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Lonely Jubilee: Ivan Vallejo Kangchenjunga no go
image story

Mar 1, 2005 10: 50 EST
It's another no go for this year's two jubilee's: Last week, the Nepal Mountaineering federation and some of the better known sherpa climbers were forced to abort their expedition to Makalu. And now, with not enough climbers to share the cost, Ecuadorian climber Ivan Vallejo has cancelled his expedition to Kangchenjunga.

Instead, he is heading for Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, joining Iñaki Ochoa, Nives Meroi, Romano Benet and Luca Vuerich on the climb.

The bargain came too late

“I'm in a middle of a turmoil.” Ivan told ExWeb today. “For Kangchenjunga, there was only Basque Alex Txicon, and we simply could not afford the climbing royalties. We tried to find other climbers to share expenses, but no one seemed interested.”

Ivan pondered his options and decided to switch mountains and teammates.

He made the decision the same day Nepal authorities slashed Kangchenjunga and Makalu royalties by half. But the announcement came too late in the season for Ivan and Alex. “I was busy, traveling around and giving lectures,” Ivan told ExplorersWeb. “When I checked my email, it was too late, the decision had been made.”

So far, Alan Hinkes’s expedition is the only one left for Kangchenjunga this spring, but there are no details on route or climbing mates.

Thus, it’s looking as if Kangchenjunga will have a rather lonely Golden Jubilee.

Ivan’s friends

With ten 8000ers bagged, Ivan is one of South America’s most accomplished climbers, and Ecuador’s brightest mountaineering star. Climbing alpine style, Ivan chooses difficult routes when he finds willing climbing partners. Last fall, he climbed Shisha Pangma’s South Face with Spaniard Santiago Sagaste and the Andorran climbers Oriol Rivas and Ramón Rosell.

Ivan will climb Dhaulagiri and Annapurna with Spaniard Ignacio Orbiz, who he summited Makalu with last year. (no O2). They’ll share BC with Iñaki and the Italians. After that, it looks like the entire group will climb together. Alex Txicon is now checking other options.

Ivan Vallejo was born in Ambato, Ecuador, on December 19, 1959. His first summit was Chimborazo, the highest peak in Ecuador, in 1978. He soon went for higher mountains in the Himalaya. He is currently involved in the goal of summiting the ‘Fourteen’ 8000ers without supplementary oxygen. Up to now, he has summited ten of them, including Everest twice and K2.

Image of Ivan in Shisha Pangma BC last fall, courtesy of Ivan Vallejo

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