Alberto Zerain to solo Everest Hornbein couloir

Alberto Zerain to solo Everest Hornbein couloir

Posted: Jul 16, 2010 03:04 pm EDT

During the massive summit push August 1, 2008, Spanish (Basque) Alberto Zerain led the pack on K2. Climbing very fast he soon left all others behind, topped out and descended unaware of the tragedy taking place in the death zone above him.

Only the next day in BC did he learn about the serac falls, leaving many climbers missing.

Last year on Kangchenjunga, Alberto had just arrived in C4 when he heard that Juanito Oiarzabal and Edurne Pasaban were descending from the summit, exhausted. Instead of resting, he went out in the night for his mates, and once they were OK he simply continued up to the top, which he reached at dawn.

One of the currently fastest 8000er climbers, the Basque will still need all he's got for his next goal: Everest Hornbein couloir - solo.

Alberto will travel to Nepal on August 6th (in full monsoon season) and, after a couple of weeks acclimatizing, he trusts to be on Everest north side by mid September. A team of three will go to BC with him to shoot a documentary about the expedition.

Face to face with Everest - again

Whatever happened to the road being more important than the goal, Alberto asks:

People fix far too much rope on most 8000ers, Zerain stated in a press release. It's beyond securing their own line on difficult passages...most climbers today let others do the job and focus only on the summit instead of on the way they climb."

With most crowding on the normal routes, Alberto said, "anyone wishing to be face to face in pure harmony with the mountain should look for a route far from the normal itineraries.

Thus, 17 years after Big E became his first 8000er, Zerain is looking for a different Everest.

The Hornbein/Japanese couloir combination on Everest (known as the Supercouloir) is a popular challenge with the Basque elite climbers: 14x8000er summiteer Alberto Iñurrategi and his team (currently traversing Broad Peak) have attempted the climb twice before.

Born in Alava (Spanish Basque Country) on August 20, 1961, Alberto Zerain started his climbing career with cool climbs in the Alps, Andes and Patagonia. In 1993, he summited Everest in his first Himalayan experience. Makalu followed in 1995 and Lhotse in 2001. In 2004, he summited Ama Dablam and reached 8,600m on Everest in Andrew Irvine replica clothes for a documentary produced by Spanish TV. He climbed GI and GII back-to-back in 2006, K2 in 2008 and Kangchenjunga in 2009.

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Zerain at a press conference at hope some days prior to departure.
courtesy Alberto Zerain, SOURCE
The Hornbein couloir route on Everest north face.
courtesy Alberto Zerain, SOURCE