Thanks to everyone for following my climb of the world’s 8th highest peak, healing Manaslu at 26, thumb 759 feet or 8156 meters. I summited the true summit at 9:40AM on September 25, 2013 after leaving the high Camp at 3:10AM. The time included waiting for almost 1:30 minutes for the final rope to be fixed to the true summit.
The true summit of Manaslu is the absolute scariest spot I have ever climbed. It consisted of a narrow cornice with soft edges that dropped off over 3,000 feet. As I made my final steps to the true summit, my left foot pushed off a small section of the cornice. I watched as the snow fell gently down the sharp rock and snow wall. It was a moment that caused my heart to skip a beat, my lungs to stop and a sense of history, purpose, focus and resolution that garnered all my attention.
The overall climb of Manaslu was shocking. Trust me, it is not an “easy” 8000 meter mountain. The climb between Camp 1 and 2 was technical, meaning ice axes, steep (60 degree) snow climbs and rappels that required all my years of experience. The climb between Camp 3 and 4 was unbelievable steep with over 400 meters (1200 feet) of snow slopes combined with some steep snow climbs. It took me five hours but for some climbers it was a 12 hour day.
The route in 2013 was extremely different than in 2012. The avalanches had changed the terrain, the glacier had moved sharply. All this required the Sherpas, primarily from Himex and Altitude Junkies, to work hard to fix a safe route to the upper mountain. In the end, it was done but took on a new level of difficulty not seen on Manaslu in years.
I am very proud of our team. Those who summited demonstrated experience and determination. Those who didn’t, learned a great deal about themselves and extreme mountaineering that will serve them well on future climbs. For me I continued to learn about how to set and accomplish hard goals, take care of myself and the struggles of reaching one of the highest mountains on Earth. These lessons apply to my daily life as well and to those Alzheimer’s caregivers.
I had the opportunity to speak at length with many mountaineers such as Phil Crampton of Altitude Junkies, Russell Brice of Himex and Purba Tashi Sherpa, the world renowned Himex Climbing Sidar, Chhang Dawa Sherpa, who recently completed climbing all 14 of the 8000m mountains and now runs Seven Summit Treks plus Tunc Fundik, Turkey’s top climber. It was interesting to discuss the change in mountaineering, the Sherpa culture and, of course, Manaslu this season with these experts. I will post my interviews at a later date.
As always thanks to those who contributed to the Alzheimer’s non-profits, Your donations go 100% to the non-profit and never to fund my climbs. Thank you.
I’m sorry that my dispatches came to an abrupt halt. There were technical issue that I could not resolve while on the mountain.
For now I will take to easy in Kathmandu before returning home.
Memories are Everything