Autumn 2014 | Bad Weather Halts the Progress

Cyclone ‘Hudhud’ hit the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday. While the cyclone didn’t reach Nepal directly, its effect stimulated condensed clouds towards Nepalese sky, resulting in rainfall throughout the region. Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) anticipated the effect to recede by Thursday.

The post-monsoon climbing season has already concluded on Manaslu, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma. While the former two mountains were in good condition and fair weather allowed majority of climbers to reach the summit, Shishapangma remained unclimbed because of dangerous snow conditions.

However, few teams are still active on less busier eight-thousanders, like a Slovak team on Dhaulagiri, the Koreans on Lhotse South Face and some teams on Makalu. All the expeditions remained in Base Camps during past few days because of bad weather and snow.

Makalu SE Ridge Base Camp in bad weather; Source

Dhaulagiri

The Slovak team has established C1 and C2 on Dhaulagiri. However, bad weather forced them to retreat to BC on Oct 10th. “Snowing, snowing still snowing ...” the team wrote on 13th. They are well rested and ready to push towards C3, as conditions improve.

Lhotse

The Korean Lhotse South Face team has installed C3 at 7500m during latest foray up the mountain. The team is currently back at BC due to bad weather. They are planning to set up a final camp, C4, at 8200m before summit push. Koreans have been fighting difficult weather and frequent avalanches on challenging Lhotse South Face since early September, where the steepness of the wall averages around 65 - 70 degree.

Koreans heading up Lhotse South Face; Source

Makalu

Makalu teams also remained in Base Camps recently due to bad weather. Until now, the British tri-services team had spent a night C2 (6700m) for acclimatization. The Sherpa have fixed and provisioned C1 and C2 and would be working on route towards C3 in coming days.

While the Brits remain on SE Ridge, couple of weeks ago Garrett Madison, Vibeke Sefland and Lhakpa Sherpa decided to switch to Makalu normal route. During first rotation on normal route, they spent a night in C2 (6400m) before returning to Base Camp.

Sherpa fixing route to C2 on Makalu SE Ridge. Source

Update:
The severe weather in Nepal resulted in a large scale catastrophe. Around two dozen trekkers, mountaineers, mountain guides and locals have lost their lives, whereas several others are still out of communication. Many groups have been evacuated to safe locations. Search and rescue is underway and the exact magnitude of disaster will be clear only in coming days.

Amongst the tragic updates from Nepal, there are reports about a tragedy on Dhaulagiri. It's reported that two members of Slovak expedition and three of their local helpers (BC staff) have been missing since Tuesday night. However, no further details are available as of now.

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