One of the most majestic peaks in all of Nepal is Mt. Manaslu. This sacred mountain, located in the very northern part of the Gorkha District has long been associated with Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. Its name means "intellect" or "soul" and when you stand and behold its majesty, you will feel your soul meld with the mountain.
It was not climbed until 1956 when a team of Japanese mountaineers climbed its heights. It is known as "the Japanese mountain" as it has been popular with Japanese climbers.
The route follows the Budhi Gandaki river along the ancient salt trade route to Tibet. This area was only open to trekkers in 1991 and contains some of the most incredible scenery in Nepal. The trail passes through remote villages before entering into valleys that is home to people from Tibet who have lived in these valleys for centuries. There is plenty of wildlife to see along the way, with Mt. Manaslu luring you forward as you make your way to the mountain.
DAY 1 – Kathmandu (elev. 1350 m/4,429 ft.) – Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to begin your Manaslu adventure. You will be greeted by a representative of Bochi-Bochi and taken directly to your hotel to rest up from your long flight.
DAY 2 – 3 – Kathmandu – These two days will begin preparation for the expedition. There will be a briefing at the Ministry of Tourism along with an opportunity to meet your guide, porters and fellow climbers. There will also be some time to do some sightseeing in Kathmandu and the surrounding valley.
DAY 4 – Kathmandu to Araghat Bazar (elev. 576 m/1,889 ft.) – The journey begins today as we travel by vehicle to the city of Araghat Bazar. The city is the gateway to Manaslu and is on the western bank of the Budhi Gandaki River. The drive will cross the mountains that ring Kathmandu and then to Dhading Besi where we leave the pavement and follow dirt roads to Araghat. Araghat is a good size city, with many amentities.
DAY 5 – Trek to Khanchok (elev. 950 m/3,116 ft) – The trek follows along the Budhi Gandaki, which flows from the Manaslu region. Here it is a mighty river, cascading over rocks and rapids. The elevation here is lower than Kathmandu and you will pass through villages and forests as well as along farms and fields.
DAY 6 – Khanchok to Machakholagaon (elev. 1300 m/4,265 ft.) – Machakholagaon is a delightful village built into the side of the mountain. On the way, you will pass coffee trees, the newest cash crop for the mountain people as well as the hot springs at Tatopani.
DAY 7 – Machakholagaon to Jagat (elev. 1350 m/4,429 ft.) – The trail will cross the Budhi Gandaki today several times on suspension bridges, passing through mountain villages and by Mani Walls. Today's journey is the beautiful little village of Jagat with its streets paved in stone. This is a checkpoint for those entering the Manaslu Conservation Area.
DAY 8 – Jagat to Nyag (elev. 2300 m/7,545 ft.) – The trail continues to gain in elevation, with at times hugging the cliff high above the Budhi Gandaki. At one point, you will come to the junction where the Syar River leads off to the right toward Tsum Valley. Your journey will go west, continuing to follow the Budhi Gandaki. Here the river is smaller, but has a great deal of energy at it burst forth from the High Himalayas with a great deal of power. We will spend the night in Nyag.
DAY 10 – Nyag to Prok (elev. 2100 m/6,889 ft.) – The trail continues toward the northwest as you travel now north of Manaslu. From all along the trail, Manaslu watches your every move. It's snowcapped peak juts up, reminding you of its majesty. This is its country, and you are its guest. The soul of the mountain begins to merge with your soul.
DAY 11 – Prok to Namrung (elev. 2,550 m/8,366 ft.) – At Ghap, you cross the Budhi Gandaki and then follow along the south side of the river. The trail passes by villages and through dense forests while waterfalls tumble down the sides of the mountains. Spend the night at Namrung Village.
DAY 12 – Namrung to Lho (elev. 3,150 m/10,334 ft.) This day passes by Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and villages. We move slowly as we gain in elevation.
DAY 13 – Lho to Samagaon (elev. 3,780 m/12,401 ft.) The journey climbs even high as we reach the village of Samgaon. There is a gombe nearby as well as Manaslu glacier.
DAY 14 – Samagaon to Manaslu Base Camp (elev. 4700 m/15,419 ft.) – This is the day we have reached the first of our goals: Manaslu Base Camp. From here, we check our gear and prepare for the climb. We leave trekking behind, and now start the climb up and back from this incredible mountain.
DAY 15 – 45 – Climbing Mt. Manaslu (elev. 8,163 m/26,781 ft.) – It is 30 days up and back to reach the highest point of the mountain. The snow is blinding in the bright sun. You have never seen such whiteness as the snows of Manaslu. The mountain stands alone against the brilliant blue sky as you make your way up and back. The team of Bochi-Bochi know the mountain and the best way to approach it. From on top, you have a commanding view of Tibet and Nepal and all of the high peaks.
DAY 46 – Manaslu Base Camp (elev. 4700 m/15,419 ft.) – It is a day of resting, stowing away the mountain climbing gear as well as cleaning up the Base Camp. We leave it as we found it – in pristine condition.
DAY 47 – Manaslu Base Camp to Samagaon (elev. 3,780 m/12,401 ft) – The return trip begins today, and we return the way we came. It is now downhill as we make our way toward Araghat Bazar.
DAY 48 – Samagaon to Nyak (elev. 2300 m/7,545 ft.) – Nyak is just north of where we will meet up again with the Syar River out of Tsum Valley.
DAY 49 – Nyak to Jagat (elev. 1350 m/4,429 ft.) – We cross over the Syar River and then up high above the Budhi Gandaki through the large village of Philim. Just below Philim we cross the Budhi Gandaki and proceed down the west side of the river to Jagat. DAY 50 – Jagat to Machhakholagaon (elev. 1300 m/4,265 ft.) – The trail will cross the Budhi Gandaki twice, on its way south before returning to the village of Macchakholagaon.
DAY 51 – Machakholagaon to Arkhet – Arkhet is a pretty little village in the lower valley where we trek to spend the night. We will pass Tatopani where there is a hot springs.
DAY 52 – Arkhet to Arughat Bazaar – This is the final day of trekking, and at Arughat Bazaar, you can find a hot shower and a really nice place to stay. You've earned it – so enjoy.
DAY 53 – Arughat Bazar to Kathamandu – It's a day of riding, and what a nice feeling that is! In the evening, return to your hotel in Kathmandu.
DAY 54 – Kathmandu – Some free time in Kathmandu, as well as a meeting with the Ministry of Tourism. Celebrate your mountain climb with a victory dinner in the evening with Bochi-Bochi's staff and fellow climbers.
DAY 55 – Fly Home – It's the end of a journey, and its time to return home. You've only seen a very small part of Nepal. Be sure to talk to the staff of Bochi-Bochi about your next journey to incredible Nepal. Whether it be a mountain climb, a trek or even a jungle adventure into the jungles of Nepal, they can handle all the arraignments for you.