Image Credit: https://www.adventurepeaks.com/expeditions/manaslu/
Mount Manaslu, known as Kampunge, is the eighth highest mountain globally and is located in the west-central part of Nepal. Its name, “Manaslu,” comes from Sanskrit, where it means “Intellect” or “Soul.” This magnificent peak reaches an impressive height of 8,163 meters, making it a significant landmark in the Thoche, Dharapani, and Samagaun areas of Manang and Gorkha districts.
Mount Manaslu presents a thrilling challenge for climbers and is open for expeditions. The journey to conquer this formidable peak takes about 50-65 days. Travelers looking to embark on this adventure can choose between two entry points: Dhadingbesi or Gorkha.
The historic ascent of Mount Manaslu took place on 9th May 1956 when Toshio Imanishi and Gyaltsen Norbu Sherpa became the first successful climbers to reach its summit.
For Manaslu trekkers and climbers, there are two caravan routes to reach Manaslu Peak. The first starts from Gorkha and passes through Khanchok, Deurali, Gumda, Jagat, Philim, Bihi, Namrung, Samagaun, and finally the Base Camp. The second route begins from Dhadingbesi, passing through Arughat, Jagat, Philim, Bihi, Namrung, Samagaun, and also concluding at the Base Camp. The caravan route measures a total of about 120.6 kilometers through Gorkha and around 120.1 kilometers through Dhadingbesi.
The climbing route itself spans about 12.2 kilometers from the Base Camp to the summit. The nearest settlement to Mount Manaslu is Samagaun, situated just 1.9 kilometers away. In case of any need, the closest police post is also located in Samagaun, at the same 1.9-kilometer distance from the peak.
For security and assistance, the nearest Armed Police Force and army posts are located in Dhadingbesi, about 120.1 kilometers away, or Gorkha, approximately 120.6 kilometers away. Additionally, the nearest health post is in Samagaun, ensuring necessary medical support for climbers and trekkers in this rugged terrain.
Mountain Manaslu Location
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Mount Manaslu is situated in the Gandaki Pradesh region, spanning the Manang and Gorkha Districts. It lies within the Nashong/Chum Nubri municipality and is part of the Mansiri mountain range. With an impressive elevation of 8,163 meters, it stands as one of the towering peaks in the region. The exact geographical coordinates are latitude 28º 33′ 01 and longitude 84º 33′ 42, placing it in the heart of the Himalayas.
Mount Manaslu Faces
Mount Manaslu presents mainly three awe-inspiring faces, each offering unique challenges and breathtaking views for mountaineers and trekkers. Here are some of the notable faces of Mount Manaslu:
West Face (View from Timang): The west face of Mount Manaslu, as seen from Timang, offers a spectacular perspective of this majestic peak. Trekkers and climbers passing through this region are treated to a stunning vista that showcases the mountain’s grandeur and rugged beauty.
East Face (View from Birendra Tal): The east face of Mount Manaslu, visible from Birendra Tal, provides another captivating angle to admire this Himalayan giant. It’s a vantage point that allows observers to appreciate the mountain’s formidable presence and the surrounding natural landscape.
North Face (View from Dharmasala): The north face of Mount Manaslu, as seen from Dharmasala, offers a challenging ascent for mountaineers. This side of the mountain presents technical climbing routes and is known for its formidable ice and rock features.
How to Get to Manaslu Mountain:
If you’re starting from Kathmandu, you can reach Manaslu Mountain through the following routes:
- Begin your journey by driving from Kathmandu to Dhadingbesi.
- From Dhadingbesi, you’ll follow the caravan route, passing through Arughat, Jagat, Sama Gaon, and eventually reaching the Manaslu Base Camp.
- The caravan route covers a distance of approximately 118.2 kilometers via Dhadingbesi.
Mount Manaslu: A Challenging Mountain to Conquer
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Mount Manaslu, standing as the eighth highest mountain in the world, is a formidable peak that commands respect from mountaineers and adventurers. The dangers associated with Mount Manaslu include:
High Altitude: Like all Himalayan peaks, Mount Manaslu’s extreme altitude brings a host of altitude-related challenges. Acute Mountain Sickness, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, and High Altitude Cerebral Edema are potential threats.
