It looks like Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger’s attempt to summit Manaslu in winter is over before it ever really got a chance to get underway. Reports indicate that the duo have called for an evacuation from the mountain following a very close call with an avalanche yesterday. They’ll now head home and regroup of potential spring expeditions in the Himalaya instead.
The two climbers arrived on the mountain on February 20 with good weather welcoming them to Base Camp. This allowed them to quickly establish Camp 1 and begin scouting the route. Soon there after however the weather too a turn for the worse, with heavy snow falling over the past few weeks. In fact, Simone and Tamara spent much of their time simply shoveling snow to keep the area around BC clear.
Yesterday, while resting in their tent, they heard a deep rumble above them and knew that an avalanche was taking place it swept down the mountain, bringing five meters of snow with it, just outside of their campsite. That close call was enough of a sign to tell them that the mountain is no longer safe, and that it is time to go home.
At the moment, the two climbers are stranded in Base Camp. It is unsafe for them to descend on their own, as the danger of further avalanches is too high. They have called for a helicopter to come pick them up, but the weather is so poor that it is impossible to fly. It could be another day or two before they are evacuated from the mountain, depending on the weather.
This leaves just the team on Nanga Parbat struggling to summit an 8000-meter peak this winter. That squad is back in Base Camp as well at the moment following a failed summit bid this past weekend. Whether or not they make another attempt at the top of that mountain remains to be seen, with the weather ultimately dictating their chances.
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