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Back in Kat and thinking of next season.

Two mountaineers navigating a glacier on a Gasherbrum II Expedition
Villagers collecting loads to carry down.jpg
Helping together to pack up BC.jpg
The soldiers posing at BC.jpg

Back in Kathmandu

First of all, Himalayan Experience would like to apologise for getting the numbers of this season’s Manaslu summiteers slightly wrong. In our last newsletter, we stated that 46 people had reached the summit of the eighth highest peak in the world, however, after our Sirdar Phurba Tashi got back to base camp, we compared figures and noticed that instead of 23 Sherpas, ‘only’ 21 Sherpas had reached the top, reducing this number to 44. Despite this minor mistake, Himalayan Experience has still succeeded in almost putting 10 percent of the total ascents since 1956 on the summit in two days.

Please find below the complete list, including exact summit times for all the members and Sherpas.

4th October 2011

09.24    Dorgee Sonam

09.24    Galgen Dorgee

09.24    Nigma Chhiring

09.44    Herbert HELLMUTH

09.44    Lhakpa Nuru

09.49    Jaime AVILA

09.49    Voldemars SPRUZS

09.49    Kristine KRAVCOVA

09.49    David McKINLEY

09.49    Urken

09.49    Dawa Tenzing

10.23    Rumiko SAITO

10.23    Noboru KUDO

10.23    Rita Dorjee

10.23    Nima Sona

11.04    Ryuseki HIRAOKA

11.04    Makoto FUJIKAWA

11.04    Yoshiki SAKAI

11.04    Nima Tenzing

11.04    Narwang Tenzing

11.38    Pierre GODOF    (no oxygen)

11.38    Son Dorgee

13.55    Billi BIERLING (no oxygen)

13.55    Pasang Karmi

5th October 2011

08.41    Brian WARREN

08.41    Karl HINETT

08.41    Pasang Nima

08.45    Maninora RAI

08.45    Ang Nuru

08.52    Kenneth SAULS

08.52    Phura Namgel

08.56    Francis ATKINSON

08.56    Tashi Tshering

08.58    Jaco VAN GASS

08.58    Ang Pinjo

09.01    Adrian BALLINGER

09.01    David WISEMAN

09.01    Lhakpa Nuru (Young)

09.09    Sergey BARANOV

09.09    Martin HEWITT

09.09    Phurba Tashi

09.09    Sonam Tashi

10.25    Andrew HAWKINS

10.25    Tashi Chhiring

In the meantime, everyone has arrived back in Kathmandu, enjoying the good food, cold drinks, showers, laundry service and all other amenities of the Hyatt hotel. “The expedition was great but I am looking forward to sleeping in a proper bed again,” said Jaime when he arrived at the Hyatt. “It is also interesting to see everyone so clean and shaven and I guess most climbers have rejuvenated immensely since they had their showers at the hotel,” he continued.

The following post is courtesy of Billi Bierling, Himalayan Experience:

After having helped the Sherpas pack for one day and watched the dozens of villagers from Samagaon come up and carry most of our material down the hill, the members left base camp at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning. All they had to do was descend to the nearby village of Samagaon and wait for the helicopters in the midst of green fields – the first ones they had set eyes on in five weeks.

At around 9am, the helicopters started rolling in and due to the fact that the B2 machines can only transport five passengers at a time, the shuttle service took almost all day. “I was worried that I would have to spend the night in Samagaon and miss out on the party in Kathmandu,” Monica said, however, the clear weather allowed the pilots to fly until late afternoon, enabling everyone to get back to the capital.

For our Sherpas the expedition is not quite over yet, as they are currently walking back to the roadside in Arughat, making sure the porters will get the hundreds of kilos of Himalayan Experience’s gear safely back to Kathmandu. “This is probably the most lucrative time for the people of the Manaslu region as everyone seems to be involved in the portering,” Russell said.

Most teams have left the mountain after having summited on 4th and 5th October, however, some climbers are still hanging in there waiting for the wind to abate to get another summit window. 

For Himalayan Experience, this was yet another successful season and the fact that seven of the nine Walking with the Wounded (WWTW) soldiers, who did not only have to negotiate the difficulties of the mountain but also their war injuries, made it to the top was an even bigger accomplishment.

Most members are due to leave the Nepalese capital this Monday and some of them might already think about joining Himalayan Experience’s Everest Expedition next year.

Until then, I would like to thank you for following our expedition this season and I am already looking forward to providing you with expedition news in spring 2012.

Billi Bierling in Kathmandu