Now in Kathmandu sorting, cleaning and repairing equipment before finding a flight back to Australia and the ‘real world’ (?).
Neil and I are still pretty tired and the stairs at the hotel are a challenge in themselves but its good to be eating real food and getting the odd hot shower.
Thankyou to all who’ve sent Neil and I congratulatory messages. I didn’t realise there were so many following our progress and my apologies for not responding directly to everyone, yet. It means a lot though, so thanks.
I’ve received a few requests for specifics about the route we climbed -whether it was the ’80s Austrian route or the ’00s Inaki route. I think it might have been a combination of both. I think the Austrians traversed the north face above a large serac band whilst Inaki went below. We also went below. From there I’m not too sure which line the various parties took. We went to the left of the 3 fingers of rock that rise from around 7700 metres to 7800 metres, and from there went straight up to the summit ridge. Then along/up the ridge to the top. Those who care can fight over the ‘name’ of the route. We just enjoyed the climb.
Climbing Shisha was more than just reaching the top of an 8000er for me. It was the final peak in my quest to climb all fourteen of the 8000ers and it was also the first Austalian ascent of that mountain’s true summit. So it was a lot of reward for a tough climb and the experience is all the richer for having worked hard for it. I think the bivy on the way down was Shisha’s way of letting us know that we’d been ‘allowed’ the summit but shouldn’t get too cocky about it.
Of course, whilst it was Neil and I doing the physical work on this climb, there was a lot of support in the background. Many thanks to Robin Boustead, Judy Smith and Jamie McGuiness for very valuable weather information, and the following organisations for high quality equipment and sponsorship, without which the climb would have been much more difficult and dangerous:
- Mountain Hardwear
- Outdoor Life Group – Sydney
- Trek and Travel – Sydney
- Fisherman’s Friend
- Spelean (Sydney) & Petzl
- Australian Geographic
- World Expeditions
Sooooo, have I finished with 8000 metre climbing? No. I have at least one more climb I’d like to do next year in the pre-monsoon season. Details to be announced later. So stay tuned and thankyou all again for your support and good wishes.