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

2009 Solo Manaslu Expedition

Dispatch Fifty-six: May 18th, 2009

Day Fifty-six: SUMMIT PUSH: Climb from High Camp II to Camp IV

Today, we woke up to another windy morning in high Camp II. After eating a quick breakfast, we packed up our tent and equipment and headed up. The winds were relentless, gusting again in the 100 mph’s. My hands and feet were frozen from the start and when I reached a serac, I stopped for at least a half hour to warm them back up, quite a painful affair. After this, I continued up. I passed Camp III and spotted the top of the broken pole I had splinted and a bit of tent connected to it. It was clearly crushed, as were my other tents in both Camp I and II. Manaslu seems to be a tent graveyard; I think everyone on the mountain has lost at least one tent; I unfortunately seemed to have lost three! After Camp III, I arrived behind the Japanese and Spanish to the serac that lead to Camp IV. The ice was hard as crystal, our crampons barely scraping the surface and our ice tools chipping away only tiny layers of ice with each swing. After this, we passed the Russians, who were heading down from a successful summit from Camp III this morning. It had apparently not been as windy up high as it had been at high Camp II. I congratulated them and continued on. I passed the corpse close to Camp IV and then spotted a number of destroyed tents on the crystal ice. I headed down to the rocky ridge and spotted Mario with the tent already set up. Shortly after, the Japanese arrived as did the Spanish. We settled in, made water, and quickly got to sleep, knowing that in a few hours, we would be heading up for the summit, two months of work boiling down to the next 24 hours.

Photos: Left: Climbing the serac to Camp IV; Right: Camp IV



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