Text Box: Nicholas Rice
Extreme High Altitude Athlete
Text Box: Xpedition 8000

2009 Solo Manaslu Expedition

Dispatch Nine: April 1st, 2009

Day Nine: Trek Day 6: Namrung to Sama Gaon

Today, we followed our usual morning routine and started trekking toward Sama Gaun. This time, I decided to go my own quick, steady pace, as we were told that this would be the longest and hardest trekking day. The way smelled strongly of pine as I passed manis (walls of stones bearing the Tibetan inscription “Oh mani padme hum” translated ‘All hail the jewel in the lotus’) and Stupas hung with prayer flags with dramatic Himalayan peaks towering in the background. The views were spectacular and distracted me from the painful tendons in my right foot. I reached first Lihi  where I spun prayer wheels, then Nangsang, then Shyo. After Shyo, I caught my first glimpse of Manaslu and by the time I reached Lho, Manaslu was in full view, towering over the surrounding peaks and the Tibetan monastery up on the hill. From here, the trail dropped back down into the forest, which was filled with Goji berries, which added a sweet smell to the air. The trail rose until it reached Shyala at 3504 meters where I was shocked to learn that Sama was only an hour away. I continued past more stupas over what resembled the Tibetan plateau and finally, 45 minutes later, reached the campsite at Sama Gaon. I waited for the others to arrive, chatting with a British trekker who had arrived the previous day. The porters arrived with our gear and we checked to make sure everything was accounted for, tipped them, and sent them on their way, as from this point on, we would be using porters from Sama Gaon (resettled Tibetans who had come over either Gyala Pass, Lajing Pass, or Laiyung Pass). Our gear that was sent ahead for base camp was also already here, so we checked the store room to ensure that all the bags had arrived safely, which they had. We set up camp and headed to dinner inside one of the structures. We decided to sleep in till 7:30am for our rest day tomorrow then headed to bed.

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