Adventure Dynamics guides and leads a 44 day expedition in the months of August and September to the eight highest mountain in the world Mount Manaslu in Nepal. At 8,163 metres (26,781 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Mansiri Himal in the Himalaya of Nepal. Her name means “mountain of the spirit”, comes from the Sanskrit “mansana”, meaning “intellect” or “soul”. Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956 by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition. It is said that “just as the British consider Everest their mountain, Manaslu has always been a Japanese mountain”.
This expedition is demanding and requires an experienced level of skill. The use of fixed lines and all mountaineering equipment is required.
Climbing permits and all necessary fees and charges for Tibet. Tibet visa fees. Departure tax. Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu for 4 nights. Hotel accommodation and meals in Pokara and all tea houses. All transportation. Yaks for equipment transportation from BC to ABC and back. Cook and kitchen boy. Liaison officer and interpreter. All tents and communal equipment. All meals. First aid and medical oxygen. Organisational expenses. Tents, communal equipment and food, as well as mountain rescue while doing the trek. Sherpa support. You are accompanied by an Adventure Dynamics experienced high altitude guide on the entire trip for safety, advice, instruction and guidance. Supplied training programme by Adventure Dynamics.
All flights. Medical insurance, personal equipment, items of personal nature, spending money, health requirements, restaurant meals, hotels and meals due to unexpected delays, hospitalisation and evacuation from the region if required, extra baggage. Helicopter flight out of base camp. Use of Oxygen is an extra cost. Any delay or expenses outside itinerary.
Day 1 – Fly to Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel
Day 2 – Arrive in Kathmandu
In Kathmandu, we will stay at a 3 star hotel in Thamel, positioned well away from the noise and bustle of the city centre, it has extensive gardens, a swimming pool and an atmosphere of quiet, restful charm. Team members will be accommodated on a twin sharing basis in en-suite rooms. Single rooms are available if you prefer, for which a supplement is payable.
Day 3 – At leisure in Kathmandu
There will be time for us to explore the bazaars, shops and monasteries of this fascinating city. The expedition leader will also examine everyone’s climbing equipment so that any shortfalls can be purchased in Kathmandu. The leader will attend a briefing with the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) and obtain our permit.
Day 4 – Drive to Arughat (606m)
It is about a six hour drive to Arughat, a large prosperous bazaar in central Nepal (part of the drive to Arughat is along a rough road). Once at Arughat, we’ll meet our porters. Our main Sherpa team and cook staff will have gone ahead already to set up base camp.
Day 5 – Trek to Sati Khola (712m)
We begin the trek past monkey-filled forests to reach the hamlet of Sante Bazaar. The banks of the Buri Gandaki now become steeper and the walking is more difficult as the trail crosses the Arket Khola and climbs through fields and over a rocky outcrop. We descend to a high cascading waterfall then continue to Sati Khola at 710m (5-6 hours.)
Day 6 – Trek to Machha Khola (883m)
After breakfast, we cross the bridge and climb up onto a ridge above the huge rapids of the Buri Gandaki. The trail continues, climbing over a big rock and crossing a log bridge, before it eventually descends back down to the banks of the Buri Gandaki. We trek up again on a steep rocky trail clinging to the side of a cliff, then up and around to the Gurung village of Labishe (880m) and beyond to the river. (4-5 hours.)
Day 7 – Trek to Jagat (1,415m)
Today we continue following the course of the Buri Gandaki climbing and descending many ridges. Eventually the river valley widens and we follow a good trail to Jagat (1,415m), a compact village with a beautiful flagstone square. We stay in the village by the Bhalu Khola (5-6 hours).
Day 8 – Trek to Philim (1,606m)
The trail now crosses the river and climbs over a rocky ridge to the settlement of Salleri. We continue up the side of a cliff, then descend to Setibas where several mani walls indicate we are not entering a region of Tibetan influence. The trail continues up to the stone houses of Ghatta Khola, then heads over to the east side of the river to Philim. (5 – 6 hours).
Day 9 – Trek to Deng (1,804m)
Beyond Philim, the trail enters a steep uninhabited gorge. We descend grassy slopes and cross the Buri Gandaki on a wooden cantilever bridge where the river is at its narrowest. The trail now hangs on a cliff, climbing over ridges and descending back to the river. The valley finally widens and it’s a pleasant walk through bamboo forests to the tiny village of Deng. We have now succeeded in crossing the main Himalayan Range, and the trail follows the Buri Gandaki Valley as it turns from north-south to east-west. This region is known as Kutang and is inhabited primarily by Gurungs who practice Buddhism. (5 hours.)
Day 10 – Trek to Namrung (2,670m)
We head west up the Buri Gandaki Valley, contouring up and out of the canyon, then drop into the Shringi Khola Valley. More ups and downs eventually bring us to Ghap, a village of five or six stone houses. The mani wall in Ghap has particularly elegant carvings, many of which depict the Buddha in various meditative poses and other of the Tibetan saint Milarepa, who is said to have travelled and meditated in this valley. We head into the wood through fir trees alive with birdlife, including the monal, or impeyan pheasant, Nepal’s colourful national bird. On the north side of the river is the Tom Khola, flowing in a deep gorge from Tibet, almost doubling the flow of the Buri Gandaki. There is a lot of trading between villages in this region and those high in the valley and also with Tibet. In the middle of the forest we cross a wooden bridge spanning the Buri Gandaki, then make a long climb through bamboo and rhododendron forests to Namrung (2.670m). This village has lovely stone houses and a police check post that controls access to the upper part of the valley. (About 7 hours.)
