Everest North Side without Oxygen: Horia (and Ralf) getting ready for summit attempt

The “other” Everest climbers

Horia Colibasanu was the mountaineer who climbed Annapurna with Spanish Inaki Ochoa in his last, fatal ascent.

Following a 14 hours non-stop climb, the two turned around very close to the top and descended to camp 4 at around 7400 meters where Inaki became ill. Horia spent 4 days on the punishing altitude trying to aid his mate while making desperate calls for help on a dying sat phone. The duo was finally reached by Ueli Steck. Horia survived, but it was too late for Ochoa.

Last week, Ueli Steck fell to his death on Nuptse.

Now Horia Colibasanu will give Everest a shot from the north side without the aid of Sherpa and Oxygen.

Over almost 20 expeditions the Romanian mountaineer has climbed half of the fourteen 8000ers, including K2.

He carries his own gear, sets his own camps, breathes without artificial help, plans his own climbs, and typically tracks/fixes his own route, like on Annapurna, sometimes in pioneering style such as an attempt for a new route on Manaslu with Slovak Peter Hamor.

These climbers are a different breed from the usual crowd on Everest. Their ascents are bold, self-sufficient and closest to the spirit that once moved man to stretch beyond his reach on the tallest of the Himalayan peaks.

Part of the legendary Pustelnik Trilogy team, Hamor for example spent a lonely night on the deadly Annapurna summit in a dug out hole. Currently the Slovak climber is on Dhaulagiri, his last of the 14 without oxygen.

Back in ABC today after a round to 7700 m, Horia Colibasanu has set all his camps except for a last gear cache at 8,300 meters, from where he will climb with Ralf Dujmovits (who climbed all the 14 and Everest before, but still has to do Everest without the aid of supplementary oxygen).

Teams on the north side will now meet regarding the ascending schedule, hopefully allowing the independent climbers a head start.

“Everybody has a different pace, and it’s best the fast ones are the first to climb, as well as those who do not have oxygen and team support for the equipment we’re carrying,” said Horia in an update.

Horia will climb light and fast to minimize his exposure to the thin air. Descent will be critical as this is when his oxygen starved system will be weakest and most prone to mistakes. “I have to be very careful at every step,” added Colibasanu.

Summit push is planned May 18-22

The expedition can be viewed on www.horiacolibasanu.com in Pythom Dispatch Feed and on Facebook/Horia Colibasanu.


Interview with Peter Hamor: “They were friends you’d steal horses with”

Off the beaten track: Manaslu North Side chat with Peter Hamor