The Manaslu expedition is a spectacular tour around the emblematic mountain in Nepal. The Manaslu trek is a unique, different trip through Nepal, away from the overcrowding that other more popular circuits present at certain times, but equally beautiful, spectacular, and unforgettable.
Manaslu is the eighth highest peak in the world, and its highest peak rises 8,163 meters from sea level. It is positioned in the heart of the Mansiri Himal region in the Gorkha district of Nepal. Mount Manaslu is popular as the “mountain of the spirit” and is located directly on the border with Tibet.
The two mountaineers, Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, scale the summit on May 9, 1956. Although there have been several expeditions to Mount Manaslu in the past, it was not until 1991 that the government officially approved the Manaslu Expedition. Today, the region has an increasing number of visitors from hikers and mountaineers every year.
After arrival in Kathmandu, your trek begins after a day or two. Depending on the weather condition, you can fly to Samagaon via helicopter or travel via road following the Budi Gandaki trail.
Advancing through the still original Dudh Khola valley and crossing the Larkya La Pass (5,106 m), you will reach the almost Tibetan town of Samagaun. From here, it is still a day’s hike up to the base camp. In addition to an obligatory single tent, shower, and stay tent, you will be spoiled with culinary delights by an experienced kitchen team and cook here in the base camp.
After sufficient altitude adjustment, the ascent occurs via 3-4 high camps on the technically moderately difficult northeast flank to the summit. After a short flat section at over 7,000 meters, it’s a short abrupt climb again, and you reach the highest point over a summit ridge. You can enjoy an outstanding 360° all-round view of the Himalayas from the summit, across to Tibet, and down into the Nepalese lowlands.
Sherpas with absolute expedition experience, who already have a meaningful list of summit successes on eight-thousanders and seven-thousanders, lead the expedition, carry loads to the high camps, and will look after you throughout the journey, especially on the mountain days.
On this expedition, you have not only the best possible chance of success on one of the highest mountains in the world but also the best possible support to make this dream come true.
The average cost for expediting Manaslu varies from $14000-$19,500 per person, including permit fee, equipment cost, guide charge, accommodation, and meal and excluding Visa fee and personal expenditure with tips to guide and porter.
The hike to Manalsu takes at least 20 to 30 days. So, upon arrival at Tribhuvan International airport, it is advisable to pay for 90 days Nepal tourist Visa that will cost you $125 per person to avoid the hassle of the Visa renewable process. Even if you want to shorten your stay, it will at least take 15-20 days for the Manaslu trek. So you can issue a 30 day Nepal tourist visa for $50 per person.
A day or two stay in Kathmandu is recommended to arrange permits, equipment, and other necessary preparations. Lodging in any cozy hotels or guest houses in Kathmandu will cost you anywhere between $25-$50 per day.
The fare of the permit for the Manaslu Circuit depends on the month and the number of days that you will spend in this region. To tour the Manaslu region, you need three types of permits issued by the Government of Nepal.
The Manaslu permit costs $100 for the first 7 days and $15 for each additional day from September to November (highest peak season). The Manaslu permit costs $75 for the first 7 days and $10 for each extra day from December to August. The permit is valid until you reach Samagaun. After crossing Samagaun, you need Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit.
You need this permit to enter the Annapurna Conservation Area from Dharapani to Beshi Shahar- the exit point of the Annapurna Conservation Area. The fee for the permit is $30 per person with no restriction on the number of days of your stay and the season of your tour.
The permit is necessary to enter the Manaslu Conservation area starting from Philim. The price is the same as ACAP-$30 per person regardless of the number of days of your stay and the season of your visit.
Manaslu is an entry point to numerous eight-thousanders, so the trek will be strenuous and demanding. Therefore, you must have proper health and travel insurance with adequate coverage for the destination and obtain the permit. Requisite insurance can cost you approximately $150-$200 per person for a 30 day time period.
To travel to all-time snow-capped mountain and each day ascending height of Manaslu, your backpack should include hiking boots, footwear, trekking socks, poles, thermal clothing, T-shirts, fleece jacket, waterproof jacket and clothing, sleeping bag, hat, sunglasses, water bottle, small towel, first aid kit, medicine for altitude sickness and other essential toiletries that can make your journey safe and memorable which you can afford at a cost between $200-$500.
A company of a licensed guide in this trek is obligatory. Usually, you will be accompanied by the highly professional, well-trained, and qualified climbing Sherpas for your expeditions. Some climbers do not take Sherpa guides to climb but face many unfamiliar obstacles in their path. If you take Sherpas on the expedition, they will be handy. With every single step, they give you support; this makes your climbing easier and replenishes your expended energy. A Sherpa climbing guide can cost you $2500. You also require a porter to carry your luggage, for which he can charge you anywhere between $20-$25 per day.
Your trek begins upon your arrival on Samagaun, where you can reach via road or Air. If you wish to shorten your travel itinerary, you can easily fly in the helicopter at the price of $2500 per person that will land you on Samagaun.
If you have a few extra days to spare and want to familiarize yourself with Nepalese culture and landscape, a wise choice would be to travel by bus that costs you $10-$15 per person. The bus route is from Kathmandu to Soti Khola. With a fare of $200-$250, you can make your road trip faster and more comfortable by traveling via a private jeep.
The route to the Manaslu trek is complemented with tiny tea houses where you can rest your legs after long hours of trekking and ascending. The rooms are comfortable but not luxurious provided by residents. You will be greeted with their pleasant, smiling faces and admirable hospitality. Although the rooms are cold, small with two beds and shared toilets, the cost is affordable at $6-$10 per night. You may have to pay an additional amount of $2-$5 for a hot shower and charging your gadgets.
Your palate will enjoy the hot Nepali meal of Dal Vat Tarkari (Lentil, Rice, Vegetable) at $3-$7. Craving for the hot beverage can be satisfied with hot tea and coffee at $2-$4.
As you gain height, you may not find these tea houses in abundance, so you may have to camp in the slithery white snow, set up your own kitchen, and prepare your meal. But don’t worry, your guide and porter have enough experience to set out the camp and make your journey more pleasant.
After bringing the incredible reminiscence of the journey, you can always spend a day or two in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur, or Patan. Set aside $100-$200 as the artifacts here will undoubtedly inspire you to take home a token of love.
All-season (winter, summer, monsoon, spring, autumn) offer their own kind of excitement and weather. But the most popular and best season to explore the beauty of Manaslu is autumn (September to early December) and Spring (March to May).
The weather will be agreeable and pleasant during these two seasons, offering you greater visibility. The temperature will be ideal for long hours of hiking.
In the summer monsoon season (June to August), high precipitation will accompany the days, the circuit will be slippery, and hiking can be laborious. The winter season (late December, January, February) can bring you snowstorms and avalanches.
The expedition to Manaslu is considered a preliminary to Everest Trek. Therefore, the Manaslu trip is considered difficult, strenuous, and demanding. But it doesn’t mean you cannot do the trek. If you are in shape, in good health, and don’t mind teamwork, can endure 6-8 hrs of hiking, it is for you. However, you may experience altitude sickness if you are a city dweller, so walking at your pace, periodic acclimatization, and plenty of hydration will help you get over your fatigue.