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money for Médicins Sans Frontières by climbing a
mountain over 8,000 metres high: this is what Koen
Van Huffel, a 35-year-old commercial engineer from
Mechelen (Belgium) intends to do. He will be
setting off on 13 April with four other Belgians
and a New Zealander on a climbing expedition to
the Tibetan Himalayas. He aims to reach the summit
of Shisha Pangma (8,046 m.), the mountain that
plays a central role in Hergé’s world-famous
“Tintin in Tibet”.
wants to buy a piece of the Himalayas?
Van Huffel is organising a ‘Buy a metre of Mt.
Shishapangma’ campaign. Each metre of the
mountain (8,046 metres high) is being sold for
Euro 3. Sponsors are allocated their pieces of
mountain when they click at random on a computer
screen. All the proceeds will go to MSF.
Van Huffel: “I chose Médicins Sans Frontières
because of your idealism. Of overriding importance
for me was the fact that as a pluralistic
organisation you provide a broad range of services
(medical, paramedical, logistics, for example) and
carry out both urgent and long-term programmes. I
am not a health professional, but the
Himalayan expedition is my way of lending support
to your work.”
trip is expected to last roughly six weeks. A
first attempt to reach the summit will be made
around 18 May.
expedition is expected to last over six weeks. The
itinerary has been carefully worked out but
depends to a large degree on the local situation
and above all the weather conditions.
Katmandu to Advanced Base Camp
expedition leaders are due to meet in Kathmandu
from where they will travel via Kodari (Nepalese
border) to Nyalam (Tibet) and then on to Tingri
(4,350m). They will travel by lorry to the Base
Camp (5,000m) on the side of Shisha Pangma. The
equipment will be carried to the Advanced Base
camp (5,400m) by yaks and Tibetan sherpas.
Shisha Pangma expedition will unfold in
semi-Alpine style, which means that starting from
the Advanced Base camp the climbers will have to
rely on themselves rather than sherpas. On the way
to the summit the alpinists will have to establish
a further three camps and supply them with
equipment: Camp 1 (6,300m), Camp 2 (6,900m) and
Camp 3 (7,300m). The highest camp will be the base
of operations for reaching the summit.
generally only climb the central summit (8,012 m)
but the expedition will try to reach the main
summit, the "true" summit (8,046 m). The
first attempt will be made around 18 May. The
expedition is due to return to the Base Camp by 21