Manaslu Rope Fixers Push for Summit

Six Sherpas with Seven Summit Treks left Base Camp yesterday for the summit of Manaslu. They expect to reach it tomorrow or Friday.

If successful, they’ll bag autumn’s first 8,000m summit and will pave the way for more than 100 climbers, who have finished acclimatizing just in time. Whether anyone reaches the main summit of the peak remains to be seen.

The EOA (Expedition Operators’ Association) is managing the rope-fixing team. This formal coordination among expedition outfitters shows the increasing industrialization of 8,000m tourism. It also leads to much faster progress up mountains than ad hoc alliances forged informally in base camp.

Meanwhile, the massive use of supplementary oxygen allows clients to push for the summit with less acclimatization. That way, they can take advantage of earlier weather windows. It also lets expedition leaders vary their arrival and summit dates. Ultimately, it may lead to fewer traffic jams on the upper sections.

Jon Gupta progresses over crevassed terrain between Camp 2 and Camp 3 on Manaslu. Photo: Jon Gupta/Mountexped


Many oxygen-assisted teams have been at least to Camp 2 and could be ready to attempt the summit in the next few days. Elite Expedition clients, for example, returned from Camp 2 yesterday, according to member Jackson Groves.

Meanwhile, the 8K Expedition team went to Camp 3 and back, as did Mingma G’s Imagine Nepal crew. Furtenbach Adventures has a “classic” team currently resting in Samagaon and ready for a summit push, and an “express” team currently on their first and only rotation up the mountain. The express climbers aim to complete their expedition in just a couple of weeks. Before heading to Nepal, they acclimatized in hypobaric chambers installed in their homes.

The No-O2 climbers

As usual, climbers without supplementary O2 will need to pick their summit days carefully to avoid the busiest times. As long as they use the same route and ropes as everyone else, their safety could be jeopardized if they had to wait in a long traffic jam on the summit ridge.

Martin Ramos (left) and Jorge Egocheaga on Manaslu. Photo: La Opinion de Zamora


Martin Ramos and Jorge Egocheaga of Spain are among the no-02 climbers. Egocheaga is a 14×8,000m summiter who usually avoids crowds. His last Himalayan expedition was an attempt on the South Face of Lhotse with Sung-Taek Hong of Korea.

This time, Egocheaga has apparently chosen to deal with the crowds and vibe of a commercial 8,000m peak in order to accompany his long-time partner Martin Ramos. Manaslu would mark Ramos’s 10th no-O2 8,000’er. The pair may opt for a fast ascent. They have pitched a tent at Camp 1 and another at Camp 3, planning to skip the middle camp.

Anna Tybor and her team of skiers (Piotrek Drzastwa of Poland and Federico Secchi and Marco Majori of Italy) are back in Base Camp after an acclimatization round to Camp 2. They’ve had a chance to scope out the best possible line for their complete ski descent.  “Conditions seem really good and there’s a lot of snow,” said Tybor.

Anna Tybor skis up to Manaslu’s Camp 1 some days ago. Photo: Anna Tybor

Other 8,000ers

On Dhaulagiri, the Seven Summit Treks team has joined forces with Pakistan’s Sirbaz Khan and two Sherpa members of Pioneer Expeditions. All reached Camp 3 today, fixing the route along their way. They are now returning to Base Camp for some rest.  Next time, they will fix the route to the summit.

Dhaulagiri lit by the full moon, as seen from Base Camp. Photo: Luis M D Soriano


Finally, on lonely Kangchenjunga, the five Alpenglow climbers have fixed the route to Camp 2. They plan to continue toward Camp 3 this week.