Tsum Valley (north) from Mu Gompa: towards Tibet
Sunday, 5 April 2015: Easter Sunday: Mu Gompa (3700 m) to Chhokang Paro (3030 m)
After our night of snow we woke to blue skies and a magical snowy view out over the Tsum Valley and the mountains of the Ganesh Himal (गणेश हिमाल). Crisp and clear. Val decided on a change of plan - rather than spending another day and night at Mu, we'd start our journey back down the Tsum today to rendezvous with Anthony and Namgyal in Chhokang Paro.
After breakfast in the terraced rooms, and checking to see if the snowfall had caused any damage, there was time for Val, Tsering and me to continue a short way further along the ancient trade route to Tibet, turning back at a fresh landslide and fast melting snow. Fabulous. I wish I could have spent longer here right up at the top of Upper Tsum, exploring the higher level trails that wind their way around the mountains.
Back at the gompa, we visited the main prayer hall before starting our descent. A morning of strong sun at high altitude meant that most of the slopes we had to negotiate on our way down were clear from snow. Phew.
Lunch at Chhule (छुले 3350m) back at our Ani campsite, a quick visit to the village elders, then on to Chhokang Paro taking the west bank of the Sardi Khola / Syar Khola / Tsum Chu river this time. A long day.
Great to see Anthony and Namgyal again in the evening and a Cham festival - with traditional dancing and fertility playlets - in the village gompa. A real treat. Lots of other tourists there - quite a surprise as we'd not seen many other westerners on the route. Dinner at Namgyal’s family home, complete with cake.
Map from Günter Seyfferth’s Die Berge des Himalaya (The mountains of Himalaya). Here are his annotated photos from Mu Gompa: Chhule, Churke Himal and Ganesh II and Phuchun Khola valley, Pashuwo, Langpo Kangri, Ganesh I (Yangra Kangri), Churke Himal.
Read more about my Tsum Valley trek with Val Pitkethly.