Manaslu, the Mountain Kingdom expedition ends with Luca Macchetto's summit
At 11:30 on 30 September 2012 Luca Macchetto reached the summit of Manaslu (8163m); this is the end of the Mountain Kingdom expedition to Manaslu which on 23/09/2012 was struck by an avalanche that killed 13 people. Italian mountaineer Marco Confortola also reached the summit on the 30th. The ascent report.
Luca Macchetto, Mario Monaco, Roberta Vittorangeli and Punuru Sherpa left Base Camp on 27 September and after a night at Camp 2 at 6350m, and after having checked the conditions and safety of the route, proceeded to Camp 3 on the North Col at 6850m.
On 30 September they set off shortly after midnight up the long, demanding climb to Camp 4 at 7400m (the line of ascent had been fixed on 28 and 29 September by the Seven Summits and Himex Sherpa); from here the route continues towards the summit via a series of gentle slopes which give way to steep walls of snow and ice; the weather was good, but cold and fairly windy. Roberta stopped at 7550m together with Punuru Sherpa due to cold feet (reasoning that it's better to have feet in order than an 8000er under her belt...); Mario stopped at 8020m due to cold feet too, while Luca reached the summit at 11.30: a great climb, congratulations to all three and, in particular, to Luca.
Roberta and Punuru descended to Camp 2, Mario to Camp 2 but via a great run with his skis; Luca on the other hand stopped at Camp 3 which he reached at 16.00. On 1 October they all returned to Base Camp, welcomed by Cesare Cesa Bianchi who did not take part in the actual ascent but followed it unfold via the continuous radio calls.
The expedition is now getting ready to return and packing up Base Camp. What awaits is a splendid trek down Buri Gandaki to Arughat and Kathmandu which will be reached on 11 October.
Mountain Kingdom Expedition - Manaslu 2012