Spring 2015 | Annapurna Summit Push, End of Manaslu Expedition, Fraudulent Everest Operator, Dhaulagiri Avalanche and Cho Oyu ABC

Weather in Nepal has improved somewhat from last week, as Annapurna climbers set off towards summit. Loosening of ladders across a crevasse has denied any climbing in Icefall on Everest South side. Teams have arrived at Everest North BC. Makalu teams have also started reaching ABC. There are some other significant happenings; like an Everest operator disappearing with climbers money and visas, a setback for Manaslu North team and avalanche hitting Dhaulagiri climber.

Annapurna Summit Push
Another summit bid is underway on Annapurna as a small good weather window appears around April 23rd. American climber Alex Barber was hoping to leave BC on 19th with two Sherpa from another teams. However, bad weather delayed his departure. “Still waiting out the bad weather. Clear & warm today. Significant avalanche. On my way up tomorrow,” he tweeted on Sunday (19th).

Canadian Al Hancock updated last night that he has reached C2 (and will probably ascend to C3, today). April 23rd is expected to be the summit day whereas heavy snow is forecasted for 24th.

Alex Barber doesn’t seem very positive about good conditions on 23rd either. “I’m skeptical that 23rd will remain stable and/or that the conditions (deep snow) will allow a summit. Either way, I need more time spent up high, see the route past C2. And also, I just feel the need to stretch my legs and do some climbing after this long wait at BC.”

Annapurna on April 19th. Frequent avalanches come down the mountain after prolonged snow. Source

Peter and Horia In & Out of Manaslu BC
Just a couple of days after reaching Base Camp, Peter Hamor and Horia Colibasanu had been forced to fly back to Kathmandu, although because of an issue different from Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger.

Peter Hamor suffered a fall during trek to BC and injured his ribs, but it wasn’t considered serious at that time. However, after two days in BC, he didn’t feel any better. Altitude wasn’t helping recovery process and the two climbers decided to fly out of BC. Apparently, it marks the end of Manaslu climbs, this season.

Peter Hamor and Horia Colibasanu are back in Kathmandu; Source

Fraudulent Everest Operator
“The first-ever case of fraud has been reported in more than 50-year history of mountaineering expeditions in Nepal after foreign climbers were duped of millions of rupees by an expedition operator,” The Himalayan Times reported on April 20th.

As per details, Tshering Dorjee Sherpa who operates “Himalayan Alpine Adventure Treks and Expeditions” was responsible for arrangement of Everest Northside permits and high-altitude services for eight-member Greek team and Indian lady Chandana Pradhan. However, Tshering Dorjee disappeared after collecting money from the teams.

Nikos Magitsis, team leader of Greek Expedition, told The Himalayan Times that he had already climbed K2 with this operator in 2011. Greek climbers will be flying back home, today. Indian lady is now trying to make arrangements for an attempt on Everest from Nepal side.

Left Image: Chandana Pradhan, Right Image: Greek Team. Source

Dhaulagiri: Avalanched but Safe
Weather has improved in Dhaulagiri region as Marco Confortola and Pasang are hoping to start acclimatization and set up C1 this week. Their first trip towards C1 on Friday (Apr 17th) wasn’t smooth, however. Roped together, they climbed till base of rock step enroute C1, when fog and lack of visibility forced them to retreat.

On descent, an avalanche came down the mountain and dragged Pasang. However, Marco at the other end of rope was able to hold the fall. Pasang managed to come out of snow minute and a half later; surprised but luckily there wasn’t any serious injury.

File photo of location where avalanche hit the Dhaulagiri climber; Source

Cho Oyu ABC Route is Open
Route to Cho Oyu Base Camp is finally open. Ongchu Sherpa and Thomas Lammle made it to ABC (5700m) on April 19th. The complete team along with expedition gear is expected to depart towards ABC, today.

Thomas Lammle wrote on April 20th. “ On Saturday (April 18th), 9 members of AMICAL, one of our climbing Sherpa and myself started from CBC (4900m) to break trail to Middle Camp (5380m). After 5h (12.5 km) we reached Middle Camp and set up our tents.

Next day (April 19th) we started from Middle Camp towards ABC. After 4 hrs we reached the Old Basecamp (5550m- 8 Km). From there Ongchu Sherpa and I broke trail to ABC (5700m - 4 km). By 5 pm we were all together at our tents in Middle Camp.

This morning (April 20th) we went down to CBC (2.5h) and ordered the yaks. Tomorrow (April 21st) our Cho Oyu expedition can start - accompanied by 60 yaks we will hike up to ABC in two days.”

Opening the route towards Cho Oyu Intermediate Camp. Source
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