Ines Papert: “An awesome moment”
Ines Papert could have done without this kind of souvenir from the Himalayas. “The healing of fingers and toes will take some time”, says the 39-year-old after her return from Nepal. As reported in my blog the German top female climber made a first ascent of 6719-meter-high Likhu Chuli I, also known as Pig Pherado Shar, on 13 November after opening a new route through the North Face of the 6000er together with Thomas Senf. “I never thought that frostbite could emerge so creepingly”, Ines is surprised. “During our climb we were as cold as never before but we have taken the first symptoms very seriously.” For this reason, Thomas abandoned the final climb to the summit within his reach at the last camp on 6580 meters.
“If I had climbed further, I would have risked severe frostbite”, says Thomas. “All the more I was delighted about Ines’ decision to start out for the summit alone. It would have been a great pity if she had renounced the summit for my sake.” Papert climbed the last passage on the west slope without rope and reached the 6719-meter-high summit at 2:00 p.m. local time. “It was an awesome moment to put my feet on a Himalayan summit as the first person ever”, Ines recalls. “But I was not able to feel great joy because I would have preferred to share this moment with Thomas. Moreover, cold and high altitude pressed me hard.” After another night in the last camp Ines and Thomas descended to basecamp. Both climbers suffered from second-degree frostbite. In this case the skin becomes blue-red and can form blisters. The good news: With proper treatment all fingers and toes will fully recover.
Plan was changed
Originally, Papert and Senf had planned to climb a new route through the North Face of 6487-meter-high Tengkangpoche. However, when they saw the conditions – not much ice in the route, dangerous overhanging seracs below the summit – they changed their plan. A good decision. After all, who can say ‘I made a first ascent of a summit in the Himalayas’?
P.S. You can read the full expedition report (in German) on Ines’ homepage.
Date29. November 2013 | 17:06