Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up : Edurne safe back in BC.

May 20, 2009
(MountEverest.net) Exhausted, frostbitten, almost unable to speak – but alive – Edurne Pasaban stumbled into Kangchenjunga BC this evening at last.  Edurne Kangch BC New

On Lhotse, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Hiro Takeuchi bagged their 12th 8000er, while Ralf Dujmovits completed his 14x8000ers list (check a previous news story). Russian climbers summited Pumori (normal route) and Miotk’s Polish team is progressing on Nanda Devi East.

Kangchenjunga: Edurne safely back in BC

“I just want to rest,” Edurne Pasaban barely whispered into the camera at her arrival in BC late afternoon today. “And big thanks to my team – had they not been there with me, I wouldn´t have made it.”

The Basque climber reached BC after 3 days of a hairy descent from Kangchenjunga summit. She’s exhausted and shows signs of frostbite in two toes and a thumb. Alex Chicon who looked after her all night in C3 yesterday suffered frostbite as well.

Check a video of Edurne’s arrival on Al Filo’s website.

Commenting the situation, Simone Moro told ExWeb yesterday that Kangchenjunga is an underestimated mountain whose difficulty lies in the altitude and upper topo – especially for climbers going without supplementary oxygen. “The peak is only little lower than K2, while the way to the top and back is very long with seemingly never-ending gently rolling sections to be traversed on very high altitude,” Simone said. “If you run out of steam you are stuck on the spot – there is no steep slope to slide down.”

A very hoarse Juanito Oiarzabal told Spanish radio that the ascent was incredibly difficult, while descent was plain hell. “We almost turned back twice on summit day. In spite of being sick with some kind of a flu, it was Edurne who pushed us forward. We were exhausted and cold coming down, it snowed hard at times.”

Edurne and Alex will be airlifted from BC tomorrow, weather permitting. Forecasts announce a snow storm moving in tomorrow afternoon.

Kinga and Jon

Also the Koreans summited (on 02), according to Kinga Baranowska who plans to post details after reaching BC and recharging her sat-phone batteries.

“We did it! We actually reached the top,” Jon Gangal wrote in BC: “After two failed attempts, this time we topped-out.”

Jon, Mattias and Sherpas Dendi and Dawa Tenzing reported light snow during the summit night. Climbing on O2, they were among the first to reach the top.

Nanda Devi East: Summit attempt brewing

“Marcin Miotk and Grzegorz Mroz have arrived at Base Camp – now all ten expedition members are at  Polish C1 on Nanada Devi East NewNanda Devi East,” the Polish team reported. “Weather is good and the climbers hope to reach the summit soon. Meanwhile, they’re fixing ropes on three pinnacles that rise on the way to the ridge.”

Pumori: Russian summits

“The group of mountaineering veterans summited Pumori via the normal route, breaking trail in very deep snow,” Nickolay Zakharov, the head of the Krasnoyarsk team, told RussianClimb today. “The main team, attempting to reach the top from the peak’s South face, were forced back 200 meters shy from the summit due to high avalanche risk.”

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* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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