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THE CLIMBS (and the team)

JAN 15 NEWSFLASH:

ASCENT 8000′s original plans were to make an ascent of Shishapangma (Tibet) at 8,012m (or 8,027m depending which map you have) in Apr – May 2002 – followed two weeks later by an ascent of Nanga Parbat , 8,125m in Pakistan.

However, events following the horrific tragedy of Sept 11 and the Indo-Pakistani confrontation now dictates that an alternative is needed. ASCENT 8000 will now climb Shishapangma and Cho Oyu (8,201m) in Tibet

For David, Cho Oyu will be familiar terrain. He summitted this peak in Sep 1997 on bottled oxygen – in preparation for the 1998 Everest climb. This time, it’s a different ball-game. He has a disabled leg and will be doing it without bottled oxygen. The crux section of Shishapangma will be the knife-edge traverse from the Central Summit (8,008m) to the Main Summit ( 8,012/27m ) whilst Cho Oyu’s twin ice cliffs will prove an arduous section for David.

Both peaks will be attempted by their normal routes from the north.


Right: Left circle indicates location of Shishapangma; the right circle shows Cho Oyu’s location up the Gyabrag glacier. The red line is the team’s route by jeep and foot to the basecamps


Below: Map showing locations of the peaks


SHISHAPANGMA 8,012m


CHO OYU, 8201m


Shishapangma is the only 8000m standing entirely in China Tibet. It’s name means ” The mountain overlooking the grassy plains ” . When China annexed Tibet in 1949, the mountain soon adopted a Sino-Tibetan name of ” Xixabangma ” meaning ” bad weather”. In 1964, in a massive, national pride exercise the peak was sieged by a combined Chinese-Tibet team and successfully climber.

It was the last of the 14 peaks in the world over 8000 metres to be climbed. After reaching basecamp at 4500m, three successively higher camps will be established. ASCENT 8000′s plan is to place three camps before a summit bid is made.


Cho Oyu means ” The Turquoise Mountain” although variations exist as to its name. Edmund Hillary made an abortive attempt to climb this peak in 1952, in preparation for the historic Everest success of 1953.

Eventually, it was to fall to Austrian Herbert Tichy who climbed it in lightweight style ( minimal ropes, sherpa support and small teams ) in 1954. Since peaks in Tibet have been re-opened for climbing since 1980, Cho Oyu has become one of the most popular with over 1000 ascents to date. There are however 2 small icecliffs which are steep and are strenuous and avalanche risk after a heavy snowfall. The summit route is in red and David is standing below the yellow blob!


THE TEAM

David Lim MB Tamang

The ASCENT 8000 team comprises old friends Man Bahadur Tamang, a Nepali and Singaporean David Lim; both professional climbers. David has known ” MB” since 1996 and MB has been involved with a number of sherpa teams before and since then. MB, who hails from the Solu Khumbu region, now lives in Kathmandu with his family. He has climbed Everest four ( ! ) times and is a remarkably strong climber by any standard.

David brings with him more than a decade of climbing technical routes in the New Zealand and European Alps. Many of these are first Southeast Asian ascents and include Mt Cook by Zurbriggen’s Ridge (1995), Mt Tasman’s Syme Ridge and Silberhorn Traverse (1996), the northwest face of the Grand Combin (1996) and many more.

High altitude climbs include Cho Oyu (summit 97), Everest from both southern and northern routes( to 7,400m and 7,700m respectively), Dhaulagiri VII (7,246m ) and numerous 5,000-6,000m summits.

Together, they will make a go at the two 8,000m peaks, back-to-back, without oxygen.

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