File image of Dhaulagiri as seen from BC. Image by Ivan Vallejo courtesy Ivan Vallejo
File image of Carlos Soria on the glacier between BC and C3 on Dhaulagiri, part of the "Himalaya Triangle." Image by Carlos Soria courtesy Carlos Soria
Adrian and Sergey ready to ski down Makalu in 2011. courtesy Adrian Ballinger/Alpenglow Expeditions, SOURCE
Ski tracks on Makalu, Dhaula UPDATE, Manaslu summit add-ons
Posted: Oct 02, 2012 03:40 pm EDT (Newsdesk/updated Oct 3) More summiteers are reported from Manaslu; regrouping, waiting, and ski rounds are taking place on Makalu; but today the stage belongs to Dhaulagiri, in full summit push.
Update: Wedn Oct 3: The Dhaulagiri summit push was aborted due to hard wind.
"Good afternoon, unless weather conditions worsen, tonight finally Carlos Soria will try to reach the summit of Dhaulagiri (8.167m)."
So read a brief message from Soria's hometeam, who also uploaded a video this morning, showing parts of the climb and the last radio call (in Spanish) between the climber and BC.
Update: Wedn Oct 3: The summit push was aborted due to hard wind.
Dan Mazur and his SummitClimb team are up as well.
The peak belongs to the "Himalaya-triangle": highly avalanche prone Annapurna, Manaslu and Dhaulagiri.
Altitude Junkies summited Manaslu alongside MtnProfessionals yesterday and posted a list of their summiteers today. AJ topped out 15 climbers out of about half were Sherpa and three, including the leader, without O2.
Regrouping is going on right now reported Yuri and Laura from ABC, with some climbers leaving the mountain. Seems the couple plans to join arms with Alpenglowexpeditions for a second chance next week.
Led by HiMex lead guide Adrian Ballinger for the past few years, Alpenglow is an exciting upstart offering 8000 meter peak expeditions beginning this fall with Makalu. The team wants to stand out by focusing on small teams and stellar service but also unique projects such as ski descents and ascents without supplementary oxygen.
The current team came down yesterday from their final acclimatization trip, with Sergey back for more:
"...we were 7,300meters/24,000feet, feeling the altitude and our packs, and dreaming of what seemed like blown in powder in the couloir and bowl next to us," Adrian reported today: "We called climbing done for the day, and set up for skiing. A bit of a traverse through the normal high altitude breakable crust led us to a 40+ degree entry into the couloir."
"After some avalanche stability analysis, and a bit of mutual psyching-up, I dropped in...and found...perfect, barely wind-kissed, boot-top to knee-deep powder! We spent the next 20 minutes linking turns in perfect snow on steep terrain, going one at a time from safe zone to safe zone, barely breathing while skiing, and then almost puking while heaving at stops trying to recover our breathing."
"Even better, as we were skiing the lower couloir and bowl, our teammates were still climbing on the rocky nose above us. Their hoots and hollers made our day, and kept us pushing to make one more perfect turn before stopping doubled-over to breathe. It was the best Himalayan skiing I have ever done, and Sergey and I can't wait to attempt the upper mountain, and to ski the couloir from the proper entrance, the very top!"
Billi Berling explained from BC about her team's recent summit push that the Sherpas, who'd never been to Makalu before, simply didn't find the right spot for camp 4. "Even though they had looked at pictures of the route, they completely missed the way." She too hopes for a second chance after the current wind spell.