6 to 9 September 2023 - Registrations open 30 January 2023!

Wild Manaslu Kora

Starting 1st April 2023 from Kathmandu, Nepal.


A wonderful and adventurous journey making a partial kora around Manaslu (8163m), the world’s eighth highest mountain, the “mountain of spirit“.

We’ll approach from the east on lesser known trails, explore the culturally Tibetan Tsum Valley, visit remote gompas, reach several 5000m passes on the Tibetan border before crossing the wildly spectacular Larkya La (5160m) to the north of Manaslu itself. We’ll then reach Mustang via Tilicho Tal (possibly the world’s highest lake at 4920m).

This will be Lizzy’s 13th Manaslu Kora, her 13th crossing of the Larkya La, join her to find out why this high, wild place pulls her back again and again! 

Our journey will be in the form of a fastpack, moving fast and light through this incredible landscape.

Happy days. I left some blood, sweat, tears, laughs and smiles out on those trails in the sky around Manaslu. Its Nepali name, meaning ‘Mountain of the Spirit’, comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa, meaning ‘soul’. It is without doubt a soulful place. Nepal never fails to shake me up and rub some corners off. But this time it was as though the winds had scoured me from the inside and completely emptied me out. I was refilled with the beautiful energy of the sun, of the deep-blue skies, of the thin air, and the awesomeness of the mountains. But thrown back into the very core of myself something had irrevocably changed. We shared some great company on those miles of high mountain trails. It was indeed food for the soul.

Shooting stars scudding across the canopy of the night sky; icy torrents; bubbling hot springs; deeply forested gorge valleys; mountain ridges etched against a sky of deepest blue; trails strewn with chortens and stupas; the sweat and honesty of a long, steep ascent; the controlled joyful abandon of a fast descent; gompas, those ancient bastions of Tibetan Buddhism; living, vibrant, welcoming monasteries; changing, clashing cultures; laughing children, smiling faces; precious moments shared in the thin air.

I felt my vulnerability and weakness in the face of such immensity of landscape, I again realised my insignificance. There was a rawness of emotion, and yet I felt a beautiful power and strength in body, mind and spirit.

Lizzy Hawker, excerpt from Runner, A Short Story about a Long Run (2015)

As a supported “fastpack” (see updated definition below!) we’ll carry our own personal gear. We’ll guide you through every step of the way, we’ll organise all transport, food and accommodation, leaving you to focus on your own challenge and your own experience within this shared journey.

This journey offers you a very tangible physical and mental challenge, simply getting from A to B through some of the world’s highest mountains, but in this refuge from your everyday there will also space to reflect. You’ll see things from a different perspective, it will change you!

Trip information

Just click on the links below to jump to that section!


Who are you?

Who are we?

Contact us

Dates and cost

Equipment list and joining info



Gallery of photos


What’s a “skydance“?

Well, this isn’t a race and this isn’t a traditional trek, it lies somewhere between. Outside of a traditional race format, and as a small group, we have total flexibility over our itinerary, and how far or fast we travel each day, and within the constraints of eventually getting from A to B, we have the freedom to explore. It’s likely we’ll compress several “traditional trekking camps” into one day, but at other times we might decide to stay longer in a village to explore for a day off the main route. We won’t be running but we will be moving fast, with some long days once we are acclimatised. Some might call this fastpacking, but this isn’t quite that either. Jamie McGuiness coined the term “Skypacking”, but it’s something a little different to that too.

And so, it seems, the best way to describe this is as a Skydance. This is how Lizzy termed her original attempt at the Great Himalaya Trail back in 2011. Her intention then was to keep as much as possible to the trails through the highest mountains (a pure route), moving fast and light, with minimal support.

We’ll have support, but the spirit of our journey is the same, to move fast and light around Manaslu and onward to Mustang via Tilicho Lake (optiona.)! Join us for this journey along part of Lizzy’s GHT route!

This. Whatever else it becomes, it will be a “beautiful, rough, hard and unforgettable journey”. Not sure yet where this will take me. It is not simply about the physical challenge. This is my ‘kora’, a point to point journey across a country, but circling back to where I start, which is here and now. A journey inward to the core, and a journey outward to the edge of what I know.

