Mount Manaslu formerly known as Kutan I gets its name from a Sanskrit word 'Manasa'. The word 'Manasa' roughly translates to Mountain of the Spirit. With a name like that Mt. Manaslu ranks at eighth highest peak to dominate the skyline. Just located 40 miles away from Annapurna, Mt. Manaslu towers over the surrounding landscapes. This aura of dominance attracts brave expeditioners and climbers from all over the world to ascent this challenging peak.
The first attempt to Manaslu was made in 1953 by a Japanese team from the Budhi Gandaki Valley, however, the first ascent was made only in 1956. Manaslu has always been a sought after by climbers as an alternative to Cho Oyu before summiting Everest. Manaslu is recommended for its challenge as over to Cho Oyu. Even though the summit is surrounded by ridges and moraines there are six different routes for the ascent. The south east route is often regarded as the hardest. Physical and mental preparation as well as climbing experience is required to successfully make the ascent.
The Manaslu Expedition starts from very low elevation (500m) to maximum elevation (8163m).The journey starts with Manaslu Circuit Trek leading to Manaslu Base Camp. The Manaslu Circuit Trek follows breath taking treks along several villages, valleys, forests, terraces with scenic views of mountain peaks. From the Base Camp the climb is relatively straightforward to summit. To ease the climbing experience, four camps will be set up above the Base Camp. Expert climbers with experience to handle any type of situation will monitor as well as guide the ascent while the Sherpas will take care of carrying the equipments along the way.
The expedition begins with a long scenery filled drive from Kathmandu to the hustling environment of market town - Arughat leading to Soti Khola. The trek starts from Soti Khola towards Maccha Khola. The journey is filled with trails that lead through evergreen Rhododendron and pine forests. These trails provide tremendous views of snowcapped peaks of Gorkha massifs. During this trek historical and cultural experience of indigenous communities can be observed in the villages along the way. Their traditions are reflected in the accommodations of lodges and teahouses. For example Labishe village is known for people of Gurung people. Similarly Jagat village is famous for being a trade point to and from Tibet.
Samagaon is known by many as acclimatization zone to physically accommodate for the summit and overcome altitude sickness. Samagaon also has various monasteries and gumbas to explore during the stay.
Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu
As you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu you will be greeted by a designated individual. Then you will be transferred to your hotel where you will be briefed on the set itinerary to make necessary trip preparations along with paper works.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Today we go sightseeing in Kathmandu. This mostly includes UNESCO world heritage sites which have cultural and historical importance. Some of these are Swayambhunath Temple, Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square etc.
Day 3: Drive to Arughat and Soti Khola
Today we leave early morning for Arughat. The drive to Arughat is follows serpentine highway filled scenic views. The roads are filled with roadside villages. We continue driving north of Arughat to reach Soti Khola. After almost 10 hours long drive to Soti Khola we spend overnight at a local lodge.
Day 4: Trek to Machha Khola
The trek from Soti Khola goes through a bridge to reach a big rock. From there we descend along the banks of Budi Gandaki River. The rocky trail then rises steeply towards a village inhabitated by people of Gurung community, Labishe. A short trek from Labishe and we arrive at Machha Khola where we spend overnight.
Day 5: Trek to Jagat
The trek begins along the banks of Budi Gandaki River. The trail from Maccha Khola has us ascending as well as descending through several ridges. The trek then follows along a better trail to Jagat village. We spend overnight at a local lodge.
Day 6: Trek to Deng
After breakfast we leave for Deng. The trail is filled with Mani painted walls leading to Setibas. From there we head to Ghatta Khola and then to Phillim. We make our way across Budi Khola River and continue to till we reach Deng village where we spend overnight.
Day 7: Trek to Namrung
Our trek starts today with several ascends and descends to reach Ghap village. We then follow up a route through a forest of bamboos and Rhododendron. The trail reaches to village of Namrung.
Day 8: Trek to Samagaon
We leave Samagaon by a trail that passes along a waterfall to reach the village of Barchham. The trek climbs up to Lihi village. The trail continues down and across Hinan River. We gradually ascend to Sho village where we are welcomed by the mountain views of Himal Chuli and Manaslu. From Sho village we descend through fields to Samagaon.
Day 9: Samagaon
Today is acclimatization day in Samagaon. At 3500m we try to overcome the cold and high altitude further along our journey. On this day we go on exploration of Samagaon village. We can visit gompas or take a short hike to Pung Gyen Gumba. We return to spend overnight at Samagaon.
Day 10: Trek to Manaslu Base Camp
We begin our trek by climbing over rocks deposited by glacier and then across Birendra Kund lake. The lake gives a beautiful view of reflection of Mt. Manaslu. At the Base Camp site we make necessary arrangements for ascent the following day.
Day 11-35: Climbing of Mt. Manaslu and descend to Base Camp
We spend several days acclimatizing ourselves by performing climbing practices. Four additional camps will be set up above the base camp each at higher altitudes. The climb of Mt. Manaslu will be observed and coordinated by experienced climbers whereas the Sherpas will do the hard work of carrying the equipments and gears necessary for the ascent. At the top of the summit the climb is rewarded by breath taking views of neighboring Himalayan peaks such as Ganesh Himal, Himal Chuli, and Manaslu north can be observed. We descend by following the same route back down to base camp after spending much appreciated time at the summit.
Day 36: Trek to Samagaon
After the summit we go back to trekking for the return. The route back is same as we descend along the glacial rocks. When we return back to Samagaon celebration will be made on our achievement as we spend overnight there.
Day 37: Trek to Samdo
The trek to Samdo goes up north along the Budi Gandaki River. The trail leads us to Khormo Kharka where Mt. Manaslu can be seen on the backdrop. We continue on our way as we ascend a short hill and then descend down as we cross the river. Another short trek uphill and we reach Samdo where we spend overnight.
Day 38: Trek to Larkya Pedhi
The trek to Larkya Pedhi starts by a descend and over across Gyala river. Mani stones can be followed along our ascent to Larkya Pedhi. The trail rewards us with stunning views of Larkya Peak and north face of Manaslu.
Day 39: Trek to Bimtang
Early in the morning our trek begins by a climb over a ridge. The climb continues steeply as we head to crossing of Larkya La Pass (5135m). The pass provides a sceneric view of Annapurna II, Himlung, Menjung, Gyagi Kang, Kang Guru and Cheo Himals. The trail from the pass descends down to Bimtang.
Day 40: Trek to Dharapani
The trail to Dharapani begins with a descent through Rhododendron and pine forest. This descent leads to Hompuk and further along to river bed of Dudh Khola. The trail continues towards Kharche then descends to Tilije village with the populace mostly of Gurung community. A large suspension bridge over Marsyangdi River takes us to Dharapani for an overnight stay.
Day 41: Trek to Syange
The trek from Dharapani climbs up and passes through Tal village. Our trail heads towards Chyamje as we cross another river again. The trail continues by a descent through a forest of Rhododendron as we reach Syange.
Day 42: Drive to Kathmandu
The drive back to Kathmandu is 9 to 10 hrs long. The roads are filled yet again by the sight of green scenery to make the mundane ride pleasant. At Kathmandu you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day 43: Kathmandu
On this day you are free to do as you please. The day can be spent by sightseeing or by taking the day off to rest. You can also go shopping to remember and reflect upon your visit to Nepal.
Day 44: Departure
A designated individual will drop you at Tribhuvan International Airport as per your flight schedule. Farewell.
I would like to welcome you to our special way of exploring Nepal and invite you to consider Nepal Climbing Adventure.