ExplorersWeb Week in Review
Posted: Oct 08, 2010 12:21 am EDT
October just begun Himalaya is already falling quiet. The peaks have claimed five climbers in the past weeks, including two of the greatest names in high altitude mountaineering. Teams are leaving the 8000ers with summit attempts only expected by a few on Cho Oyu and Eric Larsen on Everest.
The sun is rising over Antarctica and one of her greatest polar skiers recently dancing with the stars for her late husband. Graeme Kendall did a solo 12 day transit of the NWP passage while the young crew on board Peter 1 became the first to sail through both the North East and North West passage in one season.
Italian Walter Nones lost on Cho Oyu Aiming for a new route on the SW face in alpine style, Nones fell to his death on Sunday morning October 3 following a solo bivouac at 7,000 meters. His team mates believe Walter was probably blown off the wall while folding the tent. Walter Nones, 39, summited K2 in 2004 and Nanga Parbat up the Rakhiot face in alpine style in 2008. He also had a number of first ascents on 6000ers in Pakistan and China, plus several new routes in the Italian Alps.
Japanese Osamu Tanabe lost on Dhaulagiri Japan's leading climber Osamu Tanabe was among the lost in an avalanche on Dhaulagiri last week. Dhaulagiri was meant to be Osamu's tenth 8000er: previous feats included off-season ascents of Everest (summited December 20 in 1993) and Lhotse south face up on the summit ridge (2006). Tanabe climbed the east ridge of Makalu in 1995, and made a partial new route on K2's west face in 1997.
"Red Point" pioneer Kurt Albert in fatal accident German free-climbing pioneer Kurt Albert sustained critical injuries after falling from a via ferrata in the Frankenjura region and died in hospital two days later. Albert, 56, was considered inventor of the sports-climbing term "Roktpunkt" (red point).
Manaslu Summits last week were led by Kenton Cool of the Dream Guides. Kenton fixed the rope to the very top of the mountain and skied back to C4 together with Andrew Eggleston. All summiteers used supplementary O2. A number of mountaineers reached the top in better weather one day later. Among them, at 71, Spanish Carlos Soria became the oldest climber to summit Manaslu, his 9th 8000er. Last year Soria also became the oldest climber to summit GI. Carlos Pauner collected his 10th 8000er peak, while Phurba Tashi became the Sherpa with the most +8000 summit ascents (23). Sadly, Manaslu claimed Japanese Nobuaki Kuwabara on September 24.
Everest Avalanches sweeping Everest's Hornbein Couloir finally forced back Spanish Alberto Zerain and his team. "Conditions became so impossible that finally all hope was lost and we aborted the attempt," the Italian team chimed in shortly after. On the south side, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki aborted his climb after reaching above C3. Eric Larsen, still in the game, climbed to C3 and reported that ropes are not fixed above it yet.
Cho Oyu normal route Extreme high winds and avalanche danger have been reported from this normally "easy" peak even by the most veteran mountaineers. A group of sherpas fixing the route were avalanched above the second rock band just one week after TMA's crew suffered the same fate. The only Cho Oyu summiteers to the moment is German/Austrian combo Rupert Hauer and Alix von Melle, stating to fellow mountaineers that their fourth 8000er turned out their toughest climb yet. Most folks are now headed home.
Polish young guns take it all at the Elbrus Race Artur Hajzer's young guns are training hard for their upcoming Broad Peak winter attempt -- most of them took part in the Elbrus Race on September 24, with amazing results -- Andrzej Bargiel smashed the previous record by Denis Urubko and "Ola" Dzik bagged the first female post.
Exweb interview with Shimshal daughter Samina Baig Eighteen-year old Samina Khayal Baig recently climbed Chashkin Sar (6,400m) in Shimshal, a remote valley in Pakistans Hunza region. A trailblazer for Pakistani female climbers, Samina talked with ExWebs Amanda Padoan about how she got started and why K2 is her ultimate goal.
