P7 - You will be pushed physically to the limit and then beyond. Long and arduous preparation is required before this expedition. Expect to be carrying pack weights up to 25kg. Be prepared for very long, sustained days with hours well into double figures on a regular basis. Discomfort to achieve your goal is to be expected.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
T5 - Competent Alpine climbing ability. Should be comfortable on Scottish Winter III ground or Alpine AD. Complete understanding and confidence in use of your technical kit will be required.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
Date & Prices
Pics & Vids
Manaslu, 8,156m, is the eighth highest mountain in the world. An expedition to its summit is a fantastic example of high altitude mountaineering and the epitome of great Himalayan adventure. This one is perfect for your first 8,000m mountain, or a warm-up for K2 or Mount Everest.
Following in the footsteps of its first climbers (Imanishi and Norbu) we trek to base camp through local villages glimpsing our goal, the white giant on the horizon, seemingly at every turn. For a week, we gain altitude as broad river valleys narrow and the trail cuts into steep mountainside. From basecamp we’ll take the North East face with 4 spectacularly located camps en-route to the summit. Compared to other 8,000m peaks Manaslu’s usual approach has moderate technical terrain with a short but active icefall above camp 1 and a steep slope fixed with safety line near the summit. However, its extreme altitude and avalanche potential make this a mountain to be taken seriously.
We enhance our excellent success rate by using expedition style climbing methods, modern basecamp and mountain facilities and an extremely strong Western guide and Sherpa team for logistical support. Manaslu gives you huge satisfaction, testing Himalayan expedition experience and an opportunity to build critical skills for your next big challenge…Find out more
Date & Prices
We currently have no scheduled dates for this expedition, however if you give the office a call on 0207 1834 360 it would be easy for us to get this up and running.
- Experienced 360 Mountain Guide and very experienced climbing Sherpa. Minimum 1:2 Sherpa: client ratio for entire expedition
- Expedition permit, Nepal visa fee, all required National Park permits and radio permit
- Nepali support staff: Liaison Officer, Climbing Sherpa support, Cook and Kitchen boy on sharing basis with their equipment, wages and insurance
- Initial meals in Kathmandu, all food at base camp & on the mountain (H.A.M) for climbers and support staff
- Transport: Airport transfers, transportation to and from Arughat
- Accommodation: 4 nights hotel in Kathmandu, all hotel accommodation in en-route on full board basis
- Porters: All necessary porters to carry the load to and from base camp
- Team equipment: All Kitchen and camping equipment, base camp & mountain tent, gas heater, generator & solar panel, Epi gas, 2 bottles of oxygen with mask and regulator
- All agency service charges
- Dwarika’s 9 course degustacion celebration meal
- International flights
- Optional helicopter transfer after descent
- Personal equipment
- Personal insurance
- Airport departure tax
- Telephone and laundry
- Alcoholic beverages
- Personal climbing equipment and items of a purely personal nature
- Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets
Pics & Vids
DAY 1 : Depart home country
Today we will fly out to Kathmandu.
DAY 2 : Arrive Kathmandu
Arrive Kathmandu, transfer to good local hotel, full briefing by 360 Guide.
DAY 3 : Preparation in Kathmandu
Today is all about final preparations for the expedition ahead.
DAY 4 - 11 : Transfer to start of trek at Arughat
Transfer to start of trek at Arughat, trek to Base Camp, essential acclimatisation.
DAY 12 - 41 : Ascent of Manaslu
Climbing period of 4 weeks.
DAY 42 : Sama Guan
Return to Sama Guan.
DAY 43 : Kathmandu
Helicopter to Kathmandu (excluded from costs).
DAY 44 : Kathmandu
Spare day in Kathmandu
DAY 45 : Return UK
Today we fly back home.
These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the expedition and what you will experience.
Bags & Packs
Medium size internal frame pack (60 litre capacity). Look for a pack which is comfortable to carry, very durable, as light as is reasonable and one which has a minimum number of gadgets and fripperies to go break
Waterproof rucksack cover
To protect rucksack from rain
We normally pack all our equipment in two large duffel bags. Make sure they are well labeled with indelible ink as well as a travel tag. The duffels go on the trek/climb with you and will be carried by porters and yaks. Expect for them to get wet and muddy, so rugged, waterproof tarpaulin duffels are good. Bags with wheels are nice for the airport, but the porters and yaks don’t like to carry them, so don’t bring wheeled bags (or at least not two of them).
You will also store some travel clothes at the hotel in Kathmandu while trekking, so a small additional bag with a lock might be handy. You’ll want padlocks, but for flying out from abroad, it might be better to use plastic zip ties which can be cut by TSA staff if necessary (bring extra zip ties) or TSAapproved padlocks. Tip: Bring 5 large plastic rubbish bags to pack gear inside duffels to protect everything from rain
A smaller rucksack makes a great carry-on bag for your flight and is useful during the trek for smaller walks on acclimatisation days, or once back in town
5 Season sleeping bag
5-season sleeping bag with a comfort rating of -40C is essential. Down is lighter but more expensive than synthetic and ratings vary between manufacturers
Sleeping bag liner
These liners can be fleece or silk. They can increase the warmth of the sleeping bag and help to keep it clean
Bring a Mammut or Thermarest mat. Having its own stuff sack helps to prevent punctures
Wool or fleece hat with good ear protection – eg stocking style
Light, versatile headpiece / neckwear
Bring good sunglasses with side protection. For contact lens wearers, ski goggles with light color lenses (for use at night) might be useful in windy conditions.
