Home > Expeditions & Adventures > Himalaya wrap-up: Shisha Pangma true summit encore and Miss Oh on Annapurna SUMMIT PUSH

Himalaya wrap-up: Shisha Pangma true summit encore and Miss Oh on Annapurna SUMMIT PUSH

“I find it funny that you can reach Shisha´s central summit and think you are on the main one,” the late Inaki Ochoa told ExplorersWeb two years back, in relation to American Danielle Fisher’s Shisha Pangma summit claim.

And it’s that time again; “I stand on the summit of wonderful Shisha Pangma, 8013 meter above the sea,” Swede Annelie Pompe, 28, was quoted in Swedish media yesterday. Check ExWeb’s encore on true vs. false summits below.

In other news: Korean Oh Eun-sun is on a three-day summit push on Annapurna.

Annapurna

“Miss Oh Eun-sun is climbing well ahead her scheduled plans,” sponsor Black Yak told ExWeb’s Korean correspondent Kyu Dam-lee. “On October 1st (today) she is heading to C1. On the following day she’ll pitch a bivouac somewhere between C2 and C3’s locations, in order to attempt the summit on Saturday or Sunday.”

Everest

After two rest days in ABC Alberto Iñurrategi, Mikel Zabalza and Juan Vallejo are ready for a new attempt on Everest’s Super-Couloir (Japanese+Hornbein couloirs combination) as soon as they get a favorable weather forecast.

Shisha Pangma summit claims

World record holder in summited 8000ers, not even Basque Juanito Oiarzabal could surpass Shisha’s biggest crux. “The summit ridge was heavily corniced and treacherous,” he reported last week. “We tried to advance for three hours from Shisha’s Central summit. We were in danger all the time; I was seriously concerned. Then bad weather came in and we realized it was impossible to go any further – we turned around.”

In light of this, the following official statement made some waves yesterday: “It’s 11 AM in Tibet, and I stand on the summit of wonderful Shisha Pangma, 8013 meter above the sea,” Swede Annelie Pompe, 28, reported in mainstream and outdoor media yesterday.

It took a while – and a number of heated emails from upset readers – for the editors to at least correct Pompe to “Central Summit.” (Mainstream readers could use an explanatory note to avoid misleading).

Seems that lack of editorial fact checks and personal relations to the climber sparked the postings. One media outlet simply removed an online correction post while another editor urged ExWeb, “be kind to her, she is such a nice girl.”

Juanito Oiarzabal, Inaki Ochoa, and most top climbers continue to point out that a fore summit, a central summit, a green summit, or a pink summit – no matter what you call it – are never the true summit.

Check Inaki’s take here ExWeb interview, Inaki Ochoa part 1: “the summit is where everything goes down in any and every other direction”

Shisha Pangma’s massif has several outstanding points rising above 8,000 meters – at different altitudes. The so-called Central Summit (8,008m) is barely a shoulder of the Main Summit (8,027m), which is the only real top. The fact is definitely obvious to every climber attempting Shisha – they just need to look up to notice.

As on a number of other 8000ers, the biggest obstacle to the main summit is not the final difference in altitude but the crux leading up to it. Shisha’s normal route on the north side follows a straightforward itinerary to the Central summit – where the problems start, in the shape of a knife-sharp ridge, which often shows bad conditions due to unstable snow and cornices. That’s how Juanito Oiarzabal (23x8000er summiteer), Mario Panzeri, Nick Rice and Tolo Calafat found it last week. After tree hours trying to progress along the ridge and, according to Juanito, risking their lives, they called the attempt off and returned back to BC.

Iñaki Ochoa forged a new variation route in 2006 by traversing below the summit ridge and then climbing up a steep couloir which actually leads to the Main summit. Climbers currently on the mountain’s North side such as Andrew Lock (on his last 8000+ peak), Kinga Baranowska, Neil Ward, and maybe Panzeri and Rice in a second attempt, are reportedly intending to follow the longer but safer Iñaki’s route.

Commercial expeditions frequently stop at the Central Summit. Such is the case of Dan Mazur’s SummitClimb – as he openly reported (to his credit) today. “Our entire team is on the Central summit of Shisha Pangma,” Dan told his home team over sat-phone at 9:30, Nepal time. “We’ve got Bart Dirven from Holland, Haris Kiriakais from Greece, Alejandro Fernandez Riba from Spain, Richard Pierse from Ireland, Karsten Koenig from Germany, Dan Mazur from England and the United States, Gyalje Sherpa and Jangbu Sherpa from Nepal.”

In previous updates, Dan explained the team’s Sherpas had fixed all the way to the (secondary) top – but there was nothing to secure climbers along the summit ridge. Conditions are unlikely to have changed since Juanito & Co.’s attempt. At this point, there are no confirmed reports of anyone summiting Shisha Pangma this season.

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