Manaslu trek in winter
Brrr cold. As winter comes, the numbers of people doing the Manaslu Trek drops to just a handful per week. At higher altitudes it’s cold. Photographer Alex Treadway, who shot some of his Himalayan Nights series here, trekked over the Larkya pass on Christmas day. To take night shots obviously requires a lot of waiting around until after long after sunset to take long exposure photos. Alex says that the temperature was easily down to -20ºC.
Usually around mid-December, the residents of Samdo pack up their village and head over the Larkya La to Pokhara, Kathmandu and beyond to sell herbs, wool, cheese and of course to escape the cold. Just a few people remain behind to look after the village.
This might be of concern to tea-house trekkers. Will the Dharamsala (Larkya Phedi) lodge stay open through winter? Will you have to camp instead or trek from Samdo to Bimtang in a day?
Maybe is the answer. Generally Dharamsala closes when the number of groups becomes too low – it is simply uneconomic, and rather boring for the manager too. So far the system works as follows. If a group is planning to pass through, they can make contact with a guesthouse in Samdo where the Dharamsala tea-house key is kept. Someone can then accompany you up to the lodge, open it up and cook for you. The following day they will return again to Samdo. The income from this (beyond the salary of the temporary lodge manager) goes to into the Samdo community fund.
Maybe? If you are a small group, the person in Samdo might not find it worth their while to walk up with you to open the lodge. Really it works for groups of four or more – or requires some negotiation about fees.
So there should be a happy, and warm, night before the hardest day on your trek.
If you have questions, please just leave a post below and we’ll get back to you at top speed.
You can buy down pants in from Shona’s in Jyata near Thamel for around Rs. 5000 (I think). Fabulously warm and they make a good pillow if you’re not wearing them.
Call Shona’s on (+977) 01-4265120.