Thursday, September 13, 2018

Himalaya Fall 2018: Ropes Fixed to Camp 3 on Manaslu as Teams Continue to Wait for Supplies

There isn't a lot of news to report from the Himalaya today, where the fall season continues to ramp up but isn't really in full swing just yet. Still, the teams are making their way into Base Camps across the region, and things are progressing on schedule, particularly on Manaslu.

The eighth highest peak in the world will be a busy place this autumn with more than 250 foreign climbers expected on its slopes. Many of those teams are already in place and are preparing to up the hill. To that end, the Sherpa support teams continue to prepare the way for the climb ahead and according to Seven Summit Treks' Dawa Sherpa, the ropes have now been fixed all the way up to Camp 3, meaning much of the work in installing the lines is already finished.

The mountaineers gathering on Manaslu are probably 3+ weeks away from a summit push at a minimum, but the rope fixing team is proceeding at a solid place. That will allow the climbers to start their rotations up the mountain, first going up to Camp 1, possibly spending the night there, then returning to BC for a rest before going back up to Camp 2. This is the traditional method for acclimatizing to the altitude as they prepare for their eventual summit bids.

One of the stories we've been following closely is the lack of food and supplies for the Manaslu teams so far this year. As reported a few days back, the Nepali government has restricted several helicopter operators for flying in the Manaslu region and as a result there aren't enough aircraft to safely transport the teams' gear and supplies to Base Camp. This has left many of the squads dangerously low on food and without their proper climbing gear, meaning they can't start their acclimation process until this situation is resolved.

There isn't much new to report on this topic either. The Nepali government says that it is working to resolve this crisis and get the backlog of supplies shipped to BC. But for now, most of the teams can only wait for the helicopters to start flying again.

We'll keep an eye on the emerging climbing season and continue to post updates in the days ahead. Hopefully there will be good news to report soon.

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