Summer to Fall: Climbing Action Continues

Long gone are lovely summer days in Karakoram and perhaps the busier post-monsoon climbing season in Nepal as well. Nonetheless, a handful of interesting expeditions are still in action. As this website remained silent for a while, this post shall serve the purpose of reconnecting to mountaineering news.

Summer 2017
The climbing season started with tragic loss of Alberto Zerain and Mariano Galvan on Nanga Parbat Mazeno ridge. The two climbers were amongst the finest mountaineers of this age. Couple of weeks later, Kim Hong Bin and Lakpa Sherpa, summited the mountain via Kinshofer route after a grueling summit push.

In Karakoram, there were summits on all eight-thousanders this year. A twelve member team, including six Sherpa, led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa climbed K2. Oscar Cadiach was successful on Broad Peak, where he completed his 14x8000m without bottled oxygen quest. At least a couple of teams were also successful on Gasherbrum II.

Last but not the least, Marek Holecek achieved his long pending dream of completing new route on Gasherbrum I SW Face in alpine style. It was his fifth attempt and he was joined by a first-timer Zdenek Hak.

Marek Holecek on Gasherbrum

The Post Monsoon Season
China had announced the closure of Tibetan mountains for post-monsoon climbing since the spring season. The commercial expeditions, thus, bunched together on Manaslu. It’s estimated that more than two hundred climbers topped out the mountain. One climber, Philip Harvey, died on Manaslu while descending from C3.

78 years old Spaniard Carlos Soria returned to Dhaulagiri. He was on the mountain in spring as well. If successful, it would have been his thirteenth eight-thousander. However, he remained unsuccessful after the team went up a wrong couloir during summit-bid. Five other climbers, though, summited Dhaulagiri this season including Boyan Petrov.

We also witnessed an unusual ascent of Nanga Parbat this fall. Mingma Gyalje Sherpa along with Zhang Liang, A Zhong, Jing Xue, Phur Galjen Sherpa, Pasang Namgel Sherpa, Ali Sadpara and Sirbaz Khan reached the summit on October 2nd. Previously, at the start of summer season, they were on summit ridge but couldn’t identify the true summit. It’s the first time that Nanga Parbat has been summited in absolute autumn. Previously, Krzysztof Wielicki and Vince Anderson/Steve House duo had climbed the mountain in first week of September - latter via famous House-Anderson route.

Ongoing Expeditions

Fall climbing season isn’t entirely over yet, as a few fascinating attempts are still underway.

Lhotse South Face
The sixteen member team which includes Korean Sung-Taek Hong and Spanish climber Jorge Egocheaga, set up BC under Lhotse South Face in last week of September. By October 5th, they had reached C2 (7200m). Some old ropes, fixed between C1 and C2 in 2015, helped in speeding up the ascent. The team was hoping to establish the campsite and proceed to C3 (7800m) in next couple of days.

Annapurna West Face
Slovenian climbers Luka Stražar and Nejc Marčič arrived at Annapurna BC in last week of September. They made an acclimatization hike to 6000m and deposited some gear there. The duo intends to climb the Annapurna West Face in alpine styles.

Hans Kammerlander, along with Stephan Keck, finally returns to Manaslu later this month. The duo is already in Nepal. Previously, Kammerlander lost two friends Friedl Mutschlechner and Karl Grossrubatscher on the mountain in 1991 and decided never to return to the mountain. Hans has climbed twelve eight-thousanders so far.

Annapurna West Face

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