The Government of Nepal recently announced a new trekking route in the Ganesh Himal area and a peak nearby ,at Langtang valley, north of Kathmandu, to be named after the founder of International Scouts ,Lord Baden Powell. This was done to mark the centenary celebration of the International Scouts’ Movement. To mark the launching of the Lord Baden Powell Trek and Lord Baden Powell Peak, scouts from different parts of the world gathered in Nepal. They went on a trek along the Lord Baden Powell Trek and ascended the Lord Baden Powell Peak. Here we reproduce the details of the trek as recorded by Mark Mangles, an Australian scout leader. The journey commenced from Kakani on the 27th of August, 2007. There were, altogether, seventeen trekking members from Australia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Excerpts from a trekker’s diary : A Day to Day Account of the Lord Baden Powell Trek
27th August ’07– We left Kakani for Syabrubesi. The drive was interesting because the bus kept breaking down on the way. We reached Trishuli and had lunch there. It started raining heavily from there onwards. On the way we came to a part of the road which was flooded. We had to stop and wait for the water to recede. After resuming our journey, we came to a new landslide that had just happened .The driver had to make an alternate arrangement for us. He arranged another bus. We had to walk across the landslide to get to the bus. After driving for about twenty minutes, we came to another landslide. We had to traverse in the dark, as it was already evening. When we reached the other side, we got on to another bus (the third one since we started our journey!).This one was quite crowded .There were about fifty-six passengers in the bus. We reached Syabrubesi at around 10 o’clock at night. It was a difficult journey but quite an interesting one. I took it as a part of an adventure!
28th August ’07– We started our trek from Syabrubesi at 8o’clock in the morning. The weather was fairly hot, almost everybody got sunburn. We walked from Syabrubesi to Gatlang. It was a very steep climb. We climbed the first half of the day and the second half, we followed the road. The second part of the trek was easier than the first half. We stayed in Gatlang that day. We put up our tents in the school ground and spent the night there. It started raining during the night and from then on it rained constantly for ten days.
29th August ’07– It was a lucky day for us. After walking for about an hour and a half, we came to a village which was having a full-moon celebration. We got to participate in the singing and dancing. It was a very interesting experience. We enjoyed it very much!
The day’s walk was pretty easy. We walked for about six hours and climbed an altitude of 3,400 m. It was a good day. One of the Korean girls celebrated her sixteenth birthday. We had a bit of a celebration that night.
30th August ’07-We had a steady climb, a bit up and a bit down. We passed some rhododendron bushes. Just after lunch we climbed through the 4000 meters mark. We walked for six hours that day. We spent the night at a kharka, which was at the height of 4,247 m.
31st August ’07-We got up and had porridge for breakfast (my favourite!).Since it was still raining, the way was a bit dangerous. We had to walk on narrow trails that were quite wet and slippery. It was a bit dangerous because the trail was quite steep. We walked for five hours and covered a distance of 2.5 kilometers. We spent the night at a height of 4,300 m. As it did not cease raining , we had a wet night!
1st September ’07-We trekked over four peaks that day. The chief highlight was, we reached the highest mark on the trek, 4,728 m. It was a fairly long day. We walked for about ten and a half hours. Unfortunately we could not enjoy the scenery as the weather was cloudy. We camped at Sanjun kharka.
2nd September ’07– We left Sanjun kharka for Tatopani. It rained the whole day. The route was pretty interesting because we actually had to cross over Tibet and walk for about a kilometer and half. We crossed some interesting bridges. It was a long day walk. But Tatopani(2,600 m) was very welcome. At Tatopani we got the chance to wash ourselves and our clothes .In fact Tatopani offered us the first opportunity to dry our clothes. We swam in the hot baths. We actually had a very restful stay in Tatopani.
3rd September ’07– Spent a restful day in Tatopani. Good food, great people, great place to relax!
4th September ’07-We left Tatopani for Nagthali. We walked for four hours. It was a reasonably short route. We got some sunshine during the day and so got the chance to enjoy some good views. The trek was uphill. As we passed through the Tamang Heritage route, we stopped at a Tamang village. We got to visit the gompas. The villagers were very friendly. We had a homestay that day.
5th September ’07-We left Nagthali and hit Thuman. It was downhill all the way. As it was raining, the trail was quite muddy and slippery. Sometimes during the day, the clouds shifted and we got to see some good views. It took two hours to walk from Nagthali to Thuman.
Thuman, a big Tamang village, has a medical centre and a school. We had two home stays at Thuman. The families that we got to stay with were very hospitable. They looked after us very well. We got to know a lot about Tamang culture from them. They do have a very rich culture.
6th September ’07– We left for Syabrubesi. The way was all up and down. We passed paddy and corn fields. We arrived at Syabrubesi at around 12o’clock.We had walked for four hours. It was good to be back in Syabrubesi. We had a small party that night as one of the trek members, a Singaporean, was going back. We had a good time!
“I found the trek quite adventurous and interesting because we had to trek under bad weather conditions. Although we could not enjoy the beautiful scenery that Nepal is so famous for, it was still an interesting trek . We went to an area where normally people don’t go to. Being a new route, it was quite challenging for us. We reached a height of 4,700 meters which is fairly high for a trek It is a difficult trek and I wouldn’t recommend it to people who haven’t trekked before.” Mark Mangles