Letters from Sophie Lavaud: October 6th, 2022

summit cake

Dear friends,

We reached camp 4 at 7430m on 30 September in appalling conditions, a wind with peaks at 60 km/h. The doubt is there and I see the failure looming.

On the other side of the planet, in Chamonix, Yan Giezendanner sends me his weather reports twice a day. He is confident, “it will do, he writes, the wind will fall tonight.” Many climbers come down, “too much wind, not possible.” and we settle down in our tent.

The hours are staggered, of course, impossible to sleep with this noise.
The atmosphere is special. In addition, Sangay got sick between camp 1 and 2, he really suffered to reach camp 3 and his decision is made not to continue so as not to compromise my summit.

A young sherpa, Nima, takes over. Doubt is growing…
In our tent at camp 4 hours pass, and indeed the wind calms down. Lakpa Temba, Alex, Nima and I decide to leave for the summit at 1h30 in the morning, the stars are there and the sky is calm.

These few hours of calm allow us to progress well but the cold and fatigue win Alex who decides to turn around with Nima. With Lakpa Temba we reach the TRUE summit of Manaslu in good conditions at 6:50 am on October 1, 2022.

This famous TRUE summit that has caused so much ink in recent months. We are almost alone at the summit. Amazing when you know that there are about 400 licenses registered this season!

A few pictures later we start the descent, we find Alex at camp, and Sangay at camp 3. All together we go down to the base camp. Despite a very chaotic season, this lull of a few hours in the night allowed us to sneak up to the magnificent summit of Manaslu at 8163m. Thank you Yan!

Kathmandu October 6, 2022

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