A trip to "Last Resort"
Just when we thought it was all over and we could relax in Thamels bars and massage parlours Russell produced a sting in the tail: a trip to the aptly named Last Resort, allegedly while we waited for our bags to reach Kathmandu.
The Himex team is just packing up our base camp and getting ready to leave for Samagoan tomorrow morning. But before we shut everything down, we would like to share this beautiful poem with you that was written by one of our members, Alan Millard. The poem is based on Rudyard Kipling’s famous ‘IF’.
Himex has done it again
I would like to start this Newsletter by saying how much we missed Aaron on our summit push on 1st October. Unfortunately our great team member had to leave the expedition by helicopter after sustaining an injury to his shoulder during our descent from our final acclimatisation trips. Furthermore, I would also like to mention that we are very proud our esteemed leader, Russ, for completing his 14th 8,000m peak. He has climbed Everest twice, Shisha Pangma twice, Cho Oyu 9x and now Manaslu.
The team reaches the summit
The team summited Manaslu today between 10:30 and 11:30 am. They had exceptional weather and even the wind died down a little to allow a good summit day. They are safely down at C2 and will return to base camp tomorrow.
Windy weather and summit attempt
The team are hunkered down at camp 4. Everyone is well. The winds are intense and we all have our fingers crossed in the hope that they will drop somewhat overnight and allow a summit attempt tomorrow. The Manaslu weather gods are in charge now.
A brief update of what is happening with the team on Manaslu.
All members made it to camp 3 today and are well.
Pieter and Suzuki have decided to turn around and they are on their way back to BC as I write. They are both well but will not be pursuing their summit attempt further.
Himex takes home Manaslu cricket trophy
The international Himex cricket team has become one of the highest cricket champions after winning the long-awaited match on the famous cricket grounds at the dizzying heights of Manaslu base camp at 4,700m. The home team challenged the ‘Dream Guides’ crew, whose captain Kenton Cool had to bite the bullet and give away a bottle of whisky to the winners. “We had a bit of a secret in our team and the opposition were not aware of our capacities,” Himex captain Russell Brice said referring to former professional New Zealand cricket player, Adam Parore.
After having been up higher on the mountain for four nights we are back down at base camp enjoying showers, good food, clean clothes and actually standing upright. “What is more challenging – climbing up the steep slopes to Camp II or lying horizontally in a tent for more than 40 hours,” Ellen asked over breakfast when we were back at base camp.
Here comes the rain again
Despite Phurba Tashi’s prediction for better weather with the Buddhist calendar having moved from summer to autumn a couple of days ago, we are still stuck at base camp waiting for the precipitation to finally come to an end. “Well, at least it stopped raining,” said Alan when we woke up to heavy snowfall on Sunday morning.
Power shortages, musical delights and a cricket match
So here we are, surrounded by clouds and rain and the most sought after item is certainly the umbrella, which is used to walk across base camp, where approximately 15 expeditions from all over the world have settled down now.
The first taste of proper mountaineering
The last three days were spent with climbing, plodding across the glacier, boiling water, resting in our tents, sheltering from the rain, snow and intense sunshine and just enjoying the amazing views from our hike up to 6,000m.
Singing and praying in the rain
Despite the change in the weather on Saturday, our Puja day turned out to be a rather wet and grey day with the whole of base camp being engulfed in a huge cloud and visibility being almost zero. However, the bad weather gods did not stop the young Lama from Samagoan perform his ritual for most of the expeditions that are currently camped on the mountain.
Manaslu vs Everest
On Saturday morning, we were woken to the sound of gear sorting and when I looked out of my tent at 6am I saw the Sherpas heading up the hill towards Camp I. “They are going back up to carry more tents and sleeping bags to Camp I and I guess each Sherpa is carrying a load of about 25kg,” Russell said when I joined him and Ellen having their early morning coffee.
Old school climbing gear and an outing to Camp I
On Friday, we had the opportunity to put to practice what we had learned during our fixed rope training session the previous day. After everyone had recovered from our little party on Wednesday night, we went to the slabs near our camp to practice abseiling, or rappelling as the Americans call it, moving on a fixed rope with a jumar (the device used to move uphill on a fixed rope) and arm wrapping – a very efficient way to move down the mountain, also on a fixed rope.
Secrets, Songs and Salted Plums
Manaslu Base Camp (4,700m), 8 September 2010 – Tuesday saw another rainy day and most of the Himex members and crew were tucked up in their tents, reading a book, writing their journals or just listening to the pounding of the rain on their tent walls. Even our hardworking Sirdar Phurba Tashi, who always finds things to do, said he was bored as there was nothing anyone could do in the pouring rain.
Building bridges to base camp
Manaslu Base Camp(4,700m), 6 September 2010 - After more than a week at Samagoan, the Himex team has finally arrived at Manaslu base camp, which will be their temporary home for the next month. Adrian, Woody and Phurba Tashi had done an amazing job at setting up the tents, and none of us could recognise the barren site we left a couple of days ago in thick cloud and rain.
A wet glimpse of base camp
Samagoan, 5 September 2010 - The Himex Manaslu team is finally reunited after most of the members had taken a helicopter to the village of Samagoan on Sunday, 29 August, and Monica, Lacchu, Phurba Tashi and I had walked all the way from the roadside town of Arughat. The heli team was very lucky with the weather as Sunday was about the only day when it was clear enough fly to the village, which is perched in the midst of steep hills at an altitude of 3,530m.
The Manaslu season has kicked off
Himex is back in Kathmandu and the Manaslu team is slowly trickling in. Russell and our expedition doctor, Monica Piris, arrived in the Nepalese capital a couple of days ago together with Mat Gabriele from Australia and Matthew Holt from South Africa. Last night we had our first outing to the bars and restaurants in Thamel and on Thursday we are expecting the rest of the crew to arrive in Kathmandu.