Himalaya Fall 2012 Update: Teams On The Move

ladder on the way up to camp 2

The weather has improved across the Himalaya and teams are now taking advantage of the shift in conditions to return to their normal acclimatization schedule. It looks like Manaslu in particular will be especially busy this weekend as the climbers who have been stuck in Base Camp for the past week finally get a chance to stretch their legs.

The Mountain Professionals didn’t waste any time in starting their first rotation. With the storm over they moved up to Camp 1 yesterday and report that the entire team is feeling good and strong. They also indicated that the ropes aren’t completely fixed to the summit yet, so there is still some work to be done before they can go to the top. This is the team’s first rotation however, so they’re remaining patient and keeping an eye on what is to come in the days ahead.

The IMG team went on a hike yesterday to “get the cobwebs worked out.” They’re planning on climbing up to Camp 1 today and then on to C2 tomorrow. If conditions are good, they’ll then proceed on to Camp 3 on Sunday before returning to BC to rest and plot their next move. If all goes according to plan and they’re feeling healthy, they’ll start planning their summit bids sometime next week. Similarly, the Altitude Junkies were assessing the safety of the snow and hoped to follow a similar schedule. If they feel everything is secure, they’ll move up to C1 today and on to C2 tomorrow as well.

Over on Makalu, Billi Bierling checks in with an update as well. She reports that the weather conditions are much better on that mountain and she and her team have just completed a rotation up to 7400 meters (24,278 ft). The Sherpas are still fixing the lines to the summit there as well, but in the meantime Billi and her companions are headed back to BC today, where they expect to find more teams arriving at last. They’ll spend the next few days resting, watching the forecasts and deciding on their next move. No one is talking summit dates just yet, but it seems they’re edging closer to the big day.

Now that things are settled across the region and it appears the monsoon has moved out for another year, we can expect plenty of movement on all the hills in the days ahead. There is still plenty of time before the really cold weather arrives and these teams are all on track to summit before that becomes and issue.

Update: After posting my original report, I also received news on the whereabouts of the Moguls to Manaslu team. The boys are in Camp 2 today and digging their tents out from under a meter of snow and they hope to continue up to Camp 3 tomorrow, where they’re told there is over two meters of fresh powder. That means they have a lot of work ahead of them just getting their campsite back in order. They do hope to push for the summit within the next few days but considering the heavy snow and lack of fixed ropes, that may be tough going. For now, we’ll just have to wait to see how their plans evolve.

Kraig Becker