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Big mountains, ace climbers: Maoist fees on Manaslu, summit push on Cho Oyu
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Apr 27, 2005 12: 48 EST
Russian Serguey Bogomolov and Georgian Gia Torladze are joining a Spanish expedition to Manaslu this season. Serguey Bogomolov, 44, has summited 11 8,000ers. In July 2002 he climbed Shisha Pangma by a new route, crossing to the formerly unclimbed North-East ridge. Last year he attempted Annapurna’s South face as part of Piotr Pustelnik’s team.

Unclimbed since 2003

Piotr (currently back on Annapurna) was also the last to summit the mountain that Serguey has chosen for himself this season.

In 2003, Piotr and Krzysztof (Tarasewicz) came down in a horror-descent: High winds caused the climbers to fall 300m, “...now I understand why even excellent climbers were talking about Manaslu with such a deep respect,” Piotr (12 8,000ers) said afterwards.

Now Serguey is headed for the Manaslu challenge, and RussianClimb just shot over the latest from him:

Maoist fees are back

"Serguey Bogomolov called today at 15:50 pm: "We have just reached Base Camp, and are setting tents. There're Japanese, Spanish and German expeditions here - they have set Camp 1 and are working up to Camp 2. The weather's fine in the morning, turning bad later on.

Maoists take money from each expedition - 100 rupees per person/per day and 1000 rupees from trekkers per person for the whole trek. They give receipts on payment."

A word from friends on Cho Oyu

RussianClimb also spoke via Sat phone to the young Kazakh ace climbers Maxut Zhumayev and Vassily Pivtsov currently in Cho Oyu BC, climbing with gear borrowed to them by Serguey and paid for by Gia! (Their own gear was stuck Delhi). The guys are resting, but plan for a summit push next time they head up the mountain.

Russian Serguey Bogomolov and Georgian Gia Torladze are joining a Spanish expedition to Manaslu this season. The mountain will also have attempts by a team led by German Amical, a Japanese team and another Spanish expedition.

Serguey Bogomolov, 44, has summited 11 8,000ers. In July 2002 he climbed Shisha Pangma by a new route, crossing to the formerly unclimbed North-East Ridge. Last year he attempted Annapurna’s South face as part of Piotr Pustelnik’s team.

Manaslu, the world’s eighth highest mountain, is located in the Gurkha massif of Nepal just east of the Annapurna range. After H.W. Tilman’s initial reconnaissance in 1950 and three subsequent attempts by Japanese expeditions, Manaslu was scaled for the first time on May 9, 1956 by Japanese climber Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu Sherpa from India.

In 2003 the peak was scaled by Piotr Pustelnik and Krzysztof Tarasewicz. They were the only two climbers to reach the summit of Manaslu that year, and the mountain has remained unclimbed since. High winds caused the climbers to fall 300m, nearly knocking them off the mountain on their descent. The pair used a compass to guide them through the blinding snowstorm down to safety, but Pustelnik sustained frostbite on four of his fingers. Having summited twelve 8,000m peaks, he stated, “I found the expedition to Manaslu the hardest compared to my last three climbs. Maybe K2 in 1996 from North was harder. I didn't have such a bad weather even on Kangchenjunga in 2001, and now I understand why even excellent climbers were talking about Manaslu with such a deep respect.”

To date, 240 climbers have summited Manaslu and the overall summit/fatality rate is 21.67%. In recent years, however, statistics show that while Manaslu’s rate has declined by more than half, it is still more than double that of Everest’s modern rate. Up until 1990, Manaslu's fatality rate was 35.16%. From 1990 until today, 20 out of 149 climbers have died, and thus, Manaslu’s fatality rate diminished to 13.42%. Yet this is still more than twice Everest’s modern fatality rate at 4.4%.

Extending over 1,500 miles long and 250 miles wide as it passes through Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and India, the Himalayan mountain range is the longest, highest mountain range on earth and home to ten of the world’s tallest mountains, including Mount Everest. More than 110 Himalayan peaks rise over 7,000m.

Image of Serguey Bogomolov on last years attempt on Annapurna South Face, courtesy of Piotr Pustelnik.

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