GHT Blog

Manaslu made more accessible for trekkers again

July 1, 2016

Manaslu accessible to trekkers again

A 195 meter steel cantilever pathway hugs the mountain face at a critical crossing of the Budhi Gandaki river. Photo credit: ITECO.

The Manaslu Conservation Area has long been popular amongst adventurous trekkers and trail runners in the know. More remote than many of Nepal’s more established trekking areas, this secluded wilderness offers glimpses of authentic Hindu and Tibetan-style Buddhist villages and spectacular views of the two-horned Mt Manaslu (8,156m) and four 7,000m peaks in the Ganesh massif.

But the trails here serve a far more important function than simply the enjoyment of tourists. They are the lifeblood of Nepal’s mountain communities, connecting people with health posts and government offices, providing access to essential commodities and enabling children safer passage to schools.

Upgrading these trails, for instance, building bridges across rivers and ravines, can shave hours off daily journeys, change the price of local commodities like rice and lentils and also make it easier for tourists to explore rural areas. Similarly, destroyed trails can have a disastrous impact on peoples’ livelihoods.

Manaslu accessible to trekkers again

The new pathway will be two hours faster and much safer than the alternative routes used after the earthquake. Photo credit: ITECO

This was the case in Manaslu where landslides triggered by the 2015 earthquake blocked the Budhi Gandaki river. As a result the river changed course eastwards and the trails at Jagat Gaun in Sirdibash and Yaru Bagar in Kerauja were swept away. Villagers were forced to use lengthy and dangerous diversions and the tourism business dried up, threatening people’s livelihoods.

UK Aid has now funded construction of a 195 meter long steel cantilever pathway, (the first of its kind in Nepal). The pioneering passage runs along the side of Yaru Bagar of the Budhi Gandaki river in Kerauja VDC of Gorkha district. As well as serving around 8,000 local inhabitants the access route will ensure that visitors can return to the Manaslu Circuit for the start of this autumn trekking season.

To explore the many trekking opportunities in the Manaslu region head over to GHT’s list of treks.

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