Manaslu Base Camp 3,800m
The adventure starts on the drive from Kathmandu to Arughat, it is post monsoon season at the end of August. Even though the distance from the Nepalese capital to Arughat Bazaar is only about 50km, the journey takes a full day due to the roads that have been washed out by the monsoon.
The trek to Samagoan, the last village before base camp, meanders along the raging Buri Gandaki River, and the first day of the trek is quite gentle and leads through hot and lush territory dotted with buckwheat fields and winds up through the forest with views of Shringi Himal. The trail to Machakola where you will stay for your first night leads past many cascading waterfalls that offer a great shower at the end of your day.
From here the valley significantly narrows and we began to understand why there is a shortage of arable land in the region, as it seems nearly impossible to grow anything on the steep hills. The main ethnic groups in this area are Brahmin, Chettri and Gurung. A perfect lunch spot is the small settlement of Tatopani (meaning ‘hot springs’) from where it is another four hours to Labu Besi, where you will spend the night.
Fly in - Walk out
27 August - 11 September (16 Days )
The next overnight stop, the village of Jagat is a beautiful stone-paved settlement. From here you continue to Deng where ethnic group is mainly ‘Nupris’, who are of Tibetan origin. From here, ‘Mani Walls’ (stones carved with prayers on their surface and stacked to form a wall) become increasingly ubiquitous as you enter Buddhist territory.
The trek continues through the steep valley, where the land becomes visibly arid. The last village before Samagoan is Lho, which at 3,80m, offers the first view of Mt Manaslu (8,156m). From Lho it is just a couple of hours to Samagoan where you will join the rest of the team who arrive by helicopter.
The final stretch to base camp will take approx. four hours and involves a steep climb. The path has been improved significantly over the past two years due to expeditions providing funding for the villagers to improve the trail and build bridges. In 2010, Himalayan Experience initiated a money collection from all expeditions, asking for 1,000 rupees (about $13) per member to hand to the local community directly.