Himalaya Fall 2014: More Teams Depart for the Mountains

1280px Makalu

The 2014 fall climbing season in the Himalaya is starting to pick up steam now. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a number of teams already arrive in Kathmandu, and make their way out to their respective Base Camps. But now, several other high profile squads are en route as well, as the season officially gets under way.

Earlier today, the British Military team climbing Makalu this fall set off at long last. They departed for Nepal from Heathrow International Airport, and should arrive there tomorrow. They’ll only spend a few days in the capital city before shipping out to BC. They now estimated that they will arrive on the mountain around Sept. 21, which coincides nicely with the official start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. They’ll be attempting the incredibly tough Southeast Ridge, which is brutally long and difficult. This will be one of the more interesting expeditions to follow in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned for updates.

Meanwhile, over on Shishapangma, 75-year old Carlos Soria has reached Base Camp. He’ll be spending a few days there acclimatizing before he starts heading up the slopes. If he successfully reaches the top in a few weeks time, this will mark his 12th 8000-meter peak, which is an impressive accomplishment at any age. But, Carlos doesn’t look like he intends to slow down anytime soon, and he continues to serve as an inspiration to us all.

Chris Jensen Burke left Kathmandu today for Cho Oyu. She hopes to be in Base Camp by next Thursday, after spending some time in both Nyalam and Tingri acclimatizing. Cho Oyu is in Tibet, so much of the journey will be made by vehicle, as opposed to trekking to BC in Nepal. She is allotting just 25 days total for the expedition, and is targeting a summit date around October 4. Of course, the weather will dictate if that schedule will hold or not, but since she is still acclimatized from her summer in the Karakoram, it shouldn’t take her long to be ready.

The Adventure Consultants are already on Cho Oyu, and they report that things are going well. They held their Puja ceremony this morning, and spent the remainder of the day prepping their gear for their first rotation up the mountain. Tomorrow, they’ll head up to Camp 1 and begin the acclimatization process.

Finally, over on Manaslu, the Altitude Junkies are settling into their routine as well. Their latest dispatch indicates a slight change in schedule, as persistent heavy snowfall over the past few days has made things a bit unstable. Nothing too serious to worry about, but it delayed the rope fixing duties by a day or two. The work is progressing steadily however, and the Sherpas will proceed directly up to Camp 2 tomorrow to start fixing ropes up to C3. The teams will follow them up to C2, where they’ll actually be taking their second acclimatization rotation already. Despite the poor weather, things are going about as well as can be expected at the moment.

That’s all for updates for today. Look for more progress reports next week.

Kraig Becker