Manaslu, Ascent, and Fourth Person to Climb All 14 8000ers. On Manaslu, Mexican Carlos Carsolio on May 12 became the fourth person ever to scale all 14 8000ers—and the first of the four to come from a non-European country—when he and his brother Alfredo, the only climbing members of their team, gained this mountain’s 8163-meter summit. At 33, he is the youngest of the four who have summited all the 8000ers: the previous youngest was a Swiss, Erhard Loretan, who was 36, and those before them. Reinhold Messner of Italy and Jerzy Kukuczka of Poland, were 44 and 39 years old respectively. Carlos is also the only person to have reached the tops of as many as four 8000ers in a single year (he summited Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri I last spring and Gasherbrums I and II last summer).
During their ascent of Manaslu by its normal northeast face route without any supplementary oxygen, he and his brother felt the fury of the storm of May 10-11 and were forced to stay an extra day in their tent at 7100 meters by the new snowfall, strong wind and static electricity in the air. They were able to resume their ascent in the evening of the 11th although it “was very difficult to orient ourselves [in continuing stormy weather] and the snow was very deep so we were very slow,” he said. They climbed on through the night and and into next morning. When they reached the summit plateau, the snow had stopped falling, so “at least we could see,” but the winds continued to blow—“it took us the whole day to get to the summit because we had to fight with the wind.” They finally were on top at 6 p.m., May 12, and found there the Buddhist prayer flags a Tibetan team had left a week earlier. They spent their summit night in a very windy bivouac without tent or bivouac sack, moving about and talking to each other. When daylight came, the skies were clear but still the winds blew. They at last reached their 7100-meter camp at 3 p.m. that afternoon and “then we were safe.” Now they could sleep for the first time since 8:30 p.m. on the 11th.
“I am very happy, very satisfied to have done all the 8,000ers,” Carlos said after returning to Kathmandu. What next? “There are many Himalayan faces to be done” one day.