Manaslu lies in the Kali Gandaki valley of the Nepal Himalayas. This mountain was previously known as Kutang, 'tang' being the Tibetan word for flat place, thereby describing the mountain's general summit.
It was then renamed Manaslu which comes from the Sanskrit word "Manasa" meaning "intellect" or "soul". It was first climbed by T.Imanishi & G. Norbu in 1956.
Many consider the three peaks of Manaslu as Japanese peaks as they were the first to reach its summit in 1956. There exist half a dozen different routes on Manaslu today. The south face of this "mountain of intellect" is arguably the toughest in climbing history. Our trip starts at Sama Gaon, where incidentally Makalu is called Kambung- after a local god. It was here in this same village back in 1954 that the second Japanese expedition met with bitter resistance from the locals. They blamed the presence of the heathen foreigners for the avalanches and pestilence on the valley. They felt that Japanese had insulted the gods dwelling in the mountains thereby angering them into creating such adverse conditions.