Expedition to the „Mountain of the Spirit“
The 8,163 m-high Manaslu is near the Tibetan border situated in a wonderful mountain landscape. This beautiful region is shaped by deep valleys, hidden villages and many different climate zones.
The approach trek via the Larkya La (5,135m) is a highlight in itself and prepares our bodies well for the higher altitudes of this climb. The highlight for the return trip is a spectacular helicopter flight that takes us straight back to Kathmandu.
Even though climbing Manaslu is demanding, the technical difficulties remain within reasonable limits.
Kobler & Partner have already organised more than 10 successful Manaslu expeditions.
The name Manaslu comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa which means „spirit“ or „soul“.
The name „Manaslu“ comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa which roughly translates into „Mountain of the Spirit“. With its height of 8,163m, Manaslu is the eighth highest peak in the world. The prominent ridges running down from the main and east summit make it visible from very far away. In 1956, the Japanese were the first to successfully climb it via the northeast face, which has become the standard route for most expeditions. In 1974, Manaslu became the first 8,000m peak that was successfully climbed by a women’s only expedition, and in 1981 it was the first 8,000m peak that had ever been skied all the way from top to bottom.
Generally speaking, Manaslu along with Gasherbrum II, Shisha Pangma and Cho Oyu, is one of the easier 8,000m peaks when it comes to technical difficulties. However, the ascent via the northern flank across the Naike Col and the northern saddle still requires a great deal of stamina.
Day 1: Flight to Kathmandu
Day 2: Arrival in Kathmandu
Once in Kathmandu, we check into our hotel which is close to the tourist district of Thamel. We can spend the rest of the day with sightseeing in the centre of the Nepalese capital. Kathmandu is a lively and fascinating city with many facets: you can browse in colourful souvenir shops in Thamel, stroll through vast vegetable markets or visit religious sites such as Pashupatinath or the Buddhist Stupa of Bodnath - a place where you can easily spend several hours. Hotel accommodation.
Day 3 - Day 4: Drive from Kathmandu (1,355 m) - Besisahar (1,100 m) - Dharapani (1,900 m)
We take two days for this long drive from Kathmandu to Dharapani. This is a good opportunity to slowly get used to the different scenarious such as the food, the climate and the simple lifestyle of the Nepali people. At first, we drive along one of the most important roads in Nepal that connects Kathmandu with India. After approximately two thirds of the way, we turn north towards Pokhara. In Dumre, we take another turn to Besisahar, where we spend the night in a simple hotel. On the second day, we drive in jeeps over rough terrain until we reach Dharapani after about four hours. The village at an altitude of approximately 1,900 m is in the lower Manang Valley and is the starting point of two classic trekking routes: the Annapurna Circuit and the Manaslu Circuit. We spend the afternoon preparing for our trek and explore the ancient village of Dharapani.
Day 5: Dharapani - Surki (2,700m)
Or beautiful seven-day trek to Manaslu base camp kicks off today. We hike along the Dudh Khola and pass through several scattered villages. After about five hours, we reach the village of Surki where we spend the night in a lodge.
Day 6: Surki - Bimthang (3,720m)
Our trek first takes us through a wild mountain forest, before we scramble over the debris of the Bimthang Glacier for the first time. We then continue across the back of a moraine to Bimthang, which lies at an altitude of 3,720 m.
Day 7: Bimthang (acclimatisation day)
We take our time for the acclimatisation, which is the key to our success. In order to actively help us acclimatise, we go on a short and relaxed hike to the wonderful Ponkar Lake which lies at 4,100m. In good weather, we can enjoy a wonderful view of the northern and western slopes of Manaslu.
Day 8: Bimthang - Dharmasala (3,850m)
The 5,135m-high Larkya La is the highlight of our trek to base camp. As we have a long day ahead of us, we start our trek early in the morning. The ascent to the Larkya La is steep, but the stunning views make up for all our efforts. After about six hours, we reach the top of the pass which is covered in prayer flags. After a short rest during which we can soak up the panorama, we begin the long descent to Dharmasala where we check into a comfortable lodge for the night.
