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Iñaki takes fall in Avalanche, Shisha attempt over!
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Mar 18, 2005 09: 08 EST
Iñaki Ochoa de Olza was caught in an avalanche yesterday during his solo attempt on Shisha Pangma. He fell 100 on the North Ridge route. Luckily, he suffered no serious harm and made it back safely to BC.

Yesterday, Iñaki set Camp I at 6000m but resumed the climb after pitching the tent. He wanted to check the snow conditions and open a trail for the summit bid the following day.

Too fast to escape

"I was doing good,” he told his home team. “But after traversing a plateau at 6.500m, I noticed that the snow conditions there were bad. The risk of avalanche was too high, so I turned back.

A moment later I heard a roar behind me. I turned around to check what was going on: There was nothing I could do, I was caught and fell about 100 meters down the slope. It has been so scary!".

Iñaki is now in back Base Camp with a strong pain in his right shoulder: "I don’t know what’s wrong with the shoulder; it may be sprained. I'll head home to have it treated andto recover before going for Dhaulagiri and Annapurna in April and May. I expect I can make it back to Kathmandu by the 23rd of March. I’ll go to hospital there for first aid and then travel home to Spain to rest for some days."

On his solo attempt on Shisha Pangma, Iñaki reached Chinese BC in Tibet on March 4th and established a ‘proper base camp’ at the foot of the mountain two days later

Weather conditions had been poor since then. He launched a summit bid as soon as his forecast announced a small weather window opening yesterday. He planned on reaching the summit today or tomorrow.

Shisha Pangma’s solo ascent was Iñaki’s first goal this season. Afterwards, he will join Pete Guggemos and Italians Nives Meroi, Romano Benet, and Luca Vuerich to climb Dhaulagiri. Along with the Italians, he will then move to Annapurna’s North side where he will share a permit with American Ed Viesturs.

Iñaki Ochoa de Olza (born in Pamplona, Spain, 1967) is currently involved in completing the 14 8000+, 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/Navarra8000.
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