Everest & Manaslu: Rope Fixers Speeding Along

The way to Camp 2 is fixed on Everest, although the Khumbu Icefall is more hazardous than it is in spring, Pioneer Adventures’ Ngaa Tenji notes. Skier Andrzej Bargiel already reached Camp 1 yesterday. His brother Bartek recorded the ascent from Base Camp with his drone.

The drone pilot uses VR goggles and a small tablet to control the drone from Everest Base Camp.

Bartek Bargiel uses VR to fly his drone. Photo: Andrzej Bargiel

 

Bartek shot the video below as Sherpas fixed the Icefall:

Familiar faces on Manaslu

On Manaslu, the Elite Expeditions rope fixers are likewise progressing quickly. “They have already fixed rope to Camp 3 and are now planning for summit fixing,” the outfitter said yesterday. At this pace, they could open the final sections before the last of the teams reach Base Camp.

As all the outfitters share group pictures, familiar (and unfamiliar) faces are appearing. Seven Summit Treks, for instance, shows Gelje Sherpa and Adriana Brownlee. Both were on Manaslu last fall but stopped at the foresummit. As Brownlee told Explorersweb, when part of their team (Nirmal Purja and Mingma David with their clients) continued toward the highest point, they were already on their way back.

Sajid Sadpara is also back with SST, after summiting Broad Peak and Gasherbrum I this summer.

Sajid Sadpara smails with a background of lush green valley and mountains, by a lodge.

Sajid Sadpara looks happy to be back in Nepal and on his way to Manaslu earlier this week. Photo: Sajid Sadpara

 

Jorge Egocheaga is also present but as usual, he has not revealed his plans. Egocheaga is sometimes listed as 14×8,000m summiter, but his K2 summit claim was not accepted by the 8,000ers.com team. Egocheaga admits that he stopped 14 metres shy of the summit to avoid an unstable slab on top.

Jurgalski’s team has also rejected his claims on Manaslu and Annapurna, and says that it has no evidence of him reaching the summit of Dhaulagiri. So it’s not unlikely that he has returned to Manaslu to begin setting the record straight.

A Manaslu expedition's group photo at KYM's airport. Four climbers and a Sherpa on the left pose standing up, with Khatas around their necks. Names have not been specified but Jorge Egocheaga is on the right in this picture

A Manaslu expedition group photo at the airport in Kathmandu. Names were not specified, but Jorge Egocheaga is on the right. Photo: Sonam Sherpa

 

Simone Moro is also working in the Manaslu area as a helicopter pilot, until his next winter expedition.

Finally, it seems that Manaslu will be the climbing and skiing goal for Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison of the U.S. They reached Base Camp two days ago.

Hilaree Nelson takes a selfie during the approach trek on a cloudy day.

Hilaree Nelson during the approaching trek to Manaslu. Photo: Instagram

 

Pro-Putin Instagrammer

Victoria Bonya is not familiar among climbers, but she is well-known among Eastern European Instagrammers. Bonya admits that she has never climbed before and intends to make Manaslu her first summit, so don’t look her up in mountaineering news. However, the Monte Carlo-based Russian has nine million followers on Instagram.

Openly pro-Putin, she was one of the Russian influencers who filmed herself tearing her luxury purses into pieces when those brands stopped operating in Russia. Later, she was expelled from the Cannes Film Festival when she tried to post a video endorsing the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian instagrammer in bathing suit with Putin's image on it

File image of Victoria Bonya showing her favorite clothing design. Photo: IBT

 

Recently, Nepal rejected a summit certificate from a Russian national who had unfolded a Ukrainian flag on top of Everest in protest of the war. Authorities alleged that was a delicate political issue. Hopefully, the criteria will be equally strict for all parties.

Meanwhile, on Dhaulagiri, Seven Summit Treks has a team of 17 clients and 15 Sherpas. For once, Carlos Soria will not be among them. The 83-year-old climber will remain in Spain this time but promises to return next spring.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.