Greg Hill’s Account of the Manaslu Avalanche

The Canadian mountaineer on the slide and the conditions leading up to it

Climber on Manaslu. PHOTO: GREG HILL

“In all mountain travel there is an assumed risk, one that we take since we are searching for adventure.”

That’s how Greg Hill starts his account of last weekend’s fatal avalanche on Manaslu, and it underscores how important it is to weigh risk in the mountains. Hill is most likely still alive because he chose an untraditional campsite and was away from the main camp when the slide kicked off.

Hill’s story is worth reading. He outlines the political backstory of why so many climbers were on the mountain, why he chose to camp where he did, and what the snow conditions were like.

It’s harrowing, particularly when he writes about the scene right after the slide and how random the tragedy seemed to be. There was no logic to the slide: some people survived unscathed while their tent-mates were buried.

It’s never really possible to make sense of tragedies like this, but Hill’s account helps to explain the scene and his personal decision-making. You can read his full recap here.

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