The 2010 Himalaya season is probably still another week or two away from really getting started in ernest, but as I mentioned while back, there are already some teams on the ground in Nepal, with more than a few climbers making their way to Annapurna. ExWeb has an update from that region, with the news that Edurne Pasaban and her team are preparing to go to Camp 2 as early as tomorrow.
Edurne and company have been on the mountain since last week, and have already set up BC and Camp 1. Today they are planning to hike back up to C1 and spend the night, then proceed up to Camp 2 tomorrow, where they’ll cache their supplies for the climb ahead. The Spanish climber has just Annapurna and Shisha Pangma left on her list of 8000 meter peaks, and she’d love to knock them both off this season. To do that, she’ll need to acclimatize now, and get an early summit on Annapurna, before moving over to Shisha once Tibet re-opens to visitors.
Another woman chasing the glory of being the first female to nab all of the 8000 meter peaks is Korean climber Miss Oh Eun-Sun. She has just Annapurna left for herself, and is now in the process of preparing for that mountain. According to ExWeb she is currently acclimatizing on Tharpu Chuli, also known as Tent Peak, and will join her support team next week to begin the trek to base camp. Miss Oh has become such a celebrity back home that her climb will be broadcast on television there, and reportedly there is a crew of 15 following her from the network alone.
Meanwhile, Kinga Baranowska is back in the Himalaya and on her way to Pumori, which will serve as a warm-up for Annapurna. Currently, she and her “Pan-European” team are enjoying a trek through the Khumbu region, and reached Namche Bazaar a few days back. The all-star team of climbers from across Europe include Piotr Pustelnik and Kinga, both from Poland, Horia Colibasanu of Romania, Peter Hamor from Slovakia, Russians Sergey Bogomolov and Evgeny Vinogradskiy and Joao Garcia from Portugal. As you can imagine, all of those nationalities has led to some interesting language barrier issues amongst the team so far, although they do seem to be getting along well.
So, it seems that for now, Annapurna remains the center point of expeditions in the Himalaya. The 26,545 foot mountain may be the 10th highest in the world, but it is one of the most dangerous and difficult to climb. At this stage of the season, I’m sure there is still plenty of snow on the mountain. Hopefully it’ll remain safe in the days ahead.