Himalaya 2009 climbing season wrap-up : Ueli’s first trip up Makalu West Pillar, Cho Oyu teams ready for C1, expeditions’ equipment searched at Tibet’s border.

(MountEverest.net/Madrid) Climbing action is underway: Ueli Steck has reached 6,700 meters on a scouting trip up Makalu West Pillar, while Cho Oyu and Shisha teams are taking positions in ABC.

According to teams still in Kathmandu, Chinese police is searching the expeditions’ gear at the border – a Belgian climber was reportedly kicked out after officers found a “Free-Tibet” flag among his personal equipment.


“On September 4, I reached 6700 meters on Makalu’s West pillar,” Ueli Steck reported from BC on Sunday. “I felt very good and motivated. I also had the chance to study the pillar from very close. The route looks very difficult: steep rock and ice climbing on over 7500 meters. Otherwise, the weather was good and the snow conditions plain amazing. It was a good trip to get well acclimatised and to study the route.”

Conditions turned for the worse as Ueli returned to BC. The team is currently sitting out a snowy spell.

Shisha Pangma

“It’s that time again – It’s the post monsoon season and I’m heading back to the hills,” Andrew Lock reported over Contact 4.0 from Bangkok’s airport. “After putting off the expedition last season, I am now returning to the Himalaya to launch that attempt on Shisha Pangma. My team is Neil Ward from Wales – with whom I climbed on Makalu in 2008 and in Tibet in 2007, and Kinga Baranowska from Poland. Kinga has six 8000ers under her belt.”

”If all goes well, we’ll obtain our climbing permit in a couple of days, cross the border into Tibet and commence the journey to BC,” Andrew added. “I hope to hit ABC around the 16th of September. Climbing should commence immediately and with luck we’ll launch our summit attempt in early October. If all goes well…”

Spaniards Pauner and Oiarzabal, also aiming for Shisha’s normal route, are already in BC.

Fellow Spaniard Edurne Pasaban, heading for the South side, landed in Kathmandu yesterday. “We plan to leave for Tibet on Friday – let’s hope we have no problems to cross the border,” Edurne wrote. “We’ve been told that a Belgian team got their gear registered by border officials – who found a “Free Tibet” flag in one of the expedition’s drums. The team was allowed to enter after long negotiations, except for the owner of the flag, who was banned and refused a visa. He is apparently on his way back home.”

Cho Oyu

IMG’s Cho Oyu climbers are also in ABC, planning to take a first acclimatization trip to C1 yesterday. “A total of 8 other groups have rolled into ABC so far and several more are at Base Camp,” the team reported. “We’re out in front so that’s good!” cho oyu abc

Another front-line expedition on Cho Oyu is Jagged-Globe’s: “The last few days have involved a couple of acclimatisation walks, and an afternoon practicing on fixed ropes again,” Jack Grover wrote earlier today. “The weather has been as expected – clear mornings with showers in the afternoon, then clear evenings. Tomorrow is our Puja and we plan to head to Camp 1 for our first night on the mountain proper after this blessing ceremony.”

Meanwhile, Alpine Ascents’ team was on their way to Tingri from Nyalam today.

* Previous story  : – Himalaya Autumn 2009 expeditions.

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

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3 Responses

  1. Glad to hear teams are already at Base Camps and settling in.

  2. You guys are amazing. I love following your adventures.

  3. @wrmayo i’m two rows behind you. golang, supercollider, perl, c, c++, openframeworks. i’ve worked with the twitter api, soundcloud, etc. etc

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