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Ivan for his 8000er no 10: British route in alpine style on Shisha
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Nov 11, 2004 16: 07 EST
Published Sep 10 2004

Ecuadorian climber Ivan Vallejo will try to bag his 9th eighthousander this fall. He'll be climbing the British Route on Shisha Pangma with Spanish climbing-partner Santiago Sagaste.

Tuesday they reached Kodari - on the border between Nepal and China. There they sorted out all the paperwork and customs; trying to explain to the police where exactly is that ‘strange’ country called Ecuador. But Ivan also took some time to report his plans.

Ivan and Santiago will climb Shisha Pangma in alpine stile, but are heading to Cho Oyu first for acclimatization.

They plan to climb to high camps, but don't really mention any plans for a Cho Oyu summit, which Ivan climbed back in 2002. Santiago could be tempted though.

“We will stay in Co Oyu base camp until September 28 and then move with all our BC staff to the south side of Shisha. Once there, we will wait for a weather window and then launch our attempt in alpine style, without porters, O2 or fixed high camps. We'll just bring our tent and climb all the way up to the summit.”

The Southwest ‘British’ couloir

The pair has chosen to climb the British route, on the Southwest face of Shisha (8046m). Ivan describes the route as an “elegant, highly aesthetic itinerary and rather technical. It starts at 5700m and leads to the Main summit of Shisha, at 8046m.”

This is an advantage compared to the easier ‘normal’ route on the north side, which ends in Shisha’s Central (not main) Summit, at 8008m. This is where many climbers are halted short of their goal, turned back by the sharp summit ridge snaking to the Main Summit.

Ivan and Santiago won't have the ridge, but will instead face technical challenges spread out throughout the entire climb.

Iván Vallejo was born in Ambato, Ecuador, on December 19, 1959. His first summit was Chimborazo, the Highest peak in Ecuador, in 1978. He summited Everest in 1999, and since that moment decided he wanted to go for all the ‘Fourteen’. Up till now, he has bagged 8 of them.

Shisha Pangma’s British Route was first climbed in alpine Style by R.Baxter-Jones, A. McIntyre and Doug Scout in May 1982. Climbers descended through the SE Ridge.

Image of Ivan Vallejo, courtesy of Ivanvallejo.com
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