First Casualty on Manaslu and an Uncertain Push on Dhaulagiri

While the debate about the summit of Manaslu rages white-hot, thanks to Mingma G’s success and Jackson Groves’ remarkable drone imagery of the summit ridge, climbers keep heading up the mountain. A significant number continue to claim success.

Among them, no-O2 climbers Anna Tybor, Federico Secchi, and Marco Majori. Tybor’s team reached the summit at 3 pm. As planned, they started skiing down. There is still no word whether they have arrived back in Base Camp.

No-O2 climber Martin Ramos also claimed success, although he seems to have shot his summit picture on the usual foresummit, at the end of the fixed ropes.

Martin Ramos. Photo: Martin Ramos

 

Official sources in Nepal say that more than 100 climbers have “scaled” Manaslu. A similar number are doing their final push either today or later in the season. But the debate continues whether a foresummit is a valid “climb” of the mountain, especially for those claiming records or completing the 14×8,000’ers.

Meanwhile, Mingma G has posted a new video, showing the hair-raising traverse at 8,100m and the final climb to the actual summit. He said that they fixed ropes, but the soft snow on that ultra-steep face allows no completely reliable anchor. Climbers who take that path had better clutch their ice axes tightly, watch every step of their crampons’ front points…and not slip.

One of the reasons why Manaslu climbers have not followed Mingma G’s bold path to the summit. Photo: Mingma G

 

On a sad note, a Canadian climber died while on his summit push. Brent Seal, 37, apparently suffered a stroke at around 7,800m, The Himalayan Times reports.

Snow delays Dhaulagiri climbers

Many Manaslu climbers have quickly moved to Dhaulagiri, hoping for a fast ascent to its (also tricky!) summit. The rope-fixing team was just about to finish its job when weather and snow disrupted everyone’s plans.

Purnima Shrestha, climbing with the big Seven Summit Treks group, reported from Camp 2 on Dhaulagiri yesterday that the rope fixers had finished up to Camp3, but that heavy snow had disrupted some of the sections. Carlos Soria and Luis Miguel Lopez reached Camp 1 yesterday after climbing in rain that later turned into very wet snow.

Very little snow (and quite a lot of rain) on lower Dhaulagiri this year. Photo: Luis M Lopez

Angela Benavides is a journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news working with ExplorersWeb.com.

Angela Benavides 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 national and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive, radio reporter and anchorwoman, etc. Experience in Education: Researcher at Spain’s National University for Distance Learning on the European Commission-funded ECO Learning Project; experience in teaching ELE (Spanish as a Second Language) and transcultural training for expats living in Spain.

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OldHikerDude
OldHikerDude
9 months ago

By the looks of the images and video, that traverse is scary as hell. Even Mingma admits that it’s impossible to safely protect it. lets hope that most climbers are opting for only the popular fore summit. This “true summit “drama is going to get people into trouble. It’s not worth it. All we’ve established is that guiding most climbers to the present slightly lower fore summit is actually a good idea. If you’re looking for records, or aim for all 14, that’s a whole different thing. Just my take.

Jahan
Jahan
9 months ago
Reply to  OldHikerDude

Totally agree. From the drone picture that was posted yesterday, it looked even scarier than the bottleneck traverse of K2….would anyone agree?

Craig Quigley
Craig Quigley
9 months ago
Reply to  Jahan

It’s more what’s above you on K2.

Paulo
Paulo
9 months ago
Reply to  OldHikerDude

What a distorted way of seeing it. So, if people is not willing to accept the risks of mountaineering, what’s the point of going to the mountains? The summit is the summit. If you didn’t go to the highest point, no matter the reasons, you can’t claim the summit.