28.5497° N, 84.5597° E
The following is taken from blog posts, text messages and emails sent from the mountain:
Imagine a place so colourful that your eyes widen to absorb the amount of colour, imagine a place where suddenly every traffic light goes green at the same time, now imagine a place where everybody presses their horns simultaneously, and finally imagine humidity and dust like you used to see in Westerns.
Welcome to Kathmandu.
I expected madness, but this place is amazing!
I have met my team, and had dinner with them, and we have arranged a day in Kathmandu tomorrow, before getting helicoptered to the valley where we start trekking towards Base Camp Thursday morning.
There a lot of very experienced climbers on this trip, I didn't really wanna tell them I'd never slept in a tent before 2010.
I definitely feel like I've stepped up a league, can't wait to get started.
Had a great wander around Kathmandu today, where they have shops and market stalls selling everything from moody mountain equipment, known as North Fake, to saddles, yes saddles, I too have no idea, not sure there's a big market, but they didn't look too busy today.
Did some culture as well, and went to the Buddhist Temple Boudhanath, which was great, seeing all the monks doing their thing.
We're flying tomorrow at 6am, so will probably lose signal, but I will be texting my gang via satphone, so they will be updating social media for me, so until then, hopefully Blue Skies so we can fly, and Namaste from beautiful Kathmandu.
Flight was awesome, flying in to camp like a scene from Apocalypse now! Been for an acclimatisation walk, here for 3 days, then Base Camp.
Did our 5 hour acclimatisation walk to 4000m. Climb high sleep low. Although haven't really slept properly since I got here but feeling really strong. We can see the mountain in the morning when it's clear. Loving it here, so beautiful. The Nepali people are amazing. "
Got to Base Camp today, tough 1200m of vertical accent, now at 4800m higher than Mont Blanc. The weather is pretty grim, but Camp is great! Feeling good, but just tired now.
Rest day today, just playing cards and hanging out. Raining all day here..gotta love camping in the rain! Got to have a shower so feeling fresh and clean! Saw the sun for an hour so all did our washing and hung it up to dry but then it started raining again! Got given our radios and transponders. I got given number 15 - my hockey/lucky number!
All good here, walked to snow line today, Camp 1 tomorrow, leave at 6, then back to base camp. Tomorrow will be first day wearing crampons - really looking forward to it.
Also so cool, we found 2 oxygen bottles from the first Japanese ascent of the mountain today! And Russ has so many stories keeping us all entertained. Day 10 done! "
All good in the hood. Feeling fit, energetic and healthy! Puja the other day which was amazing, really enjoying this whole experience!
Few firsts today, went to 6100m, highest I've climbed. We melted snow to create drinks. We walked over a ladder across a crevasse - very scary but cool! And I pooed in a bag! (We must take all of our rubbish off of the mountain!) "
This is the toughest thing I've ever done so far, and we're not even half way!
Plan is: Up to Camp 1, sleep there, then up to Camp 2, sleep there, then go to touch Camp 3 (6900m) then back to Camp 2, sleep there, then back to Base Camp. So 3 days of climbing up and down, then resting up for a summit bid.. lots to do, very dependent on having good weather, but on track and it's getting exciting now!! "
At Camp 2 now one of the toughest days of my life. The sun was extremely punishing. It took almost 7 hours - hopefully 3 and 4 and summit aren't as tough. "
Slept at camp 2 last night at 6331m.
Hit Camp 3 today then back to Camp 2 to sleep there tonight! Oh and loving the Chicken Jalfrezi boil in the bag!!
At Camp 3 now, Camp 4 tomorrow, then summit bid Wednesday morning. Need to have oxygen and down suits from now on! "
Have managed to get to Camp 4 on oxygen, and now sleeping on it.. Heading for the summit at 3am so sleep now - body feels mashed. "
So news just in... DAD HAS SUMMITED MT. MANASLU!! They set off at 3am and he said its the most difficult thing he's ever done. He was exhausted but delighted at his achievement! Thanks to everyone for your wonderful words of encouragement and support - Dad will be so touched when he gets back and has a read through of them all! He is currently back at Base Camp, having a shower and drinking a well-deserved beer! BLUE SKIES :)
Wow! How lovely has everybody been? I got back from Kathmandu yesterday, and I'm slowly integrating back into normal society, eating lots, sleeping lots, and still in a dream like state at the moment, but extremely happy at summiting the toughest challenge of my life, climbing Mount Manaslu at 8156m.I have now completed two of the three mountains I have set out to climb in my fiftieth year, and have just got Everest to go now, and can't wait for next year, although at the moment I am pretty weak, so need to re-energise.I loved this adventure, and wanna give a massive thank you to Russell Brice from Himex for being one of the most caring human beings I have come across, and his attention to detail enabled all 13 of our team to summit, what is a very, very dangerous mountain.Blue skies.