There isn’t a lot of new news to report from the Himalaya today, but I did want to post about a couple of ongoing expeditions that are still unfolding there. Most namely, the attempt on Everest by solo-Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki.
Yesterday we knew that Kuriki was moving up the mountain and had reached Camp 3, where he rested for another day before planning to move up to Camp 4 today. According to his website, that is where he should be now, in C4 and preparing for a summit push. The question now is, will that summit push come tomorrow or on Thursday.
According to his plans that were revealed prior to moving up the mountain, the 33-year old climber had intended to reach Camp 4 by Sunday. He then hoped to spend yesterday breaking trail before descending back to C4 for a rest. That means he had originally hoped to be making the attempt on the summit today. Obviously he is now off that schedule, which begs the question of whether or not he has encountered worse than expected conditions, or if he is moving slower than planned.
Either way, we should know within the next day or two whether or not he finds success on the mountain. After today, he’ll be in striking distance of the summit, and it will all come down to his physical condition and whether or not the route to the top is safe and accessible. For now, we’ll just have to sit tight and wait for more news to break.
Over on Dhaulagiri another expedition is waiting for its chance to summit as well. The team is led by French climber Yannick Graziani, who reports that the squad is currently in Base Camp and watching the weather closely. They are now acclimatized and ready to go, but they’ll need a four day window for their summit push. At the moment, they are considering when they should move up from BC to ABC to put themselves in position to launch their summit bid. Right now, there isn’t a suitable window in the forecast, but they are watching the skies intently with the hope that they’ll get positive news soon. So far, heavy rains and high winds have thwarted their efforts.
Finally, Ueli Steck continues to wait for his climbing mate Colin Haley to recover from illness. The two are preparing to take on the very difficult Babanov route on Nuptse, and while Ueli says he is feeling strong and ready to go, Coin was forced to descend to the Khumbu Valley to recover. Hopefully he’ll be back on his feet and ready to go soon.
While the fall climbing season is far from over, most of the commercial squads have now left the Himalaya for the season. Manaslu saw the bulk of their attention this year, and last week numerous teams found major success on that mountain. Now, most have packed up and departed, which means moving forward there won’t be as much news to share. The remaining teams are doing very interesting climbs however, so there is still plenty of action to follow.