Manaslu: Harila and Team Safely Down

Kristine Harila, Pasadawa Sherpa and Dawa Ongchu made it back to Base Camp today from the summit of Manaslu. They didn’t stay long. A waiting helicopter flew them back to Kathmandu. So summit photos and reports will have to wait.

The 8K Expeditions team noted that they were the first to reach the summit of Manaslu yesterday, after breaking trail. The outfitters’ summit times differ, but misunderstandings are common during summit pushes, since the climbers on the top only phone for a few seconds. In any case, Elite Exped’s rope fixers made the first Manaslu summits of the season days ago.

Meanwhile, avalanches keep sweeping the mountain. Phurba Sonan Sherpa, also a member of the Elite Exped team, shared the video below of a serac collapsing on the right side of the mountain, not far from Base Camp.

There are also new details about the rescue of Alexandra Wichstrom of Norway. Clouds prevented helicopter pilot Simone Moro from flying directly up from Base Camp, so he gained altitude via a sunnier side valley.

“It worked,” Moro reported. “I managed to reach the girl with pulmonary problems and bring her first to Base Camp and then to Kathmandu before darkness fell.” Moro has also shared an amazing video of the rescue, with a unique perspective of the route and Camp 3.

Skiers Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison are also down after retreating from Camp 3 with “tails between [their] legs”. The summit will have to wait until their next push, but they did enjoy excellent powder snow as they skied down. “I love skiing pow…at 7,000m,” Morrison wrote.

Hilaree Nelson skis down from Camp 3 on Manaslu. Photo: Jim Morrison

Victims of Kathmandu fire confirmed

Climbers in BC were shocked at the news of the fire that destroyed the Elite Exped offices in Kathmandu and killed three people. It is now confirmed that the victims were members of Nirmal Purja’s team, including Base Camp manager Ashok Rai.

Rai was in Base Camp on Winter K2 and was also involved in Gelje Sherpa’s attempt on winter Cho Oyu last year. Chhewang Sherpa (also spelled Chowang, and another member of the winter Cho Oyu team) and Tensi Karsang Sherpa also perished in the blaze.

Adriana Brownlee and Ashok Rai during the winter K2 expedition. Photo: A. Brownlee

 

Lakpa Dendi and Adriana Brownlee, currently in Base Camp, have posted condolences on social media, but so far, expedition leaders have released no official statement. It is a sad loss for the Nepali climbing community.

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.