Day 9: Dharmasala - Samagaon (3,850m)
After this strenuous day, we have a reasonably relaxed hike ahead of us. Our trail descends slightly through the Buri Gandaki Valley until we reach Samagaon. During this walk, we always have the majestic views of Manaslu in front of us.
Day 10: Samagaon (Acclimatisation Day)
Today is another resting / acclimatisation day. We go on a hike to Pung-Ghyen Gompa, which is located in a tributary valley situated right underneath the impressive south face of Manaslu.
Day 11: Samagaon - Manaslu Base Camp
Our last trekking day takes us past an impressive ice fall. At first, we hike through a beautiful birch forest before we climb up a long moraine that takes us directly to base camp.
Base camp is located at the foot of the Manaslu Glacier at an altitude of approximately 5,000 m.
Day 12 - Day 38: Ascent of Manaslu (8,163 m)
We have 27 days to climb Manaslu, which is plenty of time to give us a good chance to reach the summit. With the help of our Sherpas, we establish and maintain three high camps on the mountain.
We follow the route of the Japanese expedition that first climbed Manaslu in 1956. At first, we cross a flat glacier that leads up to a rock wall which can easily be negotiated. Camp I is right above it at about 5,800m. The route up to Camp II is somewhat steeper, but still relatively „easy“. We then cross a serac zone that can be challenging depending on the conditions and should not be underestimated. Afterwards, we ascend two ramps (maximally 40°) before we reach Camp II at 6,800m. Our route to Camp III at 7,450m first takes us across a flat plateau before we ascend a 300m-high wall, which is about 45° steep. Like many other sections on the mountain, our Sherpa team will fix some rope on this part. The last section leading to the summit is not very steep and non-technical. Only the last few metres are somewhat exposed. This effort will be compensated by the amazing views from the summit which stretch all the way from Dhaulagiri I and the Annapurna Massif to Mount Everest and Cho Oyu all the way to Shisha Pangma in Tibet.
Day 39: Manaslu Base Camp - Samagaon
After having spent 27 days on the mountain, we start our journey back to civilisation. We say good-bye to our Sherpa team and walk back to Samagaon where we check in to our rooms in the familiar lodge.
Day 40: Samagaon - Kathmandu
A spectacular helicopter flight takes us back to Kathmandu, where we enjoy the amenities of our hotel after having slept in tents for one month.
Day 41: Kathmandu
Now we have time to buy souvenirs, visit barber shops or hairdressers, or simply visit one of the temples, where we have the opportunity to thank the gods for their mercy. During our farewell dinner, we can reminisce about the amazing expedition we have just experienced. We drive to the airport to start the definitive journey home.
Day 42: Arrival Back Home
The Profilecheck is a fixed part of the detailed travel programme. Please read it thoroughly and assess your skill and physical condition. Due to the score required for this expedition, your score will indicate whether or not your skills, fitness and mountaineering experience are sufficient to join this expedition. Your registration is a testimony of your physical and technical abilities to participate in this expedition.
Please take note of the following points concerning procedure of this expedition:
- The expedition is demanding and exhausting.The high altitude alone entails several risks.
- The members do not have to be super alpinists, however, they should have a solid amount of high altitude mountaineering experience and have to be able to move securely and independently through very rough terrain (snow, ice, rock, etc.). You have to independently rope up with a group. Active participation on the mountain, camaraderie and tolerance are an essential part of this expedition and we count on you to be able to provide this.
- You have to be able to recognise your own limits on the mountain and be prepared to, if necessary, abandon the attempt and turn back. You join this expedition at your own responsibility.
- The leader of the expedition is responsible for the management of the entire group, and personal support is not one of his/her responsibilities. Nevertheless, every member has to prepared to follow the decisions made by the leader. The decisions are always made in the group’s interest.
