28 Mar

Climbing Manaslu 8163 - The Mountain of Spirits with an iron leg and between operations, my first of five ascents the Manaslu Peak. It was a very bright ascent, just fire! My narration will be mixed with the events from the ascent of Manaslu in 2013, and before the story, the accident when climbing the Killer Mountain K2 in 2012, because one thought forced me to do this ascent at that time: "I will not be disabled!!!". Since then, I have already climbed the Mountain of Spirits, the Peak of Manaslu, 5 times, and I fell in love with it very much. In the summer of 2022, our entire Makalu Extreme team climbed to the Top of K2 in 18 days. The nightmare that kept me awake for ten long years ended in complete victory. Now, at the moment Mount Manaslu and Mount K2 are a part of me. Every year, for ten years, every autumn, we have been climbing Manasla. I have long wanted to write about the events of bygone days. Very often I read absolute nonsense about commercial mountaineering on FB or at risk. The participants are not happy with the guides, the guides are not happy with the participants. But in the end, everyone is good - both of them. Participants, as a rule, entrust their lives to unknown people, believing that it costs less than $ 1,000 (or $ 2,000 or $ 3,000). Well, unscrupulous guides, of course, breed them like rabbits. That's what I want to say. Now I am the organizer of large expeditions. I am both a guide and a senior guide. Twelve years ago, I was a simple, albeit very smart, client. At that time, I was already a master of sport in mountaineering, but I considered climbing above 8000 an increased risk. Moreover, my diverse experience was limited to climbing in the Caucasus. Having gained the necessary experience at high altitudes, she became a guide herself, and then an organizer of ascents, and now the rightful owner of the Makalu Extreme brand and trademark. So I have already studied both sides of this issue very well. Not a lot of pre-history. In July 2012, a rockfall on Mount K2 killed my dyulfer rope. After flying 300 meters on the icy couloir, I was able to cut myself with cats, thus stopping the fall. When I stopped, my left leg broke out of the knee joint just like a chip. My comrades Dawa Sherpa, Adam Biletsky, Yuri Grushnikov and Marsin Kachkan took me off the Mountain, risking their own lives. For two months in a row, surgeons continuously darned me, I underwent 3 operations. All this time it seemed to me that I was still there, on the Killer Mountain K2, and that life had stopped. It's very wild to first climb K2 with a two-hundred-meter coil of rope in a backpack, and a few days later find yourself in a wheelchair. Self-awareness in this form very often does not come to consciousness for a long time, but most often it does not come at all. What does it feel like to be in the shoes of a disabled person? We don't often ask this question. Now, having gone through everything that happened to me, looking back, I can answer you for sure: the life of a disabled person, especially if it was an athlete before, is a complete nightmare. I'm deviating from the topic and I'm writing all this here so that it's clear what's going on. First, first of all, sponsors turn away from you. The administrator of our Club Karelina, Anna Koval, at first just did not pick up the phone, then turned off the phone. So... there's nowhere to train for recovery now. I didn't expect this from them…Gradually, former friends begin to shy away. A friend, whom I considered a brother, for some reason starts yelling at me into the phone. Okay, God is his judge, and I'm just crossing out person after person from my life. In such situations, the circle narrows…So… I won't be disabled! And I won't be a teapot either! Having learned to walk again after 3 operations, I started thinking about 8000+ again. There was still metal in my leg, and I was limping very badly, but autumn was approaching, and I definitely wanted to go a good 8000+. I didn't consider Tibetan at all - Cho-Oyu or Shisha or even Everest from the North, I didn't want to walk on the hills. After all, my normal life stopped at K2. The question was very painful, both for me and for my family. Chatur, my ex-husband, was very against it. He strongly recommended Shisha. But Tibet is not at all what could bring me back to life. I reread a lot of climbing literature, look at statistics... and more. The image of the mountain also means a lot and the legend associated with it. In general, after much thought, I choose to climb Manaslu 8163. Manaslu means Mountain of Spirits in translation. I believe that the Spirits of Mount Manaslu will help me.The image of Manaslu Peak in the photos inspires me very much. Chatur agreed to support me. But