Manaslu Circuit Trek is a beautiful trek in the foothills of Mt. Manaslu (8156 m), the 8th highest mountain in the world. Trekking in the unexplored landscapes of the Manaslu region is an incredible adventure. But wondering how difficult it will be and how to cope with Manaslu trek difficulty? Read on, you will find all the details regarding the difficulty.
The Manaslu trek is moderately challenging. As with any other treks, the Manaslu Circuit Trek’s difficulty also depends upon the trekker’s ability. Your level of fitness also plays a massive role during the trek. The same trails might be challenging for some and comfortable for others.
Moreover, a good training routine two to three months or at least two weeks before the trek is a must. These physical and mental exercises will prepare you well for the trip by building your stamina and endurance. Besides that, a proper packing based on the season of the trek will ensure that your trek remains safe and comfortable.
Furthermore, various factors affect the difficulty of the Manaslu trek, including weather conditions, harsh terrains, accommodations facilities, food facilities, remote landscapes, and others. You can customize the trek to reduce the difficulty level by a significant amount.
Read further to know more about the Manaslu trek difficulty, factors affecting the difficulty level, and essential tips and training guide for the trek. You can read this guide and apply the tips provided to minimize the difficulty level of the trek.
What Makes the Manaslu Trek Difficult?
Manaslu Circuit Trek starts from a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Arughat or Soti Khola. The trail then passes through the various hilly landscapes before crossing the magnificent Larkya La Pass (5106m). The earthquake of April 2015 severely damaged the trail route, but with local initiation, the trails have been duly renovated.
There are various challenges as there are numerous boulders along the trail. With proper preparation and planning, you can complete this trek with ease. Some of the factors that make the Manaslu trek difficult are as follows:
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Weather conditions are another important factor that causes difficulty during the trek. You will find stable weather conditions less precipitation in the autumn and spring. These seasons provide moderate temperatures that are perfect for a trekking adventure.
Moreover, the beautiful climate and the unobstructed views of the snow-capped mountains are the highlights of the trek in these seasons. The rhododendron blooms all over the hills, painting them red and pink in spring. Hence, the autumn and the spring season are the ideal time for the Manaslu Circuit trek.
However, the trails are slippery and leech-infested in the monsoon season. Besides that, the Larkya La Pass remains covered in the winters. The morning and night are colder in the high altitude region. The harsh sun reflected from the snow-capped mountains might also cause difficulty. You can complete the trek in the off-season with proper preparation and planning.
Altitude sickness is another major factor in the trek in the Manaslu region. The Manaslu Circuit trek has the highest altitude of 5106 m at the stunning Larkya La pass. Hence, the risk of altitude sickness is high on this trek.
In Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), fluid accumulates in different parts of the body. You must stay at the same altitude or even descend a few hundred meters if necessary to tackle AMS. The symptoms of altitude sickness include nausea, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, and others. Besides that, the lack of oxygen also makes breathing difficult in this high altitude trek.
Furthermore, the High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) are severe forms of AMS. It causes headaches, shortness of breath, cough, tiredness, vomiting, and loss of coordination. They can turn fatal if the symptoms are not treated within 12 hours. Hence, you should be careful during the trek.
Luxury Related Difficulties
Accommodation facilities in the Manaslu Circuit trek are pretty basic. The trails remain empty as it is the off-the-beaten trek and you will stay mostly at the local tea houses. However, the facilities provided in these teahouses are not fancy as compared to hotels.
Moreover, a hot shower might not be available at higher elevations. Besides that, bathroom facilities are also not what you can expect in hotels and lodges. Hence, you will have to compromise a lot in these situations. You can carry wet wipes and a large towel to wipe yourself after the trek.
Furthermore, charging your electronic gadgets like cameras, phones, tablets, and others will cost you extra in the high Himalayas. You can carry a solar-power charger, extra batteries, or a power bank to tackle this problem.
