Himalaya Fall 2012 Update: Skiing Manaslu

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I’ve been posting regular updates on the fall climbing season in the Himalaya over the past few weeks as the teams have arrived in Nepal and slowly filtered out to their mountains. The bulk of the activity has been centered around Makalu and Manaslu thus far and I’ve tried to keep readers aware of the progress being made on those two peaks, plus a few other random expeditions in the region. But one team that I’ve been following, but haven’t posted about, is the three-man Moguls to Manaslu crew who are attempting to summit that mountain and then ski back down.

The team consists of Glan Plake, Greg Costa and Rémy Lécluse who not only hope to make a ski descent, they hope to complete the entire expedition without the use of supplemental oxygen. The trio have been on the 8156 meter (26,759 ft) for a couple of weeks now and have been steadily acclimatizing on schedule. According to their most recent update this morning, the team has moved up to Camp 2 with plans to proceed up to C3 today and wait out a strong, but short, storm that is expected to dump about 10cm (4 inches) of fresh powder on the mountain. After that storm blows through, the weather forecast says things should be good through the 20th/21st of the month, which could afford them the opportunity to go for the summit, and consequently the ski descent, as early as this weekend. That is well ahead of the schedule that the other guided teams are on for making their ascent of the mountain. Most of those teams are only just arriving or are currently completing their first acclimatization rotations.

The Moguls to Manaslu team has a bit of incentive to go a bit faster now as they’ve learned that they aren’t the only skiers who hope to become the first to take on the Himalayan peak sans oxygen. Greg Hill has also set his sights on that goal and brings an impressive resume with him. If his name sounds familiar, you may recall that Greg was the man who spent all of 2010 attempting to ski 2 million vertical feet, something that he was eventually able to accomplish. In order to do that, you need to be a consistently strong climber and skier.

Greg has been in the Himalaya for a few weeks now as well and has cut his teeth by climbing and skiing Mera Peak, 6470 meter (21,227 ft) mountain this perfect for acclimatizing ahead of Manaslu. His blog hasn’t been updated since Sept. 3 but presumably he is either on his way to the main objective or already in Base Camp on Manaslu itself. Either way, it looks like we’ll have two impressive ski descents of the mountain this year.

Stay tuned for more and thanks to the gang at EpicTV for keeping us informed on these expeditions.

Kraig Becker

1 thought on “Himalaya Fall 2012 Update: Skiing Manaslu”

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