Ski Mountaineering at Mt. Manaslu

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  • Dec,11,2022
  • Naveen Poudyal
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Ski mountaineering is the sport of climbing a mountain and skiing down from the peak on a specially designed ski board. Ski mountaineering is a new concept in Nepal. The credit for ski mountaineering in Nepal goes to a number of foreign climbers who came for mountaineering. To put it another way, ski mountaineering has created new opportunities for Nepal's climbing and tourism industries.

The common consensus is that animal hunting in the high mountains of Scandinavian nations like Norway, Sweden, and Finland is where skiing first arrived in Europe. Ski mountaineering began to develop as a new type of sport in the 18th century and reached its climax in the late 1980s. The passing of internationally renowned ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson on October 26, 2022, is evidence that ski mountaineering is an adventurous activity that is rife with danger and romance. It is for those who enjoy the thrill of adventure and the mountains. Ski mountaineering is extremely technical, thus it should only be attempted by those who have a lot of courage and solid geographic and snow mass knowledge. Technical ignorance, inadequate training, and improper procedures can be fatal.

Mt Manaslu is often remembered as a killer mountain as it has frequent occurrences of avalanches and a thin layer of oxygen. The avalanches in 2012 and 2022 turned out to be fatal on Mt. Manaslu. Despite the risk, Mt. Manaslu has drawn the attraction of many mountaineers from hundreds of mountaineers trying to reach the summit. Few attempt ski mountaineering. Hilaree Nelson (2018, National Geographic's adventure for the year), despite her long experience in Nepal’s Himalayas (Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Cho Oyu, and Mt. Manaslu), lost her life while skiing down the mountain. 

According to the Nepal Tourism Board, more than 150 people climbed Manaslu out of the 400 people who were allowed to do so in the autumn of 2022, resulting in 4 deaths from avalanches. This story demonstrates the passion for Mount Manaslu mountaineering. In addition to Mt. Manaslu, you can try ski mountaineering on other 6,000-meter summits (Island Peak, Ama Dablam Peak, and Mera Peak) if you're on the Everest Circuit Trek route and if your inner spirit compels you to. If you are on an Annapurna circuit trek or an Annapurna Base Camp trek, Mt. Annapurna—the tenth-highest peak in the world—is another mountain to aim for in ski mountaineering. Furthermore, it the serene and less congested.

Structure of Mt. Manaslu (8163m)

The tallest peak in the Gorkha District, Mt. Manaslu, located about 65 kilometers east of the Annapurna mountain range is the world's 8th highest peak. Long ridges and valley glaciers provide accessible routes up the mountain from all sides, and they culminate in a summit that climbs abruptly above the surroundings and stands out when viewed from a distance. Mt. Manaslu has a steep structure (crescent-like structure) at its top, which makes climbing quite challenging. The mountaineers face their real challenge after camp III accent as they have to change their route to the summit. 


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