Himalaya Autumn 2009 climbing season wrap-up : Basques survive two avalanches on Everest, Manaslu summits, news expected from Shisha.

(MountEverest.net/Madrid) “The weather window suddenly shut up,” the Basque team reported, happy to be alive and back in BC: fresh snow falling on Saturday eventually triggered two avalanches that nearly swept them off Everest’s Japanese Couloir.

Some Altitude Junkies team members have summited Manaslu, while news is expected from a number of other climbers also pushing for that summit – as well as Shisha North side’s. Iñurrategi, Zabalza and Vallejo in Everest BC


Two avalanches swept the Basque team’s bivouac, pitched at 7,200 meters on the Japanese Couloir on Saturday night. The climbers managed to find their way out of the debris and, with their tent buried and ragged to pieces, waited until dawn sheltered behind a rocky outcrop. “We stood since 3:00 am on a 40cm ledge, kicking the wall to avoid frostbite,” Mikel Zabalza recalled.

As morning came, they rappelled down the Couloir in rather dangerous conditions for seven hours.

“It was a very close call,” Juan Vallejo ensured. “Thanks God, we are experienced enough to react quickly in extreme situations – we all knew exactly what to do, and did it fast. That’s why we are safely back.”

Currently recovering from the exhausting experience, the team is not done with Everest though. “Maybe Everest will give us another chance in a few days time,” Alberto Iñurrategi stated.


Margaret, Samuli and Pasang Gumba Sherpa summited Manaslu at 11:00 am and returned to high camp where they are now resting,” Manaslu courtesy of Altitude JunkiesAltitude Junkies leader Phil Crampton reported earlier today. “They will descend to camp three hopefully later and will return to base camp tomorrow.”
News is expected from Dream Guides and the Chilean ski team, both aiming for the top today as well.

Cho Oyu

SummitClimb team, led by Arnold Coster, left C3 at 7,500m on Cho Oyu at 1.30am (Chinese time) today. News is expected on their summit push’s results. The climbers had dealt with some snow falling on their way from C2 the pervious day.

Meanwhile, Himalaya Guides Cho-oyu Norwegian skiing expedition reports on Therese Sjursen and her climbing Sherpa Pasang Bhote topping-out on September 24th at 06:30am, local time. Further team members hoped to follow today or tomorrow.

Jagged-Globe’s team members started their summit day in two groups setting off from C2 and C3 respectively, both on O2, according to leader Chris Groves. Descent was reportedly tough due to snow falling. Read the complete summit report on J-G’s website.

Shisha Pangma

News is expected from some North side’s climbers who set off from high camp early in the morning today, such as Juanito Oiarzabal, Tolo Calafat, Nick Rice and Mario Panzeri.

** Previous story :

–  Himalaya Autumn 2009 climbing season wrap-up : Summits on Cho Oyu, More To Come Soon!

Himalaya Autumn 2009 climbing season wrap-up : It’s Go Time!

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

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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