Disappointed after the unsuccessful attempt on Cho Oyo, I decided to hastily organize my own small "expedition" to Pisang Peak (6091m) as soon as I got back to Kathmandu.
I got Nima to find a guide for me (Kaji Sherpa) and obtain a permit for Pisang Peak (350 USD). Nima also supported me with a tent, rope and ice screws, everything entirely for free....
The deal was to pay my sherpa guide Kaji 10 USD a day (+ free food). Once arriving Bhulbhule by bus, at an altitude of only 850 meters, we found a cheap porter to complete our small team of 3 people only. We also met Tommaso from Italy, and he turned out to be such a great company for us on the trail and in the teahouses where we spent the evenings. Tommaso was aiming for Tilicho Lake, so basically we had the same schedule for the first 3-4 days.
I got a really nasty chest infection already from day one. This eventually forced me to seek medical advice at the hospital in Chame (2670m). The doctor prescribed antibiotics and asked me to take it very easy for a couple of days. I was lying awake in the nights, coughing so much that I almost vomited. It was so bad that I really started to wonder if I would even fail to summit Pisang Peak.
Fortunately I got much better after 3 days with medicines. We had lost one day because of my illness. Arriving Pisang Village (3300m) we left the Annapurna Circuit Trail, and continued up some steep and interesting hills to Base Camp (4400m). Here we sent the porter down again to Pisang Village, and asked him to take some few days off while Kaji and me were climbing the mountain.
Next day Kaji and myself had a load carry to High Camp (5100m), before we eventually moved up to sleep in High Camp the day after. Just a short uphill from High Camp, we could study the remaining route to the summit.
Many people have died on this mountain, including an entire team of 11 persons from a German expedition (1994). Roped up in one big team, they slid on the steep slopes and fell to their deaths. The second worst climbing accident in Nepal ever.
An avalanche in 2005 ended climbing on the old route (South/Southwest Face) which was a very non-technical climb (PD-). The new route (West Ridge) is a solid PD, maybe even a AD-. So hikers looking for a true trekking peak, might be more happy on Island Peak or Mera Peak. For people with some experience however, the new route offers a very rewarding and aesthetic climb.
Another team also arrived High Camp shortly after us, and their 3 Sherpas fixed the entire route to summit during the late afternoon. Thus it was really easy for us to summit the next morning. There were a couple of pitches with technical rock and the upper part were steep and fairly exposed slopes of ice and snow (55°). But due to the fixed ropes it took us no more than 4 hours to the summit.
See the photos from our small expedition.