Just before an avalanche swept through Camp III on Manaslu this past Sunday morning around 4:30 a.m., skier Glen Plake was resting inside his tent with teammate Gregory Costa. Strong wind gusts kept them awake. Their teammate Remy Lécluse was in another tent. The three men, of the Moguls to Manaslu expedition, aimed to be the first team to climb and ski the peak without supplemental oxygen. Costa told Plake he thought he heard an avalanche, and seconds later one hit their camp. Plake survived, battered and bruised. Lécluse and Costa are still missing, and presumed dead. In the video above from Epic TV, Plake shares his story about what happened this past Sunday morning.
UPDATE: Plake also appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 and told his story. Those two videos are included below.
In the wake of the deadly avalanche that swept through Camp
III on Manaslu this past Sunday, climbers shaken by the events have decided to pack
up and return home or go for the summit. As teams report
on their decisions by email, phone and blogs, new details have emerged about
what happened this past Sunday morning.
Nine climbers are reported dead following the massive avalanche that swept through Camp III on Manaslu this past Sunday, according to both the Associated Press and The Guardian. A local police chief said eight of the bodies had been taken down off of the mountain and a ninth body remained at Camp III. At least six people are still believed to be missing on the slopes of the world's eighth-highest mountain, according to the AP and CTV.
Reports said that more than two dozen climbers were stationed at Camp III when the avalanche hit. Debris swept down to Camp II, where teams gathered to help in the rescue and recovery efforts. A total of 231 guides and climbers were on the mountain, but most were in lower camps, according to the AP. It is not the first tragic accident on Manaslu. An avalanche in 1972 left 16 dead.
I've written before about Jonathan Siegrist, the Colorado sport climber who's been establishing hard new routes in the United States while many of his peers have focused their efforts on destinations like Spain. This month, Siegrist was at it again. The 26-year-old traveled to Idaho's Fins, where he put up the state's hardest pitch, the 5.14d Algorithm. Luckily, Keith Ladzinski and Andy Mann of 3 Strings Media were on hand to capture the send. On his blog, Siegrist describes how it went down:
Dealing with your climbing
rope at the crag is often a tangley affair. Most rope bags are some sort of sack
that holds a detached tarp. While you’re climbing, the tarp is out of the bag
with the rope piled on top of it, protecting the rope from getting dirty or wet
or snowy. But when it’s time to move to a new route, the rope has to get rolled
up into the tarp, which then has to be stuffed into the sack. Often, wrestling
of said sack and rope and tarp ensues, which can cause rope tangle by the time you get to your next