Ski goggles are essential for all climbers in really stormy conditions and can serve as an emergency back up for broken or lost sunglasses
Highest factor possible, use tubes small enough to fit in your pocket for regular reapplication or consider high factor single application lotion like P20
Keep this handy or put it on the end of string around your neck, you’ll need it frequently
Generally made using feathers, these are the ultra-warm and insulated layer that are used when at camp or in extremely cold environments. Those with a windproof outer fabric will provide the best insulation. Ask advice in the shop (or from us) when buying the jacket and mention you want it rated to -25C and the assistant will recommend the correct fill for you
A good Gore-tex Hard shell jacket with sealed seams provides effective defence against wind and rain as your outermost layer. This should be big enough to fit over your other layers
Fleece or soft shell layering pieces that work well with the rest of your clothing. A soft shell jacket and an expedition weight thermal top will work well
Synthetic tops. Zip neck tops are the way to go
T-shirts / Trekking tops
Lighter top to wear trekking at lower altitudes. Keep your trekking gear to a minimum – you can handwash stuff along the way
Fleece or down mittens with an over-mitten. Nothing competes with a mitt for warmth when the going gets tough
Ski or climbing gloves
A warm insulated glove with leather palm will be worn a lot of the time
Polartec or windproof fleece. Leather or abrasion resistant palms handle the fixed lines better. Leather gloves or good abrasion resistant climbing glove for the rock sections
Lightweight waterproof-breathable shell trousers or salopettes with full-length leg zippers. ALSO very useful are synthetic insulation full-zip trousers for evenings and cold summit day
These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts
Look for construction that provides freedom of movement and/or stretch materials. Fabric should be a breathable synthetic that preferably holds up to abrasion. I’d recommend a Schoeller fabric climbing pant for general use and zippered fleece pants for the summit push
Essential for higher altitudes
Thermal insulation for the lower body
Base layer bottom
High altitude boots
A must have item for 8000m where standard plastic boots will be in-adequate due to temperature extremes. An expensive item but once attained can be used for multiple 8000m expeditions. Crampon compatible and heavily insulated boot. Leading models are: Scarpa Phantom 8000, Millet, and La Sportiva Olympus Mons.
Approach boots /shoes
A good example is the La Sportiva Trango S, which will work on the trek and approach to Camp 1, and even up to Camp 2 if conditions warrant
To protect the tops of your footwear from harsh conditions and to provide some added insulation
Four pairs of climbing socks
A 60 cm length is probably the most useful length. Bring a lightweight axe with a pick that will stick easily in hard glacier ice. Attach a lightweight wrist leash that is usable for climbing steeper terrain. The summit day is a consistent 40 degrees, so a shorter axe is necessary
12 Point crampons. These must be sharp and must fit your boot perfectly
Make sure the buckle is easy for you to thread in cold conditions! Gear loops will be useful for this trip as well as adjustable leg loops
Required. Be sure you can comfortably fit a warm hat underneath
Bring 3 locking and 4 lightweight regular. It is helpful if at least one of the locking carabiners has a “key gate”, like the Petzl Attaché
Bring one handled ascender and one Petzl Tibloc for ascending the fixed rope
You will need rigging material – two sewn 48″ nylon slings and 10′ of 8 mm perlon should be sufficient. Also include one small 5 mm prussic loop (about 120cm of cord tied with a double fisherman’s knot) for a rappel backup
For rappelling the Black Diamond ATC Guide is good since it can handle ropes from 7.7mm to 11mm.
A Figure 8 is an old standby and works on a variety of ropes and also icy ropes. While it twists the ropes more, it is quite foolproof. You might consider both, in case you drop one of them and lose it
Water bottles / bladder
Two wide mouth plastic or Nalgene water bottles with insulated covers. A small Thermos bottle is great for cold mornings
Iodine or chlorine tablets or iodine crystals (Polar Pure). One bottle of Potable Aqua (enough to treat 25 litres) should be more than sufficient
A few items of a less technical / more casual nature will be useful for flying in, go around town in and dining rooms etc
A must have for good camp hygiene
Great for washing when shower facilities become a thing of the past, one packet will suffice
In a Ziploc bag – nothing worse than using frozen toilet roll
Personal first aid kit
To include the following:
- Blister treatment – compeed or similar
- Zinc tape
- Aspirin / Ibuprofen / Paracetemol – take all of any of these, some climbers take a 75mg aspirin every day up high
- Loperamide / Imodium
- Plasters and steristrips
360 Expeditions will be taking a comprehensive first aid kit but it is highly advisable that each team member takes the following drugs with them. This is particular important for the high altitude medication.
