Manaslu

Climb Manaslu, the 8th Highest Mountain on Earth With Alpine Ascents

One of the premier 8000 meter peaks for the intermediate climber, Manalsu at 8,163m/26,781ft is a chance to climb of the Himalayan giants. Using helicopters to get us quickly into the mountains, we have the opportunity to acclimatize with day hikes in beautiful surroundings. After reaching base camp, out team will set 4 camps, mostly using fixed lines as we make our way to one the most spectacular summit views in the climbing world.

Alpine Ascents has been a mainstay of Himalayan climbing since 1992. In addition to our annual Everest climb, Alpine Ascents has led successful climbs to Lhotse, Manaslu, Shishapangma,  Baruntse, Cho-Oyu and Island Peak. This climb is scheduled to be led by legendary climber and guide Lakpa Rita Sherpa.

Alpine Ascents Success on Himalayan Peaks

Our reputation for leading climbs in the Himalayas is superb and includes summits of Everest (301 summits to date) and Cho Oyu (83 summits to date).

As on Everest we offer one style of trip— a fully guided expedition with a low climber-to-guide ratio. This style has led to our historically high summit success rate, an excellent safety record, and extremely satisfied climbers.

A Brief Overview of Sherpa Life

Often inseparable from mountaineering, the Sherpas of Nepal inhabit much of the lower portion of the Himalayas known as the Solu-Khumbu or Khumbu. While their reputation as climbers is nothing short of historic, local Buddhist, animist, and cultural traditions have equally nurtured and impacted a fascinating relationship with Westerners and Western thought.

Sherpas became prominent to the West when British mountaineers began to set their sights on conquering Himalayan peaks. With the first Mt. Everest expedition in 1921, the skill, expertise, honesty, and dedication of Sherpas as guides and partners became an integral part of Himalayan climbing. The affinity of outsiders for Sherpa/Buddhist civilization has blossomed into an ever-increasing sharing, understanding, and friendship between cultures.

Prior to British expeditions, Sherpas revered the great mountains of the region as dwelling places of gods and goddesses, to which the thought of climbing was considered blasphemous. (“Chomolungma,” the Tibetan name for Everest, is the residence of Miyo Lungsungama, the goddess of humanity and prosperity.) Sherpas traditionally worked as traders, farmers, and religious folk. Along with these ancestral roles, leading climbs and treks has recently become a mainstay of the Sherpa economy.

“Sherpa” refers both to a tribal group and a job capacity as porter, climber, or trek leader. The term “Sherpa” means Easterner, referring to their origins in Eastern Tibet. The migrations of this Tibetan culture began sometime in the early 1400’s. Today, the Sherpa population in the Khumbu is about 5,000, with a total of roughly 35,000 living in Nepal.

SHERPAS ON EVEREST

The first notable and successful Everest climbing Sherpa was Tenzing Norgay. In 1952, Norgay accompanied Raymond Lambert to within 800 vertical feet of the still-unclimbed Mt. Everest. A year later, Norgay was asked to join the British team led by Col. John Hunt, which successfully summited Everest following the same route as Norgay and Lambert. Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary were the first climbers to reach the summit. By the mid 1980’s, Sherpas had summited Everest many more times than Westerners. Ang Rita Sherpa, the most well-known climbing Sherpa, had amassed seven summits of Everest by 1995. In 1993, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa became the first Sherpa woman to summit Everest.

THE NAME KHUMBU

The name Khumbu comes from its guardian deity Khumbila Tetsan Gelbu. The literal translation is “Khumbu country god.” The teachings of Sherpa Buddhism talk of a spiritual understanding between all beings. This is probably why the level of hospitality and acceptance of Westerners comes naturally to the Sherpa. It should, however be mentioned, that Tibetans are also considered fierce warriors.

—Gordon Janow, Alpine Ascents Program Director

Manaslu Frequently Asked Questions

What is the skill level of this climb?

