Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Himalaya Fall 2015: Attempting Unclimbed Peaks in Nepal, Improved Weather

We have another update from the Himalaya today as teams are on the move to try to take advantage of good weather, and another squad heads to the mountains to attempt an unclimbed peak. It has been an unusual start to the fall climbing season so far, but there is hope for improved conditions moving forward.

We'll start with news about an expedition that is just getting underway. Legendary British climber Mick Fowler – along with partner Paul Ramsden –  are preparing to return to the Himalaya where he and his team will attempt to summit an unclimbed peaks in western Nepal. The team has been surveying its destination via Google Earth, and at the end of the month they'll set off into the unknown. The valley that they have targeted has never been visited by westerners before, so at this point they are unsure of exactly what they will find there. The adventure will begin with a six-day walk to the region, where they will then attempt an alpine style expedition up a 6000 meter (19,685 ft) peak that has yet to be climbed. They expect to top out in mid- to late- October, depending on the weather.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Himalaya the poor weather that has been delaying progress has abated a bit, at least on Manaslu. The Adventure Consultants report good weather this morning, which means they are on the move up to Camp 1 at 5735 meters (18,815 ft). They'll now spend two nights acclimatizing there before moving up to C2, provided the good weather window holds out.

Over on Everest, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki is expected to begin his summit bid on the world's highest mountain today. He'll climb solo up to Camp 2 as well, and from that point he'll watch the skies as well, and potentially become the first person to reach the summit since the mountain was closed this past spring following the April 25 earthquake. If all goes according to plan, he could top out as early as Friday or Saturday.

The Alpenglow team on Makalu is on the move too. After reaching reaching C2 yesterday, the entire squad climbed up to 24,500 feet (7467 meters) today. They report a lot of fresh snow on the mountain as they broke trail to reach Camp 3. They'll be happy to have that fresh snow should they summit in the next day or two, as the plan is to make the first full ski descent of that peak. With a little luck, that could happen before the end of the week as well.

That's it for today. With teams back on the move, we could get some big news before the weekend arrives, depending on how quickly they climb and if the weather holds. Stay tuned for further updates soon.

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