Himalaya Fall 2018: First Summits of the Season Come on Manaslu

Manaslu base camp

A team of rope-fixing Sherpas, along with a couple of foreign climbers, have notched the first summits of the season on Manaslu today. Their successful attempt on the 8163-meter (26,781 ft.) mountain paves the way for commercial teams to follow as the autumn climbing season takes a turn towards the finish line.

According to The Himalayan Times, the four Sherpas were part of the Seven Summit Treks climbing team and included Gyaljen Sherpa, Mingma Tenjing Sherpa, Tenjing Chhimbi Sherpa and Temba Bhote. They were followed closely by Brazilian climber Moeses Fiamoncini and Spaniard Sergio Mingote, who essentially topped out just behind the rope-fixing team.

Reportedly, the weather is currently quite good on Manaslu, which could mean that other teams will launch their summit bid this week as well. They’ll need an extended weather window heading into the weekend if they haven’t already left Base Camp. With nearly 200 foreign climbers on the mountain however, not everyone has completed the acclimatization process just yet. We can probably expect more summits over the next few days however as some of the squads look to wrap up their expeditions early and begin the journey home.

The THT also says that the Nepali Department of Tourism indicates that it has issued permits for 430 total climbers this autumn season. Those climbers are spread out across 57 different teams and 27 mountains, indicating that there are quite a few small teams that are conducting operations on numerous small peaks in the Himalaya. Most of these are eluding attention, although if something major happens we’re sure to hear about it.

Meanwhile, the teams on Cho Oyu have also launched their summit bids, with the Adventure Consultants leaving BC yesterday and today. They also report good weather and if their schedule holds, they should reach the top on Friday or Saturday of this week. Other teams on the mountain are still wrapping up their acclimatization efforts and are probably a week or so away from starting their own treks to the summit.

That’s all for today. It looks like the next week or so should be busy one in Nepal, and we’ll keep an eye on things as they unfold. There is still probably a month to go in the climbing season, but the big commercial expeditions are already turning towards the finish. It won’t be long now.

Kraig Becker