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.
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.
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.
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.