It may not have the aura of Everest or Annapurna, but the majestic mountain of Manaslu (8163m) has a remote charm that calls on all trekkers to discover the undiscovered. Lush forests, terraced hillsides, mysterious canyons, gargantuan summits and Buddhist culture are enticing. For so long beyond the horizon, the Tsum Valley is astonishing and secretive. Hilltop monasteries, traditional villages, colourful people, enigmatic yaks and hundreds of mani walls, chortens and kani gates add to the compulsive blend.
Authors Bob Gibbons and Sian Pritchard-Jones first visited Nepal in 1974 and 1982 respectively. Bob arrived overland from the UK in an old Land Rover, at a time when Boudhanath stupa was surrounded by fields and Freak Street was host to travellers and hippies. Soon after that trip he worked as an overland driver and trek manager for Exodus. Sian trekked around Annapurna en route home from work in New Zealand, meeting Bob in Kashmir on another trek. Between 1983 and 1998 they led over forty trekking groups each in Nepal, making at least fifteen ascents of the famous Poon Hill. They continue to visit Nepal regularly, writing or editing books about the Himalayan region, trekking and occasionally driving overland.