Asia, Nepal, Manaslu, Northeast Ridge in the Winter
Manaslu, Northeast Ridge in Winter. As both Yasuhira Saito and I were fatigued when we came back from Everest, we spent several days of rest in Kathmandu. Then, we were carried by helicopter to Sama on December 2. On December 5 we moved to 4800 meters by the side of the Manaslu Glacier and made Base Camp. Carrying a small tent, gas stove and a little food, we started climbing the next day. On the Manaslu Glacier, knee-deep snow slowed us. We bivouacked at 5450, 6100 and 6850 meters on December 6, 7 and 8. On the 9th we started for the summit but had to give up at 7200 meters because of terribly strong winds. We went down to Base Camp that same day. We spent the next waiting for the winds to subside. On December 11 we left Base Camp for the second attempt and spent the first night at 6100 meters. On the next day, however, heavy snowfall kept us from moving up. We got to 7050 meters on December 13. At 3:20 A.M. on December 14 we left the bivouac site. We suffered from strong winds and cold. The winds were so strong that when we reached the summit ridge, we had to rope together to keep from being blown away. We gained the summit at 11:40 A.M. There, I found a Japanese cigarette can which had been left by the first summit party in 1956. We had to descend immediately because of strong winds. We had one more bivouac at 7050 meters and reached Base Camp on December 15. We came back to Sama that same day. Last year, in 1985, I climbed three 8000ers: K2 in July, Everest in October and Manaslu in December.
Noboru Yamada, Himalayan Association of Japan