Manaslu 2012 Expedition Dispatches

Dispatch #22 - October 3, 2012 - Base Camp

Our team members have now all descended to Sama Goan with our kitchen staff and tomorrow will take helicopters to Kathmandu. The Sherpas and myself will break down base camp over the next few days and then we will start the trek back to Kathmandu.

As usual, our expedition would not have been so successful and safe without our awesome team of climbing and kitchen Sherpas. I have already mentioned their names but I would like to do it again just to show how much respect I and the team have for them. Their names are:

Climbing Sherpas
Dorjee Sherpa (Sirdar)
Pasang Awongcho Sherpa
Kami Neru Sherpa
Chongba Sherpa
Pasang Nima Sherpa
Ang Gelo Sherpa
Sange Sherpa
Tarke Sherpa
Nuri Sherpa
Lakpa Dorjee Sherpa

Kitchen Sherpas
Da Pasang Sherpa (Head Cook)
Pemba Ngtar Sherpa
Pasang Sherpa
Mingma Sherpa
Pasang Lhapka Sherpa
Bir Bhada

We have been very successful on all our previous Manaslu expeditions and have a tradition of having female firsts. In 2008 we placed the first British woman on the true summit and this tradition continued with an Australian in 2009, and a Finnish female in 2011. This season we placed the first Lithuanian female on the summit and we are still checking but we think we also have the first Russian female on the true summit as well.

While our team members enjoy themselves in Kathmandu after the expedition, we are making plans for our next climb. We already have over 5,000-meters of rope and the relevant hardware dropped by helicopter in the Tsum Valley for our next adventure. We are planning to make the second ascent, first ascent from Nepal of Ganesh 1 also known as Yangra. We are planning to attempt the awesome North-West Ridge which is unclimbed and the expedition will be supported by the same Sherpas who helped us climb Manaslu. Due to an unfortunate cancellation we have one space remaining on this expedition if any climber wishes to be part of Nepal climbing history. Contact us soon if you are interested in joining the team.

This is our final dispatch from Manaslu and we thank you all for following another great adventure on this beautiful peak.

The above photos courtesy of Martin Belanger show our awesome climbing Sherpa team and a Junkies tradition of climb hard party hard upon returning to base camp.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #21 - October 2, 2012 - Base Camp

We were patient and once again reached the summit of Manaslu. Below are the climbers and Sherpas with their summit times.

8.00 am - Edita Nichols & Ang Gelo Sherpa
8.00 am - Ole Mose Nielsen & Chongba Sherpa
8.00 am - Liudmila & Pasang Awongcho Sherpa
8.05 am - Martin Belanger & Tarkey Sherpa
8.05 am - Lhapka Dorjee Sherpa & Sange Sherpa
8.10 am - Phil Crampton (no O2)
9.30 am - Gordon Ferguson (no O2) & Nuri Sherpa
9.45 am - Kevin Trieu (no O2) & Pasang Nima Sherpa

Unfortunately, Ian Phillips was not feeling 100% on summit day and returned to camp four along with Kami Sherpa and Dorjee Sherpa after several hours of climbing.

We have way too many summit photos to choose from so the above photos courtesy of Martin Belanger show the "true" summit of Manaslu way beyond the usual rock stopping point on the ridge and the view from top of Manaslu.

Phil Crampton

Update - October 1, 2012

We have had 15 successful summits! Two of our Sherpas and one team member did not go to the summit. The team is now in the process of descending to Camp 2. Everyone is safe and doing well. A more detailed dispatch will be posted as soon as they return to base camp.

Update - September 30, 2012

The team, including Sherpas and members, are at Camp 4 and doing well. They will be heading for the summit tomorrow.

Dispatch #20 - September 27, 2012 - Base Camp

After consulting our weather forecast, we have decided to launch our summit push. After lunch the seven climbers will head to camp one for the evening along with four Sherpas.

Over the next few days we will spend evenings at camp one, two, three and four respectively before making a summit attempt weather permitting on the morning of October 1st.

I am still sore suffering from minor injuries sustained in the avalanche so I will climb directly to camp two or camp three from base camp in a few days time along with our Sirdar, Dorjee Sherpa, who is also still suffering from minor injuries sustained in the avalanche.

We will be out of touch for the next few days but will post a brief dispatch hopefully after we are successful at reaching the summit.

