Monday, October 06, 2008
Himalaya Update: Deaths on Cho Oyu
As was predicted at the end of last week, it was a busy weekend in the Himalaya, with summit attempts on several mountains. Unfortunately, it also proved to be a tragic weekend, as two climbers have been confirmed to have died on Cho Oyu according to the latest updates from ExWeb and Everest News.
In separate reports from the Field Touring Alpine Team and the Summit Climb Team over the weekend, it was reported that two climbers, Guy Leveille and Miha Valic, both perished on their descent. The two men were not climbing together, and the accidents were completely independent of one another as well. According to the FTA report, Guy was turned around by his guide about 60 meters below the summit. While the details are still a bit sketchy, it seems that he fell on his way down. As for Miha, there is very little to report either, but the Slovenia media has confirmed that he was indeed the second death on the mountain. These weren't the only incidences on Cho Oyu over the weekend, as there are other reports of problems as well, including a report that a climber needed to be resuscitated using CPR after his collapse too. Despite these accidents, a number of climbers did top out over the weekend, with successful summit teams being reported by all the major guide services on Cho Oyu.
On Manaslu, the reports are much less grim, as teams summitted on that mountain over the weekend as well, including the Altitude Junkies Team and Jagged Globe as well. It is also reported that Edurne Pasaban was amongst those that topped out, giving the Spanish climber her 11th 8000m peak. Rumor has it she'll be moving to Tibet to being preparing for her attempt on Shisha Pangma next.
A few other quick notes from the region. The American Dare To Dream Expedition has turned back on Annapurna IV due to poor weather, and has not begun to move over to Annapurna I where they'll establish camp and begin work on that mountain. On Makalu, Spaniard Jesús Calleja reports that summit attempts are done on that mountain thanks to the heavy snow and abundant avalanches at altitude, and finally Fredrik Ericsson and his crew have reached base camp on Kangchenjunga. He and the team hope to be the first to make a complete ski descent of that mountain.