Manaslu: Malla and Tenji Sherpa Quit; Summit Push Next Week?

Manaslu Winter 8000ers
Txikon, Moro, and the team have reached the upper sections of Manaslu. Photo: Phelipe Eizaguirre

Vinajak Jay Malla and Tenji Sherpa have surprisingly given up on their Manaslu expedition.

“Unfortunately, our goal to climb alpine style is not possible this season,” they said in a press release, indirectly referring to the impassable crevasse that forced a change of route. They thanked Nirmal Purja and Elite Expeditions for the support, then left the mountain with no further explanation. ExplorersWeb has asked their spokesperson for details, since Malla and Tenji Sherpa had cooperated on helping fix the new route with the rest of the climbers.

Two weeks ago, Malla reported that they would wait at Base Camp for some of the “Nepali legends who recently conquered K2.” In the end, no legends came. Still, the climbers had formed a solid team comprised of five experienced Nepalis but also, in Moro and Txikon, two of the most accomplished of today’s winter 8,000m mountaineers. Moro, in particular, has climbed a record four winter 8,000m peaks.

Their route, fixed until the new Camp 3, circumvents the bergschrund barring the usual way up. Everyone is well-acclimatized and rested after two days in Base Camp. Their next move up, Alex Txikon says, is for the summit. They just need the weather to cooperate, which may take a while, according to the latest forecast by Karl Gabl, because the jet stream is currently over Nepal.

Everyone is working well together, but the weather has not cooperated recently. Photo: Phelipe Eizaguirre

If they continue working hard and find no more surprise bergschrunds along the way, “next week we could try [to reach the summit],” says Txikon. There remains some fixing to do, but Simone Moro left 600m of rope at 6,550m on his last trip up to this high point.

Txikon is elated with the “alpine” sections of their new line. Photo: Phelipe Eizaguirre


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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7 months ago

Moro believes this will count as first true winter ascent. What do others think?