It is shaping up to be a weird and wild autumn climbing season on Manaslu in Nepal. The mountain is the most popular 8000-meter peak this fall, with more than 250 foreign climbers attempting to reach its summit. A couple of weeks back we learned that due to restricted helicopter access, the teams were having a hard time getting supplies and gear up to Base Camp. Now, comes word that two individuals got into a heated brawl at Camp 2, sending one to the hospital in Kathmandu.
The Himalayan Times is reporting that the two men who were involved in the fight were both Chinese, and possibly business rivals. Apparently, witnesses saw two groups of Chinese climbers arguing back and fourth between one another when one of the men picked up a crampon, charged another climber, and stabbed him in the chest with the sharp spikes. The attacker then fled the scene while his victim was aided by medical staff.
The victim in the attack has been identified as Peng Tao. He reportedly received sharp injuries to his chest from the crampon spikes and was air lifted to Kathmandu to receive proper care. The wounds are not life threatening however and he is in no further danger. There is a good chance he’ll return to the mountain to continue the expedition.
Apparently, the two men once worked together back in China, but one of them recently left the business where both were employed to start his own venture. It is suspected that this rivalry may be at the root of the argument which ended up leaving Tao injured. The incident was reported by Nepali police, but there is no word as to whether or not there will be further disciplinary action taken.
Meanwhile, team leaders in BC on Manaslu say that the teams are getting close to launching summit bids. In fact, the first climbers could top out as early as the middle of next week, weather permitting. We’ll keep an eye on the schedule and see how things unfold. We could be just a few days away from the first summits of the fall season.