Manaslu Summits Begin

The rope-fixing team deployed by Seven Summit Treks reached the top of 8,163m Manaslu at 1:45pm today. The route is now ready for the other 260 climbers scattered along the mountain. Some teams, such as Mingma G’s Imagine Nepal, plan to leave Camp 4 tonight and summit tomorrow. Others are timing their summits for Thursday and Friday. Hopefully, this distribution will reduce the queues on the mountain’s upper sections, especially on the final ridge.

Today’s successful climbers included Sherpas Ngima Dorchi, Ngima Thenduk, Tenji Chhombi and Namgya Bhote, plus, notably, Muhammad Ali Sadpara of Pakistan. As he did on Makalu last spring, Sadpara is collaborating with Nepal’s SST in the pursuit of his own 14×8,000’er quest. He is already more than halfway there, since he has already summited all Pakistan’s 8,000’ers, including the first-ever winter climb of Nanga Parbat. He has also completed Lhotse, Makalu and now Manaslu this year.

Now, all eyes now turn to Nirmal Purja. One day after topping-out on Cho Oyu, he is expected to reach Manaslu’s Base Camp today. It is unclear whether he’ll stay with the rest of his Elite Himalayan team, which plans to move up one camp a day and summit on Friday, or will hurry up faster.

Assuming success — and why wouldn’t we, based on his stellar performance so far this year — whether he completes all 14 8,000’ers in one year depends not on his legs and heart, but on Chinese authorities. Nepal has been actively lobbying China’s Mountaineering Association on Purja’s behalf to open Shishapangma to him. But China has remained silent, according to The Himalayan Times, and for now, the Tibetan peak remains closed to foreigners.