Dear Trekking Lovers and Explorers, Namaste!
Many of you might have been curious to know whether Manaslu trek is safe or not or keen to learn how many damages happened there in the area by Nepal earthquake 25 April 2015 that hit Himalayan country badly resulting more than 10000 deaths and injured more than 23,000. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened, across many districts of the Himalayan country.
As the Barpak (also starting point of Manaslu Trek, many trekking companies offer lower Manaslu trek in compassing Barpak, Laprak, Singla & Gumda villages) village in Gorkha was epicenter which is very close to Manaslu trekking route so we can see many damages, l andslides, collapsed house and public school building on the way. But beyond Jagat the trail is totally intact and nothing bad is found in northern part of Manaslu trek. Manaslu trek has been great alternative teahouse trek in middle section of Great Himalayan Trail as Annapurna Circuit has been unpopular because of road access which used to be once of finest hiking destinations in the world just a decade ago.
We saw locals are restoring the mountain trails, house and teahouse on the way. Many lodges are have been already repaired which had only minor damage. They can cater about 20 – 25 trekkers in every places where we stop for overnight stay. We have to walk through difficult and narrow off the main trail sometimes, through the landslides and big boulders so requires stamina of walking 1-2 hours extra for the first 3-4 each day. After the day 5th of our trek the trail and lodges are totally fine. Also locals are planning to reroute starting point of trail. It looks like trek will be elongated by a day.
Regarding the Tsum Valley, it still has to repair the trail at Sarti Khola. As the river washed away the trail near Sari Gorge. Local are walking difficult trail there they have fixed rope and wood to catch and pass through the cliffs and rocks. But by this winter all the trekking trails to Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley will be repaired and it will be as it is before the tremor.
Following was our day to day itinerary and the highlighted is changes.
Oct 05 Day 01: Kathmandu – Arughat 525m/1722ft. 7-8 hours drive Normal
Oct 06 Day 02: Arughat – Sotikhola 710m/2329ft. 4-5 hours walk, Lodges looks cracked, and some are restored. Lodges in places can cater some 30 trekkers. The Trail is fine, easy and flat.
Oct 07 Day 03: Sotikhola – Macha Khola 887m/2919ft. 5-6 hours walk.
Near Nauli Khola bridge at Lapubesi, the trail is washed away and needing to repair. Have to walk off the main trail for about 30 mins and rejoin the main trail later.
Oct 08 Day 04: Macha Khola - Jagat 1345m/4412ft. 6-7 hours walk.
A big landslide after passing Dovan, have to walk through the big rocks and boulders for about 15 – 20 mins.. The trail is washed away by Budhi Gandaki River at Yaru Bagar. There is temporary wooden bridge made and have to walk off the main trail for about 2 hours extra very carefully through steep slope to join the trail coming to Jagat from Uhiya Village.
Oct 09 Day 05: Jagat – Dang 1960m/6430ft. 6-7hours. The tails and teahouse are very normal
Oct 10 Day 06: Dang - Ghap 2380m/7808ft. 5-7 hours walk Normal
Oct 11 Day 07: Ghap – Lho 3180m/6465ft. About 6-7 hours walk. Normal
Oct 12 Day 08: Lho – Samagaun 3520m/11546ft. About 5 hours walk Normal
Oct 13 Day 09: Acclimatization and rest day in Samagaun. Explore and day hikes. Normal
Oct 14 Day 10: Samagaun – Samdo 3860m/12402ft. 3-4 hours walk. Normal
Oct 15 Day 11: Samdo – Larke Rest home/Dharmasaala 4460m/14532ft. Normal
Oct 16 Day 12: Larke Rest Homes – Bimtang 3750m/12300ft. via Lakrke Pass. Normal
Oct 17 Day 13: Bimtang – Goa 2560m/ 8397ft. 4-6 hours walk Normal
Oct 18 Day 14: Goa – Jagat 1300m/4264ft. 5-7 hours walk and stay overnight in lodge. Normal
Oct 19 Day 15: Jagat – Drive to Besi sahar overnight in Besi sahar, Normal
Oct 20 Day 16: Drive to Kathmandu by comfortable bus. Normal
Our conclusion: - This trek is very possible for young and reasonably fit people, requires previous trekking experiences in Himalaya or Alps of the Europe etc. We don't recommend this trip for keen comfortable trekkers. Of course your level of physical fitness and age factor are other things to consider. Some lodges in the route are very basic. But the trek offers great scenery, authentic Himalayan culture heritages, local and their life styles. It is like Annapurna Circuit back to 80s. For more information please kindly write us at firstname.lastname@example.org