For the past few days the news from the Himalaya has pretty much centered around a massive storm that was dumping large quantities of snow on Manaslu, one of the more active peaks this fall season. Since the end of last week the climbers have been staying in Base Camp while they first waited out the rain and then the snow. But today we get word that the storm has now passed and the teams can begin thinking about their next move at last.
As I suspected in yesterday’s post, the Moguls to Manaslu ski team has been in Base Camp along with the rest of the climbers, despite reports to the contrary. They had planned on beginning their summit bid last Sunday, but the poor weather conditions stalled those efforts. Now that the storm is over however, the boys are revising their approach. They now believe they’ll make a single push up to Camp 2 starting tomorrow with an eye on heading towards the summit as early as possibly Sunday. They’re hoping to become the first climbers to summit and make a ski descent without the use of supplemental oxygen and thanks to heavy snow on the mountain, that should be an easier descent at least. The climb will likely be more difficult until that snow settles however.
Meanwhile, the Altitude Junkies checked in this morning and report that while the snow stopped for a time, it has continued later in the day. They note that several teams went up the mountain as soon as the storm broke, but that conditions above Camp 2 are now unsettled and they’ve already witnessed some slides. That has given this team enough of a reason to wait, as the forecasts say the weather will continue to improve over the next few days and that will help settle the snow on the upper slopes.
The IMG squad is taking a similar wait-and-see approach. Their team is staying in BC as well while they let the snow settle some. They did send their Sherpa team up to Camp 1 to dig out the tents and other gear, and while they report that everything is good at that location, there is as much as a meter of fresh snow. That will make climbing higher a lot more challenging and as a result, they’ll wait for conditions to improve too.
Finally, Edita Nichols has decided to take a break from the boredom of Base Camp while she waits for her opportunity to head up. Yesterday she went down to the village of Sama Goan just to get some exercise and leave BC for awhile. She notes that she has been awoken in the night by the thunderous sounds of avalanches on more than one occasion which is another good reason to wait for the fresh powder to consolidate on the slopes.
It seems that the weather is finally changing for the positive and the teams will have a window soon. Those that are already acclimatized will likely begin the first push on Manaslu this weekend, resulting in early summits by next week.
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