Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: Altitude Junkies and FTA - corporate compassion

Posted: Dec 25, 2009 02:20 am EST

We want to congratulate Altitude Junkies for their great attitude in C1, wrote Portuguese Daniela Teixeira from Gasherbrums BC in early August. When independent climbers thank commercial expeditions, a wind of change is blowing.

After being told to mind their own business, Altitude Junkies went inside a crack, recovered the trash bags, brought them to BC and silently emptied them right in front of the offenders mess tent. French team member Arian Lemal later compiled such a sensible report on expedition waste that the community actually took it to heart.

In the past, the main objective of many environmental expeditions has been money rather than sanitation. Altitude Junkies showed that much can be accomplished by small means if the purpose is true.

Soon after, another commercial outfit went beyond its duties, for an independent climber.

"Deciding to help was automatic," team member Dave Ohlson told ExplorersWeb. "We had returned previously from K2 of course, but circumstances changed when we heard of a Spanish climber trapped on the NW ridge of Latok II, a 7100 meter peak off the Biafo glacier.

Field Touring Alpine joined the search for Oscar Perez without thinking twice. The rescue attempt was unsuccessful but its legacy remains. "I had never met Oscar, Alvaro or any of the Spanish," Dave told ExWeb afterwards, "[but] Oscar is one of us and we all hope our brothers would help if we were in need."

Later in fall, several commercial teams helped keep the records straight on true summits.

"I know that when I plan my Everest trip in the next 3 years I would spend an extra $10k to work with a company that has corporate compassion," a reader wrote to ExplorersWeb in relation to commercial guide Luis Benitez speaking out on Nangpa La.

This is the first time commercial outfits receive an ExWeb award. We hope it's the first of many.

Related story: Arian Lemal: waste management +8000 m style.

Related story: ExWeb interview with Latok II rescuer Dave Ohlson, "deciding to help was automatic".

Related story: "I would spend an extra $10k to work with a company that has corporate compassion"

Special mentions:
- Good guys leaving too early: Tomaz, Piotr, Serguey, Martin, Oscar, Roby...
- GIII/GIV attempt and rescue.
- Nives Meroi, fame for love.
- North Pole-Greenland crossing and polar records.

#Mountaineering #Mountaineering #feature

Fabrizio Zangrilli (left) Jonathan Larrañaga (right) and K2's Magic Line summiteer Jordi Corominas (second right) with porters inside an MI 17 on the way to Latok II. Image courtesy of Fabrizio Zangrilli (click to enlarge).
2009: Altitude Junkies' members Arian and Michael with a garbage bag they retrieved from a crevasse--after an Iranian team dumped it there. Image courtesy of Daniela Teixeira.
Image of commercial guide Luis Benitez (middle) before he was ousted from Himalaya for speaking out on Nangpa La. 2009 marks the first time commercial outfits receive an ExWeb award.

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