Day 11 – Trek to Shya (3,530m).
Beyond Namrung we enter the Nupri Region inhabited by descendants of Tibetan immigrants. After passing through the villages of Barcham, Li and Sho, we begin to get spectacular views of Manaslu, Manaslu North, and Naike Peak at the head of the valley. The trail finally emerges onto a plateau at Shya (3,530m), one of the most spectacular view sites in the Himalayas, with wide vistas of Himal Chuli, Ngadi Chuli (Peak 29), and Manaslu. (About 5 hours.)
Day 12 – Trek to Samagaon (3,541m)
From Shya, the trail crosses a ridge, enters and then exits a side canyon, then descends onto a rock-strewn moraine. From here we clamber across the boulders to emerge onto a ridge overlooking the extensive pastures and fields of Samagaon (3,541m). Samagoan was the original Base Camp for Manaslu, though nowadays it is merely a staging post, and not occupied for the mainstay of the expedition. We will move our loads from here to ABC, and operate from this camp once everyone is acclimatised.
Day 13 – Acclimatisation day at Samagaon (3,541m)
We can walk up to the monastery in the afternoon, or visit the local school, with which we developed links on our Manaslu 2008 expedition.
Day 14 – Trek to Samdo (3,872m)
Revitalised following our rest day, we descend to the Buri Gandaki which has now turned north again, and follow the trail to the Larkya La. Winding on a shelf above the river, the trail is at first good and easy, then gets rougher as it reaches a ridge where yak trains have ground it up. We continue to Samdo (3,872m), which is nestled behind a ridge. (3-4 hours.)
Day 15 – Acclimatisation walk to ABC (4,750m).
We have the option of walking up to Pungey Gompa and he hill behind it, or heading all the way up to ABC. If there has been a lot of rain, there can be some difficult river crossings to get to ABC. ABC is the main ‘basecamp’ for expeditions to Manaslu. It is sited in a well-protected location on moraines, spacious and flat with room enough for 6 – 7 teams.
Day 16 – Move to ABC (4,750m)
Day 17 – 41 Ascent of Manaslu (8,163m)
We plan to use three camps above Advance Base Camp. As we did on our 2008 expedition.
ABC to Camp one (5,500m)
Easy rock scrambling with one straightforward step of 10 – 15 metres below Camp.
The rock is loose in places. Team members normally move together roped up ‘Alpine style’, though some sections might be fixed. This rock band avoided by a longer snow plod towards the end of our 2008 expedition. Camp 1 is located in a superb position on a col. 3-4 hours of climbing.
Camp One to Camp Two (6,400m)
The route between Camp 1 and Camp 2 goes up a couloir and through an icefall, weaving between seracs with crevasses underfoot (a ladder was used at 6,150m in 2008). This area is prone to avalanche/ serac collapse as well – usually outpouring at well-defined chutes, which can be crossed quickly. 4 – 6 hours climbing to camp 2.
“Climbers are exposed to icefall potential for approximately 2 – 3 hours on ascent between camp 1 and camp 2. Having said that, the danger comes in short bursts within that time from ice cliffs hanging above the route. In other words you go in and out of the objective dangers within 2 – 3 hour period.” Greg Mortimer
Fixed rope – approximately 500 metres required in short sections between camp 1 and camp 2 (including the section through the icefall).
Camp Two to Camp Three (7,300m)
The route to camp 3 goes up to an icefall and then weaves up onto the main slope. A rightward trending ramp, which can be very icy, is traversed and leads into camp 3. Climbing time 6 – 9 hours. This is the hardest part of the route on a 30 degree ramp.
The slope from Camp 3 is about 20 degrees behind camp, before steeping up to 30 – 40 degrees. In good conditions, this section does not need to be fixed. As you get higher the slopes get steeper and need to be fixed, first to the fore summit, then to the final highest summit, which is a steep pinnacle 150 metres away from the fore summit and 50 metres high. From the summit, the team will aim to return all the way to Camp 2. Anticipate an 8 – 12 hour round trip to the summit and back to Camp 2.
A ramp leads onto a plateau that is crossed to reach the summit. There can be heavy crevassing above Camp 3, requiring team members to move together roped-up, if the crevasses are covered. Some teams have become lost on the plateau in bad weather, meaning this section should be marked with wands at very frequent intervals, and GGPS carried to mark the location of camps and key features.
The summit ridge is exposed and is fixed with rope.
“Aonach Eagach Ridge in full winter conditions would be a fair comparison to Manaslu technical difficulties. Otherwise the route is technically very straightforward” Greg Mortimer
“Not that technical, some knock-about scrambling and ice-hopping in the icefall, and easy scrambling on the rock below camp one.” Chris Smith, British Manaslu Expedition 1996
Clearly some significant but relatively well-defined areas of serac fall and crevasses fields, requiring caution and the use of appropriate strategies: speed, fixed rope, roping up and navigation.
Day 42 – Return to Samagoan
Day 43 – Helicopter to Kathmandu
Helicopter flight back to Kathmandu (please be aware that the flight relies on clear weather and is likely to be very early in the morning). We return to the welcome delights of the hotel, with its peaceful gardens, cool swimming pool, welcoming rooms and inviting bar. In the evening, we have our farewell celebration and expedition dinner for which the hotel bar is kept well stocked.
Day 44 – Depart Kathmandu
Your scheduled flight back home