WildSnow has followed along with Prakash Sherpa and Benedikt Böhm as they execute their speed ascent and ski descent of Himlung Himal, a 7000m Himalayan peak. In this fourth dispatch, the duo ascends up the mountain to acclimate and summits. They expect to complete the single-push basecamp to summit and back beginning Friday at midnight.
The plans are often simple and unencumbered when small teams climb mountains. That’s not always the case in the Himalayas; we’ve come to expect conga lines on Everest and, now, even K2. With smaller peaks in the Himalayas, sometimes you have the view and the mountain to yourself. That’s the case with the small team, including Prakash Sherpa and Benedikt Böhm, as they aim to complete a speed ascent/descent of 7,126m (23,380 ft.) Himlung Himal. Here at WildSnow, we’ve been following along with intermittent dispatches. This, if you’ve been following, is dispatch #4. And here’s the update.
Prakash and Bene are in the acclimatization phase of the trip. Last Monday, in rainy conditions, they ascended to Camp I at 5450m (18,520 ft.). After spending a night a Camp I (where a small animal ransacked their camp), they quested higher for a one-night stay at Camp 2 at 6200m (20,341ft.), again the weather was unsettled but calm enough for upward progress. So, from Tuesday to Wednesday, they slept at Camp 2, awoke Wednesday morning, broke trail, and submitted in what the duo called good snow conditions. They then descended to basecamp in a single push, which sits at 4850m (15,912 ft.).
This project is called the 7000m Himalayan Speed Project. Prakash and Bene have already proven speedy; however, there is more speed to be harnessed. After resting and recovering from their acclimatization and summit, Prakash and Bene aim to climb and ski the mountain roundtrip in a sub-ten-hour fashion. The plan, for now, is for that speed push to begin at midnight Friday, with the expected summit early on Saturday, Sept. 3rd. That plan may change, but for now, the weather forecast looks stable.
In this video, Bene summarizes the week’s events as they await Friday’s single-push departure. Video credit: alexdemilia and mountainfilmcrew.
The second video post comes as the team has spent the evening at Camp 2 and begins their acclimatization push to the summit. Video credit: alexdemilia and mountainfilmcrew.
While most of the WildSnow backcountry skiing blog posts are best attributed to a single author, some work well as done by the group.