Trekking to Manaslu region takes you to the off-beaten path through the Manaslu Conservation Area of Nepal. The renowned trek in the region, Manaslu Circuit Trek, comes with various challenges. So, you might wonder ‘How difficult is Manaslu Circuit Trek?’

Though the Manaslu Trek is not quite as popular as the other treks such as Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp Trek. However, the trek has a lot to offer. From untouched beauty to Himalayan paradise, thrilling routes to cultural encounters, the trek is worth discovering. 

Be it a first-time trekker or an experienced one, the difficulty level of a trek to Manaslu somewhat ranges between moderate to challenging. One must be prepared physically and mentally for a successful adventure without any hassle. 

Here, in this blog, we have discussed the main factors that affect the difficulty level. Worry not, along with the factors, we aim to provide helpful insights on preparing for the Manaslu Trek and embracing the adventure.  

What is the Difficulty Level of the Manaslu Circuit Trek?

The Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty is rated as a moderate to strenuous trek in terms of difficulty level. However, the perceived difficulty can vary depending on an individual’s fitness level, prior trekking experience, and overall preparation for the trek.

One of the primary challenges of the Manaslu Circuit Trek is the altitude. Trekkers will ascend to a maximum elevation of 5,106 meters (16,752 feet) at the Larkya La Pass.

Additionally, the long duration and extended periods of trekking can be physically demanding, especially when combined with the high altitude and rugged terrain. The trails along the trek are more rugged pathways, uphills, and downhill requiring a good fitness level.

While the Manaslu Circuit Trek is classified as moderate to strenuous, its difficulty level can be mitigated through proper preparation and planning.

Factors Affecting Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty

The difficulty level of the Manaslu Circuit Trek is highly affected by factors like distance, itinerary, route taken, altitude, and more. In this section, we’ll cover these affecting factors in detail. 

1. Trek Distance and Duration

The Manaslu Circuit Trek Distance is 177 kilometers (about 110 miles) long. It takes hikers through the northern Himalayas in the Gorkha districts of Nepal.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek duration is generally 18 to 21 days in order to travel around Manaslu massifs. That’s almost three weeks of continuous hiking!

During the trek, you’ll encounter different terrains. The lowest point is 600 meters above sea level, while the highest is the mighty Larkya La Pass at 5,106 meters high.

On average, you’ll cover around 10 to 15 kilometers each day. However, the total duration can be adjusted shorter or longer based on how many kilometers you want to walk daily.

The starting point has changed from Arughat to Machha Khola after a new road was constructed. No matter where you begin, you need excellent physical fitness. The uphills and downhills over the long distance and duration make this trek quite challenging.

2. Weather and Temperature

The Manaslu Circuit Trek follows the trail in a special area called the Manaslu Conservation Area. This area has six different climate zones. The temperature changes depending on which climate zone you are in.

The best times to do this trek are in Spring (like March-May) and Autumn (September-November). These are considered the peak seasons because the weather is really lovely. The skies are clear so you can see the beautiful mountain views. And the temperature is nice and warm.

However, the Manaslu Circuit Trek weather can be unpredictable and change suddenly at any time of the year in this area.

In Winter (December-February), trekking is almost impossible. Many of the teahouses or small restaurants are closed because it’s too cold. The Larkya La Pass, which is very high up, is extremely difficult to cross because of heavy snowfall. There can also be bad weather like storms, strong winds, and icy, slippery trails.

During the Monsoon season (June-August), trekking is tough because there can be landslides and rocks falling down the mountainsides due to heavy rains.

So it’s not advised to trek during the Winter or Monsoon seasons when the weather is bad. Spring and Autumn are definitely the best seasons for this trek.

3. Altitude

The Manaslu Circuit Trek goes through very high altitudes or elevations. The highest point is the Larkya La Pass at 5,106 meters above sea level. That’s extremely high up in the mountains!

At such high altitudes, there is a chance of getting altitude sickness. This sickness can make you feel sick with a headache, shortness of breath, and nausea (feeling like you want to vomit). Altitude sickness usually happens when you go above 2,500 meters in elevation.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek starts at around 600 meters and then keeps going higher and higher until the maximum elevation of 5,106 meters at Larkya La Pass. 

You may not even realize when your body starts showing symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS, which is a type of altitude sickness. So you have to be very careful and take precautions.

But don’t worry! The trek is planned very carefully by the guides. They make sure you go up slowly, climbing a little bit higher each day. There are also special rest days built into the schedule to help your body get used to the high altitudes gradually. This is called acclimatization.

The guides are experts who have a lot of knowledge about trekking at high elevations. They will help you and tell you what to do to prevent altitude sickness on the Manaslu Circuit Trek.

