Himalayan Database: From 2022 only the “real” Manaslu summit will count

Manaslu summit ridge
In the future, only point 4 will be counted as a summit, Shelf 2, C2 and C3 as foresummits

It is a pragmatic solution. Only from next year, the venerable mountaineering chronicle Himalayan Database wants to speak of a summit success on Manaslu only if the very highest point at 8,163 meters, located at the end of the summit ridge, has been reached. Climbers who reach three elevations further ahead, which are two to six meters lower, will in the future be certified “only” as having reached the fore summit of Manaslu.

“As we cannot change history, we will make a note in the database that from 1956 – when the summit was first reached by Toshio Imanishi, Gyaltsen Norbu Sherpa – to 2021, we accepted the three points mentioned above as the summit due to a lack of in-depth knowledge,” Billi Bierling’s team let it be known.

Impressive drone footage from the summit ridge

Mingma's traverse via the mountain flank to the "real" summit of Manaslu
Mingma’s traverse via the mountain flank to the “real” summit of Manaslu

So most of the more than 2,200 climbers who previously stood on one of the fore summits and thought they were at the main summit need not fear that their Manaslu summit certificate will now be revoked. However, the “in-depth knowledge” was not only available since this fall, when Mingma Gyalje Sherpa with his commercial team of Imagine Nepal reached the “true summit”, after a short tricky traverse through the mountain flank, and the Australian climber Jackson Groves documented this with impressive drone footage.

Already in 2019, German chronicler Eberhard Jurgalski and others – including Tobias Pantel of the Himalayan Database – had published a report proving that the vast majority of Manaslu climbers were not at the very highest point at 8,163 meters. They documented similar misjudgments by many climbers for the eight-thousanders Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. Perhaps drones should fly over the summit ridges there as well to provide final clarity about the highest points.