There is no doubt that the bulk of the autumn climbing season in Nepal and Tibet is behind us, with most of the teams already come and gone. But there is still news to share from across the region as a few squads continue to wrap up their expeditions and take advantage of a few good remaining weeks before the onset of winter. With that, here are a few news items worth mentioning from the past couple of days.
ExWeb is reporting that a Polish team on Manaslu has pulled the plug on their climb. The group has stayed on the mountain long after the big commercial squads have completed their expeditions and have gone home. Nepali officials say that more than 220 foreign climbers summited the peak this fall, but the eight Poles who were currently there won’t be among them.
Shifting weather conditions and increased avalanche danger are to blame for the end of the expedition. Apparently, more than a meter of snow fell on the mountain earlier in the week, which is making it very difficult to climb. The team reports that it took more than 15 hours to reach Camp 2 a few days back, while experiencing several close calls from avalanches. That was enough to prompt them to go home, likely bringing an end to season on Manaslu.
Speaking of Manaslu, The Himalayan Times has a story about Jeanette McGill, a geologist from South Africa who recently climbed that mountain. In doing so, she became the first woman from her home country to summit the 8163 meter (26,759-foot) peak. It was her first 8000-meter peak, but you get the sense it won’t be her last. Perhaps we’ll see McGill on Everest next spring or sometime in the near future.
ExWeb also has a story about a team of Austrian climbers who have completed the first ascent of an unclimbed peak in the Indian Himalaya. The group consisted of Hansjörg Auer, Max Berger, Much Mayr and Guido Unterwurzacher, who spent three days climbing the 6050 meter (19,849 ft) peak after acclimatizing in the region for several weeks. The squad made their final push in alpine style, climbing a 3200 meter (10,498 ft) wall on their way to the summit. Once at the top, they rappelled back down the same route to wrap up their adventure late last week.
Finally, if you read Alan Arnette’s blog with any regularity you probably already know that he suffered a major accident while training in Colorado a few years back. During that accident he broke his leg, setting back his plans to climb in the Himalaya. It has been a long road to recovery for the former Everest and K2 summiteer, but he has finally gone back to Nepal, where over the next couple of weeks he’ll be climbing Island Peak. You can follow his progress through his regular updates.
That’s all for now. More news to come I’m sure.
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