Fall 2013: Manaslu Summit Push, Difficult Conditions on Shishapangma and Lhotse

While the initial teams enjoyed pretty stable weather on Manaslu and Shishapangma, the conditions have been quite intermittent, lately. Last week, summit bids on both peaks were thwarted by sudden change in weather. Majority of the teams are already on the way back, while couple of teams are making summit bid on Manaslu. Lhotse climbers are stuck in BC due to snow and wind storm.

Last week, Polish team led by Andrzej Bargiel and lone Spanish climber Sechu Lopez reached the central summit, while the adverse weather and snow conditions on the mountain forced Carlos Soria and International Expedition to abandon the summit push. Owing to the adverse circumstances, Carlos Soria has decided to conclude the expedition and start the return journey. "We are already thinking about next spring,” says the veteran Spanish climber.

The International Expedition decided to make one more attempt to reach the summit, but the snow conditions on the mountain were too dangerous. Eelco Jansen, Frank Lotthrincx and Danilo Callegari reached C1 on October 6th and C2 on 7th. But they couldn’t proceed to C3, “this morning then, one look at the face to camp 2 was enough. Already a lot of avalanches came down and still a lot of snow was waiting to fall down.”

Eelco, Frank and Danilo were last climbers on the mountain, who have now decided to return home. “The disappointment is huge while the Shisha Pangma didn’t give us a fair chance.” More than a dozen climbers reached Central summit of Shishapangma this season but apparently no one could ascend to the Main summit.

Lhotse BC; Source

Alike Shishapangma, the progress of several Manaslu climbers was halted at C4 due to snow and strong wind, last week. While few teams are going up for a final summit attempt, majority of the climbers have decided to stop the climb and are currently on the way back. The conditions on the mountain are challenging due to excessive snow.

As per initial forecast, October 8th – 12th are expected to be fair weather days. The climbers left BC on 6th, hoping to reach the summit on 9th or 10th. The teams on summit push include British Army Expedition, Adventure Peaks team and a lady climber from Australia, Alyssa Azar, who is accompanied by Gyaluk Sherpa. They reached C2 yesterday and are expected to ascend to C3, today.

A team of five Austrians and American Rob Springer, led by Otto Harrer is also on the mountain. They reached BC at the end of September and acclimatized to C3, last week.

There hasn’t been any update from Annapurna South, lately. Don Bowie and Ueli Steck reached the BC couple of weeks ago and in previous message, Ueli informed that they had reached 6000m on September 27th.

Bad weather and strong wind have been holding the Lhotse teams at BC since past few days. The Italian team particularly seems concerned now. Their planned return date is approaching while they haven’t climbed above C2, yet. (The return date has been shifted from October 20th to October 27th).

Korean team’s plan is to fix the route and complete the acclimatization by October 25th, before the summit push at the start of November. The team is facilitated by Sherpa support. They have fixed the Ice Fall with ropes and ladders.

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