Autumn 2013 | Teams Acclimatize to C1 & C2, Avalanche on Cho Oyu

Having reached the Base Camps last week, climbers are now busy in acclimatization, establishing higher camps and gear shifting. Lhotse team reached 5800m, after successfully negotiating Khumbu Ice Fall. Ueli Steck and Don Bowie will start Annapurna BC trek in a couple of days. Sherpas fixing ropes to C2 on Cho Oyu were hit by an avalanche, badly injuring one of them. Manaslu climbers are busy in acclimatization.

After acclimatizing in a nearby valley and trekking through Khumbu Valley, the Italian Lhotse team reached the Base Camp on September 14th and held the Puja ceremony on 16th. Next day, they successfully negotiated the treacherous Khumbu Ice Fall.

Unlike spring season, when Ice Fall doctors secure the entire Ice Fall for Everest and Lhotse climbers, the path isn’t fixed in autumn. The climbers have to overcome this major hurdle at their own. 20 inches of snow in recent days made the task further dangerous. Nonetheless, they were able to reach the top of Ice Fall without any major problem.

“Thanks to the Ed's experience and technical capabilities, we are able to cross this ice monster without ever having to go back on our tracks”, the team was excited. They turned back from an altitude of 5820m, slightly short of C1.

Lhotse Team negotiating the Khumbu Ice Fall. Source

Annapurna South Face climbers, Ueli Steck and Don Bowie, have reached the Kathmandu. As per Ueli, they are done with paper work and will be flying to Pokhara, today (September 19th). On 20th, they will start the 4-5 days trek to Base Camp.

Six teams have reached Shishapangma Advanced BC, so far. Some of them are getting ready for the climb while others have already been to C1.

British Ski Shishapangma team was hoping to reach C1 on September 11th but they decided to turn back from intermediate camp due to lack of acclimatization. On 16th, they went up again and established C1 in strong wind. The team couldn’t proceed to C2 because of increasing wind and returned back to ABC on 17th.

Eelco Jansen, Frank Lotthrincx and Danilo Callegari of International Expedition reached ABC on September 15th. They are currently in C1 and are planning to stay on the mountain till 20th.

The Polish climber Andrzej Bargiel, Hungarian lady Lestak Erzsebet and the 74 year old Spaniard Carlos Soria have also reached the ABC with their teams.

Cho Oyu
As per reports from Cho Oyu, it appears that four Sherpas, who were fixing ropes below C2, were hit by an avalanche on September 17th. Fortunately, the accident didn’t prove to be fatal, although few of them received some injuries. Sange Dorjee Sherpa, who was leading the group, was seriously injured and had to be carried down on stretcher. He has now been sent back to Kathmandu for further treatment. Meanwhile, the rope fixing to C2 was completed, yesterday. Several climbers are in C1 and C2, at the moment.

Location of avalanche; Illustration by Ferran Latorre

Although re-opening of Cho Oyu this year means lesser teams on Manaslu, still there are around 15 teams with more than 100 climbers on the mountain. Having established the Base Camps and touched the C1 last week, several teams are heading to C2, now.

American climber and Everest Blogger, Alan Arentte, is back in BC after spending two nights in C2 as part of second rotation. Romanian climbers were in C1 on 17th and were planning to go to C2, next day. Austrian team of Hannes Gröbner, Georg Leithner, Sepp Hechenberger and Markus Amon were also ready to ascend to C2. British Army Expedition is currently resting before second rotation.

Manaslu C1; Source

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