Everest & Himalaya wrap-up: Cool French climbs on Manaslu, Nuptse and Melungtse - Abele leaves Annapurna, teams head for Dhaula

Posted: Sep 25, 2006 02:12 pm EDT

(MountEverest.net) Major climbs - all French - have been announced on Manaslu, Nuptse and Melungtse. A new route and a ski descent are in the works for Manaslu, while Nuptse will see a solo, new route attempt. There will also be an attempt to complete Melungtse north face. Most of the climbers were part of the team nominated for the Piolet D'or 2005 after their new routes on Chomo Lonzo massif.

Family issues have unfortunately forced Italian Abele Blanc to leave Annapurna. His team mates now wait in BC for the rain to hold up. On Dhaula; Poles, Czechs and Russians are nearing the peak - Ecuadorian Ivan Vallejo will join them after acclimatizing on Cho Oyu.


Yesterday, Javier Corripio, meteorologist for the Malaga Cho Oyu expedition shot over what looks like a chance of improving weather albeit with high winds on altitude later this week: From Wednesday 20 till Friday, fair weather. Evening clouds may develop, which eventually could bring a few flakes, no more. Winds, however, will increase up to 25-30 knots at 8000m.


West and South sides: Here come the French!

At last some action on Manaslu! The French Mountaineering and Climbing Federation reports that Jean-Noël Urban just reached BC, hoping to ski down the Japanese route on the West side. Urban has previously skied down from Shisha Pangma main, Cho Oyu and GII.

Another French team will attempt a first ascent on the South Ridge, in alpine style. Members are Piolet DOr nominees Yannick Graziani, Christian Trommsdorff, and Patrick Wagnon, teaming up with Sandrine de Choudens (Spanish Jorge Egocheagas partner on Nanga and Broad Peak both summited) and Danish Asmus. They are expected in BC today.


Italians: Abele leaves

News from home forced Abele Blanc to leave BC. His mates remain in BC, in pounding rain.

Rain has been swamping BC for the last 48 hours, reported Silvio Mondinelli yesterday. We cant help thinking on how much fresh snow will be falling on the higher slopes of the mountain. However, spirits are high and from time to time we peer out of the tent hoping to spot the sunlight again.


Polish: Sharing permit with Czechs and Russians

During an interview with Miss Hawley in Kathmandu last week, the Polish Dhaulagiri team talked about the climbers sharing permit with them: Besides Ecuadorian Ivan Vallejo, a Czech/Russian team will be also attempting the mountain. Members are Czechs Radek Jaros, Kamil Bortel, and Roman Langr; and Russians Valery Shamalo, and Alexey Gorbatenko.

In addition, a Swiss team outfitted by Kari Kobler is currently in place waiting for good weather to launch a summit bid.

Cho Oyu

Malaga (Spanish) Cho Oyu expedition: C2 in snowstorm

Did you spot the pic illustrating yesterday's week in review? It belonged to the Malaga Cho Oyu expedition. We are happily at 7000m in C2, reported the Spaniards Javier Sanchez, Jose Lopez and Rafael Merchan on Saturday. Only thin canvas keep us sheltered from the snow. But we need this night at altitude in order to acclimatize properly.

AC: Bad weather parties

The snow kept falling, the wind blew harder, and after our oxygen briefing all our friends in Basecamp started showing up, reported AC guide Luis Benitez yesterday. The music got louder, the wine came out, and it became an official make the bad weather go away party.

I tell ya, get mountain guides together, fuel them with a little wine, and some pretty crazy stories will come out!

IMG: Waiting out the weather

There has been a significant amount of precipitation each of the last few days both at base camp and high on the mountain, reported IMA team leader Mike Hamill on Friday. Our Sherpas took turns breaking trail through knee to waist deep snow to be the first to C3 this season they are currently pitching tents there and stocking the camp.

New routes on Nepals 7000ers


Another Chomo Lonzo veteran, Patrice Glairon-Rappaz is heading for the highly difficult Nuptse, hoping to solo a new route there. Patrice has eyed the western side of the North face, hoping to climb a line to the left of the one opened by Valery Babanov and Yuri Koshelenko in 2004. First he will acclimatize in the area, expecting to attempt the new route in the second half of October.


Aymeric Clouet and Christophe Dumarest hope to succeed what others have failed: A first ascent on Melungtses North face. They are leaving France this week, hoping to be ready to attempt the face by the last week of October.

Himalaya fall 2006 expeditions homepages:


Berg Adventures Everest dispatches | News on Spanish Hornbein team on BBK (Spanish)


Mondinellis website (Italian)


Ivan Vallejos website (Spanish) | Kari Koblers team Dhaula dispatches (German) | News on Polish teams on HiMountain | Polish Pawel & Stefans Dhaula blog


JN Urban's Sky-ski attempt (French) | News on French teams - Manaslu, Nuptse, Melungtse on FFME (French)

Shisha Pangma:

Edurne Pasabans website (Spanish) | Joao Garcias blog on Sic/Sapo (Portuguese) | Tom Torkelsons blog | Norwegian Hamar teams blog (Norwegian) | Inaki Ochoas website (Spanish) | Project-Himalayas Shisha dispatches | Jagged Globe | HiMex Shisha & Cho Oyu dispatches

Cho Oyu:

Tom Averys Ski Cho Oyu dispatches |D.Benegas dispatches |Alpine Ascents dispatches |Adventure Consultants dispatches | Kari Koblers team dispatches (German)| Mountain Madness dispatches | IMGs dispatches | Polish expeditions website (Polish) | Romanian expeditions dispatches | Dutch expedition | Malaga Cho Oyu's reports (Spanish)

Most of us met him, and he kept us safe.
Image by BAI courtesy BAI
Members of French Chomo Lonzo team are back in the Himalayas with some cool plans: Patrice Glairon-Rappaz (right) is going for a solo new route on Nuptse; Yannick Graziani, Christian Trommsdorff, and Patrick Wagnon (left and middle upper) will attempt the first ascent of Manaslu's S ridge; Aymeric Clouet (middle) will try Melungtse's North face with Christophe Dumarest. All images courtesy of FFME and Mountain.ru (click to enlarge).
Rain has been swamping BC for the last 48 hours, reported Silvio Mondinelli yesterday. We cant help thinking on how much fresh snow will be falling up on the higher slopes of the mountain. Team mate Abele Blanc has left due to family issues. Image courtesy of Mondinelli (click to enlarge).
Miss Hawley briefed the Polish Dhaulagiri expedition on other climbers sharing permit with them. Image courtesy of HiMountain (click to enlarge).
Live image over Contact 3.0 of AC team members in Cho Oyu's ABC, posing with their O2 masks. Image courtesy of Adventure Consultants (click to enlarge).

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