Manaslu Circuit trek encounters you with the wilderness and remoteness of the Manaslu region. So, trekkers usually question the difficulty level of the Manaslu trek.
Manaslu Circuit is among the challenging treks of Nepal that rewards the traveler with thrills and adventure. Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty is graded as a moderate level trek.
The route of this trek is novel and remote, with various possible difficulties. With enough courage and power, you can easily conquer the Manaslu trek difficulty.
You walk through the off-beaten paths of the remote villages located in the Himalayan region. With its gaining popularity, the trek has become a new jewel in the crown of the Himalayan trekking world.
Manaslu Trek is an excellent choice if you are interested in trekking in Nepal’s authentic and wilder remote region. The routes of this trek are far less traveled, making the beauty untouched and unspoiled.
About Manaslu Circuit Trek
The routes for the Manaslu Circuit trek opened in 1992 for trekking. Manaslu Circuit Trek allows you to circle the great Mount Manaslu (8th highest peak in the world at 8163 m) while experiencing the unique lifestyle of the Gurung people.
Trekking in the paths of Manaslu offers you a unique opportunity to walk in the new parts of Nepal. Also, experience the mixed culture of Tibetan Buddhism along with the villages of this region.
You get to see the breathtaking perspective of Mt. Ganesh Himal, Mt. Himalchuli, and Mt. Manaslu itself, along with various other peaks. These beautiful scenarios make the Manaslu Circuit trek more exciting and fun.
You can view about ten peaks above the 6500 m mark on the routes of this circuit trek. This is a beautiful tea-house trek with far fewer crowds compared to other classical treks in Nepal.
Highlights of Manaslu Circuit Trek
- Jaw-dropping view of mountain chains such as Manaslu, Ngadi Chuli, Baudha, and many more
- Enchanted forests filled with wildflowers, pines, oaks, rhododendron, and others
- Explore vivacious valleys and visit picture-perfect villages throughout the trip
- Get a better opportunity to know more about the culture and tradition of the native
- Reach and cross the highest elevation pass of this region, Larkya La Pass, 5213 m above sea level
- Witness the breathtaking towering cliffs, epic landscapes, and deep canyons.
How Difficult is Manaslu Trek?
Manaslu circuit is a moderate-level trek that circles you around the great Mount Manaslu. The tour begins from Arughat or Soti Khola and extends to Larkya La Pass, the highest pass of this region.
The trails of Manaslu Circuit are suitable for both experienced and beginners. But there is no fooling when people say Manaslu Trek is one of the challenging treks of Nepal.
You walk on rugged and remote trails that extend to miles adding pressure to the trekkers. The routes are sometimes steep, rocky, and sloppy with numerous boulders.
Completing the Manaslu trek takes multiple days off your time as you will be walking in the jagged trails. Each day you walk an average of about 6 to 8 hours from leveled ground to ascending hills through deep canyons and forest paths.
The suffering from adverse effects of altitude can add more strains in Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty. The trails are icy during winter, which can take a toll on your body, such as frostbite, cramps, and rashes.
Also, the bad weather conditions due to rainfall and snowstorms often disturb the trip. You might even have to cancel the voyage halfway due to the unpredictable climate.
If this already sounds unsettling, you have more to come, which is not just exhausting but tedious. You have an endless trail to surpass, which adds Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty with pain in the muscles. So, come well-prepared before beginning the trek.
Factors Determining Manaslu Trek Difficulty
The Manaslu Trek is gaining popularity and becoming a desirable destination for many nature lovers. However, there are various factors determining the Manaslu trek difficulty, and they are:
Distance of the Trek
The distance of the trek can be daunting for new trekkers and travelers without prior training experience. The overall trek distance stretches more than 177 km from the capital.
The widely varied terrain from the lowest point of 228 m to the highest point of 8163 m makes the Manaslu trek difficult. Each day you challenge your endurance level on these trails.
On a standard 17 Days itinerary, you will walk for about 10 to 12 days with a normal distance of 15 to 20 km each day. You acclimatize and rest in lodges or tea houses the other remaining days.