in general, I was still practically disabled at that moment. The left leg hardly worked. There was still metal in it, which could be extracted even after climbing Manaslu. But, however, I started running to Mount Akhun, near our house, on the rock. But tromal also did not completely anesthetize, and every workout turned into torment. I chose the schedule, as before the injury - I train for three days, one day off. I was limping very badly, going through all the climbers I know in my head - who can be my guide? After all, I will not be fully capable on the mountain until the end. In the stupor of constant pain, fresh thoughts rarely come to mind. Somehow I'm sitting at home, sorting out photos from Pakistan. I see one photo that an old friend sent during an exp in Pakistan. There is a team on it that will climb Nanga Parbat along the ridge of the Mazeno. Yeah... Zorok Lhakpa and Lhakpa Geduk…Of course, they will help me to carry out my planned ascent to Manaslu. I tell Chatur about it. Chatur thinks that Zorok and Geduk will not go with us - the Golden Ice Axe and all that, most likely they have changed a lot. But still we decided to call them. - Lakpa, Tashi Delek! How are you, where are you? - In Kathmandu so far. How is Oksana's leg? I heard there's a big problem. - Yes, how can I tell you…Well in general Oxana wants to come back…There is metal in her leg for now, but she really wants to return immediately, this fall, along with the metal in her leg. - Where are we going to climb? - She wants Manaslu. She'll pay whatever you say, just get her to the top and back. The child, after all, is still small. - At least he's standing on his feet. - Not only is it worth it, he runs 20 km five times a week, although it hurts, of course, well, at a height this metal in his leg will freeze. - Okay, no problem, let's fulfill her Dream. I listen to their conversation with bated breath… Thank God, they didn't write it off. We decided to take two guides. Lakpa Geduk is Zorok's partner on Nang. A first-class climber and in his energy just a hurricane man. I can't find sponsors. Very quickly we register the Makalu Extreme company in Nepal. I am recruiting participants for an expedition to Manaslu, the Mountain of Spirits. We are lucky, and a whole crowd is easily recruited. Then these guys will go to the Mountains with us for a long time. We pack cargo together with Geduk in Kathmandu. It's a whole mess. He teaches me the art of packaging. - The boss must know the whole process from A to Z – Geduk teaches me. Finally, the day has come when all the loads are loaded on the bus, the whole team is assembled and I'm going to climb Manaslu to return to the Mountains. We arrive in Arugat. Every day is a long walk and wild heat. I just want to pour a bottle of water on myself. Everyone goes at their own pace. They leave Zorok with me. I slow down a lot on all descents and always come last for the night. Well, it doesn't matter. It is only important to go to the top… Gradually gaining altitude. From the village of Lo, we finally see the Mountain. How huge and beautiful she is! It's great that I chose her. This image of the Mountain will remain in memory for a lifetime. It's like love at first sight. I would like to say a few words about the team, our participants. It was a great group of climbers. They took the BL service from us. Thank them so much for supporting this project. That year Dima Grekov, Zamir Kudashov, Dina Terentyeva and Evgeny Vinogradsky went with us. They set themselves the task of entering Manaslu without oxygen, without guides, in general, in the Alpine style. The task, of course, is exorbitant and difficult for a white man. Our cook Dorji Tamang was also with us. As always, he delighted us with his cuisine throughout the expedition. Everything has already been written about the Lakpas, about me and Chatura above. And so. Seeing from the village of Lo, Mount Manaslu in full growth, I just fell in love with the Mountain. Now all that remained was to climb on it. The next day our expedition came to the village of Samagaon. It is very peculiar - a beautiful village at the foot of the Manaslu Peak. It is located right in the pine forest. The whole air is filled with the scent of pine trees. If someone was in Terskol, I can say that there is something similar in Samagaon, only with a Buddhist bias. There are a lot of ancient stupas and prayer drums. There they decided to make a day and acclimatization. From the roof of our hotel there was a great view of the Top of Manaslu, it was simply impossible to look away from it. We all took a lot of pictures of her and took a lot of cool photos from this roof. We went up to the Manaslu Base Camp. They set up camp. Lakpa and Chatur began to build