Traffic Jams Overwhelm Manaslu

“It’s been the longest day and the longest traffic jam I’ve ever seen,” Stefi Troguet reported from Camp 4 at 7,400m earlier today.

Her comment on social media contrasted starkly to loads of happy summit messages from Manaslu. Today, well over 100 climbers topped out, while many more, such as Troguet, trudged slowly, staring at each other’s backs, from Camp 3 to Camp 4. 

Meanwhile, Nirmal Purja confirmed that he’ll lead his Elite Himalayan Team on their summit push tonight.  Will he wait patiently in line or step outside the queue and run up the hill? In fact, it was Nirmal Purja who shot the most viral Everest photo ever this past spring, depicting a crazy bottleneck of climbers high on Everest. Media and audiences worldwide cringed at the sight, especially when an outrageous number of casualties overshadowed the huge number of summits that day.


Nirmal Purja leaves for the summit of Manaslu tonight. Photo: Bremont Project Possible


In the next few hours, further details should trickle out about the Manaslu crowds, especially on the steep 10-metre section near the summit, where ascending and descending climbers cross paths.

It is also worth noticing that, while most climbers may be sipping O2 from at least Camp 4 onward, others are trying to top out and descend without supplementary gas. The Summit Climb team, for instance, has two separated groups. Those on O2 were due to sleep in Camp 3 tonight and summit on Saturday (presumably after the rush ends), while those climbing without gas were bound for Camp 4 today and the top tomorrow.

The next 24 hours on Manaslu will be key. Watch for updates on ExplorersWeb, as well those posted by Seven Summmit Treks, Furtenbach Adventures, Adventure Consultants and SummitClimb.

At least one climber tackled Manaslu in an original style. Yesterday, Bulgarian Vladimir Pavlov summited (on O2) and made a snowboard descent from 8,150m along a new line from Camp 4. Check an interview with Pavlov posted on ExplorersWeb’s community section here.