Himalaya wrap-up: Tibet open for climbing, avalanche hits Manaslu BC, Everest south booming

Posted: Apr 10, 2009 04:24 pm EDT

(MountEverest.net) A huge avalanche hit Manaslus BC, burying Carlos Pauners, Joao Garcías, South Korean and French expeditions' tents. No injuries are reported. A Russian team enroute to the peak are mourning Piotr Morawski, who was sharing their permit.

Climbing permits for Tibet are finally being granted; SummitClimb got theirs for Everest north side. Everest south side BC is booming; and the icefall docs prepare two routes across the seracs.

A cool ski-descent is coming up: American Ben Clark is leaving Saturday for Baruntse, which he hopes to ski down from the summit.

SummitClimb Everest North side team: Permit granted

Yesterday we finally got the got news from Lhasa that our Everest permit is approved, Arnold Coster reported yesterday. Now we only have to see how fast they can wrap up the paperwork.

After climbing Kala Pattar, the team was trekking back to Lukla, hopping to fly to KTM today.

Eco Everest: Everest comms and security numbers

In order to provide better communications on Everest as well as with lower Khumbu and Kathmandu, the Eco Everest Expedition 2009 will have one base station at Camp 2, one at Base Camp and one in Asian Trekkings office in Khumjung, Ang Tsering reported.

There will be telephone and internet connectivity. Our frequency this year is: 00 870772223518 OR 00870772223596. I would recommend that all climbers please make a note of this: In case of emergencies on the mountain, we can transfer messages down to Kathmandu rapidly should this be required.

Eco Everest team is led by Apa Sherpa (18 times Everest summiteer).

Two lanes in Khumbu Icefall

This year there will be two routes in the Khumbu Icefall: one route for climbers going up the mountain and the other for those coming down, in order to avoid traffic jams Asian Trekkings Ang Tsering added.

There are seven climbing Sherpas in the Ice Fall Doctors team this year. I want to commend the SPCC's efforts and in recognizing the need for a stronger team during this busier-than-usual climbing season.

Altitude Junkies: friendly Koreans in Everest BC

North Korea recently launched a ballistic missile (it reportedly didn't get very far) which doesn't seem to affect international relations in Everest BC. While it's not clear if this is a south- or north Korean climbing team; Phil Crampton reported about his neighbours:

The Korean team are somewhat in close proximity to us at base camp and each morning I watch them participate in their early morning exercises. At the end of their routine, around 8 am, they yell out loud something in Korean twice. This is comically followed with other expeditions shouting back something in English that I cant print on the internet.

Phil Crampton (of Hiro-avalanche-rescue-fame on G2 in 2007/check debrief in the links section) and his climbers are now ready to head up the icefall.

Montenegro's flag to the top and 2008 Manaslu summit double-check

Dragan Jacimovics team this year comprises 18 climbers from ex Yugoslavian republics of Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and from Italy.

Should they succeed, the Montenegro flag (the youngest state in the former Yugoslavia) will flap on top of the world.

The Serbian team is currently in KTM, waiting for visas to enter Tibet and solving some misunderstandings from last year. Jacimovics Manaslu 2008 summit had apparently not been confirmed by Miss Hawley.

Miss Hawley said the Lukla air accident last year had created some confusion, and thus Manaslu summit list was left incomplete, team member Nina Adjanin, and also a 2008 Manaslu summiteer, stated on the expedition website. After checking the facts, Jacimovics team have their Manaslu summit finally confirmed by Miss Hawley.

(Ed note: on Manaslu last fall, several large commercial teams summit reports didn't add up to other climbers' climbing notes cutting numbers of success down to barely half. In detailed debriefs clearly stating timelines and names of actual summiteers, five different teams reported crowds of people, most of them on O2, leaving empty canisters all along the route and turning back before an exposed corniced ridge that leads to the true summit.)

Manaslu: Pauners BC hit by an avalanche snow storm keeps Russians at bay

A huge avalanche hit Manaslus BC. The Spaniards and some French climbers spent last night in Mario Merelli's camp, which had not been affected by the slide. Carlos hoped to check the damages today.