The above photos show our advance Sherpa crew of Pasang Awongcho, Pasang Nima and Kami heading to camp one and the team members along with Ang Gelo Sherpa leaving base camp a little later. The rest of the Sherpas and I will meet the others at camp two tomorrow.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #19 - September 26, 2012 - Base Camp

After more reflection a further two members will descend to Sama Goan this afternoon and then take a helicopter to Kathmandu tomorrow. As with the other three climbers who have left the expedition, I respect and admire their decision to go and be with their family members.

The rest of us are now focused and we will most likely be leaving base camp tomorrow for our summit push. It all depends on the latest weather forecast tomorrow morning but I am feeling good for an October 1st or 2nd summit day.

Our Sherpa team have climbed with us for many years now and they are all 100% in favor of a summit push in the upcoming days.

The following climbers and Sherpas will be paired together for the next few days and hopefully stand together on the summit:

Martin Belanger (Canada) & Tarkey Sherpa
Gordon Ferguson (Canada) & Nuri Sherpa
Liudmila (Russia) & Pasang Awongcho Sherpa
Edita Nichols (Lithuania) & Ang Gelo Sherpa
Ole Mose Nielsen (Denmark) & Chongba Sherpa
Ian Phillips (UK) & Karmi "Mad Dog" Sherpa
Kevin Trieu (USA) & Pasang Nima "Pocket Rocket" Sherpa

The above climbers will have additional climbing support from Phil Crampton, Dorjee Sherpa, Sange Sherpa and Lhapka Dorjee Sherpa. It's a very well supported climbing team indeed.

We would like to show our respect to the climbers who decided that the summit of Manaslu was not for them this year and I fully support their decision. They have been great team members and they have made this a real enjoyable expedition especially with all the drama of the past few days. They will be missed over the next week:

Joe Bonner (USA)
Jonathan Bye (USA)
Kevin Harris (Canada)
Mel Huang (China)
Walter Reisinger (Canada)

The above photos show our two departing climbers and the remaining Junkies soon going for the top.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #18 - September 25, 2012 - Base Camp

Now that the initial shock of the events that happened on the 23rd have sunken in, our team members have had time to reflect and decide their next move. We were very lucky to come out of the avalanche with minor injuries but the mental scars will take some time to heal. Several of the group have been suffering from nightmares, mostly recollecting the avalanche that hit us. Today three members will descend to Sama Goan and tomorrow they will take a helicopter back to Kathmandu.

I personally think that the decision to descend by our three members is smart, courageous and shows the vast experience of the three climbers. We will be sad to see them go but I think anyone who went through what we did on the morning of the 23rd has the right to go and be with their family members at this hard time.

The rest of us will continue to study the weather forecasts and let the higher slopes further consolidate. Some teams are now departing base camp for their respective summit attempts but the Junkies still need a few more days to recover from our minor injuries suffered in the avalanche.

We would like to thank all those people who sent us messages of support and we hope to do everyone proud when we hopefully top out on this wonderful peak.

As I had mentioned in a previous dispatch, Manaslu is a truly wonderful peak and unfortunately it has now been labeled as a dangerous mountain that has claimed another eleven lives. I think it is still one of the finest peaks in all of Nepal and I for one am already planning to return to her flanks in the fall of 2013.

The above photos courtesy of Gordon Ferguson show the climb from camp one to camp two and the "Three Amigos" departing base camp looking forward to the beer that's available in Sama Goan.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #17 - September 24, 2012 - Base Camp

Today the remaining bodies have been removed from the mountain by three different helicopters. Hopefully this is the end of the tragedy that struck us yesterday morning at 4.30 am.

All of our team members and Sherpas are safe at base camp. Several of us suffered cuts, bruises and concussions but nothing serious. We consider ourselves very lucky indeed.

We placed our camp two in the same position as we have done on all our previous expeditions. The campsite is protected from avalanche debris by a large crevasse which collects anything that slides. Due to the force of this avalanche we were protected from debris but the blast from the huge slide destroyed our campsite.

At 4.25 am I was awake fiddling with a awkward sleeping bag zipper. I had just laid back down and then at 4.30 am I was struck in the head by some avalanche debris and then Kevin and I were catapulted around in the tent several times before coming to rest in a destroyed tent with myself ending up on top of Kevin. All of our eight tents at camp two were destroyed and all of the team members and Sherpas had the same experience as Kevin and I.

All of our team members and Sherpas acted amazingly in the situation. Everyone was calm and collected even though it was dark and many were without suitable clothing and footwear. We eventually collected all the gear we could find and in the end we were only one boot missing. Many of the team spent several hours waiting for us to retrieve their footwear before descending down.