- Antibiotic for upper respiratory problems (Zithromax Z-Pak)
- Antibiotic for GI problems (Ciprofloxacin and/or ZPak
- Diamox (acetazolamide) for acclimatization (125 mg tabs recommended; enough for a week)
- A few sleeping pills for the first few days of jet lag
- Malaria Prophylaxis (not needed unless you go to low areas in Nepal or Thailand, in which case we suggest Malarone)
- Asthma medication, if any history (for example an Advair inhaler — many people find this VERY useful for “Khumbu Cough” bronchitis/irritation which can ruin your expedition and prevent you from climbing)
- Nifedipine (for Pulmonary Oedema; the 30 mg timerelease x 2 tablets)
- Dexamethasome (for Cerebral Oedema; 4 mg x 10 tablets
An altimeter watch is useful
Bring a good LED headlamp with 2 sets of lithium batteries for cold conditions. We recommend the Petzl MYO RXP
These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill
Contact lenses / glasses
Bring extra prescription glasses or contact lenses if you wear them. Lens solutions are not widely available in Nepal, bring enough for the duration
These make great pack liners in wet weather o the walk in
The food on the expedition is great but you’ll enjoy having a few home comforts. Take high-energy goodies to give you a boost on harder days. Consider some high-sugar drinks mixers to mask the iodine flavor (give the iodine 30mins to take action before mixing). On summit day Power Gel or similar glucose blasts might be useful energisers
Books / ipod. There is a little library at Base Camp, and share books amongst yourselves. Remember, hardbacks are heavy
A lightweight solar charger may be useful for cameras and ipods
Remember that the cold hammers batteries, take spares and the means to keep them charged. Remember too that a big SLR adds weight and bulk that you might not appreciate higher up
Bring an insulated mug with a lid, a decent sized bowl, spoon, pocket knife and lighter. You are better to bring lighters from the abroad. TSA says you can carry them on, or pack two in a DOT approved case. Lighters from Kathmandu are neither good nor reliable
Food and Water
What food is available on the trek, base-camp and the mountain? How about snacks?
All meals on the mountain are of the highest possible standards. Considering that our cooks have to produce the best possible meals in a wilderness setting using only the most basic of facilities (kerosene stoves) the meals they produce are nothing short of miracle. The meals are always fresh, nutritious and varied. We ensure that dietary preferences are always met and that the best local ingredients are used. We aim to provide a variety of western foods to keep up our appetites and pride ourselves in having base-camp cooks that provide quality meals.
On the mountain we usually have a wide variety of MRE meals, these are significantly tastier than freeze dried, as they are real food vacuum-sealed and ready to heat and eat. The underlying aim is to provide balanced nutritional meals packed with carbohydrates to refuel hungry bodies and to replenish stores for the next day of activity.
Clients are also provided with coffee, tea and snacks upon arrival into camp. The morning wake up call at basecamp is usually accompanied with a cup of tea or coffee in your tent. Clients are invited to bring along any of their favourite snacks and goodie bags from home as they are expensive to buy once on the trek. Concentrate on high-energy foodstuffs such as Jelly Babies etc to give you that little boost on an arduous day. Meals on the trek in and at base camp will include fresh fruits and vegetables. Lightweight nutritious foods are prepared higher on the mountain.
Where does the drinking water come from?
For the first day bottled drinking water will be used. At the higher camps we will use locally sourced drinking water from streams, springs or glacier. These are usually fresh being topped up from meltwater above or by rainfall but we also increase their purity by treating the water with purification chemicals or by boiling it. We try to ensure the water is as pure as possible.
How often is fresh water available for refilling during a typical trekking and climbing day?
Before leaving camp in the morning you will fill your water bottles or camelbak. If this runs low you will have ample more water to replace it with. For most walking days water can be replenished at the lunchtime site. In Nepal water and soft drinks can be bought at some of the lodges encountered on the route.
Will I have to share a tent on this expedition?
You will have your own tent in base camp, but on the mountain, you will be sharing a tent with others. We generally book you into a twin shared room in the hotel in Kathmandu, and it is twin share in the lodges on the trek into base camp. A single supplement is available upon request. Please contact our office for further details. Most altitude related symptoms manifest themselves at night. We therefore recommend tent sharing above base camp. Tent share is always organised according to similar sex and where possible age groups. Obviously if climbing this mountain with a friend or partner then you will be able to share tents, and if you’re a group we’ll ask you to make your own arrangements. If you have joined the team by yourself then it is highly likely that you will be sharing a tent with your pre-assigned room buddy unless prior arrangements have been made.
We use high quality 3 man tents to be shared between 2 people to provide extra space for your comfort and gear.
What are the lodges on the trek like?
The lodges or teahouses we use are tidy, clean, usually family run lodges. We have a good relationship with the lodge owners and they usually provide us with good meals during our stay.
What facilities do you have at base camp, I understand we might be there for quite a while?
Base camp is not a very hospitable place, but we strive to make you as comfortable as possible whilst we are storm-bound, acclimatising or waiting for conditions to become safe. Our mess tents are heated with gas heaters and a generator provides power for light and recharging electrical appliances. You will be given your own tent for the duration of your time at base camp so for down days you can chill out in your own space. We encourage you to take along books, (to swap and add to the exciting expedition library), personal music systems, and games to pass away the times. Plus our base camp staff cooks up a storm themselves! The meals are varied and cater for everyone’s taste and are something to look forward to!
Usually there are other teams sharing the BC and route with us and great friendships can be made by introducing yourself to these other teams.
Why choose 360 Expeditions for this 8,000m expedition?
