And I know we're mostly one-plankers here, but Glenn Plake is going to be on Anderson Cooper tonight, talking about his survival and hopefully educating the public about logistics of expedition mountaineering.
Post subject: Re: Sep 23 Manaslu Avalanche - big mountain expedition insight
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:19 pm
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:29 am Posts: 568 Location: Oregon
Saw this a few days ago and was shocked by the news.......even being a one planker, I definitely respect Plake's abilities as a ski mountaineer and was relieved to hear he survived. Hard to believe he emerged relatively unschathed while his tent mate was nowhere to be found. Vibes to the victims and their families....may they rest in peace.
"14:21 UPDATE: Just got a call from Glen Plake who told me this: “I’m OK, a bit beat up; missing some teeth and a bruised eye but write in big capital letters, GLEN PLAKE IS ALIVE AND HE’S COMING HOME.
It was a major, major accident. There are up to 14 people missing. There were 25 tents at Camp 3 [6800m] and all of them were destroyed, 12 tents at Camp 2 [6300m] were banged up and moved around. Greg and I were in a tent together, Rémy was in another. It was 4:45a and I was in my sleeping bag with my headlamp on reading my devotional when we heard a roar. Greg looked at me and said, “That was a big gust of wind,” then a second later, “No, that was an avalanche.” Then it hit us. I was swept 300 meters over a serac and down the mountain and came to a stop still in my sleeping bag, still inside the tent. We all went to sleep with avalanche transceivers on so I punched my way out of the tent and started searching. Searched for 10 minutes when I realized I was barefoot. Greg was using my down suit for a pillow and I found my suit, I found everything that was in my tent – camera, sleeping bag, ski boots, it was like someone had thrown my gear in the back of a pickup – but there was no sign of Greg. Rémy and his tent are nowhere to be found.
The Dynafit crew were sleeping at a high Camp 2 and were immediately on site to rescue people. Sergio, Stephane, Doji our Sherpa – all strong alpinists – have all come up to search. We’ve done three searches and when the fog rolled in we had to call it off.
It was a massive serac fall, probably 600 to 700 meters across. It’s a war zone up here.”
23 September 2012, Manaslu Camp 3 (6800m) – The worst of phone calls came through a few minutes ago when Kimberly Plake called. “There’s been a massive avalanche at Camp 3. Glen’s OK but he told me, ‘Rémy and Greg are gone.’”
Glen told Kimberly that he thought there were around 16 climbers in Camp 3 (6800m) and that he was in his tent reading his Bible when a massive avalanche ripped through the camp. Glen was rescued from a crevasse by Canadian skier Greg Hill’s team who were helping him down the mountain when he called.
Greg Hill reports on his Facebook page that his team are all OK.
Factual information is sketchy but police officials report that rescuers have recovered the bodies of a German guide and Nepalese guide and that seven other bodies have been spotted. Around 13 are believed to be missing. Other reports indicate that between five to eight injured climbers had been evacuated by helicopter to Katmandu before rescue efforts were called off due to bad weather.
Please keep Rémy Lécluse and Greg Costa along with their friends and family in your thoughts and prayers. With hope, they might be some of the climbers that were flown to Katmandu.
I’ll continue to update this post as news comes in."
According to the SMH an hour ago:
"An avalanche in Nepal has killed at least nine climbers, including a group of French mountaineers and other Europeans trying to scale one of the world's most deadly peaks, officials say.
A group of about 25 people was near the top of the 8156-metre Manaslu when it was hit by a wall of snow on Saturday night in one of the worst tragedies in Himalayan mountaineering in recent years.
"Most of the dead people are French," said Ang Tshering Sherpa, vice-president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, after speaking to expedition members at the base camp of Manaslu by satellite telephone.
"One or two are Spanish, one Italian, one (Nepali) Sherpa and one German."
Three climbers were thought to still be missing when rescue operations were called off for the night.
"So far, 13 people have been rescued alive, of whom five have been airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment," Basanta Bahadur Kunwar, the local deputy superintendent of police, told AFP by telephone.
France's national union of mountain guides (SNGM) said four French climbers were killed and three others were reported missing.
"According to information from the base camp, there were seven French victims. The four dead have been identified by their photos and three are missing, as well as two injured who have been evacuated by helicopter to Kathmandu," SNGM vice-president Christian Trommsdorff told AFP.
He said the French climbers were part of two expeditions. Based on information the group has received, the avalanche happened on Saturday night on the normal path for climbing to Manaslu's summit.
"This avalanche happened at around 7400 metres and carried away part of camp three at 6800 metres," said Trommsdorff.
Police said several injured climbers were stuck at base camp because rescue helicopters could not fly due to poor visibility.
The tourism ministry had earlier confirmed that a German and Spanish man had died alongside a male local guide but the gender of the other dead and injured was unclear by Sunday evening.
Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world, is considered one of the most dangerous, with scores of deaths in recent years and just a few hundred successful ascents.
Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 peaks over 8000 metres, including the world's highest, Mount Everest, and attracts thousands of mountaineers every year.