Himalaya Fall 2009: Let it Snow!

The reports coming in from the Himalaya all report the same thing, snow! And plenty of it. Teams are sitting in base camps throughout the region, while plenty of snow is already building up, especially at altitude. We’ll just have to wait to see if that has a major impact further into the season when summit bids begin.

These are exactly the same thoughts that Ueli Steck is having in his latest dispatch, where he is reporting that he and the other climbers on Makalu are stuck in BC, where he reports that it is never comfortable, with temperatures that are either too hot or too cold. His weather forecasts give him reason for hope however, as the conditions should improve through the weekend, with clear, sunny skies reported for next week. Perhaps then he can get started on his solo, alpine style ascent of the West Pillar.

Meanwhile, Andre Lock has updated us on his plans, as he makes his way to base camp on Shisha Pangma. He was in Kathmandu a few days back, but already planning his journey into Tibet, and hopes to reach the mountain by Sept. 16. Andrew has been dreaming of this climb for some time, and it was delayed last year thanks to China closing off the Tibetan borders, but he’s back on track now, and hoping to have a successful climb. If he does, this will be his 14th, and final, 8000 meter peak. Good luck Andrew!!

The Altitude Junkies are en route to Manaslu, and are currently acclimatizing in Sama Goan, the last village before they reach BC. They report wet, and very muddy, conditions on the trek in, but the team is said to be doing well, and enjoying their last break before they begin their climb. The mountain has remained a mystery thus far however, as due to the cloud cover, they haven’t even seen it yet.

Over on Cho Oyu things are progressing nicely, as the IMG Team reports weather conditions have improved there, and they are progressing up to Camp 1 today. A similar report comes in from the Jagged Globe crew, who have gone up as high as 6000 meters already, as they plan their acclimatization process out. Likewise, Emily, reporting for Alpenglow Expeditions from Manaslu, says that the sun is finally shining there as well.

Finally, the Field Touring Alpine team checks in from India, where they are still making their way to base camp, amidst snowy conditions. The audio dispatches from the team have begun, and they note that they hope to be on Satopanth tomorrow.

Kraig Becker

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