The primary reason to choose our expedition company lies in the fact that one of the company directors himself will be joining the expedition and managing the expedition on the mountain with you. These guys are the professionals and want to assure that you get the best possible chance of topping out. It is after all their reputation and livelihood that is on the line.
Plus their backing from a hugely dedicated office crew means that our interests lie only in ensuring that you get the best summit chance. An entire team of people is working hard to make sure that you reach the summit.
The other most important reason for choosing our expedition company is that we work closely together with a 360 Sherpa and Nepali team with whom we have enjoyed a decade long successful climbing background. These guys are quite simply the best in the business. The people looking after you will not only have climbed the mountain before but will have an experience of 8,000m expeditions that is unsurpassed.
The Sirdar (head Sherpa guide) for example typically has multiple Everest ascents under his belt.
Why climb with the directors of 360 Expeditions?
The company directors joining you on this expedition have a background in leading expeditions of this nature that is world class.
Raj for example has summited Cho Oyu and Mount Everest with his own self-sufficient expeditions and has completed the coveted 7 summits. On six out of these seven he has worked in a leadership capacity and in one he acted as the expedition medical officer.
Rolfe (who will be leading) has summited or has been on 4 unsupported technically difficult 7,500m+ peaks and has climbed mountains in some of the most remote places in the world for more than 20 years. The key here is in the word “unsupported”. This type of expedition does not enjoy base camp services nor the help of anybody else except for your own team members on the hill. It is the school of hard knocks that teaches its lessons well.
Our directors are keen to pass on their hard-earned knowledge to you, allowing you to come back from this expedition with not just a summit “tick” but more importantly with a huge amount of mountain know-how learnt and practiced.
Our directors know how to cope with the demands of high altitude the hard way and will handle the logistics on your expedition with a very thorough level of experience.
What route will we be taking?
The route that we will be taking is the North East face. This is considered the standard route and will allow for the best possible chance of success on this 8,000m peak.
What experience is necessary before attempting this climb?
From a technical point of view you ideally need to be comfortable on the equivalent of Alpine AD terrain or Scottish winter III grade.
Your attitude and level of fitness are equally important. Climbing an 8,000m peak can be mentally as well as physically challenging. Anyone climbing this mountain needs to have a focus and determination to succeed which should stem from your passion for climbing. You will spend a long time on expedition and everyone will have their ‘off days’. It is especially during these periods, when the going gets tough, that your mental strength and determination will help you cope with the rigours of high altitude expeditions.
Of course it goes without saying that the fitter you are the stronger you should be on the mountain. Building up as much endurance as possible before the climb is key. This training involves long days on the hill for many months prior to the expedition.
Ideally you would have also developed a good amount of high altitude experience previously by spending a few seasons climbing on 6,000m peaks or higher.
Typical examples of peaks to have climbed before Manaslu includes Mera Peak, Island Peak or ideally Aconcagua. We would consider someone who has completed at least one 6,000m peak provided they have a strong background in either Alpine, Pyrenean (this where 360 has their HQ) or Scottish winter climbing.
Describe how climbing Manaslu is a team effort?
Although this is a fully supported expedition, group members will be expected to share in some of the team tasks (for example fetching clean snow to melt into water) that can increase the reward and sense of achievement when an expedition member is more involved.
Most of the load carrying and setting up of the tents on the mountain will be done by the 360 Sherpa team that will allow you to focus more on your climbing.
What is the risk in climbing this peak?
The very nature of climbing an 8,000m peak is risky. Although there are risks associated with climbing any mountain whether it be Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc or Aconcagua, the risks on an 8,000m peak are considered greater. Anyone considering joining this expedition needs to accept the risks and take responsibility for their own actions on the mountain.
However, as we’ve already mentioned, we believe that 360 has the best team that is available. You will be led by an exceptional leader and our in-country logistics and support are second to none. We have some of the best Sherpa in the business who have summited 8,000m peaks multiple times including Everest. All this tremendous experience in our 360 team helps to keep you safer on the mountain.
How fit do I need to be for this expedition?
Climbers are expected to be in the best physical condition of their lives. The better your physical shape the more you will be able to handle the demands of climbing the peak. This expedition is more arduous and physically demanding than most 360 expeditions as the duration and altitude gained is much higher. Having a good level of fitness will allow you to enjoy the expedition far more and increase your chances of reaching the summit. Summit day can be up to 20 hours long.
What is the leading team composed of? Climber to Sherpa ratio?
Our 360 Leaders are some of the most experienced in the business. They spend the majority of the year running expeditions to some of the most remote corners of the planet and over the years have developed a close rapport with the 360 local teams.
On your Manaslu expedition you will have one 360 Leader (company director) who has overall control of the expedition. He runs the expedition in close consultation with the local experts, the 360 Nepali team, and together they will formulate the safest and best strategy of producing a successful expedition. This expedition has a 2:1 ratio – 2 Clients to one climbing Sherpa. For the actual mountain phase (as opposed to the trekking phase) we adhere to the 2:1 ratio to allow us to look after you properly. The 360 leader is part of the ratio. Therefore with 3 climbers (which includes your 360 leader) you will have 2 Sherpa for 3 and so forth. At this level we always err on the side of caution.
The additional Sherpa support and their huge level of experience means that you will be safe, and that at no point on the mountain will you ever have to carry more than what you need for that day. All your camping and incidental equipment is transported between camps by our Sherpa team.
