Manaslu: Impassable Crevasse Forces Search for Alternate Route

Climbers head for the bergschrund. The new route will go up the snow ramp on the right-hand side. Photo: Alex Txikon

A gigantic bergschrund has halted the Manaslu climbers at approximately 6,000m. “Not even nine ladders sufficed to cross it,” said Alex Txikon. Three days of work and 800m of fixed ropes fixed have been in vain.

Txikon has retreated to Camp 1 along with Sherpas Chhepal, Kalden, and Namja, disappointed but not defeated. “We will have to find a new route and change our strategy,” Txikon said.

Today the team also endured an intense blizzard, but if the wind drops, the four of them will set off early tomorrow morning, to seek a viable passage to Camp 2.

Climbers work their way up a steep, icy slope on Manaslu. Photo: Simone Moro

Simone Moro noted that he already saw that bergschrund on his previous attempt on the mountain with Mingma Sherpa in winter 2019. “There are other [crevasses] above,” he warned.

Moro has also returned to Base Camp to replace his damaged high-camp tent and to wait out the weather. He, Txikon, and the three Sherpas will fix 400m of rope on a possible new route tomorrow.

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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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