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Asia, Nepal, Manaslu, Northwest Face, Attempt

Manaslu, Northwest Face, Attempt. On the great 8163-meter Manaslu, where six expeditions struggled unsuccessfully to scale the standard Northeast Face route this autumn, one pair of innovative Japanese mountaineers made the first attempt on its northwest face. After having spent nine days cutting through bamboo forest and constructing two small bridges to reach Base Camp, Yasushi Yamanoi and his wife Taeko were just at the early stage of their climb and had moved up the face to an altitude of 6200 meters with two bivouacs, when, on September 15, a large serac broke off above them and sent them rolling 100 meters down into deep snow, injuring both. “This route is dangerous,” Yasushi Yamanoi said succinctly later. “There are many seracs. Maybe this route is not logical.” They have no intention of returning to this face, despite the fact that it was not technically difficult.

Elizabeth Hawley