August 28 – October 25, 2018
59 days in Nepal
Manaslu (8163m), a name derived from the Sanskrit word “manasa”, meaning “Mountain of the Spirit”, is the eighth highest peak in the world. Manaslu is a part of Gorkha massif located some 40 miles east of Mt. Annapurna. Manaslu’s long ridges and valley glaciers offer feasible approaches from all directions to the summit. The climb to the top of Manaslu poses moderate technical difficulty, however the actual difficulty lies in the remoteness of the peak. After an arduous trek to the Base Camp, climbers must take a circuitous route up the mountain.
We will follow the standard route to the summit, utilizing several camps along the way. After leaving our high camp we will ascend moderate slopes to gain several plateaus on the summit ridge. The route then passes under a sub-summit with an exposed technical traverse utilizing fixed ropes. From the top we will enjoy amazing views of the surrounding 8000m peaks before making our way back to high camp.
Climbing Manaslu is not an easy endeavor. This is an expedition that requires nearly two months in Nepal, as well as prior training. It takes more than a few months to develop the climbing experience and skills needed to participant in this adventure. Summiting an 8000 meter peak can be a culmination of years of preparation and training, both mental and physical.
Before you consider participating in a Manaslu summit expedition, you should have four to five significant climbing expeditions under your belt. These may include Denali, Aconcagua, Mount Vinson, or other Himalayan peaks such as Cho Oyu, Island Peak. Only seasoned climbers will be accepted for the expedition group so if you are just starting out, please consider taking one of our mountaineering courses or Seven Summits climbs.
Peak physical conditioning with advanced technical skills are required to be eligible for this climb. A brief roster of the skills you must have include: extensive high altitude climbing experience, advanced mountaineering and technical skills, crampon techniques, glacier travel, fixed line use, ice axe skills, experience with ice axe self-arrest, crevasse rescue, rope knowledge including knots and anchors, and extreme weather camping. Read our The Four-Legged Stool blog post for a better understanding of what skills are required to climb an 8ooo meter peak.
If you aspire to climb Manaslu and are new to climbing, check out our Northwest climbs and courses to get you started developing the basics. From there, we can recommend incrementally challenging expeditions to set you on a road toward developing the skills you will need to summit an 8000 meter peak such as Everest, Manaslu or Cho Oyu.
Day 1 • Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 • Kathmandu
Day 3 • Arughat – Soti Khola
Day 4 • Soti Khola – Machha Khola
Day 5 • Machha Khola – Jagat
Day 6 • Jagat – Nagyang Besi
Day 7 • Nagyang Besi – Namrung
Day 8 • Namrung – Lho Gaun
Day 9 • Lho Gaun – Sama Gaun
Day 10 • Sama Gaun – Basecamp • 15,750 ft
Day 11-49 • Climb of Manaslu
– Camp I • 19,000 ft
– Camp II • 21,000 ft
– Camp III • 22,300 ft
– Camp IV • 24,442 ft
Day 50 • Summit Day • Manaslu • 26,758 ft
Day 51 • Basecamp – Samdo
Day 52 • Samdo – Dharmasala
Day 53 • Dharmasala – Bhimtang
Day 54 • Bhimtang – Goa
Day 55 • Goa – Dharapani
Day 56 • Dharapani – Besisahar
Day 57 • Besisahar – Kathmandu
Day 58 • Kathmandu
Day 59 • Depart
Our Manaslu itinerary remains flexible. We seek to gain adequate acclimatization managing our exposure at higher elevations.
Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal (KTM). Our climb begins in the historic city of Kathmandu, known for its fascinating Nepalese culture and ancient temples. The hotel is in the popular Thamel district jammed with restaurants and shops selling Nepali handicrafts.
We have an expedition orientation and equipment check. As we have time we will visit local historical sites in Kathmandu.
The journey to Arughat Bazaar in Gorkha district will take about 7 hours. We will travel via Prithivi Highway towards Arughat. This village, located next to the Budhi Gandhi River, has a small market full of shops and lodges. We will transfer to a jeep on our final push to Soti Khola.
From Soti Khola, we trek through beautiful Gurung and Magar villages, enjoying the views of Shringri Himal. This valley is filled with traditional rice paddies, as well as fields of maize and millet. After a day’s trek, we reach Macha Khola, which literally means “Fish River”.
The trail from Macha Khola to Jagat passes through Khorlebeshi. Traversing through the jungle, we will see more Gurung settlements. From here, we will pass through Dobhan and Yaruphant villages. Doban which literally means “a confluence” is a junction between Shiar Khola and Sarpu Khola rivers.
