Blizzard October 2014 and its impact on Annapurna Circuit & Manaslu Circuit


Annapurna base camp

Ocean wave named Hud-Hud had hit the western Himalayan range of Nepal unexpectedly on the form of blizzard and snow recently in October 2014, as a result, hundreds of trekkers were missing and more than forty trekkers lost their life during Annapurna Trek. Dolpo and Upper Mustang that lays further west of Annapurna Ranges were also severely affected by the unexpected of the blizzard. According to the new weather forecast on 31st of October and 1st of November waves from the Arabian Ocean will force weather of eastern Nepal to change but hard to predict whether it will end on disaster or simple change with snow and rainfall.

Lots of trekkers who were looking for trekking in Nepal on mid of October, early and mid-November are left on dilemma about the uncertainty of weather. The best alternatives used by several agencies to get rid of the impact of bad weather is the shift trekking region from a high alpine region to a lower elevated region. The best example is the Annapurna Circuit was shifted to Manaslu and Langtang as convenient.
Is Manaslu Ok, What about weather condition and Possibility to cross the Larke Pass

Well, we would love to say any Himalayan range is ok now, hundreds of people had already traverse Annapurna Circuit even after this disaster within two weeks of time span. Definitely Manaslu is ok as it belongs to a midwestern Himalayan range of Nepal in between Annapurna and Langtang Massifs. As a relation of close neighbor to Annapurna, people had generated an idea about massive destruction on the Manaslu region, but most of the people are not familiar with Thorong La Pass and Larke La Pass. In term of technical difficulties, Larke Pass is more dangerous than Thorong La although is a couple of hundred meters lower in term of elevation. The final part of Larke is more steep and slippery as well as during heavy snow it is almost impossible to traverse the pass even when lead by climbing Sherpa with full equipment. The main reason behind this is the technical terrain and slope of Larke in compare to Thorong La Pass. Thorong it belongs to the world’s widest pass and very pleasant trail.

Because of this nature of pass, most of the people turn into the mode of wait and see even in case of minor snowfall on Larke Region. Whereas on the other hand trekkers on the Thorong side easily attempt to cross the pass on minor snowfall. Apart from Annapurna freelance trekkers can’t trek Manaslu on their own because of its restricted policy. No doubt when lead by a professional guide, they can decide when to stop, whether to trek ahead or halts the trek retracing because of weather conditions and other factors. It doesn’t mean that Manaslu is a hundred percent safe instead we should understand it as a region where precautions are vital things and past information too. Dharmsala is the key point for Larke Pass as one cannot traverse toward Bimthang skipping day on Dharmasala.


What exactly had happened on Manaslu during a blizzard


Entire people had halted the trek from Dharmasala completely either retracing back toward Samdo or Samagaon or turned to wait and see mode. When conditions had gone worse and completely out of control some had called for immediate evacuation, some had tried to retrace down to Samdo by collaborating with local people. This is the reason why no people were dead during blizzard and snowstorms. Meanwhile, a French citizen was found dead on Budi Gandaki nearby the village of Machhakhola after he fell down on the river from the slippery portion of the trail.


Is Manaslu Larke Pass ok


Yes, right after a couple of days from blizzard and snowstorm number of trekkers had traversed Larke La Pass and undertake the trek successfully. Still, there is some weather forecast about change in the weather of Nepal on 31st and 1st apart from that it should be stable unless some ocean wave affects the weather of the high alpine area.

So without any dilemma and worry enjoy trekking on Nepal in the coming November and December. All high alpine passes are ok; don’t forget to check for the latest update on the weather, do not trek alone, health and travel insurance are the most before the trek. Proper gears are the most for high alpine treks. Simply you can contact us for more details about the pack list for trekking and other updates about the weather of Nepal Himalayas.

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Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being assistance guide, leader, to being a manager. And finally today I am the founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say I know my way well enough in the Himalayas, especially in some of the off-the-beaten-trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga and Mustang!

I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!). I have backpacked to over 15 countries in Asia, Central America, USA, Canada, one-third of Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had the opportunity of working with multinational companies which taught me how to deliver quality customer service in the business. As a world travelling backpacker myself, and travel expert for the Nepalese Himalayas, I started writing about my own country. Which I would love to share with you. In case you required free information about Nepal or join a group with our existing departure, (particularly If you are a solo hiker for the restricted area) please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu called Thamel. I am happy to share a cup of Nepali tea and free information.

Our team at NEST has earned 5/5 star ratings on TripAdvisor. Don't forget to visit our customer feedback page on TripAdvisor. If you believe our expert team can be helpful in planning your next trip to Nepal, then please do not hesitate to contact me at nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available 24x7 on WhatsApp  +977- 9851052042. If you are interested to know more about my travel journey follow me on  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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