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To the real top: Guy's Manaslu debrief, "I'm glad I've travelled this road"

Posted: May 14, 2012 03:36 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) On Friday, Adventure Consultants reported Guy Cotter, Anthony Baldry and seven Sherpa on top of Manaslu (8163m). In a fresh debrief, Guy describes the difference between true summit and lower tops, and what it has been like to combine pleasure with business for 20 years.

Since the AC climb, news has trickled in from the community that Iran topped out Hosein Salehi, Jafar Naseri, Omid Amohammadi, Hosein Moqaddam and Mahmoud Hashemi on May 10. Canadian Lucille de Beaudrap turned around, Irish Domhnall O'Dochartaigh summited.

At first reported successful, Asian Trekking revised the result of German sky-skiers Luis Stitzinger and Ali Von Melle after news arrived from base camp this morning that the team of five Germans turned back below summit and are now descending.

Sadly, Iranian Jafar Naseri reportedly fell descending to lower camps and remains missing.

Adventure Consultants debrief: false summit, fore summit, and the tippity top

In a summit day dispatch Adventure Consultants expedition leader Guy Cotter debriefed the climb with pictures from the top and high parts. Guy says his team of Sherpa (Ang Phurba, Mingma, Cherring, Pemba, Dawa, KB and Pertemba) led the summit push, fixing route along the way.

Guy writes that after leaving high camp, the climb went over hard icy slopes that led towards the first of two plateaus on the way to the summit, broken by steep headwalls that had to be climbed.

Climbing the last slope towards the false summit; "we knew there was still a long ridge to climb to the true summit," Guy wrote. The long ascent taking its toll, this is where many climbers were already dropping off.

The mountaineers reached the fore summit (where most people stop and claim the summit) by midday.

"I led out a long section of rope up a very steep and exposed snow ridge with thousands of metres exposure below me," Guy wrote. "A Scottish climber called Donal followed (ed note: Guy probably refers to Irish Domhnall O'Dochartaigh) and belayed me along the very exposed summit ridge to the actual true summit of Manaslu, a scary and tiny peak on the end of a corniced ridge."

"Wow, the true summit of Manaslu, 1.30pm. There was no room for others to be there at the same time so I descended while our lead Sherpa Ang Phurba, Anthony and Donal went to the top to sit on the throne, possibly the highest people on this world right now, for just a little while."

In later years, some commercial outfits in Himalaya are headed by non-climbing leaders. On the slopes with his clients, Guy ended his report:

"I'm glad it's over, but I'm also glad I've travelled this road. That hour, leading along the summit ridge, has been some of the most stimulating climbing of my career. Today is 20 years since I first climbed Mt Everest in 1992 and I'm happy to still be finding that my love of mountains is not diminished."


Adventure Consultants Manaslu debrief

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Ang Phurba with Anthony behind just below Manaslu summit (over Contact 5).
Image by Guy Cotter courtesy Adventure Consultants, SOURCE
Guy Cotter of AventureConsultants leading the summit ridge.
Image by Adventure consultants courtesy Adventure Consultants, SOURCE
AC mountaineer ascending to the top in sunrise.
Image by Guy Cutter courtesy www.adventureconsultants.com, SOURCE
Sadly, Iranian Jafar Naseri reportedly fell descending to lower camps and remains missing.