The Manaslu trek is a high altitude trek, and there are minimal options when it comes to food. You will mostly get served the Nepali dish of “Dal Bhat” during the trek that consists of rice, dal (pulses), lentils, vegetables, Gundruk, pickles, etc.
Moreover, you can also get a limited variety of western and international cuisine, including pizza, momo, burger, Chowmein, pasta, and others. Besides that, you can carry vitamin supplements and snacks like protein bars, granola bars, and chocolate bars during the trek. You will have to adjust to the food facilities during the trek.
Remote Landscapes and Harsh Terrains
The Manaslu trek is a scenic off-the-beaten trek that passes through the remote landscapes and harsh terrains of the Annapurna-Manaslu region. You will also cross the famous Budhi Gandaki Gorge through steep terrain.
The trail passes alongside the Budhi Gandaki river. You will have to cross the river through makeshift bridges made of logs. Besides that, you will also have to cross the magnificent Larkya La Pass (5106 m). This trek will taste your patience and stamina to the core. First-time trekkers will find it hard to trek in the uneven terrains.
Furthermore, a good training regime with physical training exercises including cardiovascular exercises like jogging, swimming, hiking, cycling is a must for the trek. With regular acclimatization, hydration, and mental preparation, you can complete the trek with ease.
Manaslu Circuit is a geographically diverse trek that requires you to walk long distances during the trek. You will also cross the magnificent Larkya La Pass (5106 m) from where you can observe the incredible vista of Mt. Manaslu (8,163 m) and surrounding mountains.
Moreover, you need to cover the total distance of 177 kilometers during the Manaslu Circuit trek. For that, you will be walking around 15-20 km each day for 10-12 days. The long-distance of high altitude trek makes it difficult for the trekkers who have not trekked in the region before.
Furthermore, you can reduce the number of trekking days by customizing the itinerary. Besides that, you can also use transportation facilities at various points during the trek to reduce the difficulty to some extent.
Restricted Area Rules
The trails of the Manaslu Circuit Trek pass through the government declared a restricted area. Therefore, you will have to follow a certain set of rules to trek in the region including a registered guide and special permits for the trek.
The special rules for the trek include:
- You must have a licensed professional guide or a porter guide from a local trekking agency.
- Get the special trekking permits through an authorized trekking agency. You can get the Manaslu Circuit Trek Permit at the Nepal Tourism Board’s office in Kathmandu.
- You must have at least two people in the group (excluding the guide and porter)
The documents required for the permit include:
- Original copy of your passport with Nepal entry visa and arrival stamp.
- Four passport size photos
- Travel Insurance with coverage over 6000 meters.
Cough and Cold
The weather gets extremely cold in the mornings and night in this high altitude trek. Hence, the symptoms of cough and the common cold are common during the trek among the trekkers. Therefore, you need to protect yourself through warm gear and clothing during the trek.
Moreover, you can also dress in layers so that you can add or remove your clothes based on the weather conditions. Besides these, you can carry herbal remedies and other cold medications during the trek. A hot garlic soup also acts as a herbal remedy to tackle cough and cold.
You will have to trek the Manaslu region with a heavy backpack. Undoubtedly, the trek gets highly challenging with a backpack. Thus, you should train for the trek with a backpack so that you can trek with ease.
Moreover, you can also hire a porter during the trek. Porters can carry 15-30 kgs of weight and charge you around $15 in the region. It also depends upon the backpack’s weight. Besides that, there are guides that work as porters as well.
Travelers’ diarrhea is a massive problem for trekkers in Nepal. Hygiene is not up to the mark in most tea houses and also the quality of water substandard. Every trekker taking this trek must carry antibiotics, anti-diarrhea, electrolytes, rehydration salts, etc to tackle this problem.
Moreover, you need to hydrate yourself regularly during the trek. Besides that, you should also carry water purification tablets or chlorine solution to purify water. These steps will help you a lot during this trek.
Boredom is another factor that you must not take lightly during the trek. The high altitude trekking destination does not have many entertainment facilities. You will probably get bored in the afternoon and the evening after the trek.
