Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Himalaya Spring 2016: Summit Bid Launched on Manaslu, Fixed Ropes Update on Everest

The news from the Himalaya just keeps coming this spring as more teams continue to acclimatize on Everest and two climbers prepare for a difficult summit bid on Manaslu. Others are now waiting and watching the weather, hoping for a chance to launch attempts of their own.

We'll start with an update from Manaslu, where Peter Hamor and Horia Colibasanu have reportedly announced that they are leaving Base Camp today to start their summit bid on the 8163 meter (26,781 ft) mountain. The two men will now attempt to reach the top using the standard route, but will help complete their acclimatization prior to attempting a new route without the use of supplemental oxygen. The weather is said to be calm at the moment, and if everything goes according to plan, they should top out this weekend. After that, they'll drop back to BC for a rest before starting their second attempt later in the month.

Over on Everest, more teams, including the Adventure Consultants, have now reached Camp 3 as they continue to acclimatize ahead of eventual summit bids in just a couple of weeks time. Most of the climbers are now descending back to BC for a rest as they wait for Camp 4 to be full established and the fixed ropes to be installed. That process is proceeding, and reports indicate that the lines now reach above the Yellow Band, but bad weather higher on the mountain have stalled due to strong winds at higher altitudes.

Ueli Steck and David Göttler continue to wait for a proper weather window on Shishapangma. The two men have announced that their acclimatization process is done and they are simply waiting for the right time to start the climb. That could happen this weekend as well, although the two talented climbers are prepared to wait as long as necessary before starting their alpine style ascent along a new route.

Finally, there is news from Annapurna as well, were all of the 30 summiteers from this past weekend are now safely back in Base Camp, with most preparing to go home. While they were wrapping up their expeditions over the past few days, a group of 75 local villagers paid a visit to BC. They had just completed construction of a new trail that will cut down the time it takes to trek to the mountain, allowing climbers to get there in as little as three days. That should open up the region to more visitors and bring down the costs for trekking and climbing on Annapurna as well.

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