a stupa for puja, and Dorji and I salted a barrel of cucumbers. Pickles are just a buzz in a high-altitude expedition! The next day, after the puja, we immediately decided to go to Camp 1 for acclimatization. We went there and set up tents. In short, we decided to hang out there for now, and go to Camp 2 the next day. Early in the morning, two Lhakpas went to the top to set up Camp 2, and Chatur was left with me. We had to come to Camp 2 on the sly. But then there was the destruction of all my plans. In the morning, early, Chatur and I went to Camp 2. A huge crevice appeared at the entrance to the icefall. And so, I try, and so- I can't go. One leg doesn't work. I'm steaming near the crevice. Chatur is afraid that the newly sewn leg will fly off like a chip with the wrong movement. Eugene appears. While we are hanging out near the crack, he has already managed to come here from the Base Camp. Eugene teaches me how to cross the crack. But I'm not getting anywhere. The leg in which the metal does not obey at all, and only interferes with the twitching pain. Zamir and all the others appear. They cross the crevice and go up.…I'm starting to lose my temper and get hysterical. I grab the radio - Lhakpa, Lhakpa Zorok, where are you? It's Oxana! Can you here me?  - I'm here in the second. What have you got there again? - Lhakpa is a crevice here, I can't cross it, what should I do? How am I going to get to the Summit of Manaslu now? Help me! - Hush, hush, don't be hysterical. We're going to set up camp here now, go down. Chatur with a load let him come out to meet us. You sit in the first one, don't go anywhere. We're here, after we finish everything, we'll go down and fix the ladder on your crevice.  The next day they will really fix the ladder on this crevice. This ladder will be called "Oxana's ladder". We decided to go down to this exit, and then go up to Camp 2 on the next exit. After spending two nights in Camp 1, we go to BL early in the morning to rest. In Camp 1 we also meet Valera Shamalo and a friend, we invite them to visit our camp. Everyone quickly goes downstairs, and Chatur, as always, trudges along with me. To put it mildly, he is not thrilled with what is happening. But at the Base Camp we are waiting for ... a very unpleasant surprise. As soon as I arrive at the Base Camp, a Geduk comes to meet us with tea. - Well, how are you? Geduk asks, his expression shows that he is about to say something important. - Nothing, I'm creeping slowly - Tomorrow, if you really want to climb Manaslu, we will have to go to the Summit push. - Lhakpa, what nonsense. She can't stand it, - Chatur is categorically against it. - I am also against it, this is not how it is done, - Zorok also expresses his opinion, - neither acclimatize, nor high-altitude camps. Have you lost your mind at all?  - So, in short, listen to me!, - Geduk loses his temper, - I have already been to the top twice and I know the Mountain well. If we don't get into this window, then there will be no chance!!! If you want to go to the top, be silent, and do what I say. A lot of thoughts rush through my head- K2, the sound of a rope tearing, training, operations, certificates for climbing Kangchenjunga at Zorok on the wall. After all, I have a Dream, if I climb to the Summit of Manaslu now, then next spring there will be Kanchenjunga. If I don't go now, then this is the beginning of the end. The decision is made very quickly.  - I will try to survive, and then as God willing. Guys, let's go tomorrow, help me! We must definitely climb to the Summit.  I'm going to the dining room. All our people are sitting there. We need to voice it somehow. I explain the situation, I say that I have to go tomorrow. Of course, it's not real without oxygen. Especially since everyone came from the high-rise exit only today. - Oxana, what nonsense is this? This is an emergency! Don't you have a head???,- Evgeny is also categorically against it. - I've already decided. I'll go there as God wills. What do I have to lose? Even though they brought me from K2, but I'm still there. We need to end this. Dorjee stays in the camp, he has the insurance of the whole group, a satellite phone, he knows all the phones of the right people, if something is not according to plan, then he also knows what to do. But my trials did not end there. Zorok and Geduk leave for Russell's camp. Then they come back. Geduk voices the plan. - So, in short. The window will be short. If we get caught on the summit plateau, we're finished, we'll get lost. We leave early tomorrow and immediately go to Camp 2. The day after tomorrow we go up to Camp 4 and at night, at 10 pm we go to the final Summit Push of Manaslu. Then we go down, as it turns out according to the