With a period of excellent weather on Manaslu, teams are making their summit pushes and over 150 have aready summited this week. However, deep snow on Dhaulagiri has ended the Autumn summit bids.
Dhaulagiri – Over for the 78 year-old
78-year-old Spanish climber Carlos Soria Fontan on Dhaulagiri has ended his 8th attempt over nine years to summit Dhaulagiri. They tried to summit last week but went up the wrong couloir. By the time they discovered their mistake, it was too late with conditions worsening.
His first attempt on Dhaulagiri was in 1998 and has made others in 2001, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2015, and spring of 2017. His highest thus far was 7700 meters on the 8167 meter peak.
He has Dhaulagiri and Shishapangma remaining to complete his dream of summiting all fourteen of the 8000 meter peaks.
Carlos’s team posted on Facebook:
this morning we started a second attempt at the mountain. We knew that we did not have many possibilities, because of the heavy snowfall of the previous days, but we wanted to check for ourselves.
We have started early ascension, and quickly we have been able to make sure that the amount of snow accumulated was a big setback to the intentions of trying the summit. During the ascent to field 1 there have been several avalanches, not far away. In higher areas, more snow is accumulating and in places such as the journey, the way to the top, the danger of avalanches is very high.
In addition, Field 1 stores have been broken by inclement weather, assuming that field 2 AND FIELD 3 have run the same fate. The ropes, previously installed, are buried.
In the face of all these disadvantages we have no choice but to permanently suspend our expedition to the dhaulagiri for this season
Manaslu – Summits and Huge Crowds
This week opened with the tragic news of Philip Harvey‘s death while descending. He reportedly was suffering from altitude sickness.
Currently Manaslu is giving every team a chance to summit with excellent weather conditions and are they ever taking advantage of it! Reports are coming in daily of summits.
There are an estimated 235 foreigners with permits plus at least that many Sherpas on the mountain. It is so crowded due to China closing Cho Oyu this Autumn fearing demonstrations during a meeting in Lhasa.
Seven Summits Treks who has recently catered to Indain and Chinese clients with low prices has the largest team on Manaslu and are enjoying excellent success thus far with almost 90 summits.
These teams are reporting summits with 69 foreigners and over 80 Sherpas totaling 149 people. Click on the links to see the names of the climbers.
- Himalayan Experience: 2 clients, 2 Sherpas
- Seven Summits Treks: 36 Chinese, 3 French, 1 Australian, 1 Mexican, 2 Koreans, over 45 Sherpas – 90 estimated total
- TAGnepal (Tendi Sherpa): 4 clients, 4 Sherpas
- SummitClimb: no details
- Satori Adventures: 2 Indian, 1 Australian, 3 Italians, 1 French, 1 Israeli, 1 Romanian and 13 Sherpas
- Climbalaya Treks: 6 clients, 5 Sherpas
- Ascent Himalaya: 3 Norwegians, 8 Sherpas
- Snowy Horizon Treks: 2 clients, 2 Sherpas
With the weather continuing to look good, the remaining teams are preparing for their push. The boot path is surely well established!
Teams that were on the mountain but are not updating their plans include Adventure Peaks.
With so many people on Manaslu, long lines are inevitable. This picture posted by Seven Summits Treks shows the story. I added one of the same area during my climb in 2013 when there was a total of 121 summits. Chances are excellent there will be twice that number in 2017 – a record.
The most successful year thus far on Manaslu was in 2011 with 285 total summits followed by 2012 and 2013 with 121 each. There have been over 150 in 2017 with many more to come.
This section between C3 and C4 is a long snow slope at an aggressive angle. It causes many people to slow to a crawl. Once at the top of this slope, the route turns to the climber’s right to C4.
Lhotse – South Korea back for 5th time
South Korean, Sung Taek Hong at age 51 is back for the 5th time to attempt Lhotse’s South Face. The only time this route has been climbed was in October 1990 by Russian climbers Serguey Bershov and Vladimir Karataev according to the Himalayan Database.
Sung Taek has attempted this route in each of the previous four years. This year he has Spanish climber Jorge Egocheaga at age 49 with him. Jorge has summited all 14 of the 8000ers but has some controvesery in his past.
The pair had wanted to attempt Lhotse this past Spring but the Chinese refused to give the permits due to a political clash between China and South Korea.
Their latest update should have them at base camp now:
Our team has arrived in Chukkung(4,730m) which is the nearest village from the Lhotse SF base camp. They started their journey to the BC from Kathmandu on the Sep 9th, trek to Namche Bazaar on Sep 10th, went through Temgboche, Dingboche and arrived at Chukkung today . After a short acclimatization, they will move to built their base camp on Sep 16th.
Congratulations to all who summited and best of luck to the rest.
Memories are Everything