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  Alpine Ascent Manaslu: Avalanches Prevent Summit


Heading home from Manaslu
Posted on September 26, 2012
Today our team made the decision to head home based on the current conditions of the mountain given the recent avalanche. Since that massive avalanche a few days ago there have been several smaller avalanches and we do not feel the conditions are safe enough to justify staying on the mountain and continuing the climb. We have had an excellent time here on Manaslu the past few weeks, and are thankful that all of our team are in good spirits and happy with the outcome of our expedition given the circumstances. We are also very thankful for our climbing Sherpa who have supported us throughout the expedition by helping carry loads and establish our high camps, these are truly wonderful people that make the expedition possible for us.

We are now packing up our base camp and will be heading down as a team to Samagoan later today or tomorrow, then waiting for a helicopter flight to Kathmandu. This will conclude our regular cybercasts for the expedition.

Thanks for following our Manaslu expedition! We are already looking forward to coming back to the Himalaya for Everest 2013 next spring!

Garrett Madison, Expedition Leader

 

Manaslu Avalanche
Posted on September 23, 2012
We have just returned to base camp after a long day on the mountain and all team members are well. We awoke at 4:30 AM Nepal time to snow, winds, & ice penetrating our tents at Camp 2. Fortunately everybody in our group was ok, however when we climbed up to Camp 3 shortly after to investigate we discovered the debris from a massive avalanche and found many climbers in distress. During the rescue & recovery in the following hours we were able to coordinate and assist evacuating over a dozen climbers on 10 helicopter flights from just below Camp 3 (20,500’). Lakpa Rita Sherpa coordinated much of the helicopter evacuation by speaking directly to the pilot and supervising the packaging and transportation of patients to our makeshift helipad on the debris field. Currently our group is now in base camp and planning to rest for a few days.

Garrett Madison, Expedition Leader


Avalanche reported at Camp 3; Alpine Ascents Team safe at Camp 2
Posted on September 23, 2012
We just received a call from lead guide, Garrett Madison on Manaslu saying that there was a large avalanche on the upper mountain in the Camp 3 area.

Our team was lower down on the mountain, and none of our Climbing or Sherpa team were on that portion of the mountain.

There is no further news at this time, we will keep you all posted as we hear more details.

The Alpine Ascents Office Staff


Manaslu expedition team excited and acclimatizing well, as they arrive at Camp 2 under clear skies
Posted on September 22, 2012

Hi, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Alpine Ascents Manaslu expedition. Today’s Saturday, September 22nd and today we climbed from Camp 1 to Camp 2, and moved into Camp 2. We had spectacular views climbing up the glacier, around crevasses, and up steep headwalls here to Camp 2 (which is about 20,000 feet).

And everybody’s doing great. All climbers are up here and really excited to be moved into Camp 2 here for a couple nights, all part of our acclimatization strategy, on our first rotation. The weather’s looking really good; the precipitation has leveled off somewhat and we had clear skies this afternoon. Hopefully a few days of clear weather here at Camp 2 for some amazing views. And we’re going to head up and climb towards Camp 3 tomorrow, for additional acclimatization.

Again, everybody’s doing great, happy to be here. And we look forward to checking in soon.
 

Manaslu expedition team enjoys awesome views of the Himalayas on an acclimatization hike
Posted on September 21, 2012

Hi, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Alpine Ascents Manaslu expedition. Today’s Friday, September 21st and today we went for a climb above Camp 1, towards Camp 2, and returned to Camp 1 to spend the night. It was part of our acclimatization process.

Tomorrow our plan is to try to climb up to Camp 2 and move in, and spend a few nights up there at Camp 2. The weather seems to be improving, less precipitation, less snow throughout the day. And all the team members are doing great, had some awesome views today above Camp 1 and hoping for some great views tomorrow. Everything’s well here on Manaslu.

We’ll check in soon.


Manaslu expedition team tucked into their tents at Camp 1 for a second night, after hiking the nearby ice fall
Posted on September 20, 2012

Hi, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Alpine Ascents Manaslu expedition. We are up at Camp 1 and about to spend our second night here, at Camp 1 (just over 18,000 feet).

Today our Sherpa team, led by guide, Lakpa Rita Sherpa, climbed up to Camp 2 and had to break trail just about the whole way through waist-deep snow, to establish the route to Camp 2.

The rest of the climbers and myself went for an easy hike and climb, up through the ice fall section above Camp 1, and returned back here to Camp 1 for dinner. Everybody now is tucked into their tents, doing great and looking forward to another restful night here at Camp 1.

