ExplorersWeb Week in Review May 10, 2010
Posted: May 10, 2010 07:57 am EDT
A Sherpa crew topped-out Everest last week along with Himex guide Adrian Ballinger who decided to join the push after bolting parts of the route. Peak Freaks member Lucille de Beaudrap reportedly summitted later with Domhnall O'Doughartaigh and two Sherpa. A Russian Lhotse summit push reportedly resulted in an accident but details are unclear. A forecasted weather window might kick off summit attempts on Shisha Pangma and new pushes on Everest this week.
Lhotse The large Russian team led by Alexey Bolotov began the summit bid late last week. Fatalities have been reported but are yet to be confirmed. The Kazakhs recovered the remains of their mate Serguey Samoilov, perished on the mountain last year. A decision is yet to be made on whether to bury the body in C2 or transport it down to BC.
Makalu After setting up C2 on the SE ridge, four members in the British Armed Forces expedition walked American Chris Warner, ill with serious respiratory problems, down to BC. The Ukrainians have reached the West Ridge and set C4.
Manaslu The expected weather window didn´t last for Carlos Soria and team on Manaslu they reached C3 in a snowstorm and had to pitch their tent on unstable ice. They retreated back to BC and called the expedition off. Oscar Cadiach will stay and hope for another chance, possibly joining other teams.
Shisha Pangma The risk/reward balance is wrong, and funnily for the first time in my life I feel afraid of dying, Mark Hose wrapped his Shisha experience. Since the increased check of true summits, Shisha Pangma has become a tough nut to crack most climbers agree. Still, summit pushes are on this week. Edurne Pasaban and Mario Panzeri teams chose Wednesday as departure day, hoping to reach Shisha Pangma main summit on Sunday. Weather conditions may also be OK on Monday, Meteorologist Vitor Baia told Edurne. It will provide good conditions for descent or an extra summit day if needed.
Annapurna: Iranian Ehsan Partovi-Nia climbed to C2 on Annapurnas north side on Saturday to check conditions on the route to C3. An Italian climber had a minor accident on Wednesday, Ehsan said, while a Japanese expedition has left for R&R in Pokhara after a few attempts to reach C3.
Ama Dablam French Philippe Gatta summited Ama Dablam via the SW ridge in rough conditions. With only 6 people on the mountain, Philippe climbed on his own from 6350m after his partner Jean-Marc Wojcik turned back.
Baruntse "I'm an underdog, a guy from Tennessee that comes to the Himalayas every year and pioneers something to no fanfare or avail, a frustrated Ben Clark reported from Baruntse BC on Monday after breaking his ankle in a fall. Finally, after all I have learned and taken from these mountains... they have given me something that I can't ever forget; real pain, real suffering and real luck. The depth of true loss that comes with that is irreplaceable, (massive monetary investment, time and health) a new low that can only go up from here!
Maoists to continue terror Gaining power by force and then losing some of it again over the past two years, the Maoists in Nepal continue their path of terror. After paralyzing the country for six days, the Maoists called off the general strike (Bandh) on Friday, but leaders warn the strike was just a preview. Before sitting to talk the Maoists demand for the PM to resign, while media report that Maoist cadres provide military training to villagers in several regions.
Ripley Davenport ready to resume Mongolia trek British adventurer Ripley Davenport will resume his walk alone across the Eastern Mongolian Steppe, Gobi Desert and the Altai Mountain Range on May 25 after his disastrous first attempt in April. He had to stop his first attempt after two days due to technical breakdown.
Greenland: The Finns on the horizontal route from Point 660 to Isortoq finished their expedition in slush ice and melt water. Team member Johanna Nousiainen became the first Finn to cross the Greenland Ice Cap.
Geographic North Pole: Only two partial route teams are still on the Arctic ice. The French ski and scuba dive team is waiting for a pickup plane to evacuate them to Resolute Bay, but keeps on diving. The British Catlin team is still traveling north. Japanese Mr. Ogita is back in Resolute Bay from the 2000 position of the MNP.
Lake Baikal cycle update: Solo and Circumnavigation debrief Juan Menéndez Granados from Spain completed his solo cycle in 19 days and sent through a debrief.
Heads-up: Ice Kite Buggy crossing of Antarctica Hans Wijnand and Jacob Slooff from the Netherlands will attempt a kite buggy crossing of Antarctica in 2011-12. They will start at Novo Base, head to the Geographic South Pole from where they will continue kiting in their buggies to Mount Vinson - approx. 3,300 km. Arjanna Slooff will join them on Vinson.
Teen update: Jessica expected to Sydney Saturday Jessica Watson is approaching Sydney fast and she will receive a heroes welcome in front of the Sydney Opera House when she steps ashore Saturday. Her achievement is extraordinary, and has inspired thousands of others. She will not claim the official world record for becoming the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world though. The 16-year-old will not have covered the distance required according to the Sail World website, and the issue also made for a rerun of ExWeb's previous circumnavigation special, "What is around the world?"
Teen girls sail update: Abby Sunderland in Cape Town Abby entered Table Bay Harbor in Cape Town during a break in a gale on May 5. As she entered the harbor a big cargo ship, Ocean Africa, passed behind her as if confirming that she is in African waters. Abby talked to ExWeb about her sail, gave advice to other teens and talked about her future plans.
Read these stories - and more! - at ExplorersWeb.com