23rd September

We’re now at the not so small village of Samagoan, which is at the base of Manaslu, one day and another 1000m from basecamp. We’ll be spending tomoro here resting and doing a small acclimatization walk before moving up onto the mountain. With any luck I’ll be able to up high enough on some of the surrounding slopes to do a quick run down on the speedwing!

We left Kathmandu on the morning of the 16th of September and after 1 very long jeep ride, a gnarly river crossing, multiple days of exhausting heat, monsoonal thunderstorms, muddy trails, wet tents, dank tea houses and 7 days of walking – we saw our first view of Manaslu this morning! It didn’t last all that long as the ever-present cloud buildup quickly obscured it, but the quick view we did have got us all pretty excited!

Manaslu – early morning from Lho
Manasluy from Lho

Just after we had posted our last update at Khorlabeshi, we were sitting down drinking a cup o chai when everything started to shake! We quickly realized that it wasn’t a heavy footed Sherpa but instead a earthquake. It was quite strong for about 30 seconds and then still noticeable for about 2 minutes afterwards. About 10 minutes later the creek that we had crossed to get to Khorlabeshi turned into a huge raging torrent – filled with boulders crashing their way down the stream – it was probably the result of the earthquake shaking loose a dammed lake higher up on the mountain. The roaring jet like torrent lasted for hours and had made the river rise at least 5 meters! There was a small bridge that Sophie and Ben had crossed a few hours before that was now nowhere to be seen. News slowly filtered into our group about the earthquake which was about a 6.3 and centered near ?Kathmandu. All our staff were able to contact their families which are all ok although we’ve again heard unsubstantiated rumors of large scale damage in various areas of Kathmandu.

Before the Earthquake
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After the Earthquake

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Right now our equipment if being transported up to basecamp and we’ll be following along behind soon. A number of teams have already been to camp 3 and are now waiting for the right weather window for their first summit attempt. All going according to plan we’ll be at camp 1 on the 29th of September for our first cycle on the mountain, with as summit date now set for near the 17th or 18th of October.

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