Juanito Oiarzabal.
Image by Edurne Pasaban courtesy Edurne Pasaban
Shishapangma: Spaniards close but not close enough

Posted: May 15, 2012 02:48 am EDT
(Newsdesk) The fought all day and all night, thought they had it, but realized in the morning that summit had escaped them.

The three Spanish mountaineers failed to reach the true summit of Shishapangma reports Desnivel.com. The climb sparked a bit of controversy as the men prematurely reported summit success on arrival in high camp.

Juanito Oiarzabal told the news source that the climb was not too technical but long, and heavy in deep snow. At one point, after dusk fell, the men believed to be on top and began descent. The party returned to camp 3 at 4 am in the morning after climbing 22 hours straight.

Peering back up on their track at dawn they realized that although very close, they had not been on the true top. "There was no doubt," Juanito said.

"At least we know we gave everything," Juanito said, "and can celebrate that we came down safe, ready for another battle."

Working on a second batch of the fourteen 8000ers, Shisha Pangma was to became summit no 27 for Juanito Oiarzabal, world record holder of 8000er ascents.

A veteran mountaineer with several toes amputated and more than once in need of help to descend, the climber however pushed back as political and exaggerated widely publicized press releases issued from Everest last year claiming rescue of himself and his mates.

Summit push went via Inaki Ochoa's route variation. Climbing team included Carlos Pauner, Juanjo Garra and Argentine Ariel Perinetti.