Yesterday I posted a story about how climbers were turned back on Manaslu, while teams were still struggling up Cho Oyu. Today we get word of a successful summit on that mountain as well as some insights into skiing an 8000 meter peak.
We’ll start on Cho Oyu, where ExWeb is reporting that Danish climber Jakob Urth topped out on the 26,906-foot tall mountain yesterday at approximately 3PM local time. Urth was climbing as part of the Asian Trekking team, who sent out a press release to trumpet his accomplishment. Ecuadorian mountaineer Santiago Quintero wasn’t quite so lucky however, as he spent much of the day breaking trail by himself, only to retreat at the summit plateau. Quintero says that he climbed as high as 26,387 feet before turning back due to high winds and dropping temperatures. He returned to C2 for the night and is reportedly giving it another go today, as the window of opportunity on Cho Oyu is quickly closing for the season. Santiago says that it is now, or never, on the mountain. The Field Touring Alpine Team feels the same way, and with conditions not improving at the summit, they have elected to call it quits for the season.
It appears that the season has been over on Manaslu for a week, although not all the climbers got the message. A few diehards tried to hold out but haven’t had success later in the week. Last week, British climber Kenton Cool reached the summit however, and then made a ski descent of the mountain. He gave a few details of that climb and descent on the Mountain Hardwear Blog. You can read what he has to say here. In the blog post, Kenton talks about what a struggle it was to climb to the summit, in -40º temperatures, with skis strapped to their backs. Eventually they did summit however, marking the first of the season on Manaslu. From there, they dropped into their skis and found good snow near the top, but as the mountain widened, it became more icy and more challenging. They ended up spending the night in Camp 4 before descending the rest of the way the following day.
Finally today, Eric Larsen posted another update from Everest saying that his back is improving and he’ll soon be on the move once again. He also reports that the rope fixing is going well and that the route should be set up to the South Col today. That means they still have some ways to go before they are set to the summit, but the Sherpas continue to make progress while the climbers take their time acclimatizing. It seems that the way will soon be cleared for summit bids to begin on Everest as well.
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