The Himalayan Ascent team arrived safely back in Kathmandu on September 27th via helicopter from Samagoan. You can read details about the avalanche that occurred on Manaslu September 23rd 2012 on many expedition websites and climber blogs. This is just a summary from the Himalayan Ascent perspective about the events surrounding the avalanche.
Climbing Manaslu carries considerable avalanche risk, it’s a factor known by all who climb it. The days leading up to the avalanche, the mountain and base camp endured a storm that dropped metres of fresh snow including on its avalanche prone slopes. Wary of this, many teams were slow to restart rotation or summit bids after the storm passed. Eventually by September 21st most expeditions were back on the mountain but were ever watchful of the conditions. Unfortunately, no one anticipated that it would be seracs from 7400m ~4.15am to be the trigger for a colossal avalanche that swept down and over Camp 3 (6800m). The 31 people at Camp 3 were caught sleeping in their tents.
There's action, activity and fun being had on all of our expeditions at the moment. In the Khumbhu, Diane Westaway and Marty Beare should be on their summit bid on Ama Dablam right now. After several weeks of unseasonably cold weather in the Khumbu, the weather has warmed slightly to offer the team a more pleasant summit window.
Himalayan Ascent kicked off its autumn season a few weeks ago with multiple trips going multiple directions. In the Khumbu, Jangbu and Gaylgen, have recently successfully guided French couple, Marie Helene and Jean-Pierre Rougeron, on Lobuche East. Marie Helene is now on Ama Dablam aiming to summit on Oct 20. Australians Diane Westaway and Marty Beare have also topped out on Lobuche East and are resting up in Ama Dablam base camp. They too now have their sights in our favorite Khumbhu mountain, Ama Dablam.
We had a good walk this morning. We reached Namche in 3 hours and headed straight to the comforts of Cafe 8848 for lunch, expresso coffee and beer battered fish and chips! Quite a change from the diet of Hillary on his successful Everest expedition.
The Very Best of Everest expedition 2012 has begun with an early morning flight to Lukla today. The team consists of Australians, Susan (fresh of a Mera peak expedition), Colleen and Zoe, and Brits, Katie, Kate and Rory being led by Sumit, Dendi (fondly known as 'Long man' due to his lofty height for a Sherpa) and Pasang Sherpa.
Ama Dablam is certainly our favourite mountain, challenging to climb and stunning to look at, the ultimate climber's mountain. Matt Eaton and Nima Sherpa with Lakpa Sherpa (on his way to summit #19!!!) are at Camp 1 of their summit climb. They aim to summit on Nov 3. Garrett and his team are on their final acclimatisation rotation hoping to summit on Nov 7. Pat has arrived in Phakding today to guide Marguerite Lovegrove (U.K.), Atle Lund (Norway), Jaime McMullan (U.K.) and Steven Pearce (U.K.) also on Ama Dablam. They are acclimatising on Lobuche East first. And due to arrive this evening is Swiss climber, Vivien Jean, who's climbing independent. Diane and Marty are walking back to Lukla today after their twin peak success on Lobuche and Ama Dablam.