Manaslu 2002 led by Ralf Dujmovits

 

Ralf Dujmovits who has summited 8 of the 14 8000 meter peaks will lead this team of climbers on Manaslu in Spring 2002. He has reached the summits of K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II, Nanga Parbat, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma (Main summit), Everest, and Dhaulagiri. 

 

Manaslu Basecamp (4750m): AMICAL alpin Manaslu Expedition spends the night at Camp II.

Finally, on April 29, the snow stopped. During windy, yet sunny weather we waited for the snow to settle and were able to set off to Camp I on May 1, just in time for the Day of Work. When I arrived in the camp at 5600m I could hardly believe my eyes: Qudrat and Dieter had already started to shovel - only three of ten tents were visible. One could only guess the locations of the remaining tents and it took hours over the course of the afternoon to retrieve them.

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Up to a meter and a half we had to dig, until we reached our equipment and the completely collapsed tents. Fortunately, the fresh snow wasn't all too heavy, and damage to our tents was limited.

With the help of Qudrats and my repairing-routine acquired on Nanga Parbat, at 3:30pm  we had nine of ten tents ready to be used. Juergen's and Albert's tent was unsecured for a moment after we had dug it out - a gust grabbed it and lifted it up like a balloon, so it is now probably on its way to Tibet across the skies. A tent from Camp III acts as a replacement. 

May 2 came as a day of incredible team performance: 1000m in altitude are left to Camp II, which had reached before, but where we had never slept. That's 1000m of trail breaking. First, the snow was only
knee-high. 

The higher we ascended, the deeper the snow got and the more strenuous the trail breaking. Sometimes, the point man could only break trail for 10m in hip-high snow, then the second in row had to step up and continue for the next 10m.

After a uncomfortable night for most of us, the descent to Base Camp started in the early morning. Gianni, Sepp, Qudrat and me, however, as well as a parallel Man-Woman-Team - her Austrian, him Italian - wanted to scout the route to Camp III (7450m). Although we started strong, a powerful storm and our insufficient acclimatization stopped us at 7150m. Thus far our highest ascent.

After the return to Camp II we spend an entertaining afternoon there with Buendner Bacon, cheese from the Dolomites, and traditional Tyrolean bread. Everyone contributed a delicatesse - whatever they were carrying - and a small feast ensued. Unfortunately, Qudrat didn't take well to the mixture of European food and after a terrible night for him we descended the next morning at the break of dawn to base camp.

That's where we are now - Qudrat is doing much better - and we're hoping that the weather will be friendly towards us in the next days. We'll relax for a few days in order to be prepared to make the summit attempt with hopefully good weather.

Cross your fingers - we will report soon.

Best wishes from Manaslu Base Camp, the expedition team and the crew of AMICAL alpin.

Dispatches