Oiarzabal Makes it 20
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Juanito Oiarzabal returned to the top of Cho Oyu for the second time in 11 days, giving the Basque climber his 20th 8,000-meter summit, more than any other man. Ang Rita Sherpa has summited 8,000-meter peaks 19 times, and Reinhold Messner and Ed Viesturs each have 18 summits. Demonstrating that an 8,000-meter peak can never be considered an easy tick, Cho Oyu threw high winds and deep cold at Oiarzabal, who suffered minor frostbite on his extremities. Climbers estimate that wind gusted up to 120 mph at Camp II on Cho Oyu. Severe weather has plagued expeditions on many of Asia’s high mountains this fall, stalling attempts by strong teams on extremely difficult new routes on the south face of Nuptse East, the north pillar of Masherbrum, and the north face of Jannu.