Home > Expeditions & Adventures > Himalaya wrap-up: Italians for a new route + ski descent on Shisha’s South face, Simone’s Cho Oyu SW face expedition aborted

Himalaya wrap-up: Italians for a new route + ski descent on Shisha’s South face, Simone’s Cho Oyu SW face expedition aborted

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Roby Piantoni’s team is eyeing a new route on Shisha’s South face, while member Adriano Greco will attempt ski from the top down the Yugoslavian route. Fellow Italian Simone Moro also hoped to open a new route, on Cho Oyu’s SW face, but the Tibetan border closure has left him out of time for the climb; and with no other sensible option but to head home without even setting foot in Tibetan soil.

Shisha Pangma

A strong Italian team led by Roby Piantoni, Marco Astori, Yuri parimbelli, Adriano Greco and (French) Dominique Lathuraz is getting ready to attempt a new route on Shisha Pangma’s south face. “We have eyed-up shares the first pitches with the Loretan-Troillet route, and then follows along a rocky spur which leads straight to the summit,” they reported. Upon reaching the summit, Adriano Greco will ski down the Yugoslavian route.

After training their skis and crampons on a 6,000er near BC, the climbers will complete their acclimatization by reaching as far as possible on the British route.

On the peak’s North side, SummitClimb’s Dan Mazur reported on a Chinese/Tibetan team “apparently” reaching the top yesterday. It is unclear though, whether they topped-out the Central or Main summit. Meanwhile, Dan’s climbers were heading up to C3 today, and set off towards the summit tonight.

Cho Oyu – SW face

“We cannot live our dreams by the rules which others have imposed upon us,” Simone Moro stated earlier today. “An exploration and adventure is born and grows from the depth of our soul, from the deepest and most free part of ourselves. The Cho Oyu Trilogy Expedition was born in this way.”

“The problem is the sudden and unplanned decision of the Chinese authorities to categorically close the border between Nepal and Tibet. No entries into Tibet are allowed, even if the necessary permissions and permits have already been obtained. From the moment that the Chinese made their non-negotiable decision they started to play a game with the dates. Every day the date of the border opening has changed, slipping later and later. Today we had the news that the 10th October would be the first possible date of entry, but even now no assurance that this would finally be definite. For us, the 25th October would be the last possible day for our expedition to leave from the base camp of Cho Oyu, due to our professional and personal commitments. This means that we would be forced to accept to make our expedition, with its three very diverse elements, in only 15 days (including the time to make the journey to base camp and to return to Kathmandu).”

“For sure this is a certain ‘craziness’. If we played the game in this way we would give a bad example, and we would not show to others the spirit by which we choose to live […] So with sadness we categorically say ‘no’. We are returning home.”

Simone and his Cho Oyu trilogy mates have decided to “freeze” the project and return home together, as a team, rather than switching to individual, alternative goals in Nepal.

The Czech team’s attempt to open a new route on Cho Oyu’s SW face was halted last week after they were nearly swept off by an avalanche, shortly after pitching a tent at 6,900m. “After five hours descending among avalanches, we decided to leave ABC and not to continue the climb.,” the team reported. “At least, we will attempt to summit Cho Oyu via its normal route,” they added. According to plans, the Czech would set off from BC towards the top today.

In the news: K2 pioneer Charles Houston passes at 96

American K2 explorer and high-altitude physician Charles Houston died Sunday, Sept. 27th. he was 96 years old.

Houston was member in the pioneering 1935’ Nanda Devi expedition –the highest mountain ever summited at the time, and took part in two K2 expeditions: in 1938 and 1953. The later expedition became legendary after the team got pinned down for ten days in a storm at 7,800m, and then performed an amazing effort trying to help down a critically ill member, Art Gilkey. On descent Pete Schoening saved almost the entire team at a mass fall, and Gilkey eventually died. Houston described the epic climb on the book “K2: The Savage Mountain.” and later had his biography written by Bernadette McDonald under the title: “Brotherhood of the Rope.”

As a doctor, Houston was a world-wide reference in High-Altitude related sicknesses.

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