Both sides of Everest were summited today, with a large number of climbers topping out the south side. Among them Carina Raiha, calling from the top to the president of Finland. Summit pushes are underway also on other 8000ers. Teen Jessica Watson arrived in Sydney to a hero's welcome.
Everest summits Both sides of Everest were summited today, with a large number of climbers and sherpa topping out the south side around 8 am local time. Peak Freaks climbers, Summit Climb (Wiktor Mazur), Hanesbrands' Scottie and Jamie Clarke, Kenton Cool (bagged his 8th summit), Loben Expeditions Basanta Singha Roy and Debasish Biswas from the Mountaineers' Assocation of Krishnagar (the first private club from India to have their members on top of Everest), team Malta and Carina Raiha were all among the summiteers in the past hours. Carina spoke from the top to the president of Finland as the first female Everest summiteer from the country. More climbers are en route to the top, in a slow climb due to traffic. Adventure Consultants reported about 60 climbers in today's summit push, with another 60 to follow in a second wave tomorrow.
Sean Disney of Adventure Dynamics reported that the Chinese rope team fixed the route to the summit 1.45 pm on Everest north side today. This is the first Everest north side summit this season.
Weather update Weather forecasts showed high winds with a small drop today, Sunday. Some climbers reported nice weather and little wind but already from early Monday morning wind is forecasted to pick up again. Both Meteo Exploration and Expedition Weather show high to very high winds May 17-21 (range 10-25m/s at 8500 meter level) with lower winds starting May 21/22 (range 2 m/s to 15 m/s).
Shisha Pangma summit push Edurne, Al Filo and Mario Panzeri's Italian expedition are leading a joint summit push on Shisha Pangma north side, followed by a second Spanish group led by J. Ramón de Madariaga and Mexican Jorge Salazar. Al Filo has no high camps set on the mountain above camp 2; they will pitch tents as they go and plan to continue up the normal route through Sunday. From a last, 3rd camp, they are considering to follow Iñaki Ochoa variation route instead of the summit ridge. "Iñaki's route is longer and exposed in some sections, but leads right to the Main top," Edurne explained. "Besides, finishing my 14x8000ers project on his route would be just - beautiful."
Dhaulagiri Austrians Stephan Keck and Paul Gürtler planned to start their summit push on Dhaula last week. The two climbers use no Sherpa support or O2, and hope to ski down from the summit. The Chinese team is joining us until C3; the Swiss team will set off in 4-5 days, Stephan reported Monday.
Cho Oyu High winds were reported also from Cho Oyu. SummitClimb reported that lots of the smaller teams were leaving the mountain due to bad weather and also because the route had not been established above camp 3. There are 6 or 7 expeditions left on the mountain, Max explained. We're trying to do negotiations to fix the route because it looks like we are going to have to do it ourselves.
Lhotse update Serguey Duganov perished on May 7 at 7800 meters during descent. The Russian summit push was led by Alexei Bolotov and in addition to Serguey Duganov, it included veteran top climbers Gennady Kirievsky, Nickolay Totmjanin and Vladimir Belous.
Alert: Trekker Aubrey Sacco missing in Nepal American Aubrey Sacco, 23, is missing after a solo, week-long trek in the region of Langtang, Nepal. Aubrey began her trek on April 20 and was scheduled to return on or around April 30, but her family has not heard from her since her check-in at Dhunche on April 20.
Pakistan 2010 season preview, take 2: (a few) more teams apply for climbing permit In addition to added costs and financial security requirements imposed by the government; the global money crunch and political unrest are reducing Pakistan outfitters' client base. Barely one month before season kick-off, only 29 teams have applied for climbing permits.
New fees and regulations strain battered tour operators in Pakistan A new set of guarantee & renewal fees now make survival even tougher for local expedition outfitters.
Teen wars: Everest record climber caught car-surfing Big Bear Lake resident Jordan Romero is weathering the winds in BC hoping to summit Everest at the ripe age of 13. The biggest headlines in US media were however stolen Friday by Malibu teenager Johnny Strange, who climbed the Seven Summits at age 17 last year. Johnny was reportedly caught car-surfing on the roof of a white BMW SUV along Pacific Coast Highway.
K2 and Karokoram tech last minute check-list The last-minute Everest tech list published in March proved popular so last week there was an encore, this time with target K2 and Karakoram.
Summit? The proof is in the... SPOT Verifiying summits has been an increasing problem in Himalaya. Lately, the tiny 150 gram SPOT tracker has offered to become a great back-up to traditional summit proof. Together with head mounted cameras, Spot is the "thing of the year" in Himalaya.
François Bernard and Frederik Paulsen's Ultra-light crossing of the Bering Strait On Apr 26 François Bernard (France) and Frederik Paulsen (Sweden) crossed the Bering Strait in an Ultra-light from America to Russia; according to them a first in that direction. In 1992 a Czech-Russian-Ukrainian team flew from Russia to America with four trikes.
North Pole wrap-up: Last team reached 90°N in the 2010 season Ann Daniels, Charlie Paton and Martin Hartley (all UK) arrived at the North Pole after 5 degrees and 60 days on the ice while collecting samples for science. The French Rolex divers have been picked up from the ice after a complex logistical operation involving two different planes. They have spent 45 days on the ice and made 51 dives; one as deep as 35 meters.
Opinion: Richard Weber about Polar Adventuring Responsibilities Crying wolf can seriously jeopardize rescue possibilities for those who really need them, not to mention explorers who exaggerate their situation for media attention. "This behavior does and will reflect on the entire polar adventuring community," says polar veteran Richard Weber.
Kayak circumnavigation attempt of South Georgia Four Norwegians sent their kayaks with Hurtigruten from Oslo to South Georgia in April. In October they will follow suit and circumnavigate the Island that among sea kayakers is reckoned to be their Mount Everest.
No stopping Italian with jury rig Italian Alessandro di Benedetto (39) has been under way on his non-stop solo circumnavigation in his 21 feet sailingboat ever for 6 months and there is no stopping him. He lost his rig before rounding Cape Horn, but decided to carry on.
A torn mainsail delayed Jessica Watsons planned arrival in Sydney with two hours, but when she finally stepped of Pink Lady and walked up towards Sydney Opera House, the 17-year old received a hero's welcome.
(Story updated 11.41 pm): Lena Laletina at RussianClimb.com reported that Kazakh star mountaineer Denis Urubko climbed a new route on Lhotse today.
On Dhaulagiri, Stephan and Paul reported a horrible climb in strong wind that they finally aborted. Xinhua reported that the Chinese mountaineers encountered bad weather after summitting the peak Wednesday, but one climber died and four others were severely injured. Rescue efforts are underway.
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