Image by Kenton Cool courtesy Dream Guides, SOURCE
ExplorersWeb Week in Review
Posted: Sep 13, 2010 04:40 pm EDT
The ride is feared more than the actual climb by many Himalaya mountaineers, and for good reason. There were no survivors in the Lukla bound plane crash three weeks ago. Intense monsoon rains continue to make things difficult. The road to Tibet is jammed due to landslides; loads of snow is falling on Everest's north side, numerous Khumbu-bound teams are stuck in KTM and the Manaslu trail has been flooded.
In other news: the debate continues, did she or didn't she? Miss Oh is facing close opposition while no new facts have actually emerged. One who didn't is Christian Stangl who shocked the community when finally forced to come clean about his K2 no-summit.
And the world turns: Himalaya fall season has kicked off with an unusual number of bold attempts announced. Plus there's plenty of action around the world.
Everest Two climbers are currently aiming for the second solo climb of Everest (after Messners): Spanish Alberto Zerain via the Hornbein Couloir, and Japanese Nobukazu Kuriki by climbing up from Nepal. Alberto Zerain reached slightly over 7,000 meters on Changtse peak last week to acclimatize and has moved BC to the base of Everest's north face with his two mates. Sharing the same goal (Hornbein) the Italian expedition reported that Tibetans are now a minority in Lhasa. Most foreign websites are blocked, and the team also had their tourist guide-book confiscated at the airport customs. Meanwhile, on the other side of Everest, Eric Larsen is slowly approaching south side BC. The weather has been so poor that there have been few flights to Lukla. There are no tourists around, "everyone is stuck in Kathmandu," Eric reported.
Ang Tshering Sherpa reports from Nepal: Plane crash, Mingma's 13th 8000er, floods, and upcoming Everest action Asian Trekking's Ang Tshering Sherpa has submitted a juicy report informing about Mingma Sherpa's 12th and 13th 8000er summits, the devastating effects of floods in central Asia, and three expeditions on Everest this fall season.
ExWeb interview with Eric Larsen: "Even in the fall, Everest is hardly the solitary experience of polar travel" Everest season is on, with at least four teams tackling the mountain at its loneliest, snow-laden face. Isolation won't be a problem for polar skier and kayaker Eric Larsen who, together with a Sherpa team, will have the mountain to themselves as well as all the work on the south side route.
K2 Magic Line climbers Corominas & Tosas for the south face of Lhotse They were known as "the Pirates of K2" back in 2004--the Spanish team who achieved the first repetition of the mythical "Magic Line". Summiteer Jordi Corominas and mate Jordi Tosas are now back for a new variation route on the south face of Lhotse, in alpine style.
Manaslu There is no snow in BC according to Carlos Pauner who reached the place on foot with Javi Pérez, Xavi Arias and Unai due to the rains. Also of the 2004 K2 Magic Line team, Oscar Cadiach (with daughter Julia Cadiach) and Xavi Perez will set off for Manaslu next week.
Wild Cho Oyu Two years after losing his mate Karl Unterkircher on Nanga Parbat Rakhiot face, Italian Walter Nones is finally returning to high altitude climbing. The goal is Cho Oyu, via a new route on the mountains west flank.
Shisha Pangma South Koreans Bo-Sung Hong, Chang-Ho Kim and Sung-Ho Suh are in Kathmandu, preparing to move to Shisha Pangma. The originally planned route is Doug Scott's, but Kim and Suh may attempt a new route.
Himalaya wrap-up: Cho Oyu BC crowding up There are many expeditions here, Chinese authorities have mentioned over 50 expeditions climbing Cho Oyu this season, reported SummitClimb from Chinese BC.
Sean Burch soaked in Nepals monsoon rains Seans feet take a beating during his run and climb. Day 15 was the first day without rain.
Everest & Himalaya 2010 Seasons End Chronicle, take 5: Special report--The Spring of Annapurna "When one thinks about Annapurna the first impression that comes to mind is danger," ExWeb contributor Rodrigo Granzotto stated is his last entry of the Everest & Himalaya 2010 Seasons End Chronicle. With that being said, it was the most visited 8000er after Everest this past spring.
Korean Alpine Federation questions Miss Oh's Kangchenjunga 2009 summit The Korean Alpine Federation (KAF) declared Miss Oh's summit claim for Kangchenjunga 2009 "unlikely." Their doubts add to those previously brought forward by rival Edurne Pasaban. "The picture you have seen was taken five or ten meters below the summit [of Kanchenjunga]," Miss Oh once again confirmed in an email to ExplorersWeb, allegedly determined to fight for her record.
AdventureStats on Juanito and Pauner Annapurna: summits are valid The climbers who accepted an air lift down from high camps on Annapurna following a rescue attempt of another climber will get to keep their summits at AdventureStats.
Pakistan's season finale wrap-up: ACP's summit list, new route on Spires, humanitarian efforts still needed Another Pakistan summer climbing season is over. Details are expected on some summit claims; while the locals made homeless in the flood disaster are about to feel the approaching winter. At least some cool new routes on the lesser peaks put a brighter end to the season.
The image proof: Stangl did not summit K2 In an encore from last year, the only summit on K2 this season was scrubbed. Christian Stangl was accused of dreaming up the entire push up in his "rock-hotel" much lower down. The morning after ExplorersWeb asked Stangl for comments regarding a picture resembling his "summit-shot", Stangl fessed up to local media.
