In few years, the Manaslu Circuit trail has become a popular alternative to the Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp trek.
Manaslu circuit trek is one of the off-beaten treks in Nepal takes you through the remote villages, lush green forest, passing several rivers, waterfalls, and witnessing the adorable mountain vistas.
The Manaslu region is full of abundant natural beauty and a notion of complete peace.
It is a great choice for those who want to explore the isolated region. Geographically, it lies in the isolated foothills of the Himalayan foothills.
This trekking region is preserved and controlled areas of Nepal. Thus, you’ll explore the well-preserved natural as well as the cultural aspect of the local tribes.
To preserve the natural and cultural beauty of the region also for the safety cause of trekkers no one is allowed to do trek individually. Thus, you’re compelled to hire an authorized guide or porter from Nepal Trekking Association (NTA).
You might be wondering about the Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty and what level of fitness is required is necessary to complete the trek successfully.
Talking about difficulty level it is strenuous grade. Hence, it is somehow difficult for the beginners’ trekkers.
But still, it can be accomplished by the beginners if being prepared earlier moving to the destinations. You should be clear about accomplishing the trek you don’t require the technical climbing skills.
Anyone with a basic fitness level and determination can trek successfully.
After the devastating 2015 earthquake, the many trails have been destroyed. It might have been a bit difficult before because of a fewer trail.
However, now new trekking trails have been developed so the trek isn’t as difficult as it used to be before in terms of trails. It is also fully safe for trekking and explores the hidden natural beauty of the Manaslu region.
Now, teahouse at high camp at Dharamsala is also opened, so you can complete this trek more conveniently. But it would be wise to take camping equipment as the teahouses on the trail are basic.
Before judging the Manaslu circuit trek difficulty level you should consider the facts like the distance, altitude, and weather conditions.
Distance During Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit trek lies in the northern Himalayan range, the west-central part of Gorkha districts. This trek is widely varied, as the terrains range from its lowest point of 228 m to the 8,163 m of the world’s eighth highest Mt. Manalsu.
Manaslu Circuit trek is about 177 kilometers in total distance. On a standard 17-day tour itinerary, you’ll be walking for 10-12 days with an average distance each day of approximately 15-20 km.
The trek can be made longer or shorter depending on the length of your walking days and starting point.
Manaslu Circuit trek is easily accessible from Kathmandu city. Basically, it starts in the town of Arughat or Gorkha or after completion of road construction you may start either Barpark or Soti Khola.
The first few days on the trail becomes difficult as the Budhi Gandaki Gorge is harrowing steep. Also, you have to walk via lots of uphills and downhills. Sometimes you’ve to walk via breezy trails and cross suspension bridges above the Budhi Gandaki river.
You need to be physically and mentally prepared for the uneven terrain, rocky trails that might add fatigue especially for those who are not physically fit.
So, it’s important to train yourself and get used to walking on uneven surfaces.
Crossing the Larkya La Pass at altitude 5,213 m is the most challenging day during this entire trek. But at the same time, it’s a more a test of your endurance level.
You’ve to walk on snow but you don’t need any technical skills to cross this high alpine pass.
It is 100 % sure that you’ll experience more wilderness, remote, and adventure during Manaslu Circuit trek.
Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Altitude
Manaslu Circuit trek altitude has a great variation. During this trek, you’ll travel via different landscape, climate, and altitude.
This adventurous trek start from the lower altitude 700 m below to higher altitude 5,213m. Thus, the major Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty like on many high altitude treks is your ability to adjust to high altitude.
The biggest challenge of the Manaslu Circuit trail is crossing the Larkya La Pass. As the trail gets higher, there are fewer trees and you become more exposed to the elements like snow, sun, and cold wind.
No matter if you’re a novice, experienced, or even you’ve done this trek many times, you might suffer from the altitude sickness if you don’t trek properly.
Many trekkers start feeling the effect of the altitude above 2,500 meters. This feeling will only increase as you hike upwards.
So, to get adjusted to the high altitude, the long itinerary is important. It will help your body acclimatize to the altitude.
It is difficult to know how your body will react to the altitude as age, gender, and fitness level. If you’re not well prepared, then everyone is at risk.
