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Autumn 2022 Himalayan Season: Avalanche Danger Stalls Summit Bids

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Sep 212022
 
Autumn 2022 Himalayan Season: Avalanche Danger Stalls Summit Bids

The recent heavy snow has stalled summit bids on Manaslu. Around 30 cm, ~1 foot of fresh snow is reported between C3 and C4. Phunuru Sherpa with International Mountain Guides reported that 120 people turned back due to avalanche conditions today, September 21, 2022. They are back in Base  Camp now. Also, several cases of COVID are being reported at Manaslu.

Autumn 2022 Himalayan Season: Summit Bids Nearing

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Sep 202022
 
Autumn 2022 Himalayan Season: Summit Bids Nearing

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.

Autumn 2022 Himalayan Season: Mass on Manaslu – Rope to True Summit

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Sep 152022
 
Autumn 2022 Himalayan Season: Mass on Manaslu - Rope to True Summit

The fixed ropes are now to the true summit of Manaslu. As expected, Manaslu is overrun with clients and a greater number of support climbers. Thus far, the Nepal government has issued 394 permits to foreigners, so considering a 1:1.5 support ratio, that puts close to 600 people on the peak, with more to come.

In an interesting twist, a few climbers who climbed all fourteen of the 8000ers are returning to Manaslu to correct the “sins” of the past by tagging the true summit. I don’t expect all of the people on Manaslu to attempt the true summit unless the conditions are extremely safe, or for example, a boot path is created that allows beginner 8000er climbers to simply follow a trail. Most will be content to tag the fore summit and move on to other 8000ers next spring.

Autumn 2022 Himalayan Season: Manaslu and More!

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Sep 082022
 
Autumn 2022 Himalayan Season: Manaslu and More!

Repost due to error in first post. My apologies

The autumn climbing season is underway, with most of the attention on Nepal’s Manaslu, oft acknowledged as one of the more “attainable” 8000ers. However, many things changed last year when one team showed an alternate route to the true summit, thus turning scores of climber’s previous claims on their heels, including my own.

With an expected record crowd on Manalsu, I hope we don’t see a repeat of this spring’s and summer’s poor practices with respect to trash, excessive support, and excessive supplemental oxygen on Manaslu. However, with so much demand for these 8000ers, nothing surprises me anymore.

For many, the allure of the 8000ers is gone, as interest in following masses of inexperienced people led by massive support leaves a sour taste for many avid climbing fans. In many ways, the 8000ers have become like Kilimanjaro, Denali, Aconcagua, or the rest of the Seven Summits, attracting too many people seduced by summit promises, low prices, and rock-star style leaders. I fear we are only one unexpected situation be it weather, ques or competence from a major tragedy on the big peaks. That said, if you have the skills and experience plus choose the right team, route, and season, climbing these beasts will change your life for the better.