A Sherpa who was swept down the mountain from camp three stumbled into camp two suffering from head injuries and frostbite as he was caught in the slide and descended without boots. We stabilized the Sherpa and requested a helicopter. We thought we were going to lose him at one point and I was given priority with evacuation over the camp three survivors who were stable. I am glad to say I spoke with the Sherpa this morning as he was about to board a helicopter for Kathmandu.

All of our team members and Sherpas still have a very positive attitude about the mountain and after a few days rest to recover and reflect, we will head back up the mountain for our summit push. We are climbers and this is what we do. We send our condolences and thoughts to the families and friends of the deceased. I personally knew two of the victims and they would wish us to continue with our quest to climb Manaslu.

Mountaineering is a very selfish sport especially for family members back home. We try to make decisions based on experience but sometimes mother nature makes the decisions for us. At present, there are eight confirmed fatalities and three more climbers missing. All of these climbers have family members back home and I hope the media and press respect the privacy of these families at this hard time for them.

The above photos show the remains of our campsite which consisted of eight Mountain Hardwear tents and the chopper landing with myself holding a makeshift wind sock, thanks to Ian and his plastic bag collection, for the evacuation of the injured Sherpa from camp two.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #16 - September 23, 2012 - Base Camp

All the Junkies team members and Sherpas are safe at base camp

Today is a dark day in the history of mountaineering. A freak accident in the shape of a serac collapse has claimed the lives of many unfortunate climbers this morning.

I do not wish to speculate about the accident as many people have probably already blogged about the situation without all the relevant information and some not even on the mountain. I just hope names of the deceased have not been revealed by careless climbers with access to satellite phones before the next of kin have been informed.

This beautiful peak has once again had its name tarnished for no other reason than mother nature doing what it does in the mountains.

I will not post any photos today as I feel it unnecessary and crass to publish photos of the carnage that happened at 4.30 am this morning. We consider ourselves fortunate although we had our camp two destroyed by the blast of the avalanche. Our team members acted amazingly assisting the injured climbers even though several of us were slightly injured ourselves. I am proud to call my team mates real climbers this year on Manaslu.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #15 - September 20, 2012 - Base Camp

The weather seems to finally be following the forecasts and it seems as if the major precipitation has now ceased. With the improving conditions, our Sherpas have carried loads to camp one today and set up the tents once again in anticipation of the climbers sleeping at camp one. We had broken down the tents to avoid any major damage as there has been a lot of snowfall over the past few days.

We have been keeping ourselves busy with day hikes and watching movies. Yesterday we reviewed the oxygen system that eight of the twelve climbers will be using. We prefer to let our team members decide if they want to use oxygen or not on Manaslu as it's elevation is slightly lower than that of Cho Oyu where a lot of climbers climb without supplementary oxygen.

Our climbing Sherpa Sirdar will asses the snow conditions at camp one and hopefully today the slopes above camp one will consolidate allowing us to climb to camp two in a few days.

The above photos show the first view in days of the lush valley where Sama Goan sits and Ole modeling the newest edition of our supplementary oxygen masks.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #14 - September 19, 2012 - Base Camp

After two continuous days and nights of snow, we are receiving a third day but not as much precipitation as the previous two days. Our weather forecast along with the Swiss forecast agrees that the precipitation will drop off in a few days and we will then hopefully start to make some progress up the hill.

Some teams have braved the conditions and moved up the hill immediately after the snow stopped but we prefer to throw caution to the wind and let the snow consolidate somewhat for safer slopes before going higher. As I write this blog at lunchtime, the snow is falling full-on and I think some of the other teams ignored the forecasts and jumped the gun somewhat.

We have observed the fact that the slopes above camp two have already slid, so with good weather coming, the slopes should slide further in time to allow safe passage.

The above photo shows the complete Junkies Manaslu team at base camp with the exception of Ang Gelo Sherpa who at the time was searching for some needed items.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #13 - September 18, 2012 - Base Camp

We have spent most of the past two days digging out our dining and communication domes as well as members and staff sleeping tents from the heavy snowfall. Yesterday we got reports from descending climbers that camp two was under around four feet of snow in the morning. It has continued to snow non-stop since then so we are probably looking at around six feet of fresh snow at camp two at the 6,400 meter mark today.

