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Manaslu Facts and History

Located forty miles east of Annapurna, Manaslu (also called Kutang), the eighth highest mountain in the world, dominates the Gurkha massif.  The name Manaslu is derived from the Sanskrit word Manasa meaning "Mountain of the Spirit".

After several failed attempts a Japanese party finally made the first ascent of Manaslu, (26758 ft/8163 meters) in 1956; it wasn't climbed again until 1971.  In 1997 Charlie Mace made the first American ascent and since that time only four other Americans had stood on Manaslu's summit until the succesful 2002 American expedition. The route is of moderate technical difficulty, but the true difficulty will be the grueling nature of this remote peak.  After an arduous trek to base camp the climber will be faced with a circuitous route up a mountain infamous for heavy snow accumulation.  Avalanches and sheer exhaustion will be their major obstacles.

A brief History of climbing Manaslu

1950: H.W. Tilman, made his famous reconnaissance of Manaslu after his unsuccessful attempt on Annapurna 4. He stated he believed there was a potential route to the of Summit of Manaslu via the northeast. 

1952: A Japanese reconnaissance party reached 5275 meter on the east side of the mountain.

1953: The first attempt to Summit Manaslu was made by a Japanese team of 15 climbers led by Yukio Mita via the Northeast face. K. Kato, J. Yamada and S Ishizaka made a summit push reaching 7750 meter before turning back. 

1954: Yaichi Hotta planned to lead a 14 member Japanese team on the Second Summit attempt of Manaslu, again via the Northeast. But villagers in the area refused to let them enter the area, therefore no attempt was made. 

1956: A Japanese team led by Yuko Maki made the first ascent of Manaslu via the North. This 12 member team established camp 6 at 7800 meter and on May 9th. Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu Sherpa aka Galalzen Norbu reached the Summit. On May 11th, Kiichiro Kato and Minoru Higeta reached the Summit via the same route. 

1971: Kazuharu Kohara and Motoki, part of a 11 man team from Japan,  reached the Summit on May 17th via the NW spur. The Japanese had all the ascents of Manaslu at this point !

1971: Kim Ho-Sup led a Korean expedition to Manaslu to attempt via the Northeast. Kim Ki-Sup died when he fell on May 4th, 1971. 

1972: The Austrian expedition led by Wolfgang Nairz made the first ascent via the SW face. On April 25th, Reinhold Messner, reached the Summit, Franc Jaeger and Andy Schrick disappeared on the Summit Plateau on the same day in a horrible storm. 

1972: The Koreans returned with a 12 members expedition led by Kim Jung-Sup via the Northeast Face route. On April 10th 1972, an avalanche killed 16 climbers including 10 Sherpas climbers, the Korean expedition leader and Kazunari Yasuhisa from Japan. 

1973: Gerhard Schmatz led a West German expedition to Manaslu. Gerhard, Sigi Hupfauer and a Sherpa climber reached the summit via the Northeast Face on April 22nd. In 1973, Jaume Garcia Orts led a Spanish Expedition in Autumn that was not successful reaching only 6100 meters. 

1974: The Japanese were back with a women team led by Kyoko Sato attempting via the East ridge. Unable to summit via the East ridge, Naoko Nakaseko, Masako Uchida  Mieko Mori and Jambu Sherpa reached the Summit on May 4th via the Northeast route. These were the first women to Summit Manaslu.  Sadly, Sadako Suzuki fell and died on the 5th of May between camp 4 and 5. 

1975: Jaume Garcia Orts was back with his 12 memebr Spanish Expedition and had two climbers and a Sherpa reach the Summit via the Northeast Face route on April 26th. Gerald Garcia, Jeronimo Lopez and Sonam Sherpa. 

 

 

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