Himalaya 2011: Edurne Pasaban Shares Details On Lhotse Rescue

6a00e55031d3a38834014e88f0eaa9970d 500wi

In the numerous Himalaya climbing updates I’ve posted over the past few months, I’ve made mention a couple of times of the rescue of some Spanish climbers on Lhotse following a harrowing descent of that mountain. One of the climbers who aided in that rescue was Edurne Pasaban, who has shared more details of the incident with the National Geographic Adventure Blog.

Edurne, who is one of the top mountaineers in the world, had gone to the Himalaya to climb Everest once again, this time without oxygen. But the weather wasn’t cooperating, and high winds and cold temps were making that attempt very challenging. The window for a successful summit narrows greatly when you’re going up with out the O’s. Pasaban, and her team, elected to back off from their summit bid and wait for a better opportunity, which ended up never appearing.

While down in Base Camp, the word came in that there was trouble on Lhotse, and some climbers had run into trouble while making their way back down from their own summit bid. It turns out, they were Spanish climbers who happened to be friends with Edurne, who hails from the Basque region herself. Without hesitation, she joined the rescue team that was being organized, and went back up the mountain to help out her friends and countrymen.

It took another two days before the rescue was fully completed, and the tale of what happened is a dramatic one. For those who haven’t already read the story, I recommend giving it a look, as it is not only a story of the challenges of the mountains, but also the camaraderie that comes along with the “Brotherhood of the Rope.”

By the way, this is a reprint from a dispatch that was sent to Edurne’s blog a few weeks back, but it may have slipped under the radar when it was originally published. After all, back then there were a ton of updates coming from the region as climbers all scrambled for their chance to stand on top of Everest and the other big peaks.

Kraig Becker