Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Everest Update

Climbers are on the move across the Himalaya hoping to summit in a few days. Everest is the exception with another team leaving and now only a handful of foreigners are at base camp hoping the serac conditions will clear up soon so they can make their acclimatization rotations, but it’s starting to get late.

The earliest autumn summits defined as August, September, and October per the Nepal permitting process was on September 9 but the real sweet spot is between September 25 through October 18 with October 7th having the most.

Everest Autumn Summits. source Himalayan Database

Everest – Remaining Climbers Evaluating Conditions

Garrett Madison of Madison Mountaineering has a team still on Everest after losing the CEO of Mountain Hardware and one of their sponsored athletes fearing the conditions. I reached out to Garrett at Everest Base Camp to get his comments on the conditions and their plans:

I think we could potentially still make a summit attempt, but there looks to be a lot of snow on the Lhotse face and also higher up on the route. The difficult weather and route conditions this season have put us behind schedule. The monsoon is still in effect, and might continue into early – mid October, so that doesn’t make it any easier. Then there’s the issue of a major Serac high up on the west shoulder that looks like it’s going to fall any day now into the icefall. We measured the size by drone and estimated the size at 1.123 million cubic feet of ice. At about 3,000” / ~1,000m above the icefall, it will likely do major damage when it falls down.


Photo of serac above, with 3 climbers below...
Photo of serac above, with 3 climbers below… Courtesy of Madison Mountaineering

He added that there around 30 people still at base camp: “I think with Andrezj’s team there are about 5 other polish guys (some on Nuptse permit). And myself and 2 clients…plus our 9 climbing sherpas and 2 icefall doctor sherpas, and 7 cook staff (some waiting to go up to camp 2).”


Andrzej Bargiel who wants to ski non-stop, without Os from the summit to EBC appears to be remaining on Everest with his complete crew of videographers.

Dhaulagiri – Climbing

Sergi Mingote climbed to Camp 2 at 6,505-meters and reports troubling conditions higher:

The icy ridge to Camp 3 looks very snowy and today we already had more than one meter of accumulated snow. Tomorrow we will decide if we climb higher and return to Camp 2 or if we end here our acclimatization and go down to Base Camp.

Chris Jensen Burke who is climbing with Expedition Base made this unsettling post about finding a body on the mountain:

We don’t have outside comms or media so are unsure what is known of the 2 deceased climbers found located on the glacier. We have determined an approximate time stamp based on the gear they have on and from reviewing the Himalayan Database. To those with a relevant interest, we plan to respectfully manage the remains and mark their location until we receive incoming direction otherwise from KTM.

Manaslu – Summits Soon

UPDATE: Muhammad Ali Sadpara summited along with the rope fixing team:

1: Ngima Dorjee Sherpa – Makalu -1
2: Ngima Thenduk Sherpa – Makalu- 1
3: Tenji Chhumbi Sherpa – Makalu- 2
4: Namja Bhote – Bodkhola -3

Good weather has returned to Manaslu but who knows for how long. The forecast does call for low winds all week so the teams are moving. As I did for Everest, Manaslu in the autumn has a similar success profile with September 25 through October 1 being the sweet spot and late September, 27 and 28 having the most summits.

Manaslu Autumn Summits. source Himalayan Database

Nirmal Purja Purja PurjaStill, no update if he got permission to climb Shishapangma given the Chinese have closed it to all climbers due to their perception of too much danger. His team, Elite Himalayan Adventures led by Mingma David Sherpa, set this tentative schedule:

  • 24th: Camp 1
  • 25th: Camp 3
  • 26th: Camp 4
  • 27th: Summit attempt

Adventure Consultants, Climbalaya, Furtenbach, Mingma Sherpa have all launched their summit bids. Climbing the Seven Summits, Arnold Coster and Summit Climb are looking to launch their bid later this week.

Seven Summits Treks, who has the largest team on Manaslu of over 150 including support will have climbers all week on their bids.


Cho Oyu – Ropes To Summit

IMG posted they have launched their summit bid. Adrian Ballinger, tells me that their Cho team has clients at C1 on Monday, then at C2 on Tuesday, and planned summit on the 25th.


The Chinese have officially closed Shish for the season.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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