High Winds Sweep the Winter 8,000’ers

Some days ago, Simone Moro mentioned how winter weather in the Himalaya was usually good at the beginning of December but goes sour right after December 21. That certainly happened to Moro last year, and history may be repeating itself in 2022.

So far this winter, the issue is not heavy snowfall like last year. But the jet stream is hitting the summits hard.

The sky is clear and blue, but at summit altitude, the winds are ripping, according to Cho Oyu and Manaslu climbers. The forecasts confirm their experience.

Txikon looks at the camera in winter gear, wind sweeping snow from the upper ridges of Manaslu behind him.

Alex Txikon on a windy yet sunny day on Manaslu. Photo: Alex Txikon’s team

 

“The force of the wind was overwhelming last night, during our first night in Camp 1 at 5,800m,” Txikon reported. “Chhepal Sherpa and I were literally blown around while we were inside the tent!”

Despite the drifting snow, they managed to reach 6,000m today. They are now back at Base Camp.

Seven day-forecast for Manaslu, at summit altitude.

Multimodel forecasts for Manaslu summit this week, by Meteoexploration.com

 

News is expected soon from those on the South Face of Cho Oyu. They are currently pondering their options after the wind swept away two tents in Camp 1, with their down suits and sleeping bags inside. Yesterday, Adriana Brownlee wondered if there would be a summit window “ever”. The short-term forecast, especially the wind speed, does not look optimistic.

Seven day-forecast for Cho Oyu.

Multimodel forecasts for the summit of Cho Oyu this week, by Meteoexploration.com

 

Conditions were much better for Simone Moro, who is still acclimatizing in the Khumbu Valley. Today, he climbed the relatively low Lobuche (6,119m) and enjoyed a slightly windy but otherwise nice summit day.

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.