Spring 2013 | Makalu, Cho Oyu, Manaslu | End of Season

Spring climbing season concludes with four more summits on Makalu and fourteen on Cho Oyu but bad weather stopped everyone from reaching the top of Manaslu.

Makalu was summited very early in the season this spring, when Azim Gheichisaz (Iran), Chun Feng Yang (China) and Lapka Dendi (China) reached summit on April 24th. On a tragic note, Mr Xiang Yang-Liu from China died during descent. After the initial success, upper sections of the mountain remained closed for four weeks due to high winds and bad weather. During this period several climbers acclimatized and awaited window for summit push.

Four More Summits
Eventually the summit window appeared around May 22nd and all teams (except one group of four climbers and two sherpas) were set to reach the top that day. They left C4 (7600m~7700m) before mid-night and reached 8000m at around dawn. There it was noticed that ropes were not available to fix the final 400 meters to summit. Most of the climbers including Asian Trekking Team of Gia Tortladze, Arjun Vajpai, Krushnaa Patil, Fernando González and Tonya Clement abandoned the summit bid and returned back to lower camps.

Only four climbers agreed to climb towards summit, without fixed ropes. Finnish Samuli Mansikka was already climbing without bottled oxygen and solo above BC. He was joined by three members of a strong team whose initial plan was to attempt West Pillar in alpine style. The team was unfortunate that in last acclimatization trip, one of theier members Stephan Siegrist suffered a severe headache and had to quit the expedition. Due to lack of resources, remaining climbers Michi Wärthl, Hans Mitterer, David Göttler and Daniel Bartsch changed the plan and decided to attempt the peak on normal route. After reaching 8000m Michi Wärthl also had to turn back due to cold in his fingers. Samuli Mansikka, Hans Mitterer, David Göttler and Daniel Bartsch kept climbing in windy conditions but under clear sky and reached summit of Makalu on morning of 22nd at 9:20am.

No Summits
Six climbers Polish Kinga Baranowska and Rafal Fronia, Italian Sebastian and American David with two sherpas were hoping to reach the top on May 24th. Their summit push was thwarted by strong winds and discomfort at altitude. Whereas Don Bowie was already struggling with health problems when sad news of a close friend Alexey Bolotov’s death reached him. Both the physical and emotional issues prevented him from making an attempt to reach the summit.

Cho Oyu
Two Estonians were first to claim the summit of Cho Oyu this season. They reached the top on May 13th. Two more groups made it to the top on May 22nd. Total of 14 climbers (7 westerns and 7 sherpas) summited that day. First group lead by Scott Patch consisted of Americans Wayne Herrick and John Martersteck, British Holly Budge and Sherpas Tengi, Lapka Tendu and Ngima. While second group consisted of Richard Bolt, Michèle Mérat, Markus Büel and four sherpas. Richard bolt led an expedition to Shishapangma earlier this year and were at Central Summit less than two weeks ago.

Three expeditions (Catalonian, Italian and Singaporeans) were attempting to reach Manaslu summit this spring but none was successful due to continuous bad weather.

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