Batard’s Team Completes New Everest Approach; Update on Sajid Sadpara

Everest
Yorick Vion and Alan Batard. Photo: Vion/Le Dauphine

Marc Batard celebrated his 70th birthday with good news from Everest. His son Alan Batard and guide-in-training Yorick Vion reached the summit of adjacent Sundare Peak (5,880m), his new detour around the Khumbu Icefall.

Batard told the French paper Le Dauphine that his team has fixed the new 700m route with 1,000m of rope and 10mm expansion screws (bolts?). It leads, he said, to an unclimbed little summit (little for the Himalaya) that Batard has christened Sundare. It pays homage to the Sherpa climber who inspired Batard to climb Everest and break a speed record (first ascent in less than 24h) back in 1988.

Vion and Batard Jr stopped at that point. “In spring, we will fix the remaining 400m to Everest Camp 2, following an easy snow ridge,” Batard said.

The team also intends to turn this new path into a kind of via ferrata, with metal railings, so that larger groups and heavily loaded Sherpas can use it. It reportedly follows a rocky spur below the flank of Nuptse. Batard found it similar in difficulty to the Matterhorn via its normal Swiss route, the Hörnli.

Jean-Marc Demoz (foreground) and Alan Batard near the top of the rocky spur on the way to Everest Camp 2. Photo: Jean-Marc Demoz/Facebook

Batard hopes to use the route himself next spring when he will try to become the oldest no-O2 Everest summiter.

In addition to Vion and the Batards, the climbing team also included Lucien Boucansaud, Jean-Marc Demoz, and Vincent Gouyet. According to Le Dauphine, Demoz and Gouyet did the route-fixing. Meanwhile, Marc Batard managed the evacuation of Sajid Sadpara, who fell ill on the way to Base Camp.

Update on Sajid Sadpara

The young Sadpara is reportedly feeling much better and is about to return to Pakistan, Alex Txikon told ExplorersWeb.

“We speak every day on the phone,” the Basque climber said. Sadpara was to join Txikon on his winter attempt on Manaslu next month.

“Right now, Sajid needs time to rest, have a break at home, be with his family, and recover completely,” Txikon said. “As for Manaslu, we will decide as the departure date approaches. Whatever happens, as I am always telling him, he is a young man with a long life ahead of him.” Whether or not they collaborate on Manaslu, Txikon has invited Sadpara to visit him in Spain next year.

In October, Alex Txikon (left) and Sajid Sadpara paid tribute at Nanga Parbat Base Camp to friends lost in the mountains. Photo: Alex Txikon

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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Don Paul
Don Paul
8 days ago

At first, building a via ferrata on Mt. Everest sounded like yet another way to disrespect the mountain. But if the alternatives are thousands of people following the “icefall doctors” through a maze of crevasses and ladders, or the new thing, flying into Camp 1 in a helicopter, then the fia ferrata starts sounding like a good idea. It’s not that much different from jumaring fixed lines, except that a via ferrata won’t break.

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S R
S R
7 days ago
Reply to  Don Paul

Win, win!
A less hazardous route is a big win for the sherpa ice doctors.
If this helps attract more climbers then it’s a net win for the climbing/guiding business.

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OldHikerDude
OldHikerDude
7 days ago

” Batard found it similar in difficulty to the Matterhorn via its normal Swiss route, the Hörnli.” As soon as a read that, I tried to vision Sherpa’s hauling loads up the Hornli, and it just didn’t seem feasable. Maybe an alternate route for the more “Adventuous” tourist, esp if they install the “Via Ferrata”. I do admire Batard and his team for their effort.

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yorick vion
yorick vion
7 days ago

Hi Angela, my name is Yorick with a k. Many thanks

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Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
6 days ago
Reply to  yorick vion

Sorry, Yorick. Fixed.

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Julien
Julien
4 days ago

If you wish to have more info (and photos!) about this new route project to avoid the Icefall, just have a look at this forum (in French): https://forum.camptocamp.org/t/nouvel-itineraire-pour-eviter-lice-fall-a-leverest/290338

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Deano
Deano
4 days ago

Bolts and 1000 meters of fixed rope, pollution!! On Everest ‘new’ route? For money? Tourism? More trash the Mountain God’s?

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Blanc
Blanc
3 days ago

You don’t even know how sucks this project is.
You didn’t verify the information, and the Icefall Bypass was not completed ….

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Jérôme
Jérôme
3 days ago

Unlike stated by the title of this article (“Batard’s Team Completes New Everest Approach”), nothing has been completed to avoid the Icefall.
Only a point at 5880m on Nuptse.
No junction with the Western Cwm and high camps.
No alternative route of the Icefall.
Zero! Nothing!

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