Show photo
Photo: ©
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is the best all round tea-house hike in Nepal on the Great Himalaya Trail; the new Annapurna Circuit. No camping needed.

Manaslu trek update July 12 2015

Who knows how the Manaslu Trek is going to be like this coming season? The monsoon is doing its work right now. With the area from Arughat to perhaps 30km north of there identified as having “very strong” shaking, there is a lot of loose or destabilised ground for the monsoon to work on. The valley is steep sided in places and many landslides occurred at the time of the earthquake, and now two months on, the monsoon is bringing down loose material and chunks of hillside. Landslides are a part of life, just that the earthquake has exacerbated it substantially.

manaslu-shakemap-overlay

Shakemap. The area of the first couple of stages of the Manaslu trek heavily shaken.

The entire region was shaken, and you can see from this video, that the trail over the Larkya Pass needed cleaning up too. Partially from snow, but mainly from rocks that had rolled onto the trail during the 60 seconds of shaking. This makes it impossible for mules to move on the trails so a big team put big effort into cleaning the trail by hand. You can see that Samdo and Bimtang are in good shape.

Remote Access Operations: Larke Pass, Nepal from Fenom Creative on Vimeo.

Our Remote Access Operation (RAO) Team has been working for weeks to help open the Larke Pass (5,160 Meters) in the Manaslu region of Nepal. Many of the upper villages in this area have been completely cut off from their regular supply trains due to landslides destroying the paths and roadways. Some of these villages see over a thousand donkeys per week that deliver their necessary supplies. RAO Field Manager, Vibeke Sefland, explains the process in which the Remote Access Operation team used to open this high altitude pass and access these hard to reach villages. A team of 150 mules will make several trips over the pass until they deliver and distribute the 65 tonnes of rice and oil to the awaiting villagers.

Produced: Fenom Creative / Don Bowie
Camera: Cody Tuttle, Scott Rogers, Tiffany Junge
Edit: Ryan Harris

But back to the first section. In this area all villages were badly affected, many effectively destroyed. The same organisation shown above sent in an expert trail builder / geologist team to look at the situation. They quickly discovered that the riverside trail was dangerous – simply too much rock hangs above the trail in many sections. Thus the trail is going to be rerouted safely on more traditional trails high above the river.

manaslu-new-route

Proposed rerouting of the first stages

This is a good solution. At Dovan they propose the building of two bridges (scheduled mid-November) to avoid a landslide zone. Reports are that the landslide zone is crossable. Clearly going around is optimal, but others are willing to take the added risk.

The main issue with this route for trekkers is the lack of food or accommodation facilities here on this 40+ km section.

Right now it looks like you’ll need a tent, though there is a good chance that entrepreneurs will magic something up before then.

Additionally we here are trying to understand the needs of those villages and see if we can raise a trekkers’ fund to help them out. We’re contacting relevant organisations working there now to learn more.

A second issue is checking that other accommodation structures are safe. Hopefully a field team will complete that work by the end of September, but this is not certain.

Now, as mentioned it is time for the monsoon to work. Hopefully it will not be too harsh but we can only know for sure the status of the Manaslu Trek after that time.

If your guide wants to contact a local for updates try Bikash Gurung of Sirdibas – 9741.402.081. He is going soon to Bimtang so may not be reachable for periods of time! Warning: his is his own opinion and not the opinion of this site or this sites owners.

7 Responses

  1. Sarah said on July 28, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Thank you for the update! This is the most information I’ve seen about the Manaslu Circuit Trek. We were there in April during the earthquake (past Bimthang) & still trying to find out about villages along the way. What village is shown in the video at 0:35? Is there information anywhere about the particular villages? Thanks again!

    Reply
    • admin@manaslu said on July 30, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      I’d post a comment on the Vimeo page and ask the film makers for a more accurate answer! Thanks for your post.

      Reply
  2. Zuzana said on August 17, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Hello,

    do you have any update of the situation in Manaslu region? We would like to go Manaslu and Tsum valley trek. What do you think will it be possible to do the trek or you do not recommend to go there?

    Which other trek do you recommend? I do not like crowded treks like Annapurna or Mt. Everest and I made Dhaulágirí and Kanchenjunga trek in the past. I prefere treks where are trees and grass (of course in lower altitude) and no dry treks like Mustang or Dolpo. Could you recommend us some if Manaslu is not possible?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • admin@manaslu said on August 17, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Tsum is out this year. Manaslu is possible for people with good experience in the mountains. I am waiting to give an update about this in the next couple of days.

      If not Manaslu, you could try hiking from Namche to Makalu basecamp, or Beni, Dhorpatan up to Dolpa Phoksundo?

      Reply
  3. Nick said on August 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Hi
    I was wondering if you have any more updates?
    I’d love to go in October but I’m no mountaineer, just your independent tea house trekker
    Nick

    Reply
    • admin@manaslu said on September 10, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      Hi Nick, You’ll appreciate it is tricky to give certain advice. It seems if you are flexible, tough, sensible, aware then it seems like it will be ok. People are walking up and down the trail, including the regular, riverside route, but that is reportedly “not good”. The alternative high route is there but accommodation options limited still to people’s houses (not all in great shape of course) or camping / bivvyng.

      Reply
  4. Tyson said on August 30, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Hi, I’ll be in Nepal during september and october. Was wondering if you’ve received any further update on the condition of Manaslu Circuit?

    Reply

Leave a Reply