Home > General > Fall season is on – teams on the move and Steck’s solo plans for Makalu West pillar

Fall season is on – teams on the move and Steck’s solo plans for Makalu West pillar

September 13, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Barely hours after the list of expeditions was published more teams showed up – such as Piolet d’Or winner Ueli Steck gunning for a solo climb on Makalu West Pillar.

The great bulk of Himalayan expeditions will arrive in Nepal and Tibet starting next week but some early birds are already on Asian ground.

Ueli Steck: Makalu West Pillar – solo!

Fresh from summiting GII on his own this summer, Swiss Ueli Steck is ready to attempt a first solo ascent on Makalu West Pillar in a single, lonely push.

Photographer Robert Boesch and mountain guide Andy Waelchli will come with Ueli but only as far as BC.

Everest, Dhaula and Manaslu teams hit Kathmandu

Alberto Iñurrategi, Juan Vallejo and Mikel Zabalza departed Spain last Friday and after a couple of days in Kathmandu, they’ll move to Tibet and Everest Hornbein couloir.

Also in KTM are Mexicans Badia Bonilla and Mauricio López, planning to hit Manaslu’s BC by September 12th and the Chilean team led by Rodrigo Fica, heading for Dhaulagiri.

A second Chilean expedition, led by Andres Jorquera, started the trek to Manaslu’s BC already last week. Andres’ team hopes to ski the peak.

“Our team members are now starting to arrive in soggy Kathmandu in anticipation of our beautiful trek towards base camp on September 1st,” Altitude Junkies’ leader Phil Crampton reported. Team members are Steve Faloutico (USA), Paul Ilacqua (USA), Brenden Savage (Australia), and Margaret Watroba (Australia). Samuli Mansikka (Finland) has previously guided for Dan Mazur’s SummitClimb and will be climbing Manaslu independently from BC.

Shisha Pangma: Pauner and Juanito in “Chinese” Lhasa

Leading the pack of Shisha Pangma teams, Carlos Pauner and Juanito Oiarzabal are already in Lhasa – which Carlos found difficult to recognize after ten years.

“I first saw Lhasa ten years ago – now I am utterly surprised at how much the place has changed,” Carlos wrote. “Wide boulevards, big cars, modern buildings… it’s a proper Chinese town, far from the mystic, meditative environment of old times’ Lhasa. Progress is here to improve some things, but also to steal part of the place’s essence. Military and police presence is overwhelming – a sad reminder on how the changes have been made around here.”

FTA: from BP/K2 and Latok rescue to India’s Satopanth

With virtually no time to recover from Broad Peak + K2 expeditions and Oscar Perez’s rescue attempt on Latok II, FTA’s leader Chris Szymiec is back on track. “Needless to say, it’s been a tough summer on the Baltoro – and don’t even get me started on the Biafo!” he wrote in an email to ExplorersWeb from Kathmandu yesterday.

“FTA is heading to Satopanth peak, Garhwal Himalayas (India). It will be our first commercial expedition to the 7075m peak. I am leading three other members and one high altitude porter,” Chris added. “I expect to land in Delhi on Sep 2 and then move to Gangotri.”

Chris’ mate in Pakistan Fabrizio Zangrilli is leading an expedition on Pumori. Also, FTA has gathered a second team heading for Ama Dablam.

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