Lizzy Hawker, in a facebook post before the start of her 2016 journey along the Great Himalaya Trail crossing Nepal from East to West

Who are you?

You love the mountains and wild places. You’re looking for a beautiful experience and magical journey shared with a small group of like-minded souls. You’re comfortable with doing without luxuries for a while, and you’re excited to have an opportunity to experience the ‘real Nepal’ off the beaten track, and to immerse yourself briefly in the traditional culture of some remote and thriving communities. You’re a runner or a hiker or a mountaineer, and to put it simply you love moving on foot through high mountains.

Bring an adventurous spirit, a sense of humour and a willingness to be challenged. This will be a journey of the mind, heart and spirit as well as a journey for your physical body. You’ll experience life from a different perspective. Be prepared to be changed!

Who are we?

Trip leader

Our journey will be led by Lizzy Hawker. On foot whenever possible, as an elite athlete Lizzy held the world record for 24 hours on the road and won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc an unprecedented (and unmatched) 5 times. A National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and now race director of the Ultra Tour Monte Rosa her passion for exploring is taking her far beyond competition to high, wild places often alone, and often in Nepal. Lizzy completed the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) from east to west across Nepal in 2016 and 2017, this route follows part of her GHT journey. Her feet and heart know the lie of the land now, this will be her 13th Manaslu Kora, her 13th crossing of the Larkya La, join her to find out why this high, wild place pulls her back again and again! She’ll be happy to guide you through these high mountains, to share her experiences, and to create new memories and new dreams with you on this journey.

The organisers

The journey will be organised through our local partner Hidden Trails Adventures and through Kora Explore GmbH (organiser of the Ultra Tour Monte Rosa and the Kora Explore training camps / running tours). Hidden Trails Adventure is a Nepal based travel company and notably a pioneer of tourism in the Manaslu region. The Hidden Trails team has successfully organised the Manaslu Trail Race since November 2012 and the Mustang Trail Race since April 2013. The team has a wealth of experience in creating beautiful experiences in the high mountains of Nepal and enabling guests to realise their dream journey. Our guide will be Laxman Khatri who has spent some years managing the vipassana meditation centre “Dhamma Pokhara” at Begnas Tal and will be happy to support you in the spiritual part of your journey as well the physical!.

Contact us

Write to us at info@koraexplore.com

Dates and cost

The basic trip is from Saturday 1st April (arriving Kathmandu) until Saturday 22nd April (leaving Kathmandu). There is also an option to make an early exit and return to Pokhara or Kathmandu on 17th April. If you have extra time before you need to leave we will be more than happy to suggest or organise another tour/excursion for you!

Cost on application, please contact us at info@koraexplore.com. The basic cost will be based on 3 guests, depending on the full or shorter option.

Cost includes: 2 or 4 nights (as required) accommodation in a quality hotel in Kathmandu on bed and breakfast basis, airport transfer to Kathmandu hotel, welcome dinner in Kathmandu on Sunday 2nd April, Annapurna Conservation Area Permits and Manaslu restricted area permits, group transport by jeep, return flight from Jomsom (if applicable), simple accommodation in lodges and homestays.

Cost excludes: International Flights, Medical and Travel Insurance, Nepal Visa, Helicopter evacuation (should be covered by individual medical insurance), while on trek; additional meals, alcohol and bottled drinks, while in Kathmandu; all meals, drinks additional to those provided, Monastery donations, Equipment rental, Tips.

Support: Through Kora Explore we already support some families in Nepal with educational costs. For this journey we’d love to make a contribution to the new school project at Serang (Nubri) Gomba. If, after your journey, you find you feel moved to help in some way then let us know and we can try to work out what could have the most lasting impact for a child/family/community. On a material level, good shoes and warm clothing (eg duvet jackets) are always in short supply, and if you have anything to bring or leave behind we’ll make sure it gets to someone who can use it!

Equipment list and joining info

Once you register we’ll send you a full list of gear/equipment that you will need to bring. We will also send you the “joining info” which will explain exactly how everything works once you reach Kathmandu airport, including orientating yourself to the craziness of Kathmandu, what happens while we are out in the mountains, and any useful tips that we can think of to tell you in advance!

