Manaslu Circuit Trek

So far we are 2 people for this winter trek on the Manaslu Circuit. I’m from California and the other guy’s from Spain. Both of us have experience trekking in Nepal. We would like to have a few more companions so we end with a group size of 3 to 4 trekkers. As of now, we have a guide and porters arranged. The final price will depend on how many people join us. We have 12 to 13 days to this 14 day trek so there will be some challenging days. We will also try to have an alternative trek in the event the Larkya Lal Pass is snowed in.

Reply
USA

Replies

9 replies
  1. Hey Toby, me and my wife are planning to do it in about the same time. We’re currently double checking our equipment, since we’re not sure how cold it gets in the top passages. Are you guys equipped for -5 / – 20C and potential snow / winds on the top?

  2. Hi Stan,
    I did the Mera Peak trek around this time 3 years ago. It’s 6400 meters. We did not encounter any big storms but there was continuous snow and heavy winds on the day we headed to the summit. I would guess it was in the -20 range. I had good quality waterproof pants over my regular pants and long underwear. We rented plastic boots and wore gaiters. Good quality gloves with a pair of liners. The item I would not have done without was a very thick expedition down coat with attached hood. The coat has about 1.5 inches of loft. A waterproof rain cover over the coat. All of this kept my very comfortable in the really harsh driving wind and snow. Larkya La is around 5000 meters so it should be less intense. Also, considering the freak snow storm in Nepal in October 2014, I would turn around before the pass if the weather turned sketchy! Sounds like you’re in for a really great trip! Maybe we’ll hook up along the way!

  3. Hi Toby
    I´m from Germany, and I fly on 8th of January to Kathmandu, and I look also for a Partner for the Manaslutrek.
    Jürgen

  4. Hi Jurgen,
    We would love to have you along on this trek! You would be the 3rd person so there’s plenty of room. Send me a private message through trekkingpartners. Let me know a little about yourself and I can send you the trek details. Cheers.

  5. Hey all! I’m writing not to join your trek but because I saw your trip plan message and I wanted to warn you. The last lodge before the high pass, Dharmashala, is closed for the season (unless it’s possible you’ve confirmed its reopened at this time in Jan?) It’s possible that other lodges at the high locations have closed too, eg. Samdo. I completed the circuit in between 25th Nov and 7th Dec (about 13 days) 2015, so about a month ago. We started out without concerns, however a few days into our trek we heard word from local lodge owners that the last lodge before the high pass (Dharmashala) was planning to close on the 1st of Dec, and hence we had to consider our options, given that if closed we wouldn’t have this lodge to stay at and this might mean a 12 hour trek day going from Samdo (2nd last stop before the high pass Larke La), to Bhimthang (first town on the other side of the high pass) without stopping a night at Dharmashala (the normal itinerary which allows for the high altitude and normal altitude acclimatisation). As a result we rushed ourselves to arrive at Samdo on the 7th day (quite fast, About 8 hours hiking each day) and got some altitude sickness cases in the process as well as getting quite burnt out. From Samdo we decided we needed half day of rest and to try to avoid the long 12 hour day crossing from there to Bhimthang if possible. We actually sent a guy ahead to Dharmashala (3 hours away) to ask them if they would stay open for us one more day. We prepared money to offer them as incentive to keep it open. We also asked around Samdo if anyone would be willing to come with us to open the lodge and cook for us for one night, given the likelihood Dharmashala would close. No dice… The next day we prepared for the possibility of a 12 hour day and left early in the morning, but hoped that our communication efforts might be successful and the guys at Dharmashala would pull through for us. Unfortunately it came clear a few hours later when we arrived there that that wouldn’t be the case; having been at an isolated cold location such a long time there was nothing that could be done or said or even paid to the workers to keep them open even one more day, and despite even having heard of our situation. We had to push on and cross the pass. 7 more hours of walking and we were all across, although feeling altitude sickness and with darkness at our backs, and with a further few hours walk to go… We didn’t make it all the way to Bhimthang that night and ended up sleeping outside in minus temps at the campfire of some Tibetan pony herders. Needless to say it was an adventure, but it wasn’t at all ideal and I wish for you all to avoid the same experience which ended up quite dangerous and a very rushed trek! I’m not saying it’s impossible to complete the circuit while Dharmashala is closed but it will make for a tough pass crossing day which I hope you can be prepared for. We sure weren’t! we were told that we would be the last trekkers to cross for this season…. I would have thought this would encapsulate your trek dates too but I guess I could be wrong. Have you checked with your guide on lodge closures etc? Either way, best of luck and feel free to let me know if you have any questions… I wish you a great trek no matter what happens!! And enjoy Nepal! Cheers, Jacqui

  6. Wow! Thank you so much for your insight. It was really great of you to make the effort to inform us about potential problems with our upcoming trek! Our guide did tell us about the potential for the villages being closed before the pass. He was planning on the same thing your guide did, persuade the locals to go ahead and open a lodge or give us the key so we could do it. I’m going to forward your letter to our guide so he can plan accordingly! As an alternative we were planning to do the Tsum Valley trek if Manaslu isn’t possible. I actually tried to do Manaslu in March 2012. We made it to the village after Samdo before the trail was too snowed in to continue. Looks like my second attempt may not happen!!! Thank you again for your advice! Best Regards, Toby

  7. Greetings! Thanks a lot for sharing your experience Jacqueline, sounds like you had a big one. As Toby says our idea was to persuade the locals to go ahead and open a lodge for us…
    Looks like we will need to reschedule or trek, Thanks a lot for your advice. Cheers!

  8. Hi there, no problem at all Toby, you’re most welcome! Information & preparedness is one of the most important assets you can have for any trek as you would know and I just think how much difference it would have made for us if we have had better knowledge before starting out on ours!! I also only want to see progress for tourism in the Manaslu area for the benefit of the locals, and that can be achieved with happy Trekkers 🙂 I hope you can figure it out regardless, especially since it’s your 2nd attempt (!), but if not then Tsum Valley seems like a good alternative, I wish we had had the time to include that in our schedule, but as it is I’ll have to save that for next time. I’ve seen people talking online (manaslucircuittrek.com) about trekking Manaslu circuit in winter. It appears some actually prepared themselves to camp both on the fore and the aft side of the high pass, assuming or with knowledge that the villages on both sides would be closed (should be Dharmashala and Bhimthang) – I guess this is possible but a bit more difficult to organise (!). Alternatively as your guide said, maybe it’s possible to arrange help from Samdo to come with you, the locals there we spoke to said that there would be at least some people staying throughout the entire winter, although we saw many of them leaving for warmer climes together (their yak train actually left on the same day as us to cross the pass, quite an experience to see that!). Maybe you can call ahead, I know that where we stayed the night in Samdo, Hotel Yak, has a phone (993640005); I’m just not sure whether they closed already; they were ready to with only one man staffing it when we were there. Unfortunately Dharmashala was the place that crucially didn’t have a phone… Ahhh, all the fun of organising a trip in the Himalayas 😉 good luck again and have fun! Jacqui

  9. great! you all welcome in Nepal