- Depending on the circumstances and conditions on the mountain, improvisations and changes to the itinerary might be necessary.
- Kobler & Partner do not take any liability for accidents, damages or loss of equipment.
- Organisation of the entire expedition
- International flights, including taxes
- Check-in luggage (max. 30 kg, detailed information is included in the final documents)
- Helicopter flight from base camp to Kathmandu after the expedition
- All transfers; bus and jeep rides
- Pre-expedition briefing at Bächli Bergsport in Bern plus a 10%-voucher for equipment purchase
- Summit fees
- Half board in Kathmandu
- Full board during the entire trip
- Drinks during group meals for the duration of the trek and the climbing period (except for alcoholic drinks)
- Number of hotel nights in double rooms (see itinerary)
- Luggage transport to and from base camp (pack animals / porters)
- Entire base camp equipment (good mess tent, toilet tent, shower tent ...)
- 1 tent per member at base camp
- 1 tent per 2 members during the trek and at the high camps
- Foam mat at base camp
- Fixed ropes, mountain ropes, snow stakes, ice screws, etc.
- High altitude stove (gas) and pots
- Communication (radio) at base camp (12 volts)
- Radios: 1 radio (9 volts) per 2 members
- Satellite phone, exclusive call charges
- Internet and email at base camp (exclusive charges)
- Weather forecast from Meteotest, Switzerland
- Solar system for lighting in the mess tent
- Electricity at base camp to charge electronic devices (limited availability)
- Rescue sledge for emergencies
- Medical oxygen for emergencies
- Large medical kit with pulse oximeter at base camp
- Medical kits at the high camps
- Medical kit for summit attempt
- Kitchen: chef and kitchen boys
- 1 porter per 3 members including insurance, provisions, fee and good equipment by Kobler & Partner
- Obligatory liaison officer
- Nationally certified, experienced mountain guide
- Individual drinks
- Individual, performance-based tips
- In case no roommate can be found for a booked double room, we charge half of the single room surcharge (check additional cost)
- Visa fee for Nepal
- Personal medication
- Additional charges that may arise due to possible changes to the itinerary.
With more than 100 successful ascents, Kobler & Partner has extensive experience in using bottled oxygen on Everest, and we would like to share this knowledge with you. The use of supplemental oxygen significantly reduces the risk of frostbite, loss of concentration as well as poor performance, however, it increases your chances of reaching the summit in good time.
For this reason, we recommend to ascend an 8,000m peak with supplemental oxygen. The use of bottled oxygen stays optional and the required amount varies heavily from individual to individual, which is why the price for oxygen bottles is not included in the expedition price.
Tested and filled oxygen bottles have to be bought before the start of the expedition, which requires our members to pay for their oxygen in advance. The rental costs (see Additional Costs) include one bottle of O2, including mask, regulator, transport to the high camps and, of course, the transport back.
In case the rented equipment is damaged, the repair costs have to be covered by the member in question. In case the rented oxygen systems are not used, the costs cannot be refunded.
During this trip, you have the option to hire a personal porter. This individual support makes your climb much easier. A personal porter carries your personal equipment (approximately 10 kg) to the high camps and accompanies you to the summit. This additional support increases your chances to reach the summit and adds to the safety of the entire group.
1 porter per 3 members.
Kobler & Partner has organised more than ten successful Manaslu expeditions. Our experience has shown that 27 days are plenty of time for a successful ascent of Manaslu. When climbing an 8,000m peak, the aspirants are required to ascend and descend between base camp and the high camps several times which supports the acclimatisation. If the first summit attempt is not successful, we still have enough time to give it another go.
In the Himalayas, there are two special types of climate that clash with each other:
The southern parts of the Himalaya experience a sub-tropic monsoon climate with most of the precipitation happening in summer. The northern parts experience an arid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. Generally speaking, the two possible weather windows for expeditions in the Himalaya are in spring (pre-monsoon) and in autumn (post-monsoon). Both of them have advantages and disadvantages which are more or less important, depending on the chosen target of the expedition.
