Sept 17 – I’m at 6400m this morning and going to push up to 6800 today. Don’t think I have enough food for the summit though… But I’m feeling like I’m Soooo close.
Sept 18 – With a good weather report I’ve been pushing higher the last few days on Manaslu. Tonight I am at 6800 m camp (22,300ft), my food and fuel are spent. And apparently so is my weather, at 11pm I am awoken by a loud Crack of thunder. It is now snowing moderately heavy with light winds and consistent electrical activity. It’s a strange feeling up here. I was the first climber to make Camp 3 today breaking trail with some Sherpas working for another group that plans to come up the mountain later this week. And whew, 45 pound pack, knee deep sugar snow, it reminded me of the pain high altitude brings, I seem to have forgotten that aspect of 8,000m ascents.
Tomorrow I’ll be descending to BC as my supplies are spent. The next time I come up I’ll be summit bound. But for now I’ll sit tight and see what Manaslu deals out this night to its highest established camp! Everything in mountaineering has risk involved, and it’s up to the climber to judge that risk versus his skill and experience to come up with the safest decision. My camp placement is solid, sheltered by a large bershrund and with a sub peak of Manaslu not far away. While giant flashes and the associated boom of thunder is unnerving this high up and being alone can heighten this feeling, I know my camp placement is good and my best play is to sit tight for tonight. Mountains deliver a fluid situation, so my decision making reflects the realities of the ever changing environment here.
The long term weather forecast still looks promising though, so hopefully early next week I’ll back up here and pushing for the peak! Good morning and top of the world to all of you on the other side of the globe!
Back at Base camp prepping for the push up to the peak in the coming week.