condition. Oxana goes with oxygen from 6500. She doesn't have that much oxygen and I give her mine. I go to the Summit Push myself without oxygen. We do not discuss the plan, but we begin to implement. It very hard. I'm scared to even think about such a schedule. Although oxygen may smooth out the picture. I fill the pockets of Tromal and Dex. Early in the morning, all our people came out to see us off. - Be careful there, we are not at war, - Dima Grekov admonishes us. We agree that the guys from the sports team are always in touch, and, if anything, they will insure. And then, the topic is this. I go without a backpack, all the guys carry- two Lhakpas and a Chatur. There is a ladder on a large crevice, I cross without any problems. There are no special cracks further - the path along the icefall is well hung with ropes. Without any problems, we come to Camp 2. The leg does not really reach, it is tolerable. If it starts to hurt, then I eat another portion of tromal- I have 100 tablets, should be enough. The next morning, we go out at night- Camp 4, - it's very far away. There are several walls on the way, but Zorok pulls me out. At 10 am we are already in Camp 3. We drink tea with friends in a tent and move on. That's where my problems started. The flowing ice begins. It is very painful to hammer it with an unhealed foot. Apparently, the height is beginning to affect. The leg begins to swell abruptly, and, accordingly, the shoe presses wildly. The speed drops sharply. Geduk goes ahead to set up camp, taking a tent, a burner, sleeping bags, etc. Chatur and Zorok stay with me. I barely get out on the traverse. Pancake…There is flowing ice all around. The railing, of course, is hanging, but I'm not able to. I ask Zorok to take me on a short rope. We keep moving. The whole side of the Mountain turns out to be in the shade and then the foot begins to freeze, or rather, the metal in the foot freezes. I'm eating tromal again, it doesn't help. Barely moving. We don't have a tent and a burner - Geduk took it away. The water ran out. Tromal doesn't help a damn thing!!!!!! I eat 10 pieces at once ... Great, because somehow you can move - Well, Geduk gives! What a program! In general, the roof went! Again, the rigmarole begins, as on Nanga, - Zorok already understands that it's a shitty business, too. We go around the turn of the spur and what do we see!!! Geduk is sitting on a rock and holding a thermos of tea! Hurray!!! He says that the camp is no more than 15 minutes at a slow pace. Let's climb into the tent. It's cool, spacious, from Polish winter expeditions. I immediately inject furosemide to drive the swelling from my leg, otherwise it is so swollen that I can't take off my shoes or put them on. It's already 5 o'clock in the evening. While we are having dinner, boiling water and changing socks, it's time to go on the assault. We climb out of the tent. Snow is forming thickly. So far, no one but us has come out to storm. It's snowing in huge flakes. -It will settle down by morning,- says Geduk. He knows the approximate direction. We're crashing somewhere in the deep snow. We approach the big wall. For some reason there is no fixed rope. Zorok climbed up to see what was up there. There was a plateau there. We missed the right hole, where the exit to the plateau is. But there is no snow there. Geduk goes there too. They throw me a railing, Chatur closing. When I get to the plateau, a huge group of Japanese, about 20 of them, passes right by us!!! Cool! We sit on their tail and follow in their footsteps. My leg hurts a lot, and I'm walking slower and slower. We climb to the next stage of the circus. The snow is deep, and the leg does not bend. Movement for me turns into a whole problem. Slowly we cross this circus. I want to fall down and lie down, and so that no one touches me. Please take a break. It's 10 in the morning. The view, apparently, is not important for me. Chatur suggests I come back. I feel so bad that I even give in. We decided to split up - someone with me down, someone two to the top. The guys are starting to come- who is down, and who is on top. Everyone wants to climb Manaslu! I'm lying on a Zorok backpack, my leg is throbbing. - So! Be silent, everyone!,- Zorok starts yelling. I'm the senior here! No one goes down, everyone goes to the top! What the fuck have we been doing here for so long?! That's it, get up, you can do it!!! - Lakpa, don't do this, there's almost an accident here, - Chatur, as always, is very worried about me. - Shut up! You hired me yourself!, - Zorok yells, - so don't spoil my client! And why are you silent?!, - this is already to me, - do you want to go to the top or not??? I get up. I've never seen Zorok so angry. I begin to slowly rearrange my