Himalaya Spring 2009 Update: Tent Bound on Baruntse

Another day on Everest and another day stuck in BC, waiting and watch the weather reports. Forecasts right now are still looking at the weekend at the earliest before another weather window opens, so until then, the climbers wait for their chance. The Peak Freaks are boldly claiming that the “Summit Push Is On” as they hope to begin moving up the mountain tomorrow to be in position to take advantage of the weather window. They have their eyes on reaching the summit on the morning of the 18th, which is next Monday. IMG doesn’t tip their hand at all, but hint that the weather is showing signs of improvement as well, indicating that they’ll be ready to go up soon too. Similarly, the Adventure Consultants Team indicates that they are making final preparations today to begin their climb as well. So, it looks like things are looking up, both literally and figuratively. There should be a lot of news on the weekend.

The Ski The Himalyas Team would like to see the weather change in their favor as well. They’ve been stuck in the tent for the past four days, waiting and wondering when they’ll get a crack at the summit on Baruntse as well. They note that on the first clear day they’re going to be heading up to the summit, which seems to indicate that they feel pretty good about where they are at on the mountain, and their chances of topping out. Of course, they intend to ski bak down as well, so the fun is just getting started.

In other news, ExWeb is reporting that there are two Kazakh teams at C3 on Lhotse at the moment, and both intend to make their summit bids tomorrow. One of those teams will just settle for bagging this peak, while the other will continue on with their attempt at the Lhotse-Everest Traverse that we’ve been hearing about for the past few months. Both teams will also skip a night at C4 and just make their summit bid without stopping. Those Kazakhs are crazy that way.

The news from Manaslu isn’t great either. Apparently the weather remains bad with snow falling nearly continuously. Teams are holding out for a new round of weather forecasts with the hope that a window will open, but time is running short, and many are ready to pack it in and go home if they don’t see a break in the weather soon.

Finally, on Cho Oyu, the story is similar with bad weather, high winds, and cold temps. Teams are back in BC, after going up to C2, as well, and no one has managed to summit yet this season. ExWeb seems to indicate there is growing frustration on the mountain as well.

Hopefully the weather breaks for the entire region soon. A month from now, the monsoon will likely be in full force, and these teams deserve a shot at their respective summits. With a little luck, they’ll all get the opportunity before it’s too late, and it’s time to go home.

Kraig Becker

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