The first few days are difficult on this trek as the trails of Budhi Gandaki Gorge are harrowingly steep. You walk above the breezy routes and cross suspension bridges over the Budhi Gandaki River. Sometimes, you might even use wooden bridges to cross the rivers.
Most of the section has steep, rocky, and rough paths, which can be nerve-wracking for the trekkers. Also, crossing the Larkya La Pass will be the most challenging day in the Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Weather and Temperature
The weather and temperature during your Manaslu trek determine the make or break of it. The climatic conditions make a big difference in how your tour will end.
You can face heavy snowstorms, rainfalls, chilly wind, blazing sun, and freezing nights throughout your trekking period. The weather and temperature is a major deciding factor that creates Manaslu Circuit Trek difficulty.
If you travel based on climatic conditions, then winter and monsoon are the minor seasons to choose for trekking. The trek during the monsoon is disappointing, with obstruction of views from the dark rain clouds. The paths are slippery and muddy as well but only in the lower region. Rainfall doesn’t affect much in the higher areas.
The hiking period during winter can be miserable due to snowfall which causes road blockage in some parts. Also, the higher altitude places and few of the tea-houses remain closed during heavy snowfall periods.
The nighttime temperature drops gradually as you climb higher during the winter season. But the daytime climates are sunny and warm. As for the monsoon, it is chilly during the day and night due to rainfall.
The weather and temperature are ideal and perfect for trekking during the spring and autumn seasons. The climatic conditions are similar with sunny and bright days and mild nights.
Manaslu Circuit trek offers a variety of incredible landscapes and beautiful valleys. The altitude of the tour begins from 700 m in Soti Khola and reaches up to 5213 m in Larkya La Pass, the highest elevation point.
The increase in altitude raises the risk of altitude sickness, making it a major Manaslu trek Difficulty. Altitude sickness doesn’t select age or gender, and it can happen to anyone trekking in high places.
Acute mountain sickness is quite common in any high-altitude trek. The earlier symptoms of altitude sickness are loss of appetite, headache, fatigue, vomiting, sleeping difficulty, breathing difficulty, and many more.
A suggestion for every trekker is not to ignore the signs of altitude sickness. The air above the 2500 m mark gets heavier with each incline. So, Having well-knowledge about AMS will be beneficial during your trek.
Ignoring the earlier symptoms will only lead to more severe conditions and worsen your health. So, be careful and inform your guide immediately.
Tips to Prevent Altitude Sickness
- Climb slowly as your body needs two to three days to adjust to the high elevation changes
- Pack plenty of healthy snacks that have high calories in them
- Acclimatize before sudden altitude chance to let your body cope with the environment
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
- Stop the trek if you face any altitude symptoms.
Lack of Luxuries
Finding accommodation is not an issue while trekking in the Manaslu as the trails offer new and improved tea houses. But the stays might not be too extravagant or fancy as one might expect.
After each tiring walk, you might want to get fresh with hot showers, but the expectation might be a bit high. The Manaslu region areas are still not developed, so that regular baths might be hard in higher elevations.
However, some lodges do provide good bathrooms, but others only offer buckets of water for baths. Do keep in mind that they will add you extra for these.
Necessary to hire a guide or porter
If you are planning to travel solo on the routes of the Manaslu region, then it is necessary to hire a guide or porter. So, selecting the right guide or porter will be another Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty.
However, if you are traveling with a tour operator, you do not need to worry about the guide or porter. They will arrange the most skillful and professional ones.
But it is a formidable challenge for solo travelers. You need to keep in mind to find the guide or porter with proper knowledge about the trials. It would be better if you can hire a guide who can speak the bilingual language and English fluently for adequate interaction.
Also, traveling alone with heavy baggage makes your trip harsh and challenging. So, to make the trek more comfortable, it is better to hire a porter. They can help you carry about 10 to 15 kg of weight, but you need to pay an additional fee if the weight exceeds.
