• Last Updated on Apr 22, 2024

The 8th tallest peak in the world, Mt Manaslu, is known as the killer mountain due to its deadly reputation, which has recorded 89 deaths and just 2,172 summits upto 2022. The next popular mountain to climb in Nepal after Everest has a success rate of 60%. 

The peak is located in the Manalsu region above the forests of Budhi Gandaki Valley in Nepal. Despite being less technical than Everest and with less summit record, Mt Manaslu has claimed many lives till now. With a mortality rate of around 9 deaths from every 100 successful ascents, Manaslu, the world's 8th-highest peak, can be considered one of the most dangerous mountains to climb. 

This mountain is well known for its steep slopes and avalanches, but almost all these avalanches are witnessed on the "Manaslu Serac,” a slope that poses a high-risk level. Besides the technical problems and the rigorous weather, the climbers are also subject to more risks during the climb. The peak is the other 8000m mountain, which is less technical than the world's tallest peak, so many people attempt it after Everest. Because it is easier to climb, many of those who want to attempt Everest often first try Manaslu in order to have an idea of what it is like to climb a 8000 m peak. 

Due to the difficult terrain, unstable weather and difficulties in technical climbing, Manaslu is not an easy mountain to climb even for the most experienced mountaineers. Climbing the steep slopes, crevasses, avalanches, exposure, and the high altitude are all the dangers the Mt Manalsu presents for climbers who are striving to reach the summit.

Whilst it is feared being called the Killer Mountain of Nepal, Manaslu still draws a large number of climbers looking for the ultimate test of mountaineering. Only those who are completely ready, in terms of both body and mind, can be considered worthy of taking on this chilling and harsh peak. The allure lies in the sense of achievement and the opportunity to conquer one of the world's most unyielding and captivating peaks.

Manaslu offers a unique and challenging experience that attracts those seeking an adventure of a lifetime. Its isolation and untouched beauty create a sense of exclusivity and mystique, drawing climbers who are willing to take on the risks for the reward of standing atop its majestic summit.

Moreover, the cultural experience accompanying the climb adds to the fascination. Trekking through the picturesque villages, interacting with the locals, and immersing oneself in the rich Nepalese culture are integral parts of the Manaslu expedition.

Manaslu may have claimed many lives of those who attempted to conquer it, but it has also become a symbol of determination that lasts forever in mountaineering. The name Killer Mountain clearly indicates the risks that come with aspiring for such heights in the face of nature's raw power.

Table of Contents

Why is Manaslu known as a killer Mountain?

Manaslu is  called a "Killer Mountain" due to its high fatality rate and low summit record when compared to the others that are of similar height. The mountain has claimed 89 mountaineers' lives and only 2,172 climbers have made it to the summit. Therefore the mountain is a challenging climb for the climbers with the success rate of only 60% .With about 50% summit attempts on the Manalsu were scaled with the additional oxygen. Although Manaslu is not the biggest peak on the earth, it still deserves respect for the hazardous conditions it offers and the fact it is called the Killer Mountain in Nepal.

The first ascent of Mt Manalsu which was made by Mr Yuko Maki in the Spring of 1956, was a historical deed. Nevertheless, the side of Manaslu nicknamed as the Killer Mountain appeared in 1972 when an avalanche struck a Korean camp at 6,500 metres. Sadly, 15 climbers died among which were the Korean expedition leader Kim Ho-sup, the Japanese climber Kazunari Yasuhisa and 10 Nepalese ice fall mountain guides.  This catastrophic event highlighted the inherent risks associated with high-altitude mountaineering, showing how deadly a Mountain can be despite it being called safest among the 8000.

Manalsu “The Killer Mountain” Interesting Facts

Manaslu has some tempting facts that definitely make you drop your jaw. Mong many exciting facts. The first is that the 8th tallest Mountain, Mt Manaslu, is also called the Killer Mountain in Nepal. Some of the other facts about Mt Manaslu are below. 

