Autumn 2014 | Avalanche on Lhotse, Shishapangma Summit Push and Progress on Other Mountains

Post monsoon climbing season strides forward, as some teams get ready for summit pushes. Contrarily, some climbers are still trekking to the mountains. Snow and weather conditions also vary significantly, mountain to mountain.

Lhotse: Avalanche and Route to C2

The Korean climbers were almost hit by an avalanche, this week; something which isn't uncommon on notorious Lhotse South Face. However, they were lucky to escape the catastrophe unharmed. The incident took place at around 6200m, when the team was working on the route to C2 (which they intend to pitch at 6800m).

Going up Lhotse South Face in difficult conditions; Source: Korean Exp 2014

As of now, the route has been opened till 6400m. For safety, they have fixed approximately 1 km of rope between BC and C1. C1 was set up at 5800m, last week. The weather has generally been bad since their arrival, here. It has snowed consistently and they are forced to climb in bad conditions.

The aftermath of avalanche at 6200m; Source: Korean Exp 2014

Shishapangma: Excessive Snow and First Summit Push

Shishapangma isn’t known for good snow conditions and this year is no different. “Lots of snow and drifting snow,” says Billi Bierling. Yesterday, Billi and her team mates left ABC for their second rotation up the mountain. After spending the night in C1, they are hoping to reach C2 today.

However, the excessive snow was a major setback for Double 8 climbers Andrea Zambaldi, Benedikt Böhm and Sebastian Haag, who were on the summit push. The team left ABC on September 17th at 1400hrs and by next morning, they had reached 7700m. But the snow and avalanche risk forced them to retreat. The climbers are now resting and recovering at ABC for another attempt.

Meanwhile, Spaniard Carlos Soria continues acclimatization on hills near ABC.

Carlos Soria acclimatizing near ABC; Source

Dhaulagiri and Makalu: Base Camps

Slovakian team made it to Dhaulagiri Base Camp as per schedule. Having reached there yesterday, they are currently busy in establishing and organizing the BC.

British team continues its march towards Makalu. Having started their trek on September 14th, they will soon be reaching the BC. But the Brits will not be alone on the mountain, this season. American guide, Garrett Madison is also leading a commercial expedition to SE Ridge, and was expected to fly out of Kathmandu, yesterday.

Andrzej Bargiel skiing down Manaslu; Photo: Marcin Kin

Manaslu and Cho Oyu: Ready for Summit

Ropes have been fixed until just below C4 on Manaslu. Sherpa from Altitude Junkies and Himalayan Experience concluded the job on September 18th. Both teams are now awaiting good weather for summit push.

On Cho Oyu, route is fixed till C2 (7100m) and multiple teams are concluding their acclimatization.

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