Snowstorm on Manaslu

Lots of fresh snow on Manaslu

The only thing that helps is shoveling, shoveling and shoveling again. The winter climbers at base camp on the eight-thousander Manaslu have their hands full trying to cope with the masses of fresh snow. “We are involved in a great snowstorm, it has been snowing continuously for more than 24 hours, the shock waves of big avalanches almost touch Base Camp,” the Spaniard Alex Txikon posted today on Twitter. “The tents hold up very well despite the fact that there is more than a meter and a half of snow.”

However, the previous work on the route has been ruined, writes the 40-year-old. “Now we will have to start from scratch, opening the way and marking it all with bamboos.”

From Friday weather calming

Simone Moro (r.), Alex Txikon (2nd from l.) and Co. in their dining tent

For his team partner, Italian Simone Moro, it might be like déjà vu. Simone had to abandon two of his three previous winter attempts on the 8163-meter-high mountain in western Nepal – in 2015 (with Tamara Lunger) and in 2019 (with Pemba Gyalje Sherpa) – due to snow masses on the mountain. Nevertheless, the 54-year-old remains optimistic. “After the 30th a month of good weather should arrive,” Moro wrote yesterday on Facebook. “In the meantime, let’s be patient.” In fact, meteorologists expect a snow-free week starting Friday.

We too shoveled

This is how we repaired the collapsed dome tent in 2007

For me, too, the snowfalls on Manaslu bring back memories. In spring 2007, when I was a reporter accompanying a commercial expedition to this eight-thousander, it snowed almost daily – once in a thunderstorm front for 24 hours straight. We too shoveled, shoveled and shoveled, but could not prevent our large dome tent from collapsing under the weight of the snow. Apparently, tents have become more stable in the meantime.