Manaslu expedition- Intro
Nepal is known for its mountain and beauty. The country holds many things that makes renowned in the world. Among those many things the mountains of the country stand among the top things. The country is home to Mount Everest (Highest peak in the world), and have many other white peaks that pierce the clouds and touch the beautiful blue sky. The country is dream destination to the adventure junkies and the mountaineers who live for the thrill in the mountains.
There are many mountain expeditions due to the enormous number of mountains. Yearly many tourists arrive in Nepal to go to the summit of those mountains or to complete the trekking routes around the mountain or to the base camp. Among the many mountain expeditions and trekking routes there is Manaslu expedition which is unique to other expeditions and is one of the favorites of the mountaineers and adrenaline junkies.
Mount Manaslu is the 8th highest mountain in the world. The beast mountain stands 8,163 meters (26,781feet) from the sea level. Manaslu peak lies in the west central part of the country in the Gorkha district. The structure of the mountain is serrated. It looks like huge pointy white edge faced towards the sky. The name Manaslu is derived from the Sanskrit word Manasa. Manaslu when converted to English means the mountain of the spirits.
The first Manaslu expedition was completed in 1956 May 9. Toshio Imanishi and Gyaltsen Norbu were the first person to reach the summit of this gigantic mountain. They were the first to reach the summit of this majestic mountain. However, they are not the first person to do such attempt. Some before them tried to conquer the mountain but were unsuccessful due to various circumstances.
From 1950 various groups of people from various countries started to study the mountain and its structure to find the possible route that can be used for a successful summiting. From the year 1952 some expeditions were led by the Japanese teams. Repeatedly various teams tried to reach the summit were unsuccessful until 1956.
After the first successful Manaslu expedition many years after year have climbed and reached the summit of this mountain. Since the first expedition 1,100 peoples have successfully reached to the summit of this beautiful mountain. The interesting thing about Manaslu summiting is that, it is the third highest summitted above 8000m mountain beside Mount Everest and Mount Cho Oyu. Another interesting fact is that the most of the people who have summited the mountain are the Japanese people, even the first team who researched and attempted the climb were Japanese and the first to reach the summit were Japanese and Sherpa.
The journey schedules
Day 1 and Day 2
Kathmandu is the first destination for our trekkers in their journey. Landing at Tribhuvan International airport marks our official entry to Nepal. Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and harbors many amazing things in its periphery. The district of Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and Kathmandu is collectively called Kathmandu valley and is an amazing place to visit. The city is always flooded with tourists all-round the year.
The trekkers going to mountains, coming from mountains, exploring the culture of Nepal, all eventually must be in Kathmandu for a certain amount of time. The first reason that happens is that Tribhuvan International airport is the only international airport in the country so everyone visiting internationally tourist or otherwise must be here at the beginning. Another is that the mountains are very remote locations that mostly do not have all the necessary equipment and things needed by the travelers, so they need to take their needs with themselves. Kathmandu is the capital and business center of the country has all the required materials available for the journey.
Many UNESCO world heritage sites are sight to be seen when visiting Nepal and Kathmandu.
Day 3 – To Soti Khola
Soti Khola is 7-9 hours’ drive away from Kathmandu valley. The travelers wake to travel all day through the vehicle. From Kathmandu they ride through Prithvi Highway to reach Soti Khola.
Day 4- To Maccha Khola
Maccha Khola is 6 to 8 hours of walking away from Soti Khola.
Day 5- To Jagat
The fifth day of the Manaslu expedition begins with the goal to reach Jagat. Jagat is 5 to 8 hours walk away from Maccha Khola.
Day 6- To Deng
Deng is 5 to 8 hours walk from Jagat. The travelers in this walk can see amazing langscapes and beautiful settlements. The night is spent at Deng.
Day 7- Deng to Namrung
The travelers need to trek around 5 to 8 hours to reach Namrung from Deng. On the way to Namrung from Deng the travelers need to go through Manaslu conservation area. The conservayion area is home to over 33 species of mammals and over 110 species of birds. The area is also rich with various kind of tree species, plants and beautiful flowers.
Day 8- To Samagaon
The goal of the 8th day of Manaslu expedition is Samagaon. Samagoan is about 5 to 8 hours walk away from Namrung. Ganesh Himal and Himchuli can be seen during the walk to the destination.
Day 9- To Manaslu base camp
Manaslu base camp is located at the elevation of 4460m from the sea level. The altitude is very high so the travelers need to start to be more careful. The night is spent at base camp.
Day 10 is the day of acclimatization. This day the travelers rest and heal themselves from the long trekking they had done to reach the base camp. They also need to prepare their equipment’s and things for the climb. Also, not just physically they also need to prepare themselves mentally.
Day 11 to Day 35
Day 11 to Day 35 is the climbing period of the mountain. During this period the climbers do many activities, among those things the main activity is still to climb and reach to the peak. The first days are used to do preparations to reach the peak. The crew firstly habitat themself to the environment. After few days in the environment the body starts to adjust to the altitude and cold temperature.
Camp 1 is located at the elevation of 5700m from the sea level. The climbers need to cross the Masaslu glacier and climb in order to get to camp 1. Fixed ropes are used to cross the some of the most dangerous parts of the climbs. Camp1 lies above the Manaslu glacier and at the bottom of the north Peak.
