Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Manaslu: Expeditions Unable to Get Supplies; Helicopter Crash Kills 6

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

As the post-monsoon climbing season swings into action, mountaineers from around the globe have been making their way to Nepal and Tibet to take on 8000’ers such as Cho Oyu, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Shishapangma and Lhotse. Around 350 foreign climbers will be on these five peaks this Autumn.

For the hundreds of climbers, sherpas and support staff currently at Manaslu Base Camp, progress on the mountain has stopped as the grounding of many helicopter operators have left teams without food, clothing and equipment.

Expedition operators typically charter helicopters to ferry fresh food and equipment to Base Camp; however, it seems they are currently unable to do so due to unavailability of aircraft. While expedition outfits are placing blame on the aviation companies, the helicopter operators are pointing the finger at the Nepali authorities.

Speaking to The Himalayan Times, Mingma Sherpa, the Managing Director of Seven Summit Treks, said, “The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation barred three operators–Heli Everest, Manang Air and Air Dynasty–from flying to restricted areas, including Mt Manaslu region, while other helicopter operators have had to wait for over a week to get permission from different agencies to provide the services.”

These three aviation providers were cited for fraud in a recent expose on the scamming of insurance companies by expedition and helicopter operators. It is not clear if this is the reason for the immediate ban on these outfits. Regardless, it appears that the current logistical “crisis” results from this ban as well as a backlog of flight permission administration in Kathmandu.

The present situation follows the sad news that an Altitude Air helicopter crashed while leaving the Manaslu area on September 8. Six people were killed, including the experienced pilot Capt Nischal KC, a friend of 13-time Everest-summiteer Kenton Cool.  Writing on social media, Cool paid tribute Nischal: “Without doubt the best pilot I ever flew with, a humble man with incredible talent. Thoughts with his family. Miss you already buddy!”

The Nepali Department of Tourism estimates that more than 250 foreign climbers and 500 plus support staff have headed to Manaslu this autumn.  Disruption to such a large number of visitors could well have negative implications for Nepal’s aim to welcome two million tourists in 2020.

Also Read

Alan Arnette: K2 Season Summary

Interview: Hansjörg Auer On His Solo First Ascent On Lupghar Sar West (7,157 Meters)

Sherpa Dies On Everest During ASKfm Publicity Stunt