Manaslu 2013 Expedition Dispatches

Dispatch #8 – September 27, 2013 – Base Camp

All the team members except for myself and the Sherpas are now back in Kathmandu after a successful summit push. Today they walked down to Sama Goan where they took two helicopters back to Kathmandu.

We continue our successful climbs of Manaslu with another summit on the 25th of September. Most of our climbers are unsure of their exact summit times as we all had to wait our turn to reach the true summit which only has room for two people maximum on top.

Pasang Nima Sherpa and myself climbed along with some Sherpas from Himex as we were carrying the rope and hardware for the final 100 meters of the summit ridge that needed to be fixed. Phurba Tashi from Himex did a great job of fixing the final section to the true summit.

Pasang Nima and myself reached the summit at 8.30 am and were followed by Alan Arnette and Pasang Ongcho Sherpa, Paul Samuels and Chhongba Sherpa and Louis Carstens and Tarkey Sherpa. Unfortunately Daniel, PK and Damien did not make a summit push.

The descent was uneventful for the team members but I decided to change the route somewhat with having a snow bridge collapse on me and falling 15 meters into a crevasse. Thankfully two British climbers whose names I forget to remember at present and some of my Sherpas assisted with my extraction from the crevasse. Much appreciated guys.

All that is left now is for the Sherpas and I to pack up base camp and trek back to Kathmandu. Thanks for following another Junkies Manaslu expedition.

Phil Crampton

Update - September 25, 2013

Starting this morning at 8:30 AM, Pasang Nima and Phil summited. They were followed by Alan and Pasang Ongcho, then Paul and Chongba, and finally Louis and Tarke. The entire team is safe and resting at Camp 1. They will return to base camp tomorrow. Phil and Pasang Nima carried rope up, and Pasang Nima helped the Himex Sherpas fix the last 100 meters of rope to the summit. More details will be posted tomorrow.

Dispatch #6 – September 20, 2013 – Base Camp

The weather forecast is looking good so we are leaving base camp later this evening for our summit push. If all goes well we will spend nights at camp one, two, three and four respectively hopefully reaching the summit on the morning of the 25th.

Our Sherpa crew are presently working their way to camp two and have been slightly delayed by three missing ladders that were avalanched from snow from a couple of days prior. The Sherpas re-fixed the route by taking an alternative route that does not require ladders and they are reporting that the snow is not deep on the trail to camp two.

The plan is for our Sherpa crew along with the Himex Sherpa crew to break trail together from camp two to camp four to stock oxygen bottles at the high camp.

We may be off the grid for a few days so don't be alarmed. As they say, no news is good news.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #5 – September 17, 2013 – Base Camp

The entire team and Sherpa crew are all now at base camp after our first major rotation on the hill. Our team members spent the night at camp one one the 14th and then two nights at camp two on the 15th and 16th to aid their acclimatization.

Our Sherpas have now made two carries to camp two at an elevation of 6,400 meters and will take a few days rest before carrying loads to camp four which lies at an elevation of 7,450 meters.

A few of our Sherpas have been assisting the Sherpas from Himex fix the ropes with carrying ladders and ropes. At present a team of Sherpas from Himex are fixing ropes to camp four.

The weather this season has been fantastic for Manaslu standards and we are hoping it holds and allows us an early summit attempt this year.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #4 – September 12, 2013 – Base Camp

Yesterday we made the climb to camp one in times varying from 2.5 to 4 hours before returning to base camp. The complete team were happy with their performance and are looking forward to the next rotation on the hill.

The plan now is to rest today and tomorrow and then hopefully if the weather holds, we will sleep at camp one on the 14th and camp two on the 15th and 16th before returning to base camp on the 17th.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #3 – September 10, 2013 – Base Camp

This morning we held our all important Puja ceremony and now we are able to climb above base camp. The ritual, which is very important for the Sherpas, is a light hearted affair and enjoyed by all. All of our team members have been involved in Pujas before so they knew what to expect and how to follow the protocol of such events.

Tomorrow we plan to make a carry to camp one if the weather is conducive. The first week or so at Manaslu usually sees rain and mist at base camp and we are hoping the weather improves sooner than later this season.

The above photos show our Puja ceremony and Daniel enjoying a couple of the traditional Puja beverages.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #2 – September 9, 2013 – Base Camp

The Junkies are now relaxing at base camp after the beautiful, but wet trek to Sama Goan and then onto base camp. We arrived at base camp on the 7th where the Sherpas had already established our campsite.

We will hold our Puja on the 10th and then hopefully make our first climb to camp one before returning to base camp for the evening.

Our dispatches will be fewer and shorter this Manaslu expedition as I cannot compete with the excellent blogs that Alan Arnette posts on his website. Alan's bolgs can be found at

The above photos show our first view of Manaslu from base camp and the Junkies climbers posing for the camera.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #1 – August 27, 2013 – Kathmandu

The annual Altitude Junkies Manaslu expedition is about to start with all our team members having now arrived in Kathmandu. We welcome back regular Junkies as well as new climbers to our team. The team consists of the following climbers listed alphabetically.

Alan Arnette (USA)
Louis Carstens (South Africa)
Phil Crampton (UK/USA)
Damien Francois (Belgium)
Kevin Moore (USA)
Daniel Newton (Australia)
Paul Samuels (UK)

Our awesome regular climbing Sherpas and cooks will be assisting the expedition once again. The crew is as follows.

Climbing Sherpas
Dorjee Sherpa (Sirdar)
Pasang Ongcho Sherpa
Kami Neru Sherpa
Chongba Sherpa
Pasang Nima Sherpa
Sange Sherpa
Tarke Sherpa

Kitchen Sherpas
Da Pasang Sherpa (Head Cook)
Pemba Ngtar Sherpa
Pemba Sherpa
Pasang Lhapka Sherpa
Jangbu Sherpa

We will also be supported by an additional ten cooks on the trek to base camp as Da Pasang Sherpa insists on hot meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and our infamous happy hour(s) each day. The trek to base camp is simply amazing. We prefer to trek at the start of the expedition and take helicopters to Kathmandu at the conclusion of the expedition for a better experience of Manaslu and to interact with the locals who live near and beneath her shadow.

The plan is for the team to leave Kathmandu for Arughat on the 29th. We then will trek for six days to Sama Goan spending nights at Soti Khola, Machha Khola, Jagat, Deng and Namrung respectively before arriving at Sama Goan.

With the valley being so narrow it is not always possible to get satellite phone and modem connection until we reach Sama Goan. We may be off the radar for a few days but all will be good. We will hopefully send a short dispatch from Sama Goan if possible.

Phil Crampton

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