Fall 2013: Summit Push on Shishapangma, Bad Weather on Manaslu and Problem for Lhotse Team

Fall 2013: Summit Push on Shishapangma, Bad Weather on Manaslu and Problem for Lhotse Team

Posted: Sep 20, 2013 07:50 pm EDT

(By Raheel Adnan) While the fall climbing season is still in early stages and mountaineers are getting familiar with reduced air pressure, the first team is on the way to Shishapangma summit. Lhotse climbers are unable to get the desired support from hired porters. The climbing plans on Cho Oyu and Manaslu are firmly driven by weather changes. A sunny day on former encouraged climbers to go up, while the blizzard on Manaslu forced everyone to retreat to BC.





Although the Italian Lhotse climbers, Edmond Joyeusaz and Federico Colli, were successful in going atop Khumbu Ice Fall, earlier this week, they are still a bit worried. The two Sherpas hired to assist in equipment shifting to higher camps lack the technique to negotiate the Ice Fall freely. Although, they have gone up the Ice Fall several times, but always in spring season using ladders and fixed rope. The agency managing the logistics for the expedition has promised to arrange new Sherpas.


After a couple of days of rest, climbers were all set to go up again, today. They will try to establish C1 at 6100m and sleep there for a night as part of acclimatization. Clear and cold weather has been reported by the team.





There hasn’t been any update from Argentinean-American Makalu team since last two weeks, but as per location update via tracking device, they were at 6600m on September 17th. No further details are available, as of now.





Last night Shishapangma ABC and lower camps on the mountain received some snow but the conditions were adequate this morning. Two members of British Ski Shishapangma expedition, Rich Emerson and Dave Etherington, left the ABC today, hoping to make it to the summit in next couple of days.


In two previous acclimatization trips, they reached the Intermediate camp below C1 and C1, respectively. The duo’s aim has been to reach C1 today, ascend to C2 tomorrow and launch the summit-bid from there. They will go for a ski descent from the top.


International Expedition members Eelco Jansen, Frank Lotthrincx and Danilo Callegari had been in C1 since past few days, but returned to ABC this morning. Exhausted from the cold, they will rest for a couple of days, before going up again. Carlos Soria also made it to C1 yesterday, before returning to ABC.



Cho Oyu


Snow and clouds enclosed the Cho Oyu region on September 18th and 19th, but it was bright and sunny, today. This motivated several climbers, including Adrian Ballinger and Russian Sergey Baranov, to ascend to C1 (6400m) and C1.5 (6800m) - the intermediate camp between C1 & C2 (7100m). Others, like Ferran Latorre and Azim Gheichisaz, will be going up tomorrow.


Sherpas have fixed the route till C2, where the Dominik Muller’s team is currently sleeping. Weather report predicts a patch of bad weather and lot of snow around mid-next week.





A sudden change in weather on Manaslu disturbed the climbing plans of several teams. Romanians, Adrian Valean, Vlad Capusan and Vasile Cipcigan were in C2 (6400m) yesterday and were planning to climb to C3 (6900m) but blizzard and snow forced them to retreat to BC. Wet conditions are reported from the BC, as well.


The Austrian Ski Manaslu Team, who is currently at BC, expects that current precipitation may result in decent amount of snow on the mountain, which will help them in skiing descent. More snow will obviously increase the avalanche risk too. The Austrians are waiting for an improvement in weather to go up again.


Italians, Alice Cavallera and Alberto Pacellini, acclimatized to 6800m, but were in C2 last night. As per them, 70cm of snow has been deposited in C2 region. The duo is currently in BC, resting and waiting for another weather window.


Based in Lahore, Pakistan, telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.




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"The two Sherpas have had great difficulty in techniques to walk in alpine style between the seracs. They used to climb up ladders and fixed ropes, gripping the handles - jumar," wrote Federico on expedition blog. The agency managing the logistics for the expedition has promised to arrange new Sherpas.
Skiing teams on Manaslu hope that layers of fresh snow will increase the chances of a ski descent, although it will also increase the chances of avalanches.
Ferran Latorre at Cho Oyu Base Camp.