Asia, Nepal, Manaslu Traverse

Publication Year: 1992.

Manaslu Traverse. A strong Soviet expedition from the Ukraine with 20 members, 16 of them climbers, was led by Dr. Vladimir Shumikhin and Sergei Bershov. They had hoped to ascend the still unclimbed east face of Manaslu (8163 meters, 26,780 feet). In 1987 a Polish pair climbed to 6800 meters on it and in 1990 a Soviet party got to 7200 meters but was stopped when three of them fell to their deaths. This year’s expedition established Base Camp at 4200 meters on March 21. “There was surprisingly much snow,” says Bershov, “and it snowed day in, day out.” Depite bad conditions, three camps were placed at 5200, 6200 and 7000 meters, the last on April 8. A group led by V. Khitrikov made three attempts to finish the route but was driven back by bad weather. A late April snowstorm damaged camps and covered much equipment. They decided to try the Polish route from the south, climbed in 1984 by Lwow and Wielicki. On May 1, Alexei Makarov, Viktor Pastukh and Igor Svergun started alpine-style toward the Pungen La (6700 meters), the south ridge and southeast face to the summit, which they reached on May 6. They descended the normal northeast route, which took two more bivouacs.

Józef Nyka, Editor, Taternik, Poland