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Kammerlander: Peace with Manaslu

Hans Kammerlander on Manaslu

That’s it. Hans Kammerlander closes the book Manaslu. “I had a nice, very good time here on this mountain. That was worth it,” said the 60-year-old South Tyrolean, after he and his North Tyrolean team partner Stephan Keck had decided last weekend to abandon their late fall expedition to the eighth highest mountain in the world (8,163 m). “I have made peace with Manaslu. Above all, I’ve finished this part of my way. That was what I had planned. It was never really about the summit itself. That would have been a highlight at best.”

Date

15. November 2017 | 11:11

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Russians make first ascent of Phungi

Ascent (red) and descent route (green)

Who says that there are no playgrounds for top climbers in the Himalayas anymore? Yury Koshelenko and Aleksei Lonchinskii have erased a blank spot on the map of the six-thousanders. 0n 28 October the two Russians succeeded the first ascent of the 6,538-meter-high Phungi, located west of the eight-thousander Manaslu in Nepal. The 54-year-old Koshelenko and  Lonchinskii, aged 35, climbed on a rather direct route through the about  1,500-meter-high Southeast Face of the mountain. It took them three days for the ascent in Alpine style and two more days for the descent on a different route.

Date

6. November 2017 | 17:42

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Biogas from Everest faeces

This is where the biogas plant is to be built

There are things that stink to high heaven – quite literally. For example, if up to 1000 climbers, high altitude porters, cooks, kitchen helpers and other staff relieve themselves for two months during the spring season in the base camp on the Nepalese south side of Mount Everest. The number of 12,000 kilograms of faeces has been reported for years, which seems to me rather low. The removal of the human waste from Everest Base Camp has been regulated for a long time, in contrast to the faecal problem in the high camps. The excrements from the toilet tents of the expeditions are collected in barrels and carried downwards by so-called “shit porters” – until 2014 without exception to Gorak Shep, the next small settlement, located  about five kilometers from the base camp, now also further down the valley. There the faeces have been tipped into pits thus posing a great danger to the drinking water. The International Climbing and Moutaineering Association (UIAA) has now awarded an environmental protection project which could make an important contribution to tackling the problem.

Date

28. October 2017 | 14:59

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Stitzinger after success on Manaslu: “A different wind is blowing”

Luis Stitzinger (l.) and Alix von Melle (r.) on the summit of Manaslu

“Despite the premonition, we were utterly amazed at what happened there,” says Luis Stitzinger after his return from Manaslu. “This was a true tent city in the base camp.” As reported earlier, the 48-year-old had led a team of eight of the German expedition operator Amical alpin to the 8,163-meter-high summit in Nepal last Saturday. Along with Luis, his 46-year-old wife Alix von Melle, reached the highest point. For both, it was their seventh eight-thousander and the sixth which they scaled together, all without bottled oxygen. At the beginning of the expedition eleven of the 14 members of the Amical team had become infected with flu by ill porters. “It was a bad start,” says Luis. “Some members had to abandon the whole thing. It was a pity.” I reach Luis on the phone at a hotel in Kathmandu:

Luis, first of all congratulations on your seventh eight-thousander. How did you experience your summit day?

Date

6. October 2017 | 10:31

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Everest conditions on Manaslu

Manaslu

The “Mountain of the Spirit” is close to my heart. It is simply because I spent more than a month at the foot of Manaslu ten years ago. Since then, I have had a personal relationship with this impressive eight-thousander in Nepal. In spring 2007, I reported from the base camp at 4,850 meters about a commercial expedition. Once I myself climbed up to Camp 1 at 5,700 meters. At that time we – expedition leader Ralf Dujmovits and eleven clients as well as a team of two from Austria – were the only people on the mountain. We could not imagine (and would not have liked) then that Manaslu would mutate into the “Mount Everest of fall season”.  In the current season about 500 climbers populated Manaslu Base Camp. Nearly 200 summit successes have been reported so far – being noticed that this time mostly pictures were published that had been taken on the highest point and not, as in previous years, on a spot below. Among those who reached the 8,163-meter-high summit there were two climbers with whom I had been en route on other mountains.

