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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.

1st October update

NB: support Samdo’s Wifi / Community Internet Cafe! Drop in and use the service to help keep it active for locals. 

I’ve just walked from Lho down to Soti khola on the original riverside route. Until now, only 26 people have passed through Jagat since April 25th. Daily small numbers are passing now. I will post a few photos soon when on a better connection.

The route is far from perfect as landslides have taken many trails and re-routing and rebuilding work is underway. Now the monsoon has stopped, the locals are out in force (groups of up to 70) rebuilding trails. There is clear confidence that the land is more stable now that it is drying up.

The main issues as of October 1st are as follows (and here are some accompanying photos with short descriptions):

  • Approaching Lapu Besi, some high, narrow trails with long, unprotected drops to the river. Some places were always like this, but now a few more have been added, including a section of 3 logs forming a bridge which needs care to cross. If you have vertigo or bad balance you will not like this. Do not stop to take photos in these places. If mules come, absolutely stick to the cliff side of the trail. Do not stand on the edge as they can push you off.
  • Before Macchakhola, the high suspension bridge is out of use, and a trail goes riverside, with a steep (hands needed in a few places) climb from the beach back up to the old trail.
  • In several places you have to cross landslides. These vary from sand / mud / rocks to boulders. After Dovan there is an enormous landslide with big boulders to cross. In all cases, take care what you stand on as rocks can roll. Don’t put your feet in gaps between boulders.
  • At Yaru Phedi locals are building a new trail to Jagat. (Zipped Google Earth track here new_route_yaru_phedi_manaslu.kml.) There is a wooden bridge now across the thundering river. Then a scramble up into bushes which drops down to riverside on west bank. Then there is a steep, slippery climb up to Lakpal village with great views. Then it is easy down to Jagat on a good trail. No hike from Uiya to Jagat needed now – that route is apparently very scary and not recommended, but the alternative means crossing a large landslide at Dobhan.
  • Beyond Jagat, there are few problems and locals are working hard on the trails right now.
    • 1 hour after Philim there is a steep section down to the bridge. Not dangerous but take care. This may be rebuilt very soon.
    • There is a rough but easy to follow jungle hike over two landslides before Namrung on the trail up from Ghap. Do not try to cross the landslide. (NB, this mistakenly said Machhakhola earlier.)
    • After Lho there is a short section of landslide. Ask for local advice. There is also an alternative but the trail should be ok now the monsoon has stopped.
lapu besi school children manaslu

Doing ok. Two school children walking back from their temporary school as their original school behind is heavily damaged.

Notes:

  • Do not travel if it rains heavily. Rain moves the sand and mud in landslides making the rocks unstable enough to fall. Stay still and enjoy passing time. You can catch it up later.
  • On narrow, steep, temporary trails carry a short single trekking pole and keep a hand free, is my preferred option. Keep it short like a walking stick. Two poles can sometimes be worse than one or none on difficult trails.
  • Pack light. You don’t need a huge amount of stuff. 10 to 12kg should be possible. Better for everyone not to be carrying huge amounts of stuff.
  • Take a local porter from any village along the way for any distance. People need work right now to gather money to build their houses again.
  • In general, it is now a more adventurous hike than before and still possible for fit, adventurous people. Take great care. Take a guide. Take it seriously. Apart from small sections of trail difficulty, it remains as it was, a fantastic, beautiful trek.

Options:

  • Climb up to Keraunja from Arkhet / Soti and take the trail over to Machhakhola to avoid Lapu Besi trail section. It is longer and there is reportedly enough simple, local accommodation for small groups.
  • You can climb the 2 to 3 hours to Uiya (trail just after Tatopani) and stay in a homestay there – i.e. someones house. The village was damaged in the earthquake, and is rebuilding. Great views and hospitality here reportedly.

