(Angela Benavides) Skiing down an 8000er remains a kick-ass challenge for a select few. This fall we had no less than two partial ski descents on Manaslu.
Andrian Ballinger: true top
"A few others have skied sections of the mountain, but none have skied from the true summit," Andrian Ballinger notes correctly on his website. Guiding Russian client Sergey Baranov, the two skied all the technical sections (summit pyramid, C4-C3 and C2-C1). Only a slab-avalanche at 6,100 meters invalidated the "complete" tag, forcing them to step off their skis until 5,800 meters.
The skiers used O2 from C4 to the top and back to C4. Serguey descended to the plateau while Adrian made a platform just below the summit cornice and started down 55 degress almost ice slope, backed with a rope, until he joined Serguey on the false summit below where all past skis of the mountain have begun.
Read the complete report here.
Guiding for Russel Brice, Ballinger has summited Everest 5 times, Manaslu 4 times and Lhotse once in the past 3 years, bagging no less than four 8000 meter summits only in 2011.
Robert Kay: Double nationality - double first
Hours after Adrian and Serguey, Perth-born American Robert Kay followed. (Kay holds US-Australian double citizenship).
"I summited Manaslu with Altitude Junkies on October 5," Robert told ExplorersWeb in an email. "I then made a ski descent from immediately below the summit to Camp 4, and then from Camp 2 partway to Camp , and then Camp 1 to crampon point where the snow ended."
"I had intended to ski more of the peak, but a deliberately late start on summit day (to climb in warmer weather as I was having trouble keeping my feet warm in ski boots) led to a descent from Camp 4 to Camp 2 in the dark," Kay added.
"Adrian Ballinger and a Russian client summited about two hours before me and also skied down," Robert confirmed to ExplorersWeb, stating he probably started out in the same place as Serguey, "I'm not as brave as Adrian!" wrote the Aussie-American champ.
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