Himalayan Update: The Season Wanes

cho oyu route
Autumn has only returned to the Northern Hemisphere for a week and a half, but already the Fall climbing season in the Himalaya has begun to close. MountEverest.net has an update on all the action as some teams prepare to make their final assaults while others give in and go home.

The mixed Canadian/International Team on Manaslu has begun it’s final summit push, hoping that this time they’ll have a chance at going up. Deep snow on the higher portions of the mountain are hindering their efforts, but they are currently moving up to C1 to better survey the situation. If all goes well, they’ll proceed up to C2 after that, but if the snow is too deep and remains treacherous, they’ll gather their gear and return home. They’ve set a deadline of October 9th for leaving the mountain.

On Dhaulagiri, Dodo Kopold and Kinga Baranowksa are preparing to make a light and fast alpine style climb to the summit. The latest word is that weather is improving there, and that they intend to begin the actual climb shortly. Dodo returns to the Himalaya after summitting Shisha Pangma in the Spring, where is best friend Marek Hudák slipped and fell to his death. Something that is surely weighing on his mind.

Speaking of Shisha Pangma, the word there is that teams are leaving the mountain thanks to a fresh coating of snow. Emilio Previtali says that the main summit is likely out of reach thanks to the heavy snow and avalanche prone upper slopes, something that Alan Arnette hinted at his latest dispatch, where he stated his team would go for the Central Summit if they could.

On Cho Oyu a similar story is told, as the Alpine Ascents Team has packed up it’s camp and is prepared to leave the mountain. Poor weather prevented them from ever mounting a serious summit bid. But word has come in today that the Adventure Consultants Team have made a successful summit, topping out at 8 AM local time this morning. The Jagged Globe Team hopes to follow in their footsteps tomorrow or the next day.

In other news, China has announced that it will put up a GSM Cell Tower to help provide coverage of the 2008 Olympic Torch going to the summit of Everest in the Spring. The tower will go up at 6500m and provide cell service to base camp and the entirety of the “normal” route on the North Side.

Finally, as unrest continues in Nepal, the Kathmandu Post, the largest newspaper in that country, was attacked and ransacked by Maoist supporters, disrupting work and attempting to assault Managing Director, Kailash Sirohiya. You’ll recall that the Maoist party elected to leave the interim government recently as a protest against the coming elections this Fall. The Maoist rebels claim that the King will try to rig the elections in his favor in order to put his own people into power. The move has put many area of Kathmandu and Nepal in general, into unrest that is not unlike that that existed during the decade long conflict between the rebels and the government.

Kraig Becker

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