Manaslu vs. Goyko

Posted by in Treks in Nepal 2014-04-03 00:42:33

Which is the more difficult trek? Are both tea house treks? My wife and I are in our 60s and in relatively good shape. Trying to choose between these treks. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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  • Rasmus Juul Olsen
    Hi Edward

    Yes, both are teahouse treks. The Manaslu trek only became a tea house trek a few years ago whereas the Gokyo area, which is situated next to the infamous Everest Base Camp trek has been a tea house trek for several years.

    Both are great treks, and some of Nepal's best. The following routes can be taken for the Gokyo trek:

    1. Lukla via Namche Bazar and up to Gokyo. Hereafter you can cross the Cho La Pass and cross over to the Everest. This route can be done in 14-15 days.
    2. An alternative route is Lukla via Namche Bazar and up to Gokyo but instead of the Cho La Pass you go West over the Renjo La pass and then down again to Namche Bazar. This route is shorter and can be done in around 11 days.
    3. A third route is taking the same way up and down, from Namche Bazar up via Dole, Maccherma, and Gokyo and then down again. This route is the easier route, but also the same way up and down (it is easier as you won't be crossing a pass).

    In terms of difficulty both Manasly and Gokyo will bring around some physical challenges. However, if you are in relatively good shape then I am very sure that you can do it, having a great time.

    While not wanting to scare you away in any way it should be noted that the Gokyo Valley is also known as the Valley of Death. The reason being that the "normal" route is from Namche Bazar either directly to Dole or via Khumjung to Dole. Either route will give an altitude jump between 550-700 meters in one day which is quite a bit. Be therefore careful with how you plan the acclimatisation in Gokyo.

    Manaslu has natural acclimatisation stops and the route is fairly planned. Crossing the Larke pass is a long and hard day but if waking up early enough you can make sure that your feet won't sink through the snow when crossing the pass (which will make it relatively more easy! but still a long hard day;) ).

    In terms of Manaslu vs Gokyo it should also be noted that with Manaslu you will start further down - around 700 m (in Arughat) whereas in Gokyo you will start in 2800 m (Lukla). The terrain in Manaslu will therefore be slightly more diversified, from lush forrest to mountain terrain. It should be noted also, however, that Gokyo Ri, the peak which will summit during a day in Gokyo, gives magnificent views over the rough and beautiful Solu Khumbu mountain region (in which Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and other great majestic peaks lies).

    Lastly it should be noted that the Guest Houses in Gokyo will be relatively better as the Gokyo area is more developed compared with Manaslu.

    I am aware that this was a rather long post, but hope it gave some insights as to the differences in the treks.

    One thing is for sure, both are really good routes and both are recommendable. Just came back from the Gokyo and Everest Region during which I met several people in the sixties, most of which were having a Great time. Even met a guy who was 76 and still going strong. Thus, if you're relatively fit and acclimatize properly you'll should be fine.

    All the best,
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