Manaslu Himalaya, Nepal - Ganesh Himalaya on the Horizon

The plan was to climb high across the valley from sama in order to get a good look at Manaslu. We were trying to make a real day of it, so Purna and I set out early and Ramesh baked Tibetan bread before sprinting up behind us for lunch at a small col. 

From our little perch the slope traversing up Sama appeared gradual enough for an attempt at the top. The route lay across a steep field of snow, with the precipitous northwest face of the hill just to our right, dropping thousands of feet to the valley. However, a small cutback on the snow stayed on terrain that was not too badly exposed if one were to slip. Near the top we stopped to assess and looked into each others faces.

Purna didn't want to see me proceed - pretty understandable. Losing a trekker would ruin his professional reputation and put him and Ramesh needlessly at risk. But this was a type of terrain I'd negotiated countless times when unguided and experience in the mountains told me I could do this.

So I told them, wait for me, and  I went anyway. A little more exposed terrain after that and then I topped out. And there lay the Ganesh Himalaya, glowing on the horizon, only visible from the very summit. So I shouted down, and having lived their whole lives in the mountains, the boys shot right up, and weren't too annoyed, and we enjoyed this moment. Then we found a safer route back down, and I'd had my first truly amazing day of the trip.

The View from Sama Hill


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