Spring 2016 Round Up: Season Progresses Smoothly as Team Acclimatize and Fix High Camps

Except an unfortunate incident on Shisha Pangma where three climbers plunged into a hidden crevasse and two of them died, things are progressing smoothly on other 8000m peaks. A second and, supposedly final summit push is underway on Annapurna. Teams are fixing route to high camps on Dhaulagiri, Cho Oyu and Makalu. However, excessive snow and continuous bad weather have slowed down Manaslu teams. On Everest and Lhotse, everything is normal (with obvious cautions that big mountains can be dangerous).

Annapurna Summit Push # 2
Annapurna summit push team is on the way to C3. They left C2 this morning. Around 30 climbers launched the summit-bid from BC over past couple of days. May 1st is targeted as summit-day as of now.
Looking up towards C2 from BC; Source

Dhaulagiri: Towards C2 
Dhaulagiri Sherpa team established C1 on April 22nd and are since then working on route to C2. All teams – Indian expedition, Spanish 2x14x8000m team and British Medical Research expedition – have thus far spent at least one night in first camp at North Col (5800m). They are now pushing towards C2 (to be established at around 6400m). Except a couple of characteristic tough sections through icefall, conditions are reported to be normal.

Spaniard Carlos Soria also aims to attempt Dhaulagiri after ongoing summit push on Annapurna.
Dhaulagiri (middle) as seen from French Pass; Source

Chin-deep snow on Manaslu
Progress on Manaslu is being hampered by bad weather and excessive snow above C1. Teams haven’t been able to reach C2 in past two weeks despite multiple attempts.

“After days of snowing and shoveling in Base Camp, the boys left early in the morning today and reached Camp 1 (5800m). The conditions aren’t any better there. Weather is still the same, only the intensity of snowfall and wind speed is changing.” Peter Hamor’s home team wrote on April 25th.

The team could only reach 6200m in next three days. “The situation didn’t get more promising today. So the boys got little higher today, but due the snow conditions (snow is almost up to chin), they’ve decided to leave deposit there (6200m) and got back to Base Camp.” The team updated yesterday.

Shisha Pangma
David Gottler and Ueli Steck reached BC last week. They were limited to BC due to high wind. “Ueli Steck and I will now do a bit more acclimatization before the usual good weather waiting game for a window to start our attempt on the south-face of Shisha Pangma.” David wrote on April 24th.

There isn’t any further update from North side of mountain after fatal incident and cancellation of Kobler-Partner expedition.

Cho Oyu: 7000m
Team of Thomas Laemmle is leading the progress on Cho Oyu, this year. As per German climber, they are fixing the route towards C2 at around 7000m today. The team started route-fixing and high camps establishment on April 22nd.

The two member team of Barbora Orlik and Vivian Boyer have set up C1. They noted that “above the altitude C1 the conditions are not good, only blue ice and no snow.”

A few teams including Summit Climb Expedition and Indian team (Umesh Zirpe, Ganesh More and Sumit Mandale) have just arrived at ABC.
Towards C1 on Cho Oyu; Source

Makalu: Makalu La
Route has been opened till Makalu La. “Climbed till point Makalu La, at the height of 6940m for acclimatization and successful return to Camp 2. Now waiting for completion of route to camps 3 and 4. Tomorrow to return directly to BC.” Iranian lady climber Parvaneh Kazemi posted on April 28th. Few other teams have just reached ABC and are getting ready for further ascent.

Everest South side / Lhoste
Things are moving forward smoothly, as Everest South side and Lhotse climbers acclimatize to C2 and C3. The route through Ice fall is a bit complex – partially due to less ladder crossings – and consumes a little more time than usual. Despite initial supposition of less snow, the conditions on Lhotse Face are reported to be similar to previous years.

Nonetheless, a section of ice collapsed at the bottom of Lhotse Face yesterday. As per Daniel Mazur, expedition leader of Summit Climb team, the route was closed for climbing above C2. “Sherpa descend to icefall, retrieve ladders, carry up to bridge new crevasse at base of face.” Daniel updated yesterday evening.

Everest North side
No ice-fall and related dangers, Adrian Ballinger has a better feeling about being on other side of mountain. “Every day I spend on the North Side of ‪‎Everest‬, I feel better about our 2014 decision to move away from the South Side. The safety advantages are stark. We live in a safe, organized and clean Base Camp with stunning views of the mountain. We can acclimatize to over 20,000 feet directly out of BC, in our sneakers, with no hazard to us or our high altitude workers. ”

Meanwhile, rope-fixing, which on Northside is managed by CTMA and done by Tibetan mountain guides, have been completed till 7000m. The first teams have also tagged North Col for acclimatization.
Everest Northside BC, captured by Adrian Ballinger from a nearby mountain during acclimatization hike; Source

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