Himalaya Fall 2016: Manaslu the Most Popular Peak of the Season

Manaslu Cho Oyu Base Camp

The numbers are in for the fall climbing season in Nepal, and Manaslu is far and away the most popular peak in the country. Over the weekend, the Nepali Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation released some statistics for the number of permits issued to foreign climbers, and as usual those numbers share some interesting insights.

According to The Himalayan Times, Nepal has issued 277 climbing permits for the fall. Those permits are spread out over 19 different peaks within the country. Of those 277 climbers, 151 have are attempting Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world at 8163 meters (26,781 ft). For some, it will be a testing ground before moving on to Everest in the future, while others are there to add an 8000-meter peak to their resume. In all, there are 16 teams heading to the mountain this fall.

Sherpa teams have finished installed the fixed ropes up to Camp 3 on Manaslu over the past few days, which means the teams on that mountain – including Seven Summit Treks and Himex – will be wrapping up their acclimatization efforts there soon and will begin thinking about summit bids. That could happen as early as next week. Traditionally, the summit push comes in the final week of September or early October, depending on weather conditions.

The Himalayan Times also reports that Amadablam, Saribung and the Putha Hiuchuli are some of the other peaks that have been issued permits this year as climbers look for other challenges in the region that aren’t 8000-meters or taller in height. For instance, 39 climbers have obtained permits for Himlung Himal as well, a peak that is 7126 meters (23,379 ft) in height, and a good introduction to Himalayan climbing.

All told, it seems that Nepali officials are happy and impressed with the number of expeditions that have come to the region this year. In addition to the all of the climbers in Nepal, more than a dozen teams have also traveled to Tibet, most to take on Shishapangma or Cho Oyu. While Everest is seeing very little traffic – just a single climber at the moment – business is good elsewhere.

Speaking of Cho Oyu, the weather has been good over the past couple of days, allowing the Adventure Consultants to climb up to Camp 2 as they continue to acclimate as well. They will return to ABC tomorrow for a brief rest before starting another rotation later in the week. That’s where the IMG is currently residing as they prepare to head back up the slopes as well.

Over on Dhaulagiri, the Altitude Junkies also report good weather, with nary a cloud in the sky. That made for warm conditions while scaling the glacier, but it allows them to climb up to Camp 2 over the weekend as well. Their Sherpa teams are hurriedly attempting to fix the ropes, while high altitude porters shuttle gear up to the higher camps. If everything goes as scheduled, and the weather continues to cooperate, they’ll make their summit push between September 25-30, wrapping up the season on that mountain.

That’s all for today. More news as it comes in. The season is proceeding along as expected, with few major issues so far. There are lot of expeditions that are just getting underway though, so there should be a lot to share int he days ahead.

Kraig Becker