A brief climbing update from around the Himalaya. Teams are on the mountains establishing routes and high camps. Thus far, there temperatures are reported a bit warmer than usual.
Manaslu, mind located in western Nepal is the 8th peak at 8,163 meters 26,781’/8163m. There are about 12 teams reported already at base camp, a bit less than I expected.
The two lead guide services for the past several years, Altitude Junkies and Himalayan Experience are taking the lead as usual on setting the route. 14 Sherpas will be fixing rope to Camp 2 today according to an update from Phil Crampton, leader of the Junkies. He also reports rain and warm temperatures at base camp. Rain is not unusual, but the warm temps could portend issues similar to what happened in the Karakoram this year. But it’s a little early to start worrying about snow conditions.
Phil Crampton posted:
Tomorrow, we will climb to camp one again in the late afternoon and spend an evening at camp one before returning to base camp. Eight Sherpas from the Junkies and six from Himex will start to fix the ropes to camp one and hopefully this job will be completed in a few days.
Russell Brice made these observations on the earthquake damage in the Manaslu region near the village of Samagon:
However in Samagon itself there was practically no evidence of an earthquake. I was surprised to see just how little damage was done, even in the old village where I was expecting to see many of the old houses collapsed, but there was just two or three buildings with any damage at all, and these were government or authority buildings. Not even the 300 year old monastery had received any damage. I did not even see any cracked windows in buildings. This is probably due to the recent construction of many of the buildings here, and private construction. I suspect that the government buildings were constructed at a cheaper price hence the damage to them.
But what I also noted was that every family had received a large aid tent, many of these were standing, but were empty inside. During our stay in Samagon we witnessed several WFP flights coming into Samagon with 50% of what our normal loads would be, and many sheets of corrugated iron being unloaded, and then transported to various building sites, building sites that were under construction a year earlier. So I suspect that there is some very effective lobbying being carried out by Samagon people in Kathmandu.
Japanese Everest climber, Nobokazu Kuriki, is visiting schools before he leaves for Lukla. The Icefall Doctors are working on the route but in an article with AFP . 63 year-old Ang Kami Sherpa , leader of the Doctors cited their concern after the spring earthquakes.
“I have done this for so many years, but this year feels different somehow,” ice doctor Sherpa said. “We hope that nothing will happen.”
Kuriki acknowledged the danger in his climb on the Southeast Ridge, alone above Camp 2, in this Facebook post.
My condition is very well. I’ve prepared in low oxygen room and diet restriction. And I’m here now with all your support. Thank you very much! I’m going to climb Lobche Peak (6119m) for altitude adaptation, and will move on to the Everest base camp. Through camp 2, 3 and 4, I’m going to head to the summit in mid-September. I will adjust the schedule based on weather and my condition, and the climbing period will be shot. The fall season is more challenging because duration of sunshine is shorter and wind is stronger than spring, the high season.
A highly sponsored team of professional athletes including world class skiers Hilaree Oneil and Kit Deslauriers planning to ski Makalu are on schedule. Along with a strong Sherpa guide support team they are already at base camp. They appear to be the only team on Makalu this autumn season.
The only team on the world’s most deadly motunain, Annapurna is lead by French climber Jean-Yves Igonenc. They are trekking to base camp now per the latest on their blog.
Honoring K2 Dead
Many of you read about K2 climbers this year finding parts of dead climbers near base camp after a series of large avalanches. Their identities were never confirmed.
Over the past few weeks Sequoia Di Angelo, the daughter of two of those recently killed (2013), Marty Schmidt and his son Denali Schmidt, trekked to K2 Base Camp to investigate the situation for herself.
Her mission took on new meaning after a decapitated and decomposing head was shown on South African/Swiss Adventurer, Mike Horn’s Facebook page. The graphic nature of the head, with no warning on the video, brought a variety of reaction from the popular adventurer’s fans. Some felt it was proper and reflected the danger of climbing K2 while others, including Di Angelo, felt it was offensive to the families and the dead.
Di Angelo contacted 100 families of known d on K2 in preparation for her visit. As reported on a New Zealand site, she found the remains, took DNA samples and did as much of a proper burial as she could.
Memories are Everything