Manaslu, at 8,163 meters (26,781 feet) is the eighth-highest peak in the world and the lowest 8000er / 26,000 footer in Nepal. It is the easiest of all of the world’s fourteen 8000ers. It’s a snow climb to the summit. It is a non-technical peak. There is a steep-ish headwall between camp 3 and camp 4, but the slope angle in this section is not much more than 40 degrees climbing on snow.
Climb Manaslu as a Preparation for the Everest
Manaslu is climbed on really good and safe fixed ropes from camp 1 all of the way to the summit and is known as the best introduction to 8000-meter climbing and perfect preparation for the Everest climb. If you climb the easy slopes of Manaslu and experience the high altitudes on the mountain without any bad effects (as many do), then you know you can climb higher peaks such as Everest. Our expedition is 38 days long and we always do it in September/October, which is really the only time of year in which Manaslu can be climbed. We know this because we tried several times to climb there in the spring and there were constant snow blizzards and raging winds = impossible. The summit window is in late September and early October, so we spend the first part of September getting acclimated and prepared for the summit window.
Base Camp to Camp 1
A big highlight of the trip is the gorgeous drive to the Manaslu foothills and the trek to basecamp. We take our time and acclimatize well along the way. It is a very lovely walk through green farms and forests, across high passes such as the incredible Larkya La Pass at 5,160 meters (16,929 feet). This area was closed to foreigners. In the 90s, and you can see why: it’s so exotic, far away and amazing. Upon reaching basecamp at 4,800 meters (15,748ft) we get set up and do ice climbing training on the glaciers around basecamp. Super fun and a great skill refresher and learning experience.
Then we are ready to go up to camp 1 at 5,700 meters (18,696 feet), following a rocky ridge at first and then climbing up the Manaslu Glacier to camp 1 at the top of a rise. It is snowy and beautiful up here, with great views. Then we will overnight and take a few rest days and climb a little way through the small Manaslu icefall, then head back to basecamp for a few days of rest and delicious food.
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