Spring 2015 | Early Birds Have Reached Mountains

Calendar winter season ends in less than a week. After some remarkable attempts on Nanga Parbat, it’s time for action packed spring climbing in Nepal and Tibet. Majority of climbers will be arriving in Kathmandu in a couple of weeks, whereas some early birds are already on the mountains.

Simone Moro’s Change in Plans
Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger arrived at Manaslu BC at around mid-February, hoping for a quick late winter ascent of main summit and east pinnacle. They were welcomed by white-out conditions and accumulated snow of 2 meters at Base Camp. During a short good weather window, they established C1 at 5700m and worked on the route till 5900m. But a long spell of continuous snow forced them to abandon the Base Camp.

Snow at Manaslu BC that forced Simone and Tamara to leave the camp; Source

The team reported continuous snow for multiple days. Avalanches were coming down from all directions and one of them almost reached BC. “We should get out of here as soon as possible,” Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro concluded. However, instead of flying back home, the two climbers decided to stay in Nepal and return to the mountain once snow conditions improve.

Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger are currently in Khumbu valley training for upcoming Manaslu attempt.

Simone and Tamara in Khumbu Valley; Source

Searching for Stable Conditions on Annapurna
Climbers have arrived at Annapurna Base Camp to benefit from stable conditions before excessive snow gets dumped in spring. First team - Samuli Mansikka, Mingma G. Sherpa, Reza Shahlaee, Muharrek Aydin Imrak and Zdravko Dejanovic - reached BC in first week of March. Spanish climber Carlos Soria arrived a week later.

After multiple days of snow, first group was eventually able to start the climb on March 9th. Samuli Mansikka tweeted that afternoon, “After 4-5 hrs of wading in knee-deep snow I am at Camp 1 at 5100m!” They spent the night in C1. A couple of days later, climbers rose to C2 (5650m) and spent a night there. The climbers remained stuck at Base Camp due to bad weather. “Snowing at Annapurna BC,” Mansikka wrote on March 15th.

Update: Seems like climbers are on the rise again. Samuli Mansikka wrote just a moment ago, "Pure hell climbing from BC to C2 today! Waist-deep snow and full white-out! My tent had to be probed to be found a good 2m under snow! Were today hoping to fix halfway to C3 (6500m) with Mingma's crew. Getting to C2 (5700m) took all day."

Carlos Soria has also started acclimatization process. After first rotation to C1, he returned to BC. Soria is positive about a quick summit push on Annapurna and move on to second eight-thousander of the season, Dhaulagiri, in April. "If it goes well, we will be at the top of Annapurna in 15 days."

Carlos Soria (right) at Annapurna BC; Source

More Action Coming Soon
Majority of spring climbing expeditions are still finalizing their preparations for early April arrivals at BCs. Watch out this space for more intriguing climbs to Everest (new route and speed attempt), Makalu, Manaslu, Lhotse and Shishapangma.
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