Home > General > Basques gearing up: Iñurrategi for Everest Hornbein, Juanito’s 14x8000ers repeat, Edurne to Shisha

Basques gearing up: Iñurrategi for Everest Hornbein, Juanito’s 14x8000ers repeat, Edurne to Shisha

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 Everest’s 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 & Troillet’s 1986 climb. Alberto and Juan are familiar with the route after a previous attempt three years ago, thwarted by bad conditions.

Edurne & Co. for Shisha’s 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 Pérez’s rescue attempt retired from Spain’s 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, I’ll think of the next goal; not before though.”

Juanito Oiarzabal’s 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 – it’s too tough, too risky… but that’s 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 Pasaban’s 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 Pauner’s expedition.

Categories: General
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