ExWeb interview with Gerfried Göschl: Winter G1 ahead with Louis Rousseau and Alex Chicon 2010/11 will be one of the hottest winters ever for climbing action in Pakistan! At least three teams are attempting to bag the first winter climb on a Pakistan 8000er. Gerfried Göschl revealed plans for Hidden Peak, together with regular mate Louis Rousseau from Canada, and Spaniard Alex Chico. "I have one request to all the mountaineering community out there," Gerfried Göschl added. "Please don't forget the people in Pakistan, try to help too!" As a veteran aid worker in the country, Gerfried is already at work to raise funds.
Winning teams to join the Karakoram winter games: Simone & Denis for GII, Poles for Broad Peak Besides Gerfried, Louis and Alex on G1, the most seasoned Himalayan winter climbers of the current international panorama are joining the games for a first season's ascent on a Karakoram 8000er.
Peak Pobeda: three climbers die in storm Nearly 15 people got stuck for seven days in a fierce storm between 7,000 and 6,400 meters, while on descent from Pobeda summit. Russian climbers Yuri Efremov, Andrey Baynazarov and Kirill Mokhov died before reaching the airlift rescue point at 5,500 meters on Dikiy Pass.
The Race Around The North Pole: Days of darkness Both Børge Ousland and the Russian expedition Peter 1st have made it through the North East Passage and are now heading for the North West Passage. In an effort to be the first yacht round the North Pole in one season; the Russian team is again back in the lead as the two boats are heading towards Cambrigde Bay. Captain of the Russian 18 meter long steel ship Daniel Gavrilov is very concerned about the North West Passage so late in the season.
Mathieu Bonnier continued Northwest Passage row from Resolute Bay In July Frenchman Mathieu Bonnier started rowing from Qaanaaq in Greenland towards Resolute Bay and on through the Northwest Passage. Enroute to Resolute - now left behind - Mathieu encountered sea ice that blocked his way and icebergs and colonies of walruses that were best avoided.
Mongolia-Russia canoe update: Arriving at Lake Baikal, Siberia Sarah, Eric, Elsa and Ulysse arrived in the delta of the Selenge River just before reaching Lake Baikal. The waters were separated into as many small rivers. The Russian landscape changed; mountains disappeared and cooler temperatures are expected.
Charlie Frews off-road drive through Mongolia finished The Mongolian chapter of Charlies off-road expedition has come to an end. On August 27 he crossed to Siberia towards Murmansk in the Arctic Circle. He needs to beat the winter storms, says Charlie, and tells about eagle hunters in Mongolia, demanding border guards and helpful Kazaks.
ExWeb Interview with Alastair Humphreys: Wild Iceland He has cycled 46,000 km around the world yet after a recent walk across Iceland Alastair Humphreys says to ExWeb the country - only three hours by plane from Britain - is one of the wildest places he has ever been. Alastair and Chris Herwig trekked from Akureyri to the Westman Islands via Hofsjokull glacier.
Erden Eruc update: Preparing for piracy mode Out on the Indian ocean, global circumnavigator Erden explains why a pair of antipode is important and tells about his streamlined dispatch system Contact5 and his one stop shop for hard to find expedition essentials. Yet as an easy target for pirates and ransom demands with his slow pace, Erden may not have much valuables with him as he rows solo from Australia to the east coast of Africa.
Last stage for Phoenicia The Phoenicia is surfing East in the Mediterranean and close to finishing the full circle of Africa. In its final stages, the 21 meter replica of a 600BC Phoenician cargo ship battled heavy shipping in the Gibraltar Strait and gale force wind in the Med.
Peter Gostelow Africa cycle update: Mosquito bed nets and unspoiled beaches Peter has been out on the road from London to Cape Town through Africa for a year now. Currently in Liberia where the food prices are very high, in Sierra Leone he helped hand out mosquito bed nets as malaria kills millions there.
Helen Lloyds Africa cycle: Through Cameroon Helen left London 12 months and 15,605 km ago. In her latest update from Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, she wrote about the battle with her tired legs and came to the conclusion it is all in her mind.
Green Traveler halted by Indian authorities His journey is not just a green gimmick that lets him get away with travelling around the world, stated Andy Pag to ExplorersWeb after he again got halted by the Indian authorities. He was trying to leave on the containership with his bus to avoid flying but could not get permission from the authorities.
Yanni Piveropoulos salt flat return trip Yanni Piveropoulos did a return trek of Salar de Uyuni, a salt flat in Bolivia. His trailer was a modification on a design he saw people using in the streets of La Paz, for hauling loads around. He told ExWeb about the challenges of a salt flat, leaking water bottles, and the indescribable Milky Way.
Vogel Family on Bikes update: The cancer kids of Cochabamba Following an emotional visit in a Bolivian hospital Nancy Vogel set up a charity fund for the cancer kids there. The Vogels further met up with the Verhage family and their 12- and 14-year old boys who also cycle the Americas.
Laura Dekker enjoying peace and space It was a great first stage and I feel good when looking back, says 14-year old Laura with the Canary Islands in sight. Both she and Guppy manage very well alone at sea. Laura says it is a very different experience at sea and enjoys peace, space, sleeping, eating, navigating and the dolphins.
The times they are a-changin Not only are age spans widening; now ladies are everywhere: At only 18, Samina Khayal summited the unclimbed Chashkin Sar (6,400m) in Shimshal. "Times have changed, and today women in Pakistan are working in areas previously designated for men (such as an army or police officer)," organizers told ExWeb. "This is part of a larger project that will culminate with a Pakistani woman climbing Everest, as Nepalese, Iranian and Indian women have done."
Read these stories - and more! - at ExplorersWeb.com