How many climbers are on this expedition?
Rarely more than 10. Typically a group has between 6 to 8 climbers. We advocate small teams on objectives like this as it enhances the team to form strong bonds and develop essential team spirit. The other big plus is that being on a small team allows our leaders and Sherpa to get to know you better and hence provide you with more attention and assistance should you need it.
Who will be my other team members?
Your fellow team members will have similar experience and ambitions to you. Our criteria for joining this expedition is that you have been to altitude before and have sufficient technical ability to cope with the terrain encountered on the mountain. Your teammates may come from a wide variety of backgrounds and will have different interests but the common ground is that you have all got what it takes to be on this expedition. In the past a great cast of characters have led to our expeditions being made all the more enjoyable. Life-long friendships have always developed by this shared experience.
How long is a typical day on the mountain?
The lengths of the days during the climbing phase of the expedition vary. Some camps are closer together or the conditions may be slower going. At the beginning of the expedition, the days will seem longer but as you get more acclimatised and adjusted to the regime, the days go quicker. Average days can be 5 – 10 hours long. Summit day can be up to 20 hours long. A good break will be had after every big day out to allow you to adjust.
Following is a typical profile of work/rest on an 8,000m peak:
- Arrive at base camp, rest for a few days
- Climb camp 1 and descend to base camp
- Climb camp 1, spend the night and next day descend to base camp
- Several rest days at base camp
- Climb to Camp 1 sleep here, continue to Camp 2 next day and spend two nights before descending to base camp
- Several rest days at base camp
- Climb to camp 2, next day climb to camp 3 and descend to base camp
- A couple of days of rest at base camp
- Climb to camp 2 sleep here. Next day continue to Camp 3 and spend two nights before descending to base camp
- Several rest days at base camp
- You should now by fit and acclimatised so with suitable weather and conditions the next time up could be a summit push. Either sleeping at each camp or by climbing to camp 2 directly from base camp.
Would it be ok if my family or friends come along on the trekking part of this trek?
The trek to Manaslu base camp offers a glimpse into quintessential Nepal. It encompasses a fantastic blend of culture, amazing views and provides a good insight into traditional Nepali life as well as what a true Himalayan expedition is all about. Of course it would be great to share this experience with your family and friends and we fully encourage you to do so.
Health and Safety
Do we use oxygen for this expedition?
Every team member will be allocated plenty of oxygen for summit day that consists of two bottles and a “Top-out” delivery system. This system is the most current way to provide high altitude climbers with O2 and is used by all leading climbers on the big peaks.
What happens if there is a problem on the mountain?
All our leaders are in communication with each other by phone and radio. In the vast majority of cases of emergency rescue the problems can be attributed to slow acclimatisation or altitude and if so the solution is immediate descent to lower altitudes. Our 360 Nepal crew is very experienced in dealing with any problems that may arise. Our leaders posses the highest standard of wilderness first aid and can handle emergencies to the highest level of competency.
Am I likely to suffer from altitude sickness on this expedition?
There are different types of altitude sickness. Although our acclimatisation regime ensures that everybody enjoys the best possible chance of getting high on the mountain, altitude-related problems can happen. The most common of these is high altitude sickness (AMS – acute mountain sickness).
Symptoms for this generally include:
This might all sound quite dramatic but generally this is just the process your body naturally goes through to adjust to the higher altitudes and the reduced partial pressure of the atmosphere. For some people the acclimatisation process takes a little longer than others.
For our leaders this is all part and parcel of ascending an 8,000m peak and although we assess each clients personal situation carefully we also further consider the compounding affects of dehydration brought on by excessive vomiting and loss of appetite.
AMS might sound frightening but our leaders are fully trained (and highly experienced) in helping to relieve your personal symptoms and provide advice on how to best proceed.
Our leaders have seen all types of conditions that the mountain produces, and they know how to deal with problems.
What can I do to help prevent AMS?
To help avoid AMS following the below rules can be simple but effective:
- Drink lots of water
- Walk slowly
- Stay warm
- Eat well
We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the various affects that altitude can cause. During your pre-climb briefing, we describe altitude sickness to you in detail, and advise you how to cope with it. The most important thing is not to fear it, but to respect it and to know how to deal with it and more importantly tell your leaders how you feel.
Is there a risk of getting HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) on the mountain?
The severe forms of altitude sickness, HACEand high altitude pulmonary HAPE can occur on Manaslu and our leaders are fully trained in recognition of the onset of these problems and will deal with them at the first sign of their development.
You advocate taking a small first aid kit, what should it have in it?
We advocate a little bit of self-help on the trek part of this expedition. If you have a blister developing for example then please stop take off your boot and treat it before it becomes a problem.
Your own first aid kit should contain: A basic blister kit, plasters, antiseptic, sun-protection, your own personal medication (sometimes your porter might get to camp after you and if he is carrying your medication you may not be able to take it according to the regime you are used to), basic pain relief (paracetemol/aspirin/ibuprofen,) a personal course of antibiotics if prone to illness etc. Generally the best approach to take when packing your first aid kit is to include such basic medications as if you would on a family or personal holiday.
