Manaslu Live: A High Risk Summit Push

Dawn has arrived on Manaslu, bringing a bluebird sky. For nearly everyone, this means a chance to dry clothes and gear, rest outside, and look up at the summit. But a small group led by Pasdawa Sherpa and Dawa Ongchu Sherpa, that includes record-seeker Kristin Harila, is still struggling to top out in deep snow.

For 24 hours, uncertainty has reigned. Yesterday, all the other teams on the mountain turned around from Camp 3. Harila, climbing with 8K Expeditions, also sounded hesitant when she spoke with her home team.

“Heavy snowfall yesterday and a high risk of avalanches between Camp 3 and Camp 4,” Harila wrote via her InReach.

However, the expedition leader was determined to open the route through the night. The Sherpas working on the route are still busy and are apparently succeeding.

In addition to Harila, Pasdawa, and Dawa Ongchu, Vijya Kumar, Phurba Dorchi, Alexandra E.K. Wichstrom, and Lakpa T Sherpa also set off for the summit. Expedition leader Lakpa Sherpa, coordinating from Base Camp, said he expects summit news at any moment.

Harila’s tracker shows her in the general summit area but it is hard to tell whether she has reached the highest point because of Manaslu’s narrow summit ridge. If and when they do top out, the team will face a tough descent as the sun warms the fresh, probably unstable snow.

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.