Baruntse summited by Iñurrategi, Zabalza and Vallejo, now attempting at Makalu West pillar
13 May 2009
The basque expedition "Naturgas Makalu 2009" of Alberto Iñurrategi, Mikel Zabalza and Juan Vallejo summited on aprile 24th in alpine style the peak of Baruntse (7.152 meters). The weather was sunny, but very cold and very windy. Alberto Iñurrategi reamained very happy about the speed of the party and the cohesion: "Baruntse is a very technical and beautiful mountain and between 6700 and 7100 meters hosts a vertical wall that doesnt' forgive mistakes. A wind of 60 km\h up there is terrible. The alpinists remained only few minutes on the top in reason of the cold, and descented to the BC at 5300 meters from where they started the ascent on april 22nd. The ascent of Baruntse was considered as acclimatisation for another challenge, the first ascent in alpine style of the West Pillar of Makalu the fifth highest mountain of the planet. That route, one of the most technical of Himalaya, was first ascended by the french team leaded by Robert Paragot ( Lucien Bérardini, François Guillot, Robert Jacob, Claude Jager, Bernard Mellet, Jean-Claude Mosca, Jean-Paul Paris, Georges Payot, Yannick Seigneur and the MD Jacques Marchal) The summit was reached by Mellet and Seigneur. At Makalu, Alberto Iñurrategi, Mikel Zabalza and Juan Vallejo reached 6500meters where they put a bivy. Then, between 7300 and 7700meters, there is a vertical and difficult rock wall, called "Seigneur Mur” ( V+ e A2.) On may 7th, bad weather conditions forced the 3 Basques to descent to BC waiting for an improvement. Alberto Iñurrategi is the tenth man to complete all the 8000ers without oxigen; Juan Vallejo summited 8x8000ers and Mikel Zabalza 2.