  1. Mt Manaslu is one of the Himalayan peaks located in the midwestern region near the Tibet border in Nepal.
  2. The peak, also called "Manasa" in Sanskrit, stands for "intellect" or "soul".
  3. In 2008 it was listed as the 4th dangerous peak in the world after Annapurna, Nanga Parbat and K2.
  4. The first successful ascent to Mt. Manalsu was made by the Japanese team in 1956.
  5. Manaslu Peak is considered one of the most difficult mountains ever to climb because of the steep slopes, tricky way, and uncertain weather.
  6. Climbers have to get official permission to climb the peak and enter their premises as it lies in a protected area.
  7. Mt Manaslu is the 8th tallest mountain in the world with an elevation of 8,163 metres.
  8. Mt Manaslu is in the Manaslu Conservation Area, where all kinds of wild animals, including the snow leopard and Himalayan tahr, find shelter.
  9. The region where Mt Manaslu is located is home of the Manakamana Temple, a historical site, as well as a royal palace called Gurkha.
  10. The premises of Mt Manalsy is inhabited by ethnic groups like Gurungs and Bhutias, maintaining traditional lifestyles. Enriched with Tibetan-influenced culture and traditions.
  11. The first successful climb was by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu in 1956.
  12. European climber H.W. Tilman and Japanese reconnaissance parties made earlier attempts.
  13. Renowned for local tea houses providing accommodation and food to trekkers.
  14. Manaslu Conservation area houses over 110 bird species, 33 mammals, and other wildlife, contributing to the area's allure and conservation efforts.

How Difficult Is to Climb Manalsu “Killer Mountain in Nepal”?

Mt. Manaslu, the Killer Mountain, or Manaslu Expedition, is categorised as 4ED in difficulty. These are very tough climbs, where the climber has to tackle many difficulties to reach the Peak. In fact, due to its several difficulties, the Manaslu expedition may take many days or even months to complete successfully. 

Manaslu, which means "Mountain of the Spirit" and "Killer Mountain," is located in Nepal. It is one of the highest mountains in the world at 8,000 metres, holding the position of 8th highest peak. 

It is a high-altitude mountain with a high fatality rate and low summit attempts. This being said, in October 1972, 16 people died, and another 11 people in 2012 due to avalanches. The on-screen (or digital) climbing will differ from what is being shown. Despite being called the safest among the 8000ers, the actual Manaslu climbing will be more difficult than what the mountain is portrayed or called. 

If you don't have crampons on the smooth rock or are not doing rock climbing too much, the snow sections will be very demanding at high altitudes. The area between Manalsu Camps 1 and 2 is often more challenging, with many parts of very steep and thin snow and ice climbing. This route between Camps 3 and 4 is notoriously long and steep for many climbers, which makes it challenging. Many mountaineers need to use oxygen provision at C3 because of the low oxygen level.

Climbing up to 8,000 metres like Manaslu is associated with an altitude challenge. Different camps in Manaslu are frequently far from each other. Many mountaineers use oxygen to make the bold last step to reach the Manaslu peak. 

The lower oxygen level with increased height becomes a central problem while climbing the 8000-metre peak. The oxygen supplement has been used by 50% of the previous Manaslu summiteers, which reflects their importance in this high-altitude challenge.

What Are the Main Reasons for Deaths in Manalsu The Killer Mountain?

The fatalities on Manaslu Peak seem to have become quite frequent, with avalanches being the primary reason behind it. Records dating back to 1953 and 2006 show that there have been 53 individuals who perished trying to conquer the dangerous conditions on this "Killer Mountain." Last recorded in December 2022, the number of deaths on Mt Manaslu has sadly escalated to 89. The following are some of the leading causes of fatalities in Mt Manalsu. 

  1. Avalanche:- The complex mountain nature of Manaslu carries a very high risk of avalanches, making them very dangerous to mountaineers and trekkers. Most of the deaths in Mt Manaslu were caused by the avalanches. 
  2. Exhaustion:- Ascent and tough weather may cause climbers to experience extreme fatigue. The decrease in energy level will push you further into danger, and your body will be more fragile in dealing with the problem of altitude.
  3. Fall :- The steep cliffs and the mountain's narrow routes commonly lead to climbers' fall. 
  4. Hit by Falling Seracs :- The seracs, vast blocks of ice that generally break off from glaciers, can fall down the slopes. These giant blocks can also be very deadly, hitting people with serious injuries or even killing them.
  5. Altitude Sickness:- As the altitude increases, the air gets thinner, making it difficult for the body to carry enough oxygen. High altitude sickness is characterised by headache, nausea, dizziness, and, in the worst case, cerebral or pulmonary edema. These conditions can be fatal if they are not treated immediately. 
  6. Collapsing:- Climbers often suffer from physical collapse and succumb to medical crises, including heart attacks and strokes. It may lead to their sudden death.

The Geographical Features and Challenges of Manaslu

Mt Manaslu also called the Killer Mountain with its staggering height of 8,163 metres, stands as the eighth highest mountain in the world. Its isolated location and unpredictable weather conditions pose significant risks, making it a formidable endeavour even for the most experienced mountaineers. The rugged terrain, coupled with steep slopes and constantly changing ice and snow formations, adds to the mountain's notorious reputation.