Check in soon.


Manaslu expedition team heads to Camp 1, taking advantage of a break in the weather
Posted on September 19, 2012

Hi, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Alpine Ascents Manaslu climb. Today’s September 19th and we have just arrived – Camp 1. We had a break in the weather this morning, had a clear sky, so we decided to pack up and move to Camp 1. It took us about seven hours, seven and a half hours of climbing and everybody’s doing great.

We’re making up some soup right now and filling water bottles for the team. It’s about 6pm and we’re looking forward to spending our first night up here and resting tomorrow and hopefully the precipitation should start dying down tomorrow. We had quite a bit of snow today coming up but happy to be here.

Everyone’s doing well and we’ll check in soon.

 

View of Manaslu from Base Camp

Hanging out in Manaslu base camp
Posted on September 18, 2012
We are making the most of our time in base camp as we wait out a monsoon like multi day precipitation event. We have had about 1 inch of water equivalent precipitation per day for the last few days, which equals about 10 inches of snow. This event is expected to continue for at least another day, possibly two days more. We have been reviewing some climbing techniques, watching films, and socializing with some other teams here in base camp. Everyone here is doing well and we are excited to move up to Camp 1 as soon as the weather permits.

Garrett Madison, Expedition Leader


Puja Ceremony at Manaslu BC
Posted on September 17, 2012
Today we did our Puja ceremony at base camp. We had our team of western climbers, Sherpa, and a Lama from the nearby village of Samagoan who chanted Buddhist prayers to ask the mountain to allow us safe passage. Despite the heavy snow today, we had a wonderful ceremony, and are looking forward to the snow letting up so we can embark on our first ‘rotation’ to sleep at Camp 1. Everyone on the team is doing great, and we are excited to now officially begin climbing Manaslu!

Garrett Madison, Expedition Leader
 

Posted on September 15, 2012
We had a great acclimatization hike before the rain started here in base camp, and it is expected to continue for a few days with up to 3 inches of water content! We will plan to move up to camp 1 when the rain subsides. Everyone is doing great at base camp, we did some training in camp using our ascender & belay device, and we are planning to watch the film “Everest” tonight after dinner!

Garrett Madison


Training on glacier
Posted on September 14, 2012
Today we are training in base camp. We hiked over to the glacier and reviewed crampon & ice axe techniques. We will go for an acclimatization hike today and return to base camp. Our current schedule is to train in base camp for a few more days then do our Puja ceremony on Monday, and then climb to Camp 1 to sleep the following day, our first “rotation”. Everyone is doing well in base camp.

Garrett Madison, Expedition Leader

 

Team settles into Manaslu base camp
Posted on September 12, 2012:
Today our team is settling into base camp and organizing our gear. All of our loads arrived and we have set up our personal tents, cooking tent, dining & communications tent, etc. We had a bright sunny morning in base camp and went for an acclimatization hike up to the toe of the glacier at about 16,000’. It is great to be up here and to begin focusing on our first rotation to Camp 1 & Camp 2 in a few days. Beginning tomorrow we will review climbing techniques such as cramponing, fixed line travel, belaying & rappelling. All team members are doing well and excited to be here in base camp!

In photo: Garrett, Jim, Marcelo, Bernardo, John

Garrett Madison

 

Beautiful sunny weather for the Manaslu expedition team as they acclimatize during a hike to Samdo for lunch:
Posted on September 8, 2012

Hi, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Alpine Ascents Manaslu expedition. Today’s Saturday, September 8th and today we took a hike from the village of Samagaon up to the village of Samdo. And we had a nice lunch there, and had beautiful weather today, sunshine, light breeze.

And now we’re back in Samagaon, had dinner, and we’re getting ready for bed. We’re going to plan to rest here tomorrow as well, and visit the monastery in Samagaon, and then possibly move up to base camp the following day. Right now we’re just resting and acclimating here at Samagaon (which is about 11,500 feet). Everyone’s doing really well and we’re having a great time on the expedition. We’ll check in soon.


Manaslu expedition team arrives in Samagaon, a Tibetan-influenced Nepalese village at 11,500 feet:
Posted on September 7, 2012

Hi, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Alpine Ascents Manaslu expedition. Today’s Friday, September 7th and we just arrived in Samagaon, which is the last town on our trek to Manaslu base camp. We arrived here and were able to relax and have a few hot drinks. It’s much cooler up here at Samagaon (about 11,500 feet) and it’s a nice change from the hot and humid valley that we trekked in over the last week. And very interesting village here, a lot of Tibetan influence, so both architecturally and culturally it’s a very different experience than the first few days on the trek. We’re going to spend a couple nights here and rest and acclimatize, do some short hikes to the nearby peaks, and then set up our base camp (at about 15,500 feet).