All this snow keeps us active around base camp but it's the dampness that really tries ones patience. Our team members were warned about the weather conditions during the ongoing monsoon, so it's really not a big surprise to anyone. We just hope that the forecasts hold true and we get some sunshine form the 20th-21st onwards.

With positive attitudes in hand, we hope to once again summit around October 5th as we have done twice on our previous expeditions. We have also sumitted as early as September 25th but in all honesty, we are looking at a later window this season.

Half of the team members went down to Sama Goan today for a change of scenery and no doubt, several large beers. They should return this evening if the beer supply is low down there.

The above photos show base camp after the storm and Manaslu super-sized snow shovels used at base camp. You should see the size of the ones we use at camp one and higher!

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #12 - September 17, 2012 - Base Camp

Our most recent weather forecast this morning matches that of the Swiss forecast so we are in a holding pattern for several more days unfortunately. We are not concerned though as from experience, we know that we will experience around 10 days of snow and rain at base camp and higher when we first arrive at base camp.

The conditions up higher are not conducive for anyone to climb so we are trying to keep ourselves as occupied as possible to take our minds off the foul weather.

Late yesterday afternoon, some of the Junkies challenged the Himex Sherpas to a volleyball match. It all started good for the Junkies but they were unfairly competing with a bunch of super acclimatized Sherpas. The plan is for the Junkies team to take some more practice sessions and then challenge the Sherpas once again after we have completed our camp two rotation.

Not much else to report here apart from the bad weather that Manaslu is notorious for whilst the monsoon still continues.

The above photos show our team competing in a volleyball match against the Sherpas of Himex and Gordon modeling his latest gear acquisition, his stainless steel climbing helmet.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #11 - September 16, 2012 - Base Camp

This morning our Sherpas made an attempt to carry loads to camp two which is located at an elevation of 6,400-meters. Heavy snowfall overnight and early this morning left camp one under about 15 inches of fresh snow and we expect camp two to have received about 24 inches going on our experience of the mountain. Our Sherpas broke down the camp leaving the sole Mountain Hardwear dome with all the gear cached inside as we are expecting more precipitation on the 18th and 19th.

With the present snow conditions on the hill, it would be foolish for our Sherpas to go any higher than camp one this morning due to avalanche danger. They all returned to base camp and now will enjoy several well deserved rest days.

The team members are keeping spirits high even though our plan to climb to camp one and sleep on the 17th followed by a climb to camp two on the 18th to sleep has been suddenly postponed until the weather improves. Manaslu is notorious for heavy snow and we will observe and let the snow consolidate before going any higher.

The above photos show Da Pasang's masterful sushi rolls for our daily happy hour and finally a view after the clouds lift after 48-hours of non-stop rain over the Junkies base camp.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #10 - September 15, 2012 - Base Camp

Our Sherpas took a rest day today instead of making a carry to camp two as the weather higher on the hill is not at its best. It is meant to improve tomorrow though, so they will continue establishing our higher campsites with a carry to two.

This morning there was a meeting of the leaders and Sherpa sirdars to discuss the rope fixing. Himalayan Experience have done the majority of the work so far and have fixed ropes to camp three at an elevation of 6,800-meters. Each team has been asked to contribute 50-meters and a snow bar per western climber or pay $50 for the right to use the ropes. The remaining rope will be fixed by two Sherpas each from Himex, Altitude Junkies, three from Seven Summit Treks and one from IMG.

It was also suggested that each western climber in attendance pay Rs1000 for the removal of the trash from base camp that was left behind from the spring expeditions.

The weather continues with rain at base camp and some snow accumulation higher at camp one and two. One forecast says the weather will improve tomorrow fingers crossed. Our members have been kept busy sending emails from our famous base camp internet cafe and sorting their gear in anticipation of the next rotation on the hill.

The above photos show team members enjoying our internet cafe where we have four laptops and four BGANS for our twelve climbers and our organized but chaotic looking members' gear storage tent.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #9 - September 14, 2012 - Base Camp

This morning eight of our climbing Sherpas made a carry to camp one and established our camp. They erected members' sleeping tents as well as a Mountain Hardwear dome which acts as our kitchen at camp one.

Dorjee Sherpa, Pasang Awongcho Sherpa and I climbed with our team members, who performed fantastic on their first day on the hill proper. They all reached camp one in three to four hours in perfect warm but somewhat overcast conditions. This year we have elected to place our camp one at the lower campsite because of the problems we experienced last year with some French climbers using our camp and supplies and destroying one of our tents in the process. Lower camp one is less crowded than the higher campsite that is 100-meters higher, and this allows for cleaner snow for cooking.

