Manaslu Summits: Climbers Descending in Hazardous Conditions

Finally, there is summit news from Manaslu. Kristin Harila, Pasdawa Sherpa, and Dawa Ongchu Sherpa of 8K Expeditions reached the summit in extremely tough conditions. Sanu Sherpa of Pioneer Adventures and his client Hu Tao summited 20 minutes later.

There is no information on which point they reached along the summit ridge. At present, the climbers have a more pressing issue: it has been 16 hours since they set off from Camp 3 and their descent will be dangerous.

While 8K Expeditions has been regularly communicating their summit plans, there was no news of Sanu Sherpa and his client joining this summit push, and their summits have come as a surprise.

Three people smiling, clad in high-altitude down suits.

Left to right: Pasdawa Sherpa, Dawa Ongchu Sherpa, and Kristin Harila in a previous summit photo. Photo: Kristin Harila


Now all the summit climbers need to make it down safely. Mountain conditions, with days of rain on the upper slopes and significant snowfall yesterday, are objectively risky. This is especially true on avalanche-prone Manaslu.

Records and lists

After summiting Gasherbrum II this past summer, Sanu Sherpa had completed the 14 8,000’ers twice. However, his previous Manaslu summits (all in autumn) had not been to the true summit. That may have changed today.

Once back in Base Camp, Harila, Pasdawa, and Dawa Ongchu will be able to celebrate their 12th 8,000’er since April 28. Next, they’ll need to think of a way to complete the final phase of their 14×8,000m speed record attempt. Both Shishapangma and Cho Oyu require a permit from the Chinese government, which has closed its mountains to foreign expeditions since COVID. Special permission for this project is not guaranteed.

UPDATE: 8K Expeditions reports that while she lobbies for permission, Harila will head for the Nepal side of Cho Oyu. Also, Vijay Kumar and Phurba Dorchi Sherpa summited Manaslu as well.

Snowy Manaslu with its sharp summit, totally covered in snow under a cloudless, bright blue sky.

Manaslu under a bluebird sky today. Photo: Lakpa Sherpa/8K Expeditions

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.