Barneo offered unexpected drama when the runway cracked open and left Prince Harry stuck on the ice.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp, SOURCE
ExplorersWeb Week in Review

Posted: Apr 16, 2011 03:50 pm EDT
In the past Week in Review choppers had taken off for Barneo, on the Russian side of the North Pole. Lists of expeditions went up for Himalaya and summer Karakoram both.

Latest is that climbers have reached both sides of Everest along with most other 8000ers in Himalaya. The Arctic season is full throttle, despite a cracked runway.

Waiting for Himalaya action to take off, last week ExplorersWeb ran a 5-part Space special, checking on the commercial outfits there. From the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, HumanEdgeTech brought news of 3D streaming over satellite. Everest south meanwhile reported 3G with a 2G feel.

Everest & Himalaya wrap Everest north side will have a Mexican/American traverse. On Everest south side the route to C1 is open while the 3G reportedly has 2G feel to it. Trouble seems to be overload and charging of the station in Gorak Shep. Nine climbers from the Russian team were left without gear in Kangch BC for 5 days, but started to fix rope on the peak nevertheless. Iran set C1 on Manaslu.

New Poll: What's the coolest this season? What's most exciting in Himalaya 8000er climbing this season? Hang-glides/paraglides, ski/snowboard descents, new routes, youngest/oldest attempts, other? "New Routes" insist 60% of you, not much of that this season though. 8000ers worth watching in that respect are Annapurna and Ueli Steck's/Don Bowie's triple attempt in Tibet.

Deadly knock-offs: Everest heads-up Early February HumanEdgeTech reported Thuraya scratch card fraud and then Petzl warned Everest and other high altitude climbers that their safety equipment could be counterfeit from China and "a real danger for the user." Petzl are probably not alone.

ExWeb focus: Carlos Soria 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' is to many THE novel by Ernest Hemingway. Born in 1939, Carlos Soria grew up tough post the Spanish civil war. Which could explain his attitude. Headed to Lhotse at age 72, Carlos hopes to complete the 14x8000ers by 75. He already has nine.

ExWeb interview with Carlos Soria: "Not all climbers like to climb" Soria arrived Himalaya in 1973, at age 34. It would take 25 years and 8 attempts before the Spanish climber got his first 8000er summit. It arrived on Nanga Parbat, and Carlos was 59. Last month ExWeb sat down with Carlos and his wife of 50 years in their Madrid home for a chat about the meaning of success, Himalayan statistics, Miss Oh, and the importance of knowing that your decisions in life are truly yours.

ExWeb Space Roundup, Part 1: The (Suborb) Tourist In exploration, everything we do makes possible something else. A para-glide in the thin air of Everest is useful when engineering a lander for Mars. Climbing season not yet full throttle, in a week-long series we checked the status of our next frontier.

ExWeb Space Roundup, Part 2: The Big S Virgin Galactic "last degree" trips will be cheaper and easier than a full trip to ISS. Only trouble is that Virgin's max altitude will still leave the tourists a good bit below Big S. To reach "real" Space we must return to good, old rockets.

ExWeb Space Roundup, Part 3: The Iron Man When we first started to cover Elon Musk in 2004, few knew his name. The PayPal co-founder was just another internet millionaire space buff trying to build his own rocket. But at some point things started to speed up.

ExWeb Space Roundup, 4: Checking in Robert Bigelow has been systematic, low key and particular with his personal $500 million bankroll. Perhaps it is because he learned his game in Las Vegas. ExWeb checked in on Bigelow's and other Space hotel projects.

ExWeb Space roundup, final: The "M" word "If I was to picture the private space game in a casino setting, here's what I'd see," wrote Tina Sjogren in her must-read editorial that also included a report from the past week's Space symposium. The entry wrapped ExplorersWeb's 5-part special Space series.

North Pole ski kick-off and runway drama "Attention! The opening of the airfield, Barneo is not far away," assured the Russian crew. Construction on the runway proved not an easy task on the difficult ice floe. The first Antanov-74 flight with skiers flew in to Barneo Ice Camp during the night of April 4. They were Norwegian guide Inge Solheim with his wounded British team, and Prince Harry. Last degree skiers and a couple of NP-Greenland expeditions made it out as well until the runway broke beneath a coming plane. All plane flights were suspended and Prince Harry was stuck on the ice. Human security is our top priority! said Barneo about the delay in flights and subsequent discontent of some skiers. A smaller tractor was flown in to construct a new runway, while the other two worked around the clock to extent the current one.
Watch videos of it all at ExWeb as well as a video by Henry Cookson of the live lead. This week the floating Ice Camp celebrated Russias Cosmonauts Day with the launch of a mock missile and several Last Degree skiers have now finished their trips.

North Pole tech heads-up: live pictures and video In two different expeditions, Johan Nilson and Pat Farmer both plan trips starting at the North Pole and ending at the South Pole with first stop on Greenland. Johan was first to send live pics and dispatches from the ice, his route also showing on a ContactA 3D map. Later Farmer's larger setup started to transmit video clips. HumanEdgeTech explained how it it all works and revisited the pros and cons of Iridium Open Port.

The Polar Pumpkin, with pilot Art Mortvedt, flying to the North Pole For many years the orange Cessna 185, the Polar Pumpkin, was a prominent feature on the snow at Patriot Hills, Antarctica; flying many climbers to Vinson. The Polar Pumpkin has been to the South Pole (90°S) and is now heading towards the North Pole (90°N) with Art Mortvedt pointing it north.

Wendy Booker, Multiple Sclerosis patient, heading to the North Pole with dogs When first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998, Wendy was crushed. But she was also determined to see how hard and how far she could push back at her diagnosis. She started running marathons and climbing mountains. ExWeb caught up with Wendy before her Last Degree dog sled expedition to the North Pole.

Greenland speed attempt and virgin climbs, Svalbard and Baffin Island teams Alex Hibbert & Andrew Wilkinson are in Greenland ready to tear it up. Always on lookout for virgin walls Alexander Ruchkin and Mikhail Mikhailov hope to climb new route (routes) on one of the Sharkteeth peaks in alpine style. BSES will have several expeditions on Svalbard & two groups from Finland will be attempting roundtrips. NP skiers, Tessum Weber and Antony Jinman are going to Baffin Island.

McNair-Landry kids Northwest Passage kite-ski update Eric and Sarah McNair-Landry were eager to listen to valuable advice from elders and thus avoided skiing along the rubble filled Amundsen Gulf. Two windy days gave them a chance to gain miles. They also posted a video, about the comms gadgets they use and how to charge electronics in the field.

100 times faster satellite internet in 2014 HumanEdgeTech met with Andy Sukawaty, Chairman and CEO of Inmarsat and his team at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs last week. The topic: in 2015 GlobalXpress will make it possible for an explorer to stream 3D video live. Check out the full report.

Read these stories - and more! - at ExplorersWeb.com





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