Himalaya Fall 2011: New Summit Bids Underway!

snowy sunny morning

Extremely bad weather shutdown all summit bids last weekend, but the new week brought clear skies and generally good conditions. That has also brought on a new round of summit bids, with most teams now starting to move up their respective mountains, with an eye on topping out this weekend. They’re also in a race against time, as the jet stream begins to move over the region.

Yesterday we received word from Manaslu that the Altitude Junkies and Himex Sherpa teams were joining forces to dig out the fixed lines, which were buried under snow earlier in the week. They hoped to get everything ready for another summit attempt, although the teams were a bit reluctant to say when that bid might happen. Today we learn that they are now eyeing next Tuesday or Wednesday for their final push, and although the weather pattern looks better, they are now expecting much colder temperatures. If they do plan to summit on the 4th or 5th, they’ll start the ascent as early as tomorrow. 
Meanwhile, the improved weather over the Himalaya has kicked things into high gear on Cho Oyu. The IMG, Adventure Lovers, and Jagged Globe teams have all started moving back up the mountain, and all are reportedly in Camp 2. Conditions are said to be good, although the deep snow is slowing progress considerably. Still, if they stay on pace, and the weather remains good, expect summits on Sunday.
IMG also has a team on Shisha Pangma, and they’ve also preparing for a new summit bid as well. The Sherpas climbed to Camp 1 today to dig out the tents and prepare for the arrival of the climbers, who are set to begin their ascent tomorrow. That would conceivably put them on schedule to summit on Tuesday of next week, provided everything goes according to plan. 
ExWeb chimed in with the news yesterday that a Polish team climbing on Makalu was already in Camp 3 on that mountain, with plans to head up to C4 today. If that milestone was reached, than it is likely that tomorrow will be summit day for the 7-man team.
Finally, in the same story, ExWeb reported that an unnamed Czech climber died on Cho Oyu a few days back. The cause of death isn’t known, but the body was apparently found hanging in the ropes. The man was an independent climber, but aside from that no one even seems to know his name. As always, condolences to friends and family. 
Kraig Becker