Tomorrow, the Sherpas will continue to ferry loads on the mountain with a climb to camp two. They will cache the gear at this campsite rather than setting up the tents in case we experience one of Manaslu's infamous snow dumping.

The above photos show the route to camp one and a somewhat rare sighting of our next climbing objective, Ganesh I in the Tsum Valley as seen from Manaslu, where we hope to make a first ascent of the North-West Ridge after our climb on Manaslu.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #8 - September 13, 2012 - Base Camp

This morning we held our Puja ceremony which once again became one of those infamous Junkies Puja's. Out of our thirteen climbing members, four made an early exit and retired to bed before lunch.

The plan is to make a load carry tomorrow to camp one before returning back to base camp for the evening. Nine Sherpas will carry loads and establish camp one, whilst Dorjee Sherpa and myself will climb with the twelve climbers.

The weather has been very typical Manaslu over the past few days with a foggy base camp accompanied by moderate rain on and off for most of the day. We hope that the weather holds true to pattern and within a week we start to experience better conditions.

The above photos show the Sherpas and climbers at the Puja and Pasang Awongcho Sherpa performing a ritual at the ceremony.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #7 - September 12, 2012 - Base Camp

Tomorrow we have our Puja scheduled for a 6 am start. It's early but we are happy to be able to hold the ceremony sooner than later so we can then start climbing.

In the meantime, we have been keeping busy with cleaning the base camp of trash that was left behind from the spring expeditions. We are planning to ask each expedition permit to contribute $100 towards the removal by the locals of Sama Goan of pre-existing trash down to Sama Goan for proper disposal.

All going to plan if the weather holds, we will make our first foray onto the mountain on the 14th. We will climb to camp one and deposit a load before returning back to base camp for the evening.

Our head cook Da Pasang Sherpa and his kitchen boys have been keeping us well fed and yesterday we received our first re-supply of steaks and salmon by helicopter from Kathmandu. It's going to be a shock for all of us when we have to start to eat packaged foods at the higher camps.

The above photos show some of the team members collecting trash at our base camp and our base camp from above.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #6 - September 10, 2012 - Base Camp

The team is now complete with all climbers and staff at base camp with the exception of our Sirdar Dorjee. The climb from Sama Goan takes around 2.5 to 4 hours up a very direct trail to base camp that is located at roughly 4,900 meters.

We will spend the next few days fine tuning the kitchen and communication dome as well as building the all important stone Puja for the ceremony in a few days. This will also allow us to start the acclimatization process. Dorjee will remain in Sama Goan for a couple of days and organize the remaining loads to be sent up to base camp.

After the Puja ceremony the climbing will commence with the climbing Sherpa and team members making a carry to camp one at an elevation of 5,800 meters.

The above photos show Gordon enjoying himself on one of the last evenings of camping on the trek before staying in nthe lodge in Sama Goan and the view of Manaslu from the trail heading to base camp.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #5 - September 8, 2012 - Sama Goan

We arrived at Sama Goan yesterday after spending evenings at Deng and Namrung respectively before arriving at our lodge in Sama Goan. Our good friend Bir, the proprietor of our lodge in Sama, made sure that he somewhat finished a few rooms in his new lodge, which is under construction, for our accommodation. We were grateful not to be sleeping in tents last night.

The majority of our Sherpas headed to base camp this morning to join Pasang Ongcho and Pasang Nima who have been in residence for the past couple of weeks. We sent another batch of local porters up to base camp so we have already sent over 100 porters and we still have more loads to go up over the next few days.

As always, the team members are enjoying themselves and enjoying the hospitality of the owners of the lodge. Tomorrow some will take a little acclimatization hike whilst others will relax at the lodge. The plan is for the group to head to base camp after lunch on the 10th where they will spend several days for cautious acclimatization before heading higher on the hill.

The above photos show the majestic Manaslu which was on view from day one at Sama Goan, rare so early on in the expedition and the organized chaos with the local porter loads heading to base camp.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #4 - September 4, 2012 - Jagat

The team have been enjoying a beautiful trek although it has rained each evening which means the tents never really dry out. Arughat saw the biggest downpour I have ever witnessed on the Manaslu trek and the rain continued the following evenings at Soti Khola and Macha Khola respectively. Hopefully it's abates for the rest of the trek.