Moreover, you can carry books, a deck of cards, and board games to play and pass the time during the trek. Besides that, you can travel in a group to have a great group trekking experience and avoid boredom during the trek.
Hence, these were the various factors during the Manaslu Circuit trek. You can reduce the difficulty of the trek by a significant amount by preparing well and customizing the itinerary.
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Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulties After the Earthquake
The April 2015 earthquake damaged the trails and the infrastructures around the trail to a great extent. Landslides and big boulders damaged the tea houses along the trail as well.
The trails and the tea houses have been swiftly restored with the help of the local initiation. You can find new earthquake-resistant tea houses along the trail. So these facilities will ensure you will have a safe and sound experience during the Manaslu Circuit trek.
Essential Tips to Minimize the Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty
- You should acclimatize and hydrate yourself regularly during the trek
- You should carry water purifying tablets and reusable water bottles during the trek.
- Hire a guide and porter to save you from any hassles
- You should Pre-book your food and accommodation facilities to save you from any hassles.
- Always check the weather forecast before the trek and Start your trek earl
- Carry snacks including protein bars, chocolate bars, granola bars, and others to munch on during the trek
- Pack your gear and equipment properly
- Get your travel permits through a recognized travel agency
- You should carry insect repellents and table salts to protect from mosquitos, leeches, and other insects.
- Get a good travel insurance coverage
How Should I Train to Overcome Manalu Trek Difficulty?
Training is an essential part of any trek in the high altitude region. It helps to reduce muscle strain during the taxing trekking journey and helps you build stamina and endurance.
Moreover, the training regime makes you physically and mentally fit for the trek. You should start your training routine a couple of months or at least two weeks before the trek. Besides that, you should also eat a balanced diet during the training and the trek.
To reduce Manaslu trek difficulty, Cardiovascular training is a vital aspect. These sets of exercises help your heart and lungs to supply an adequate amount of oxygen during the trek.
The oxygen levels are at a bare minimum during this high altitude trek which makes breathing difficult. Thus, cardiovascular exercises help you tackle this problem with ease. Activities like running, jogging, cycling, hiking, and others are essential during cardiovascular fitness training.
Strength and Endurance Training
Every trekker must undergo Strength and endurance training before the trek. These training exercises will increase the fitness levels required for the 5-6 hours daily hike in high altitude rocky terrains. You should focus on training in steep uphill climbs and descents.
Moreover, this process builds your stamina and increases your muscle strength in the shoulder, arm, and back. The trek also requires you to intake a regular balanced diet and hydrate regularly. The diet should include a significant amount of carbohydrates and protein. It will help you save your energy during the trek.
One of the essential parts of any training routine is mental preparation. You should have an overall idea about the trek so that you can prepare in advance. You can take part in one-day hikes before the trek to have an overall idea of the trek in the region. Similarly, you can learn about how your body reacts to the strenuous hikes for long hours. Therefore, mental preparation is essential for the Manaslu Trek.
Packing List For the Manaslu Trek
- Trekking boots
- Trekking pants and jackets
- Thermals underwear
- Woolen cap
- Short-sleeved Trekking shirts
- Insulating down jackets
- Trekking Gloves
- Long-sleeved Trekking shirts
- Anti-nausea Medicines
- Diamox tablets
- Mosquito and insect repellents
- Toilet Paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Solar Chargers
- Sleeping bag
- Water Bottle
- Hot water Thermos
- Travel Permits
The Final Say
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a beautiful trek in the pristine landscapes in the foothills of Manaslu Himal. The trek is challenging but with proper preparation, training, and a positive attitude, you can minimize the Manaslu Trek difficulty by a significant amount.
Moreover, the peaceful Manaslu trek is also an excellent opportunity to explore the cultural heritage of the region. Overall, this spectacular trek in the foothills of the Himalayas is a once in a lifetime adventure.
Please contact Eagle Eye Treks & Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. for more travel-related information.
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