Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty- What makes Manaslu trek Difficult?

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What are the difficulties of Manaslu Circuit Trek

Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of the off-beaten treks in Nepal which has been gaining popularity being the best alternatives of Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek.

A mysterious adventure to Manaslu passes via remote villages, rough terrains, lustrous greeneries, several high current rivers, dazzling waterfalls witnessing the wonder of credulous beauty and mountain sceneries. 

A great choice for the adventure Manalslu circuit offers a notion of complete peace while traversing via isolated foothills and terrains, localities, grassy meadows, and vistas. This trek takes around Mt. Manaslu-8,163m (26,781 ft), which enlists the 8th tallest peak in the world. 

In this trek, you enter into the preserved and controlled region where you cannot organize solo trekking. You need to hire a guide or a porter from a local company.

Trekking with the guides and porter makes you stress-free instead you can explore well-preserved natural as well as the cultural aspect of the local settlements, Himalayan foothills, breathtaking mountain ranges. They assist you while choosing teahouses, food, drinks, and in emergencies as well. 

While talking about difficulties, this trek is graded as a moderately difficult trek that commences at Soti Khola -710m and reaches up to Larkey La-5213m. So, it becomes a bit strenuous for beginners.

They should be well prepared by physical, mental, and emotional. But you do not need any technical mountaineering skills to complete this trek. 

On course, trekkers get unique trekking experiences such as cold atmosphere, high elevation, rocky topography, slippery routes, diverse landscapes, flora, and fauna. Therefore, it becomes the perfect choice for adventure lovers and gaining popularity each day. 

Some of the factors sloppy, rocky, and steep trail, distance, altitude-related problems, and the weather may create difficulties while trekking. Those factors are described below. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Trekking Route

Trekkers should pass several ups and downs to complete this trek. Traveling via off-the-beaten trials trekkers get complete audacious and excitements. They have to encounter numerous twists and turns. 

While transiting steep, rock-strewn, slopy, and slippery trails in the remoteness, some experienced trekkers also can feel antipathy. In the earlier days, the trails are steep, narrow, and breezy as well.

Explorers may feel hurdles while ascending Larkey-La. This day trekkers should walk around 9-10 hours in the Himalayas which makes them more exhausted. 

Passing several suspension bridges, marching via some remote routes, and rough and dusty may create difficulties in this trek. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Trek Distance 

Manaslu Circuit Trek occurs in the west-central part of the Gorkha district of Nepal. Throughout the journey, you should walk 177kms/110miles in total distance. On 17 days' itinerary, you will be walking for 10-12 days keeping some exploring and acclimatizing days. 

To complete that itinerary, you should walk approximately 15-20 kilometers /9-12miles each day. Walking via rough terrains, rocky and slopy trails might add fatigue especially for those who are physically unfit. 

In the first few days, you should encounter the trail passing Budhi Gandaki Gorge which is traumatic steep. Crossing several ups and downs you should walk via blowy trails which may create difficulties in the journey. 

However, being physically and mentally determined, having some cardiovascular activities helps to reduce such hazards. It is crucial to train yourself and get used to walking on bumpy terraces or landscapes.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Trek Duration

The duration of Manaslu Circuit Trek depends upon which package you choose. It can be sum-up in a couple of weeks and extend up to a month. Normally this journey is completed in 17 days. The walking days are 10-12 only. 

In a day explorers should walk 5-7 hours passing river gorges, rocky hills, lustrous greeneries, and uneven terrains. The ups and down walking for several hours may create difficulties during the trek.  

Manaslu circuit trek leads you far away from hectic cities for several days. Spending remote life and walking in the lap of the mountain peaks passing primitive settlements, dense forests, and rivers for long can be tiring. 

But trekkers having beforehand experiences of other day hikes, short treks then the difficulty will be less. Beginners are recommended to prepare themselves for the elevated excursion and to build up stamina well to complete this journey easily. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Altitude Sickness/ Acute Mountain Sickness


One of the high elevated journey-Manaslu Circuit Trek transverse via varied altitudes. The elevation varies at Soti Khola-700m/2,296ft to Larkya-La (pass)- 5,213m/17,103ft which is huge difference. 

Trekking in a higher elevation more than 3000m/9842ft above the sea level risks Altitude sickness. This can affect anyone regardless of their age and gender and fitness level. But not everyone suffers from it. Therefore, trekkers shouldn't be scared instead should be careful.

Major symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness are headache, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, giddiness, loss of appetite, fatigue, and so forth. Such symptoms should not be ignored and take them lightly because it can lead to risky if it worsens.

If trekkers ignore such symptoms can lead to more severe conditions as High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) and High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). If immediate actions are not taken the circumstances may lead to unconscious even death.

However, plenty of activities can be done to prevent oneself from those symptoms. Those are:

  • Acclimatize properly in the different places
  • Maintain your own pace. Do not rush because you are not in a race.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid smoking and alcoholic drinks
  • Stay neutered - pack plenty of healthy snacks which carries carbohydrates
  • Trek high, sleep low
  • If any symptoms are seen, inform your guide immediately.

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Weather and Temperature

Among others, weather and temperature plays a crucial role in the success of any treks and so does in Manaslu Circuit Trek. During the trek, voyagers encounter great climatic changes. 

Trekkers navigate from tropical, subtropical, temperate, subalpine, alpine, to the arctic zone. Weather, climate, and even flora and fauna change according to the altitudes. In the higher elevation, there may be breezy winds, freezing nights, and snowing which may create difficulties in the trek.  

The weather in the Manaslu region is almost unpredictable. Some seasons are favorable for the trek while other witness challenges in the trek. Downpour, wind condition, and snowfall also determine the success of the trek. 

