Text Box: Nicholas Rice
Extreme High Altitude Athlete
Text Box: Xpedition 8000

2009 Solo Manaslu Expedition

Dispatch Forty-six: May 8th, 2009

Day Forty-six: Forecast Changes; Summit Push Aborted

After managing to get only around two hours of sleep, Mario called over from his tent and said that the weather forecast had changed and that we should go down. The forecast now called for bad weather (snow) to begin on the ninth in the afternoon making a summit bid that day far too dangerous. If weather came in while we were on the icy summit ridge and visibility was obscured, it would be virtually impossible to find the route back to Camp IV. There was already a corpse on the ridge close to Camp IV. We saw no need to add another. After a cup of coffee to wake up and warm up, I headed over to Mario’s tent, the camp still being blasted by high velocity wind gusts. Mario told me that last night, Carlos’s tent had been crushed by snow and had collapsed. This was why the Sherpa had awakened me around midnight. Carlos had slept in one of the Japanese tents last night and now was working on digging out his vital belongings (these included all his summit equipment). Mario and I decided that, since my tent had proven over the weeks in Camp II to be secure, that we would cache his tent and belongings inside. Once this was done, Mario, Carlos and I headed down to Camp I; again, thanks to the snow we received last night, our tents were buried. We again freed the doors, threw in our harnesses, and continued down to base camp. Manaslu appeared to be being blasted by jet stream winds, a plume of snow blowing miles off its summit. Happy we had decided to abandon our summit push, we held hope that a sufficient weather window would present itself before the monsoon brought the end of the climbing season.

Photos: Left: High winds on Manaslu viewed from Camp I; Right: Carlos and Mario heading down from Camp I with North Peak in the background



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