Lets start on Kangchenjunga, where Edurne Pasaban topped out over the weekend, earning her 12th 8000m peak in the process. That puts her, at least momentarily, in the lead to become the first woman to nab all of those mountains, but Italian Nives Meroi is also on the mountain, and should summit in the next few days as well, giving her her 12th peaks of the 8-thousnders as well. And, lets not forget Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, who is in C3 on Lhotse, and looking for her 12th in the next few days too. If all goes according to plan, they should all have just two mountains left after the spring season.
On other mountains in the range we’re told that high winds have had an impact. On Manaslu for instance, teams were forced to stay in C3, although a weather window is expected to open tomorrow, clearing the way for the summit. The team attempting the West Pillar of Makalu were also forced back due to high winds as well. This was their second attempt, and they’d like to make a third, if time and weather permits. The Spanish team on Cho Oyu is also calling it quits after another failed attempt. They went as high as C2, but high winds prevented them from going higher. They’re now going home, a bit disappointed.
The Lhotse-Everest Traverse team, who left C4 last Friday, turned back from the summit and returned to BC, but are preparing to go up again. Apparently weather turned for the worse as the afternoon wore on, and they felt it best to go down and wait for a new opportunity. When they make their next attempt, they’ll find fixed ropes almost to the summit, courtesy of the other Kazakh team they were climbing with.
The Polish Team on Nanda Devi continues to work away on the mountain as well. They’re into their third week now, and have shared some great photos from BC, ABC, and further up the mountain itself. The team hopes to complete their summit push soon, and the weather is reportedly very good.
Finally, the Ski The Himalaya team has posted an excellent account of their first descent of Baruntse. You may recall that last week I posted that the team had turned back just below the summit and skied down the mountain for the first time. They promised more details and they delivered. Ben Clark’s dispatches are always fun to read, and this one doesn’t disappoint either. The team is hoping to make one more push to the summit before coming home as well.