Himalaya 2012: Summits On Manaslu, Ueli Ready On Everest


A new week brings new promise to the Himalaya, where the teams on Everest continue to wait while elsewhere climbers are topping out on various peaks. The week ahead should be a busy one, as it looks like the projected weather window will open on schedule, which should pave the way for another round of summit bids.

Yesterday was summit day on Manaslu, and according to the latest dispatch from the Adventure Consultants, several climbers topped out, including two of their own. The mountain has been battered with snow this spring, which has made it difficult on everyone, but the forecast called for a weather window and it opened up as expected. Winds were a bit high but manageable and everything came together at just the right time for those who were fortunate enough to make it to the top. The true summit of Manaslu is a very small sliver of rock, and most who reach it have it to themselves for a brief moment. That was the case here, as the climbers didn’t linger long before heading down. They are now safely back in BC and are preparing to depart today.

No word yet on whether or not Allie Pepper was amongst the successful summiteers. She was hoping to climb Manaslu before setting out for Lhotse, but she hasn’t posted an update in some time. The dispatch from the AC doesn’t mention her either, so it is possible that she has left for her second mountain considering weather conditions haven’t been good and time is starting to run short.

Elsewhere, ExWeb is reporting that the teams on Annapurna are folding up shop and heading home after another long and tough season on that peak. Amongst them is Don Bowie, who won’t be joining Ueli Steck on Everest now. ExWeb is also saying that a Spanish team is in the middle of a summit push on Shisha Pangma right now, but there is little movement on Cho Oyu or Dhaulagiri, although teams on that mountain are preparing for summit bids this week.

Speaking of Ueli Steck, he reports in that his acclimatization on Everest is officially over after spending a the night at 8000 meters (26,246 ft). Ueli says that he and his Sherpa guide stashed their gear at that point and that there were few people on Everest that had been up that high as of yet. A tent city will form there in a few days and everyone who has been patiently waiting will finally get their crack at the summit. Ueli is one of them, although it remains to be seen if he’ll make a speed attempt.

On both sides of Everest everyone continues to wait. In the North, the Sherpas have built Camp 3 and the teams are waiting for the ropes to be fixed, while on the South Camp 4 is being stocked in anticipation of the winds dying down at last and access being granted to the summit. Everyone seems optimistic that that will happen late this week, but for now we all wait.

Kraig Becker

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