As you move towards higher altitude, you’ll certainly notice a shortness of breath, which will make the relatively easy trek harder. You may experience symptoms like mild headaches, insomnia, some breathlessness, and occasionally nausea.
Altitude sickness or AMS is a serious condition that has serious outcomes. Thus, you’re highly recommended consulting your doctor before the trek.
Walking slowly, taking regular rest, and drinking plenty of water are the keys to stay away from altitude sickness.
Weather During the Trek
The weather can make a big difference to your Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty. Heavy rainfall, freezing nights, blazing sun, and chill wind are all possible on your 21 days hiking period.
The days are generally warm and dry and the nights mostly above freezing. So, make sure to pack warm clothes for evening and night and a decent sleeping bag. While clothing, layering is essential.
Trekking during the winter season in the Manalsu region might be miserable. During the winter, due to the heavy snowfall, the Larkya La Pass is closed. Besides, the teahouse along the trails are also closed. The nighttime temperature is also below the freezing level. The daytime temperature is stable and the clear view of the mountains can be seen.
Summer season is dominated by the rainy season so there is heavy rainfall during this time. Due to the heavy downpour, the trail is slippery, muddy, and full of leeches. Also, the Larkya La Pass is also challenging the trail would be difficult, risky as well.
Spring seasons is one of the best time for trekking in terms of clear weather and you’ll get the finest views of snow-capped mountains. It is also perfect time where you’ll witness rhododendron bloom and forests are turned into a beautiful colorful garden.
Due to favorable weather, the autumn season is the peak time for the Manaslu Circuit trek. The climate is pleasant, with a stable temperature, and the clear mountain views are phenomenal !!!
So you can aim for the spring and fall seasons where the weather should not cause you too much trouble.
Training for Manaslu Trek
I’ve already mentioned that trek is moderately strenuous and challenging. So, if you’re physically fit still you’ve to train yourself for this type of long-distance walk especially at the higher altitudes.
You should walk for 6-8 hours per day at a higher altitude with a light backpack. The trekking routes include walking via forests, rocky path, long steeps climb, and steep descents as well
Since we’ve designed an itinerary that allows enough time for acclimatization but still ensures to physically prepare yourself for the trek.
Thus, preparation is key to make Manaslu Circuit trek enjoyable and memorable. You have to consider many things like preparing your body and mind.
Walking at a higher altitude makes a greater demand on the body than walking in the lower altitude. So, it’s important to build your strength before you leave. Your training plan must include the following: Prepare yourself for mix terrain
During Manaslu Circuit trek you won’t be hiking on the same level of terrain. Most of the time you’ll walk on the steep and rocky terrain.
So you need to prepare your leg, feet, knees, and ankles for the type of stress they’ll experience on the trek. Stair climbing is a good option to prepare yourself walking on the mixed terrain.
1. Strength and Endurance Training
Strength and Endurance training are the key factors while working on your fitness level. This challenging trek is like an exam where your endurance level is tested.
Since you’ve to walk for hours with a backpack so aim to build strength in your back, shoulders, and arms.
Leg strength will be a key for your trek. So, your training must include the exercise which strengthens your leg muscles. The gym exercise includes leg presses, weight squats, or lunges, and bodyweight squats.
2. Cardiovascular Fitness
For Manaslu Circuit trek you need to have good cardiovascular fitness. It boosts your ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the muscles during sustained physical activity.
As you gain higher altitude, the air becomes thinner. To cope with the less oxygen, you need to build cardiovascular fitness. Cycling, swimming, running, jogging, and walking are great options to the cardiovascular program.
3. Mental Preparation
Mental preparation for the Manaslu Circuit trek is important as physical training. You need to prepare yourself mentally for the proper challenge. Trek to Manaslu Circuit is not really tough. In fact, many people of various age group and fitness level has completed.
Mental health includes your emotions, psychology, and social well-being. It affects the way how you think, feel, and act. It’ll also help you to determine how to handle the stress. You should have the mental ability to push yourself upwards and complete the trek.
Lastly, enjoy the journey. There is much to see and learn along the way, about the Manaslu trail.
I hope this article has provided you a brief idea about Manaslu Circuit trek difficulty and the best way to prepare for it.
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