Himalayan Autumn Wrap-up

Nobukazu Kuriki's Everest Route

It was a wild ride for those climbing in the Himalayan this Autumn with valiant efforts on 8000ers, a few new routes and a tragedy on Ama Dablam. Never say never when claiming there are no more climbs but with winter approaching the attention will shift to K2 and perhaps an attempt on Everest and Nanga Parbat.

Lots of attempts on the 8000ers in October but no summits.

Lhotse – Over

South Korean, Sung-Taek Hong and Spanish climber Jorge Egocheaga ended their attempt Lhotse’s South Face. High winds stopped them on their summit attempt. They had tried a few weeks earlier and rock fall and avalanches stopped them then. This is the same story as in previous years. Sung-Taek says he will return next year.

Annapurna – Over

Slovenian duo Luka Stražar and Nejc Marčič have given up after suffering frostbite. They were climbing the normal route on the West Face of Annapurna in alpine style. You can read the full report at their site.

Manaslu – Over

Hans Kammerlander on Manaslu ended his effort due to massive amounts of snow. An updated posted on their site.

6000 and 7000 Meter Peaks

Some serious technical climbing is happening all through the world with a first and second ascents of 6000 meter peaks.

Route topo. “Our rappel line through the lower ice cliff is actually slightly out of frame. However, we were deposited very near the bottom arrow point near the blackened ice, where debris from the ice above ran with regularity,” Villanueva writes. Photo: Tino Villanueva.

Rock and Ice reports that IFMGA guides Tino Villanueva and Alan Rousseau made what they believe to be the first ascent of Rungofarka (6,495m) in the Northern Indian Himalayas. The pair completed the climb in five days from their base camp (3,900m), and had three bivies on route.

Madison Mountaineering posted they made a first ascent on Tharke Khang in Nepal. It is 22,000′ (6670m).

On 19 October, climbers successfully summited the West Ridge of Chulu West at 6419 meters.  The team included Jürgen Schütz, André Günzel and Manuel Möller, together with the Nepalese Dawa Gyalje Sherpa and Pasang Gomba Sherpa source

Previously reported first ascents included:

  • Burke Khang was summited by Noel Hanna (read this good interview with him) and three Sherpas:  Sirdar Naga Dorje Sherpa, Pemba Tshering Sherpa and Samden Bhote, all on 5th October, 2017 at 12:05pm. Bill, at age 75, made it to Camp 1 and chose not go higher. Details on his blog.
  • Yury Koshelenko and Aleksei Lonchinskii did a first ascent of Phungi Peak (6538) in Nepal – SE face direct. It is west of Manaslu in Nepal.
  • Located near Kanchenjunga, Pandra at 6,700 meter Mathieu Détrie, Pierre Labbre and Benjamin Védrines climbed the northeast face Peine plancher, a technical route that combines stretches of corridors with sections of ice. source: desnivel.com
  • Mt. Edgar at 6618 m was summited by a six member Italian team on two different routes. It is in the Chinese province of Sichuan. Once again, Desnivel has all the details.

Death on Ama Dablam

Tragedy on the popular Nepal 6000er Ama Dablam. Russian Valery Rozov died when his wingsuit flight hit the rocks on Ama Dablam at 6814m.  Valery was 52 years old, a Red Bull athlete and had aspirations of flying off the 7 Summits. He was training for Mt. Everest. He had previously set an altitude record off Cho Oyu as seen in this video. Rozov spent in free fall for 90 seconds and landed on the glacier at an altitude of 6000 meters above sea level.

Winter K2, Everest and Nanga Parbat

These Himalaya giants may see winter attempts. The buzz around K2 in increasing with a recent interview with Denis Urubko in Alpinsimonline. 

As previously reported, Krzysztof Wielicki, 67, who was in the first team to scale Everest in winter in 1980 will lead a Polish K2 attempt this winter. Funding had been a problem but it appears they have received $275,000 from the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism.

Jasmine Tours is the ground agent and there will be 12 members in the team with 6 high altitude climbers from Pakistan for the expedition support. They will climb in traditional siege style establishing several camps along the route. Of course weather is the primary concern as K2 is always hit with high winds but in winter the jet stream tends to sit on top of it with 200 mph winds and experience heavy snowfall.

The team is scheduled to include: Janusz Goląb, 50, with a Gasherbum I ascent, Artur Małek, who made the first winter ascent of Broad Peak, Marcin Kaczkan, K2 in the winter of 2002/03 to 7,600m and summited K2 and Nanga Parbat in the summer, plus Marek Chmielarski, summits of Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak.

On Everest, rumors are swirling that Alex Txikon will return for another winter Everest attempt. It is mentioned again in the Urubko interview. Meanwhile a documentary of his 2016 attempt is being show in Bilbao, Spain. This is the trailer:

Finally for the 7th year in a row, Tomasz Mackiewicz is hoping to return to Nanga Parbat for another attempt on that peak. He posted on his site:

Under the plan, of course, it is to return to Nanga Parbat in winter the same way that in 2016 we managed to come so close to the peak, ran only a 300m height difference. We want to act in an alpine style, without rigging, without oxygen, on slightly. As you know, the only support that I can hope for is social support. Without him I would not be able to (at least for now) to realize the high mountains. I hope you understand that both my determination and request support.

Free Himalayan Database

Just a reminder that any day now in a major strategic change, the Bible of Himalayan climbs will now be free and available for download to anyone  from their website. You can read more details on my post.

Climb On!
Memories are everything


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