Nepalis on Manaslu: Yes, We’re Going Alpine Style

Teams on Manaslu are stuck in Base Camp because of high winds that were supposed to diminish on the weekend but have not.

Simone Moro and Alex Txikon wait patiently or try to. Earlier today, ExWeb contacted Vinayak Jay Malla and Tenji Sherpa for details on their own attempt, especially about their alleged change of mind regarding style. They gladly seized the opportunity to clarify their position.

“We have made no change of plans,” their press manager, Jill Wheatley, told us. “The plan remains alpine style, though we will always choose safety above all. Alex and Simone have different goals than ours, and we have never considered joining [them],” she added.

Vinayak Jay Malla on Manaslu. Photo: Abiral Rai

The misunderstanding started after a journalist accompanying the Txikon expedition reported that the Nepalis had helped the Italian-Spanish team fix ropes to Camp 1. By the usual definition, alpine style means a single push from base camp to summit, so venturing partway up the mountain ahead of time is disqualifying. This is likely why the journalist assumed that they had changed their mind about alpine style.

But what do Malla and Sherpa understand by alpine style? Although they have been to Camp I, it’s not known whether they slept there. In any case, not everyone in the climbing community agrees on the definition or how to apply a style originally designed for the Alps to a Himalayan scale. Read more about the debate here.

ExplorersWeb has reached out to Malla and Sherpa for their input.

Meanwhile, the Nepali pair has followed a smart strategy. During bad weather, they retreat to Samagaon village, where time passes more comfortably than at Base Camp. Simone Moro has also started to follow the same routine.

Malla and Sherpa have also brought their skis, which are extremely useful on the mountain’s lower sections. “Skis are much more efficient in deep snow and have always been part of the plan,” Wheatley explained. “However, it is not possible to skin all the way up, so the climbers will only use skis until Camp 1.”

The team is feeling well and the winter weather has been as expected. “The [current] forecast calls for increasingly high winds followed by some snow,” they reported.

Their expedition photographer, Abiral Rai, is not intending to summit but as an accredited IFMGA guide, he will join them well above Base Camp.

Angela Benavides is a journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news working with ExplorersWeb.com.

Angela Benavides 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 national and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive, radio reporter and anchorwoman, etc. Experience in Education: Researcher at Spain’s National University for Distance Learning on the European Commission-funded ECO Learning Project; experience in teaching ELE (Spanish as a Second Language) and transcultural training for expats living in Spain.

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