We hike a moderate trail toward Nagyang Besi. After crossing a pass, we will have amazing views of Sringri Himal (7187m). Next, we utilize a suspension bridge, Nepal’s largest, over the Budhi Gandaki river. As we continue our journey, we pass through “Ekle Bhatti,” which literally means a lone teashop. From here we start our ascending up valley to Manaslu basecamp.
Our trek continues from Nagyang Besi through some local teashops, we enjoy great views of Shringi Himal and Tsum Valley towards the north. Beyond Deng, you will cross a bridge and trek past Rana (1980m) and pass Bihi (2130m), a village popularly known for stone carving. The trail follows Budhi Gandaki on its left, with some canyons and villages perched along till you reach Ghap (2160m). Continuing your journey through fir, rhododendron and pine forest, and meandering trail; you will come to Namrung (2660m), a small village with shops, restaurants and lodges.
After an early breakfast we make our way to Lho Gaun. Along the trail we will pass traditional Tibetan settlements. We will also get our first views of Manaslu (8163m) and Manaslu North (7157m).
A short 3-hour trek takes us to Sama Gaun. We will have some free time to explore the the village before settling in for the night.
We begin our trek to basecamp, visiting Birendra Tal, a turquoise high-altitude lake. After that, we will continue to trek to Manaslu Base Camp. Basecamp lies at the northern part of the Manaslu Glacier. This camp is always buzzing with activity during the climbing season.
Over the next weeks our ascent follows an acclimatization schedule of equipment carries and rest days as our climbing team works to establish a series of four high camps on the upper flanks of the mountain.
Considered the technical crux of the mountain, we ascend through steep sections of fixed ropes and the occasional ladder to Camp 2. The terrain features long 40 degree snow slopes with a few vertical ice steps where front point crampon technique is required with the aid of fixed ropes.
Above Camp 2 the slope eases with intermittent steep sections accompanied by fixed ropes.
The climb from Camp 3 to Camp 4 is long and steep in some areas. At this altitude moving slowly and being efficient is the key.
We will get an early start for our long summit day. Leaving Camp 4 we will ascend the North East Ridge crossing over the East Pinnacle to the summit.
Our descent from basecamp will follow the Manaslu Circuit to Samdo. This will be our reintroduction to the lush green farmland below.
We start early, making our way over Larkya La pass before it gets too windy. The surrounding views of Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru, and the massive Annapurna II, are wonderful from this point.
Walking along Dudh Khola literally meaning “milk river” for its color, we will trek past Tilije and Thonje. After this point, the trail joins the Annapurna circuit.
After a four-hour jeep drive, we arrive at Besisahar.
A 7-hour bus ride will take us back to Kathmandu.
After the long exhausting trek, you might have worn out a bit. Today, you can do some relaxation activities or just take some rest and connect will your friends and family back home. You can also just wander down the lively streets of Thamel and Asan and buy some souvenirs. In the evening your tour officer will pick you up for the dinner at one of the cultural restaurants of Thamel. After the dinner, you will be escorted back to your hotel.
Transport to Tribhuvan International Airport for flights home. (B)
Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
$5,000.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application.
Balance due 90 days prior to departure
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb information upon reservation.
Note: Please read our Mountaineering Boot and Crampon guide for more information.
Begins and ends in Kathmandu, Nepal
Passport must have six months or more validity remaining at the time of entry. American citizens may obtain a visa prior to travel or upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. 90-day multiple-entry visa ($100)
Health & Immunizations:
Immunizations are not required for entry into Nepal
Flight Travel Information:
Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), Kathmandu, Nepal
Itineraries reflect the date and time you will need to arrive in country for a program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries destination city. When booking your flight, you will need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It is easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you will need to arrive.
Meals and Food:
All meals are provided as per meal schedule. See itinerary.
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.
Climbing Grade: Advanced
As one of the highest points in the world, this climb requires significant physical, mental, and technical skills. Previous experience at altitude and expedition style climbing is a must. Be prepared to carry 40 lbs. packs at altitude, including supplemental oxygen tank. Experience with fixed lines, and steep snow / ice climbing are essential to making this trip a safe and enjoyable climb.
Here’s a suggested progression of climbs before attempting Cho Oyu.
Most cell phone providers will work in Nepal, check your provider for overseas rates before you leave. Beyond this wifi service is available at basecamp and along the trekking route ($100-$500 depending on usage). It is often best to purchase an unlocked cell phone and a local Ncell sim card if you intend do a lot of international calling. Cell phone and wifi service is not available above basecamp. Thuraya satellite phone service is more reliable at basecamp and above at higher camps.