The geographical features of Manaslu present a series of obstacles that climbers must overcome. The mountain's remote location in the Gorkha District of Nepal means that access is limited, and climbers must navigate through challenging terrains to reach the base camp. The path to the summit is littered with crevasses, icefalls, and treacherous glaciers, making it a perilous journey.

Moreover, Manaslu's weather patterns are highly unpredictable. The mountain is prone to extreme cold temperatures, strong winds, and sudden blizzards, which can last for days. Climbers often find themselves battling harsh weather conditions, further increasing the risks associated with ascending Manaslu.

Despite these challenges, the allure of conquering Manaslu persists, attracting adventurers and thrill-seekers from around the globe. However, ascending this mountain is not a venture to be taken lightly; it requires meticulous planning, expert guidance, and unwavering determination.

Notable Incidents on Manaslu The Killer Mountain

Manaslu's reputation as the "killer mountain" is not unfounded. Throughout history, the mountain has claimed the lives of several climbers numbering around 88. Here are the Notable incidents that has occured in Manalsu The Killer Mountain to date:

  1. One of the most tragic incidents occurred in 1992, when a South Korean expedition faced a devastating avalanche. 16 members of the team lost their lives, leaving a lasting impact on the mountaineering community.
  2. Other notable incidents include the September 23, 2012 Disaster which claimed the lives of 11 climbers. These incidents serve as a reminder of the inherent risks involved in tackling the treacherous slopes of Manaslu.
  3. On September 26, 2022, Anup Rai, a Nepali mountain guide, was buried in an avalanche when he was transferring loads from Camp IV.
  4. In 2022, on October 1, the lower slopes of the mountain witnessed another avalanche that resulted in the horrific death of Nepali guide Dawa Chhiring Sherpa. He was heading from Camp 2 to Camp 1 when he was involved in the accident.

Comparison of Manaslu with Other Deadly Mountains in Nepal

Nepal is home to several deadly mountains, each with its own unique set of challenges. Comparing Manaslu with these peaks provides further insight into why it has earned the title of the "killer mountain."

With Annapurna and Kanchenjunga (1st and 3d dangerous Mountain of the World)

One such mountain is Annapurna, which is notorious for its high fatality rate. Annapurna I, the tenth highest mountain in the world, has claimed the lives of many climbers due to its unpredictable weather conditions and treacherous slopes. Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain, is also known for its dangerous terrain and challenging weather patterns.

While all these mountains present significant risks, Manaslu's isolation, extreme weather conditions, and constantly changing ice formations make it a particularly deadly challenge for mountaineers.

With Everest (The Tallest Mountain of The World)

Climbing the killer mountain (Mt Manaslu) is a tough aim for climbers but can be regarded as an excellent pre-Everest training ground. Manaslu peak is a challenge at 8,000 m, which is way tougher from Camp 1 to Camp 4; it is more demanding than the Everest peak. Manaslu summit day is shorter, though not as exhausting as Everest.  Unlike Everest's known features, such as Hillary Step and the yellow band, Manaslu also has an atmosphere that is similar to Everest. 

Understanding the Risks and Dangers Associated with Climbing Manaslu

Climbing Manaslu is not for the faint of heart. The risks and dangers associated with this mountain are numerous and require climbers to be well-prepared and mentally and physically fit

  1. Avalanches.: One of the primary risks on Manaslu is avalanches. The constantly shifting snowpack and steep slopes make the mountain prone to avalanches, which can be triggered by natural factors or human activity. Climbers must be vigilant and prepared to navigate through these treacherous conditions. Most of the deaths in Mt Manaslu have been caused by the avalanches. 
  2. Crevasses: Additionally, the presence of crevasses poses a significant danger. Crevasses are deep cracks in the ice and snow, often hidden beneath seemingly stable surfaces. Falling into a crevasse can be fatal, making it crucial for climbers to be equipped with the necessary gear and knowledge to identify and avoid these hazards.
  3. Unpredictable weather Conditions:  Extreme weather conditions also pose a significant risk on Manaslu. Sudden storms, blizzards, and high winds can leave climbers stranded or expose them to life-threatening situations. Proper acclimatisation, monitoring weather forecasts, and having a flexible climbing schedule are essential safety measures.

