Himalaya Fall 2009: Andrew Lock Claims Last 8000m Peak!

The weekend news from the Himalaya begins with Andrew Lock, who reached the summit of Shisha Pangma last Friday, claiming his final 8000 meter peak, and becoming the the 18th person to summit all 14. The details on the climb are still a bit thin, but judging from his latest dispatch, it sounds like things were a bit treacherous on the descent. Andrew reached the true summit on Shisha, along with Neil Ward, but on their way down they were forced to camp, without gear, at 7600 meters. They did return to BC eventually, but have yet to share the details of their harrowing climb. I sense there is a good story here. Congrats Andrew! Well done.

Also on Shisha Pangma is the Summit Climb Team, which I reported last week were having some drama high on the mountain. One of the members of the team, Bart Dirven, had collapsed on the descent, and was having a difficult time making his way down after a successful climb to the Central Summit. Bart was suffering from exhaustion and altitude sickness, but in their latest update, it was reported that the entire team, including Bar, were down safe and sound. Crisis averted!

Meanwhile, over on Annapurna, the Korean team was turned back this weekend due to bad weather conditions high on the mountain. They are all back in base camp now, and plotting another attempt. ExWeb is reporting that they hope to make their next summit bid sometime next week, with an eye on being on top by October 15th, provided they get a weather window to proceed. This has temporarily put a halt to Oh Eun-Sun’s attempt to become the first woman to summit each of the 8000 meter peaks.

Over on Dhaulagiri, we have word that there is an Italian team making an attempt on that mountain. There hasn’t been a lot of news from Dhaula this fall, but that doesn’t mean it is deserted. The Italians went up as high as C3 over the weekend, but were also forced back down due to inclement weather. They hope to make another attempt, weather permitting, later this week.

Finally, teams are clearing out of the Himalaya and heading home. Alpenglow Expeditions returned to Kathmandu on Saturday, and Field Touring Alpine has already vacated the region, but they still found time to post an excellent trip report from their recent climb on Satopanth.

Clearly, the days are numbered on the Fall Season. Winter is not far off, but there are very few climbs during that season.

Kraig Becker

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