Date

2. October 2017 | 14:42

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Soria abandons Dhaulagiri expedition, summit successes on Manaslu

Carlos Soria on Dhaulagiri

The probably fittest of all seniors among the high altitude climbers must still wait for his 13th eight-thousander. Because of too much snow on the mountain Carlos Soria declared his expedition on the 8,167-meter-high Dhaulagiri for finished. During the ascent of the 78-year-old Spaniard and his companions to Camp 1, some avalanches had swept down not far away from the climbers, Carlos indicated on Facebook, adding that the high risk of avalanches would continue in the upper parts of the mountain. Moreover, the fixed ropes which they had laid before had been buried by fresh snow. “Because of all these adversities, we have no choice but to abandon our Dhaulagiri expedition for this season,” said Soria. A first summit attempt had failed one and a half weeks ago at an altitude of about 7,800 meters, because Carlos and Co. had missed the right route while the fog had become stronger.

Date

26. September 2017 | 18:41

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Big rush on Manaslu

Manaslu

Once again, Manaslu turns to become the “Everest of the fall season”. The base camp at the foot of the eighth-highest mountain on earth (8,163 meters) will soon be reminiscent of the tented village at the highest of all mountains in spring. According to the newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, the Nepali Ministry of Tourism has issued at least 135 permits to foreign mountaineers o climb Manaslu. Assuming that there will be on average one local Climbing Sherpa per one climber from abroad and some latecomers, probably between 300 and 400 people – including kitchen staff – will be arguing for the best pitches in the base camp. And the normal route via the north-east flank of the mountain might become crowded.

Date

7. September 2017 | 9:35

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Kammerlander: “I want to finish my path on Manaslu”

Hans Kammerlander

He wants to draw a final line. Late next fall, the South Tyrolean Hans Kammerlander wants to climb the 8163-meter-high Manaslu in Nepal, leaving his trauma of 1991 behind. During a summit attempt, his two friends Friedl Mutschlechner and Karl Großrubatscher had died in a thunderstorm. At that time Kammerlander declared that he would never return to Manaslu. In the years before, Hans, at the side of Reinhold Messner, had written alpine history. Thus the two succeeded the first eight-thousander double traverse on Gasherbrum I and II in Pakistan in 1984 – in Alpine style.

“No alpinism”

Kammerlander has so far climbed twelve of the 14 eight-thousanders. In 1996, he skied down from the summit of Mount Everest via the Tibetan north side. Hans, however, had to take off his skies several times because it was a season with little snow. Meanwhile the 60-year-old has lost any interest in what happens on Everest. “I’m not following this. For me normal Everest ascents have nothing to do with alpinism. Supplemental oxygen, prepared mountains and the Sherpas make everything clear,” the 60-year-old told me. “But everyone should do it as he thinks it’s right. But he should leave no garbage there. He has to leave the mountain clean, then it’s okay for me.” I spoke to Kammerlander about his upcoming Manaslu project, which he wants to realize along with the North Tyrolean mountain guide Stephan Keck.

Hans, Manaslu means “mountain of the spirit”. Does Manaslu still weigh heavily on you?

Date

14. June 2017 | 16:15

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Revol abandons winter expedition on Manaslu

Deep snow on Manaslu

“Swimming time on Manaslu”, Elisabeth writes on Facebook: “Snow, snow, snow…”

And again snow wins. French climber Elisabeth Revol and her companion Ludovic Giambiasi have abandoned their winter expedition at Manaslu. This is reported by the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times”. Heavy snowfall and strong winds in the high camp forced Elisabeth Revol to give up, Rishi Bhandari, head of the Nepalese expedition operator Satori Adventures, told the newspaper. The French team has already broken off their base camp and descended to the village of Samagaon. According to Bhandari, Revol had reached an altitude of 7,300 meters at Manaslu and had planned a summit attempt for Tuesday.

