Manaslu, at 8,163 m, is the eighth highest mountain in the world standing isolated and yet in the very center of the Nepalese Himalaya and the trail around this majestic peak is perhaps one of Nepal’s “Best Kept Secrets” and not only that, the area which is little traveled by tourists is ripe for the exploration of Mountain Biking. Not only are there exceptional views in every direction but the low-to-high range of altitudes presents such varied flora and, most noticeably, a wide cultural spectrum, including strong influences from Tibet mixing with Nepali ethnic diversity. This a an expedition style trip with simple accommodation and tough trails. This trail is only suitable for strong and skilled riders. A real challenge to be enjoyed by the pure mountain bike adventurist.
DAY 01: ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
Arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel in Thamel. Afternoon fixing your mountain bikes and exploring Thamel, followed by welcome drinks and dinner with your Manaslu expedition guide.
DAY 02: KATHMANDU TO ARUGHAT (608m)
Load up the mountain bikes and drive to Arughat which takes around 7 to 8 hours with beautiful scenery along the way as you cut through the foothills of the Himalaya and into the heart of Dhading District. Take some time to explore the beautiful village of Arughat. Here you will find a local Market and central place for all people from the remoter regions. Kids come down to study and village people come down to buy and trade food stuffs and other items. Accommodation is simple Hotel.
DAY 03: ARUGHAT TO MACHHA KHOLA (869m)
One and a half hours of ridealble jeep track to SotiKhola from where we pick up the Budi Gandaki River Trail. The trail turns into narrow single tracks below towering cliffs. From Soti Khola to Maccha Khola is 35% rideable, the rest is carry up rocky steps. There is great views of waterfalls and cliffs and nice jungle.
DAY 04: MACHHA KHOLA TO JAGAT (1340M)
A solid nine hours(Including lunch) of technical trail today sees us cross the Machha Khola (Fish River) and follow its banks upwards to a hot springs at Tatopani. We climb steadily along the river, 35% of this trail is rideable and there are some tough carry and pushing sections. At Jagat, there is a police check-post where your trekking permit will be checked. The trail is a little bit scary, very narrow single track with a big cliff drop and we need to be careful as the trail is heavily used by donkeys which can knock you off the trail if you are not careful!
DAY 05: JAGAT TO LOKPA (2240M)
We progress gently uphill and again cross the Budi Gandaki River as we head towards Philim and on to Lokpa. 40% of today’s trail is rideable single track. If you are good technical rider and strong you can ride. If not you will spend more time carrying. Along the way there are some beautiful views of Ganesh Himal and the river. The town its self is small and beautiful, only two houses here and one teahouse. This is the main gateway to Tsum Valley. From New Bridge across the river there is a solid 2 hour climbing section where you have to carry the bike.
DAY 06: LOKPA TO CHHOKKUNG (3030M)
Leaving the village we go all the way downhill on single track, 60% of this forest trail is rideable, more if you have great technical skills. From the valley, the Ganesh Himal range can be seen directly to the south as well as spectacular views of the Baudha and Himal Chuli peaks to the southwest. After crossing the river we push up 45mins to the lunch place. After lunch we ride through some cultivated mustard fields for around 45mins. After this we head up to Chukkum, this is a tough part of the trail. 80% Carry and push uphill. High risk cliff trail for about 5 hours. But the scenery today is stunning. This is one of the hardest day on the trip.
DAY 07: CHHOKKUNG TO MU GUMBA (3710M) – DAY TRIP
Mu Gumba is the largest monastery in the region and is located at the highest and farthest point in the Tsum valley. It takes us five hours to ride up and three hours back down. A beautiful day of nice trails and scenery and 80% rideable. We can also see Yak Caravans heading into Tibet. This Valley is like being in a different world, a flat bowl in the middle of the mountains, a magical place. We return to Chhokkung. Fun and good riding with lunch on the way. We can also visit Ani Ghumpa Nunnery and the Hermits Cave.
DAY 08: CHHOKKUNG TO DYANG (1800M)
From Chhokkung to Chumling is a little bit difficult to ride until the river where there is a bit of carry section. It is 50% rideable over two and a half hours. From Chumling to Lokpa is another three hours of pushing, about 30% rideable. After lunch we have nice rideable single track all the way down to Newbridge, need to be careful here as there is huge drop off. This is one of the most exciting single tracks. After the river it is 70% ridable on undulating trails along the river and slight climbing to Dyang.
DAY 09: DYANG TO NAMRUNG (2660M)
Ride from Dyang to Namrung takes about seven hours. In the beginning, you ride an almost flat path and then the trail moves uphill all the way to Namrung through dense forest. In this trial 40% is rideable and lot of carrying section to Namrung. If you are a good rider you will enjoy this day and the scenery along the river and the pine trees.