Your 360 Leader and/or a local porter (we call the ambulance man!) carries a very comprehensive first aid kit that contains a wide range of supplies and medications. They are fully trained to use whatever is needed for any emergency that may arise. We advocate keeping this in mind when packing your own first aid supplies and keeping your own first aid kit as compact and light as possible.
For the mountain it is highly recommended to carry your own altitude drugs. We will help you source them but as a rule of thumb each member carries their own drugs on the mountain. We advocate that each team member carry these drugs in the same place so that if an emergency should arise their leader or team member can locate them easily.
How much will my pack weigh during the trek?
A daysack is worn by the climber at all times during the trek phase of this expedition. The content of this is mandatory and should include: a fleece (for when taking breaks or weather changes) a full set (top and bottom) of waterproofs, sufficient water for the day, snacks, camera equipment, personal medication and a head torch.
Your day-to-day rucksack will weigh no more then 3 – 4 kilo’s and a rucksack of around 30 – 40 L capacity will more then suffice.
This rucksack can be filled to brim with extra stuff when checking in at the airport. Our guides put their down jackets or a thick fleece and a pair of mountain socks in this bag so as to free up space in their hold luggage.
It is important that your day sack has an adjustable waist belt to transfer the weight of your daily load onto your hips and from here onto your legs so that strongest muscles do most of the carrying. Another handy feature would be a compartment in which to fit a Camelbak or water bladder.
Our main luggage will be carried from camp to camp (lodge to lodge) by porters.
What gear will I need?
Please review the equipment list. While all items are required there may be times when some of the items on the gear list may not be used (such as warm weather or changing conditions). The gear lists are created by the leaders to ensure climbers be prepared to summit in any conditions.
The equipment list also advises some recommended brands you should consider using.
What clothing should I wear on the Manaslu expedition?
Our leaders usually start the trek wearing long, lightweight trekking trousers and wicker (non-cotton) shirts. Long trousers are recommended as a deterrent to insects, stinging plants and to act as sun protection. Shorts can also be worn on the initial few days of the trek as the temperature is usually warm. Ensure that you apply sun protection frequently. Sunglasses are worn for most of the trek in as well as suitable sunhats.
The prevailing conditions on the trek will dictate what you will wear: if it is cold when you leave the camp in the morning then wear your fleece. As things warm up take advantage of the zipper system which most trekking clothing have and open and /or close the zips to adjust to your own preferred temperature. If you get too warm then take a layer off.
Waterproofs are needed on hand especially during the trekking phase of the expedition. Manaslu is a huge mountain that creates its own weather system. It is not unusual to be caught out in an afternoon rainstorm low down on the trek. Waterproofs should be Gortex material or similar.
Over the top of your clothing you will wear a climbing harness and you will be attached to a rope for some of the day.
What do your guides wear on summit day?
On summit day it gets cold and temps of -30 C are not unusual.
Typically our guides wear 2 sets of base layers (long Johns), thick fleece layers (top and bottom) and thin down gillet on the torso. On the legs down over-trousers (or a complete down suit) and on the upper torso a down jacket is worn. As the wind picks up near the summit ridge our guides will put on their wind proof layer to ward of the wind-chill (wind suit). On their hands they’ll wear a thin layer of fleece working gloves over which a thicker set of gloves are worn. Over the top of these two layers a large set of mittens (down recommended) is worn. Hand warmers are also recommended.
Their heads are covered by a thermal “beanie” hat or a thick balaclava and the hood of their down jackets. On their feet the guides wear one thin sock and one thick sock. Foot warmers recommended.
On summit day our guides wear snow goggles.
What is the best type of footwear to use for the trek to base camp?
Plastic boots are essential for climbing 8,000m peaks. You will only be using your plastic boots for the mountain phase of this trek. You will not be wearing them on the trek to the base camp.
These boots should be double boot with a soft inner and hard plastic shell; the basic model would be Scarpa Phantom 8000 or the Millet equivalent. Temperatures high on the mountain are usually well below -30 and only plastic boots can withstand such conditions. Ensure that you have tried the boots on before you leave home and that you can wear a thin and a thick pair of socks in them and still be able to wriggle your toes.
Trekking boots should be sturdy, waterproof, insulated against cold temperatures and offer adequate ankle support. In addition it is highly recommended that your boots are well worn in to prevent the formation of blisters. A range of suitable boots are on the market and further advice as to which brand names are available can be found online or at your local gear store.
Crampons are worn for the majority of the time you spend on the glacier and for the actual summit day itself. Your crampons should preferably be of the easy “heel clip” variety (rather than the strap systems which are fiddly). It is not necessary to use specialist technical climbing crampons as standard 12 point all round crampons such as those from Grivel will do the job very well.
What will happen to my mountain hardware during the climb?
All the mountain hardware (plastics, crampons, ice axes, ropes and snow stakes etc.) are brought directly to the camp by porters and placed in separate bags when we reach Pokhara.
We will not see this equipment again until we reach the base camp.
What do the porters carry? What is the correct porter weight?
Your porter bags should be off a soft material “duffel bag” or rucksack variety and should not be a suitcase or hard-bodied metal case. Furthermore they should weigh around 16 -18 kg when packed for the trekking phase of the trek. On all our big expeditions we have found this weight to be ample and usually everybody can plan to take only enough clothes and equipment needed for the mountain. Please bear in mind that on top of your load, porters will also have to carry a share of the food, kitchen equipment, camping equipment and their own survival gear.
