Thursday, October 30, 2008

Aidan is Wayyyyy Out There...

We just got another call from Aidan from a sat phone in China. He is still solo at 17,500 feet on Minya Konka and the weather still isn't very good.

As you may recall from a previous post, AAI guide Aidan Loehr was the lead guide on our China – Genyen Area Expedition which finished on October 12. Since then Aidan has been battling his way up Minya Konka (24,790') which is the highest mountain in the Sichuan Provence of China.

Since reaching his high camp, Aidan has attempted to get higher multiple times. He has now repeated the crux of the mountain three times. Each time he has climbed through loose and insecure snow only to find dreadfully dangerous snow and high winds above. At this point he only has one day of fuel left in high camp and then he has to go down. His plan was to scout up high one last time before descending.

Yesterday a massive avalanche washed down from the upper mountain splitting in half, one half washing down one side of the ridge and the other half washing down the other side just feet from his camp. This particular incident definitely raised his awareness about just how remote he actually is. Aidan is literally in the middle of nowhere, alone and on a mountain almost no one has ever heard of. In other words, Aidan is the man!

If this ascent doesn't work out, Aidan still thinks that he might have time to get down, resupply and then make a solo attempt on the as yet unclimbed west ridge of Dogonomba (19,550').

--Jason D. Martin

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