the morning of April 5, 2002 six climbers from the
Pacific Northwest region of the United States will
depart Seattle en route for Kathmandu. Their objective
is to reach the summit of Manaslu via a route similar
to the line pioneered by the Japanese in 1956 – the
Japanese reached the summit plateau via an east facing
icefall whereas the Americans plan to ascend the
somewhat longer yet safer North Ridge. Tom Fitzsimmons
of Olympia, Washington serves as expedition leader.
The team will begin their trek from the outpost town
of Gorkha; from there they will follow the Buri
Gandaki valley to the mountain village of Samagaon.
Base camp will be established above Samagaon at
approximately 15,000 feet. The team will operate in
expedition style using fixed line and four established
Three experienced Sherpa climbers, one of whom has
stood atop Manaslu’s 26, 775 foot summit, will
accompany Mr. Fitzsimmons, Scott Boettcher, Jerome
Delvin, Michael McGuffin, Dan Percival and Brian Sato
on the climb.