legs. Step, another, step, another…Very, very slowly we came under the peak takeoff. There is flowing ice and fresh snow is rolling on it. I take a few steps and just scream in pain. Zorok takes me on a short rope and just drags me to the top. Geduk and Chatur are already there, at the Summit. - Well, are you there soon???, - they are joking and encouraging at the same time. I fall out on Summit of Manaslu. I'm just lying there, I can't move. It's so cool that I'm here! I cry, I rejoice like a child. My seam is starting to diverge, the whole pant leg is wet with blood, a pink trace remains on the snow. It's incredible, we are here, on the Summit of Manaslu, which is called the Mountain of Spirits. The spirits of the Mountain helped us! Zorok fusses around us and takes pictures with his camera. Meanwhile, snowfall has already enveloped the pre-summit fields.  - Come on, let's get out of here quickly, look at the mess below! - Geduk hurries everyone. We go down to the fields. Dima Grekov is in touch - How are you, where are you? - Dima asks - We were at the Summit, we are going down. Oxana is walking very slowly, - Chatur answers - Do you need help? - a question from Dima - No, we will manage to cover the tracks ourselves, I can't walk in deep snow because my leg does not bend at the knee. And in general, I find myself losing touch with reality. Urgent dexa 10 mg…All right, I'm coming to myself. The guys are in shock - if he sweeps his tracks, we are finished. Zorok has an unexpected solution. He takes a rug out of his backpack (he took it in case of cold weather) and makes a sled out of it, ski poles and rope. - Get in there, - he commands me, - I'll take you, it'll be faster, or we're finished. Chatur goes ahead and digs a trail. Zorok follows him and drags the sleigh in which I am sitting. This is a plateau at an altitude of 8000+!!! We are moving fast enough. When some guides or organizers tell me that it is not possible to shoot from a height of 8000+, I want to answer - everything is possible, but very few people can do it. We approach the railing. I want to start my own descent, but Zorok says that he will lower me faster than I will get off myself. He turns his back to the slope, the sled with me dangling from his harness. It does not fit into the railing. He is in a hurry, while Camp 4 is visible in the breaks of clouds. In those years, there was no such crowd of people on the Top of Manaslu, and, therefore, the hangers stood at a very long distance. We descend very quickly, when suddenly... we both fly down the slope. I grab my leg and try to protect it from blows... - My leg, my leg, it's pi...ec!- I'm yelling, Somehow miraculously stopped…thank god! Chatur came up, he is also shaking. I get to my feet, it seems to be intact. Zorok just laughs. We get to Camp 4. It's already 5 o'clock in the evening. Geduk cooked us dinner and a lot to drink. Zorok says that he sucks- he's fucked up for today, he'll go down to Camp 3, and the guys will stay with me. Tomorrow we will go down, and Zorok will meet us at Camp 3. I immediately fall asleep, but in the middle of the night I explode, the guys also jumped up. It's a cyclone! The tent is tearing up! We slept fully clothed and in cats, so we immediately climb out. This is already a real mess. "We're going down while we're safe, we're leaving everything," Chatur yells. We close the tent, it is stretched well. Grekov and the company can spend the night in it. With difficulty I overcome the ice traverse. It seems to me that this torture will never end. Of the 100 tablets of tromal, no more than 30 remained. I've never seen snow arrive at such a speed. We go down to Camp 3, I'm completely exhausted. The down suit was completely soaked with blod. Which oozes out of the seams. The smell of blood is coming from me. Zorok comes. When I see him, I generally go limp, I start crying, I ask him to take a short rope. In general, he messes with me like a child. Geduk and Chatur collect and carry all the things, and Zorok leads me. By nightfall we go down to L1. The next morning, without any heroic epic, to the Base Camp. Since then, every autumn, we come to the Base Camp under the Mount Manaslu to climb Manaslu - the Mountain of Spirits. Since then, I have managed to visit this beautiful and amazing Peak many more times, with my team more than a hundred people were able to climb Manaslu. The feelings then and now are completely different! Now, without a broken leg, it's a thrill and a photo shoot!!! Get full information and sign up for the link to climb to the Top of Manaslu right now at the link https://www.makaluextreme-treks-expeditions.com/ or call and write on WhatsApp +7-918-104-23-18

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