The pre-monsoon period (spring) has warmer temperatures, but more precipitation. Regular rain is very likely. In the post-monsoon period (autumn), temperatures tend to be lower, however, weather windows may be longer.
Our crew consists of Nepali Sherpas and a Nepali kitchen team. Over the years, Kobler & Partner have invested a lot of time and effort to establish a great Sherpa team. In order to optimise the communication between our Nepali team and our members, the Sherpas are required to attend an English language course that is organised by Kobler & Partner during the winter months. The preparations for an expedition and the recruitment of the local crew take place in the autumn in the year prior to the expedition.
In Kathmandu we stay in the comfortable Shangri-La hotel (basic double room). During the trek to and from base camp, we spend the nights in simple lodges, otherwise in tents.
The expedition price includes international flights. Scheduled flights from Switzerland usually depart in the morning, however, the airlines flight times are subject to change. We are also happy to check other points of departure for you.
If your point of departure results in additional charge we will inform you in due time. For train times to Swiss airports, please check the timetable of the Swiss Railways: SBB Fahrplan.
The visas are organised upon arrival and are not included in the expedition price.
Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the intended return date.
Gearlist Expedition Manaslu
- 2 duffle bags, 110l (water-proof, available from K&P at a
discount for members)
- Down jacket or down suit for expeditions
- Primaloft jacket or light down jacket
- Goretex Jacket
- Softshell Jacket
- Midlayer (fleece sweater or jacket)
- Trekking pants, light and long
- Softshell pants for mountaineering
- Goretex pants
- Expedition down pants or down suit
Baselayers / T-shirts
- Long-sleeved thermal top
- Thermal tights
- Insolated shell gloves
- Expedition down mittens
- Liner gloves, thin, silk or fleece
- Camp boots (non-technical winter boots or trainers)
- Trekking boots
- High-altitude all in-one boots for 8000m
- Trekking Socks
- Heavyweight socks, thick and warm
- -30°C down sleeping bag for base camp (available for rent from K&P)
- -40°C down sleeping bag for high camps
- Insulated inflatable sleeping pad
- Down booties (nice to have!)
- Pillow case (stuffed with your down jacket, it makes a nice
Headgear, face and eye protection
- Glacier goggles (with nose guard, if possible)
- Ski goggles, high UV-protection (also protects from the wind)
- Baseball cap
- Beanie, warm
- Balaclava or face mask (wind-stopper or neoprene)
- Sunscreen, SPF 50
- Lipscreen, SPF 50
- Backpack approximately 60 l
- Raincover for backpack
- Climbing harness, light
- Ice axe, light
- Walking poles
- Crampons with anti-balling plates (customised to fit expedition boots)
- 2 Carabiners (light, wiregate)
- 3 HMS carabiners (light, screwgate)
- Ascender (Jumar)
- Belay device (figure 8 recommended)
- Cord, 5m, 7 mm (for the Jumar system)
- Cord, 5m, 5 mm
- Sling 120 cm / Dyneema
- 1 Ice screw (19 cm)
- Compression bags for down equipment
- Food utensils, light, for high camps (bowl including cutlery)
- Water bottle with large opening (Nalgene)
- Pee bottle / Plastic bags
- Headlamp (including spare batteries) and a small spare headlamp
- Pocket knife or multi-tool/Leatherman
- Hand and toe warmers
- Departure letter from K&P (contains the final information)
- Cash for personal use and tips
- Credit card (MasterCard or Visa)
- Passport copy
- 2 Passport photographs
- Small personal first-aid kit (personal medication / compeed)
- Writing utensils
- Toiletry bag
- Microfibre travel towel
- Hand sanitizer (50 ml)
- Ear plugs
- Tissues, wet wipes
- Photographic equipment
Your K&P mountain guide will provide well-stocked medical kits for base and high camps, radios, GPS, travel books and maps.
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