Weather forecasts predicting good conditions over the Himalaya for the end of the week have proven to be accurate, and as a result, we have now seen the first successful summits of the season on Manaslu. Earlier today, the Altitude Junkies posted a brief update on their website indicating that the team had a successful day on the mountain. Their dispatch read as follows:
“Summits! We have had six team members and six Sherpas summit Manaslu this morning. Everyone is safe, with some members descending to base camp today and some descending tomorrow. More details to come.”
The AJ squad was working closely with the Himex team, which also had a successful day on the mountain. Team leader Russell Brice posted his own update that indicated that all nine of his clients topped out, along with two guides and nine Sherpas as well. All members of the team are reportedly in good physical condition, with some returning all the way to Base Camp today, while others will rest in Camp 3, before coming down tomorrow.
This weather window is now expected to close, as high winds move over the summit of Manaslu in the next few days. According to Brice, conditions for the climb today were not ideal, as the winds started to pick up as the climbers left Camp 4. Fortunately, things did not deteriorate from there, and everyone was able to get up and down safely.
Congratulations to all of the climbers on a job well done.
Meanwhile, we’re still awaiting word on the Double8 team. The trio of climbers, who hope to summit two 8000-meter peaks in seven days, had set out for the summit of Shishapangma a few days ago with Ueli Steck in tow. They had hoped to make a speed ascent to the summit, and ski back to BC in just one day, but there has not been any official updates on their progress just yet. There are some indications that they may have run into heavy snow just below the summit once again, and may have turned back for a second time. If true, they are likely descending and preparing to head to Cho Oyu for an attempt on that mountain.
Elsewhere across the Himalaya, teams continue to acclimatize and look for good weather to go up their respective mountains. For the most part, things continue to play out on schedule, and there doesn’t seem to be any major concerns at the moment. Over the next few weeks, there will be more summit pushes to come, as climbers wrap up their preparation, and start their final attempts as well. I’ll post further updates as warranted.