Pemba Gelje Smashes Manaslu FKT

Pemba Gelje Sherpa reached the summit of Manaslu at 7 am Nepal time, 12 hours after setting off from Base Camp. In the process, the Nepali climber smashed the previous fastest known time, set by Francois Cazzanelli, by an hour. He also beat out American Tyler Andrews, who had started an hour before Gelje Sherpa. Andrews turned around without reaching the summit.

Both speed hopefuls departed on the same day from Base Camp, but possibly from different points and with a one-hour difference. Neither used supplementary oxygen.

Andrews kept a great pace to Camp 3 (at around 6,900m), arriving 3 hours and 44 minutes after leaving Base Camp. He continued to Camp 4 but eventually decided to call the attempt off, as shown by his tracker. He is currently resting in Camp 3.

Andrews holds FKTs on several peaks, including Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua, but Manaslu was his first time on an 8,000’er.

Tyler Andrews’ tracker puts him in Camp 3 at 2 pm Nepal time, September 27.

Pemba Gelje is on his way back to Base Camp and still moving fast. At the time of writing, he is at 5,800m, approaching Camp 1. You can follow the descent live on his tracker here.

While Andrews had announced his FKT attempt on 8,163m Manaslu, Pemba Gelje had told those he met at Samagaon Village that he was returning to Manaslu for a climb “without clients.” No one knew it was going to be a speed record attempt.

Further details are expected when the climbers return to Base Camp.

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