Manaslu in winter: Who will join?

The 8,163-meter-high Manaslu in western Nepal (in 2007)

The winter cards on Manaslu are being reshuffled. After a huge impassable crevasse at an altitude of about 6,200 meters stopped the climbers of the two winter expeditions, the Nepalese Vinayak Jay Malla announced a change of plans. Actually, the 32-year-old and his 29-year-old compatriot Tenji Sherpa had wanted to climb the eighth highest mountain on earth as a duo in alpine style. “Though disappointed to have to change our original approach, we have decided to wait here at Base Camp and will team up with some of the Nepali legends who recently conquered K2,” Vinayak let it be known.

Nims Purja: “Not going. I promise!”

Nirmal Purja and Mingma Gyalje Sherpa
Nirmal Purja (front l.) with Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (front r.)

Thus he fueled the speculation circulating for days that Nirmal “Nims” Purja could add an winter ascent of Manaslu after his spectacular success on the second highest mountain on earth. After all, the 37-year-old had supported his two Nepalese compatriots financially in the run-up to their expedition and also helped them with equipment.

Nims contradicted the rumors in an interview with “Rock and Ice”: “Not going. I promise! This is for someone else to do. I don’t have to do everything. My equipment is still in Pakistan anyway.” The ten winter first ascenders of K2 had been passed from one reception to the next after their return to Kathmandu last Tuesday. The next few days will show who of them will join Tenji and Vinayak on Manaslu.

Txikon and Co. look for new ascent route

Manaslu crevasse
Crevasse stretches almost through the entire flank

The team led by Spaniard Alex Txikon and Italian Simone Moro announced their intention to continue ascending via an alternative route to the right of the hugh crevasse. According to Moro, Txikon and the three Sherpas Chhepal, Kalden and Namgyal already laid about 400 meters of fixed ropes on the new route, but wanted to return to base camp today.

Further bad weather on K2

Meanwhile, on K2 in Pakistan, the remaining climbers have to exercise patience. Only for Thursday of next week, meteorologists expect a short weather window with little wind. At the nearby eight-thousander Broad Peak, the Hungarian Zoltan Szlanko abandoned his winter expedition and began his journey home. His team mate, the American Alex Goldfarb, had died almost two weeks ago during an acclimatization climb on the six-thousander Pastore Peak. His body had been located but could not be recovered so far due to bad weather.

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