Ways to Prevent Altitude Sickness

Here are some ways to prevent altitude sickness when trekking at high altitudes like the Manaslu Circuit Trek:

  • Climb gradually, allowing your body to acclimatize to the higher altitudes. Avoid rapid ascents.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids to prevent dehydration, which can worsen altitude sickness symptoms.
  • Both alcohol and smoking can increase your risk of altitude sickness.
  • Consult your doctor about prescribed medications like Diamox (acetazolamide) that can help prevent and treat altitude sickness.
  • Maintain your energy levels by consuming high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods when trekking at high altitudes.
  • Allow your body to rest and recover when you start experiencing altitude sickness symptoms.
  • If symptoms persist or worsen, descend to a lower elevation as quickly as possible.
  • Pay attention to any signs of altitude sickness and don’t ignore them.
  • Hire experienced guides who know how to recognize and manage altitude sickness.

4. Accommodation

During the Manaslu Circuit Trek, you will stay in small hotels known as tea houses or lodges. These accommodations are run by the local people who live in the Manaslu region.

The tea houses have basic facilities like a dining hall. You will eat your meals, which are cooked by the tea house owners.

The rooms in the tea houses are small but clean and comfortable. You will get a mattress, blanket, pillow, and bed cover to sleep on. Sometimes, you may have to share the room with 2-3 other trekkers. The facilities are quite basic.

The bathrooms in the tea houses are shared, and you cannot expect attached bathrooms in your room. Some tea houses have western-style toilets, while others have Indian-style toilets. You can take a hot shower in most tea houses, but you may have to pay an extra charge of around $2-$3 for it.

Wi-Fi is available in the tea houses at lower regions, but the internet speed is quite slow, so you can only use it for texting or calling, not for watching videos or browsing the internet.

Electricity is available in some tea houses at lower elevations, but at higher elevations, you may have to charge your devices in the dining hall itself. And you may have to pay a small fee for charging your phone or camera.

So, the Accommodation on Manaslu Circuit Trek is basic but comfortable, with tea houses providing the necessary facilities for trekkers.

Tips for Minimizing Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty

Here are some tips for minimizing the difficulty of the Manaslu Circuit Trek:

  • Hire an experienced guide: An experienced local guide can help navigate the trek, manage logistics, and provide valuable advice on acclimatization and safety.
  • Take it slow: Ascend gradually and acclimatize properly to the high altitudes to avoid altitude sickness.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and fluids to prevent dehydration, which can exacerbate the effects of altitude.
  • Eat well: Consume high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods to maintain energy levels throughout the trek.
  • Pack light: Carry only essential items to minimize the weight of your backpack, which can make the trek more challenging.
  • Use trekking poles: Trekking poles can provide stability and relieve stress on your knees, especially during descents.
  • Take rest days: Incorporate rest days into your itinerary to allow your body to recover and acclimatize.
  • Stay warm: Dress in layers and protect yourself from the cold, which can sap your energy and increase the risk of altitude sickness.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to any signs of altitude sickness or fatigue and adjust your pace accordingly.
  • Be mentally prepared: Develop a positive attitude and mental resilience to tackle the challenges of the trek.

How Do I Prepare for Manaslu Circuit Trek?

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a challenging adventure requiring proper preparation, both physically and mentally. To ensure you’re ready for this incredible journey, consider the following:

1. Physical Fitness: This trek involves long hours of continuous hiking, steep ascents and descents, and high altitudes. To build the necessary stamina and endurance, engage in regular cardio exercises like running, cycling, or swimming. Hiking on hills or stairs with a backpack can simulate the conditions you’ll encounter.

2. Mental Preparation: The Manaslu Circuit Trek can be mentally demanding, so it’s crucial to develop a positive attitude and mental resilience. One can build confidence and determination through prior preparation and training. 

3. Acclimatization: Altitude sickness is a real concern, so it’s essential to acclimatize to the higher elevations gradually. Before the trek, consider undertaking shorter hikes at higher altitudes to help your body adapt to the lower oxygen levels.

4. Packing and Gear: Proper gear is essential for a successful and comfortable trek. Pack warm clothing, including a down jacket, thermal layers, rain gear, a hat, gloves, and a good pair of trekking boots. A quality backpack, sleeping bag, and trekking poles can also be helpful.

5. Licensed Guide: Consider trekking with a licensed and experienced guide from a reputable trekking company. A guide can provide invaluable support, advice, and guidance, ensuring your trek is safe and enjoyable.

Remember, preparation is key to a successful and enjoyable Manaslu Circuit Trek. Take the time to train your body and mind, gather the necessary gear, and consider trekking with a licensed guide.

Final Say

And there you go. The challenges and difficulties along the journey of the Manaslu Circuit Trek are something not to be taken lightly. Whether it is the long-distance or the high altitude, the trek difficulty can be overcome with the right preparation and training. 

Apart from the trek difficulty, the trek to Manaslu rewards you with astounding beauty that one can imagine. Be it the mesmerizing Himalayan panoramas or the heartwarming people, the memory made during the trek lasts a lifetime. 

So, are you ready to discover the serenity of the Manaslu region? Do contact us for a specialized guided trek. We, at Thrill Himalaya, are equipped with licensed guides and itineraries that are well-designed by our experts.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *