Image by Edurne Pasaban courtesy Edurne Pasaban
Shisha's south face is next for Edurne. Image courtesy of Pasaban's website (click to enlarge).
L/R: Juan Vallejo, Mikel Zabalza and Alberto Iñurrategi aim for Everest Hornbein Couloir in alpine style. Image courtesy of Basque Team Expedicioa (click to enlarge).
Basques gearing up: Iñurrategi for Everest Hornbein, Juanito's 14x8000ers repeat, Edurne to Shisha
Posted: Aug 21, 2009 02:29 pm EDT
(Mounteverest.net/Madrid) Among Spanish climbers, those from the Basque country are considered a special breed for a reason.
In spite of having completed the 14x8000ers list Juan Juanito Oiarzabal and Alberto Iñurrategui are back for more. Meanwhile Edurne Pasaban is hoping to turn Shisha Pangma into her 13th 8000+ meters summit in September.
Iñurrategi back to Everests Hornbein couloir
The Basque Team Desafioa gave a shot to Makalu West Pillar in spring this year. Now Alberto Iñurrategi with regular mates Juan Vallejo and Mikel Zabalza are headed to Everest Hornbein Couloir.
It would be only the second alpine style ascent via Hornbein, after Loretan & Troillets 1986 climb. Alberto and Juan are familiar with the route after a previous attempt three years ago, thwarted by bad conditions.
Edurne & Co. for Shishas South face
Fully recovered from frostbite sustained last spring on Kangchenjunga, Edurne Pasaban now wants to turn Shisha Pangma into her 13th 8000er.
In her fourth attempt on the mountain, she will go for the British route on the south face, together with Kangchen mates Ferran Latorre (camera), Asier Izaguirre and Alex Chicon.
As usual, Edurne is leading the expedition, launched by Spanish TV series Al Filo de lo Imposible. (Ed. Note: Al Filo is currently directed by Carmen Portilla; former director Sebastian Alvaro, recently involved in Oscar Pérezs rescue attempt retired from Spains public RTVE network last year.)
Focused on the 14x8000ers quest Edurne is still a candidate to become its first female. After summiting Nanga Parbat and GI in July/August this year Korean Oh Eun-sun is however on top of the list and heading for Annapurna, her last goal, in September.
Asked about the subject, Edurne denies rumors she might attempt a Shisha+Anna double-header to equal Eun-sun. I'm sticking to plan and focusing entirely on Shisha Pangma. I love that route and really want to climb it."
"I can´t afford to have my mind distracted by a second peak, least of all Annapurna, she told ExplorersWeb. Once I'm done with Shisha, Ill think of the next goal; not before though.
Juanito Oiarzabals 14x8000er challenge take two
He already did them all but retirement is not an option for Juanito Oiarzabal. At age 53, he wants a repeat! I already climbed seven of them twice, so the project is definitely underway, he told ExplorersWeb.
No one has done it before, and probably never will its too tough, too risky but thats my motivation, Juanito reflected.
I almost lost my life on K2 in 2004: it took three years to recover and feel like an alpinist again, albeit with feet reduced to stumps. Since I achieved that, I'm not going to retire and neither is anyone going to make me. I know I'm not as strong as I was 15 years ago but I'm more experienced and still able to acclimatize remarkably well.
Originally expected to Join Edurne Pasabans team on Shisha, Juanito reportedly prefers to climb the peak via its normal route on the NE side, and thus will join fellow Spaniard Carlos Pauners expedition.