Spanish team member Carlos Soria (71) on Manaslu.
Image by Tente Lagunilla courtesy Tente Lagunilla, SOURCE
Tente Lagunilla on Manaslu rescues: "The Impossible has happened today"

Posted: Apr 26, 2010 04:21 pm EDT
The Spanish team on Manaslu is back in BC, waiting out bad weather after setting up C2. Team member Tente Lagunilla reported on the aerial rescue of two missing Korean climbers and their seven stranded mates.

The operation was performed by Air Zermatt+Fishtail Air (Check the rescuers report in a separate story).

Korean summit push

"April 20th, a Korean team set off on a summit push," Tente recounted. April 21st, they moved from C1 to C2; on April 22nd, proceeded to C3 and on the following morning they attempted to reach the summit."

"The summit team included six Korean climbers and four Sherpas. Details are sketchy, but the fact is that only one Korean made it down to BC. He reported two mates missing and three others, plus the four Sherpas, stranded in C2 at 6,500m - frostbitten and too exhausted to descend any further."

Mission Impossible: accomplished

"Weather conditions were too unstable and the mountain too overloaded with snow to attempt a land rescue; an aerial rescue seemed impossible at such high altitude - but the impossible has happened today."

"Early in the morning today, a chopper showed up and, after a short stop in BC, managed to bring down all seven stranded climbers, in four consecutive flights. Weather was luckily very good until midday and C2 is located in a wide, flat place - nevertheless it's been an amazing feat."

As for their own summit push, "all we need is a good weather window long enough for a summit bid," Spanish team member Tente Lagunilla noted.