Manaslu Trek first day tough alternative!
If you walk from Arughat north, you might be disappointed with the trail. There has been a lot of progress with building in the last couple of years as the rough jeep road has permitted easier access to building materials. Additionally the trail is still affected by damage from the earthquake. It is passable, and still very beautiful as you get further north towards Lapu Besi. But if you are super fit, have time and feeling adventurous, you might want to give yourself a different first day with views like this to Ganesh Himal.
It is possible to reach Arkhet or event Khorlabesi using vehicles now. This route with GPX / KML files attached starts about 1km after Khorla.
KML / GPX files for the route
- KML – Sotikhola to Lapu to Lapsibot to Machhakhola 16km
- GPX – Sotikhola to Lapu to Lapsibot to Machhakhola 16km (right click, save as)
It’s pretty simple. About 1km after Khorlabesi, take the trail upwards that goes to Lapu. You may need to ask people, but it is a well used trail so there should be people about. You have to climb about a kilometre of vertical! Keep asking for Lapu, and don’t hope for it to be closer than it is. You will eventually cross a small pass and get on to the trail pictured above.
Lapu is very damaged by the earthquake, but rebuilding is going on an people are active with normal daily activities. Along the way there are small places to buy Coke and Fanta and local snacks too. As you drop down through Lapu, you need to ask for Lapsibot. The trail drops down to the river and on the other side there is a zigzagging trail up again. Look out for monkeys here.
At the next pass, you can see the trail traversing around the valley. It crosses a very steep looking landslide. The trail is being improved in November 2015. It’s wide enough to cross safely but take care and keep moving.
Crossing the pass you reach Lapsibot high up on a ridge. Great views again. There is a tiny shop here too but you will have to ask and search for it. There is a trail that descends from here to Machhakhola – just one trail down through the forest.
In Machhakhola, you’re back on the main trail again. You’ll be tired but will have trekked a fantastic trail.