Climbers should have successfully completed our 6 Day Beginner Mountaineering Course and Denali Climb, or have equivalent skills and experience. Manaslu is excellent preparation for a summit attempt of Mt. Everest and is the logical choice for those who wish to embrace and climb an 8,000-meter Himalayan peak. This expedition teaches valuable climbing skills, high-altitude management techniques, and lessons for the use of oxygen systems and staying healthy at extreme altitudes. Climbers who have been successful on Denali or comparable peaks are typically prepared to join a guided ascent on Manaslu. Climbers must have solid cramponing skills, be able to rappel with a pack on, and use ascenders on a fixed line. We place a high degree of responsibility on our climbers to prepare for the challenges of the ascent and the safety of their fellow team members. We encourage you to contact us with questions, and please feel free to speak with former expedition members.

What is the physical conditioning level needed for this climb?

Climbers must be in excellent physical condition. This is a long expedition requiring patience, stamina, mental fortitude, and strong willpower. Summit day can be 12 hours long.

Any tips on how climbers can maximize their chances of success?

Along with the required climbing skills, review cardio training on the Training page of our website. We strongly recommend following the advice of our guides to acclimatize properly.

Who is the guiding team composed of (How many guides? Climber-to-guide ratio?)

Your expedition leader will be one of our International Mountain Guides. They will have along as many assistant guides, climbing Sherpa, porters, and cooks as necessary to ensure a low climber-to-guide ratio.

What is the best season to climb / which dates will have the most chance for success?

The best time to climb Manaslu is in the Fall, August-October.

How many climbers are on this expedition?

Generally, our maximum for this climb is 10 climbers plus guides and Sherpa.

Will I be sharing a tent or lodging with other climbers?

During the trek we will be lodging in teahouses. Climbers will either share a teahouse room or may have a private room. In Base Camp, each climber will have their own tent. Above Base Camp, in camps I–IV, climbers will share tents.

How much will my pack weigh?

During the trek, team members will only carry gear and supplies for the day. At no point do climbers carry camping gear or equipment for overnight during the trek. Daypacks will weigh no more than 20 lbs. Above Base Camp on the climb, we will typically carry packs that weigh 20–30 lbs. At no point will your pack weigh more than 50 lbs.

What gear will I need?

Please review the Gear List.

How does your gear rental system work?

Those requesting rental gear must submit an expedition rental form with payment by fax or mail. All rental gear will be mailed to the climber prior to the climb. Climbers are expected to clean all rental gear and return it to us by mail following the expedition.

Any further advice on gear and using your gear list?

While all items are required, there may be times when some of the items on the Gear List may not be used (such as warm weather or changing conditions). The Gear Lists are created by the guides to assist in having climbers be prepared to summit in any conditions.

While it is impossible for us to list all brands for certain gear, we do offer a wide variety of equipment in our Gear Shop, that has been hand-picked by our staff of mountaineering experts. Please feel free to call our offices with any gear questions or substitutes. Plastic boots are required for this climb.

How is drinking water treated?

During the approach to Base Camp, we will eat in restaurants where clean water will be provided. Climbers can also purchase bottled water along the way. At Base Camp and on the route, we will boil water.

What will the meals on the expedition be like?

Meals in the mountains consist of a diet rich in carbohydrates because our bodies do not process fat and protein efficiently at higher elevations and to compensate for the increase in caloric need that high-altitude climbing involves. We try to make meals varied and as normal as possible. During the trek we will be served meals in the teahouses that are prepared by our own staff. Meals during the trek and climb are made from food purchased both in Nepal and the US. Typical meals are rice, pasta, or potato dishes along with vegetable and egg dishes. Above Base Camp, climbing food mainly consists of dried meals such as pastas or rice. Lunches while climbing will mainly be made up of bars and snacks brought from the US.

We are well known for our “fine dining” at Base Camp.

Sample trekking menu here.

Can I bring some food from home?

You may bring power bars, Gu, Power Gel, cereal bars, or similar high-energy foods; we also recommend powder Gatorade to fight dehydration. Alpine Ascents will provide all meals on this expedition.

Are there any innoculation requirements?

No requirements at this time.

When should I book my flight? Do I need to use your Travel Agent?

Fares are generally less expensive when booked early. You may use our travel agent (Charles Mulvehill 1-800-727-2157) or book flights yourself. Please note that flights booked online are often difficult to change. Please send us a copy of your flight schedule as early as possible as this allows us to book pick ups and hotels.

