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Manaslu: 8th Highest Mountain in the World

Fast Facts About Manaslu


Manaslu: 8th Highest Mountain in the World

Manaslu is one of the most dangerous 8,000-meter peaks.

Photograph Stewart Green/Stockshots
Elevation: 26,758 feet (8,156 meters) Location: Nepal, Asia First Ascent: Toshia Imanishi (Japan) and Gyalzen Norbu (Nepal), May 9, 1956

Fast Facts:

  • The name Manaslu comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa, translated as “Mountain of the Spirit.” Manasa means "soul" or "spirit."

  • Manaslu is a very steep, sharp peak that dominates the landscape 40 miles east of Annapurna in the Manaslu Himal in northern Nepal.

  • Manaslu is the centerpiece of the 642-square-mile Manaslu Conservation Area, a conservation area intended to "To conserve and for sustainable management of the natural resources and rich cultural heritage and to promote ecotourism to improve livelihood of the local people in the MCA region."

  • Japanese climbers have owned Manaslu since the early 1950s. Four Japanese expeditions explored and attempted to climb Manaslu’s north and east faces between 1950 and 1955. The 1954 expedition was aborted after local villagers along the trek into the mountain exhibited hostility, blaming the previous expedition in 1952 for upsetting the mountain gods. The gods then caused avalanches which erased the Pung-gyen Monastery and killed 18 people. The team donated money to rebuild the monastery and appease some of the anger.

  • A Japanese expedition, led by Yuko Maki, in 1956 successfully climbed Manaslu, with Toshia Imanishi from Japan and Sherpa Gyalzen Norbu reach the summit on May 9.

  • After the first ascent, Manaslu was unclimbed until 1971 when another Japanese expedition placed two climbers, Kazuharu Kohara and Motoki, on the summit after successfully ascending the Northwest Spur.

  • In 1972 a Korean expedition attempted the Northeast Face, but on April 10 a huge avalanche killed 15 climbers, including 10 Sherpas, at their high camp at 21,300 feet (6,500 meters). Among the dead was expedition leader Kim Ho-sup.

  • In 1974 an all-women Japanese team became the first women to climb an 8,000-meter peak.
  • First American ascent was in 1997 by Charlie Mace. Another American expedition placed five climbers on the summit in 2002.

  • Manaslu is the fourth most dangerous 8,000-meter peaks to climb, behind K2, Nanga Parbet, and Annapurna, with 59 deaths since 1950.

  • Manaslu is a dangerous peak with a high fatality rate, high avalanche danger on the lower slopes, but easier non-technical climbing up high.
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