Manaslu is the 8th tallest mountain above sea level in the world. Its highest point rises to 26,163 feet above sea level and overlooks the Annapurna Circuit. Because the Marsyangdi river flows between the Annapurna Massif and Manaslu, Manaslu is put into the Mansiri Himal sub range. This article contains entertaining and useful information and Manaslu facts.
Manaslu fact 1. Manaslu was first officially summited on May 9th, 1956. Before the first successful summit, the mountain was scouted, and several unsuccessful summit attempts were made.
Mount Manaslu was first identified as a mountain of interest by H.W. Tilman in 1950 while on his way to Annapurna IV. Tillman returned to Manaslu to scout a feasible climbing route 3 months after his failed attempt on Annapurna IV
In 1952 a Japanese team of climbers attempted to climb Manaslu during the Monsoon season, but failed because the area is prone to avalanches in the summer.
A second team of Japanese climbers attempted to climb the summit of Manaslu in 1953. They reached an altitude of 25,430 feet before retreating because of the difficulty of the route. After the team descended, an avalanche destroyed the Pung-gyen Monastery and killed 18 people. The villagers of the area blamed it on the Japanese climbers.
Another group of Japanese climbers attempted the mountain but villagers in Pung-gyen did not allow them past Samagaon camp. This was because they believed the prior year’s avalanche was caused by upset gods.
As a result, a fund was set up and its proceeds were donated to help rebuild the destroyed monastery. The villagers were still unhappy and tried to stop the 1956 Japanese expedition. This team circumvented the hostile villagers and successfully summited Manaslu.
The first official summit of Manaslu was made by Toshio Imanishi and Gyaltsen Borbu on May 9th. It wasn’t until 1971 when the next team attempted to climb Manaslu, because the threat from hostile villagers.
Fatality to summit ratio
Manaslu fact 2. Manaslu has been climbed over 300 times since 1956. There have been over 65 fatalities since then. The fatality to summit ratio is about 30%.
Manaslu fact 3. There are 9 routes to reach Manaslu’s summit. Of the 9, the north east route is most often used. Because it is the most used route, there have been more deaths on this route than the others. The following is a list of routes and when they were first used for a successful summit.
- North east face, 1956
- North west face and west ridge, 1971
- South face, 1972
- North west face, 1981
- South ridge and south east face, 1984
- East ridge north east face, 1985
- North east face east ridge, 1986
- South east face south east spur, 2001
- North east face (center), 2006
North east face
The north east face has 1 base camp and 4 high camps before the summit. From base camp the route follows Manaslu Glacier up to camp 1. Climbing from base camp to camp 1 takes about 4 hours.
Camp 1 is the safest camp on the mountain because it is in a protected area below the north peak. Camp 1 to camp 2 is the most technical part of the climb. It takes about 6 hours to reach camp 2.
The section of the route from camp to camp 3 is steeper than the prior sections. Climbing from camp 2 to 3 takes about 3 hours.
Camp 3 is notorious for strong winds capable of ripping tent stakes out of the ground. From camp 3 to camp 4 the route winds through seracs with steep sections and through a lot of snow. Climbing to camp 4 takes about 8 hours.
Camp 4 to summit follows a moderately sloping trail before reaching a summit plateau. There are 3 summit plateaus before the actual summit. It takes about 8 hours to reach the summit and about half that time to return back to camp 4.
Manaslu fact 4
Despite the dangers associated with climbing Manaslu, it is the 5th most climbed 8,000 meter high mountain. Its popularity is a testament to its beauty.