Sunday, February 1, 2015

Around Manaslu with South Col May 9th to 24th 2015

The circuit of  Manaslu, the eighth highest peak in the world, is what the Annapurna circuit was thirty years ago! Few trekkers, traditional villages, outstanding views, mountain culture, a high pass to cross and a final finish along the old Annapurna circuit approach! Do the trek now before it becomes too crowded and commercialized. Please email for a full pdf and cost details. Trekkers need to reach Kathmandu on May 7th as May 8th is needed to process the Manaslu permit with original passport and visa. The trek starts on May 9th as per schedule below.

DAY 1:   Drive from Kathmandu to Sotikhola [710m/2328 ft] 8 - 9 hours
We leave Kathmandu early for Sotikhola. There is a metalled road from Kathmandu to Dhading but from Dhading to Arughat and onto Soti Khola will be on a rough track. 

DAY 2:  Soti Khola - Maccha Khola [900m/2952 ft]: 6 - 7 hours
At the crossing of the bridge, we pass through forests and then climb onto a ridge above huge rapids on the Buri Gandaki. We then reach Khursane and the trail eventually makes its way down and past a few rice terraces, then up and around to the Gurung village of Labubesi. We further climb behind a rocky outcrop and then head down again to the river to reach Machha Khola village.

DAY 3:  Maccha Khola -Jagat [1410m/ 4625 ft]: 6 - 7 hrs
The trail makes some ups and downs and eventually crosses the Tharo Khola and reaching Khorlabesi. After a few more ascends and descends we come across a small Hot spring at Tatopani. From the hot spring, we climb over another ridge, then cross the Buri Gandaki on a suspension bridge. At this juncture, we climb on a wide, well-crafted staircase, then across a landslide and over a ridge to Dobhan. Upon crossing a suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola, we climb the stone stairs and then drop to the river and again climb more stone stairs to Tharo Bharyang. Crossing the west bank of the Buri Gandaki, we climb over a ridge, trek along the river and then climb towards the village of Jagat.

DAY 4:  Jagat - Deng [1,804m/5917 ft]: 6 - 7 hrs
We climb over a ridge to Salleri, and then descend to Sirdibas. The valley widens a bit as the trail continues up to Ghatta Khola and further upstream to Philim. The trail turns north just above the lowest house in the village and stays on a fairly level trail as it crosses millet fields to Ekle Bhatti. The route now enters a steep, uninhabited gorge. As we continue through the trail the valley widens and we pass through bamboo forests to the Deng Khola and then onto Deng village.

DAY 5:  Deng - Namrung [2630m/8626ft]: 6 - 7 hrs
We cross the Buri Gandaki and climb to Rana at 1910m. From the bridge, we climb a bit to join a trail from Bhi, then head west up the Buri Gandaki valley. The trail passes through forests and mani walls where we turn towards a corner that contours to Ghap. Even though there is another route, we take the route through Prok village.  The trail follows the river upstream through a dense forest and then crosses the river where it thunders down a narrow gorge. The pleasant walk continues and after a last steep climb we reach Namrung. 

DAY 6:  Namrung – Samagaon [3530m/11,578 ft]: 6-7 hours.
We climb steadily reach Lihi, with many chortens and barley terraces. The trail drops and crosses the side valley of Simnang Himal with Ganesh Himal always close by and passes the villages of Sho, Lho and Shyala villages before reaching Sama Village. We enjoy extraordinary views of Mt. Manaslu from Lho village and also explore the famous Ribung Gompa. In Shyala village we will be surrounded by high mountains like Himal Chuli and Peak 29 (Ngadi Chuli) to the left, Manaslu and large glaciers straight ahead, and other snow summits to the right, and at the far end stands Ganesh Himal. Today’s journey ends in Samagaon where we spend the night.

DAY 7:  Samagaon - Pungyen gompa - Samagaon: 6 - 7 hours exploration
Acclimatization Day. Those who feeling fine and fit can climb up to Pungyen monastery from where there is a view of the glaciers.

