Manaslu – summit push

After a few days of waiting finally the day has come. September 24th excited we leave the base camp. Despite heavy backpack we briskly move forward, with each step bringing us closer to our goal. Every day we move up from camp to camp.

Big commercial groups have same plan trying to use the weather window. On the path we often meet people going down after successful climb with oxygen masks. Unfortunately, in more demanding parts of the route traffic jams formed forcing us to slow down or wait in line for less fit or technically proficient climbers. In the afternoon we reach camp 4 at around 7400 m. It is going to be my first night at this altitude, although rather short one. We set our alarm clock for midnight.

After a few hours of uneasy sleep we wake up in the middle of the night. The inside of our tent and sleeping bags glimmer in the light of our headlamps, all covered with a thin layer of frost. We take long hours to melt snow, which we had stockpiled in tent’s vestibule the day before.
We start around 3 AM. Piercing cold and wind are no match for our unyielding motivation. Far away in the distance we can see flickering of lights belonging to commercial groups, which started few hours ahead of us. We trudge up through seemingly unending snowfields. The morning does not bring improvement in the weather. Clouds all around us and mild snowfall.
Our strategy of later departure from C4 paid off – more and more people with oxygen masks pass us by going down and we avoid disruptions and congestion on the route. As we move up each step is harder and we have to take more breaks.
Finally it is there – a narrow path leading to our goal – the summit! September 28th 2019 together with Paweł Michalski and Paweł Kopeć without oxygen we reached the summit of Manaslu – 8163 m
Our joy is short lived, there is still difficult descent ahead of us. We take a few pictures, sadly clouds obscure any views, and move down. 2 days later all three of us safely get to Base Camp.

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