Flor Cuenca Blas conquers second eight-thousander; Mt. Manaslu

A t 08:40 local time, on September the 28th 2017, Peruvian native Flor Cuenca Blas summited Nepal’s Mt. Manaslu, which rises to 8,156 meters above sea-level. In doing so, she became the first ever Peruvian woman to have successfully climbed two of the 14 ‘eight-thousanders’. This follows her successful climb of Mt. Cho Oyo in October 2016, the 8,201metre high behemoth that straddles the Nepalese/Chinese border.

Born in Chuspin, Ancash, at the heart of the Andes, Flor developed a love for mountains and nature from a young age. A member of the Club de Andinismo Wayra, she has climbed mountains in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and in the European Alps. She has 14 brothers, who also share a great affection for the mountains.

Known affectionately as ‘Flower’ in the world of mountaineering, she managed to reach Manaslu’s summit without the support of Sherpas, the Nepalese ethnic group renowned for their climbing skills and superior strength at high altitude, who regularly assist international climbers. Flor didn´t made use of supplementary oxygen tanks, and benefitting from a clear climate with few winds, it took just 8 hours to reach the summit after departing from her camp at 7400m. When she reached the top she shouted ‘summit!’.

Mt. Manaslu is the world’s eighth highest summit, located in the Mansiri Himal Massif of the Himalayas, and is the highest peak in the Gorka district; its name means ‘Spirit of the Mountain’. As of May 2008, there have been 297 successful ascents, and 53 deaths on Manaslu, making it the world’s fourth most dangerous peak, more dangerous even than Mt. Everest.

After summiting, she successfully made her way down to base camp, from where she has begun her return to Kathmandu. From there, she will fly to Germany, where she currently resides. Her summit follows the success of Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, who in 2016 became the first Peruvian woman to summit Mt Everest. Prior to Cuenca´s summit, Víctor Rimac Trejo from Huaraz in 2016 and Richard Hidalgo from Lima conquered Manaslu with success.

Author: Frederick Clayton

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