Manaslu 2013: Summit Report

Alan Manaslu Summit
Alan Manaslu Summit

Thanks to everyone for following my climb of the world’s 8th highest peak, healing Manaslu at 26, thumb 759 feet or 8156 meters. I summited the true summit at 9:40AM on September 25, 2013 after leaving the high Camp at 3:10AM. The time included waiting for almost 1:30 minutes for the final rope to be fixed to the true summit.

The true summit of Manaslu is the absolute scariest spot I have ever climbed. It consisted of a narrow cornice with soft edges that dropped off over 3,000 feet. As I made my final steps to the true summit, my left foot pushed off a small section of the cornice. I watched as the snow fell gently down the sharp rock and snow wall. It was a moment that caused my heart to skip a beat, my lungs to stop and a sense of history, purpose, focus and resolution that garnered all my attention.

The overall climb of Manaslu was shocking. Trust me, it is not an “easy” 8000 meter mountain. The climb between Camp 1 and 2 was technical, meaning ice axes, steep (60 degree) snow climbs and rappels that required all my years of experience. The climb between Camp 3 and 4 was unbelievable steep with over 400 meters (1200 feet) of snow slopes combined with some steep snow climbs. It took me five hours but for some climbers it was a 12 hour day.

Manaslu 2013
Manaslu 2013

The route in 2013 was extremely different than in 2012. The avalanches had changed the terrain, the glacier had moved sharply. All this required the Sherpas, primarily from Himex and Altitude Junkies, to work hard to fix a safe route to the upper mountain. In the end, it was done but took on a new level of difficulty not seen on Manaslu in years.

I am very proud of our team. Those who summited demonstrated experience and determination. Those who didn’t, learned a great deal about themselves and extreme mountaineering that will serve them well on future climbs.  For me I continued to learn about how to set and accomplish hard goals, take care of myself and the struggles of reaching one of the highest mountains on Earth. These lessons apply to my daily life as well and to those Alzheimer’s caregivers.

Manaslu 2013
Manaslu 2013

I had the opportunity to speak at length with many mountaineers such as Phil Crampton of Altitude Junkies,  Russell Brice of Himex and Purba Tashi Sherpa, the world renowned Himex Climbing Sidar, Chhang Dawa Sherpa, who recently completed climbing all 14 of the 8000m mountains and now runs Seven Summit Treks plus Tunc Fundik, Turkey’s top climber. It was interesting to discuss the change in mountaineering, the Sherpa culture and, of course, Manaslu this season with these experts. I will post my interviews at a later date.

As always thanks to those who contributed to the Alzheimer’s non-profits, Your donations go 100% to the non-profit and never to fund my climbs. Thank you.

I’m sorry that my dispatches came to an abrupt halt. There were technical issue that I could not resolve while on the mountain.

 For now I will take to easy in Kathmandu before returning home.

The full summit report and more pictures is now available.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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53 thoughts on “Manaslu 2013: Summit Report

  1. Manaslu with oxygen mask, fixed ropes aso…thats just mass tourism in the Himalayas

      1. You should accept that Manaslu with oxygen bottles (and fixed ropes) has nothing to do with fair mountaineering. Years ago nobody would even have thougt about using O2 on 8000ers like Manalsu and would not have been considered as a summiter by the mountain community. Today to much people are just making 8000ers without any sense of fairness and respect to the spirit of mountaineering. And the public can no more make the distinction between the real mountaineerers who do 8000ers in good alpine style and those who are cheating with any means to get to the summit. How about compeeting the Tour de France with a motorbike instead of a bicycle…

        1. Eugene, thanks for your opinion. I am proud of my summit with or without oxygen and of all those who take to the big mountains. I respect that there are many style differences and one person’s definition will not match everyone else’s.

          Today’s technology allows many to climb who other would not be able to similar to how Mallory and Irvine, Hillary and Tenzing, and even Messner used the best available technology to reach their firsts in their time. No shame on any of them.

          This debate is old and tired and will not be resolved because the lure of the mountains and the accessibility has passed the line. Today, high altitude mountaineering, similar to new lightweight bikes used in the TDF plus by amateur cyclists, brings great satisfaction and joy to each individual. And that is why many of us climb – a unique sense of individual satisfaction that does not try to please anyone else.

          I wish you good luck on your climbs no matter the style.

  2. You are a living legend Alan. Thank you for being so inspiring to so many people especially to those affected by Alzheimer’s.

    1. Oh and I think I have checked your website and about 100 times already this morning waiting for the trip report to come out.

  3. Great job Alan, very interesting that you found the true summit the scariest spot you’ve ever climbed, as I did too, but I’m not as experienced as you! It was a pleasure meeting you, and hopefully our paths will cross again soon, climb on! Cheers, Jeff.

  4. Congratulations Alan!! Such a great day! I was pleased to meet you at Russell’s Base Camp for a chat during our party. Hope to catch up again to talk about mountain expeditions with pleasure. Well done!

  5. Congratulations Alan! You are truly an inspiration that hard work and persevarence does pay off. Climb on and get some rest!

  6. Hi Alan. Congratulations, well done indeed! Hope to hear some more details, safe travels back home in the meantime.

  7. Whoa… Congratulations to you and your team for a successful summit under difficult conditions! Absolutely thrilled for you, and so looking forward to your after-action report. You’ve earned your R&R in Kathmandu. Enjoy!

  8. Félicitations et bravo. I admire your courage, tenacity and willpower. Like the first american astronaut, a little (not so little) step for the man, a great step for Alzeimer

  9. Congratulations on your great success with a very tough mountain! My best regards to your entire team.

  10. Superb and congratulations. Time to take it easy for a bit! When you get back, more pics would be great 🙂 Jacqueline

  11. congratulations on your summit alan! and many thanks for your descriptive dispatches. what an amazing adventure for each one the climbers on manaslu. i’m extremely grateful to know that kevin was able to climb such a challenging mountain alongside so many experienced mountaineers. i know that each one of you have inspired him. all the best for a great recovery and many more climbs to come!

  12. Dear Alan many many congratulations on this achivement & what a foot on summit hope you will be safely back towards home plz update your pics.

  13. Congratulations on your difficult climb! Quite a feat, considering the conditions! I’m looking forward to seeing your interviews. Keep up the great reporting!

  14. Congratulations! Alan, it is such a pleasure reading your blog. It is also very gratifying to read how your hard work on building your strength and sharpening your skills keeps translating to success.

  15. I’m so happy about you and your teams successes and look forward to reading the interviews in the future. What luck (and hard training and preparation) to experience Manaslu and what she has to teach you. Here’s to many more years experiencing the mountains and raising awareness about Alzheimer’s!

  16. Well done Alan, so happy for you. Awaiting those interviews and more pics. Safe journey home…

  17. Again; huge congratulations on this new “high”, Alan. Very, very well done!

  18. Congratulations on your sucessful summit of Manaslu ! I hope you have a safe trip home ! I am looking forward for your updates and photos !

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