Inside the porter bag should be a change of clothing, your clothing for higher up the mountain, a sleeping mat (thermarest), sleeping bag, personal toiletries etc. (see equipment list). Also take a pair of light shoes to wear at camp at night (crocs etc.) and consider bringing a book or playing cards.
How warm does my sleeping bag need to be?
Sleeping bags should be rated within the -20 C comfort rating. From around base-camp upwards it is not unusual to experience frosty nights and a good night’s sleep is important to giving you the best chance to climb this mountain. Ensure you get a sleeping bag that has this temperature rating at this comfort rating rather then as its extreme rating.
Our leaders take sleeping bags rated to well below -20C to ensure that they are warm at night. A 4season sleeping bag can be enhanced by using an inner silk or fleece liner (or similar). The idea is to be as comfortable and warm as possible for the night and henceforth to ensure plenty of sleep for the arduous days ahead. Some clients have found the use of a “Bivouac bag” to increase the warmth of their bag.
For higher on the mountain your down equipment will be worn inside your sleeping bag. The modern thinking about sleeping bags on the 8,000m peaks is to use a “light” bag rated to about -20c comfort rating and to wear your down clothing whilst sleeping.
It is important to remember that down sleeping bags work by your own body heating the down that’s inside the bag. Once you have warmed up the bag the down will retain the heat and ensure that you sleep at a temperature that’s your own body temperature.
Is it possible to rent equipment before I go?
Equipment rental is possible from our local ground crew but we advocate the use of personal equipment whenever possible. This is particular important for the use of boots and high altitude clothing.
What clothing is suitable for when we come back from the mountain?
Casual dress is recommended for Kathmandu. Daytime temperatures are usually warm and shorts and t-shirts are fine. Evenings are generally cooler and a light fleece is recommended. A bag containing fresh clothes can be left in the hotel storage ready for your return.
What is the best time of year to climb in Nepal?
The best time to climb in Nepal is March to May and September to November. The later time frame is generally clear but colder with snow conditions more stable. The usual weather patterns that previously occurred with great predictability are changing however and it is not unusual to experience short spells of weather that is unprecedented.
What weather report service do you use?
Our team has access to sophisticated weather forecasting services. We use Bracknell and Swiss forecasts for daily forecasts received from HQ in Europe. Our summit bid is aided enormously by totally up-to-date reliable forecasts.
What's this we hear about using helicopters at the end of the expedition?
A return chopper option exists at the end of the expedition. Clients can fly back to Kathmandu in a mere 2 hours using this option (or walk out a further 5 days.) This option costs around £800 per person but saves significant time and money (if you need to get back to a job.) For some clients this option will be attractive as once having finished the expedition and hopefully summited, the attractions of getting home early or getting back to civilisation will outweigh the costs of the helicopter ride.
What is the best air route to my destination?
Detailed flight information will be sent to you upon registration. We are ATOL bonded and ensure the most direct route with a reputable airline.
Although you will need to make your own flight arrangements for the Manaslu expedition we are more then willing to assist you with every detail of the journey to Nepal. We will for example be able to advise you of the weight restrictions imposed by various airlines and recommend quality airlines. Booking your own airline allows you to have the flexibility to use frequent flyer miles as well as manage your luggage weight. For example it can be more cost effective booking a business class flight than paying excess baggage.
What if I arrive early or depart late? Can you arrange extra night lodging? Is there a single room option for this expedition?
We are happy to make any arrangements scheduled outside of the trek dates: these might include personalised tours, extra hotels rooms, private airport pick-ups or arranging private rooms. Please indicate that your requirements on your booking form and we will contact you with the relevant arrangements.
Where do I meet my Leader?
Most will have been on an expedition with our leaders before. Their professionalism as well as personality seem to be the reason why we have such a high return rate. For an expedition of this nature we will be holding a pre-expedition meeting where you will not only get a chance to meet your fellow team members but also your leaders. This meeting is usually held over a weekend and will be an informal way to ask questions and sort out expedition equipment details. Naturally, you’ll be having a beer or two with your expedition team.
What travel insurance should I take for an expedition of this nature?
Comprehensive expedition insurance is now available from various insurers. We recommend looking into deals offered by the BMC or similar insurers. Team members should take out private insurance that covers you against cancellation due to medical or personal reasons and it is important that the insurance contains coverage for medical evacuations by helicopter or other means.
Other good companies to consider are Global rescue:www.globalrescue.com and Bupa: www.ihi.dk
Entry Into Country
Are there any entry or visa requirements?
All foreign nationals need visas. They are easily obtained at the border (airport) and cost $100 for a three month visa, however we recommend that you contact your nearest Nepali embassy (call 360 for details) to avoid queuing, unnecessary delays and potential clearance problems.
Alternatively, you can print the forms from http://treks.com.np/visa and complete them before your arrival to Kathmandu. Be sure to have the suggested USD amount in cash for your visa application and have a passport photo for your arrival in Kathmandu.
Tips on how a climber can maximise their chances of success - part 1
The 360 expedition training programs have been devised to be expedition specific. Use these as a guide but also feel free to contact us for individual advice on how to incorporate the best fitness program with your own lifestyle.