It seems weird to be trekking to base camp with other teams on the trail. Manaslu has always been one of the quieter 8,000-meter peaks in terms of climber numbers but because Cho Oyu and Shishapangma are off limits this fall we have more teams than usual. For the past four Junkies expeditions we have been alone on the trail. We don't mind though as the lodges and campsites where we take lunch are making sure the regulars get priority with seating.

Our trek will continue tomorrow with us spending evenings at Deng and Namrung respectively before arriving at our lodge in Sama Goan.

The team members are getting along especially well considering they finished the nine days wine allowance whilst trekking within the first two days. I am guessing we are going to need a lot more helicopters during this expedition than anticipated to keep us resupplied with food and drink that we are accustomed to on the Junkies expeditions.

The above photos show the beautiful scenery on the Manaslu trek and our exclusive Mountain Hardwear trekking campsite set up with individual Drifter 3's for each member and the awesome Yurtini dome tents which act as our dining and storage tents.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #3 - September 1, 2012 - Arughat

We made an early morning start for the drive to Gorka where we switched over to our four wheeled drive trucks. It's not the most glamorous and comfortable form of transport, but once again, we made it through the deep mud and reached Arughat as planned. Our Sherpa crew came a day ahead of us to set up the kitchen and dining domes in the garden of our lodge whilst the other Sherpas are already at base camp establishing our campsite.

Our expeditions are always well staffed and this year our team are fortunate enough to have six base camp cooks and an additional eight cooks for the trek as our head cook insists on a full hot meal each breakfast, lunch and dinner on the trek. Our climbers are also well supported on the mountain with ten climbing Sherpas assisting our team.

Tomorrow we will start the trek towards Sama Goan and spend the evening in Soti Khola. We expect the trek to be wet for the first few days but the amazing scenery will take our mind off the wet conditions.

The above photos show some of the boys in the back of the truck and one of the deep river crossings we had to make.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #2 – August 30, 2012 – Kathmandu

The majority of our team members are now in Kathmandu and tomorrow, all going to plan, our team will be complete with the arrival of three more climbers. As usual our Manaslu expedition is another international affair with eight different nationalities of climbers. Canada, China, Denmark, Lithuania, Nepal, Russia, USA and the UK all being represented on this Junkies expedition.

Several of the group have climbed with the Junkies multiple times before on various 8,000-meter peaks and we welcome back our old friends as well as making new ones for another great Himalayan adventure, this time on the majestic Manaslu.

Due to some issues with Tibet being closed for mountaineering expeditions this fall some of the planned Cho Oyu and Shishapangma expeditions have switched to Manaslu. There are only a few of us regular commercial expedition companies who operate each autumn on Manaslu so we are looking forward to having some new neighbors at base camp. Whilst the local Tibetans who profit from having expeditions in their area will loose out this fall, I am expecting no complaints from the local porters of Sama Goan as they will be busier than usual with the extra teams.

The above photos show Mel and Ole in the Junkies Kathmandu office already making plans for their next climb after Manaslu and some of the other team members relaxing at the wonderful Courtyard Hotel in the Thamel district of Kathmandu.

Phil Crampton

Dispatch #1 – August 28, 2012 – Kathmandu

The annual Junkies Manaslu expedition has now started. Several of our Sherpas have been in Sama Goan for the past several days sending our gear up to base camp whilst the others are busy packing food here in Kathmandu.

Our expeditions would not be as successful and safe without our regular crew of Sherpa climbers and cooks assisting the expedition. We have the following guys helping us again on Manaslu this year, some of them on their fifth Manaslu expedition with the Junkies.

Dorjee Sherpa (Sirdar)
Pasang Awongcho Sherpa
Kami Neru Sherpa
Chongba Sherpa
Pasang Nima Sherpa
Ang Gelo Sherpa
Sange Sherpa
Tarke Sherpa
Nuri Sherpa
Lakpa Dorjee Sherpa
Da Pasang Sherpa
Pemba Ngtar Sherpa
Pasang Sherpa
Mingma Sherpa
Pasang Lhapka Sherpa
Bir Bhada

Our team members are now starting to arrive in Kathmandu and we will make the adventurous drive to Arughat in a few days to start the beautiful trek to Sama Goan and then onto base camp.

The above photos courtesy of Robert Kay are from last years expedition and show the organizing of porter loads at our Sama Goan lodge and a couple of local kids proudly showing off their recent discovery. Robert was part of the Junkies team and successfully made an ascent and partial ski descent of the mountain.

Phil Crampton

Contact us: info@altitudejunkies.com