While the teams continue to stream into Everest Base Camp, the other big Himalayan peaks are starting to gather crowds (albeit modest ones!) as well. As usual, there are a series of exciting expeditions taking place across the region this spring and the climbers on those adventures are starting their approaches as well.
One of the more ambitious projects for 2012 comes from Ueli Steck who has joined forces with American climber Freddie Wilkinson to launch his Khumbu Express II expedition. The duo hope to open new routes on the North Faces’ of Cholatse (6440m/21,129ft), Tawoche (6542m/21,463ft) and Ama Dablam (6812m/22,349ft). Ueli and Freddie are currently trekking acclimatizing and trekking through the Khumbu Valley and after a rest day in Namche Bazaar yesterday they are expected in Pheriche today. That should put them in Base Camp on Cholatse by the weekend where we’ll hopefully start to get regular updates on their progress.
Also in the Khumbu, and on his way to Everest BC, is Simone Moro, who will be attempting the difficult Everest-Lhotse traverse. For those that don’t know, Lhotse is the fourth highest peak in the world at 8516 meters (27,940 ft) in height. It is also the next door neighbor to Everest and when climbing either of the peaks from the South Side, teams share the same route all the way up to Camp 4. At that point, they go in separate directions to their respective summits, before descending back down to the shared camp once again. Simone hopes to climb to the top of Everest, descend to C4 and then begin an ascent of Lhotse from that point after he has had a chance to rest. If successful this will be one impressive feat, and if anyone can do it, it is Simone. We’ll definitely be watching this expedition closely in the weeks ahead.
Australian climber Allie Pepper has completed her acclimatization trek through the Khumbu and has now returned to Kathmandu where she is preparing to leave for Manaslu. That 8156 meter (26,759 ft) peak will be the first of her Himalayan double-headers this year as she also intends to summit Lhotse later in the season. Allie has posted some excellent photos of her trek which you can check-out here.
The Adventure Consultants are guiding a team on Manaslu this spring as well and they are already en route to the mountain. They reached the village of Samagaun today and will rest there before heading to Base Camp on Thursday. The entire team is in good spirits, feeling great and eager to get their climb underway.
Finally, Don Bowie is on Annapurna where he has already been making good progress. As of last Wednesday, which is when Don last updated us on his status, he had already spent two nights in Camp 1 and was preparing to head to Camp 2 for an over-night stay as well. Presumably that went off without a hitch and he has since returned to BC for a rest. Hopefully we’ll get an update soon, as Annapurna is one of the more challenging climbs in the Himalaya and I’d love to hear how the conditions are on that mountain this spring.
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