So everyone’s doing great, we had a wonderful afternoon hiking here, and enjoyed our dinner, and just getting ready to enjoy our first night here in Samagaon. We’ll check in soon.


Manaslu expedition team feeling strong as they move higher into cooler weather to Namrung:
Posted on September 6, 2012

Hi, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Alpine Ascents Manaslu expedition. Today we are hiking from the village of Deeng to the village of Namrung. And it’s much cooler up here now that we’ve gained some elevation (we’re above 6000 feet), and we’re really looking forward to moving our way up the valley here where it becomes even cooler and eventually we’ll see some snow.

Cook staff’s doing a great job for us, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the whole team’s having a great time. Everyone’s feeling well, feeling very strong and we’re looking forward especially to the town after Namrung, which is Samagaon, that’s where we’ll spend a couple nights before heading up to base camp. All’s well here in Nepal and we’ll check in soon.

 

September 5, 2012 

Manaslu Team treks through lush valleys of waterfalls on their way to Deeng:

Hey, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Alpine Ascents Manaslu expedition. Today is Wednesday, September 5th and we’re enjoying our trek from Jagat to Deeng. And it’s starting to get a little cooler here as we gain elevation, we’re at about 6,000 feet right now and working our way up a little higher each day. It’s beautiful, green lush valleys with waterfalls.

And our cook crew is doing a great job cooking our meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day for us. And we’re really having a wonderful experience trekking into this unspoiled valley in the Fall. So another great day here and looking forward to spending the night in Deeng tonight. A few more days before we reach Sama Gaon, then eventually base camp. I’ll check in soon, thanks.


Manaslu Team Experiencing Cooler Temperatures As They Make Their Way to Jagat:

Hi this is Garrett Madison calling in for the alpine ascents Manaslu expedition. Today is Tuesday September 4th and we’re hiking from Machha Khola to Jagat and its cooling off a little bit here in the valley this morning which is nice, it’s been very hot the last two days, but we are having a great time and looking forward to getting up a little higher here and seeing what lies ahead. Everyone’s doing great and we’ll check in soon.


Manaslu Team Trek Day 1: Through The Jungle Valley from Arughat to Soti Khola:

Hi this is Garrett Madison calling in for the alpine ascents Manaslu expedition. We are currently on our trek, just finished day from from Arughat to Soti Khola. Today we are going to trek to Machha Khola, we’re pretty low down here in the valley, about 870m, pretty low about 2000 feet. And it’s really hot during the day and it rains a ton at night and then in the mornings and evenings. So it’s a very tropical trek, we’re having a great time, beautiful views, waterfalls a lot of lush greenery, and great food by our cook staff here that’s trekking in with us and we’re really looking forward to working our way up the valley to base camp. So everyone is doing well and we’re looking forward to the next day of the trek here to gain a little elevation and see a new area of the Manaslu region.

September 1, 2012
We are now all loaded up in our Landcruisers & driving to Arughat!


Team assembled and gear check completed at Yak & Yeti hotel
 August 31, 2012
Today we met with all members of the Alpine Ascents Manaslu climbing team and conducted a thorough clothing and equipment check. We are enjoying the relaxing sanctuary of our historical hotel and the amenities it provides, as well as the busy city that surrounds it.


Climbing Permit Acquired!
August 31, 2012 
Yesterday was a busy day as we visited the ministry of Tourism and spent a few hours completing the necessary paperwork and briefings to obtain our climbing permit for Manaslu. We are very excited to now officially have our Alpine Ascents 2012 Manaslu climbing permit and begin our expedition to climb the 8th highest mountain in the world!

Photo: Expedition Leader Garrett Madison with official permit document from head of Tourism ministry in Kathmandu, Nepal.


 

Earlier:

The Alpine Ascents team is headed to Manaslu, the world’s 8th highest peak. We will begin our dispatches in early September when the expedition begins in Kathmandu, Nepal. We will trek for just over 1 week to base camp. After setting up camp, we will begin our climbing rotations and stocking our high camps, fixing the route, and acclimatizing. We hope to summit in late September or early October. Stay tuned!!

Garrett Madison, Expedition Leader
 

 

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