Swiss Climber Ueli Steck has big plans for Annapurna, where he intends to climb the mountain by a new route, solo and in alpine style no less. Ueli, who recently set a speed record on the Eiger is warming up for Annapuran with summits on Cholatse and Pumori while he treks up the Khumbu Valley.
Over on Shisha Pangma, the Slovak Team are at 7000m and about to make their summit push, with weather conditions being less than ideal. On Dhaulagiri, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is celebrating a unique honeymoon. While she waits for her chance to go up the mountain, her husband is guiding another team on Manaslu. (Dude! You’ve got a keeper!)
On Cho Oyu the news isn’t so good when it comes to summit attempts. Gavin Bate is reporting that his team is turning back, giving up on their attempts to top out. At 6800m, not far below Camp 2, they were turned back by an ice cliff that is making it all but impassable. Their climb, it appears, is over.
Alan Arnette brings us some news from Everest as well, where the word is that the HiMex sherpas will once again be the first on the summit, and by the end of April no less. Of course, these amazing climbers are laying down the fixed ropes that will allow the other teams to follow them up the mountain. Rumor has it that the Chinese team carrying the Olympic Torch may not be far behind though. Word from the South Side is that fixed ropes now reach up to Camp 3 and a number of teams are rerturning to Base Camp as part of their acclimatization process.