Manaslu Summiters Safely Down

Alex Txikon and the six Nepalis returned safely to Base Camp yesterday after summiting Manaslu.

The team made remarkable time. Yesterday, they went from Camp 3 at 6,900m to the 8,163m summit, which they reached after dark in that evening. They then descended to the team’s camp at 5,000m*, reaching it around 9 pm. See the video of their arrival below.

For Txikon, Manaslu marks his second winter summit after Nanga Parbat. This was his third attempt to climb the peak in winter. He has also previously tried to climb K2 and Everest twice in winter.

Manaslu has been climbed in winter only once before, by Polish winter masters Maciej Berbeka and Ryszard Gajewski, on January 12, 1984 — 34 years ago.

Meanwhile, Simone Moro has flown back to Kathmandu to check out his stomach issues at a hospital.

“I am happy that I shared so many winters with Alex and that he went to the top on the perfect day we had waited for,” Moro said. “Fate did not want me to be there…Another constructive goodbye to the Nepalese mountains.” This suggests that he will not return to Manaslu this winter.

 

*Note: Alex Txikon’s press team noted that Txikon finished his quest at their Base Camp at 5,000m. Previously though, they had reported that they had set their Base Camp down the valley at only 3,700m. The tents at 5,000m were therefore their Camp 1 — the approximate Base Camp of most expeditions, on the glacier at the foot of Manaslu. 

Dhaulagiri: one last acclimatization round

Meanwhile, on Dhaulagiri, David Goetter and Herve Barmasse have set up Base Camp, celebrated the puja ceremony, and hiked to the French Pass for some further training and to check out the route.

Climbers and BC staff at the stone chorten 8altar) with pryer flags and clibing gear during puja ceremony.

David Goettler (right) and the Sherpa Base Camp Staff during the puja ceremony at the foot of Dhaulagiri. Photo: David Goettler/Instagram

“Now we’re ready for our final acclimatization rotation, which will allow us to see the conditions on the route,” Goettler said. 

“While it’s true that we are a little disappointed not to be in Pakistan at the base of Nanga Parbat, it’s also true that we had no control over the decision,” Herve Barmasse wrote. Hence their fall-back option, Dhaulagiri.

Climbers on the rocky ground of the French pass, Dhaulagiri in background.

Herve Barmasse (in red) and David Goettler at the French Pass, with Dhaulagiri in the background. Photo: Herve Barmasse

Cho Oyu

There’s no further news about whether the Cho Oyu team will continue, but Adriana Brownlee posted a cool video on Instagram yesterday, showing the Sherpas fixing rope across a — quite thin — snow bridge over a crevasse between Base Camp and Camp 1. It is unclear whether the footage was shot today or during a previous trip to Camp 1 days ago.

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.