What time should I arrive and leave and where do I meet the guides?

An Alpine Ascents representative will meet those climbers (look for the sign) arriving on the scheduled date (or a different date for those who have made prior arrangements) and taken to the Yak and Yeti Hotel. Although it is likely that you will meet your team leader at the airport and other members during the day, we will have a scheduled meeting that day. This meeting will include introductions, final review, and an overview of the itinerary and trek.

What if I arrive early or depart late? Can you arrange extra night lodging? Is there a single room option for this expedition?

We are happy to make arrangements such as personalized tours, extra hotel rooms, airport pick-ups, and arrange for private rooms. Please indicate that you would like a private room on your application and we will contact you with information on single-room supplement costs (for hotels only).

Are there any entry or Visa requirements?

We will send further instructions on obtaining a Chinese visa.

Is there any communication while we are on the mountain?

In Kathmandu and Lhasa, telephones and internet access are readily available. Our guides will carry satellite phones in the mountains. The quality of the reception varies from location to location.

Where can I get more information on history, books, and additional activities in the region?

Check the Reading List on the Cho Oyu page of the website.

Can I contact the others on the climb? How about the guide?

You can always call our offices and we will have one of your Everest guides contact you. Within 30 days prior to departure, we will mail a list of the other team members to you.

How much should I budget for this expedition? How much cash should I plan to bring?

Climbers generally take $200 to $400 to change in Nepal for purchases along the approach to Base Camp. An additional $400 to $500 in US dollars is good to have for emergencies, so we suggest approximately $1,000 total in cash but it is likely you will use much less. Changing money at the airport is not recommended. (Credit cards may substitute for some cash.) We will organize this with our guide staff.

How much should I tip my guide and staff?

Climbers generally tip our Sherpa staff and Western guides. Climbers typically tip around $300 total to our Nepali staff, including climbing Sherpa, depending on the size of the expedition (and we usually have about six Sherpa assisting with the expedition). We will send some more information about tipping as we get closer to departure. You may have some perfunctory tips at hotels and at time of transport. Tipping is not required but a common practice.

How do I register for this expedition?

You may call our offices with a credit card or mail/fax an application with a check or credit card number.

What paperwork do I need to send in?

Each climber should submit an application and flight information.

When is the money due for this expedition? What kind of payment do you accept?

We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, personal checks and Alpine Ascents gift certificates. To reserve a space, the deposit is $3,000.00 and balances are due 120 days prior to departure. Unpaid balances can result in forfeiture of trip.

What is your cancellation policy? What is your refund policy?
What happens if I need to leave the expedition early?

Communication is sometimes difficult in the mountains. However, our guides and local staff will make every effort to obtain the necessary transportation and reservations to get you home as quickly as possible if for any reason you need to depart early.

Reading List

This is a highly recommended shortlist and we would be happy to pass on a longer reading list for those interested. These links will bounce to Amazon.com with reviews.

High Himalaya
by Art Wolfe, Peter Potterfield, Norbu Tenzing Norgay, Mountaineers Books
Everest; The Mountaineers Anthology Series
Foreward by Tom Hornbein, Peter Potterfield editor, Mountaineers Books
Everest
by Walt Unsworth, Mountaineers Books
Classic Hikes of the World
Peter Potterfield, W.W. Norton pub.
Fragile Edge : Loss on Everest
by Maria Coffey, Harbour Pub Co.
Coronation Everest
by Jan Morris, Burford Books
Everest : The West Ridge
by Thomas F. Hornbein, Mountaineers Books
Eric Shipton: Everest & Beyond
by Edmund Hillary, Peter M.D. Steele, Mountaineers Books
The Snow Leopard (Penguin Nature Classics)
by Peter Matthiessen, Penguin USA (paper)
Trekking in Nepal : A Traveler's Guide
by Stephen Bezruchka, Mountaineers Books

Vern and Carol were exceptional guides. Vern Tejas’ decades of experience provided valuable insights and best practices for acclimatization, climbing skills, and self-care. Practice sessions using ascenders and goat-tail device for rappelling with gloves and mitts helped build confidence in critical skills necessary for the climb. – 2017 Climber

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