High altitude mountaineering is about slack days of low activity followed by long days where every grain of stamina you have is called upon and every ounce of determination you possess is necessary to reach your goal.
The essential idea in order to prepare for a mountain such as Manaslu is to increase the intensity of the exercise you do by small increments over 8 -12 months before you leave for the expedition. Concentrate on cardiovascular workouts during the initial weeks by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on long duration walks (longer than 6 hrs) carrying a rucksack of around 15kg. As you get stronger increase this rate of exercise and the duration by walking every weekend and running 5km every second day, for example.
Since this is a mountaineering expedition we further encourage you to increase your climbing efficiency and use of climbing equipment (crampons, ice-axes) by undertaking winter walks/climbs in the Scottish highlands, Pyrenees or Alps. This will increase your body’s ability to cope with the extra demands of these activities and also allows you to get familiar with the equipment you will be using on the mountain.
Tips on how a climber can maximise their chances of success - part 2
A focused regime will not only prepare your body for carrying minor loads but will harden your body against the big days on the mountain itself. In addition the weekend walks will help break in your boots and get you used to your equipment for the trekking stage of the expedition. In combination this will pay dividends when you reach base camp because even though you can’t train for altitude your body will be ready for arduous days and you will be familiar with how to best use your equipment, both adding to you being able to enjoy and appreciate the mountain all the more.
We only invite climbers with a thorough resume of climbing and high altitude experience to participate on an expedition of this nature. Generally an expedition to Aconcagua or a high Nepali trekking peak is the suggested minimum for altitude experience and an ability to be comfortable on Alpine grade AD (Scottish 3) mountain routes is a recommended level of operation when training. Note that we will be climbing a lot of fixed rope on the mountain and the ability to lead-climb to this grade is less important then you feeling comfortable with the steepness of terrain and exposure generally encountered at this grade.
Furthermore being familiar with moving over ice and glaciated ground will be beneficial when joining this expedition. Contact the office for further details and to discuss your individual background. This helps us to formulate a training strategy that best suits the demands of your daily life.
When is the money due for this expedition?
Generally speaking deposits are due upon booking, particularly if we are handling your flight bookings. The full amount should be paid 4 months prior to departure. However having said this our aim is to get you to the top of this mountain and we understand that personal financial situations can vary. Please contact our friendly office crew to discuss a suitable payment plan. We have after all been in your shoes and go by the motto of where there’s a will there’s a way.
What is your cancellation policy? What is your refund policy?
Please read our terms and conditions carefully before you depart for details on this. 360 Expeditions highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions as we must adhere to a stringent cancellation policy.
Money: am I correct in thinking we only need to take American Dollars with us?
American dollars are readily recognised and are easily converted to the local currency. For most situations when buying gifts or small goods such as drinks or snacks etc. the use of small denomination US ($) dollars is not a problem. Getting change for a $20USD bill when buying a $1 USD coke will be a problem. Larger bills are good for tipping your porters at the end of the expedition and a sufficient amount should be carried with you. Your 360 leader will advise you in the pre-expedition brief as to what is the correct amount to take on the trip with you.
How much do we tip our local crew?
Our local crew work extremely hard to assure that your expedition runs well. While tipping is not compulsory once someone sees the hard work the crew provides and realises the minimal amount of money they get paid compared to our own salaries, tipping will seem the least they can do to say thank you. As a general rule we suggest around $400 – $500 per client for the entire local crew to be shared amongst them. Tipping the 360 Leader is entirely at your discretion.
What additional spending money will we need?
The amount of money you will need depends on how many presents you wish to buy or how much you wish to drink when you come off the hill. As a basic rule of thumb around $800 USD should be more then adequate for any post expedition spending.
Nepal is a relatively cheap place and when indulging in the local custom of haggling then goods can be bought for very good value for money. Your 360 Leader will be happy to point out the relative bargains and the suitable prices plus where to get the best value for money. The only cash you’ll need to consider taking with you on the mountain is the local crew tips which are presented to them before we leave base camp (See local tips and tipping.) And for any additional snacks and soft drinks you wish to purchase from the lodges encountered en-route. Additional supplies can be quite expensive though as all this is brought in by porters.
Do we need a travel adaptor for the plug sockets in the hotel or are they the same as UK?
The round three pin plugs are used in Nepal. An adaptor can be purchased at the airport if you’ve forgotten it.
What type of communication is available on the expedition?
Our leader will have a satellite phone and this is kept charged using solar power. For a small fee you can use them for calls home. On the mountain all team members will be provided with a small lightweight Motorola radio to stay in communication with other team members. Mobile phones will only work for a small period of time on the beginning of the trek in.
I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
Your 360 Leader will be sending regular up-dates to the 360 office to allow your family and friends to track your progress.
The best place to reach a loved one is through our office. We try to organise a daily satellite call with the 360 Leader on the mountain to allow communication between the outside world and to keep our team updated with important developments occurring at home.
Can I contact the others on the climb? How about the leader?
You can always call our offices and one of the leaders will contact you as soon as they get off the hill. For this expedition we will be holding a pre-expedition meeting in plenty of time before the expedition is due to take place. This is to aid you with any questions you may have and to meet your team members. We feel it is important that you have already struck up a friendship with your team before leaving rather then setting off from the airport as total strangers.