DAY 10: NAMRUNG TO SHAMA GAUN (3530M)
Uphill with some section of very nice riding ,very good scenery. Namrung to Samagaon takes about seven hours. You follow the right bank of the river, with views of Peak 29 ahead. As you continue on the main trail you soon reach the barley fields of Sama Gaon. You see excellent views of Samdo (Pang Phuchuli); Nagdi chuli, Simnang Himal, Manaslu glacier, Manaslu ice fall and you can see Birendra Kunda whish is an ice lake nearby the Manaslu Base Camp. There are many Yaks on the way. Beautiful single track 60% rideable here. Shama Gaun is a big town where a lot of peak climbers and mountaineers rest.
DAY 11: SHAMA GAUN TO SAMDO (3875M)
Three hours of mostly flat riding and easy trail. We are now acclimatizing for the Larkya La. Pass through many Yak Pastures. We are very close to Samdo Mountain.
DAY 12: SAMDO TO DHARMASALA (4460M)
Another short acclimatization day of riding and 80% of carrying 20% rideable as we climb higher into the mountain on the shoulders of Manaslu. 4 hours to Dharmasal, which is a tiny village. We can see many local Taar (A kind of mountain deer) along the route.
DAY 13: DHARMASALA TO BHIMTANG
We begin from Larkya La Phedi to Larkya La (Pass) (5135m.) and then down to Bimthang (3590 m.). It takes about ten hours. Early in the morning you begin to trek up and carry on a steep ascent.From here, you can enjoy the views of Larkya peak, Mt. Manaslu, Ratna chuli, Cheo Himal and many other snow-capped mountains and peaks. Crossing this pass, you follow a steep downhill path through rock and ice. It takes 4.5hrs to carry your bike up. On the way, you will encounter many ice lakes. Bimthang is a broad and level valley with a number of Mani walls and deserted houses. The way down is all pushing and carry. This is a very hard day for walking on rough gravel.
DAY 14: BHIMTANG TO DHARAPANI (1860M)
An awesome and well rewarded day with 75% rideable and downhill single tracks. You will love this day as we re-join the main Annapurna trail at Dharapani. Today is about 8 hours of brilliant riding. You will enjoy this day a lot.
DAY 15: DHARAPANI TO BESISHAR AND TRANSFER BACK TO KATHMANDU
45km of fun downhill riding on rugged jeep tracks as we ride along the Marysandi River to the transport hub at Besishar 100% Ridable jeep track but still challenging. From here we transfer back to Kathmandu by Jeep.
DAY 16: END TRIP
Free day in Kathmandu
Read our Manaslu Mountain Bike Expedition Blogg
March, April, May & Oct, Nov
You will need to carry with you spending money for things like alcohol, snacks, internet usage and other purchases along the way. Also tipping is expecting in Nepal for guides and porters if you are happy with the service provided. You will have to carry the money with you from Kathmandu/Pokhara as there are no ATM’S along the way.
Porters for carrying your bags are included in the price of the trip. So all you will need to carry during the day is a day pack with your personal items that you will need for the day. Porters will not always be with you or arrive at the Tea House at the same time as you so make sure you carry a jacket. Porter allowance is one porter per two people with a load limit of 13kg per person. Porters will not assist in carry bikes and if you wish porter service for carrying bikes over the Pass there will be an additional charge.
Tap water is not drinkable in Nepal. Bottled drinking water is not included in the price of the trip. Himalayan Single Track carries Steri Pens for use on the trips and we will treat filtered drinking for you. If you choose to buy or treat your own water during the trip that is also fine, but not included in the price. We strongly discourage the purchase of plastic water bottles on all of our trips for environmental reasons.We recommend two 1 liter water bottles or one two to three liter bladder for this trip.
Approximately 80% of the accommodations will have electricity and an outlet appropriate for charging items such as mobile phones or iPods/iPads, you will need to purchase a Universal Adapter, these can be purchased in most Travel shops. In the dry months from October through to May Nepal can experience Load Shedding (Periods without electricity) in excess of 10 hours a day.
You can get laundry done at the hotel and in Thamel. Your cheapest option is to use a street vendor they charge 50 to 100 rupees per kilo for a one day service. While biking, laundry services are not normally available, but on rest days you can get laundry done at the teahouse at a cost of 200 to 400 nrs. Normally we just rinse out knickers and socks in the shower and dry them around the fire in the tea house during the evening!
Although queues can be quite long, we prefer to obtain visas at Kathmandu Airport, as it is cheaper. You will require a passport size photo and it tends to speed things up if you have already downloaded a Visa Form and attached your picture in preparation.
