Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Determined Climbers Not Giving Up

Looks like everyone is off Cho Oyu by the Chinese imposed October 1 deadline. Almost everyone is finished with Manaslu and the Dhaulagiri climbers will either summit or turn back over the next couple of days fighting deep snow conditions. And on Everest, serac watch continues for a determined few. More flight problems for Lukla.

Project Possible: Permit Approved, Nim’s Quiet

Nirmal Purja Purja Purja has not confirmed on his social media that he received the permit from China to climb Shishapangma but multiple media reports say he has been approved. One said he must wait until at least October 8 to enter Tibet so he may be waiting to make sure this really happens. Obviously, they will be the only climbers on Shish because previously Chinese climbing officials had declared the peak closed citing dangerous conditions. There have been multiple incidents over the past few years but in reality, it’s probably no more dangerous than it ever has been. Shish is known to have serious avalanche danger.

His Project Possible is to summit all 14 of the 8000ers in seven months. Now he has 13 in a mere 157 days: Annapurna (April 23), Dhaulagiri, Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II, K2, Broad Peak and Cho Oyu and, Manaslu (Sept 27). He needs to complete Shish by November 23 to meet his goal of seven months.

Everest – Serac Watch

Madison Mountaineering‘s team is down to Garret and one client. They are at base camp and plan to wait a few more days to see if anything happens with the serac. Garrett reported that low clouds and snow have moved off Everest and they are enjoying nice weather for a change. The hope is the hot sun at these altitudes will create enough of a disturbance that the serac will release soon.

Kilian Jornet and his friend Carlos are using Gorak Shep as their base camp but have made several climbs into the Western Cwm. Jornet had planned to make a speed climb reportedly via a new route from Camp 2. At this point, if he continues with his plan, it may be a solo effort in difficult conditions.

Hanging Serac Icefall in autumn 2019 Courtesy of Andrzej Bargiel


Dhaulagiri – Deep Snow

Sergi MingoteChris Jensen Burke and Expedition Base are all on their summit push fighting tough conditions. Sergi gave this update as they reached Camp 3:

After breaking through the snow, for almost 11 hours! We’re already in Camp 3 of Dhaulagiri, at 7,254 meters.

He posted this and a short video the previous day:

We finally decided to stay in Camp 2 (6,500 m). Yesterday was a hard day, the trail was very snowy and there was a positive elevation of almost 2,000 meters. Tomorrow, very early in the morning, we will go to Camp 3 and try to install it at 7,200 meters high. If the snow and the wind allow us, we will start our way to the top of Dhaulagiri on the night of day 2 and our intention is to reach it on October 3. It is complicated because of the amount of snow accumulated but we have to try. We will achieve it!

He may go for the summit tonight, October 2/3 in Nepal with mates Juan Pablo Mohr and Moesses Fiamoncini.

Looks like Carlos Soria Fontán at age 80 is stalled on his 10th attempt due to the bad conditions. He only needs Dhaulagiri and Shishapangma to complete all 14 8000ers.

We just went down to the base camp, after spending two nights in the mountains. We depart on September 29 towards Camp I, with the idea of ​​having some chance of trying the summit on Day 2. From the beginning we found enough snow, accumulated from the last snowfall. On the 30th we arrived at camp 2, enduring some snowfall, which gave way to shy clear ones, at the end of the day. The great accumulation of snow and the work that is still pending on the mountain make us decide to go down today, October 1, to the base camp and wait, a little longer for the snow cover to stabilize. Also for the next few days the weather indicates a severe increase in wind. We still have time to face the ascent of Dhaulagiri in the best possible conditions and with the best criteria. We share with you all some photos of these days.

Ama Dablam – Can’t Get There!

Climbers can’t even get to Lukla to attempt Ama Dablam due to poor weather that is stopping flights from Kathmandu. Joshua Ross gave me this update from Kathmandu:

Day 5 of no lukla service. 2 days at ramechhap 3 at katmandu. Additionally, helo prices have gone up from 1300 a flight to 1850 with baggage over 10kg requiring quiet the tip. Summit air and tara air have openly listed grievances with air control methods as the ATCs are accounting for travel time from katmandu to lukla not ramechhip to luka. This is causing flight windows that would be sufficient to not be opened. A LOT of idealistic travelers choosing the jeep trek option .

He posted on his Facebook page:

So, 2 days no flights to lukla for me (5 days total of bad weather there) I coughed up 760 dollars on a helio. My bags went first and my flight never came. The bird with my bags where diverted to zuka (spelling ?) An hour down hill of lukla. Then where supposed to be carried to luka by a hired porter. Now no one knows where all my climbing gear went. Neither place nor the porter have seen my gear. If this trip works out, if I get my bags its going down as an epic even before I get to basecamp. Btw still waiting on my helio

Unrest in New Guinea

Word has it that unrest in Papua is causing teams to cancel their climb of Carstensz Pyramid. That part of the world is well-known for having issues and especially with the mine and their workers so it’s always a gamble.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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2 thoughts on “Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Determined Climbers Not Giving Up

  1. Thanks for the update. I’ve been wondering about
    Nirmal Purja Purja Purjadai and Killian Journey

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