Safety Measures and Precautions for Climbers on Manaslu

Climbing Manaslu requires careful planning and adherence to safety protocols. Here are some essential safety measures and precautions for climbers:

  1. Physical Fitness: Climbers should undergo rigorous physical training and be in excellent health to tackle the demanding conditions on Manaslu.
  2. Expert Guidance: Engaging the services of experienced Sherpa guides and mountaineering experts is crucial for a successful and safe ascent.
  3. Proper Equipment: Climbers must have the necessary gear, including ice axes, crampons, ropes, and avalanche safety equipment, to navigate through the challenging terrain.
  4. Acclimatisation: Adequate acclimatisation is necessary to reduce the risk of altitude sickness and ensure climbers can adapt to the high altitude environment.
  5. Teamwork and Communication: Establishing clear communication channels within the climbing team is vital for coordination and safety during the expedition.
  6. Weather Monitoring: Regularly monitoring weather forecasts and adjusting climbing plans accordingly is essential to avoid hazardous conditions.

These safety measures, combined with thorough preparation and respect for the mountain, increase the chances of a successful and safe climb on Manaslu.

Efforts and Initiatives to Promote Safety and Responsible Climbing on Manaslu

Recognizing the risks associated with climbing Manaslu, various organizations and mountaineering communities have taken initiatives to promote safety and responsible climbing practices.

Efforts have been made to improve the communication infrastructure on the mountain, allowing climbers to stay connected and receive timely weather updates. Training programs and workshops are also conducted to educate climbers about the risks and equip them with the necessary skills to mitigate them.

Furthermore, there is a growing focus on responsible tourism and sustainable climbing practices. Initiatives such as waste management and environmental conservation projects aim to minimize climbers' impact on the mountain's fragile ecosystem.

Best Treks Around the Mt Manaslu

Mt. Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world, offers a selection of excellent trekking trails in Nepal. These trails also give a dramatic view of the mountains. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber or hiker, this adventure provides you with an exciting experience. Here are some of the best treks you can choose around Mt Manalsu.  

Manaslu Circuit Trek 15 days

Manaslu Circuit 15 Days is one of the most scenic trails. It takes you around the giant Manaslu massif. On such a popular hike, you get to experience a wide variety of unique natural surroundings, pass through remote small towns, cross high mountain peaks, and see so many other magnificent things. Get ready to hike across the crystal clear skies, and the snow-peaked Himalayas, where you will be crossing high altitude passes like the Larkya La(5106m) and enjoy the magnificent views of the Annapurna and Manaslu Ranges from quite close. The Manaslu Circuit Trek is great for people who are experienced trekkers and physically fit, and who love to discover new places. 

Manaslu Base Camp Trek with Larkya pass- 17 Days

The Manaslu Base Camp Trek, combined with the Larkya La Pass, is ideally suited for individuals who want to experience something more extreme while simultaneously being extremely rewarding. This is a 17-day trip in the Manaslu Region. This walk allows you to take steps toward the Manaslu base camp, where you will have the amazing opportunity to see the real height of this giant in person. The widely recognized Manaslu Larkya la pass trek is one of the best Manaslu region trekking routes, and the trekking trail goes through the Manaslu and Annapurna Conservation area and then to the stunning valley of Budhi Gandaki to Marsyangdi. The world's 8th highest mountain, Mount Manaslu (8,163m), is also a major attraction for this trek. The adrenalin-pumping Manaslu Larkya La Pass Trekking trail, which is a boundary between Nepal and Tibet, is another adventure highlight that awaits travellers to uncover its mysteries.

Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek- 17 days

The Tsum Valley Trek is a trip of a lifetime, where travellers get a chance to see Tibet becoming revived in the northern Gorkha district in the border area of Tibet, which is famous for its unique culture, art, traditions, and religion that follow the Buddhism of Tibet. The whole valley is a kind of sacred area that is located in the very vicinity of the Himalayas at the distance of many remote parts and incredible landscapes that present abundant views of many glorious peaks like Manaslu, Ganesh, Shringi Himala, Boudha Himal, and others.

Final Say

Manalsu is called the Killer Mountain in Nepal due to its high fatality rate which has claimed 89 lives till now and low summit rate.  

Manaslu's designation as the "killer mountain" in Nepal is a testament to its formidable nature and the dangers it poses to climbers. The combination of treacherous terrains, extreme weather conditions, and a history of tragic incidents makes it a high-risk expedition.

However, for those who are willing to face the challenges head-on, Manaslu offers an unparalleled adventure and a chance to conquer one of the world's most awe-inspiring peaks. Respect for the mountain and strict adherence to safety measures are paramount in ensuring a successful and safe climb.

As climbers continue to be drawn to the allure of Manaslu, it is essential to approach its slopes with humility and a deep understanding of the risks involved. Only then can the mountain be conquered, and its beauty and power be truly appreciated.

Dipak Pande

Dipak Pande

Dipak starts to step up from potter, guide, and trekking leader to the company owner. Sometimes he share his experience with others as well as wrote in local travel news. Most of time he spend his time on mountain and his company.