Himalaya wrap-up: Nones lost, Manaslu summit pics, lonely Larsen on Everest and Quintero on Cho Oyu

Posted: Oct 04, 2010 02:36 pm EDT

October has just begun but teams are already leaving Nepal's and Tibet's 8000ers due to bad conditions. Summit attempts are only expected by Xavi Arias on Manaslu, Eric Larsen on Everest, and Santiago Quintero on Cho Oyu.

Sad news has just arrived from the latter mountain where Italian Walter Nones, aiming for a new route on the SW face in alpine style, fell to his death yesterday.

Details will be posted on the expedition blog as soon as the circumstances in which the accident took place are cleared up.


As details flow from Manaslu, its now confirmed that last week summits were led by Kenton Cool and the Dream Guides team, who topped-out one day ahead of the rest.

It was about 2PM local time, (Thursday, September 30) when Charles Burr, Andrew Eggleston, Fredrik Ostman and I along with our Sherpas Dorje, Lhakpa 1 and Lhakpa 2 stood on the summit, Kenton Cool reported. We were the first team to the top for the year, Dorje did an amazing job of breaking trail for us all and then I fixed the rope to the very top of the mountain.

Kenton mentioned that strong wind conditions during the early hours of the day delayed the teams departure from high camp until 8AM. Andy and I skied back to C4 in some really bad snow conditions, Kenton added. Dream Guides home team member Guy confirmed all summiteers used supplementary O2.

HiMex, and Spaniards Calors Pauner and Carlos Soria reached the top in better weather on Friday. Brazilian-American Cleo Weidlich also summited at 11:25AM that day together with Mingma Sherpa and Tshering Phinjo, according to outfitter Asian Trekking. Chinese Chi Sing John Tsang reached the top 30 minutes later together with Pasang Sherpa, Asian Trekking added.

At 71, Carlos Soria is the oldest climber to summit Manaslu, Rodriho Granzotto reports. Last year Soria also became the oldest climber to summit GI.

"Phurba Tashi is now the Sherpa with most 8000ers -- 23 in all (17x EV; 2x MN; 4x CO); and Cleo Weidlich is the first Brazilian to summit Manaslu (also the first South American lady climber to summit 4x8000ers)," Rodrigo added.

Unfortunately, Nobuaki Kuwabara (Japan) died on Manaslu BC, on September 24.

Catalan Xavi Arias is back at BC, rather frustrated at the lost summit chance but otherwise hoping for yet another shot. I might not have such a good chance to summit Manaslu in my life, he wrote. My mate Unai felt sick in high camp though; I couldnt let him go down alone -- a mates health is priceless. In addition, forecasts confirmed a weather window around October 5-7, which I hope to take advantage of for a new summit attempt.

Cho Oyu SW face

"We will never embrace him again, however, we can still remember what a wonderful person Walter was, though," Walter Nones home team reported on his website yesterday. An hour earlier, the Italian climber had taken a lethal fall while climbing on Cho Oyu SW face.

Cho Oyu normal route

Spanish Alvaro and Xevi were "rejected by the wind" at 7,400 meters on Cho Oyu, and so were Pablo and some fellow Argentinean climbers the following day. "Fabrizio and Tamara were also forced back due to extremely high winds and extreme avalanche dangers," Alvaro noted. "I talked to the German summiteers and they mentioned Cho Oyu was their fourth 8000er and the toughest climb they have ever endured."

The only Cho Oyu summiteers to the moment this year are Rupert A. Hauer (not German but Austrian) and Alix von Melle, outfitter Asian Trekking confirmed.

All are apparently heading home, except for Ecuadorian Santiago Quintero, who is still hoping to give the summit a shot. "In spite of everything, I am still trying to reach the top on October 6," Santiago posted on his blog yesterday. He is currently at C1 and ready to head up to C2 tomorrow.


Weeks of snow and rain were followed by sunny but extremely windy days on Everest's north side. "Conditions became so impossible at the Hornbein Couloir that finally all hope was lost and we aborted the attempt," the Italian team reported.

On the south side, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki reached above C3, but retreated from some point on the way to the South Col, according to Eric Larsen (currently resting in BC after a trip to C3 on his own).

"Planning on climbing without oxygen and outside assistance (to some extent), the Japanese climber decided that there wouldnt be enough time and good weather for him to summit," Eric explained. "Therefore, the team called back the helicopter to relay film crews, photographers and who knows what else farther down the valley for a quicker trip home." According to Larsen, ropes are not yet fixed above C3.

Links to fall 2010 Himalaya teams:


Alberto Zerain

Italian Hornbein Team

Eric Larsen

Nobukazu Kuriki


Jordi Tosas


Sechu López

Carlos Pauner

Xavi Arias

Dream Guides


Carlos Soria

Cho Oyu:

Walter Nones



Argentina expedition

Santiago Quintero

Valladolid al Everest

Lesser peaks

Puryear & Gottlieb - Labuche Kang
#Mountaineering #topstory

Spanish Carlos Pauner is the first to submit Manaslu summit images.
courtesy Carlos Pauner, SOURCE
Santiago Quintero in Cho Oyu ABC some days ago.
courtesy Santiago Quintero, SOURCE
Italian Walter Nones surrounded by team mates in Cho Oyu BC during a Puja ceremony some days ago.
courtesy Walter Nones, SOURCE