Climbers aiding Pakistan encore News keep reaching ExWeb of climbers launching aid actions and promoting tourism in Pakistan. Latest the Saxony Alpine Club (on the job since 2005) plus Slovenian climber and doctor in environmental affairs Irena Mrak.
Shattered at Grand Teton Remember Stephen Koch's Everest Hornbein snowboard attempt years ago? This year in Wyoming, Koch got involved in a rescue on the backside of the Grand Tetons. Climbing the Valhalla Traverse Koch's climbing partner, Michelle Smith, slipped and fell 30 feet until left hanging in the rope with a broken leg. Check out a video (including xrays!) of the entire incident.
Xtreme photoshoots: interview with Christopher Herwig Lugging 40 kg backpacks, travel photographer Christopher Herwig recently trekked across Iceland with Alastair Humphreys. Stay up late, wake up early, and nap in the middle of the day, is Herwig's advice for the best Iceland shots. Check out the interview about photography in this and other remote places on earth.
The Race Around The North Pole Captain Daniel Gavrilov and his young crew aboard Peter 1st was the first yacht to reach the small community of Pond Inlet on the Northern coast of Baffin, with Børge Ousland just behind. The young Russian crew is the first ever to sail through both the North East and North West passage in one season. Now Captain Daniel Gavrilov is heading back to Mother Russia. Next year more ice sailing awaits the crew, and they are hooked on racing.
Solo record through the NWP The backing ice conditions in the North West Passage (NWP) has made new records possible this season. Kiwi Graeme Kendall did a solo 12 day transit of the passage five years after his previous attempt which got stuck in ice.
Record board kite in Brazil A 35 liter dry-pack, a kite, a board, and 2000 kilometers of Brazilian coast ahead. That was Louis Tappers life for 33 days when he set a new world record for the longest kite surfing journey solo.The 36 year old kite surfer started his journey in Salvador, and ended in Sao Luis a month later.
Death Valley trek: Its over Dry fall steep cliffs, vertical drops, sand dunes, rocky terrain, mountains, marches, dust, night trekking, attacks by bats and insects and a dwindling water supply made life unbearable. Gruesome terrain and equipment failure over 80 km in the harsh Desert forced accomplished polar skier Todd Carmichael to once again call his Death Valley expedition a day.
Vada mission accomplished Brother and sister Sarah and Eric McNair-Landry completed their 2000 kilometer canoe tour through Mongolia and Russia together with Elsa Fortin-Pomerleau and Ulysse Bergeron.
Charlie Frew into Siberia In his 25,000 mile off-road expedition Charlie Frew has made it into Siberia embraced by the locals in the hottest sauna on earth - the Russian Banja!
Trans-Africa runs The Kenya and Trans-Kalahari Runs ended a success, in spite of runners tiptoeing amid Puff Adder snakes.
Sherri Jo Wilkins rides solo around the world "Are we nearly there yet?? The answer I get is no, we are about 1/2 way.. Bummer!"
2011 skiing Race across Greenland Entries are open for the 590 km cross country skiing race across Greenland, notified the Bigice Race organizers ExplorersWeb. Taking place during April 15-28, 2011 on the horizontal route from Isortoq to Kangerlussuaq, competitors may race solo or in teams of three to six participants.
Cecilie Skog dancing with the stars She skied to both poles and made a full Antarctica crossing (all unsupported), in addition to climbing Everest and K2. Last month Cecilie Skog swapped fleece for bling though as one of the celebrities in Norways Dancing with the Stars. Cecilie said she is dancing for her late husband, mountaineer and polar skier, Rolf Bae, whom she lost on K2 a few years ago.
SP 2010: here comes the sun! Seeing the sun is great, reported one of the WinterOvers at the South Pole (90° South). For six months they havent seen direct sunlight, until the sun made its appearance above the horizon during the Southern Hemispheres Spring Equinox.
Polar Tech 2011: Q&A Antarctica is about to kick off and ExWeb checked in with Human Edge Tech guy Tom Sjogren for some of the most common polar tech questions this season. Going south of the border but shooting for the Andes? Find useful bits also for South America climbing.
Check these stories - and more! - at ExplorersWeb.com