Autumn 2013 | The Season Approaching the End

The autumn climbing season on 8000m peaks is in its concluding stages. After an unsuccessful summit push, Makalu climbers left the Base Camp at the end of last month. The teams have emptied the busy mountains like Shishapangma, Cho Oyu and Manaslu. Ueli Steck and Don Bowie are also on the way back, after the former summited Annapurna a couple of days ago. Despite the challenging conditions, Lhotse teams are still hoping for a good weather window to go higher and reach the summit.

After yesterday’s big news about Annapurna ascent via South Face, Ueli Steck sent another brief update today. The message says that Ueli and Don are on the way to Pokhara and will share further details about the climb in a couple of days.

The 'Swiss Machine' negotiating Annapurna's South Face; Source

Having breakfast at 6100m; Source

As reported earlier this week, the bad snow conditions on Shishapangma forced the last group of climbers to turn back from C2. The International expedition members, Eelco Jansen and Frank Lotthrincx, are currently on the way back to Kathmandu. Their Danish partner Jakob Urth had already left the mountain a week ago.
Italian climber, Danilo Callegari, was also making a summit push, last week. He reached back at ABC on October 8th, after surviving three difficult days on the mountain without food. He was lucky to escape a crevasse fall and three avalanches on the descent from C2. “I can say, I am barely alive,” Danilo has also started the return journey.

Cho Oyu
By the first week of October several teams had summited Cho Oyu, where weather and snow conditions had generally been stable. But the arrival of heavy snow, last week, pushed the remaining teams on the mountain to call it over. Jagged Globe was amongst the last teams to leave the BC. A member of the team, Andy James, described the situation as,

“Precisely, while there is forecast to be a break in the weather in 3 or 4 days time we would expect by then to be the only team on the mountain. All the fixed rope would be buried and furthermore our Sherpas, incredible though they are, would need to re-establish the Camps at 1 and 2, breaking trail in very deep snow all the way. All this would only be feasible if the avalanche risk was low - which it almost certainly wouldn't be as the type of snow falling at the moment is different in character to that which fell earlier; increasing the risk of avalanche.”

Moon rise over Cho Oyu Summit; Source

British Army and Adventure Peaks were the only teams on Manaslu this week. They were expecting to reach the summit on October 9th or 10th, but the difficult conditions on the mountain forced them to retreat from 7200m.

It had been a mixed season on Manaslu. Many climbers ascended the mountain in initial summit bids, but the unstable weather pushed several teams to turn back from higher camps later in the season.

Manaslu from Sama Gaon; Source

Two teams are attempting Lhotse this season, but the challenging weather hasn’t allowed them to make any significant progress in past couple of weeks. On October 10th, both Koreans and Italians tried to go up, but the excessive snow and wind halted them below C2 and forced them to retreat. Both teams are still present at Base Camp.

Lunag Ri
Finally, Chad Kellogg sent an update from Namache, yesterday. He and David Gottlieb reached there on October 9th. They are expecting to move to the BC by 12th. Chad and David will be trying to make first ascent of 6895m Lunag-I peak.

Frequent updates appear in Tweet Box on right side of this blog, Twitter and Facebook Page.
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