Himalayan Update: Manaslu and Nepal’s 6,000’ers

The Bahraini team are back in Manaslu Base Camp, after a first trek up to Camp 1, where they spent Sunday night. Previously, the Sherpa crew had fixed the route up to Camp 4. On their way down, they carried out nearly 900kg of garbage, including ragged tents, old ropes and empty O2 cylinders.

On the way to Camp I on Manaslu. Photo: Seven Summit Treks


They have not yet announced their summit plans, but Bahrain’s Royal Prince Nasser Bin Hamad notes that the forecast promises good weather through the third week of October, with stable winds, a maximum of 12cm of snow, clouds above 9,000m and lots of sun.

It’s too bad that other foreign climbers can’t share such great weather, unless they  hurry to take advantage of Nepal’s freshly relaxed entry requirements. As of October 17, foreigners no longer need to quarantine upon entry: a negative PCR test is enough, according to the Himalayan Times.
It’s too late for last-minute expeditions to the 8,000’ers, which require long planning, high costs and ample acclimatization. But Ama Dablam and the 6,000m and 7,000m peaks, as well as the trekking routes, are open.
Taking advantage of the relaxed restrictions, local operators have announced expeditions to the most popular 6,000’ers, while some teams consider less frequented options: Yesterday, a three-member team received a permit for 6,151m Gyalzen Peak, part of the Jugal range, on the border between Nepal’s Lantang National Park and Tibet. The obscure peak was first climbed just last year.
Jeff and Priti Wright are back in Base Camp after successfully climbing K6, but they are not ready yet to return home. According to Ali Saltoro, they plan to hike to the base camp of K7 (6,934m) in the Charakusa Valley.
American Steve House made the second ascent of K7 in 2004, soloing a new route up the Southwest Face. The climb earned him the People’s Award at the 14th Piolet d’Or. House recently told the story of that climb in video below.
Meanwhile, ski mountaineer Luke Smithwick arrived in Pakistan last week, and as of yesterday, he is in Skardu. He will have the Karakorum and its infinite number of new skiing lines all to himself, as no other teams are expected in the Baltoro. On the way to Skardu, Smithwick took the image below of Nanga Parbat in the distance.

Photo: Luke Smithwick

Finally, mountain celebrity fans may enjoy this video interview with Reinhold Messner, posted by la Gazetta dello Sport. In it, the legendary climber chats with 2019’s strong man, Nirmal Purja, during a tour around one of the six mountain museums that Messner has funded in Europe.