Manaslu is a mountain in the Himalayas range of Nepal. The word “Manaslu” means “mountain of the spirit”. Manaslu is one of the eight-thousanders, with an elevation of 8163 meters (26,759 feet). It’s the eighth highest mountain in the world and has 10 peaks above 6500m, and a few are above 7000m.
Manaslu Facts for kids
- Manaslu is the eighth highest mountain in the world
- It’s 8163m high
- It’s also notorious for its dangerous avalanches
- The name Manaslu means “mountain of the spirit”
- Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu first climbed Manaslu on May 9, 1956.
Everything You Need To Know About Manaslu
It Is The Eight Highest Mountain In The World
That’s right. So few people have ever actually heard of Manaslu, but it’s a really important mountain.
Located in the Nepalese Himalayas in Nepal, this mountain stands at an eye-watering 8163 meters above sea level.
In comparison, Mount Everest (arguably the most well-known tall mountain as it is the tallest in the world) stands at around 8850 meters above sea level. So really, Mount Manaslu is an enormous challenge in its own right.
It Has Been Climbed Before
On May 9th, 1956, a Japanese exhibition explored the mountain, and two of their members were the first ever to reach the summit of this hard-to-reach mountain.
Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu became the first people to stand atop Manaslu, and the Japanese have always regarded it as their mountain since they were the first to conquer it.
It must have been a hard task because it wouldn’t be climbed again successfully until 1971, 15 years after the initial ascent.
There Are Multiple Routes To The Top
In fact, other members of Imanishi and Norbu’s exhibition in 1956 later joined them. The original two made it up the mountain first on May 9th by ascending the Northern route.
Two days later, members of their exhibition joined them from the same route by the names of Kiichiro Kato and Minoru Higeta.
However, the Japanese returned in 1971, and on May 17th Kazuharu Kohara and Motoki charted an alternative route from the North West.
Later an Austrian expedition conquered the mountain via a South-West route, and on May 4th, 1974, the first females to conquer the mountain approached via the North East Ridge, and again, they were Japanese.
The women that made it to the top were Naoko Nakaseko, Masako Uchida, Mikeo Mori, and Jambu Sherpa.
There Are Many Rare Species Around Manaslu
In fact, this particular mountain is an important habitat for the endangered snow leopard and red panda.
You can also find many other incredibly rare species such as Asian Black Bears, lynxes, gray wolves, blue sheep, and Himalayan Thar.
Remarkably, the only efforts for conservation that have been made are by Tibetan monks that live in the surrounding area.
They try to protect the wildlife and have imposed a hunting ban on the area to keep the animals safe.
It Is Culturally Significant
Locals refer to the mountain as ‘Spirit Mountain,’ and they believe that it is an important resting place for spiritual deities.
They, therefore, see the mountain as holy.
This may go some way to explaining why local villagers refused a Japanese exhibition entry in 1954, as they may have seen it is disrespectful to approach the mountain.
Many exhibitions have taken place since, but the locals still see Spirit Mountain as an important part of their culture.
It’s Not All About Reaching The Peak
Whilst climbing the mountain might be an incredibly hard task, it has become an important place for trekking in recent years.
Manaslu offers countless trekking routes like the Manaslu trek circuit, Tsum valley, and many others.
Many people will take the Manaslu circuit trek around the mountain and along other routes in the Himalayas to take in the amazing views that these trails offer.
Some will stay at base camp, and some will trek to the summit. As such, Base camp is a unique place to visit but needs the right preparation.
Rivers, valleys, and the surrounding mountains are all some of the exciting things you can see on these trails.
Treks Are Becoming More Popular
Not only do you get to see some amazing views, but you learn so much about the culture of Manaslu trekking and the surrounding area as you walk.
Local teahouses line the route, and these small teahouses, which are run by the locals, are a great place to stop off for food and drink or a night’s rest too.
All of which are charged, and you get to help support the local economy as you go. The rests along the route are also more than welcome!
A sherpa guide (mountain guide) can help with their local knowledge to ensure you see the sights and do everything safely.
It may take a little longer to hike the trail (four to five days/three nights is what we used), but it’s more than worth it.
It Is Steeped In History
The entire area surrounding Mount Manaslu is filled with history, and you get to see it all by trekking along the Manaslu route.
Everything from Tibetan and Hindu villages, a Buddhist Monastery where children once trained to be monks, as well as the Manakamana Temple – the treks around the area really let you see it all and allow you to really immerse yourself in the local culture and history.
It’s A Great Place For Nature Lovers
The Manaslu region has more varieties of wildflowers than any other stretch of the Himalayas.
You can see so many flowers as you follow the trek that you will struggle to remember them all.
In fact, the variety of flowers is so great that there are over 110 different birds in the area, too, giving you even more reason to take in the beautiful sights around you as you go.
There Is Permanent Snow
This fact relates to Mount Manaslu in particular, but there is permanent snow all year round above 5000m.
Whilst this is to be expected as most tall mountains have year-round snow, it’s interesting to think that the journey to the top must be so difficult, and even more interesting to think that the Japanese exhibition in 1956 made it to the top with little of the specialized equipment mountain climbers have today.
It Can Often Be Treacherous
The trekking route is not always an easy one, despite the hospitality you’ll find along the route.
The hardest part of the trek is crossing Larkya La Pass, which stands at over 5000 meters and can be especially frightening for new trekkers.
The weather also affects the trek regularly, with landslides, landfalls, and monsoon rain common in the area.
If You Want To Go, It Won’t Be Easy
In fact, the region only became open to general tourists in 1992, and a controlled tourism policy restricting the number of people allowed to trek in Nepal limited the number of people allowed to go trekking in the region.
This is to preserve the local culture and environment. Only around 2000 tourists actually get to explore the region each year, much to the disappointment of many trekkers eager to explore the beautiful area.