Treks to Manaslu region is relatively new. It was officially opened only twenty three years ago in 1991. It became a tea house trek in 2010. That is four years ago. With the improvements in the guesthouse just below the Larkya Pass, treks like Tsum Valley Trekking and Manaslu Circuit Trekking in this region became accessible to beginners or amateurs as well.
From then on, its popularity has been on the rise and justly so. You cannot get so close to any other Eight Thousander like you can to Mt. Manaslu, the eight highest mountain in the world. The views are spectacular and the trails are rich in cultural, geographical and natural diversity. It is rumored to be the new ‘old Annapurna Circuit Trek’.Even then, it gets much fewer trekkers in comparison. If you too are planning to walk this less trodden path, then here are some information on Manaslu Trek that can help you out.
Treks to Manaslu are long treks. It takes about 20/21 days to complete them. This can be further lengthened by continuing to Annapurna Circuit.
Manaslu is a restricted area and trails here also fall under Manaslu Conservation Area. Therefore, different permits are needed. They are:
Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu.
Costs $70 for 7 days from September to November. Additional days cost $10 per day.
Costs $50 for 7 days from December to August. Additional days cost $7 per day.
Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) permit. Costs Nrs. 2000
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit. Costs Nrs. 2000
Restricted Area Permit for Tsum Valley. (If you are trekking to Tsum Valley in Manaslu)
Costs $35 for 8 days from September to November.
Costs $25 for 8 days from December to August.
You do not need TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) Card that is required to trek other regions in Nepal.
Even if you plan to continue to Annapurna Circuit, Restricted Area Permit will suffice.
Days spent in Tsum Valley will not be counted off from Restricted Area Permit for Manaslu.
You will need the following basic things:
A light well-fitting broken in pair of shoes with thick sole.
Both light and warm pairs of socks.
Both light and warm pairs of gloves.
A good sleeping bag
Following things that will be of great use (Important)
Trekking poles for steep descents
Protection from sun and wind- Shades, Sunscreen, moisturizers, sun hat, buff etc.
Toilet papers and hand sanitizer
A first aid kit with things for high altitude trekking
A Head torch
Crampons or spikes (Ice on the pass can be slippery. Could do without it. Your choice.)
Through an Agency, With a Guide or Alone?
According to the rules, you have no choice but to go through an agency. You can get the restricted area permits only through a registered trekking company.
Guides are a must too. You should be accompanied by a registered/ licensed guide.
You cannot travel alone. A group of minimum of two people are required. Your guide does not count as the second person.
Best Time/ Season to trek to Manaslu
Best seasons to trek to Manaslu are Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). Even during spring and autumn, months of April and October are recommended.Again, October is the best time ever. Therefore, it is also the busiest time. Still, it is much less crowded than other treks. If you want even lesser number of tourists, come in April.
Avoid cotton like cotton under garments and socks. Use synthetic items.
If you are alone, an agency can help you find another trekker or you could join groups.
Do not try to take along a ‘ghost trekker’ as you could be asked to return when caught by an officer. Everything will go to waste. So, do not try any trickery and follow rules properly.
Acclimatize properly. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can be easily avoided but should be taken seriously. It can be fatal.
Trek to Manaslu while it is still an isolated area where you can have a real taste of age-old cultures and tradition and when the number of tourists are still very less.