Winter Manaslu: Elisabeth Revol’s Debrief

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“On my return from Nanga, the Himalayas in winter would not let go,” Elisabeth writes in her debrief posted this weekend, “during the full year it became almost an obsession…”

That’s how the idea to attempt Manaslu came to her. And there, she found a completely different adventure.

“It is not easy to find the words that qualify such an epic. Manaslu in “winter” is something I did not expect, a scale of magnitude or comparison between nature and humanity that is multiplied tenfold.”

One of the differences was loneliness: “Indeed, my past winter climb was alongside other expeditions, other mountaineers, this was not the case this year…”

The French mountaineer writes she became captivated by the situation and the challenge. For the first time she hardly read in base camp, she felt a boundless energy, and immense self confidence, “I felt strong … nothing seemed to exhaust me…”

But the objective conditions became too dangerous. In addition to temperatures of -40, -50 and the high altitude disarming her body, “I was in an ocean of snow, no less than 7 meters of snow fell during the month of January.”

The alpinist recounts extremely violent winds blowing almost continuously high up: “To climb on the slopes of this mountain is the most arduous thing that I had to live, always in a threatening atmosphere. For hours I made my way. I think I can say that this was the most committed attempt in my life …”

She reached her limit when the conditions became really extreme. “The wind roared and raged, the sky poured cubic meters and cubic meters of snow.”

Himalaya closed her doors but the lonely climber returned home empowered. After touching some of the most exposed sections of this planet in some of the most brutal climates, “I lived the great Himalayan solitude,” Revol says, “it is surely the richest experience of my life but also the most extreme and the most committed!”

Full debrief (Translate from French)

Elisabeth Revol hoped to make first complete winter ascent of Manaslu in alpine style. The continued snow and strong wind made the climb difficult and dangerous, reportedly reaching 7300m.

Elisabeth Revol was accompanied by fellow climber Ludovic Giambiasi, who climbed no further than C2, and two BC staff members.


Everest Team Reaches 7800m, Manaslu Attempt Thwarted