Today’s update from the Himalaya demonstrates the old adage of “what a difference a day makes”. Yesterday it was all doom and gloom, with bad weather all over the region, and teams confined to base camp waiting for their opportunity. Today, weather windows have opened up, and those same teams are taking advantage of their good fortune.
We’ll start on Baruntse, where both the Alpine Ascents and Adventure Consultants Teams have summitted amidst a 36 hour weather window that offered them a perfect opportunity to climb. The teams topped out between 11 and 11:30 AM on Saturday, but word of their success is just reaching us now. The 7220 meter (23,688 ft) Baruntse has proven to be a good alternative for teams not allowed into Tibet for a crack at Shisha and Cho Oyu.
The word from Manaslu is that teams are in the midst of their own summit pushes on that mountain as well. After establishing their high camps, and spending time acclimatizing, most of the climbers were in ABC waiting out the storms, which now seem to have moved on. Teams have begun moving up the mountain, although there are preliminary reports that C2 has been destroyed by an avalanche. Looks like they’ll be digging out when they reach that point on the mountain.
On Cho Oyu they remain in a holding pattern thanks to high winds that swept through the area. Climbers were as high as C2 last Friday, but elected to descend to ABC to wait out the winds, which haven’t cleared yet. There are reports that tents at the high camps were damaged as well and will be in need of repairs when teams finally make their push.
Congrats to everyone who summitted Baruntse, and good luck to the teams on Manaslu. Climb safe!
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