Himalaya Fall 2011: Summits To End The Season

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The Fall 2011 Himalaya climbing season is quickly coming to an end as climbers finish their expeditions. Some are already heading home, while others are still coming down the mountain, but the last few days have seen a flurry of summits on several peaks.

On Manaslu, Himex has pust 46(!) people on top in the past two days, which is an astounding number. Their dispatch claims that is about 10% of the total number of people who have actually climbed the mountain since it was first summited back in 1956. Similarly, the Altitude Junkies had a dispatch yesterday saying that their team was in position to go up to the summit today, so it seems patience is finally paying off for those who stayed for a few extra days.

IMG is also reporting that their Shisha Pangma team reached the summit yesterday as well. It was a tough climb, with lots of trail breaking through deep snow, but in the end they were able to get up and down safely and are due back in ABC today.

There have been more summits on Cho Oyu as well, with the SummitClimb team topping out on Monday and more teams hoping to go up yesterday amidst good weather. Unfortunately, ExWeb is reporting that there is also an ongoing rescue attempt on that mountain as well, with a stranded Spanish climber in Camp 2. Apparently, the climber turned back from his summit attempt due to exhaustion, and now is unable to make his way unassisted down the mountain. Other climbers are going up to help him, but snow conditions are making things challenging, and there are few teams left in ABC to lend a hand. Lets hope for the best.

The exhausted climbers on Makalu, Β Artur Hajzer, Kacper Tekieli, Adam Ciucka and Maciej Stanczak, along with four Sherpas, are continuing their very slow descent. They reportedly reached Camp 1 yesterday and should be back in ABC today, although Stanczak has had to be carried off the mountain due to his extreme exhaustion. They appear to be otherwise in good health and should be fine after a bit of rest.

Congrats to everyone who has topped out over the past few days. It has been a hectic end to the season, and while there may yet be a few more late summits, most of the season is now over, and the Himalaya will grow quiet until the spring.

Kraig Becker