Spring 2013 | Kangchejunga | Acclimatization, Higher Camps and More Teams

Continuing from previous update on Kanchenjunga, when most of the teams had just reached BC and were starting the acclimatization process. As of now most of the teams have reached/touched C3 just above 7000m, while sherpas are attempting to fix ropes from C3 to C4. Also in this post, there are details about two 'fresh' expeditions; Hungarian and Italian Teams.

Parvaneh Kazemi
(Team consists of 2 climbers from Iran and 1 from Bangladesh)
Iranian Parvaneh Kazemi started acclimatization process on 23rd April, reaching 6000m before return to BC due to bad weather. In next trip she established C1 at 6200m, C2 at 6400m and marched towards C3 (to be established at 7150m) but strong winds forced her back from 6600m on 27th April. In 2nd May update, she wrote, "Today C3 was established with Nima, Mingma and some other sherpas. Nima & Mingma are in C2, waiting for rope fixing to C4."
Weather on Kangchenjunga has been unstable in past few days. Forecast suggest some improvement in conditions, starting from tomorrow (8th May) till Friday (10th May). Let's see if conditions and weather window are sufficient for summit push. Kangchenjunga summit forecast can be viewed here.

Parvaneh at 6000m with Nima and Pemba; Source

Carlos Soria
(Climbing Team: Carlos Soria, Luis Miguel López, Dani Salas and Muktu Sherpa)
74 years old Spaniard Carlos Soria Fontan's Kangchenjunga attempt is one of the notable climbing endeavors of the season. If successful, he would be the oldest person to summit Kanchenjunga. Soria holds the honor of being oldest person to climb K2 (at age 65), Broad Peak (68 years), Makalu (69 years), Gasherbrum I (70 years) and Manaslu (71 years). He has summited 10 eight-thousanders so far (11th was Shishapangma-Central) and is on a mission to complete 14x8000ers. Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and the Main summit of Shishapangma are yet to be climbed by him.
After the initial acclimatization trip to C1 (6000m) , Carlos' team was stuck in BC due to bad weather. 25th April was a sunny day, encouraging them to resume the climb. Team reached C1 on 26th and established C2 at 6400m, a day later. On 28th April they climbed to 6600m to view the route to C3 (which is steep and full of crevasses). On 29th, they returned to BC for some rest before pushing further. But they are still in BC awaiting suitable conditions to reach higher camps and push for summit. "Let's be patient and keep training at the Base Camp. We'll be ready when it comes time to go to the summit" - Carlos advises his fellows.
As mentioned above, improvement in weather is expected from tomorrow.

Carlos Soria climbing Kanchenjunga; Photo: Carlos' Team

(Team: Oscar Cadiach and Lluis Rafols)
Climbers from Catalonia, Oscar Cadiach and Lluis Rafols, reached BC quite early in the season. They are trying to reach the top without supplemental oxygen. In their 30th April email, Oscar told that they've established C1 & C2. On 5th May, Oscar called home and updated that C3 establishment is also done. It can be expected that all teams would be sharing fixed ropes above C3 & depending upon conditions, there might be a C5 or temporary camp for summit push. Carlos and Lluis are also in BC now.

Photo: Oscar Cadiach

Khoo Swee Chiow
Singapore climber Khoo Swee Chiow also intended to climb Kanchenjunga but after his on-going Everest quest. Everest summit push is expected around 17-20th May and by the time he returns to BC, monsoon would be approaching (Fact: Majority of Kanchenjunga summits are achieved in May; probably none in June). We need to wait and see if Chiow is able to execute his double-header plans. If possible, he would join an international expedition (7Summits) with members from Hungary, China and Korea for Kangchenjunga attempt.

Koreans and Chinese
Reports suggest that 3 Chinese (including female climber Luo Jing) and 6 Koreans (including Hongbin Kim) are also on the mountain. They too would be pushing for summit with other other 7Summits expedition members.

Luo Jing, Photo: Oscar Cadiach
(Team: Zsolt Eross, Peter Kiss, Jaroslav Dutka (Slovakia), Lajos Kollar-BC Manager); The team has been sharing detailed reports here.
Although presence of Hungarians attempting Kangchenjunga was known, exact details were not available when previous update was posted. One significant member of the expedition is Zsolt Eross. He is a 'Snow leopard', targeting 14x8000ers now. He has climbed nine 8000ers so far. Zsolt was first Hungarian to summit Everest. In 2010, he lost his right leg below knee but continued climbing with artificial feet. Peter Kiss is most prominent young Hungarian climber with extensive experience in Alps. Jaroslav Dutka is a renowned climber from Slovakia. He has attempted Cho Oyu, Shishapangma and K2, apart from several technically challenging walls like Trango Towers and Eiger North Face.
Team flew to Kathmandu on 28th March and reached Kangchenjunga BC (5200m) on 11th April. They established C1 on 19th, just before the bad weather days. In next trip, the reached C2 on 25th April. Currently the team is above 7000m, on their last acclimatization trip before summit push.

Kangchenjunga Route

(Team: Annalisa Fioretti~expedition leader, Mario Vielmo, Silvano Forgiarini and Paul Paganino); Team's progress can be followed here.
Italian team started their expedition quite late in the season. They flew to Kathmandu on 9th April and reached BC on 25th April. Good weather allowed them to start acclimatization straightaway. After spending a night in C2, they returned to BC on 29th. After several days of bad weather, they got another chance to go up and establish C3 yesterday. Annalisa, Mario and Silvano spent the night in C3.
Italians above C1; Source

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