Visa Duration & Fee
Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
When mountain biking in the Manaslu region you will pass through six climatic zones – Tropical, Subtropical, Temperate, Sub-alpine and Arctic so some thought needs to go into packing! The average temperatures are as follows – Summer 31-34 degrees Celsius below 2000 meters and 22-25 degrees Celsius above 2000 meters. Winter 8-13 degrees Celsius below 2000 meters and -2 – 6 degrees Celsius above 3000 meters with temperatures dropping well below freezing above 4500 meters. The region is generally dry from December through to March.
We provide 3 star accommodation in Kathmandu. In these hotels you will get Deluxe rooms with attached bathrooms, breakfast, Wi-Fi access and all normal hotel facilities. During the biking leg of the trip you will be accommodated in Tea Houses which are a form of mountain lodge. Standard varies from place to place, rooms are simple in some cases we get attached bathrooms, in other bathrooms are shared. Rooms are not heated, but are clean and comfortable and there are not always hot showers, in some places hot showers incur an extra charge. There will be electricity for charging cameras and phones, but it is limited.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
• Water proof/wind proof jacket suitable for riding, optional Down Jacket
• Long thermals (2 sets in Winter Season), a couple of T-Shirts and shorts or trekking trousers
• Light Fleece Jacket or a Warm Jumper
• Cycle clothing – long sleeve and short sleeve tops, full and half cycling shorts, arm warmers, leg/Knee warmers, thermal cap, knee and elbow pads are recommended
• Hat, sunglasses, sun cream, toiletries (Bio Degradable is recommended)
• Windproof/water proof cycling gloves (full), Helmet (Both are Compulsory on HST Tours)
• Chap stick, moisturizer cream, toilet paper, Hand wipes and sanitizer
• Good shoes for both walking and cycling (Stiff race type SPD shoes are not recommended go for a walking style SPD Shoe), also a pair of sandals or flip flops for around the tea houses
• Warm socks, woolen hat and a scarf/Muffler
• Buff, bandana or some kind of face covering
• Own medicines including re-hydration salts and any personal medication required (Our Guides carry full first aid kits)
• Camel Pak or water bottles (Minimum 2 Liters)
• Water proof pack cover, Sleeping bag (Optional) or Sleeping Sheet*To make things easier for our porters, we request you to pack your belongings in soft water proof duffel bags or back packs rather than suitcase.
Personal Travel Insurance
Copy of Passport
2 Passport Sized Photos
Signed Copy of Himalayan Single Track Booking from and disclaimer
BIKE SPARE PARTS
If you are bringing your own bike to Nepal then you will also be required to bring the spare parts required to keep your bike on the trails. All our guides are good mechanics who will assist you with repairs etc. We recommend that you bring the following items for your bike own bike. Our guide will carry tool kits and basic spare parts.
• Inner tubes (esp if you are running 29 or 27.5 wheels)
• A tire that fits your bike, recommended for Nepal 2.2+
• A few spokes and nipples
• Hanger/Drop Out
• Seat Post Clamp, spare parts/adapters for through axles
• Chain Oil, Bleed kit relevant to your brakes and/or dropper seat post, suspension pump, pump, brake pads
Spare parts and accessories can easily be purchased in our shop, most readily available items in Nepal are Shimano 9 and 10 speed chains, cassettes and cranks, tubes 26 & 29 and a full range of cycling clothing.
Generally speaking, if you are not feeling well above 3000 meters you should consider it as altitude sickness until otherwise proven. It mostly affects people who ascend too quickly or fly to higher altitudes and don’t allow time for acclimatization. Himalayan Single Track staffs are very mindful to the necessity of acclimatization.
Common Minor Symptoms Include–
- Loss of Appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling lazy or weak.
- Shortness of Breath
- Slight swelling around hands and face
It is very easy to talk yourself into these symptoms! Most people trekking above 2500 meters suffer some of the above complications, though only 2% of people biking between 2000 and 6000 meters will develop serious illness. As long as the above symptoms remain mild, they are of no significant problem just an inconvenience that affects your sense of well being. You need to rest where you are until you feel better, and then you can progress to higher altitudes. If the symptoms worsen, you need to descend and perhaps spend a night at a lower altitude. If you get better ascend at a slower rate and try again. If your symptoms progressively worsen you must descend, it’s the only cure and prevention before you progress to serious altitude sickness. Our guides are well informed and able to realize the more serious signs of altitude, you are in good hands, and your safety is always our number one priority.
Serious illness or death is preventable in every case. Acclimatization is the key, this means to ascend gradually and take your time. Generally it is the younger bikers who think it is a race to the top, that experience complications, rarely do more experienced trekkers have serious issues, as pacing themselves is a key to a successful completion and they are aware of the symptoms if any should arise. It’s also up to you to monitor how you feel and the changes in your body and report them to your guide.
Other Things You Can do to Aid Acclimatization
- Drink, drink, drink, at altitudes and under exertion you should be drinking around 4 liters a day, no less than 3.
