Autumn 2022 Himalayan Season: Summit Bids Nearing

Manaslu 2013 view

Progress continues on Manalsu, with many teams having reached Camp 2 at 21,000 feet and some to Camp 3 around 22,300 feet during their acclimatization rotation. Up to three feet of fresh snow recently fell on the upper mountain. Summit bids are expected to begin on Thursday, September 22.

The Nepal government has issued 404 permits to foreigners. Combining this with a 1:1.2 support ratio, there are around 1,000 people currently attempting Manaslu. One of the reasons Manaslu is so popular these days is that China closed Cho Oyu in the last few years due to COVID. These two 8000ers are considered the best ones for beginner climbers of the highest peaks. Of course, now that Manaslu’s true summit has come into focus, those who really value a summit may be disappointed.

There is little doubt that 2022 will be a record summit year on Manaslu, but only if you take the previous summit claims to include the fore summit. In 2019 there were 363 “summits,” 2018 had 354, and 2017 saw 329. Before these years, summits rarely reached the 100 level. Of course, if you count only the true summit, these numbers go from a handful to zero. It will be interesting to see how many people claim they reached the true summit in 2022.

As I mentioned before, the numbers are astounding. Seven Summits Treks (SST) has over 100 members supported by an equal or more climbing staff. Manaslu is not the only 8000er with activity this autumn; SST is on Mt. Dhaulagiri as well. The team will start to make their way to the summit of Dhaulagiri from the 4th week of September. Some members will try to get both Manaslu and then Dhaulagiri. This has become quite popular in recent years with the excessive climbing support and use of supplemental oxygen.

SST Manaslu 2022 Base Camp. Courtesy of SST
SST Manaslu 2022 Base Camp. Courtesy of SST

Multiple teams are climbing Manaslu this season, including:

Norweigan Kristin Harila, who is on track to the summit of 14 of the 800e0rs in six months, is at Manaslu Base Camp. She is climbing with Pasdawa Sherpa, and Dawa Ongju Sherpa of 8K Expeditions.

Traditions Slow to End

Not everyone is on Manaslu following a Sherpa train to the summit. Jakob Urth is guiding a four-person Danish team on Manalsu. They are carrying their own ropes. He tells me, “We will have a small team of Sherpas to help on the mountain, but we will be independent. BC support from SST. One of my clients and I will climb without O2 If needed – my Sherpas and I will fix ropes to the real summit!
No Danish climbers have been on the real summit…so maybe we will do so.”

Manaslu New Route

Three French climbers, Hélias Millerioux, Symon Welfringer, and Charles Dubouloz, are attempting a new route on Manalsu this season. The normal route uses the northeast face. Millerioux gave the details on social media:

It had been 5 years since I came back to #nepal for climbing. The last time was in 2017 with @benguigonnet and @freddegoulet in the south face of Nuptse where we opened a track in super mountaineering at the end of 3rd year. This will cost us a beautiful golden nugget. For an extremely difficult climb in alpine style. Well to say, I have a feeling it hasn’t changed much. Streets of Kathmandu are always so awesome!
This time we are the lovely team @symon9v and @charles_dubouloz to try to open an alpine style track on Manaslu, 8167m. We have very little information on the slope we want to climb. May be this one will be impossible to engrave or too dangerous for us. It is with great humility, questions of fears and courage that I look at the slopes of this Himalayan giant. In any case it doesn’t matter if we can set foot on the mountain. We will discover a new region, new people for a wonderful journey always out of our comfort zone and to live amazing experiences with friends. you will only have timely information about our shipment via some posts that @__jeanbaptiste will post here and there.

Everest Ski Update

Andrzej Bargiel and the team gave this update:

We are checking in from Base Camp, the descent from camp 1 to base was very difficult, fresh snow and shifting of the glacier caused the previously laid road virtually non-existent. A moment of rest and we continue

He wants to ski from the summit to Base camp without supplemental oxygen. He is climbing with photographer Bartek Pawlikowski, cameraman Carlos Llerandi and eight Sherpas.

Cho Oyu from Nepal

The Nepal side is rarely climbed due to avalanches and other objective dangers. Of the 3,923 summits on Cho, only 135 have been from the Nepal side. The traditional Tibet-side route is considered very safe with little objective danger. However, China has closed Tibet to climbing in the last few years due to COVID. Thus Nepali operators are eager to monetize the world’s sixth highest peak by climbing the Nepal side.

In February 2022, two teams attempted and reached 7700 and 7900-meters before turning back. They explored two different routes: the SSW ridge and the East Ridge. They feel they can build on that and reach the summit this Autumn. Pioneer Adventure has eight foreigners underwriting the effort and are there now.

Cho Oyu seen from Goyko ©

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