Carlos Pauner on Annapurna summit, April 27th, 2010.
courtesy Carlos Pauner, SOURCE
AdventureStats on Juanito and Pauner Annapurna: summits are valid
Posted: Aug 26, 2010 05:24 pm EDT
Compiling climbing statistics in Himalaya and Karakoram is a tedious job. More so with the all increasing number of mountaineers migrating to the high altitude peaks each season. One willing to take the time and effort to record all ascents is ExWeb's valued contributor Rodrigo Granzotto Peron.
The Brazilian historian's latest 5-part chronicles offered much useful information; and a big controversy. The issue being whether Juanito Oiarzabal & Carlos Pauner's Annapurna summits (spring 2010) are valid, since they were airlifted from C4 on descent (after performing a failed rescue effort of a stranded climber).
Peron's opinion is that they are not, while ExWeb/AdventureStats side with the Himalayan Database and mountaineering tradition: a summit is a summit, no matter how the climber gets down - if at all. Thus, if a climber dies on descent, his summit still counts for the record. If he or she para-glides down, or is airlifted from lower camps, it's still a summit.
However, the style label can be affected. Thus the use of supplementary oxygen, even if only for emergency, disqualifies a non-oxygen style ascent. Equally, a solo climber who is helped down by others after summit cannot claim a "solo-climb."
Progress in technology and high altitude flights could well impose other limitations on style in the future. That's what the debate is about. Yet until such restrictions are decided on by the climbing community,
Juanito Oiarzabal and Carlos Pauner's summits are valid at AdventureStats.
The Annapurna airlifts were part of an unprecedented rescue operation performed by Air Zermatt pilots. Juanito and Carlos remained for two days in C4 upon return from Anna summit, waiting for stranded mate Tolo Calafat, who finally perished. Horia Colibasanu joined the rescue attempts as well.
Whether Oiarzabal and Pauner were healthy enough to descend under their own power does not affect the fact that they summited Annapurna on April 27th, 2010.