Mika Samuli Mansikka

28 July, 1978 - 24 March, 2015

It is with my deepest sorrow that I have to write this tribute to my dear friend, Sammy, who passed yesterday while descending from the summit of Annapurna.

Words cannot describe the loss to the mountaineering community of this fine climber and general good guy.

I was fortunate to climb with Sammy on his first 8,000-meter peak, Cho Oyu, where I was the expedition leader way back when. Since that day we have been good friends and completed many more 8,000-meter peaks together, as well as spending our summers together climbing in Peru where it was just the two of us, roped up trying real hard alpine shit, and getting totally blitzed in the bars of Huaraz to savor our successes and failures. The most recent climb I did with Sammy was the Junkies climb of Cholatse in October/November of last year where he co lead the expedition and we had all 11 western climbers and Sherpas reach the summit, thanks to Sammy and our fantastic Sherpa crew.

We get used to losing friends in the mountains, as tragedy strikes all too often, but to lose a rope mate and a real close friend, is a first for me, and it hurts really bad. We had plans to attempt the North Ridge of Ama Dablam, just the two of us, after the Junkies Manaslu expedition and when Sammy had finished with his trekking groups in the fall, but now the project doesnt seem worthwhile anymore.

The above photo is of Sammy and myself enjoying life after we had just been avalanched on Piramide de Garcilaso in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. Needless to say we went a little overboard back in the Huaraz bars after the event.

I am in Kathmandu getting ready for our Everest expedition and we had already started planning the Annapurna summit party on the Junkies office roof for when he returned to Kathmandu in a few days. For all those climbers who knew and climbed with Sammy in the past, raise a glass to him tonight, as you know he would want you to.

Phil Crampton


Upcoming Expeditions

Everest, Nepal - April 1 - May 30, 2015

Even though we had major political problems in 2014 with the Everest season and a total lack of respect towards expedition operators from the Nepal Ministry of Tourism, we still plan to run our Everest expedition from the Nepal southern side for the 2015 season. Some teams are switching to the north side in Tibet but we plan to continue to support all the loyal Nepal business owners who have helped us in the past. Our expedition will be managed by Everest veterans Phil Crampton (12 times) and Dorjee Sherpa (21 times) and will be supported by our regular crew of climbing Sherpa and cooks. The expedition will be supported by a 2:1 Sherpa to climber ratio, high oxygen flow rate and will travel by helicopter to Lukla and from Pheriche.

Lhotse, Nepal - April 1 - May 30, 2015

Our Lhotse climb will run alongside our Everest expedition. The expedition will be managed by Phil Crampton and Dorjee Sherpa and will utilize all the services of the Everest climb including a 1:1 Sherpa to climber ratio, high oxygen flow rate and will travel by helicopter to Lukla and from Pheriche. This is a great climb for climbers thinking of possibly climbing Everest from the Nepal side in the future.

Huantsan, Peru - 8,000-Meter Preparation - July 4 - July 24, 2015

We are now offering an amazing climb of Huantsan in the Cordillera Blanca as our 8,000-meter preparation climb. This expedition is a mini version of a Himalayan expedition and will allow us to review all the techniques needed and give the necessary advice on how we climb on the more frequently climbed 8,000-meter peaks such as Manaslu and Cho Oyu. Both the Everest and Manaslu expedition leader and Sherpa climbing sirdar will be on this expedition for a true feel of what to expect in the Himalayas on one of the big ones.

Manaslu, Nepal - August 27 - October 10, 2015

Manaslu is a great alternative to the busier and more expensive Cho Oyu. We know the mountain well and as usual we will have a 1:1 Sherpa to climber ratio, professional weather forecasts and some of the best Sherpa and cooks on the mountain. The expedition will be supported by helicopter transportation to Sama Goan and back to Kathmandu at the conclusion of the expedition. This will be Phil Crampton's eighth expedition to Manaslu.

Photo credits: Tachi Pesando - Gasherbrum II, Pakistan

Contact us: info@altitudejunkies.com