Harsh Weather: The unpredictable and harsh weather conditions in the Himalayas can pose significant risks. Sudden storms, blizzards, and extreme cold can make climbing and descending the mountain treacherous.
Technical Challenges: Mount Manaslu requires technical climbing skills, particularly on the north face. Steep ice and rock sections demand proficiency in ice and rock climbing techniques, adding to the complexity of the ascent.
Avalanches: Avalanches are a concern in the region, especially during periods of heavy snowfall or rapid temperature changes. Climbers need to assess avalanche risk and make informed decisions.
Isolation: Mount Manaslu’s remote location means that rescue and evacuation in case of emergencies can be challenging. Climbers must be self-sufficient and prepared to handle medical issues or injuries on the mountain.
While Mount Manaslu may not have the same fatality rate as peaks like K2 or Annapurna, it is by no means an easy climb. Climbers must approach it with the utmost caution, thorough preparation, and a deep understanding of the mountain’s unique challenges. Success on Mount Manaslu requires not only physical fitness but also mental resilience and the ability to make sound decisions in the face of adversity.
The first ascent: May 9, 1956
On May 9, 1956, two climbers, Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu Sherpa, achieved something remarkable. They became the first people on earth to reach the top of Mount Manaslu, standing at 8,163 meters (26,781 feet) tall. This historic achievement opened the door for others to explore this region and take on the challenge of climbing this impressive peak. Since then, many adventurers have followed in their footsteps.
A Sample Mount Manaslu Expedition Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,320 meters)
Days 02-03: Expedition documentation, preparation, and briefing for the expedition.
Day 04: Private vehicle drive to Aarughat (561 meters).
Day 05: Trek to Soti Khola (775 meters) – 6 hours.
Day 06: Trek to Machha Khola (900 meters) – 5-6 hours.
Day 07: Trek to Jagat (1,340 meters) – 6 hours.
Day 08: Trek to Ngyak (2,310 meters) – 6 hours.
Day 09: Trek to Ghap (2,100 meters) – 6 hours.
Day 10: Trek to Lho (3,200 meters) – 6 hours.
Day 11: Trek to Sama Village or Gaon (3,500 meters) – 6 hours.
Day 12: Rest day at Sama Gaon for acclimatization.
Day 13: Trek from Sama Gaon to Manaslu Base Camp (4,600 meters).
Days 14-42: Climbing period of Manaslu Expedition (8,163 meters).
Day 43: Trek from Base Camp to Sama Village (3,500 meters).
Day 44: Trek to Namrung village (2,660 meters).
Day 45: Trek to Philim village (1,597 meters).
Day 46: Trek to Machha Khola (900 meters).
Day 47: Trek to Arughat (561 meters).
Day 48: Drive back to Kathmandu (1,320 meters).
Day 49: Rest in Kathmandu (1,320 meters).
Day 50: Departure to your country.
Mount Manaslu is considered technically less challenging to climb than Mount Everest. However, it’s important to note that both mountains present their own unique set of challenges. Manaslu may be less crowded and have less severe weather, but it’s still a formidable peak that requires a high level of mountaineering skill and experience. Everest, on the other hand, is the highest mountain in the world and has a more significant altitude and weather-related risks. The difficulty of climbing either mountain depends on various factors, including the route chosen and individual climber’s skills and preparation.
Climbing Mount Manaslu is considered challenging and demands a high level of mountaineering skills and experience. It’s often described as a technical climb due to its steep and icy sections, crevasses, and challenging weather conditions. Climbers need to be physically fit, mentally prepared, and have prior experience with high-altitude mountaineering. Adequate training, acclimatization, and a well-planned expedition are crucial for a safe and successful ascent.
Mount Manaslu is located in two districts of Nepal: Gorkha and Manang. The mountain spans across the border of these two districts in the western part of Nepal’s Himalayas. The trekking and climbing routes to Manaslu often pass through these districts, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and villages.
Manaslu is sometimes referred to as the “Killer Mountain” because it has a reputation for being a challenging and dangerous peak to climb. This nickname is due to the mountain’s high fatality rate among climbers. The mountain presents various hazards, including avalanches, crevasses, unpredictable weather, and altitude-related illnesses. The combination of these factors has led to tragic accidents and fatalities, contributing to its ominous nickname.