Monsoon Stalled Over Himalaya, Summits Delayed

The monsoon has resisted moving on, and a succession of snow, rain and fog still wraps Nepal’s mountains. Nevertheless, climbers are slowly making progress on Manaslu and Dhaulagiri.

Seven Summits, which is outfitting 67 out of the nearly 300 climbers on Manaslu this year, have fixed the route up to Camp 3 — the highest one on the normal route — at 6,700m. Most of their clients have already completed an acclimatization round to Camp 2 and back. Andorran Stefi Troguet went further up to Camp 3 before heading back down during heavy snowfall and is ready to jump for the summit as soon as conditions allow.

Manaslu Base Camp gripped in fog. Photo: Seven Summit Treks


Meanwhile, Chileans Carlos Espinosa, Ernesto Olivares and Rocrigo Yaitul set off toward the summit three days ago, according to blogger Carlos Garranzo.

On Dhaulagiri, fixing Sherpas have only reached Camp 2 because of equally poor weather. Summit bids are not expected until the end of September or the beginning of October.

Team member Tim Emmett (red jacket) and guide Garrett Madison) in the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: Madison Mountaineering


Things are even slower on Everest and Lhotse, because the route through the Khumbu icefall is even trickier than in spring. Garret Madison reported yesterday that Dorje Geljin and Tim Emmett might have found a way through a particularly difficult section midway, but it is unclear how much remains before the Western Cwm. In addition, Andrzej Bargiel and company are using drones to scout the area and send some amazing videos.

The Khumbu Icefall. Frame from a video by Bartek Bargiel


Meanwhile, on Cho Oyu, Nirmal Purja claimed from Camp 1 yesterday that he was “in a dilemma.” Should he launch a summit bid immediately, despite heavy snowfall in the forecast? Eventually, the Nepali ironman prudently returned to Base Camp because of zero visibility and bad weather.

Nirmal Purja at Cho Oyu’s Camp 1, before his retreat. Photo: Project Possible