Manaslu Expedition #28 September 2016
I write from a very wet rainy Manaslu Base Camp, so what is new. This is our 9th trip to Manaslu and we have always apart from last year managed to fly into Samagon on the program date of 29 Aug. Maybe this is too early but I still feel that we need to be right on the heels of the monsoon so as we are ready for the very short weather envelope for the summit. This year we all managed to fly by helicopter to Samagon where we had 4 days with very little rain as we did our normal acclimatisation treks. Samagon continues to see so much new house construction, so I suspect that the economy there is doing OK, although I am surprised as we still need to send our loads over the Larkya Pass from the adjacent Marvangdi valley rather than coming straight up the Budh Kandaki water shed. I really see that this difficult trail needs to be reopened after last year’s earthquake in order to support the local inhabitants who have invested in lodges so as to support trekkers who do the Manaslu Circuit trek. I understand that it is taking time to rebuild this trail in the lower Kandaki which is not surprising considering the steepness of the mountain slopes on either side of the river.
We even managed to walk to the Base Camp in dry conditions, and it was pleasing to find that the Samagon people did not increase the porter charges yet again this year (as was agreed with the village elders last year) and for the first time they did not re-weigh all our loads after we had sorted them, and also did not split our loads, so everything went very smoothly.
Porters in the cloud
There are several teams of Sherpas here at BC but we are in fact the only members staying here, although I suspect that this will be short lived as I have heard several helicopters arriving to Samagon in the past days, so it will not be long before other teams start arriving to BC. But during our time here we have done all our normal team training with radios, avalanche transceivers, fixed rope methods and the like. Two days ago our Sherpa team went to C1 to take all of our camp whilst the members went to Crampon Point where we first reach the ice on the glacier. Today the members are going to C1 and back to BC in clear weather above Crampon Point whilst it continues to pour with rain at BC.
Leaving BC for C1
On glacier enroute to C1
In the meanwhile in my tent office I am busy finalising Himalayan Experience’s first Vinson trip this coming Antarctica summer 29 Dec 16 – 09 Jan 17. This trip costs $41,000 and I currently have 2 places still available. And also I have decided to do yet one more trip to K2 next year on the Cessen Route, maybe 3rd time lucky.