The Nepali agency Himalayan Guide’s owner Ishwor Paudel is reporting that Philip Harvey, 46, of UK nationality has died as he was descending from Camp 3 on Manaslu.
He was reported to have been suffering from “severe altitude sickness”. This is the first death on Manaslu this season where there are 255 foreign permits issued plus over 240 support staff on the mountain.
Manaslu has seen 1,134 summits with 82 deaths making it the 3rd most summited 8000er after Cho Oyu and Everest but tied for 2nd with Everest, K2 and Dhaulagiri for the number of deaths. Lhotse has the least number of deaths at 19 according to the Himalayan Database and Cho Oyu has the lowest summit to death ratio at 1.4% with 3,508 summits and 50 deaths through the Spring of 2016.
Manaslu has become popular as a training 8000m climb for aspiring Everest climbers similar to Cho Oyu in Tibet but without the political and logistical difficulties. It is climbed in both pre and post monsoon seasons but more often in the Autumn. Cho Oyu was closed this season by the CHinese.
The Manaslu Circuit Trek has also become very popular as an alternative to the Annapurna Circuit. A unique aspect of a Manaslu climb is starting the trek very low, 1,870 feet, and walking through rain forest and dense tropical vegetation. The mountain is included in the Manaslu Conservation Area and is home to the protected snow leopard and pandas. The area has a strong cultural similarity to Tibet.
The Japanese pioneered the early climbs on Manaslu in the 1950s and some Japanese may considered it their 8000m peak today, similar to how the British view Everest. The first ascent of Manaslu was in 1956 by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu on a Japanese expedition. The peak was not climbed again until 1971 when another Japanese team made the second ascent. The first American ascent was by Charlie Mace in 1997. There are a half dozen established routes on the mountain today.
Thus far in 2014, the weather has been the biggest issue facing the Manaslu expeditions. It has rained often at base camp and dumped several feet of snow higher on the mountain.
Avalanches are always a concern on Manaslu. In 2012, 11 climbers were killed by an avalanche that hit directly on Camp 3 where many teams were sleeping. In 1972 15 members of a South Korean expedition were killed by an avalanche, 10 were tragically Sherpa.
Thus far over 20 people have summited Manaslu including four from Himex: Dan Horne and Frank Seidel with Sirdar Phurba Tashi and Sherpa Nigma Sona.
Seven Summits Trek’s Sherpas also helped with the rope fixing that same day, 18 September 2017: Karma Gyalzen Sherpa, Nga Tashi Sherpa, Damai Sarki Sherpa and Dawa Chiring
Seven Summits Treks reported another 11 summits on 25 September:
Climbing members: 11 members: 8 Chinese member from Zhang Wei team + 2 Korean + One Indian Lady
Climbing Sherpa: 12 Sherpas: 8 Sherpa with Chinese team + 3 with Korean team + 1 with Indian
The Koreans were: Ryu Heewon (L) and Kwon Oh Kuen (R) along with Sherpa Tendi, Pemba Thinduk and Nima Tenji.
My condolence to the family, friends and teammates of Mr. Harvey.
Memories are Everything