As I mentioned earlier in the week, a number of autumn expeditions are underway in the Himalaya, where small teams have collected on a few mountains, where they are already busy setting up camps, learning important skills, and most of all – acclimatizing for the ascents to come.
On Manaslu, the Altitude Junkies have now set-up shop and have their all important “Internet dome” working properly. This gives the team members an opportunity to blog about their experience, stay in contact with friends and family back home, and keep track of what’s happening in the world. They won’t get too long to enjoy their technology however, as the team plans to head up to Camp 1 today, weather permitting, and spend a few nights sleeping there as part of their first rotation.
The Himex squad is also on Manaslu, and they have already finished their first stay in C1, and have now been back in ABC for several days. They hope to go back up for their second rotation in a day or two, but for now, they are enjoying warmer temperatures and clear skies in BC, where thick fog and cool weather had been the norm. The Sherpa team, consisting of 21 climbers, went back up the mountain earlier in the week and were preparing to build Camp 3 and drop supplies at 6800 meters (22,400 ft), but they discovered part of the route had collapsed, so they’ve had to go to work on rebuilding the lines and making sure they are safe for clients. That process is complete, and the climbers can now safely proceed up to C3, although they’re not quite ready to go that high just yet.
Jumping over to Shisha Pangma, the IMG team has already completed it’s climb and stay in Camp 2, and everyone is back in Advanced Base Camp and recuperating from that rotation. Their Sherpa team is also fixing lines to Camp 3, but more teams are now arriving on the mountain, so the hope is that they’ll be able to work together to finish the process. The latest updates indicate that the weather is good, with small snow showers, but no major storms.
Meanwhile, on Cho Oyu the Adventure Lovers team was in ABC, located at 5650 meters (18,536 ft) on Tuesday, where they conducted their Puja Ceremony before they began their climb. Wednesday they made the trek up to Camp 1, at 6400 meters (20,997 ft) and after spending a few days acclimatizing there, they are expected back in ABC today. They’ll then rest for a time before starting back up the mountain.
On Dhaulagiri, Carlos Soria is making progress as well, despite bad weather. According to an update on Wednesday, he and his team have moved up to Camp 1 and continue to be in good spirits and health. Unfortunately, they’ve had to contend with heavy rains in the evenings, although it doesn’t seem to have been a major detriment thus far.
At this point of their climbs, it is all about the rotations. The reports sound a bit repetitive and boring, but in actuality, this is what it is like to climb in the Himalaya. The process can be slow and monotonous, but also necessary for success at the end. Still, these teams are all doing well thus far, and if the weather continues to be good, it is likely we’ll see summit attempts beginning in a couple of weeks.
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