Iñaki Ochoa: The Full Story

BasecampMay5 SM
There were a couple of reports on the Hardwear Sessions Blog over the past few days giving us a glimpse into what Iñaki Ochoa’s last hours were like. A few weeks after his death now, and his shadow still looms over the mountaineering community.

First, Ueli Steck wrote this story that gave a few more details, but is mostly Ueli being his modest self and not really wanting to talk to openly about the situation. He says that they did their best, which I’m sure we all already understand, but that Iñaki was already too far gone when he arrived on the scene. He takes some comfort in knowing that Iñaki was never alone through the whole ordeal.

Yesterday, a second, and longer article was posted after being translated by Patricia Bamert and Cynthia Houng. The original text was written in German by Edi Estermann, and appeared in the “Schweizer Illustrierte” a few days back.

This article gives us a step by step account of what happened, especially from Ueli’s point of view, as he and Simon Anthamatten rushed up the mountain to try to help Iñaki. It’s a story of bravery, self sacrifice, and amazing fortitude, that unfortunately didn’t have a happy ending. But, it also shows that there are some selfless personalities in the climbing community who would risk everything to try to save someone. Ueli and Simon climbing Annapuran in their summer gear shows the lengths they were willing to go to try to get Iñaki down alive.

The second story in particular is a bit hard to read at points, but it tells the story in detail and fills in some of the gaps on what was happening while the rest of us waited, watched, and hoped for a miracle.

Kraig Becker

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