Himalaya Fall 2009: Weather Halts Many Climbs

The season appears to be over on a number of big peaks in the Himalaya after high winds and bad weather put an end to a number of climbs over the weekend, sending teams home without reaching the summits of their target mountains.

ExWeb reported yesterday that the Basque Team on Everest have abandoned their attempt on the Hornbein Couloir and are now headed home. The team only had one real shot at the summit along that route, but dangerous avalanches denied them on that occasion, and while they waited for another weather window, it became apparent that it wasn’t going to happen.

Meanwhile, the story was a bit different on Shisha Pangama, where on the North Side, Nicholas Rice reported in that they climbed up to C1 on Saturday, only to find that their tents and other equipment they had stashed there. They suspect that it was a Sherpa team with a Chinese squad who have already left the mountain, but aren’t positive of that fact. They also suspect that Camps 2 and 3 have been raided, and are disheartened by the fact that they not only had to give up on their summit bid, but have lost thousands of dollars of gear in the process. Two months worth of toil down the drain thanks to another selfish team.

On the South Side of Shisha, Edurne Pasaban and her crew attempted a summit bid over the weekend, but found their camps were missing as well, but for a completely different reason. The high winds swept them off the mountain completely, leaving them with little gear to proceed up. The team is back in BC and looking to borrow gear from some of the teams that are preparing to go home.

Over on Cho Oyu, a similar story is told by the Adventure Consultants, who wanted to make their bid starting on Sunday, but were also turned back due to high winds. With their weather window closed, they’re also headed home.

No word from Annapurna as of yet. The Korean team was hoping to wait out the weather and make another go at the summit, hoping to put Miss Oh on top and get her the coveted spot of the first woman to climb all 8000 meter peaks. At this time we don’t know if that is still a reality or if the window is closed there as well.

Kraig Becker

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