If possible, we advise you not to trek alone as it’s too risky. But if you have already made up your mind, find a nice porter or guide or both for the Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Physical Challenges are a significant Manaslu trek difficulty. Every day you will be walking in steep trails, rocky terrain, and cliffs. The routes are demanding, with all the ups and downs from the beginning.
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a long-distance hike, so you should take your time and prepare appropriately. Physical stamina is an essential factor to complete the trip.
Food and Drinks
Trekkers always wonder about the food and drink varieties found on the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Unlike other popular treks, this trek is not as crowded as them due to its unpaved steep climbs.
So, due to the bleak environment transporting supplies is tremendously hard around the region. Thus the choices of food and drink items are low along the trails.
The typical Nepali food is the most served one on this trail. You get to eat rice, dal, vegetables, pulses, pickles, and other side dishes. But within years, as the flow of tourists has increased, the locals are including different cuisines. You can try out dishes like soft flatbread, hot soup, muesli, stir-fried noodles, etc.
Tips to Overcome Difficulty of Manaslu Circuit Trek
There is no denying Manaslu Circuit Trek’s difficulty. However, you can minimize the challenges.
Proper planning and preparation
Unplanned treks are the one that causes havoc so start by adequately organizing your tour. Select the right season, month, time for traveling to minimize the weather hazards. Also, choose the company wisely if you are going through a tour operator.
Bring along proper clothing.
After planning and preparation, you need to pack the right clothes according to the season. You should carry a sun hat, shorts, or tee during spring while raincoat during monsoon.
But always remember to carry a light sweater or jacket even if you are traveling during peak time. The weather of the Himalayas in higher altitudes is chilly during the night, even if it’s blazing hot during the daytime.
You need to have a muscular physique and a stable mindset to complete the Manaslu trek. So, physical exercises are a must to increase your stamina and mental power.
You can do the exercises on your own without visiting the gym. The most productive way to increase your endurance power is through jogging, cycling, short hikes, long-hour walks, etc.
Carry Water Bottle and water purification tablet
It is always necessary to carry one or two water bottles with you when going on a trek. There is bottled water found on the routes, but they are expensive. So, carrying your bottle saves money. You can refill your bottle on the lodges, but they charge you an extra price.
Along with the bottle, you need to carry a water purification tablet as well. There are times when you might not see shops for a long time. So, during these times, you can fill the stream water and use a purification tablet to kill the harmful bacteria.
Walk Slowly and keep yourself hydrated.
When climbing at a higher elevation, you need to walk slowly and steadily while maintaining your stamina. Just take short rest breaks each time you feel like you can’t push any further.
Also, drink water as frequently as you can to keep yourself hydrated. Because Low water consumption can lead to altitude sickness, so drink water every one to two hours. You need to consume at least 5-liter water per day.
Other tips to overcome Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty
- Always check the weather forecast before beginning your trip
- Carry nutritious snacks to give you more energy
- Do not consume a beverage or any alcohol- content drinks
- Do not smoke
- Book your hotels in advance to avoid sharing
- If you prefer peaceful walks, then visit during the off-season
- Do not forget to carry insect repellant and salt during summer.
How to Train for Manaslu Circuit Trek?
When training for treks, it is better to begin them a couple of months before the actual one. You can reduce the health-related risk and increase your stamina to make the treks comfortable. A few of the training are:
Strength and Endurance Training
Strength and endurance training are compulsory when determining your fitness level for the trek. You will be walking for a few hours every day on the Manaslu trek while carrying your backpack. So building stamina in your back, shoulder, and arms are essential.
The most strength needed is on your legs, so include exercises that strengthen your leg muscle.
You will need cardiovascular fitness training for Manaslu Circuit Trek. This fitness allows you to boost the ability of your heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the muscles.
The oxygen level decreases with increases in altitude, so cardiovascular fitness helps you cope with low oxygen levels. You can do exercises such as swimming, running, jogging, walking, and cycling.
Trekking on the routes of Himalayan for a long time can cause mental stress to the trekkers. So, mental preparation is necessary to build a strong will and complete the trek.
Regardless of its reputation, you can overcome Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty with the proper training and mental preparation. So, be safe and keep exercising to build your stamina.