Acclimatizing yourself is very important and one of the most useful ways is going up the heights for the day and come down for sleeping. Because of that Manang offers several day trips around it to higher sights in order to get used to the heights.
The highest option is going up to the "Ice Lake". It's a great day trip with amazing views (in my opinion it has the best views on the whole trip).
From Manang there are 2 ways going up to the Ice Lake. The 1st one goes out of Manang itself. It's steeper and takes less time. The 2nd trail which is easier to walk goes out of Braga (Braka). This is the previous village on the trail and it takes around half and hour to walk back.
We choose the 2nd option. We left Manang at 7:55 AM and headed back to Braga. The trail goes right inside the village so you have to cross it. The general direction is up, so just keep going straight.
After passing the last few houses of the village the narrow goat trail turns to the right and goes along the mountain. Then it turns again to the left and climb up in a very steep climb, this will be your hardest and steepest climb of the day. It's not too long though relatively.
The trail keeps going up but it's not so steep any more and it has a few parts of going pretty straight.
When reaching the height of 4600 M, you suppose to see the lake. In order to see it, cross the hill on your right or go around the hill for a few minutes. Right afterwards you'll see a lake; this is NOT the "Ice Lake". The Ice Lake is lying another 10 minutes walk after the 1st lake.
Along the way there are signs of ACAP showing the way to the Ice Lake. At this time of the year it's no very icy though. We reached it around 12:30 PM.
My personal opinion is that the lakes are not as beautiful as I expected, on the other hand the way going there is absolutely amazing! You get to see the opposite ridge and great views of the Annapurna range, Braga and Mananag.
On top near the lake we met a young guy which was a reporter of a local newspaper. He took some video shots of the place. We decided we want to go down the steeper way, the one going straight to Mananag. We really didn't know where this way is. A
sking that reporter, didn't also give us the wanted answer. Therefore we just walked back on the way we came. The reporter came with us although he said he already walked once on the steeper trail, but I guess he couldn't find it either.
We left the lake at around 13:00 and reached Braga at 15:55 then it's and easy walk to Mananag. We were exhausted, and reached Mananag at 16:30.
Summing it up, It's a long and hard day of climbing (although from the signs in Manang it doesn't' seems so.) 1000 M. The views worth it all! Adding the importance of the good acclimatization you get from this trip, it's just a must!
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