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difficulty of manaslu trek

7 Feb 2024 Himalaya Trip

Overview

Manaslu trek difficulty is not only because of its high passes but also because of several factors. Rocky terrain, rough trails, high elevation gain, remoteness, limited facilities, unpredictable weather and temperature, and travellers getting altitude are difficult factors for travellers. Despite the trek difficulty, the Manaslu trek is achievable. Plan a trek properly and prepare before a month both physically and mentally to have a memorable and comfortable trek.

Manaslu is a remote region and trekking here is often considered an off-beat trek. Manaslu Trek provides an unmatched experience in Himalayan geology. Manaslu Trek represents the natural amusements of western Nepal. Mountain vistas surrounding the Manaslu range make this trek one of a kind and immensely pleasing. Traverse the high pass of Larkya La at 5,106 meters and witness phenomenal views from the top. Manaslu trek is considered a moderate-level trek. Manaslu Trek difficulty is Graded 4 and not appropriate for beginner trekkers.

Highlights of Manaslu Trek

  • Less crowded and less explored remote region treks.
  • An unspoiled nature trek experience for the trekkers.
  • Traverse the highest point Larkya La Pass (5,106m) during this trek.
  • Pass through narrow alleyways cut by Budhi Gandaki River with stunning snow-covered mountains in the backdrop. 
  • Explore Tibetan-style Buddhist villages, and walk past protected wildlife and wildflowers in the vicinity of the Manaslu Conservation Area.
  • Interact with Gurung, Nubri people, and other tribes and engross in their styles, cultures, festivals, etc. for a deep understanding.
  • Outstanding views of Manaslu, Larkya Peak, Kang Guru, Annapurna II, Ganesh Himal, Ngadi Chuli, Himlung Himal, Boudha Himal, and others.

Manaslu Trek Difficulty

FeaturesManaslu Trek
Highest elevation5,106 m (Larkya La Pass)
PopularityPopular for its off-beat trek
PermitsMCAP, Manaslu RAP, ACAP, and TIMS 
Best Time(Mar-May) and (Sep-Nov) months
Himalaya viewsManaslu, Larkya Peak, Kang Guru, Annapurna II, Ganesh Himal ,Ngadi Chuli, Himlung Himal, Boudha Himal, etc.
Extended Side TripsKalchumman Tal at Prok or Tsum Valley Trek
Accommodation, FoodLimited facilities
Duration12 days
Distance132 km or 82 miles
Difficulty LevelModerate to Hard (Grade 4)
Price (per person)USD 799 to USD 899
Manaslu Trek Diffulty

Manaslu Trek Difficulty Factors

Manaslu Trek’s highest elevation gain is 5,106 m at Larkya La Pass. Traversing the high pass is challenging. Besides this, Manaslu is a remote region and all facilities are limited. Manaslu trek is a moderate-level trek and different factors make Manaslu trek difficult which are as follows:

  • High altitude, rocky terrain, and secluded location 
  • Traveler’s physical condition and endurance capacity
  • Limited facilities during the entire trek areas
  • Lack of road access, and rough trails with several ups and downs
  • Cellular connectivity, and power connection issues in most parts 
  • Larkya La Pass is uneven and rocky which requires a lot of effort to traverse
  • Experience altitude sickness symptoms such as shortness of breath, tiredness, fatigue, etc.

Preparation of Manaslu Trek

Manaslu Trek is a moderate-level Graded 4 trek that is only recommended for experienced trekkers. Since the route is tough with steep hills, it’s not ideal for beginners. Manaslu solo trekking is restricted as it falls under a restricted region. Proper preparations are essential for this trek.

Preparations before the trek

  • Trekkers should be physically fit, do cardio exercises, and build strength and stamina by cycling, jogging, and hiking at high altitudes. 
  • Eat a balanced diet and healthy foods and avoid junk or unhealthy foods. 
  • It is best to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking or unhealthy substances to maintain good physical and mental fitness for the trek. 
  • For mental fitness, practice yoga or meditation. 
  • Practice waking up early and schedule your daily routine which proves to be fruitful for the trek. 
  • Consult a doctor and do necessary health check-ups before the trek.

Preparations during the trek

  • Manaslu trek is difficult and hence early preparations play a vital role during the trek. 
  • Good physical as well as mental fitness is essential during the trek. 
  • We best recommend strictly following the guidelines and guide’s instructions during the trek. 
  • Avoid salty or junk foods, drinking alcohol, and smoking as it weakens the health. 
  • Keep yourself hydrated and urinate frequently.
  • Always use water purification tablets or a solution kit to purify water and avoid getting water-borne diseases.
  • Maintain the trekking pace and descend immediately if it is difficult to breathe.
  • Carry a light backpack and wear comfortable shoes and seasonal clothes.
  • Hire a porter to carry luggage or backpacks for a comfortable trekking experience.
  • Always follow the guide, stick to the itinerary, and stay in groups.

