand out the most. Additionally, crossing the challenging Larke La Pass at more than 5000m gives you the 'Himalayan experience' you so were longing for. This is the ultimate daring adventure for anyone who prefers a traverse in the Himalayas.

Another feature of the trek that catches your eye is the people of the Tsum valley. These people are said to be the descendants of the Tibetan people who migrated to Nepal long ago. As the region is tucked away and opened the gates to modern civilization quite recently, the people in the Tsum valley have the most simplistic lifestyles you could encounter! Their cultures and traditions have been handed down from one generation to another without an ounce of a change in their customs. This means you get to explore the rich culture of the people of the Tsum valley. While you trek the region in December, you will get to explore more of their Himalayan lifestyle.

So why December, then? In December, you will experience the unique face of the Himalayan region, not witnessed during the other months. The area is completely covered in fresh snow. It feels more like an expedition than a trek on the higher Himalayas. It's a rush of adventure and as thrilling as possible! Albeit freezing cold, you can make the most out of your journey in the Manaslu region. If you love that sweet-sweet feeling of the adrenaline rush, the December trek to Tsum valley is something you cannot miss!

This article will discuss December as one option for your trek in the Manaslu and Tsum valley region. First, let's talk about winter, the month which hosts December in Manaslu and Tsum region.

Table of Contents

Manaslu Region and Winter

As in other Himalayas sections, the Manaslu region's winter season can get harsh and rigid. The nights are particularly cold, while the daytime experiences bright and sunny hours. So, you do not have much difficulty taking a journey during the season. Winter is always cold but extra cold in the Himalayan region. Therefore, you must carry layers and insulate yourself.

The region is almost completely covered in snow, which can make it a bit challenging for you to navigate the area. However, it wouldn't be a hassle with a guide around. Make sure to carry crampons so that you can walk in the snow. The winter trek to the Manaslu region is thrilling and exciting, but more importantly, doable!

Incredible Himalayan Panoramic Views

The trek in winter offers you incredible views of the Himalayas. The sky is crystal clear, and you can stretch your eyes far and wide. You will be able to gaze at the Himalayan peaks, namely: Manaslu, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri, throughout your journey. Similarly, the December trek is quite unique in the sense that everything will be covered in snow, including the trail. So, it feels like a trek to a snowy paradise. You will have to bear in mind the extent of the weather during the trek, though. Exercise precautions whenever possible!

Likewise, the trail in itself offers you excellent trekking aesthetics. You will be surrounded by small and big hills covered in snow, resembling the Himalayan peaks. The clear views of the Himalayas during the entirety of the trek make your journey quite worthwhile.

Solitude and Journey

December is an off-season trekking month. So, the Manaslu region will not host a lot of trekkers during the month. This means the trekking trails and tracks will not buzz with groups ascending and descending the trail. So, you will get to experience trekking the region in peace and solitude. Similarly, you will also get to explore more of the landscape aesthetics without interference from other trekkers.

Easy Access to Accommodation

As stated previously, December is not a popular trekking month. Had you come to the Tsum valley region during peak trekking seasons, you could experience firsthand the hassle of getting modest accommodation on the trail. Well, take our word for it! But, in December, this does not even concern you. With already limited trekkers traveling in the area, there will be plenty of rooms in standard and modest teahouses for you.

Similarly, you will also feel extra special as the hosts will treat you with the most fantastic hospitality. You can also get as many blankets as you like because there won't be many to use. Getting pampered in the Himalayas, it's definitely a dream!

Expedition-like Aesthetic

Most sections of the trail are entirely covered in snow in December. Consider December if you want to experience what it's like summiting the Himalayan peaks without all that hassle. This will also be more like a simulation where you can get the hang of trekking on piles of snow. This is the feature that only the months like December can offer.

December Festivities

Nepal offers more than just natural beauty. There are more than 123 ethnic groups in Nepal, each with its own set of unique cultures, traditions, and festivals. In December, you can witness and explore the celebration of Tamu Lhosar. This is a unique festival separated by the indigenous groups following Tibetan Buddhism. You can explore their delicacies and cuisine and immerse in their festivals.

Similarly, you can schedule your trek around December and celebrate Christmas or even New Year's during your journey!

Weather and Temperature

The weather in the Himalayas is extremely harsh, particularly so in December. But, this shouldn't be much of a concern for you. You can carry thick insulating jackets and layer as much as possible for your journey. The days are pretty sunny, with ample sunshine hours, making your trekking experience comfortable. However, during nighttime, the temperature can drop down to negative. Do not forget to carry your sleeping bag. Protect yourself from the cold as much as you can!

As you traverse between the altitudes of 700m and 5160m, the temperature will vary accordingly. In that sense, the temperature in the lower altitude regions will have some contrast with its higher altitude counterparts. So, the temperature can range between -8 degrees Celsius and 12 degrees Celsius until Sama Gaon. However, the temperature can drop significantly in the higher altitude sections.

Therefore, you need appropriate trekking gear and apparel for the journey. Do not forget to carry crampons, trekking poles, and a sleeping bag for your trek. With these items, you can trek the region without much hassle.

Unpredictable Snowfall Conditions

You have to bear in mind that this is an extreme adventure, an off-the-beaten trek, especially so in December. You have to consider the possibility that you may get stuck due to heavy snowfall from the previous night. Therefore, it is best to keep some extra days on your itinerary before you embark on this daring adventure.

It's important to carry essential gear and exercise maximum precaution during your trek. You may encounter instances where the entire trail is blocked by snow. This is when hiring a guide comes in really handy!

Some Tips for your Journey to Tsum Valley

  • It is essential to prepare yourself physically and mentally.
  • You cannot journey in the Manaslu region without hiring a guide. Similarly, you must be a group of at least two trekkers to get the permit.
  • Having a porter throughout your journey will make it less exhausting.
  • Crampons and sleeping bags are essential items for your trek.
  • Only trek through a reputable trekking company.

We hope this blog gave you some insights about going on a December trek to Tsum valley. It is also equally important to do further research from your end. After all, the month you go on a Nepal trek depends on your preference, convenience, and availability. Happy trekking!

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Raj Kumar Basnet

Raj Kumar Basnet

Hello, Hi & Namaste Everyone !

Raj Kumar Basnet holds more than two decades of travelling experience in different regions of Nepal. He has trekked in both popular and off-the-beaten-path Nepali trekking trails which have allowed him to gain expertise in tourism. With years of field experience under his belt, he is now concentrating on sharing as much of his tourism knowledge as possible. Now, the co-owner of Outfitter Nepal, he hopes that the knowledge he’s gained over the years would deem helpful for the travellers visiting Nepal!

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