Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Thirty-four: September 27th, 2009

2009 Shishapangma Expedition

Day Thirty-four: Climb from Camp III to Central Summit

Today, after deciding to wake up at 4am thanks to the wind, Mario and I struggled to prepare our backpacks and gear for our summit bid in the crammed icy tent. We decided that the EV2 would be fine for a lower camp where our gear could be stored outside, but for a high camp, we should have brought up the EV3 we have in Camp II. We finally decided that Mario would prepare first and go outside the tent while I started preparing. He started up with Juanito and Tolo as I finished getting ready, and I finally emerged around 4:45am. Light began to hit the ridge at 5am, eliminating the need for our headlamps. We continued up the snow slopes, the snow having built up the night before, making the way difficult until we reached the final summit slope. Clouds began to come in as we climbed from the north summit to the central summit. We surveyed the ridge to the Main Summit and saw clearly that the ridge was far too corniced and prone to a very large slab avalanche. It was too risky. Both the ridge and the Chinese Traverse routes were far too dangerous with current snow conditions. Disappointed, we started down to Camp III in near whiteout conditions with light snowfall. We arrived around 5pm, Jorea deciding to head down further to Camp II where the night would be warmer, while the rest of us stayed in Camp III. Mario and I decided that we would head up again after a few days of rest and try to summit the Main summit via the Iaki route, as originally planned. Amazing that we are willing to go to this much trouble over a few meters of altitude difference between the Central and Main summits.

Photos: Left: The slope from above Camp III to the Gendarme and Summit ; Right: The final slope to the Central Summit

 

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