Monday, September 21, 2015

Himalaya Fall 2016: Summit Success on Jabou Ri, Movement on Manaslu

It has been a slow, challenging start to the fall climbing season in Nepal. Until recently, poor weather had kept teams from moving as freely as they'd like, and as a result acclimatization efforts were a bit behind schedule. But last week a weather window opened on several mountains, allowing teams to finally get back to work. As a result, most of the climbers were on the move this weekend, with one team even finding success on an unclimbed peak.

We'll start with the duo of Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters, who have been attempting to make the first ascent of Jabou Ri, a 6000-meter peak located in a remote region of Nepal. Last week the two explorers made two other summit bids but were turned back do to poor weather conditions. But last Wednesday they were finally able to break through and move to the top. The duo are currently in the village of Thame, and they shared the story of their summit in more detail yesterday. You can read about it here. Eric and Ryan managed to take advantage of the good weather and get up and down safely, but they were certainly exhausted by their previous efforts, making their 13-hour round-trip trek quite the slog. Now they're resting in the village while they decide their next move, which could involve another climb, or simply calling it quits and heading home. Either way, it has been a successful expedition.

Meanwhile, over on Manaslu, the Adventure Consultants resumed their efforts to climb that mountain. Over the weekend they climbed up to Camp 2 at 6200 meters (20,341 ft) as part of their acclimatization efforts. After spending a night there, they descended back to Base Camp yesterday, where they now plan to rest for a few days while watching the weather forecasts. If all goes well, the team could be on the move back up the mountain later in the week.

The Altitude Junkies have also checked in from Manaslu, and report plenty of snow and rain in BC. Their squad hiked up to Camp 1 over the weekend, but have been keeping themselves busy with other treks in the region. Their latest dispatch indicates that Camp 3 has now been established on the mountain, and while some of the other teams may be ready to move up to that point shortly, the AJ squad is still working on their acclimatization process.

The Himex squad just returned from Camp 2 within the past few days as well, and they had information to share on the upcoming weather forecast. Apparently teams should expect relatively good weather to start the week, but heavy snows could return soon. That means they may be sitting in BC again for a few days while they wait for improvements. This is all typical of expedition climbing of course, but it can be frustrating none the less.

Over on Makalu, the Alpenglow team is resting up in preparation for their summit push. The small team hopes to top out soon, and then make the first full ski descent of the mountain. Alpenglow founder Adrian Ballinger shared his thoughts on the expedition with Outside magazine last week. Read about it here.

Finally, there has been not update from Everest yet where we wait for news on the progress of Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki. He is making a solo climb of the world's tallest peak, and was expected to head to Camp 2 to start his summit push last Thursday. Where he is at on the mountain now is unclear. He could be in the middle of that push, but poor weather may have delayed his summit as well. For now, we'll just have to wait for news.

That's it for the start of the week. More to come soon as the season unfolds.

No comments: