The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a popular trekking route located in the Gorkha district of Nepal. This challenging trek takes around 14-16 days to complete, covering a distance of 177 kilometers. The trek starts in Arughat and takes you through breathtaking landscapes of towering peaks, tranquil villages, and lush forests.
One of the main highlights of the Manaslu Circuit Trek is Mount Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest mountain, towering at 8,163 meters above sea level. As you trek through the Manaslu Conservation Area, you’ll be surrounded by stunning vistas of snow-capped mountains, pristine forests, and scenic waterfalls.
However, as with any challenging trek, the Manaslu Circuit Trek comes with its own set of difficulties. Altitude sickness is a common problem faced by trekkers, with altitudes reaching up to 5,160 meters. Additionally, the route is remote and underdeveloped, with limited amenities and accommodations. These challenges require careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the difficulties of the Manaslu Circuit Trek in 2023. From altitude sickness to limited teahouse accommodations, we’ll cover all the essential information you need to know. So, if you’re considering taking on this epic adventure, read on and discover what lies ahead on the Manaslu Circuit Trek.
Altitude sickness is a significant concern for trekkers on the Manaslu Circuit Trek. As you gain altitude, the air becomes thin, and the oxygen level drops, which can cause a range of symptoms. It’s crucial to understand the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness and take appropriate measures to prevent it.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek starts in the town of Arughat at an altitude of 600 meters. We gradually trek up to the Larkya La Pass( 5,106 m) , the highest point of the trek. Such a drastic change in altitude requires proper acclimatization. The trek itinerary should include acclimatization days to help your body adjust to the altitude.
Generally, the first acclimatization day is in Soti Khola, which is at an altitude of 730 meters. Here, you can take a short hike to explore the area, relax, and acclimatize to the altitude. The next acclimatization day is in Samagaon, which is at an elevation of 3,530 meters. This is a crucial acclimatization stop, as you’ll be spending two nights here. It will give your body time to adjust to the altitude.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is renowned for its challenging terrain, which includes steep ascents, rocky trails, and narrow paths. Trekking through this rugged landscape can be physically demanding, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding experience.
One of the most challenging parts of the trek is the ascent to the Larkya La Pass. The trail to the pass is steep and rocky, and the altitude can make it even more challenging. However, the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers make it worth the effort.
Another challenging section of the trek is the descent from the Larkya La Pass to Bimthang. The path is steep and rocky, and the descent can be hard on the knees and ankles. The terrain changes from the rugged, barren landscape of the high mountain pass to the lush, green forests of the lower altitude, making for a visually stunning trek.
Apart from the Larkya La Pass, the trail between Namrung and Lho is another challenging section of the trek. The trail is narrow and rocky, and you’ll be trekking through dense forests with occasional steep inclines. The trail becomes even more challenging during the monsoon season when it can be slippery and muddy.
The Manaslu Trek also includes several suspension bridges, which can be a nerve-wracking experience for some trekkers. These bridges are essential for crossing rivers and gorges, but they can be swaying and bouncing, adding an extra element of challenge to the trek.
Weather conditions can be a significant challenge for trekkers on the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The weather in the region is unpredictable and can change rapidly, making it essential for trekkers to be prepared for all types of weather conditions.
The trek takes place in the Himalayan region, which experiences four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each season has its unique weather conditions, and trekkers must be aware of the weather conditions during the season they plan to trek.
Spring (March to May) is a popular season for the Manaslu Circuit Trek, with moderate temperatures and clear skies. However, the weather can be unpredictable, with occasional snow and rainstorms, particularly at higher altitudes. Trekkers must be prepared for the possibility of encountering heavy rain and strong winds during this season.
Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season in the region, and the weather conditions can be challenging. The trek can be muddy and slippery, with frequent rain showers, and the clouds can obscure the stunning mountain views. The trek may also be affected by landslides or flooding, making it essential for trekkers to be aware of the local weather conditions and take necessary precautions.
Autumn (September to November) is another popular season for the Manaslu Circuit Trek, with clear skies, mild temperatures, and stunning mountain views. However, trekkers must be prepared for the occasional snow or rainstorm, particularly at higher altitudes.
Winter (December to February) is the coldest season in the region, and the weather conditions can be severe. The higher altitudes of the trek may be covered in snow, and temperatures can drop well below freezing. Trekkers must be prepared for harsh weather conditions and take appropriate measures to stay warm and dry.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek involves hiking for several hours a day, with daily ascents and descents of over 1,000 meters. Trekkers need to have a good level of cardiovascular fitness, strength, and stamina to complete the trek. Regular cardio and strength training, such as running, hiking, and weightlifting, can help improve endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
Additionally, trekkers need to be mentally prepared for the challenges of the trek. The long and strenuous days, altitude sickness, and unpredictable weather can be mentally exhausting. Developing a positive attitude, mental toughness, and a never-give-up attitude can help trekkers overcome these challenges.
It is advisable to start preparing for the trek at least two to three months in advance to improve physical fitness and endurance. A visit to a doctor for a medical check-up is also recommended to ensure that the trekker is physically fit and free from any health issues that could affect their ability to complete the trek.
Trekkers can also consider hiring a porter to carry their backpacks, allowing them to focus on the trek itself. This can be particularly helpful for those who are not used to carrying heavy loads on their backs.
When trekking the Manaslu Circuit, it’s crucial to prevent altitude sickness. Acclimatization is key – this means gradually going higher, giving the body time to adapt to less oxygen. Listen to your body and don’t push too hard too fast. The trek has designated spots to acclimatize like Sama Gaon (3,530 meters), Samdo (3,860 meters), and Dharamshala (4,460 meters). Plan your itinerary to rest and adjust at these spots.
To prevent altitude sickness, drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and smoking, and eat a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fats. Consider carrying altitude sickness medication like acetazolamide.
If symptoms of severe altitude sickness appear, descend immediately to a lower altitude and seek medical attention. Don’t take risks with altitude sickness – it can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.
For a successful and enjoyable trek, it’s recommended to plan your trip between September to November and March to May. During these months, the weather is dry, and the skies are generally clear, providing excellent visibility of the mountains.
September to November is the post-monsoon season when the weather is mild and dry. The daytime temperatures are warm, while the nights are cool, making it a comfortable time to trek. The views are also exceptional during this period, with clear skies providing fantastic photographic opportunities.
March to May is the spring season, with warm temperatures during the day and mild nights. The flora and fauna come to life during this time, with vibrant blooms and greenery adding to the already stunning scenery.
Trekking during the winter months of December to February is not recommended due to the extreme cold and heavy snowfall. Similarly, the summer months from June to August experience heavy rainfall and landslides, making it hazardous for trekkers.
Always remember that weather patterns can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to be prepared for sudden changes in weather. With careful planning and preparation, a trek to the Manaslu Circuit can be an unforgettable experience. Besides the Manaslu Trek, the Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, and Langtang Valley would be excellent trips as well.