Inaki Ochoa de Olza Dies on Annapurna

Posted on: May 23, 2008

Spanish mountaineer Inaki Ochoa de Olza has been killed on an attempt to climb Nepal’s Annapurna (8091m), though which route he was attempting is still uncertain. Ochoa and his partner, Romanian Horia Colibasanu turned around before summitting the peak due to dangerous conditions. On the descent, Ochoa had a seizure and collapsed near Camp 4. Apparent brain damage was complicated by pulmonary edema and Ochoa—despite both rescue attempts and medical care directed remotely by doctors at the Hospital of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain—succumbed at 6:45 a.m. GMT.

Swiss climber Ueli Steck, having abandoned his and Simon Anthamatten’s attempt on the south face of the peak last week due to threatening avalanche conditions, attempted a rescue, ascending with medications from basecamp to camp 4, where Ochoa lay incapacitated. Altitude and heavy snow conditions made a rescue impossible leaving Steck and Colibasanu to administer what medical care available at that altitude. Ochoa remained at 7400m, semi-conscious, for five nights before passing away.

Ochoa was born in Pamplona, Spain on May 29, 1967. He had his first experience on an 8000+ meter peak, Kangchenjunga, at age 22, and has since taken part in over 30 Himalayan expeditions. He worked as high altitude cameraman and guide.


Ochoa had climbed 12 of the 14 8000+ meter peaks, including a new route on Shishapangma, solo, in 2005 and is remembered for being something of a purist, saying, "If you use oxygen, you are not an alpinist, you are more of an astronaut or a scuba diver."

Sources: Associated Press, Rueters,

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I met Inaki and his teammates at Annapurna Base Camp and spent an evening with them. They were getting close to their summit attempt at the time. I was only trekking but I am an amateur alpinist and really enjoyed meeting them. In that short time, it was obvious to me that he was deeply respected by his fellow climbers. I was saddened to find out two weeks later when I got back to Pokhara about his death. I commend the heroic efforts the other climbers made to try to get to him. That speaks volumes of their character and of their fondness for Inaki.

2010-06-09 14:33:18
Pablo Ochoa de Olza

This is Iñaki's brother (Pablo) and -in behalf of my family and myself- I would like to thank you all for your kind words and sincere support. I can tell that you guys writing here know who you are talking about.

So our sincere gratitude to you all.


2009-09-15 05:19:56

I meet Inaki in Nepal on the Annapurna curcuit. I think it was roughly 6 months before his expedition up Annapurna that I did an amateur interview with him in kathmandu. Does anyone have contact details of any of his relatives or his girlfriend that they could email me . I think they might like a copy to remember him. He's a great guy well worth remembering.

2009-08-02 10:03:07

I met Inaki while climbing out of the north side base camp of Kanchenjunga in 1997. He was an inspiring, selfless and generous soul who rewarmed my near frost bitten feet without a moments hesitation, even though we were complete strangers.

I saddened to learn of his death and I regret I never made time to meet up with him since our meeting in 1997.

Although belated, I extend my sincere condolences to Inaki's family, loved ones and friends.


2008-11-12 01:53:21

my thoughts are with enaki's family and friends. please spare a moment and thought for corinne who shared so much with him and truly loved him

2008-07-20 01:35:51

This one truly saddens me. I wrote about this here, so rather than repeat, click through if you wish. Inaki, rest well, I will miss you.

2008-06-01 03:03:23

Rest happily in your mountain home, Dear Inaki. You really were a pleasure to be around and an inspiration. And thank you so much to those that tried so hard to rescue him. Best Wishes to all Robin

2008-05-29 12:39:24

My thoughts to family and friends of Inaki, and all the people who have tried to rescue him,

Am terribly shocked, and sad to read those news, i met Inaki end of March at the ABC, before he left with his 2 other friends to attempt Annapurna 1

What a friendly and amazing alpinist

May the spirit of the Himalayas welcome him,


2008-05-26 10:35:08

RIP Iñaki and prayers and thoughts to his family and Nancy.

2008-05-26 09:24:12

...and tribute to Nancy, Inaki's girlfriend, who organized and coordinated the rescue efforts from the BC, with so much energy, drive and devotion... M

2008-05-25 07:19:53

Rest in peace Inaki!

2008-05-24 02:23:01

My thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Inaki. Sounds like he was one unique individual. What a tribute to the other alpinists who tried to resuce him. This is the true spirit of alpinism. Peace S. Melendez PS-RIP

2008-05-23 23:33:06

My thoughts goes to his family and friends. He was an outstanding alpinist one of the great guys! He had ethics, moral, values and lots of friends. Inaki will be missed by us who value the greta efforts he made in the Himalayas.

Now we all have to pry for a safe return to BC of Uli Steck and the rest of the rescue team. The men in the 3 rescue teams have put ambition and the well deserved need for rest aside and all rushed to help a fellow alpinist in desperate need of assistance. With frostbites or just off the summit of an other 8000 meter peak the Russians, Kazakh, Romanians, Canadians, Polish, Swiss and Sherpas have all made an unpresidented effort to rescue Inaki.

The spirit in the rescue effort is a tribute to Inaki.


2008-05-23 18:54:14
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