Baruntse North (Khali Himal) (7,057m), north face, Ciao Patrick. It was very, very difficult. We gave it all we had, and finally we reached our goal. The north face of Khali Himal, or Baruntse North, is big, vertical, dangerous, and intimidating. We knew that we would have to use all of our capacities and strength to succeed on that face. For four days we struggled against the wind and the cold through a mixed climb of ice and rock. For four days we were three people sleeping in a two-man tent. We never managed to find a good place for camp, and we slept with our legs hanging out in the void. We used ice screws, rock pitons, ice axes, cams, and nuts to climb the complicated wall, but the real challenge was the wind and the cold. We had 120 km/h wind blowing during the entire climb, even on the summit. We were very happy to reach our summit through this new route. Next, we spent 12 hours rappelling on single ice screws 20 times.
We called the route Ciao Patrick in dedication to the recently perished climber Patrick Berhault. He was our friend and now our legend. Details: 2,550m, of which the last 1,350m were in alpine style [the height of the northwest face itself is ca 1,500m]. Three camps. Difficulty of M6+, often on bare rock and loose gravel. The maximum difficulties on rock; 5+/6. The maximum difficulties on ice; between 70° and 90°, thin ice covering granite plates exposed to northwest. Three intermediate camps and four bivouacs. Summited on May 4 by Simone Moro, Bruno “Camos” Tassi, and Denis Urubko. Descent 12 hours, with 20 full double rappels on the wall.
Simone Moro, Italy