The Expedition Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Manaslu Expeditions.
You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:
Manaslu Expedition 2020 Trip Notes
We will be accepting experienced climbers to participate in the team who have prepared themselves through a progression of ascents of ever-higher peaks.
The team will have a minimum size of 6 members and 1 guide and maximum size of 12 members and 2 guides.
The Base Camp will be staffed by a Sherpa Sirdar/Cook. A team of between 4 and 8 Climbing Sherpas will carry loads and support the summit climb.
The expedition leader will be scheduled approximately six months out from the trip start. All of our trip leaders to the 8,000m peaks have extensive experience at high altitude and a proven record of safety, success and compatibility.
Based in Lake Hawea, New Zealand our NZ Chief Guide, Dean Staples, leads both international expeditions and New Zealand trips. A multi-talented IFMGA guide with over two decades of guiding experience, Dean is a super friendly guy, with great patience and leadership skills. Dean has a multitude of climbing achievements under his belt, including an impressive 9 summits of Everest and an Everest-Lhotse double summit in 2013.
Head Office Support Team
Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.
Katie has been with Adventure Consultants since 2019 in the role of Client Liaison. Having spent many years working in the outdoor industry, Katie brings a wealth of experience to her role.
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 Experience 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.
Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.
What You Carry
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). See our Fitness Training Programs for details on how we can help you prepare for the challenge ahead!
Our Base Camp equipment and ample, nutritious meals are always the envy of other groups on the mountain!
AC imports western food for our Nepal based expeditions and we supplement this with fresh and dried Nepalese products. Our expeditions are renowned for the quality of the food and the expertise of the cooks. We specially train our cooks at specialist cooking skills and you will be amazed at what great food they produce from their expedition kitchen. We bring a variety of foods and snack foods to cater to most tastes however we recommend you bring a small selection of your favourite snack food/treat for the trekking days or high on the mountain and some Gu/Powergels for the big days.
Clothing & Equipment
Expedition members will be sent a list detailing all necessary clothing and equipment to be individually provided.
Like most mountains, Manalsu has its hazards. These include crevasses, icefall danger, falls where there is no fixed rope and avalanches. There are dangers associated with altitude that we will manage by a sensible acclimatisation program with the support of medications and specialised equipment for treatment of altitude related issues.
Avalanche hazard on Manaslu is addressed by the avoidance of prone slopes and camp sites after heavy snowfalls. Adventure Consultants take a conservative approach to these hazards and wait for snow to settle or the completion of avalanche cycles. This generally leads to better climbing conditions anyway and patience in these situations usually provides rewards and increases safety margins significantly.
We will fix ropes on the mountain to safeguard members on steep terrain and where fixed ropes will ensure positive route finding on descent. Other teams arrive thinking they do not need fixed ropes and end up using the ropes we have placed. The fixed ropes provide the lifeline they need and hadn't planned for in advance. Under-resourced expeditions are common on the 8,000m peaks and people buy into them as a way to reduce cost. This is a false economy when they find they cannot summit due to lack of support, or even worse, do not have back-up or safety systems when it is most crucial.