Himalaya Fall 2012 Update: Skiers Making Summit Bid?


Yesterday I posted an update from the Himalaya that was mostly about how the teams on Manaslu are currently in a holding pattern while they wait for an opportunity to begin their climb. We had numerous reports from different sources who indicated that a storm had been raging on the mountain for three days and that forecasts seemed to indicate that it would continue for a few more before letting up. Until it does blow over, the climbers will be staying in Base Camp and waiting for conditions to improve.

But late yesterday I also received a conflicting report from the gang at EpicTV that you can read here. It indicates that they have heard from the Moguls to Manaslu team on Sunday, who told them that the storm had passed and that they were planning on heading back up the mountain. You may recall that this squad of climbers, made up of Greg Costa, Rémy Lécluse and Glen Plake, are attempting to climb Manaslu and then make a ski descent all without the use of supplemental oxygen. The trio apparently laid out their plans which would have them going from Camp 2 to Camp 3 today, spending tomorrow resting in C3 before proceeding up to Camp 4 on Thursday and making a final summit push on Friday.

Whether or not that schedule will hold remains to be seen. If the storm has indeed dissipated, it would clear the way for them to begin climbing again although there could be quite a bit of fresh snow along the route, making it difficult to move up. Also, the route from Camp 1 to Camp 2 is prone to avalanches, which means it could be tricky until the snow has settled as well. The team promised to check in with EpicTV again once they were in Camp 2, so for now we’ll just have to wait to see if they made it.

The IMG team updated their blog late yesterday as well, indicating that they are still in BC and waiting out the weather. More importantly, their update filled in their plans and what we can expect on Manaslu in the next few days. Once they start up the mountain on their next acclimatization rotation, the plan is to first spend a night in C1 before spending two nights at Camp 2. If everything goes well and the climbers are feeling up to it, they’ll then proceed to C3 for a night as well, followed by some rest ahead of a summit push of their own. The dispatch says that at the moment there are no ropes fixed above Camp 3 but that there is a plan in place to finish fixing the lines all the way to the top over the course of the next week. That would seem to indicate that we shouldn’t expect the bulk of the climbers to have a go at the summit until sometime early next week.

For now, all we can do is wait and watch the weather too.

Kraig Becker