Date

23. January 2017 | 12:54

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Hard winter work on Everest and Manaslu

Alex Txikon at the entrance of Western Qwm

Alex Txikon at the entrance of Western Qwm

Winter expeditions are not for wimps. “Today we have climbed up to 6,050 meters to build Camp 1”, the Basque Alex Txikon wrote in his blog from Everest on the weekend. “At the moment, we have less than minus 30 degrees Celsius.” After all, the team of eleven – Alex, his Spanish countryman Carlos Rubio and nine Sherpas, including two “Icefall doctors” experienced in dealing with the dangerous Khumbu Icefall – are quicker than expected. At the beginning of last week, Txikon had assumed that it would take four weeks to reach Camp 2 at 6,400 meters.

Date

16. January 2017 | 12:50

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Winter attempt on Manaslu

Eilsabeth Revol in Manaslu BC

Eilsabeth Revol in Manaslu BC

And another winter expedition. After it had looked for a long time as if the eight-thousanders would stay in winter sleep this time, now at least two of the highest mountains in the world are visited in the cold season. As reported, the two Spaniards Alex Txikon and Carlos Rubio will try to climb Mount Everest without bottled oxygen. They are expected in Base Camp shortly after the turn of the year. The Frenchwoman Elisabeth Revol has already pitched up her tents at the foot of the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu in Nepal.

Date

30. December 2016 | 18:58

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Billi’s fifth 8000er

Billi Bierling on top of Cho Oyu

Billi Bierling on top of Cho Oyu

Done! „Summited Cho Oyu at 1 p.m. today without supplemented O2”, Billi Bierling tweeted. “It was a long and exhausting day. Thanks to all of you for keeping fingers crossed.” For the 49-year old German journalist and mountaineer it was her fifth successful eight-thousander ascent and after Manaslu in 2011 the second without breathing mask. In her first attempt on Cho Oyu eleven years ago she had not been able to climb further than 7,200 meters. “It was my first eight-thousander”, she wrote to me one and a half weeks ago. “At that time I was convinced that I am not strong enough for such high mountains.”

Date

1. October 2016 | 17:21

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First summit successes on Manaslu and Cho Oyu

Manaslu in Nepal

Manaslu in Nepal

That has little to do with a lonely mountain experience. It’s more like a rolling wave. The first summit successes of this fall season are reported from the eight-thousanders Manaslu and Cho Oyu. Citing Mingma Sherpa, head of the expedition operator Seven Summit Treks, the Kathmandu based newspaper “The Himalayan Times” reports, that at least 30 climbers reached the 8163-meter-high summit only until 9 a.m. on Friday morning. At this time more than 50 others were still on the way to the highest point.

Date

30. September 2016 | 11:50

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Dorjee Lama Sherpa is dead

Dorjee Lama Sherpa

Dorjee Lama Sherpa

A landslide in the trekking area around the eight-thousander Manaslu has killed three Nepalese and a Spanish tourist yesterday, the authorities said. Six other members of the trekking group were seriously injured in the accident in Gorkha District. Among the dead is Dorjee Lama Sherpa, a well-known mountaineer in Nepal. The 35-year-old was the President of the Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA).

Date

23. September 2016 | 10:21

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Summit successes on Manaslu, Cho Oyu and Everest

Manaslu in Nepal

Manaslu in Nepal

It’s show time in the Himalayas. After all climbers should have completed their acclimatization on the eight-thousanders, the first summit successes have been reported. Yesterday Romanian Horia Colibasanu and Slovak Peter Hamor reached the 8163-meter-high summit of Manaslu via the normal route on the northeast side – without bottled oxygen and Sherpa support. Actually this ascent was only for acclimatization. The two plan to climb the mountain a second time, on a new “long and difficult route” (Colibasanu) on the north side of the mountain.

Date

11. May 2016 | 10:53

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