Rémy Lécluse, Glen Plake, Greg Costa
12 September 2012, Manaslu Camp 1 (5750m) – In a late call last night from Greg Costa, Rémy Lécluse and Glen Plake we learned the team was in Camp 1 instead of Camp 3 as expected. Rémy reported that when their weather forecast changed from 10cm of snow overnight to 30cm of snow over the next three days, they decided to pull stakes and head for lower ground. The slopes between C1 and C3 are prone to avalanche so clearly the crew made a wise decision to play it safe and move back down to Camp 1.
Rémy: “Glen and I also woke up this morning with slight headaches which finalized our decision.”
Glen added, “Camp 3 is not a place to be stuck with weather on the horizon.”
Their plan is to head back to base camp, recover and wait for good weather to arrive then head back up to establish Camp 3, Camp 4 and possibly even make a push for the summit.
Rémy: “We’ll make the next push quite slowly: Camp 1, Camp 2, Camp 3, Camp 4, maybe the summit. We’ll see.”
When asked about the ski down from Camp 2, Rémy told us the team had left their skis at Camp 2: “It’s quite steep between Camp 1 and Camp 2 and exposed to avalanche and serac fall, so it’s important to move fast when you’re climbing up, which means going as light as possible.”
Plake noted, “The route between C1 and C2 has tons of seracs over it. There are several steps that are exposed to avalanche big time. When we were there we saw lots of little 20- to 30-meter slides, not that big, but they all swept into terrain traps.”
Glen also added, “I woke up with a little headache this morning but nothing serious. Everyone is good, our equipment is fantastic, and our two high-altitude porters are great. Now, if only there was something I could do about this bag of freeze-dried food in front of me – hahahaha!”
As for Greg Costa, he was on duty melting snow when the call was made but when the phone was passed to him he told me, “I’m brewing up right now, cooking dinner, and everything’s OK. I didn’t sleep much at Camp 2 but I didn’t have a headache and I was warm, so no problem. It will be nice to relax in base camp for a few days, hopefully we can get some photos to you. I’m looking forward to coming back up!”