Himalaya Fall 2017: Summits Continue on Manaslu, An Update From Lhotse

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Great weather has set the stage on Manaslu, where dozens of climbers have either summited over the past few days or are on their way up now. There has already been a high success rate on the mountain this fall, and there are still more summits to come. It appears that the current weather window will now extend into next week, giving every team an opportunity to have a crack at reaching the top.

Right now, the Seven Summits Treks team, which is the largest on the hill, have had the most success. Alan Arnette reports that they may have put as many as 90 people on the summit this season. Most are now back in BC and preparing to head home. Yesterday, the Summit Climb team also put a sizable group not he summit, and they are returning to Base Camp today as well. It is unclear at this time how many members of that squad topped out.

Today, the Arnold Coster team reached the summit, putting seven clients on top, along with eight Sherpas. They are working in conjunction with Seven Summits, who now reports just two Mexican climbers remain on their client list to make their final push.

Finally, the Adventure Consultants remain in BC and plan to stay there for at least one more day. They’ve been resting and recuperating following their final acclimatization rotation, but are now nearly ready to set out again. If they do elect to leave tomorrow, expect them to summit on Sunday, although the weather will ultimately dictate the schedule.

The latest dispatch from the team indicates that porters have arrived in Base Camp and have started to carry gear and supplies for other teams off the mountain. As noted, several groups have wrapped up their expeditions and are now heading home. Within another day or two, Manaslu will be all but abandoned. But, as you can see from the photo above, it has been a very crowded and busy fall there. With the Chinese shutting down Tibet to climbers this autumn, more teams headed to Manaslu instead. The result is a possible new record for most summits in a season. We’ll have to wait for the final tally to know if that holds true.

We finally have an update on the two-man expedition looking to climb the South Face of Lhotse this fall. Korean alpinist Sung Tank Hong is joined by Jorge Egocheaga on this extremely tough route, which has only been successfully completed once before. The duo have been acclimatizing on smaller peaks in the Khumbu Valley, but have now arrived in Base Camp and are preparing to begin the ascent. According to the most recent dispatch, there was a delay in getting all of their gear and equipment to the mountain, but everything is in place now, BC is fully stocked, and they are ready to go. Hopefully we’ll get more updates on their progress in the days ahead.

Good luck to everyone still climbing this season and congratulations to all of the mountaineers who have found success. I’ll post more as the news warrants.

Kraig Becker