No fresh snow on Mt Manaslu this year!

KATHMANDU: It seems that the prolonged monsoon activities and the global warming phenomena have its direct impact on the world’s eighth highest mountain, Mt Manaslu, according to the mountaineers.

It used to have a deep fresh snow at the higher camps on Mt Manaslu (8,163 m) in the previous years; but this time, the climbers have found it quite different, Mingma Sherpa, who acclimatised along with his team of climbers on the mountain, told THT Online.

“In the past seasons, we used to shovel ice off the camp I and along its route above the base camp. But, surprisingly, we have only used the ice axes to cut the glaciers and ice-sheets this year,” Sherpa, one of the internationally-credited mountain guides, shared.

In this autumn, at least 44 Chinese climbers among 150 foreign mountaineers and over 300 climbing Sherpas and support staff have already reached the base camp to prepare for the summit attempts. According to Sherpa, most of the climbers have now been waiting for the completion of rope-fixing work as well as a fair window after they completed the acclimatisation process.

“Perhaps, the mountain has been impacted by the global warming while the ongoing changing monsoon pattern could be another reason at the local level,” he said, adding that the mountain had not received the fresh snow yet this year. Sherpa has been running expeditions to the Mt Manaslu every year since 2009.

According to him, lack of fresh snow, however, has caused the rope fixing Sherpas to find a safer as well as easier route above the base camp.

“A group of rope fixing Sherpas mobilised by the Seven Summit Treks has been closely approaching the Camp IV,” he said.

Depending on how the weather unfolds in coming days, the world climbers tentatively plan to begin their summit attempts by the end of this week.

“Our team has a plan to head towards the summit on September 27,” Sherpa said.

As of today, the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has issued 277 climbing permits for 19 mountains in the autumn season.