Himalaya Alpine Style: Eight Autumn Climbs to Watch

Although commercial teams abandoned the 8,000’ers this week, fall mountaineering in the Himalaya is far from over. In fact, the best expeditions continue. It’s just that we hear very little about them.

Alpine-style teams rarely communicate except briefly with friends and family. It is only after they return — and not always then — that they share the story of their climbs. Yet it’s worth keeping an eye on the following eight teams, waiting for the moment that they decide to speak.

Manaslu West Face

After some days of acclimatizing amid the Manaslu crowds, Helias Millerioux, Charles Dubouloz, and Symon Welfringer are back on the other side of the mountain. After reaching Camp 3 on the normal route, they are now fully acclimatized and ready to try the highly difficult West Face, in a single alpine-style push.


On Jannu, a U.S. team is attempting the NW Face, and a Spanish team will try the East Face of Jannu East (7,450m). Both reached Base Camp three weeks ago and have not shared news since then.

A lonely climber's shillouetted against a background of cloud-covered mountain face.

Langtang received Topo Mena wrapped in clouds. Photo: Topo Mena/Instagram


Topo Mena is in the Langtang region with fellow Ecuadorians Roberto Morales and Joshua Jarrin. They have not revealed their plans beyond that they are heading for “a place where very little is known, other than a few tales of epics.”

The climbers pose in an office surrounded by the outfitting company directors.

Tiphaine Duperier and Boris Langestein with Climbalaya staff in Kathmandu, before heading for Dhaulagiri II.


Dhaulagiri II

Boris Langenstein and Tiphaine Duperier of France are currently on Dhaulagiri II, hoping to climb and then ski down from the summit. They are outfitted by Climbalaya Treks & Expeditions.


Taichi Kagami, Goto Kisuke, and Masaki Adach of Japan are attempting the first ascent of Phungi (6,524m), a peak located southeast of Manaslu, the Alpymon blog reports.

Japanese climber and Nepali members of the Department of Tourism, stand up showing the printed climbing permit.

The Japanese pick up their climbing permit for Phungi. Photo: Goto Kisuke


Garhwal Himalaya

In India’s Garhwal Himalaya, the Polish team has split in two and set up their Base Camps in the neighboring valleys of Gangotri and Kedar.

Wadim Jablonski, Jakub Radziejowski, and Ondrej Huserka will start from Kedar Lake (4,700m) and climb 1,600 vertical metres in two days.

Bielecki smiles watching the landscape from the wooden balcony of a small hotel room.

Adam Bielecki in the town of Gangotri, before the approach trek. Photo: Polish Mountaineering Association


Meanwhile, Adam Bielecki, Damian Granowski, Kacper Kloda, Mateusz Grobel and Mateusz Wieckowski camped on the Gangotri Glacier, surrounded by 6,000m peaks and completely isolated. As the Polish home team explained, cell phones and satphones are both banned in the area.

Not surprisingly, given these restrictions, we’ve heard nothing from the Huber brothers either. Alex and Thomas Huber set off toward Garhwal at the beginning of September.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering 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.