Manaslu

Health & Fitness

Your health

Expedition members will be provided with pre-trip medical advice and a medical questionnaire and asked to visit their family physician to receive a full medical examination.  This information will be sighted only by the expedition leader and our medical adviser and treated with full confidentiality.

Level of climbing skills required

There is no definitive measure for assessing the required skill-level to climb Manaslu so we prefer to discuss this on an individual basis.  However, there are some broad guidelines that can be applied from the outset.

A successful team member will have been visiting the mountains for at least three seasons and made ascents of peaks up to 18-20,000 feet (5,500 - 6,000 metres).  It is quite common for members to have previously climbed Mt McKinley in Alaska, Aconcagua in South America, or various Mexican volcanoes as training for Manaslu.

He/she will be familiar with fixed rope and crevasse travel techniques and have a good overall standard of fitness.

Age itself is no barrier.  To date we have succeeded on Himalayan trips with members aged from 22 to 65 years of age.

A fierce determination and a burning desire to climb the mountain are essential prerequisites for this expedition.  The guides and other expedition staff will provide the leadership, tactics and overall decision making required during the climb, but members will contribute to the day to day expedition requirements such as melting snow, cooking in your tents on the mountain, helping with pitching tents etc.

What you carry on the mountain

We have the luxury of a strong Sherpa team that will carry all the team equipment, food and ropes on the mountain. Whilst there are some instances where the Sherpas may take a couple of small items for you to the next camp, this is only occasional and you are expected to carry your personal gear. When you put all your gear into a pack it still amounts to between 18-25kg so the load is not insignificant and you must come prepared for the high level of physical output. This reinforces the need to take just the right amount of equipment with you on the mountain and to ensure you are ‘pack fit’ before you arrive on the expedition.

Technical training specific to Manaslu

We climb Manaslu via the South West Ridge, a technical route, and considered to be the standard route. The route is considered a relatively safe route by Himalayan standards. It is a varied and interesting route with loads of superb climbing on snow, rock and ice. On Manaslu, the hardest pitches of technical rock and ice climbing are not sustained but tend to come in short manageable sections, all with ropes fixed in place.

One of the most energy absorbing activities, if not done properly, is ascending a steep fixed rope. Getting specific training in this area is important for not wasting energy at altitude (it’s hard enough at sea level). By practicing at a local cliff or climbing gym you should be able to get all your lengths of leash attachments right and fine tune your technique.

Other skills specific to Manaslu include travelling along rocky ridges in your plastic mountaineering boots, camping in the snow, rapelling/abseiling and general mountain movement (difficult if you live in a city).

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