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Kazuya Hiraide: "I feel happy to be back safely. And also happy that I could bury the picture of Kei Taniguchi on the top of Shispare"

Kazuya Hiraide has just received the Piolet d’Or Asia 2017 in recognition of this summer’s expedition, the historic climb of the north-east face of Shispare, 7611m. It is the first ascent of this face of the mountain. We talk to him about this expedition.

Where did this expedition emerge from? 

Shispare for me is a mountain which was always in my mind as a mountain which I could  bet my life on reaching the summit.

In the year 2002, I went to Nepal on my own to make a search for  a mounatin or route who had never climbed before. And then, I found Shispare. It looked so attractive and I fell in love at first sight..

My first challenge was in 2007. I challenged the untouched Northeast wall. The snow there was so unstable when I reached the point 6.000m, I had to come down.

I was young and inexperienced and couldn’t accept the failure.“Any mountains are possible to climb if I risk my life.” That was my thoughts at that time.I went back again in 2012 after experiencing many expeditions.

This time was from the untouched Southwest wall. But the weathere stopped me when I reached the point 5.350m.

I failed again. But this time I accept the failure and thought “There are mountains that I cannot climb even if I risk my life”.

I found a route on the upper part which I felt will take me to the summit so went again the next year 2013.

My partner this time was Kei Taniguchi. In the year 2008, we had a successful expedition climbing Kamet. She was my best partner and I felt the possibilty of reaching the summit. But the threat of the big serac stopped us when we reached the point 5.700m.

“Maybe it might be nice to have a mountain in my life that I cannot climb”.

I forced myself to think this way...

In the year 2015, my best partner Kei Taniguchi  past away in a mountain accident.

I decided to challenge again taking her spirit with me.And this year, my forth challenge was to find the route on the Northeast wall.

What were the dificulties you found during the expedition?

The weather. We were stuck in the base camp for qiute a while.And to keep the motivation high was hard.

And the threat of avalanches and the ice showers. In the past, when I faced in some difficult situations I was always looking for an excuse to give up.

But this time, even if I had faced in such situation, but if there is any possibility, even if the possibility is 1%, I would have kept going.

These accumulation of  jugements is one of the reasons of my success.

What means for you climbing this face first time in the history?

My forth challenge was to reach the summit. Even if it was not in a cool style or an beautiful line on the route. I wanted to stand on the top of this mountain.

And I beleive that this succuess will guide me to my 2nd mountain life. As a result, I could climb a beautiful route. I drawed a beatiful line on this mountain. I am not sure what will happen in the future, but I am excited.

How do you feel about this achievement?

At the moment, I feel happy to be back safely.And also happy that I could  bury the picture of Kei Taniguchi on the top of Shispare.

But at the same time, I have been dreaming to summit this mountain for a long long time and I feel afraid if I could find another mountain whcih will motivate me.

Any plans for the future?

I have spent a lot of my ti,me “CHALLENGING”. Of course I will still keep challenging but also as a high altitude moutaineering camera man, I would like to support other peoples dream.

I want to be someone, who spends time for not just myself but for other people.

 

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