A Taiwanese climber who reached the top of Manaslu — the eighth highest peak in the world — in “record-breaking” time and without using supplementary oxygen has had her incredible claim thrown into question.
Earlier this month on October 4, the ‘Goddess of Mountaineering’ Grace Tseng made the announcement that she’d reached the 8163-meter summit in Nepal in a reported 13 hours without extra oxygen tanks.
But since completing the climb, which has been well documented on Tseng’s social media pages, doubts have risen amongst fellow climbers not over the summit itself — but rather around whether she completed it in the 13 hours as suggested.
News.com.au does not suggest Tseng’s ascent to the top of Manaslu in record time isn’t accurate, however, the website ExplorersWeb suggests that the bad weather experienced by other climbers means a summit in just 13 hours would’ve been incredibly difficult to achieve given the circumstances.
With a surge of deep snow over the mountain, as well as a good part of the trail unmarked and ropes missing from the higher slopes, many climbers found the conditions so challenging, that group expeditions on the mountain allegedly retreated. As a result, it is understood Tseng and her small team of sherpas were left to climb alone.
“There was one meter of fresh snow — murderous conditions for even a slow trudge with oxygen, let alone a speed record without oxygen,” the website ExplorersWeb, a source for climbing and mountain news and updates, suggested.
“Ropes were also reported missing from Camp 3, and the trail was not packed down from Camp 4 to the summit.”
According to the website, the mountain experienced three days of high winds prior to the day Tseng’s record was broken.
“On October 1, at around 3 p.m., it started snowing and didn’t stop all night,” the site read of the weekend of the climb.
“Climbers heading for Camp 4 stayed in Camp 3. Those coming down from Camp 4 after their summits got lost because of missing or buried ropes.
“Some were hit by small avalanches, luckily without major injuries. Some Sherpas moved from Camp 3 to Camp 4 in the morning to supply more oxygen for those waiting higher up, but in the wind, drifting snow had filled in their packed-down trails.”
Lorena Coroiu, who had retreated to Base Camp at the time of Tseng’s climb, said completing the summit in record time would’ve been incredibly difficult.
“In the conditions, I saw on the mountain, I think it is hardly possible to complete the route in 13 hours.”
Compared to Kristin Harila, Pasdawa Sherpa, and Dawa Ongchu — who all climbed in similar conditions on Manaslu in late September — the trio needed 19 hours just to get from Camp 3 to the summit with bottled oxygen. According to Tseng’s record, that distance was covered in just 8 hours and without additional oxygen.