A snowstorm at the head of the Khumbu was not enough to turn Philippe Gatta down he summited Ama Dablam Sunday in pretty rough conditions. A weather window is forecasted by the weathermen and Russians have launched a summit push on Lhotse. Also Cho Oyu teams are placing their bets on May 5th as D day.
American Ben Clark is bidding Baruntse farewell after he broke his ankle in a fall Sunday. Spanish senior Carlos Soria aborted his Manaslu summit push and will wait in BC for better conditions.
Iranians sent a summit pic from Dhaula BC while on Shisha Pangma Edurne and Panzeri are waiting for the wind to subside.
The large Russian team led by Alexey Bolotov began the summit bid on Saturday, Lena Laletina told ExplorersWeb.
The Kazakhs returned to BC after reaching C3, Andrey Verkhovod told ExplorersWeb. They also recovered the remains of their mate Serguey Samoilov, perished on the mountain last year. Max and Vassiliy had left the body in a particular place below C3. A decision is yet to be made though, on whether to bury the body in C2 or transport it down to BC.
"Tomorrow they are going to make the second and
final 4-day acclimatization trip to C4, and carry gear to C2 and C3 on the way," Andrey added yesterday. "That will be the final partial trip before the definite summit push.
Meteoexploration forecasts show a short weather window opening today - but winds shall seriously increase on May 7th and 8th (check links section for forecasts).
The Ukrainians have reached the West Ridge, and set C4, according to RussianClimb.com
The Baltic United team has completed the acclimatization process after setting up C1 and C2, home team member Tarmo Riga reported. Conditions on the mountain seem to be a bit harsh this year: the route between C1 and C2 is icy and teams use fixed ropes.
A snowstorm halted the Baltics initial summit push but yesterday they changed their minds again, and headed for C1, hoping to top-out on May 5th. Many of the 11 teams currently on the mountain may have joined the push as well.
IMG leader Eric Remza also confirmed the team was heading back up to C1."From there the plan is to try to go to Camp 2 the next day, and see how the weather looks at that point before making a decision to stay up and make a summit bid or come back down and wait," IMG reported.
The expected weather window didn´t last for Carlos Soria and team on Manaslu they reached C3 in a snowstorm and had to pitch their tent on unstable ice. They retreated back to BC in the morning where they are currently waiting for better conditions.
"It's windy, it's cold and I've already been away from home for 60 days - it's getting tougher," Edurne reflected. "We're waiting for a weather window to attempt the summit, joining forces with Panzeri Italian team. However, forecasts only show wind and snow for the next few days - things may turn for the better by April12th though... At least, it's something positive to think about."
The Iranian team members are back in KTM after topping-out Dhaulagiri last week. Check their summit pic illustrating this story.
"French Philippe Gatta summited Ama Dablam via the SW ridge in rough conditions (snow and wind) yesterday, his home team reported on Monday. With only 6 people on the mountain, Philippe climbed on his own from 6350m after his partner Jean-Marc Wojcik turned back. Apparently, two Russian climbers also topped-out summit yesterday.
My ankle is broken after my fall yesterday, a frustrated Ben reported from Baruntse BC on Monday. I guess that this Spring, even after our initial and really charged foray onto the hill, we will not be going higher. Jon says so and I just nod, he's a great partner who despite ambition can see the facts. Choppering out from basecamp is now my only option...
I'm an underdog, a guy from Tennessee that comes to the Himalayas every year and pioneers something to no fanfare or avail, Ben reflected. Finally, after all I have learned and taken from these mountains...they have given me something that I can't ever forget; real pain, real suffering and real luck. The depth of true loss that comes with that is irreplaceable, (massive monetary investment, time and health) a new low that can only go up from here!
Links to 2010 teams:
Kazakh National team
Chris Warner & Marty Schmidt
Field Touring Alpine
Chilean Bicentenario expedition
Iran Mountain Zone
Baruntse - Ben clark Ski the Himalayas team
Ama Dablam - Phillipe Gatta
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