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Double-header team sizes up Dhaulagiri
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Apr 6, 2005 10: 41 EST
The international team attempting Dhaulagiri and Annapurna this spring is on the way to Base Camp…just at different paces and from different places. The team will meet in Dhaulagiri’s BC on April 12th or 13th.

The Italians and Ivan Vallejo departed Pokhara yesterday and started their approaching trek from the village of Beni. Ivan reported that there were nine Italian climbers attempting Dhaulagiri, plus himself. Nives Meroi, Romano Benet, Luca Vuerich and Ivan will afterwards head for Annapurna, while the rest return home.

The ‘Spanish-German connection’

Meanwhile, Spaniard Iñaki Ochoa de Olza departed Spain today for Kathmandu. Once there, he will join Peter Guggemos, and together they will start their approaching trip.

The team will be climbing Dhaulagiri’s NE ridge. Apparently, each will at his own pace and according to his own strategy. However, they have one thing in common: Neither of them wants to waste a single day on the climb.

Iñaki on the run again

Iñaki is shooting for an “express climb” all the way from BC to the summit. Ochoa launched a similar bid on Dhaulagiri in 2002. Back then, he reached 7.800 m before turning back due to the high avalanche risk. Before departing, the Spaniard mentioned that his shoulder seemed to have recovered, and that he foresaw no physical problems during his upcoming double-header. Iñaki sprained his shoulder after he was caught in an avalanche during a solo attempt on Shisha Pangma several weeks ago.

Shisha Pangma’s solo ascent was Iñaki’s first goal this season. The attempt was aborted when Ochoa was caught in an avalanche during the summit bid.

Next week he will join Pete Guggemos and Italians Nives Meroi, Romano Benet, and Luca Vuerich to climb Dhaulagiri. They will then move to Annapurna’s North side where he will share a permit with American Ed Viesturs.

Ivan Vallejo’s original plan was to climb Kangchenjunga. But the lack of other teams to share permit fees with made him change his mind and join the international team for Dhaula and Annapurna.

Image of the international team during their arrival in Pokhara, by Klemen Gričar, courtesy of Ivan Vallejo

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