Spanish climber aims for world record

 

Spanish mountaineer Edurne Pasaban said she hoped to become the first woman to scale the world’s 14 highest peaks by conquering the Shisha Pangma and Annapurna mountains this spring. “I leave on March 4. I still have Shisha Pangma and Annapurna to do and I aim to try in the spring. I am going first to Shisha and then to Annapurna,” Spanish newspaper ABC quoted her as saying today. Last October, bad weather forced her to abandon an attempt to climb the 8,027-metre Shisha Pangma, situated in China’s Tibet region. That would have been her 13th summit of more than 8,000 metres, and left only Annapurna to conquer to become the first woman to scale all of the world’s 14 ‘eight-thousanders.’ Pasaban’s chief rival, South Korea’s Oh Eun-Sun, failed in October in a bid to scale the 8,091-metre Himalayan peak Annapurna, also due to weather conditions.

That would have been the 14th and final summit in Oh Eun-Sun’s record attempt. “The Korean only has Annapurna. We will see each other there if we manage to scale Shisha Pangma quickly,” said Pasaban, 36. Weather conditions are considered ideal for climbing in the Himalayas in the April-May pre-monsoon season.

Other competitors for the record are Austria’s Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Nives Meroi of Italy. Kaltenbrunner failed in August in a bid to climb the 8,611-metre K2, the world’s second highest peak situated on the Pakistan-China border and regarded as the most difficult and dangerous of the 14 ‘eight-thousanders’.

She remains at 12 summits, and must still scale Everest on the Nepal-China border, which at 8,848 metres is the world highest peak. Meroi has conquered 11. Italy’s Reinhold Messner became the first man to climb all 14 summits in 1986. The second to achieve the feat was the late Polish legend Jerzy Kukuczka, with many of his ascents on new routes or in winter. The 14 mountains are all located in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges in Asia.

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