Thursday, September 22, 2011

Manaslu Route Description


Base Camp to Camp 1

BC is located at 4,665 meters and while it is well situated on rock and protected from winds, the valley’s clouds condense at this altitude and often result in significant snowfall. The climbing begins immediately out of base camp as we step onto the Manaslu Glacier. The route will be heavily crevassed. I will use fix rope over the more dangerous sections. Camp I at 5,500 meters, which is located in a comfortable col at the head of the Manaslu glacier at the foot of the North Peak, a separate satellite mountain of Manaslu. The climb from base camp to camp one takes ~3hours.

Camp 1 to Camp 2

From Camp 1, the route continues up steep slopes to a massive and often highly active icefall, but weaving between seracs, I passe underneath the icefall to reach a steep slope that will be fixed with rope up to Camp II. Camp 2 is sheltered by a series of ice cliffs at 6,300 meters. Camp two is located at the top of the serac section of the climb on a somewhat flat area safe from danger, although this campsite can receive a lot of snow accumulation. This is the most technical section of the climb and takes ~5hours.


Camp 2 to Camp 3

From Camp 2, the route continues up the upper glacier, traveling through a series of snow shelves before ascending a steeper snow slope to reach a large col with magnificent views of the surrounding peaks. Camp 3 is placed on a flat saddle that sits just below the col, hence the reason this campsite receives strong winds frequently. The climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 is the less strenuous day by being one of the shortest on the mountain and takes between 1.5-3 hours.

Camp 3 to Camp 4

From Camp 3 at 6,700 meters, the route continues up the remaining glacier weaving through seracs with some short steep sections of ice and snow. Then, the route goes directly up the steeper northeast slopes, and passing through some short ice bulges to reach an upper snow slope. There is an exposed traverse with remains of past expeditions in the shape of old abandoned and destroyed tents which will take me to Camp IV at 7,300 meters. The summit, which has not been in our view since Samagaon, is now deceivingly close, however, it is still a long way to go. The climb from camp three to camp four takes ~6 hours.

Camp 4 to Summit

From Camp 4, I will climb up snow slopes which involve short, steep sections in potentially deep snow before arriving at the final pyramid slope. There is a comfortable false summit just below the true summit, which is a spot where many people stop. The true summit is reached with an exposed technical traverse for around 70 meters in linear distance. The climb from camp four to the summit takes ~7 hours with 2-4 hours for the descent to camp four.

The descent can be fast, but I will stay at Camp 4 to clean up the Camps.

Topo Map


  1. Sophie,

    Best wishes on your Manaslu climb for a safe trip and a summit! What company are you climbing with this time?


  2. All the best monami ... we are thinking of you ... best wishes for a memorable summit and for a safe trip on the way down... looking forward to hearing all about it and seeing the pictures... keep living our dream ;-)
    Vanessa, Mike and Michelle