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Avalanche Kills 11 on Nepal’s Manaslu

Posted in: 23rd Sep, 2012 Post Category: Blog of Nepal

A deadly avalanche occurred on Manaslu in Nepal at 4:30AM on Sunday, September 23 killing at least a reported 9 climbers with another 6 missing. Another 10 climbers were impacted but escaped. It occurred at the 7000 meter (22,960′) level with the slide hitting Camp 3. News reports say that most of the victims were Nepal, Spanish, Italian, German and several French. One Canadian climbers was in the missing.

There were about 25 climbers in the area at the time of the avalanche all preparing for their summit push. Reports from teams on the mountains say that the avalanche blast destroyed many tents at Camp 2 but there were no serious injures.

As always, be wary of many of the reports given it is still early, and details are often incorrect and many of the witness are in shock. No names are available.

There were 30 teams with about 231 members, climbing Manaslu, an unusually high number due to the closure of the China/Nepal boarder preventing teams from reaching Cho Oyu, popular for climbers to test themselves at high altitude or on training for Everest.

At 8,156m (26,670′), Manaslu has become a popular alternative to Cho Oyu after organizers have had difficult getting reliable logistics and permits to climb Cho Oyu. Being entirely within Nepal, the logistics are slightly easier although the climb itself is a bit more difficult. Manaslu is located in western Nepal about 60 miles northwest from Kathmandu in a very different region than Everest

Manaslu is known as one of the less technically demanding 8000m mountains and is viewed as a precursor for Everest much in the same way as Cho Oyu. But the weather is always difficult on Manaslu and 2012 has seen extremely deep snow with heavy snowfall all last week locking the teams down in their base camps.

There have been less than 350 summits but about 55 deaths making Manaslu a deadly climb. That said, 15 of those deaths were on a South Korean expedition in 1972 and of those, 10 were tragically Sherpa. For comparison, Cho Oyu has seen about 2000 people summit it with about 50 deaths.

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