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Main (true) summit by a new route above Camp 3
With the wind building Iņaki headed up alone on the 3rd of October
*His climb made the Best of Explorers Web Awards 2006*
3 Oct up
The plan was Iņaki and Bob would go to Camp 2 or 2.5 and then head up higher the next day. Conditions were against Bob, we clearly articulated. Instead Iņaki headed off by himself and Bob headed down disappointed.
Briefly, 1am Iņaki left our Camp 1 heading up alone. By morning he was at Camp 3 (no tents there) and called down to say that again the ridge looked too dangerous and he was turning back. Half an hour later he radioed saying that he saw a line he liked. He dropped out of Camp 3 and crossed an area of recent serac collapse then climbed near a rock ridge up to the main east-west ridge to the true summit.
Iņaki radioed again from a little below the summit saying it would be too windy to call from there, and then battled the last distance in waist deep drifts to the summit. This was just before 2pm Nepal time (yes, the mountain is entirely in Tibet, China, but we work on the more sensible Nepal time...)
He had been climbing over 12 hours, from 6400m to 8027m/8046m (depending on which height you believe).
Photo by Iņaki: looking back on the last section of the SW Face route that he joined.
Iņaki and the Central Summit; he is not yet quite at the top of the main summit as this place was sheltered. He poked his nose over the top of the Main summit minutes later into huge winds, hence no photo there.
His was a major mountaineering feat undertaken in difficult and dangerous snow conditions, remember both Iņaki and ourselves had previously climbed higher than any other expedition this season but turned around with safety in mind, and he climbed in extreme wind; only part of the face he climbed was sheltered.
In the evening after some moments of despair around Camp two the Peruvians helped him out and he spent a very windy, tough night at C2. It was so windy that they could not cook food or even melt much water.
Iņaki should reach ABC as I post this...
Actually he was eating our spam and chips from yesterday!