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Asia, Nepal, Everest, Post-Monsoon South Col Ascents and Attempts

Everest, Post-Monsoon South Col Ascents and Attempt. A total of 32 climbers ascended Everest in the post-monsoon season, all via the South Col. On September 25, Spanish Basques Pitxi Eguillor, Patxi Fernández and brothers Alberto and Félix Inurrategui got to the top, followed on October 1 by Iosu Bereciartúa and on October 3 by leader Pedro Tous, Juan Tomás and Mikel Reparaz. A Franco-Italian group led by Agostino Da Polenza put Italians Giuseppe Petigaz, Lorenzo Mazzoleni, Mario Panzeri, Frenchman Pierre Royer and Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa on the summit on September 28, Frenchman Benoît Chamoux and Italian Oswald Santin on the 29th and Italians Abele Blanc and Giampietro Verza on the 30th. Frenchman Bernard Muller’s expedition of two Frenchmen, a Belgian and a Luxembourger placed the latter, Eugène Berger, on the summit on October 1. Six Germans, four Swiss and an Austrian were led by German Ralf Dujmovits. Dujmovits and Sonam Tshering Sherpa climbed to the top on October 4. Frenchman Michel Vincent led three Frenchmen, two Americans, a Canadian, a Mexican, a Spaniard and a Nepalese. Vincent reached the summit alone on October 7, followed on October 9 by American Scott Darsney. Mexican leader Sergio Fitch Watkins left his expedition before the climbing was completed, handing over the leadership to American Wally Berg. There were eleven other Americans, another Mexican and a Peruvian. On October 9, Berg, Mexican Alfonso de la Parra, Peruvian Augusto Ortega and Sherpas Pasang Kami and Apa made the ascent. The last successful expedition was composed of 24 Frenchmen, a Swiss and a Portuguese led by Michel Pellé. On October 9, Frenchmen Pellé, Philippe Grenier, Thierry Defrance, Alain Roussey and Pierre Aubertin got to the summit. Some of the climbers achieved personal “firsts.” Berger was the first Luxembourger to stand atop Everest and Ortega the first Peruvian. Other planned firsts were not accomplished. Marc Batard of France did not succeed in becoming the first person to sleep at the top of the world—he didn’t actually manage to reach the top. If he had, it would have been his third time there. Nepalese Iman Gurung became ill at 7300 meters on October 7 and did not realize his ambition of setting a new speed record by climbing from Base Camp to the summit in just 20 hours. This left still standing Batard’s record of 22 hours and 29 minutes, set four years ago.

Elizabeth Hawley