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Mustang Mystery: Episode One, the Approach
Posted on April 7, 2015

Pokhara, Nepal with Fishtail Peak looming. The journey starts here.

After the tragic events on Everest last year, Melissa Arnot was feeling disillusioned about high-altitude climbing. Yet her love for Nepal, its people and its mountains remained strong. So, in the fall of 2104, Melissa Arnot traveled back to the tallest range in the world but changed course, journeying to three newly permitted 20,000-foot peaks in the Upper Mustang region with guide Ben Jones and filmer Jon Mancuso on a self-supported journey to see what they could climb. In part one of the Mustang Mystery series we follow this journey, starting with the long and tedious approach just to reach the base of Mansail, Mansail South and Mustang Himal. Yesterday we posted Melissa’s reflection on the journey, today is episode one of Mustang Mystery. -LYA Editor

Footage and Images by Jon Mancuso, Edit by Karl Archer

The long road to Lo Manthang with a brief stretch of flatland.

 

Top: Pokhara, Nepal with Fishtail Peak looming. The journey starts here. Above: The long road to Lo Manthang with a brief stretch of flatland. 1. Mechanical issues and 99 problems—but not the engine—on the road to Jomsom. L to R: 2. The superhighway route, kids playing while the jeep rolls from Pokhara to Jomsom.32. Skeptical travelers on a  bumpy ride, but better than walking to Samara.

Melissa Arnot and Ben Jones on the beautifully rocky trail between Jomsom and Samara, dealing with the practical travel implications of landslides.

 

Above: Melissa Arnot and Ben Jones on the beautifully rocky trail between Jomsom and Samara, dealing with the practical travel implications of landslides. L to R: 1. Himalayan foothills, a mountain that may or may not be Annapurna. 2. Prayer flags on chortens en route to Samara. 3. High-altitude stock, selecting the ride for transport in the wild west of climbing.

Wheat fields at the lunch break vantage point, nearing Samara on the approach to the Upper Mustang.

 

Above: Wheat fields at the lunch break vantage point, nearing Samara on the approach to the Upper Mustang. L to R: 1. Crossing Himalayan waters on horseback, Melissa takes the reigns of Monique. 2. Scenic shot of the many faces of the Mustang. 3. An absence of climbing culture deep in a rarely visited region of Northwestern Nepal equals some reclusive and reluctantly photographed locals.

Melissa Arnot takes a moment to reflect while the guys finish their shopping in Lo Manthang.

 

Above: Melissa Arnot takes a moment to reflect while the guys finish their shopping in Lo Manthang. L to R: 1. One sweet jingle ride, in Lo Manthang, with max horsepower. 2. A lighter moment in Lo Manthang, a much longer journey than anticipated. 3. Melissa shouldering the load after a heavy shopping  expedition at the town mall. Below: A Nepalese child playing with tradition in Lo-Manthang.

A Nepalese child playing with tradition in Lo-Manthang.

Author: - Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
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