It has been a busy few days in the Himalaya, where after a slow start to the fall season, teams are now on the move at long last. Over the past few days, a number of squads have settled into Base Camp, with some even starting their first rotation up their respective mountains. Meanwhile, back in Kathmandu, climbers continue to arrive on the scene, setting the stage for what promises to be an interesting fall throughout the region.
We’ll start this update on Lhotse, where a lone Korean team arrived in BC last week. ExWeb says that they endured the remnants of the monsoon while trekking through the Khumbu Valley, and had soggy first few days. But they have completed their Puja ceremony – the ritual in which climbers as for permission from the mountain to climb – and are now waiting for conditions to improve before proceeding up.
75-year old Carlos Soria is freshly arrived in Nepal, and is still in Kathmandu. The Spaniard will be heading out to Shishapangma soon, where he’ll begin his attempt to climb is 12th 8000-meter peak. For now, he is content to do some last minute shopping in the capital city, and rest up for the trek ahead, but he plans to leave for the mountain in the next few days.
The trio of Benedikt Bohm, Sebastian Haag and Andrea Zambaldi – collectively known as the Double 8 Team – will also be heading to Shishapangma soon. They estimate that their climb will get underway the middle of next week. They have ambitious plans for the fall, as they first intend to climb Shisha, then run and mountain bike to Cho Oyu, and summit that mountain as well, all within about a 7 day time span. First they’ll need to acclimatize of course, but once they are ready, the intend to make the climb in a fast and light alpine style. It should be interesting to see how their journey unfolds in the weeks ahead.
ExWeb is also reporting that a team of Slovak ski-mountianeers are preparing to set out for Dhaulagiri soon. The climbers are just arriving in Kathmandu now, and are organizing logistics for the expedition, but will leave for the 8167 meter (26,795 ft) mountain in the next few days.
Jumping over to Manaslu, things are proceeding as expected. The Altitude Junkies report that ropes have been fixed all the way to Camp 2, and the Sherpas from their team, along with Himex, have begun shuttling gear and supplies up to that point. The climbers have also started their first rotation on the mountain, having spent some time in Camp 1 already. With the acclimatization process underway, and the weather cooperating so far, the expedition remains on schedule. Manaslu is reportedly very quiet this fall as compared to recent years, as more teams have crossed the border into Tibet and attempting Cho Oyu instead.
Speaking of Cho Oyu, the Adventure Consultants have checked in from that mountain and report that progress is being made there as well. The teams have now gone as high as Advanced Base Camp as part of their early acclimatization process as well. Reportedly, everyone is still getting settled in BC, and the communications tent hasn’t been set up just yet. Once it is completed over the next day or two, we can expect more consistent updates from the mountain.
Finally, there is a familiar name heading to Cho Oyu soon. Aussie climber Chris Jensen Burke is back in Kathmandu and planning to head out to Base Camp soon. Chris is fresh off a K2 summit in July, and eager to add another 8000-meter peak to her already impressive resume. She says that she briefly considered climbing Shishapangma this fall as well, but decided that was too ambitious of a task considering the other things on her agenda. So, before heading to Ama Dablam later this fall, she’ll knock off another mountain from her list.
Good luck to everyone getting ready for the expeditions. I’ll continue to post updates as the news warrants.
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