Himalaya fall 2006: Brand new list of expeditions is up!

Posted: Sep 07, 2006 07:05 am EDT

(MountEverest.net) Climbers migrating to Cho Oyu report that the usual pictures of Dalai Lama in Tibetan homes have been replaced by images of Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese president. How appropriate then, that Colombian climber Camilo Lopez hopes to solo a repetition of Free Tibet. In Cho Oyu BC meanwhile, a runaway truck already flattened three Italian tents. Another Himalaya season has kicked off and here goes a heads up on this fall's most important players:

Everest - first fall attempts in 2 years

Despite 3000+ summits and considerable evolution in gear, weather forecasting and infrastructure, Everest off-season expeditions are still rare and the technically more challenging climbs have almost vanished - from 26% between 1953-1980, down to 5% in the 90s and 1% during the millennium.

This year however, Everest has a post-monsoon visit - and on both sides, too!

The most spectacular: On the north side, Basque Alberto Iñurrategi, Juan Vallejo and Ferran Latorre will attempt the north face (much more difficult than the normal route on the north ridge), climbing w/o O2, in alpine style, via the Hornbein Couloir. Alberto, who has already summited all 14 8000ers, is leading the small crew on the snow-packed, bitterly cold and steep Everest face.

Meanwhile, four-time Everest summiteer Wally Berg's small, mostly American crew is fixing all the logistics on Everest south side. Dave Hahn (seven Everest summits), Kit DesLauriers (World free skiing champion and mountain rescuer), Kits husband and also extreme skier Rob, photographer Jimmy Chin, Dr. Bryce Brown, and Michael Boni are making a lonely fall attempt on Everest southern normal route.

Annapurna - Abele Blanc and Silvio Mondinelli back after losing Christian Kuntner

On Annapurna, one year after surviving the serac fall which killed Christian Kuntner, Abele Blanc (Kuntner's regular climbing mate and also injured in the accident) and Silvio Mondinelli (who was with Christian in his last moments) are headed back to the dreadful peak. Silvio summited Shisha Pangma and Lhotse earlier this year his 11th and 12th 8000ers. Anna is Abeles last summit to complete his quest for the 14 Himalayan giants.

Dhaula - Ivan Vallejo back to attempt 13th 8000er

On Dhaulagiri, Ecuadorian Ivan Vallejo is back for his second attempt and 13th 8000er. Ivan summited Kangchenjunga this past spring - if Dhaula pans out, the only 8000er peak left for Ivan to summit is Annapurna.

Two Polish climbers will make a bold attempt on Dhaula after only summiting Ama Dablam and other 6000ers in the Khumbu region last year, while Mischu Wirth is the leader of Kari Kobler's guided team, on Dhaulas classic Swiss route.

Manaslu will be visited by a large guided Japanese team. No teams have reported plans to climb Makalu.

Shisha - Joao Garcia headed for 8th 8000er; American ski- and snowboard descends; Edurne Pasaban; Japanese prep climb for Lhotse winter

On Shisha Pangma, Portuguese Joao Garcia is headed for his 8th 8000er after summiting Kangchenjunga in spring. American Tom Torkelson meanwhile hopes to fulfill a long-time personal goal; to ski from the summit of an 8000m peak. Katharine Donan from Jackson Hole might attempt a snowboard descent from the summit. A Japanese team will climb Shisha Pangma from its normal route on the north side, as a preparatory climb before going for a very ambitious goal: The south face of Lhotse in winter.

Edurne Pasaban is back, this time to climb Shisha's south face (British route) along with long-time friends Asier Izagirre and Luís Mari Pikabea, plus Esther Sabadell.

Spaniard Iñaki Ochoa de Olza is teaming up with American Tom Jem (not Torkelson as reported earlier) and sharing permit with Project-Himalaya. Currently involved in summiting all 14 8000ers, Iñaki ticked off Manaslu, the 10th summit on his list earlier this year. Jamie McGuinness (Project-Himalaya) is leading the team on Shishas normal route. I am hoping this expedition will be a case of fifth time lucky, said Jamie, who previously reached Shishas central summit four times. Word is also that a bunch of Colombians are headed to the peak.

Cho Oyu is packed, but Colombian climber Camilo Lopez hopes to leave the crowds behind in attempting to solo Free Tibet, a route opened in 1996 by Spanish Oscar Cadiach and Austrian Sebastian Rucksteiner. Free Tibet is approached from Cho Oyus normal BC, but instead of following the NW face, it traverses across the so-called Russian Col to the mountains NW ridge.

Check out the first edition of the brand new 2006 fall expedition list for more teams and all the details. Godspeed climbers!

#Mountaineering #Mountaineering


Climbers migrating to Cho Oyu report that pictures of the Dalai Lama (left) in Tibetan homes have been replaced by images of Mao Tse Tung (right) and the Chinese president. How appropriate then, that Colombian climber Camilo Lopez (middle) hopes to solo Free Tibet. Image compiled by ExplorersWeb (click to enlarge).