Permit preparation day 

Manaslu is a restricted region and requires compulsory 3 permits. For collecting permits, we require your original passport with visa details to process this permit. Reserve one extra day in Kathmandu to collect permits. The required Manaslu trek permits are:

  1. Manaslu Restricted Area Permit (MRAP)
  • December to August Cost:
  • First week: USD 75 per person
  • After 8 days: USD 10 per day
  • September to November Cost:
  • First week: USD 100 per person
  • After 8 days: USD 15 per day

Note: An original passport is required, and it takes a day to process.

b. Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP) Permit

Cost: USD 30 per person

Allows one-time access to MCAP

Note: Requires two photographs and is accessible in Kathmandu through the trekking agent.

c. Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit

Cost: USD 30 per person

Note: To obtain it, requires a photograph.

Trek distance and standard itinerary

Some trekkers are very optimistic, they want to finish this trek short time. It is better to gain altitude slowly step by step because you are going above 5000m. We recommended no more than 500m each day after the 3000m elevation. Our Manaslu Trek’s standard itinerary is 12 days and the overall trek distance during the Manaslu trek beginning from Machha Khola and ending at Tilije is 132 km or 82 miles. An extended trip is also possible.

Choose the Best Time of the Year

Manaslu region is remote and very demanding. The facilities are limited and only possible to do during the peak seasons considering several factors. The steep ascends, rough trails, high elevation gains, limited accommodation facilities, and unpredictable weather and temperature are challenging factors during the Manaslu trek. Therefore, we recommend trekking during the Spring (Mar-May) and Autumn (Sep-Nov) seasons for the Manaslu trek. These seasons treat travelers with awesome scenic views, blooming flowers in Spring, clear and bright skies, comfortable trekking trails, and stable weather and temperature.

Weather and Climate 

Manaslu trek is not recommended during the off-seasons i.e. Winter (Dec-Feb), and Monsoon (Jun-Aug) due to the unpredictable weather and temperature. Even experienced trekkers are advised to trek with proper plans and preparations during the off-season. Pack appropriate clothes for the trek. We have listed weather and climate charts at different stopovers for both the Spring and Autumn seasons. The weather is not stable in peak season (March – May and September – November) ,prepare yourself for any unexpected weather.

StopoverSpring  (Mar-May)Autumn (Sept-Nov)
Arughat (600m)18°C to 28°C (64°F to 82°F)20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F)
MachhaKhola (710m)   16°C to 26°C (61°F to 79°F)18°C to 28°C (64°F to 82°F)
Jagat (1340m)12°C to 22°C (54°F to 72°F)15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F)
Deng (1860m)10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F)12°C to 22°C (54°F to 72°F)
Namrung (2630m)8°C to 18°C (46°F to 64°F)10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F)
Samagaon (3530m)3°C to 13°C (37°F to 55°F)5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F)
Samdo (3860m)3°C to 13°C (37°F to 55°F)5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F)
Dharamsala  (4460m)  -2°C to 8°C (28°F to 46°F)    0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F)
Bimthang (3720m)5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F)3°C to 13°C (37°F to 55°F)
Tilije (2515m)8°C to 18°C (46°F to 64°F)10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F)
Weather and climate

Note: Temperatures during the night time are cold, reaching below 0°C in places above Namrung. Your tea house provides a quilt for sleeping but you might need a sleeping bag if it gets cold.

Accommodation 

Manaslu trek accommodation means locally operated tea houses similar to Alpine lodges. Good sleep is very essential during the trek. The accommodations are basic and only provide limited facilities such as beds, quilts, and pillows but are comfortable. An additional charge applies for the use of Wi-Fi, laundry, boiled water, and hot showers. The Internet connectivity and cellular networks are not stable in most parts. 

Foods

We found trekkers get sick after having street foods in Kathmandu. We suggest only eating healthy and hygienic foods at good restaurant in Kathmandu. Teahouses offer a mix of Nepalese and Continental dishes, including Dal Bhaat, a local favorite with rice, lentil soup, and vegetable curry during the trek. Breakfast options like Tibetan bread and pancakes are available. If you have dietary needs, tell your guide in advance for accommodations. Since the Manaslu region is heavily influenced by the Buddhist religion, meats are prohibited in most of the regions. It is also good to opt for vegetable diets during the trek for good sleep and digestion.

Right company, guide, and porter

Manaslu trek in the remote region is challenging and requires to manage systematically and various factors need to be considered. It is recommended for travelers to select or book with the right company for the Manaslu trek. Make sure they are trusted, and expertise in their field. Along with the company, choose the professional licensed holder guide and experienced porters for a smooth and comfortable trekking experience. Manaslu trek is more memorable if arranged with the right company and hiring an experienced guide and a porter, you need to feel safety and helpful in case of any difficulty or sickness during the trek.