- Eat Carbohydrates, yes lots of potatoes, rice noodles and pasta, and avoid excessive salt.
- Rest; allow your body time to recover, excessive exercise does not help improve acclimatization.
- Ride at a pace that doesn’t overly increase your breathing and heart rate, basically if you are gasping for air, you are going to fast!
- Do not take sleeping pills.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol, save the celebrating for your return to the valley!
- Take it easy, enjoy the scenery and don’t be afraid to ask for help or extra rest if you feel like you need it.
In most cases like taxi’s, local restaurants and guided tours tipping is expected in Nepal but not compulsory. Generally local wages are low which reflects poor local economy. Tipping is a voluntary bonus on your part if your are happy with a service. If you come across good service and are impressed with the guide, food, driver or other things then your tips will be appreciated.
Please note that in Hotels and Tourist restaurants service charge is always added onto the bill which is 10%. If you have bad service you can refuse to pay this, but it will be automatically added unless you state otherwise, so in these cases tipping is not required.
Himalayan Single Track Guidelines (This is just our suggestion and in all cases tipping is optional)
Meals/Restaurant (Local) – 10% of the bill
Taxi Ride – 50 to 100 nrs
Driver – 200 to 500 nrs
Trip Guide 500 to 1500 nrs per day (as a group)
Trip Porters – 500 to 1000 nrs per person (as a group)
Hotel/Airport Porters – 100 nrs
ACCESS TO MONEY
There are only ATMs within the main cities of Nepal, Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan
ATMs in Kathmandu are on every corner and accept most key cards and credit cards. Traveller’s Cheques are outdated but can be changed still with Money Exchangers (also on every corner) or within big hotels. Please don’t change your money at the airport, you will not need cash until you get into town and you will get a much better rate in Kathmandu than at the airport. USD, EURO and AUD are also accepted for large purchases (in case you go on a shopping spree!)
WHAT CAN I BUY IN KATHMANDU?
Nepal is an awesome place for shopping. You can by in the main Thamel area anything and everything related to trekking and outdoors from small dry bags to trekking trousers, Shirts, boots, hats, scarves and gloves. Brands are not normally original but good quality can be found. There are also supermarkets where you can by most things you get at home like toiletries, muesli bars, cereals, tea, coffee, nuts fruit and chocolate. There are also some well stocked and cheap pharmacies that can fulfill all your needs without prescriptions for most generic brands. Leave some room in your bags for souvenirs like Pashmina, Handi Crafts, Thanka paintings and hand crafted Buddhist and Hindu relics. Most standard bike parts can also be brought in our Himalayan Single Track Shop.
While shopping in the tourist areas of Kathmandu bargaining the price of an item is expected. However you should be aware that Nepal is an economically poor country, keep in mind when you enter a shop this point and that the shop keepers have to make a living to support their families. Aggressive behavior and price haggling is ugly.
- Most items such as trekking goods are not genuine, inspect the quality of the items before you enter bargaining
- In most cases you should be able to bargain between 15 to 30 % off the price
- Always be realistic about the value of price being asked, people can get carried away over a few dollars…….this is poor etiquette
- If you are not happy walk away, if there is a better price to be offered the vendor will shout to you as you walk away, this will normally be the very cheapest price
- When buying high value items such as pashmina, silver and gems make sure the item you are purchasing is of the standard (quality) you are seeking. If in doubt, walk away
- Shopping and bargaining can be fun, except a cup of tea from the vendor and you could have some fun haggling the price. Try not to get agitated or aggressive as most Nepalese shop keepers are genuine and not at all trying to rip you off!
- Try shopping in small groups and make purchases of similar items from the same shop, bulk buying like this will give you more bargaining leverage.
- A big smile and a friendly manner will get you a long way in Kathmandu….
- Bargaining is NOT APPRECIATED at local fruit and vegetable markets or local restaurants, however you can bargain with the fruit vendors in Thamel.
PRICE INCLUDES -
- 2 Nights in Kathmandu (3 Star)
- 14 Nights in Teahouses while biking
- ACCAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit)
- TIMS (Trekking Information Management System)
- Manasulu and Tsum Valley Permits
- Breakfast (16)
- Lunch (14)
- Dinners (14) – Including welcome dinner and traditional dance
- Freshly Ground Coffee during the biking trip
- Airport Transfers (All)
- Private Vehicle Kathmandu to Arughat
- Private Vehicle Besishar to Kathmandu
- 16 Days Qualified Mountain Bike Guide (MBLA Certificate and Wilderness First Aid)
- 14 Days Porter, Pony and Pony Handler
- Support Guide for group over five people
- All Guide and Porter expenses and insurance
- Full use of Himalayan Single Track Workshop for assembling, washing and packing bikes
- Travel tool box carried by guides on tour
Price is dependent on group size, please inquire. Thank you