A trek to the Manaslu circuit during your visit to Nepal is one of the best decisions ever. However, unlike other trekking Circuits in Nepal, Manaslu is less crowded and more remote. Even though fewer crowds can be a significant advantage and one of the reasons to choose the trek, there are often doubts if the difficulty of the hike is the reason behind the circuit having fewer trekkers.
Yes, the Manaslu trek is not as easy as other treks in Nepal. The guides and experts rank it as a moderately difficult trek. Even though it is not impossible to successfully complete this trek, it is crucial to prepare yourself mentally and physically before taking the challenge to undergo this trek.
Below listed are the factors that make this trek tough, preparation required for a peaceful hike, physical abilities required, etc.
Factors that contribute to the difficulty of the trek
The Manaslu circuit trek is like any other classic trek in Nepal, but there are a few factors that raise the difficulty level of the tour compared to other regular treks. Some of these factors are:
The not-so-uniform increase in altitude–
Altitude is one of the most significant factors that help in determining the difficulty of the trek. The trek to this circuit takes you from an altitude point of 228 meters to that of 8163 meters.
Moreover, the increase in altitude is not uniform; there are frequent narrow steeps and high angled ascents that take you from one level of altitude to another immediately. This immediate change in altitude cannot be handled by the body easily and hence leads to altitude sickness.
The other factors that can contribute to altitude sickness are dehydration, less calorie intake, smoking, sleeping pills, and many other medications. Make sure that you stay away from these in order to stay away from extreme altitude sickness.
Long trekking route–
The average distance one has to walk during their entire trek is about 178 km, which is a considerable number. If you are going on a 15 to 17-day tour, the average distance you will be walking each day is 15 to 20 km for 12 to 13 days.
This level of walking requires high endurance and previous training. This hence proves that this trek is not for beginners as one needs to build their endurance capacity in order to complete this trek successfully.
Make sure that you are capable of walking for at least 15 km every day before you decide to become a part of the trek. If you have high endurance, you will not have a tough time trekking here.
Highs and lows during the trek–
The trek takes you across big rocks, low steeps, and high incline slopes, etc. Crossing these areas requires good physical strength and strong legs. Make sure you are in your best physical condition while you go for the trek.
Take part in strength base training before you come to the trek so as to increase your strength abilities.
Suspension bridges and narrow passes–
One needs to cross the narrow and shaky bridges during this trek. One of such bridges is above the Budhi Gandaki River.
Also, the Larkya pass trek requires mental stability and confidence. Make sure you are mentally prepared to take part in this trek. However, once you are mentally determined, you can easily make your way to the bridges and pass without much thinking.
Even though many say that circuit can be conquered all around the year, is not very true. The weather conditions during the trek cannot be precisely determined, but according to the particular season, the trek’s difficulty increases and decreases.
During the summer and the rainy season, there is a high chance of rain; this could hence make the trek more difficult as the ways get muddy and there is a high chance of slipping. Also, some of the passes get blocked due to high rain making one reluctant to take alternate paths, which may not be as easy as the main route.
During the winters, the temperature in the particular region gets very low. During the night, the weather is freezing and can be as low as -20 degrees Celsius. According to experts, the best reason to undergo this trek is the spring and autumn season.
Even though during autumn there can be many visitors and trekkers in the region, it is always fun to have company. The weather during these two seasons is perfect, and the long days contribute to more time of experience. Also, the view is crystal clear, and overall the experience gets the best.
The spring season lies during the month of March, April, and May. The autumn lies during the months of September and October.
Precautions and Essentials
Make sure that you follow the guide and your fellow members during the trek. Please do not make the tour plan very short as it would increase the number of hours of trek per day. Make sure you are in your best physical and mental condition during the trek.
Intake more carbohydrates and protein-rich food during the trek and also keep yourself well hydrated. In case you deal with altitude sickness during the trek, inform your guide immediately as they can suggest you medication. Make sure you carry only the necessary items your guide tells and do not over-pack.
It can be concluded that this trek is a moderately challenging trek and is indeed not impossible. One can be part of this trek if they have prior experience in trekking. This trek is not a very beginner-friendly one.
Even though the trek may be challenging, the view of the eight highest mountains of Nepal from the top makes it all worth it. The way through the millet and rice fields, along with the interaction with the locals, is one of the best parts of the treks.
Overall, if you are mentally determined to make this trek a successful one, it will be a successful one.
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