DAY 8:   Samagaon - Samdo [3860m/12,660 ft]: 4 - 5 hours
Today, we descend to the Buri Gandaki River, that has turned north and follow it to a bridge over a side stream. The trail to the left leads to the Manaslu Base camp. The Larkya la Trail passes several mani walls as the valley begins to widen. It is an easy trail on a shelf above the river passing the juniper and birch forests of Kermo Kharka. We drop off the shelf, cross the Buri Gandaki on a wooden bridge and climb steeply onto a promontory between two forks of the river. From a stone arch we can view a large white kani. Finally passing through the kani we find Samdo.

DAY 9:  Rest Day in Samdo
Acclimatization day. There are two options for us today. The option that we highly recommend is a hike, up the valley directly at the back of the Samdo village. This hike will take us to one of the trade passes to Tibet for excellent views of Mt. Manaslu along with other Himalayan ranges including Simrang, Hiunchuli, Ngadi, Larkye Peak, Cheo and possibly Kang Guru behind the pass.  Another option for today could be a longer trip to the Gya La ('large pass') to the north of Samdo, a more frequently used trading route to Tibet.

DAY 10:  Samdo - Dharamsala/Larkya B. C. [4460m/14, 628 ft]: 4 - 5 hours
We continue climbing and after crossing two streams and witnessing the Larkya Glacier, we go around the valley of the Salka Khola and climb up again to the stone guest house (4450 m), called Dharmshala, also known as Larke Phedi. The short walk today also leaves plenty of time for acclimatization and relaxing in the afternoon. 

DAY 11:  Dharamsala - Larkya la pass [5160m/16, 924 ft] - Bimthang [3720m/12, 201 ft]: 8 - 9 hours
After a short climb, we reach a valley on the north side of the Larkya Glacier. We walk across the moraine making a gradual ascent which becomes steeper only in the last section of the pass. From the pass, there are outstanding views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II. It’s a long day to Bimtang, but to walk across these pastures with the evening mist coming in with Mt. Manaslu looming close by is an overwhelming experience.  This is the great day of the trek! 

DAY 12:  Bimthang - Tilije [2300m/7544ft]: 5 - 6 hours
From a ridge at Bimthang, we can enjoy great views of Mt. Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, Himlung Himal and Cheo Himal. We descend further and cross a high pasture (Sangure Kharka) followed by a bridge over Dudh Khola. We walk through rhododendron forest and follow a trail through a narrow valley until we reach the highest cultivated land of the valley at Karche, 2785 meters. We pass across fields before making a steep climb over a ridge. The trail comes off the ridge in a big, sweeping arc to the river bank at 2580m. A short distance beyond is the village of Gho.  Despite being tired we carry onto to Tilije where the lodges are better

DAY 13:  Tilije - Tal [1700m/5576 ft]: 5 - 6 hours
We walk along a stone paved trail and then cross the bridge over Dudh Khola and climb up through a chorten-shaped arch, pass a mani wall and reach the Thonje village. At the village, we go through a police checkpoint and continue to Dharapani. We have entered the Annapurna circuit section from Dharapani and continue on to Tal situated at the base of a large waterfall.

DAY 14:  Tal - Syange [1080m/3542 ft]: 6 - 7 hours
We follow the trail to Chame village crossing the Marsyandi Khola.  The trail descends through rhododendron forests to Syange.

 DAY 15:  Syange - Kathmandu: 8-9 hours
We drive from Syange to Besishar in a private jeep which will take around three hours. After an early lunch at Besishar we transfer to our own vehicle and head back to Kathmandu (5 hrs) which we will reach by evening..
DAY 16: Buffer Day for emergency /bad weather etc.

For testimonials from past South Col trekkers please do visit

For profile of the the trek leader please do visit


  1. Wow.. Beautiful this is Lovely Place for Going Trucking.. Thanks for shairng..

  2. That is an extremely smart written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

  3. That is an especially good written article. i will be able to take care to marker it and come back to find out further of your helpful data. many thanks for the post. i will be able to actually come back.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...