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

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