Himalaya Autumn 2009 climbing season wrap-up : Satopanth summits, Himalaya climbers reporting on trash.

(Mounteverest.net) While most teams in Nepal and Tibet remain busy rope-fixing and acclimatizing, summit news just arrived from India’s Garhwal Himalaya: FTA team summited 7,075m Satopanth in great weather today.

Meanwhile, the 8000+ environment watch continues: This time its Spanish climbers denouncing tons of abandoned expedition junk on Everest and Shisha Pangma.


After spending one night at 7,500 meters, Alberto Iñurrategi, Mikel Zabalza and Juan Vallejo are back in ABC on Everest North side. Alberto Iñurrategi and Mikel Zabalza shoveling snow at 7,500m on Everest's North Col route

The climbers report lousy snow conditions, “we sank up to our knees in fresh snow and found dangerous wind-slabs in some places.”

“A westerly wind picked up at night – the blizzard pounding our tent without mercy,” reported Alberto. “We had to constantly dig out; there was no way to get any sleep at all.”

Now done with acclimatization, the Hornbein Couloir is next. “A huge avalanche has left the lower part of the route dry, and there is an ugly, long bergshrund exposed,” climbers reported. “We need to rest, check conditions and wait for fresh weather forecasts before deciding on the next step.”

The team reported a Japanese expedition currently attempting Everest via the North Col route and complained about a great deal of trash in Everest ABC. “There is no control by the Chinese authorities – and the place is becoming a high-altitude garbage dump,” they wrote.

Shisha South side

“While acclimatizing in Base Camp, we took the chance to clean up trash left behind by former expeditions,” Pasaban reported from Shisha Pangma yesterday. “In a couple of hours, we picked over 200 kilograms of trash!”

“We’ve piled it up in a corner and plan to burn it after we finish the climb – the team’s Sherpas said it would be extremely bad luck to burn trash before we’re done on the mountain,” said Edurne.

Shisha Pangma North side

“After a great Puja ceremony yesterday we are itching to get onto the mountain,” Andrew Lock reported. “We all have coughs and colds but the weather is excellent Shisha's North side BCand not to be wasted. Neil made an equipment carry to camp 1 today; Kinga and I will climb to camp 1 tomorrow and sleep there before carrying some equipment to deposit at camp 2.”

All other north side teams are also on their rotation trips up to C1 and/or C2, in spite of a stormy spell wrapping the mountain by the end of last week. SummitClimb team have slept one night in C1; Juanito Oiarzabal managed to reach C2 for the night last Friday in spite of bitter cold, while his new mates Marco Panzeri and Nick Rice had barely time to pitch a tent in C2 and retreat to ABC in increasing winds.

Meanwhile Carlos Pauner is back home in Zaragoza. “He sustained a major blow,” Dr. Morandeira told Barrabes.com. “Carlos’ side looked as if he had been hit with an axe! It was plain luck that none of the snapped ribs caused internal hemorrhages; since there is no chance for an airlift from Shisha Pangma (Chinese authorities have outlawed chopper flights). It was lucky he was strong enough to make it back to KTM on foot and by car.”


The Chilean team staked out the route from the end of the fixed ropes (at 6,200m) to 6,600 meters last week. They covered the upper sections on skis, until the snow became too soft and crusty. Russel Brice’s and Henry Todd’s expedition followed, fixing ropes along the way.

Dream Guides’ team stated there are two other expeditions intending to ski down from Manaslu’s top, (besides themselves and the Chileans): A Swiss team and a group just arrived in BC from France.

Cho Oyu

Cho Oyu teams are also completing their acclimatization rounds up to C2 – summit pushes are expected in a few days, weather permitting.


“Chris called in this morning from the summit of 7075m Satopanth, along with co-summiteers Italo and our HAPs Raj and Raj,” Field Touring home team Stu just reported.
“Chris said the views were amazing and the weather could not have been better. They plan to descend to C2 today and then all the way back to BC tomorrow for a celebration.”

* Previous story  :

Himalaya Autumn 2009 climbing season wrap-up : Puja Done, Time to Move Up!

–  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.

Himalaya Autumn 2009 expeditions.

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

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One Response

  1. I am looking forward to summit the Satopanth in fall this year, and have commenced preliminary research, et al. I would be great to know from you the route Chris took and details of the itinerary and the HAPs.


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