|At 7.00am (CET) Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Bruno Tassi reached the summit of Khali Himal (7041m) or Baruntse North. The three are currently descending, after having given up hopes of continuing along the crest to the main Baruntse summit (7129m) due to dangerously strong cross winds. |
Moro, Tassi and Urubko departed from BC on 1 May and spent a night in Camp 1 at 6200m. The next day they continued past difficult mixed terrain and on 3 May they reached the crest at 6800m at 19.00. "... it was a incredibly hard day" writes Moro, "we climbed throughout, we never stopped, not even to drink or eat . The face was very steep and the climbing was very difficult and mostly rock and ice. All day there were strong winds and it was very cold, even if the sun was shining." The climbers dedicated their ascent to Patrick Berhault, who died in the Alps last week.
From the summit of Khali Himal (Baruntse north)
4 May 2004
SMS at 1:45 CET: "We are starting now. There is sun and the wind is acceptable."
Call at 7 a.m. CET: "I'm on the summit. I've just reached the north summit of Baruntse, the Khali Himal at 7041m. Denis is coming soon and Camo will also reach the summit. The wind is very strong. The ridge to the main summit doesn't seem to be difficult, but the wind is so strong, we risk being blown away. Today is Camos' birthday from. I'm very satisfied. We'll speak again when I'm back in the tent. Ciao"
The virgin north face of Baruntse 7129m is located in front of the South Face of Lhotse (8516m) and forms part of the mountain chain that separates Everest 8850m from Makalu 8463m. The North Ridge was climbed by a French expedition in 1980, while all other ascents have been carried out via the opposite SE Ridge. Baruntse is well-known to all who have entered the upper Hongo basin as it spectacularly dominates the valley head and the Amphu Labsta pass. The first ascent was carried out by climbers from New Zealand, including Edmund Hillary, in 1954, along the East Face and SE Ridge.