Camp 2 is the second destination of the peak climbers in Manaslu expedition. The camp 2 is located at the flat surface. The area of Camp 2 is considered as the safest part in the climb due to the flat surface. Due to the flat surface the snow collection at the area of camp 2 may be high during high snowfall. Other than this the place is considered safe by the climbers.
Camp 3 is located at the elevation of 6800m from the sea level. Camp 3 may be one of the shortest distances between two camps in the higher altitude mountains. Camp 3 is only 3 to 4 hours of walk away from camp 2. The high altitude can be very dangerous and the situations can go from good to worse within minutes so, the crew need to be alert and attentive to the surroundings.
Camp 4 is located at the elevation of 7400m from the sea level. The glacier and slopy surface need to be climbed in order to reach Camp 4 from Camp 3. As, the altitude further increases further harsh will be the environment and temperature. Camp 4 is the last destination before reaching to the summit of the mountain.
The summit is the ultimate landmark of the Manaslu expedition. The summit is about 6 to 8 hours of climb away from camp 4. The summit of Manaslu holds one of the most breath-taking views on the planet. The summit provides the amazing view of the side mountains and the glaciers in the surrounding area.
Manaslu expedition does not end with reaching the top of the peak. The climbers still need to get back to the base camp and then return to Kathmandu. Descending the mountain can be dangerous if not right. So, the climbers cautiously should descend following the same route they came up. By the 35th day they will have returned to the base camp.
To Seti Khola and to Kathmandu
The climbers after returning to base camp will follow the same route and get back to Seti khola with days trekking. After reaching Seti khola they will return to Kathmandu in vehicle. They can rest few days in Kathmandu or return through Tribhuvan international airport the following day.
Cost of Manaslu expedition
To summit the majestic mountain, the travelers also need a good amount of cash aside from the courage and bravery to summit the mountain. The cost of the trip depends on what level of service you are expecting and what level of luxury you prefer to have. Like every trip and journey the cost depend mostly on the traveler. The cost can either be squeezed or can be spent a considerate amount. Another crucial factor regulating the cost of the travel is the selection of the travel company.
Mostly when foreigners visit Nepal for Manaslu expedition or even other expeditions. Travel companies arranges most of the things for them. Insurance, permits, guides, travel schedules all are arranged by the travel companies. The price mostly depends on the travel company, their schedule, numbers of guides and potters ordered by the mountaineers, and number of days spent on the expedition.
Saying all this the average cost that are taken by the travel companies for Manaslu expedition ranges from 12 to 14k USD. This price may fluctuate along with season, year and other some minor factors.
Preparation for Manaslu expedition
Manaslu is a massive mountain with altitude above 8000m. The highest peak and all the top 10 highest peaks in the world are in the league of 8000m. So, Manaslu expedition is one of the most challenging mountains climbs in the world.
The most important thing about mountain climbing is the physical fitness. Not just Manaslu expedition but to climb every mountain physical fitness is most. In the heart of such harsh climate and peak of the mountains, one’s best friend is oneself. They are most dependent on themselves and if they are in the peak of their physical shape, this will make the journey easier and more enjoyable.
Prior to attempting Manaslu expedition it is best to go into high altitude trekking, running, hill climbing exercise, gym workouts and mountaineering training exercise if you do not have enough experience in mountain climbing.
After yourself your closest ally is your gears and equipment’s. The climbers should start to assemble their equipment’s months prior to the Manaslu expedition. Human body no matter how good or peak of physical fitness they are in they cannot survive up there without the equipment’s, gears, and warm clothes. To the point human body is not designed for such altitude, climate, and temperature. The gears and equipment’s act as the extension of the body itself. So, the people who are going to attempt the climb need to spend considerable amount of time selecting their equipment’s and researching on them.
Best time for Manaslu expedition
Spring and the Autumn times are best time considered for the Manaslu expedition as well as the manaslu circuit trekking. This season provides stable climate and warm environment. As, the weather will be warm there will be less chances of snow storms and avalanches. This season not only provides safety but is also good for view and beautiful scenery. Monsoon and winter time are worst for the expedition as the chances of snowstorm, snowfall, avalanches and high winds. Besides this all season are good but Autumn and Spring are best for Manaslu expedition.
Risk on Manaslu expedition
There is a considerate amount of risk in mountain climbing. Not just on mount Manaslu but climbing every mountain comes with risk. Moreover, Manaslu is one of the few above 8000m mountains in the world. Which further increases the risk as 8000m above is a very challanging place to be. Manaslu is the fifth dangerous mountain in the world as per the researchers and the mountaineers. However, this does not scare the brave mountaineers.
Risk is the part of the thrill for the climbers. It is a fact that not just Manaslu but summiting every mountain comes with the risk as it is both challenging physically and mentally. However, in this dangerous expedition’s years of mountaineering experience, mountain climbing trainings, preparation, and caution comes into play. These factors reduce the chance of accidents to very high degree. The climbers should always be alert and follow the rules before everything. They should follow the health guidelines, look out for themselves and their crew during the whole journey.