Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Twenty-one: September 14th, 2009

2009 Shishapangma Expedition

Day Twenty-one: Pauner to Chinese BC; Visit from Juanito Orizaba

Today, after a quick breakfast, Mario and I headed down to Carlos Pauner’s base camp to bid him a safe journey back to Spain. Unfortunately, he had already departed at 6:00am, and was (hopefully) well on his way half-way down to Chinese Base Camp, where the jeep would be waiting for him. Disappointed that we had missed him, we headed back to our camp to do dishes and make water. Once this was done, we headed down to the camp just below us to see what was going on. They were at the tail end of the Puja ceremony and invited us down. We socialized for a bit, and were invited for lunch. This was the Summit Climb expedition and consisted of a very international crowd; An Irish, Dutch, Spanish, German, American/British, and Greek made for a very diverse demographic. Ironically, the Dutch climber was reading Wilco’s book about the 2008 K2 tragedy and recognized my name from the book. I was sure that anything Wilco had to say about me would be negative (as it had been in many of his magazine and news interviews), but of course I don’t speak Dutch, so I asked him to keep an eye out for my name and report back anything that Wilco might have said about me, with the presumption that it wouldn’t be true. After an enjoyable lunch with the group, I headed back to our camp and settled into my tent with a book. Late in the afternoon, Juanito Orizaba (who’s summated all fourteen 8000 meter peaks and now is going for a second ascent of all of them; so far he has reached the top of 22 of the 28 summits (2x14)) and another Basque stopped by to plan our joint summit bid. We decided that the four of us made a very strong team and that we would work together to determine the best route to reach the main summit (rather than the more easily accessible Central Summit). We would decide after reaching Camp III whether to attempt the traverse or go via the Ińaki variation. For the moment, the wait is on the weather. After the meeting, Mario and I made dinner, socialized for a bit, then headed to bed in a very windy base camp. 

Photos: Left: Shishapangma viewed from Advanced Base Camp ; Right: Shishapangma viewed from the upper route to the deposit


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