Home > General > Everest climbing, ski descent on Dhaula and first ascent on Lunag Ri ahead – Manaslu summit push?

Everest climbing, ski descent on Dhaula and first ascent on Lunag Ri ahead – Manaslu summit push?

Easter Sunday was festive in Everest BC: the Kazakhs arrived just in time to celebrate Gagarin’s pioneering spaceflight, while other expeditions divided their time between pujas and egg hunts. Climbing will start today, provided the route to C1 opens up as expected.

Teams are headed up again after a week-long storm on Manaslu: A Korean expedition might attempt the summit within days.

Luis Stitzinger will attempt to ski from Dhaulagiri’s summit, while Joe Puryear and David Gottlieb will try the yet unclimbed Lunag Ri.

Kazakh Easter and Cosmonautics celebrations

“We just arrived in BC,” Vassiliy Pivtsov reported over SMS to Father Alexander, (the orthodox priest supporting the Kazakh team in Almaty). “On Palm Sunday, and the Day of Cosmonautics – Hurrah!” was Father Alexander’s reply.

The Kazakh traverse team made a reconnaissance trip up the ridge of Lobuche West on Saturday, to scout the LE ridge and figure out a possible descent route from Everest – the Kazakhs are considering to climb down from Everest’s summit via the West ridge, Andrey Verkhovod reported from Almaty.

Ed note: “I see Earth! It’s so beautiful!” On April 12, 1961, at age 27, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, and those were his first words. The launch site was the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Gagarin made a single orbit of the Earth. Only seven years after his epic flight, on March 27 1968, Gagarin died in a crash on a training flight in a MiG-15 aircraft. He was 34 years old. (Read more in a Pythom.com story in the links section). Yuri Gagarin’s space flight was remembered as The Day of Cosmonautics in the former USSR days, and is still celebrated in Russia and some countries of the CIS, Kazakhstan included.

Khumbu Icefall ready today?

The Ice fall docs hoped to have the route to C1 opened by Sunday but due to unexpected obstacles on the upper sections one more day might be needed.

“The word is that the last 200 meters or so of the route to Camp I are giving the Icefall Doctors a special challenge,” First Ascent’s team member Dave Hahn reported. “We are hoping each day now to hear that they’ve forged some sort of passage. Tomorrow we’ll resume our training at the foot of the Icefall. We’ll be rested, blessed and ready.”

Altitude Junkies: BC not so crowded

“The route to C1 is expected to be completed on Monday – so after that we expect to see a large amount of climbers making the daily commute through the icefall,” Altitude Junkies’ Phil Crampton noted. “Our Sherpas seem to be in agreement that this year there seems to be fewer teams at base camp than last season, though. We were under the impression that we would see record numbers of climbers this spring but we think there have been several groups cancel their plans last minute.”

Manaslu: teams breaking trail to C1

Several teams set off from BC yesterday for a day trip to C1. “There was lots of fresh snow, so it was great to have so many climbers breaking trail,” Carlos Pauner reported. “It took us four hours to reach’s C1 location.”

Carlos team pitched the tents and returned to BC for a two day rest. They also repaired the BC tents, damaged by an avalanche last Thursday (see image).

Also American Nick Rice reached C1 yesterday, together with a Korean team. “The snow became deeper the higher we got and the last few hours of the climb to Camp I were hellish; snow to the mid-thigh level,” Nick reported. “When we arrived to camp I, the Koreans’ tents were buried under at least 8ft of new snow, compacted by the wind. To dig them out was formidable task for someone not acclimatized to this altitude (5,800m) and exhausted from seven hours of trudging through deep snow with a 20kg pack.”

Korean summit push ahead?

“The Korean Team, weather permitting, will make their summit attempt in three days,” Nick added. Rice identified the expedition as “2009 Dynamic Busan Hope Expedition”, led by Hong Bo Seong and comprising Seo Sung Ho, Kim Chang Ho and Nam Jeong Hwan.

Luis Stitzinger to ski-down Dhaulagiri

German Luis Stitzinger aims for a complete ski-descent on Dhaulagiri. Stitzinger’s team of 9 climbers from Germany and Austria are climbing Dhaula’s normal, NE ridge route.

Once on top, all but Luis will head down on foot, while he attempts the first ski descent of Dhaula. “Swedish Frederik Ericcson’s 2007 expedition on Dhaula could not reach the summit due to high avalanche risk, and thus Fredrik skied down from the highest point reached at 7,800m,” Luis noted.

Ed. Note. In his press release, Fredrik stated to have skied down Dhaula from 8,000 meters.

Puryear and Gottlieb on Lunag Ri

After climbing Kang Nachugo last year, Joe Puryear and David Gottlieb are aiming for Lunag Ri (6,907 meters), which they describe as “the highest unclimbed permissible and independent mountain in Nepal.”

The climbers have been acclimatizing in Khumbu for the last few weeks, bagging 6,196 meters-high Kyajo Ri in the process.

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