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Himalaya 2005: Taking Manaslu by surprise!
image story

Apr 19, 2005 11: 56 EST
Months ago, we reported on two confirmed Manaslu expeditions for spring 2005: One guided team by German outfitter Amical, and another small Spanish team consisting of three long-time friends from Navarra.

Back then, the Navarrese climbers expressed their concern to Explorersweb: “There are just the three of us and we don’t know yet how are we going to share the permit costs,” they said.

The trio can lay their worries to rest. In the past week, surprising the mountaineering community, a bunch of climbers from around the world have revealed their intentions to climb Manaslu.

The Makalu friendship

The first one was Nacho (Ignacio) Orviz, also from Spain. Orviz summited Makalu last year, and kept in touch with other climbers who reached the peak with him, planning future expeditions. One of his climbing mates was Ecuadorian Ivan Vallejo, with whom Nacho was supposed to attempt Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. Vallejo had Orviz pegged as a definite climbing mate.

Turns out that Nacho eventually changed his mind and decided to join another summit pal from Makalu: Ricardo Valencia, a member of the Navarra Manaslu expedition. Sponsored by a local newspaper, Orviz is currently on the way to BC.

Spanish, the first language in BC

However, they won’t be alone on the picturesque double-summited peak. Nor will they be the only ones speaking Spanish. There is another group of Spaniards on their way to BC, led by Juan Corro. The team members are Javier Garcia, Carlos Pardo, and Fernando R.Marfull. They have been joined by two well-known Eastern European aces: Russian Serguey Bogomolov and Georgian Gia Torladze. Both are currently aiming to complete the 14 8000m summits.

Colombian Newspapers have reported on another mountain-switcher: Fernando Gonzalez Rubio. He has previously announced to local media his plans to climb Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, but has turned his attention to Manaslu. According to “El Heraldo” (Colombian paper) Fernando is already in Nepal, ready to fly in a helicopter to the mountains. He might have joined the Amical team.

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.

Ignacio Orviz and Ricardo Valencia have previously summited Makalu. Ricardo has summited Cho Oyu and GII as well.

Fernando González-Rubio has climbed Cho Oyu, Everest and K2.

Image of climbers on Manaslu in 2000 courtesy of the UPV Valencia expedition.
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