Manaslu (8156m) was first climbed in 1956 by a Japanese expedition. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa, meaning “intellect” or “soul”. It is the same root word as that for Manasarover, the holy lake near Mt. Kailash in Tibet. The British considered Everest their mountain. Manaslu has always been a Japanese mountain. HW Tillman and Jimmy Roberts photographed Manaslu during a trek in 1950. But the first real survey of the peak was made by a Japanese expedition in 1952. A Japanese team made the first serious attempt on the peak from the Budhi Gandaki valley in 1953. When another team followed in 1954, the villagers of Samagaon told them the first team had been responsible for an avalanche that destroyed a monastery and refused to let the 1954 expedition climb. The expedition set off to climb Ganesh Himal instead.
Despite a large donation for the rebuilding of the monastery, subsequent Japanese expeditions, including the one that made the first ascent in 1956, took place in an atmosphere of animosity and mistrust. The second successful Japanese expedition was in 1971. There was a South Korean attempt in 1971, and in April 1972 an avalanche that killed five climbers and 10 Sherpas ended the second made the fourth ascent of Manaslu as a member of a Tyrolean expedition that climbed from the Marshyangdi valley in 1972.
Manaslu base camp is located on a rocky moraine with amazing views of the Himalaya. On an 8000m expedition, climbers spend most of their time at base camp, so naturally on any long expedition; base camp becomes a home away from home. We establish our camp at a walking distance between meeting points with a different group and strategic viewing positions of the Manaslu massif. We provide a personal tent which becomes your private retreat, a dining tent that is the common area, a shower tent, and toilet tent. When you arrive at the base camp it will already be fully established and hot beverages and snacks will be available immediately. Waiting for you there will be your base camp staff and high altitude climbing Sherpa. Prior to your climbing period, you will have a Puja ceremony at the base camp for good luck. This is one Nepalese tradition not to miss; it represents safe climbing passage for everyone involved in the expedition.
Once you have reviewed basic and advanced training by your climbing Sherpa guide, you will be ready for your attempt to climb to camp 1 which is at a height of 18,700ft/5800m. In this section of the climb, you will encounter mixed terrain including a few crevasses and short ice sections on the first section of the glacier. Prior to the first section of glacier, you will encounter grassy slopes, rock slabs, and moraine. For average climbers, it takes about 4 hours. The first section of climbing on the moraine takes about an hour, then you reach the crampon point at the mouth of the glacier, the glacier portion takes about 3 hours. Camp one is divided into two sections, lower camp 1 and upper camp 1, the distance between the two is 100m/328ft.
The climbing from camp 1 to camp 2 is the most technical section on Mt. Manaslu. During this section, you encounter the heart of the icefall. The first section is just slogging over snow for about an hour, and then you encounter several steep sections of ice, 2 ladder crossings and steep snow climbing. Expect that this section will take you about 5 hours. Expect that you will encounter several steep sections of ice that are 100m at a slope of 65º. For most people, this is the crux of the route. Camp 2 is situated above the icefall on a snowy terrace.
From camp two to camp three is the shortest distance and will be your shortest climbing day. It does not require any ladder crossings, but there are a few crevasses that are roughly a half meter that need to be jumped. The main ropes are fixed by climbing Sherpa’s team. This section for most climbers feels easier, but still, it is not to be taken lightly, the climbing is still on sustained slopes and there is exposure to cold and wind. Although in spring there has been reported of direct sun hitting this section making it feel very warm
Climbing from camp 3 to camp 4 feels like a long day, the distance of short nut now you are nearing the death zone. As all climbers as aware, the oxygen levels are very low at this altitude. In this section, you have to climb for 3-4 hours on steep snow that is on a 50-55º slope. This section is dangerous because the snow slope is covering a layer of ice which make ethos section avalanche prone. Comparing with other sections of the route, this portion is extremely physical with sustained steep snow sections at extreme altitude in avalanche terrain.
The main goal during the climbing period is summit day. Most climbers begin their summit bid at 1:00 am. If all goes well they reach the summit between 7-10 am. Below the main summit is a false summit, the main summit is reached via an exposed ridge. It takes about 4 hours to return to Camp 4 from the summit and another 2 hours to get to camp three for overnight stay. The climbing is not technical in the early part as you ascend through several basins with short snow headwalls. The climb passes the false summit and finishes on an exposed ridge to the true summit for a spectacular view of the mighty Himalaya. Zambuling Expedition Sherpa guides will fix ropes break trail and make every effort to assist the group to reach the summit of the 8th highest mountain in the world.