The big news in this round-up is that two new routes have been opened, one on the South Face of Nuptse and the other on the North Face of Tengkangpoche. In the case of Nuptse, French climbers Patrice Glairon-Rappaz and Stéphane Benoist went up alpine style, climbing the 2300 meter summit wall in a non-stop push. The pair spent four days on the wall before reaching the top on October 28th, and it’s still unclear if they then proceeded to the summit or not. In the case of Tengkangpoche, a young Spanish team of climbers overcame another 2300 meter climb on their way to the summit ridge, where they turned back due to bad weather. The team, consisting of Manuel Córdova, Silvestre Barrientos and Sidharta Gallego, climbed a very steep ice ramp up to the saddle, Tengkangpoche and Ramdung on their new route. They’re currently back in Namche Baazar and plotting their return home.
Meanwhile, most of the other teams in the region are now working on ways to get home themselves. The season is quickly coming to a close, and the reports out of Lukla indicate that there are as many as 1500 climbers waiting for a lift back to Kathmandu. The small city is the gateway to the Himalaya, and most teams pass through it on the way to their various climbs, but getting back to the capital for their return flights can be a much more challenging endeavor.
Finally, the local government of the Navarra region of Spain has awarded the Golden Medal of Sports’ Merit to the team of climbers who attempted to rescue Iñaki Ochoa on Annapurna last spring. Those climbers included Horia Colibasanu, Alex Gavan, Minhia Radolescu, Nancy Morin, Alexey Bolotov, Sergei Bogomolov, Robert Szymczak, Mingma Dorji, Nima Nuru, Pinjho, Pemba, Ongchu and Onchu, who were on hand to accept, while Ueli Steck, Simon Anthamatten, Don Bowie and Denis Urubko also were honored, but couldn’t make the event. Iñaki was from this region of his home country and was well known amongst his countrymen. At the end of the evening, those in attendance raised their glasses and toasted his memory. The great Spanish climber is still missed quite deeply in the community.
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