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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.

Trek to Manasu base camp

A walk up to Manaslu base camp makes a great day trip from Samagaon on the Manaslu Trek. It’s your rest and acclimatisation day, so take it easy. The walk up from Samagaon takes up to 5 hours, and the decent around 3 hours. So a full day. Take plenty of food and water with you and start early to enjoy the best light and avoid later on to much sun and reflected light from the glacier.

Manaslu trek -  Base camp 1999 (4800 m)

© Ferran Latorre 1999 - see more on Flickr, just click

This is taken from Guy Shachar’s useful write up of side trips to do from the Manaslu trek.

We have done this trip. Manaslu Base Camp is the first of a series of camps used by climbing expeditions to Manaslu. During the climbing seasons, the place is packed with tents, equipment, guides, porters and expedition members either anxious before the climb or exhausted after a climb.

We visited the place on October 9th, when only 3 expeditions out of 25 this season still remained on the mountain. Nobody really knows what’s the altitude of this place, including a veteran expedition chief, but it is somewhere between 4400 and 4800 meters. In any case it is high enough to make to climb there a bit demanding. The steep climb from Samagaon takes about 4-5 hours. The trail has a short start in the forest then becomes exposed on the steep slope above Samagaon north of the impressive Manaslu glacier. As you gain altitude the scenery becomes more and more spectacular – the glacier just nearby, the turquoise lake beneath, and mountains as far as the eye can see. The last part of the climb is the steepest on a slippery trail on a narrow moraine. Beside the experience of seeing the camp activity and meeting climbers, the surrounding mountain scenery is breathtaking. Although there are some glacier based water sources on the way, carry enough water with you. The descent to Samagaon takes about 3 hours.

A great part of this day trip is the classic view it affords over the Nubri valley and Samagaon and the turquoise-green Birendra Tal.

Birendra Tal, a glacial lake below Manaslu base camp

© Ben Tubby on Flickr - click for more pictures

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