Thursday, October 31, 2013

Himalaya Fall 2013: Summit Push On Lhotse Underway

The 2013 fall climbing season in the Himalaya just seems to keep on going, despite the fact we keep wanting to declare it finished. Heavy snow across the region has made it a difficult year, particularly in the latter stages. But a few teams are still plugging away and holding out hope for late season summits.

Perhaps the most surprising expedition that is still on going is the Korean team's attempt to climb Lhotse. ExWeb is reporting today that the squad is still on the mountain and has launched their summit bid at last. The team moved up to Camp 3 today and are expected to go to C4 tomorrow with the push to the top to follow shortly thereafter. The report says that the Korean climbers attempted to shuttle gear to Camp 4 a few days back but were turned away by excessive snow. If that is the case, I would expect the upper slopes to be very difficult, making the way to the summit a real challenge. If all goes according to plan, it looks like they'll make the final push this weekend. Lets hope it is a safe climb up and back down.

ExWeb is also reporting news from several expeditions to smaller mountains in Nepal as well. A French team is attempting the 7031 meter (23,067 ft) Saipal in the western party of the country, while another French squad has wrapped up a new route on Gauri Shankar, a 7314 meter (23,996 ft) peak on the border of Tibet. British climbers Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden were also able to make the first ascent of Kishtwar Kailash a few weeks back. You can read details of their ascent of that 6451 meter (21,164 ft) mountain by clicking here.

Finally, we're all still awaiting word from Chad Kellogg and David Gottlieb on their attempt to make a first ascent of Lunag-Ri. It has been ten days since we received the last dispatch and at that time the boys were prepping for a summit push that was to begin on October 25 and should have taken roughly 4-5 days to complete. Given that they expected quite a bit of snow up near the summit, it is possible they are still working the route or making their descent. Hopefully we'll get news from them soon. At 6895 meters (22,621 ft) it is the tallest unclimbed peak in Nepal. Chad and David aren't the only ones attempting the mountain this fall either. There was another team in BC that was a day or two ahead of them in acclimatization and launching their own summit bid.

That's it for now. Hopefully we'll hear more about these last few expeditions in the next day or two. It seems the season will truly wrap up in the next week or so.

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