Lakpa to Babu: "But I won't swim."
Image by Unknown courtesy Association of Paragliding Pilots & Instructors, SOURCE

ExplorersWeb Month In Review

Posted: Jun 04, 2011 06:53 pm EDT
(Story edited Jun 06, 2011 12:53 pm EDT) The 2011 Everest spring season brought a long line of summits and victory tales. The bad: summits only on 02 and via normal routes; four fatalities, ongoing transparency lag in commerce and local authorities. The good: an amazing paraglide, a ski descent on the Lhotse face, Everest-Lhotse traverses by Alpine Ascents.

Other Himalaya: dogged summit pushes in inclement weather brought hard earned victories along with the usual lessons in money/ambition vs. humanity.

Elsewhere: North Pole to Greenland expeditions land in Canada, a solar plane flies across the border, Skog and Gjeldnes for a North Pole summer expedition. Pakistan climbing kicks off next week with a winter stats wrap and brand new list of expeditions. What will it be like post Bin Laden? ExWeb checked in with the outfitters.

From the top of Everest to over the sea: World Record of Altitude in Paragliding One couldn't fly, the other didn't climb - together on Everest they broke the World Record of Altitude in Paragliding. How is that for a TEAMWORK airport motivational poster. Check the scoop and images at ExWeb plus it's not over yet.

How Anselm found Cleo in the snow, face down The tale among the worst ExWeb staff have encountered over the years: the biggest story during the memorial weekend was a rescue report from Kanchenjunga. An unconscious woman climber - left head down on a slope by her Sherpas - survived only by the tenacity of two of her team mates.

Joëlle Brupbacher claimed by Makalu Martin Ramos and Jorge Egocheaga posted a debrief describing the events surrounding the death of popular female climber Joëlle Brupbacher on Makalu La May 22.

Ronald Naar died on Cho Oyu Dutch high profile climber Ronald Naar reportedly collapsed during descent from camp 3 (7500 meters) following an aborted summit push on Cho Oyu. (Correction: this expedition was not outfitted by Peak Freaks as was earlier reported. In fact, Peak Freaks report a flawless safety record of 20 years in the Himalayas and worldwide.)

Irish climber John Delaney died on Everest north side Climbing with Alex Abramov's, on May 20 the Irish mountaineer became the fourth known (to ExplorersWeb) fatality on Everest this season.

The butterfly collector is gone: Takashi Ozaki claimed by Everest According to a media statement by Nepalese Ministry officials Japanese Takashi Ozaki, 58, died on Everest south side presumably of HAPE on Thursday May 12. The mountaineer reportedly aborted his ascent at 8600 meters and collapsed on descent.

Nepalese Sailendra Kumar Upadhyaya, 82, died in the icefall Formerly Nepal's foreign minister and member of the Senior Citizen Everest Expedition according to some media reports Sailendra Kumar Upadhyaya was hit by an avalanche May 9 at the top of Everest icefall but it seems cause of death remains unknown.

Everest climber in fatal collapse near camp 3 Local media reported that Calif-resident Rick Hitch, 55, died May 1st en route to Camp 3. Hitch climbed with the IMG outfit.

Iran expedition member Isa Mir-Shekari died on Manaslu On descent in camp 4 (7460m), Isa reportedly died on 29 April by HACE.

Ueli Steck and Don Bowie summited Cho Oyu May 5 in Ueli's second 8000er summit this season. The planned triple on Everest fell through to weather.

Hungarian Zsolt Eross Himalaya comeback: half leg shorter, full spirit taller Last year Zsolt had a serious climbing accident in the Tatras. His right leg was amputated under the knee. Subsequently, Zsolt bagged his 9th 8000er -Lhotse on May 21 - with an artificial leg.

Simone Moro joins Fishtail/Zermatt Himalaya air rescues Recently in Pakistan where he bagged yet another virgin winter 8000er, this spring Moro has been busy working with the Fishtail/Zermatt Himalaya air rescues.

K2 rescuer about the Cold Avenger: "Should be part of an altitude prescription" The face mask not only unlocked ExWeb stories this Everest season but could also help you summit with proper use. "I believe use of the mask is in fact most important during the early acclimatization stages for high altitude climbing," said Eric F. Meyer, M.D (K2, 2008).

ExWeb special: Climbing in post-Bin Laden Pakistan Being safe-haven (sort of) to Osama Bin Laden has not helped tourism in Pakistan. Still, outfitters insist the country is safer for trekkers and climbers than it is for terrorists; or at least better than mainstream media pictures it. Governments have neither kicked up travel alerts so for the moment climbing in Karakoram seems a go - with caution.

From the Death Zone to the Spin Zone: Everest BS encore Yes it was that time again. News of a food tycoon and a tweet made bigger waves than had actually been surfed on Everest.

