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Dhaulagiri: Iñaki and Christian launch a new speed summit bid!
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May 4, 2005 09: 11 EST
Iñaki Ochoa de Olza and Christian Stangl departed today (4th of May) at 6:00 pm, local time, from Dhaulagiri Base Camp (4,650 m). Their goal: A speedy non-stop ascent up to the summit (8,167m)! Both climbers returned to BC yesterday from a previous summit bid, frustrated due to large amounts of snow on the mountain. During that attempt, the climbers, including German Pete Guggemos and Lakpa (Pete’s Sherpa), turned back at 7600m.

Back in BC yesterday, Iñaki commented that they had given it their best shot, “while Italians and Koreans wait for someone else to move first – this being a fact, not a criticism.”

Breaking trail and fixing rope

Ochoa described how he went ahead of the summit push team (Stangl, Guggemos and Lakpa), breaking trail all the way, and fixing ropes from 7100m on. “Dhaula’s most difficult sections are between 7100 and 7400, so I had to work twice as hard, breaking trail and fixing rope. I enjoyed the climb a lot, that was climbing for real. But I must confess that I got slightly frightened in some sections too!”

He waited for his mates at 7500. They were very tired when they got there. “It was clear that the summit would be left for another day. We proceed for another 100 meters before turning back. By 7600 I was also tired and fed up. I didn’t want to assume another attempt in avalanche prone terrain on my own.”

Just a few hours of rest

Four hours later they were back in BC, ready to rest and take another shot at the peak in the next few days.

Iñaki and Christian seem to be immune to fatigue. The Spaniard told his home team he was in great shape. He also reported that the weather conditions were apparently good on the mountain’s higher slopes.

Italians Romano Benet, Nives Meroi, Luca Vuerich, Mario Cedolin, Erri De Luca, Cesare Giuliani, and Roberto Allo; Slovenian Klemen Gricar, Austrian Christan Stangl, German Peter Guggemos, Spaniard Inaki Ochoa, and Ecuadorian Ivan Vallejo are currently climbing Dhaulagiri. Most of them will head for Annapurna immediately afterwards.

There is also a Korean team on the spot, climbing with four high altitude Sherpas.

Iñaki Ochoa de Olza (born in Pamplona, Spain, 1967) is currently involved in completing the 14 8000+ m peaks, having already summited nine of them: Cho Oyu three times (1993, 2001, and 2004), K2 (2004), Makalu (2004), GI (1996), GII (1996), Lhotse (1999), Everest (2001), Nanga Parbat (2003), and Broad Peak (2003). He has also summited Shisha Pangma Central (1995).

Image of Iñaki, courtesy of Iñaki Ochoa de Olza/Lorpen-Diario de Navarra expedition.
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