“Unfortunately, the weather conditions didn’t let them go for another attempt of a summit attack today,” reads Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel’s Instagram account. “The team stays overnight in Camp 2, and tomorrow will decide whether to continue the summit push. If the weather forecast is confirmed, it will be possible on Sunday/Monday.”
Then the wind on Mount Everest is expected to calm down significantly. From Tuesday, however, new snowfall must be expected. And from Thursday at the latest, the wind could freshen up again. So – if at all – only a small weather window will open up for Bargiel and Co.
Now it has become a sad certainty: The world-renowned ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson is dead. As reported by the newspaper “Kathmandu Post”, the body of the 49-year-old US American was discovered and recovered on the south side of Manaslu at an altitude of about 6,000 meters. A rescue helicopter had previously dropped off three Nepalese guides and Hilaree’s partner Jim Morrison at an altitude of 6500 meters to search for the missing climber. After they discovered Hilaree’s body, it was first flown to the base camp. From there it would be taken to Kathmandu, they said.
Ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson is still missing on Manaslu. A rescue helicopter took off today. The crew searched the south side of the eight-thousander in western Nepal for the 49-year-old – so far without success. Also on board was Nelson’s partner, Jim Morrison.
The couple from the USA had reached the “True Summit” of Manaslu at 8,163 meters on Monday – with bottled oxygen. Then they started their planned ski descent. What exactly happened then is not yet clear. Early reports said Nelson had fallen into a 25-metre-deep crevasse in the summit zone. It was later reported that her ski blade skidded off and she fell into the deep. There was also talk of an avalanche that caused her fall. The helicopter search for Hilaree is scheduled to continue this Wednesday.
According to the newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, around a dozen climbers have been injured in an avalanche on Manaslu today. Some are said to be in critical condition. Other reports speak of at least one dead. The snow masses went down below Camp 4, which is located at around 7,400 meters, it said. Bad weather prevented the rescue operation with helicopters. Several hundred mountaineers are said to have set off on summit attempts at the weekend.
According to information that reached me from Camp 3, most of the injured are Sherpas who wanted to bring equipment to Camp 4. They were taken down to Camp 3, from where they are to be flown out by helicopter – as soon as the weather permits.
He’s ready. “We spent a few days in Camp 2, as another part of the acclimatization. I was able to reach almost 8000 m, and then ski down to Camp 3 (at around 7300 meters) where we spent the night with Janusz (Golab),” writes the Pole Andrzej Bargiel on Instagram. In the base camp at the foot of Mount Everest, the 34-year-old is now gathering strength: “Now waiting for weather window, and (then) straight to the top!”
Despite difficult conditions on the mountain, a few summit successes were reported today from the eight-thousander Manaslu in western Nepal. The two Sherpas Dawa Ongju and Pasdawa as well as the Norwegian Kristin Harila would reached today at 2.36 p.m. local time the highest point at 8,163 meters, let the Nepalese operator 8K Expeditions know. For the Nepalese-Norwegian trio, who are always en route with bottled oxygen, it was already the twelfth eight-thousander summit success this year.
“This was hard, but we wanted to summit Manaslu now to avoid the crowd of climbers waiting in the basecamp. Heavy snowfall and high risk of avalanches made this ascend challenging, so I am glad we made it,” Kristin said in a message from the summit of Manaslu.
Germany’s most successful high-altitude mountaineer wants to do it again. Ralf Dujmovits is currently giving the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu in western Nepal another try. Actually, he thought back in spring 2007 that he had added the eighth-highest mountain on earth to his list of eight-thousanders.
But three years ago at the latest, it turned out that Dujmovits and six of his clients at the time had mistakenly missed the very highest point at the end of the summit ridge. “If you’re an honest person and you realize you’ve made a mistake, of course you want to fix it,” the 60-year-old told me even before he left for Nepal. “This is all about me, not about a list or anything else. I have nothing to do with that at all.”
If you want to experience Mount Everest in solitude, you should come there in fall. The five-member expedition of Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel is (at least so far) the only one to which the Nepalese government has granted Everest permits for this season. The 34-year-old wants to climb the highest mountain on earth without bottled oxygen and ski down from the highest point.
On his ascent he will be accompanied by the experienced 54-year-old Janusz Golab, who in 2012 succeeded with his compatriot Adam Bielecki in the Karakoram in Pakistan in the first winter ascent of the 8,080-meter-high Gasherbrum I. Bargiel climbed with Golab and filmmaker Carlos Llerandi yesterday to Camp 2 at around 6,400 meters to acclimatize further.