12 Responses

  1. Barbara Mueller said on October 3, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I am a geologist from Switzerland and just trekked from Soti Khola to Dharapani (15th to 30th of September) My trekking guide and I have chosen to go via Uhiya but the trail from there to Jagat is only for adventurous trekkers! Moreover, there are no lodges in Uhiya – you will have to camp. The landslide on the eastside of the valley near Doban ist not a better alternative to cross movings within can occur any time.

    Reply
    • admin@manaslu said on October 3, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, on every landslide there is a risk and it is a question of exposure to risk. Crossing both the Uhiya-Jagat trail and Doban landslides have risks which are different and should be considered before making a decision. If you have any photo of the Uhiya trail, please do share a link. Thanks.

      Reply
  2. Barbara Mueller said on October 3, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Photos from the whole trekk can be seen on my blog:

    https://barbaramanasluterai2015.wordpress.com

    The blog it written in German as I am Swiss. But a translation program should help.

    Reply
  3. Michelle Landry said on October 4, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Hey there. For anyone interested I did the Manaslu Circuit just before Richard from W-E, Dharapani to Arughat. Sept 15 – 23, 2015.

    Here is my trip report: https://moundbagger.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/manaslu-circuit-aka-landslideland/

    Here is a link to my images from the trip, including a photo of the damaged section of trail that has to be routed around between Jagat and Tatopani: https://www.facebook.com/mmlandry/media_set?set=a.10100353358893947.1073741839.120604714&type=3&__mref=message_bubble

    Reply
  4. Jack said on November 10, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Just completed the Manaslu/Trek Valley trek on Nov 8. Can report all trails are doable but the first three days are really difficult and potentially dangerous due to landslide crossings and detours up Gurung village trails that bypass un passable slide areas. The World Food Programme has been paying locals in food to clear the trails and build temporary bridges and these are in place. Don’t dally while crossing the slides and don’t bunch up. Look up at all times and pass as quickly as you safety can. One tremor could send down hundreds of tones of house size rocks on you! Guest houses are up and running for the most part and food is no problem, as long as you like daal baht!! We saw several mainly French groups with full camping gear and hordes of porters. Completely unnecessary
    This is a much more difficult trek than Annapurna so be fit and ready for some 8-10 hour days. Lots of snow of the pass made for one really long, hard and slippery on the downhill side. Bhimtang was a welcome site!
    We had a Sherpa guide and porter. An uncle/nephew team. They were excellent and a joy to spend 3 weeks with. Best team I ever had. If anyone is looking for a good reliable team let me know and I’ll put you in touch. After some of the horror stories we heard about drunk guides and lazy ones that lied to their clients about the Tsum Valley and pass being closed I feel blessed to have had these rock-solid gentlemen making this the best trip ever.

    Jack
    Jaymsi@yahoo.com

    Reply
  5. julie said on December 4, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    HI there
    Really glad to hear that the Manaslu trek is again open. We also had a fantastic guide and porter ( 2 brothers) from the small town on the hill opposite Arkhet , they desperately need work so yes if anyone is interested , please contact me for their details.

    good and happy trekking …keep safe
    Juie

    Reply
    • Justyna Pawlak said on December 27, 2015 at 3:20 am

      Hi Julie,
      could you send me details guide and porter?
      I am going to go to Nepal in April and I am looking for good guide.How much did you pay per day?
      I will be very gratefull for the information.
      Best regards.
      Justyna

      Reply
  6. mechthild freund said on June 13, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    hi julie, we are looking for guide to make the manaslu circuit. can you give me more info? how can i contact guide? thank you for you information
    greetings
    mechthild

    Reply
    • Jack said on June 13, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      I had an excellent guide and porter. Uncle, nephew team. Sherpas for a great attitude and high altitude experience. Make the Manaslu and Tsum Valley trek a real joy to experience with them. Name is Chhiri Sherpa. Contact him at email sherpachhiri66@gmail.com. You will be well taken care of and have a new friend. Tell him jack recommended you. Enjoy!

      Reply

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