Manaslu Trek in Spring:

Planning Manaslu Circuit in Spring (March to May) is the best choice. The skies are clearer, the weather is stable. The mountains are dazzling and the views are vivid. You will be welcomed by the pristine nature and colorful rhododendron hills. The temperature becomes warmer witnessing around 14°C-17°C in the daytime and 5°C -7°C at night. As the days are longer, trekkers can reach their scheduled destination easily during spring.

Manaslu Trek in Autumn:

After Spring, Autumn (September to November) is the peak season for Manaslu trekking. The favorable weather conditions, warm atmosphere, and crispy environment suits trekking.

The temperature remains stable, and the surroundings are colorful due to flowers bloom with the picturesque views of the mountain ranges. Fewer possibilities of a downpour, snowing and breezy winds, offer a suitable atmosphere for trekking. 

Manaslu Trek in Winter:

Winter (December to February) is the freezing time of the year when weather decreases up to -14-20°C at night time. In the high altitudes, the trails are filled due to the heavy snowfall. 

Trekking is still possible with sound preparation, perfect choices of equipment, and planning. Thick and warm clothes with sleeping bags are highly recommended. 

Manaslu Trek in Summer:

Trekking in Summer (June to August) can be affected by heavy rainfall. Due to continuous downpours, the trails become muddy, and slippery as well. The views are unclear due to the clouds and fog. 

The trekking routes may block due to landslides and floods. These may add challenges to the trek. Trekkers are suggested to carry raincoats, waterproof clothes, and a good pair of boots to be more convenient. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Accommodation, Food, and Drinks

Manaslu Circuit Trekking is one of the best teahouse trekking where you will be served with basic amenities as a twin sharing bedroom, a common toilet/bathroom, and a charging station. 

As you trek higher, the services become more basic. Trekkers may disappoint with these things. No proper facilities as they expected, a crowd of trekkers in peak season in the same teahouse makes the journey more tiring and frustrating. 

Regarding eateries, you will find menus and cuisines in the lower elevations. As the altitude increases, the choices of food decreases. You will get only some varieties of food as Dal Bhat, noodles, egg items, mo: mo, Tibetan bread, soups, etc. in the elevated lands.  

Drinking water is available at every next destination. The prices of bottled water may intensify with altitude. Trekkers are recommended to carry a small water purification system/tablet. So, you can purify tap water before drinking. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Lack of Training

As already mentioned without basic training, Manaslu Circuit Trek becomes more challenging. This trek can be done by any trekker from beginner to expert ones.

In the journey, trekkers should cope with uphill, downhills, rocky boulders, uneven surfaces, steep ascents, and descents. 

 Altitude plays an important role in the success of the trek. In the higher elevations, the density of oxygen decreases and trekkers may victims of Acute Mountain Sickness. 

Therefore, you need to have aerobics and physical fitness along with mental preparation and determination are key factors to make your journey successful and memorable. 

 For these, you can practice cardiovascular fitness which cooperates with you to cope in the lower oxygenated areas. Exercises as swimming, jogging, cycling, running, walking with backpacks, increase your fitness level. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Budget Management

Another factor of Manaslu Trek is the management of the budget. As there are no ATMs and bank services in the remote area, you should carry cash in Nepali currency while trekking. 

The cost of accommodations, food, drinks, and other snacks increases as the altitude increases because of the inconveniences of the transportation system. Therefore, a stable budget supports you financially while trekking in the upper parts. 

You should spend money on transportation, permits, accommodations, food and drinks, guides and porters, etc. when you do not trek with a company taking only guides and porters. If you trek with companies like Holy Mountain Treks, will become stressless letting everything manage them. 

Manaslu Circuit Trek Difficulty: Packing List

Among others, the packing list also a crucial factor determining the success of the Manaslu Circuit trek. Trekkers should always pay attention while packing their backpacks. The perfect combination of equipment and gears makes the journey comfortable. 

The packing list depends on when you trek as well. So, it is crucial to check the atmospheric condition before starting the trek. If you are carrying your backpack yourself, not more than 20kg is recommended.

Some of the essential clothes, gear, and equipment needed for the Manaslu Circuit Trek are listed.

  • A pair of comfortable trekking boots
  • First aid kit and some medicines
  • Windcheater
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp and batteries
  • Trekking shirts and pants
  • Hiking socks
  • Energy bars or chocolates
  • Towel and toilet Paper
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Frivolous jackets
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Battery chargers with extra batteries
  • Sun hat or buff gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • A pair of hiking sandals
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Camera
  • Moisturizer
  • Water bottle
  • Eye drops
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hand sanitizer etc. 

Some Guidelines to Avoid Complications of Manaslu Circuit Trek

  • Maintain your pace. Walk in a comfortable way
  • Stay hydrated and get neutered 
  • Check the climatic conditions and atmosphere before starting the trek 
  • Acclimatize properly in needed
  • Always inform your trekking leader if anything gets wrong
  • Pre-booking accommodation is always wise 
  • Carry insect repellants and water purifier
  • Pack Properly
  • Remain physically, mentally, and emotionally determined

Final words

Trekking in Manaslu means getting hidden gems of the world. On course, trekkers explore magnificent sceneries, epic mountain passes, off the beaten trail with the authentic flavor of remoteness. 

Trekkers are welcomed by the lustrous greeneries, yack pastures, river gorges, thrilling suspension bridges, wilderness, diverse flora and fauna, and the blessing of the 8th tallest peak of the world-Mt. Manaslu among others.

Trekkers having basic physical strength, a bit prepared, some cardiovascular exercises can complete this journey without many hazards.

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