Meanwhile, the team led by Alexey Bolotov was forced to stop 150 m below BC yesterday in a strong snow storm, RussianClimb Lena Laletina reported. The Russian team also mourned over the sad news theyve just got about Piotr Morawskis death they were sharing climbing permit on Manaslu, Lena added.

Makalu West Pillar

Alberto Inurrategi & co report heavy rains on their third day trek to Makalu BC; raising questions how the porters will manage to cross the Shipton La pass if it turns out packed with snow.

Annapurna: Babanov back in BC French route in bad conditions

April 7, Valery and Victor returned to Base Camp after acclimatizing up to 5600m on Annapurnas North side classic route, Babanovs home team reported. There is a Korean expedition working there right now.

Right above C2, that route is extremely dangerous conditions due to a huge serac hanging over, Babanov noted. Therefore, our second acclimatization trip will be done up the Czech route its technically more complicated, but it is relatively safer.

Nives and Romano, and Elisabeth Revol, also reported to be waiting out bad weather in BC.

Ben Clark to ski down Baruntse

American Ben Clark from Telluride (Colorado) is leaving Saturday for Baruntse, which he hopes to ski down from the summit.

Links to 2009 Himalaya expeditions:

Lhotse-Everest traverse
Mountain.kz - expedition's official website

Everest South side:
Everest traverse - Bill Burke's blog
Alex Gavan
Jarle Traa
Richard Hidalgo's blog
Singapore's women on Everest updates
Airborne Ranger Club of Finland
Croatian female Everest expedition
Scott Woolums' Adventures International
Altitude Junkies
Manuel Pizarro - news
Lance Fox's dispatches
Jason Maehl
Peak Freaks - Everest updates
RMI Guides/First Ascent - Everest dispatches
Johnny & Brian Strange's dispatches
Asian Trekking - news
Yuri and Laura
Nic Cunningham's updates
John Golden's dispatches
Billi Bierling - Everest diary
David Tait's dispatches
Adrian Ballinger
Alec Turner's dispatches
Eugene Constant's blog
Megan Delanty's blog
Chris Dovell's blog
Norwegians Hjertnes, Jacobsen and Rambøl
Gilad Stern
Robert kojetin
German Thomas "Tomsky"
SummitClimb - News
Laserer Alpin
Iberic Everest expedition
Nancy Norris
Abramov's 7Summits-club
Adventure Consultants
Alpine Ascents
Mountain Madness
Kenton Cool's dream Guides
Kari Kobler
Serbian Everest expedition

Everest North side:
Czech Hornbein Couloir expedition - Libor Uher's website
Nobukazu Kuriki - English blog
Kanagawa University Alpine Club
Lee Farmer

Edurne Pasaban
Jon Gangdal
Kinga Baranowska

Zangrilli's blog
Zangrilli's guiding blog
Roland Hunter's expedition blog
News on Vallejo, Iñurrategi, Zabalza - Euskadi Kirola

Martin Minarik
Elisabeth Revol's blog
Valeri Babanov
Nives Meroi & Romano Benet
Libor Uher's website

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner - news
Ralf's Amical Alpin
Hirotaka Takeuchi's blog
David Göttler's website
Xavi Arias' blog
News on Mondinelli on Montagna.org
Joao Garcia's expedition blog
Jean Luc Fohal's website
Andalusian female team - news
Lina Quesada
Carlos Pauner
Nick Rice's dispatches
Mario Merelli
Radek Jaros

Piotr Morawski - news
Peter Hamor
Polish Tatra Rescuers team
News on Mehdi Etemadfar -MountainZone.ir

Shisha Pangma
Andrew Lock's Shisha+Everest dispatches


Live image over Contact 4.0 of John Golden training in Everest BC, courtesy of John's expedition website (click to enlarge).
Live image over Contact 4.0 of a puja ceremony held in EBC three days ago. Image courtesy of the Singapore Everest female team (click to enlarge).
Tent in Manaslu BC, before the avalanche. Image courtesy of Joao García's expedition blog (click to enlarge).
From left to right, Mikel Zabalza, Alberto Iñurrategi and Juan Vallejo soaked on the way to Makalu West Pillar. Image courtesy of EiTB blogs (click to enlarge).

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