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Manaslu 2003: Jeff Justman Dispatches: March 24-25

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Jeff Justman
Manaslu, at 8163 meters, is the eighth highest peak in the world. It is located in the west-central part of Nepal, and our team will climb it by the original route.

March 24, 2003 – Jeff Justman Manaslu Dispatch – The Disaster

Maybe I am being a bit melodramatic but personally the trek in has been a disaster! Everything that I own that is technological is broken!

First my camera broke. When I say, “broke”, I mean, “Broke!” How you may ask? I have no idea! Then my headlamp broke, but it has been resurrected. Next the recharging unit for the Satellite phone has decided on its own will not to work. So I am going to try to conserve the batteries so I can provide an occasional update. However, if you don’t hear any news from me, you have an idea why. And last but not least, the digital video camera that Win Whittaker graciously loaned to me is, guess what, that’s right, not working!

I have decided to do what every high altitude mountaineer would do and just let go of all the minor inconveniences and concentrate on the main goal which is safely climbing Manaslu, the 8th highest peak in the world!

For all the friends and family of the Manaslu team member, there might not be as much communication as you or we would like. However, we all need to remember the saying, “No news is good news!” 

Ciao- JJ

March 25, 2003 – Jeff Justman Dispatch – The Team gains their first view of Manaslu from the village of Sama!

Like all Himalayan Peaks, Manaslu is extremely impressive! The team will be lounging in Sama for a few days to acclimatize. We are a day from Base Camp which sits at 16, 000 ft.

The report from the villagers in the area is that there is a bit less snow than last year. We are in no rush. We want to make sure, the best we can, that there is minimal avalanche danger. So we will most likely arrive in Base Camp to rest and relax for sometime before we begin establishing Camp 1 at 19,000 ft.

Ciao for now! Hopefully we will talk again soon! Jeff Justman 

March 25, 2003 – Phone conversation with JJ from Sama!

The Manaslu group is at 12,000 ft. The weather is still a bit unstable. Outside of all the technological failings, all is well. The group is doing well and is excited to reach Base Camp. JJ


Jeff Justman, veteran climber, author and motivational speaker. To book Jeff Justman e-mail here


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