Insurance & Cancellation

You must have a travel or medical insurance that covers you fully against the costs of helicopter evacuation, hospitalisation, repatriation as required in case of injury or sickness. We will need a copy of your insurance details before you arrive in Kathmandu. Please make sure your policy covers you for trekking up to altitudes of 5600m. Thank you!

Please do also take out a trip cancellation policy in case of injury or illness before our departure. We are keeping costs for you to the minimum which means we have a big loss if one participant is unable to come at short notice. We will ask you for a 400 USD (375 EUR) deposit. The balance is due 3 weeks before departure.

  • Until 8 weeks before departure: up to 75% of your deposit refunded
  • Between 8 weeks and 3 weeks before departure: up to 50% of your deposit refunded
  • From 3 weeks before departure: no refunds of your deposit, and full payment is due, thank you.


Saturday 1 April

Arrival in Kathmandu. We will meet you from the airport and provide transport to your hotel in the Lazimpat district of Kathmandu. See the “joining” info on how to orientate yourself to the craziness of Kathmandu. We’ll meet for a group dinner to welcome you and answer any questions or concerns! Lodging: Hotel

Sunday 2 April

We’ll meet after breakfast for a briefing on the adventure ahead and to check kit, answer questions etc. It’s important to keep weight to a minimum (to enjoy the journey to the fullest), so Lizzy will demonstrate the contents of her rucksack and give any advice you need. Anything that you don’t need to take around Manaslu can be left in Kathmandu for your return. Following this you are free to enjoy the day! We’ll give you some suggestions of how you might like to spend the day, whether that’s gear shopping in Thamel, enjoying a spa or massage, or exploring some of the heritage sites of Pashupatinath, Durbar Square and Swayambunath. We’ll suggest a group visit to Boudhanath in the early evening to make a few koras, set some intentions for the journey ahead, and enjoy a good meal together. Lodging: Hotel

Monday 3 April

We’ll take an early morning jeep from Kathmandu to Dobhan (990m) on the banks of the Budhi Gandaki River. Lodging: Teahouse

Tuesday 4 April

Dobhan to Philim (1570m). Lodging: Teahouse

Wednesday 5 April

Philim to Mu Gompa (3709m). Lodging: Monastery

Thursday 6 April

Mu Gompa (3700m). Exploration hike towards one of three possible passes on the Tibetan border! Lodging: Monastery

Friday 7 April

Mu Gompa to Gumba Langdang (3200m). Lodging: Monastery

Saturday 8 April

Gumba Langdang to Deng (1860m). Lodging: Teahouse

Sunday 9 April

Deng to Serang Gumba (3657m). Lodging: Monastery

Monday 10 April

Serang Gumba to Hinang Gumba (3070m). Lodging: Monastery

Tuesday 11 April

Hinang Gumba to Pung Gyen Gumba to Samagaon (3520m). Lodging: Lodge

Wednesday 12 April

Samagoan to Manaslu Base Camp (4400m) to Samdo (3875m). Lodging: Lodge

Thursday 13 April

Samdo (3875m). Exploratory walk to the Rui La (4998m) on the Tibetan border. Lodging: Lodge

Friday 14 April

Samdo (3875m). Exploratory walk to the Ljyung La (5120m) on the Tibetan border. Lodging: Lodge

Saturday 15 April

Samdo to Bimthang (3590m) via the Larkya La (5120m). Lodging: Lodge

Sunday 16 April

Bimthang to Timang (2750m). Lodging: Lodge

Early exit: Bimthang to Dharapani & jeep to Beni.

Monday 17 April

Timang to Manang (3540m). Lodging: Lodge

Early exit: Bus to Pokhara or Kathmandu.

Tuesday 18 April

Manang to Tilicho Base Camp (4150m). Lodging: Lodge

Wednesday 19 April

Tilicho Base Camp to Jomsom (2720m) via the Mesokanto La (5245m). Lodging: Lodge

Thursday 20 April

Return flights Jomsom to Pokhara to Kathmandu. Lodging: Hotel

Friday 21 April (for those departing Nepal)

It’s always best to keep an extra “free” day in Kathmandu at the end of your trip in case of domestic flight delays or cancellations, and a longer journey by road. We’ll have some great suggestions of how to spend your day!

Saturday 22 April (for those departing Nepal)

International departures.