The Fall Season is well underway in the Himalaya, with teams preparing to make summit bids this week on both Choy Oyu and Manaslu. Meanwhile, over on Everest, one team calls it quits, while another moves up the mountain.
The big news today, according to ExWeb is that the Adventure Consultants, IMG, Jagged Globe, and Field Touring Alpine teams have all begun their summit push on Cho Oyu. If everything stays according to schedule, they all hope to top out on Thursday of this week. Sherpas from IMG are still fixing the ropes however, so the route is not quite complete, but they are already above C2 and should have everything secure in time for the mass push late this week. If the weather holds, there will be plenty of summits on Thursday or Friday.
Similar plans are in place on Manaslu, where teams have finished their last acclimatization cycle and are now watching the weather as well. A window is expected to open late this week on that mountain as well, allowing climbers to make their bids now with an eye on a Thursday summit too. The forecasts warn that there could be high winds on those days, which could hamper the efforts, but never the less, the Sherpas are working the mountain and finishing the fixing of lines there too.
On Everest, heavy snow has made things very challenging, at least on the North Side. Avalanches there have caused Alberto Zerain’s squad to call it quits on the Hornbein Couloir, deeming the route unsafe for climbing. They’ve made the decision to abandon the mountain and head home for the season. Discretion is the better part of valor it seems on the Tibetan side of the mountain this fall.
Finally, Eric Larsen doesn’t seem to be having too many issues on the South Side of Everest, where he has now moved up to Camp 2 and is acclimatizing at the moment. The weather was good on that side of the mountain this past weekend, but Eric has been dealing with the usual host of high altitude issues, including fatigue, upset stomach, and so on. He seems to be in good spirits however, and hopefully he’ll catch up on some rest when he heads back down to BC tomorrow.
Everest summit bids are still a bit up in the air at this point, but they could possibly begin sometime next week. If he’s successful, Eric will become the first person to reach the North and South Pole, plus the summit of Everest, all in the same calendar year. That’s a pretty impressive few months.