ExWeb interview with Sim Yihui: Lessons from Everest taken to the Gobi Desert She realized what she thought was not possible on Day 1, became more manageable and eventually natural after the days on the mountain went on, Ms. Sim told ExWeb. The Singapore woman will take with her to the Desert lessons from high altitude.

Basque kite ski update: Greenland vs. Himalaya - no tea served You don't really meet a lot of Basques on Greenland. Even fewer of Himalaya fame. The Spaniards who summited Broad Peak via a new route last year, and teammate Alberto Iñurrategi who has 14x8000ers in the bag, are kite-skiing these days (Greenland in May, and Antarctica at the end of the year). Inurrategi, Juan Vallejo and Mikel ZabalzaI experienced the differences between mountaineering and polar skiing: they have no rest, they say, and no base camp where the cook prepares the food and serves tea.

Geographic North Pole to Canada ski wrap: Nilson and Kippenes on land No team was able to set off skiing from land to the North Pole this year, but two teams set off from the North Pole and headed towards land in the first week of April. A crew of 4 Australians set foot on land on May 16. Rerouting from original goal Greenland to Canada amid melting ice; it took 48 days, 500 hours on the ice, 250 painkillers, frostbite, snow blindness, bad backs, blisters and snowstorms for the two Scandinavians Johan Ernst Nilson and Harald Kippenes to ski from the Geographic North Pole to Canada.

ExWeb interview with Yasunaga Ogita: From the Arctic ice to the tundra After they finished an unassisted, unsupported expedition in the high Canadian Arctic (from Resolute Bay to Gjoa Haven, without resupplies or kite support, retracing the 1845 Franklin expedition; where he and his 128 men were lost) on the second leg of their Arctic expedition; a 600 km unassisted, unsupported sledge-haul and backpack trip on thawing tundra - the two Japanese adventurers, Yasunaga Ogita and Yusuke Kakuhata, could only experience the earthquake in Japan on the Internet.

ExWeb interview with Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour: higher ambitions - kite skiing 6000 km - require a more professional attitude Veteran Belgium polar adventurer, Dixie Dansercoer, has teamed up with new generation Belgium polar adventurer, Sam Deltour, for a 6000km kite skiing expedition on Antarctica at the end of the year. Check their scoop at ExWeb about this circular route, and unknown territory ahead.

Riaan Manser: Kayaking in volcano country As the ash clouds disappears and life on Iceland gets back to normal, adventurer Riaan Manser and Dan Skinstad continues their kayak circumnavigation of the Fairytale Island. ExWeb caught up with Riaan for an interview on Iceland, the struggles, the dangers and the beauty.

Erden Eruc update Surviving Mozambique roads as a lone cyclist means difficult roads under a brutal sun and scarce food said Erden as he pushed, pulled, fought and wrestled his rig in this next step on his circumnavigation.

Sarah Outen cycle update: From Russia with love She had been a bit nervous about coming to Russia; the previous border experience in Ukraine had intimidated her with its new language, stern guards and lots of men hawking for business and eyeing up her bicycle and equipment. Her experience in Russia couldnt have been more different, says Sarah.

Northwest Passage kite ski update Eric and Sarah McNair-Landry deviated from their original route, forced south because of rough ice and open water in the Gulf of Boothia; though still following one of the many Northwest Passage routes. After 2,800 km it was time to make critical decisions about their route again; would there be enough snow on the 400 km trail to make it to Pond Inlet? Stay tuned.

Low-tech sailors return: No charts required You dont need state of the art high tech, million-dollar yacht and a shore team to take care of business to sail around the world. All it takes is a strong mind and the boat you have. Britt Paddy Macklin has returned from a one-stop circumnavigation in his 27-foot sloop and a childrens map book.

Solar Impulse bags international landing Brainchild of Bertrand Piccard (first balloon around the world) born with adventure imprinted in his genes (dad Jacques record-dove into the Marianas Trench); after a flight lasting 12 hours 59 minutes, using no fuel and propelled by solar energy alone, Solar Impulse HB-SIA landed safely in Brussels at 21h39 (UTC +2).

AZAB: Adventure sailors set off Double handed or all by myself? This is the main question once you have decided to challenge yourself in the British classic Azorene and Back (AZAB). This Saturday 60 boats were scheduled to leave Falmouth and set of for the Azores. The fastest will use around 7 days. Some will not make it at all.

Skog and Gjeldnes: North Pole summer expedition Norwegian polar adventurers Cecilie Skog and Rune Gjeldnes have teamed up to do a summer expedition to the North Pole. The will be using foldable canoes, skis and snowshoes to get there, and theres only one-way home: via the North Pole. The two are in for a warm and wet experience.

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