27 August 2012, Sama Gompah, Nepal (3500m / 11,482 ft) – After a couple of days in Katmandu shuffling papers, stocking up on last minute supplies and doing their best to steer clear of beggars and con men, the Moguls to Manaslu team – Rémy Lécluse, Greg Costa and Glen Plake – launched into rock star mode and caught a heli straight from Katmandu to Sama Gompah.
Rémy Lécluse: “We had a few hassles with the paperwork in Katmandu but everything’s sorted. We flew out this morning at 7:00 and now we’re in Sama Gompah, which, at 3500 meters, is where we’ll acclimatize for a few days before heading into Manaslu base camp.”
Glen Plake: “My leg still feels like I’ve been kicked by a horse but it’s getting better. Traveling is great! I haven’t been on an expedition in two years and it’s good to get back on the road. We had some great views of the mountains this morning from the heli flight in. The pilot even told us it was one of the best days in nine years. We’re here at a great lodge house in Sama Gompah to acclimatize for a few days. We’re hearing rumors that Cho Oyu has been shut so Manaslu could turn into a freak show. Our plan is to go slowly but we want to stay ahead of the crowd.”
[editor's note: At 8,201 meters high, Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world and one of the best choices for those wanting to ski an 8000-meter peak. If the Chinese government denies access to the peak, the skiers who had planned to go there would most probably choose Shishapangma or conceivably, Manaslu, as a backup plan.]
Greg Costa: “We had a dream day today – it was the best flight of my life. I’ve done a lot of flying in the Alps but this one was crazy! Glen and Rémy are a very good team to travel with. We feel good physically and we’re laughing a lot. There are so many girls in this village it’s crazy. So cool. After we finish the expedition, I’m not going back to Chamonix. I’m staying here!”
To learn more about the team’s plan to ski Manaslu without oxygen, check out our interview with the team the day before they left.