Altitude sickness 

Altitude sickness in the mountains is common and is mostly caused at high altitudes due to less oxygen, low body pressure, dehydration, or, hypothermia. Altitude sickness is preventable if symptoms are recognized timely. If travellers suffer from altitude sickness too, you need right person to guide who is knowledgable about altitude sickness. The altitude sickness symptoms, preventions, and treatments are mentioned below:

Altitude Sickness Types and Symptoms

Altitude Sickness TypesRisk TypesSymptoms
AMS ( Acute Mountain Sickness)Normal-Headache-Fatigue/ Tiredness-Shortness of breathing-Loose of Appetite-Sleeping Disturbance
HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema)Medium-Shortness of breathing (even during rest)-Dry cough-Severe Cough-Very Exhausted-Pulse rate above 110,-Blueness of face, lip, fingernails-Hyperthermia
HACE ( High Altitude Cerebral Edema)High-Severe Headache-Vomiting-Ataxia (Walking as a Drunker)-Altered mental status/ Mental confusion-Irritation (Does not want to be bothered by other people)-Unconsciousness
Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness Preventions

  • Take proper Acclimatization Rest
  • Ascend slowly, maintain the pace
  • Drink enough water (around 3-5 liters in a day)
  • Do not carry a heavy backpack
  • Climb every day around 300m
  • Climb high sleep low
  • Do not travel alone
  • Urinate Frequently
  • Avoid using Sleeping tablets, drinking Alcohol, Smoking, Junk Foods

Treatment without side effects

  • Immediately Descend
  • Use an Oxygen cylinder or Gamow bag
  • Use recommended medicines:

Diamox 125mg/ 6 hours- AMS

Nafedipine 50mg / 6 hours-HAPE

Dexamethasone 50mg / 6 hours- HACE

Packing for the Manaslu trek 

Correct packing is the key element for a memorable and comfortable trekking experience. It is always wise to pack appropriate and light but warm clothes for the trekking. Since Manaslu is a remote region, it is very important to pack the right equipment and gear, and below is the essential list of the equipment and gear for the Manaslu trek.

Essential Equipment:

  • Trekking boots (break them in to prevent blisters) with spare laces.
  • Warm hat, scarf, and gloves.
  • Wool-blend socks, liner socks, and thermal underwear (three pairs).
  • Fleece jacket and down jacket/vest.
  • T-shirts (2-3) and a long-sleeved, collared shirt for sun protection.
  • Warm trousers for higher altitudes, plus shorts and regular trousers/skirt.
  • Running shoes/sandals for camp.
  • Sunhat, polarizing sunglasses, and sunscreen (SPF 20+).
  • Water purification method (iodine, tablets, or filter).
  • Pocket knife, insect repellent (for lower elevations), and emergency kit.
  • Earplugs, backpack, and duffle bag.
  • Sleeping bag with silk liner, water bottle, torch with spare batteries.
  • Gaiters, trekking poles, quick-drying camp towels, and daypack.
  • Plastic bags (for clothes separation) and personal medical supplies.

Optional Gear:

  • Camera, memory card, and charger
  • Altimeter, GPS unit, binoculars
  • Books/magazines, small duffle bag for Kathmandu
  • Backpack cover (waterproof), small pillow/headrest (optional)
  • Notebook, pen, pencil, personal entertainment items
  • Thermarest inflatable sleeping mat, trekking map, passport photos

Conclusion

Manaslu Trek’s difficulty is categorized as moderate and this trek in the remote region promises full adventure. From its stunning mountain views to Tibetan-style villages, and cultural immersion to crossing the high pass, the Manaslu trek offers a unique adventurous experience to travelers. Despite the Manaslu trek’s difficulty, this trek is doable with proper plans and preparations.

FAQs

How hard is the Manaslu trek?

Manaslu Trek is categorized as a moderate-level trek with a Grade 4. But considering traversing the highest pass at an elevation of 5,106 m it is hard for beginner trekkers with no prior trekking experience.

How long does Manaslu Trek?

The standard Manaslu trek itinerary is 12 days but depending on the trekkers’ trekking speed, and chosen trek route it can get extended.

How high is Manaslu Trek?

The highest elevation gain during the Manaslu trek is 5,106 m at Larkya La Pass.

When should I trek in Manaslu?

Manaslu is a remote region and the Manaslu trek is considered an off-beat trek. Hence, considering all factors, it is ideal to trek during the peak seasons (Spring and Autumn) for the Manaslu trek.

Why is Manaslu Trek famous?

Manaslu Trek is famous for its remoteness, unspoiled nature, traversing the highest Larkya La Pass, and its primary attractions (Birendra Lake, Manaslu Base Camp, and attractive villages).

TAGS: manaslu trek manaslu trek 12 days manaslu trek cost manaslu trek difficulty manaslu trek for 2024 manaslu trek itinerary

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