Mt Manaslu tops autumn climbing chart with 151 climbers

KATHMANDU: The world’s eighth highest peak in western Nepal, Mt Manaslu, has received at least 151 foreign climbers while the government had issued 277 climbing permits for 19 mountains this autumn.

More than 148 climbers representing 16 Manaslu expeditions have already left for the base camp while a team with three members will head for Mt Manaslu (8,163 m) in a day or two, according to the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation,

“The DoT issued climbing permits to more than 40 teams including 16 for the Mt Manaslu till date,” Gyanendra Shrestha, a DoT official, said.

According to him, 274 climbers have already headed for different expedition peaks above 6,500 metres.

“Except eight-thousanders, climbers have also applied for other peaks including the Mt Amadablam, the Mt Saribung and the Putha Hiuchuli among others.”

DoT record shows that 39 climbers obtained permits for Himlung Himal (7,126 m) this season.

High altitude workers have already fixed ropes up to the Camp III as the Manaslu base camp is crowded with climbers and their support staff, Mingma Sherpa, Managing Director at Seven Summit Treks which handles 56 climbers along with over 100 climbing sherpas and support staff on the Mt Manaslu this season, said.

Depending upon the weather condition, Manaslu climbers usually aim for the final summit attempt from the last week of September to mid-October.

Climbers keep oxygen cylinders ready for the Mt Manaslu climbing at the base camp, in September 2016. Photo: Mingma Sherpa
Climbers keep oxygen cylinders ready for the Mt Manaslu climbing at the base camp, in September 2016. Photo: Mingma Sherpa

“Among others, renowned climbers including Arnold Coster, Johann Goger, Russell Brice and Sangho Lee are leading the international expeditions on Mt Manaslu while Philip James Crampton headed for the Mt Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) leading a seven-member team,” Shrestha said.

Damber Parajuli, President of the Expedition Operators’ Association Nepal, said that the autumn season was quite impressive in terms of quality and numbers of foreign climbers. “Over a dozen teams have also left Nepal for Tibet to attempt to climb the Mt Cho-Oyu and the Mt Shishapangma.”

Canadian climber Elia Saikaly and Pasang Kaji Sherpa are attempting to climb two virgin peaks - Mt Tenzing (7,916 m) and Mt Hillary (7,681 m) - while Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki has been acclimatising to make a solo attempt to the summit of Mt Everest from the northern side without supplemental oxygen, expedition organisers said.

The season often draws a blank on the Mt Everest as high winds and heavy snowfall usually keep the climbers away from the world’s highest peak.

Meanwhile, bad weather conditions during the final stage of the expedition forced Kilian Jornett, the world’s renowned ultra-runner, to abandon his attempt to climb the Mt Everest for a new speed record (Fast Known Time in his parlance) via the north face on Thursday.