Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, take 2: The final chapter of the women’s race.

Here goes the second take of the huge spring 2010 Everest and Himalaya spring 2010 season chronicle, by stats expert and ExplorersWeb contributor Rodrigo Granzotto Peron. Today, the lights and shadows of the tight race between Edurne Pasaban and Oh Eun-Sun for the first female 14x8000ers ascent.

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s end Chronicle: part 2
by Rodrigo Granzotto Peron

2. THE FINAL CHAPTER OF THE WOMEN’S RACE

I–Background of the Final Chapter

Not long ago Edurne Pasaban (SPA) was pretty sure she would be the first female climber to summit all fourteen 8000ers. With Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (AUT) and Nives Meroi (ITA), her closest competitors, aiming difficult routes and winter climbs instead of simply grabbing 8000er by 8000er, Edurne was meant to be the first. undefined

This certainty changed from 2008 onward when two new faces from Asia began to be noticed.

South Korean female climbers Oh Eun-Sun and Go Mi-Sun became 8000ers very fast. Go summited ten different main 8000ers in about two years, while Oh summited 11 in less than three years.

What was clear and sure for Edurne started to fade when she visualized the South Koreans approaching more and more on her numbers; then, on August 3, 2009, Oh Eun-Sun grabbed Gasherbrum I, therefore surpassing the famous Spanish climber. Go Mi-Sun would also achieve this mark, but a sad fatal fall on Nanga Parbat took her life.

Oh Eun-Sun told Chosun newspaper in March 2009: “Since there is no woman in the world who has climbed all 14 summits, I hope I will be the first”. One year later her words become a reality.

II–First Place (Or not?)

On April 27 Oh Eun-Sun stood on the top of Annapurna and became the first female climber to summit all 8000ers. The event was broadcasted live on KBS TV in what was the first television broadcast from the top of the most dangerous 8000er of all. It was the golden moment for this incredible South Korean who broke several records in the past few years: [1] first woman to summit four different main 8000ers in one calendar year (2008); [2] first female climber to TOP THREE (EV, K2, and KG) and to TOP FIVE (EV, K2, KG, LH, and MK); [3] first climber to summit four different main 8000ers in two consecutive years; and [4] first woman to summit all 14 main 8000ers!

Oh’s first summit was Gasherbrum II (1997), which she topped out with two legends from homeland: Park Young-Seok and Um Hong-Gil. After some years, she grabbed Everest (2004). After Shishapangma (2006), she pressed the “turbo button” and conquered Cho Oyu and K2 (2007), Makalu, Lhotse, Broad Peak and Makalu (2008), Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum I (2009), and Annapurna (2010). Her most regular climbing mates were Sherpas. First, she teamed-up with Thilen (from 2006 to 2008), then recently teamed up with Dawa Wangchuk and Pema Tshering (from 2008 to 2010). She used oxygen on EV and K2, but the others she went NOOX.

While Korea was filled with joy and happiness things were a little different in the largest country of the Iberian Peninsula.

Al Filo’s top climber Ferran Latorre published on his blog some doubts about Oh’s summit on Kangchenjunga. The main arguments are:

1. The summit pic was not taken on the highest point. The pic shows Oh on bare rock, while other pictures this year presents climbers on a snowy summit. Ferran concluded: “looking at the released photos of the ‘supposed’ summit of Kangchenjunga, I doubt she summited”.

2. The Sherpas that accompanied Oh would said to Edurne, in Annapurna BC, that the South Korean did not top out.

3. Some climbers say that it was not possible for a climber to go from 8,400 meters to the summit and back in just three hours and 40 minutes–that was the time Oh took to cover this distance, according to binocular watchers in Kangchenjunga’s BC.

What started as a simple comment on a personal website soon became a tsunami of catastrophic proportions on Spanish news and then around the globe.

III–The Darkest Hour of the Race:

The events that followed the declarations of Latorre were surely the darkest hour of the race.

Several accusations emerged–some of which the South Koreans could not personally defend because they were on the summit push of Annapurna–which included:

1. Complaints about the South Koreans on the “fixed ropes case” and that they did not properly manage their own garbage, therefore, polluting the slopes of Annapurna.

2. Montagnes Magazine presenting doubts about Oh’s summits, not only on KG, but also on Everest (2004), Cho Oyu (2007), Lhotse (2008) and Broad Peak (2008).

3. The declaration by Edurne Pasaban that the Sherpas of Miss Oh assured that she did not reach the highest point of Kangchenjunga. Even though Edurne was pressed to reveal the names of the Sherpas at first, she did not. However, afterwards, she did say: “The names are Dawa Wangchuk, Pema Tshering, Tshering Nurbu, Dawa Sange, Ong Dorje, Chumbi and Phu Dorje.” (It is important to point out that Edurne never said that “this Sherpa said this” or that “this Sherpa said that”–she only released the names in general.)

4. April 26 interview on Desnivel with Juanito Oiarzabal: “I believe she did not summit.”

5. April 28 interview on Desnivel with Edurne Pasaban: “The picture was not taken on the summit” and “the truth can be bought and there is a chance that the Sherpas [of Miss Oh] ‘go this way’.”

6. Juanito declared that “the solidarity on mountaineering is lost. Even more in the case of the South Koreans.” The critics were poised in the event of Tolo Calafat’s death on Annapurna. On that occasion, Oiarzabal thought that Oh Eun-Sun could have, but did not, sent her Sherpas on a rescue mission. Later, Juanito regretted his words when the South Korean female climber stated that the Sherpas were too tired to participate in the rescue and that it would be suicide to send them up again.

7. May 4 interview on Spiegel with Hans Kammerlander: “She’s a flash in the pan” and “She was taken to the top by her team.”

All the critics lead Miss Elizabeth Hawley, editor of Himalayan Database, to alter the registration of Oh Eun-Sun’s summit on KG from “clear” to “disputed”. It is important to point out, however, that “disputed” does not mean “not summited” or “unrecognized”, but only means that some climber presented suspects over a particular summit.

Later, when back from the summit bid, Oh Eun-Sun defended herself from the accusations. On a television conference in Seoul, the climbing Sherpas that went to the very summit of Kangchenjunga with Miss Oh– Dawa Wangchuk and Pema Tshering–confirmed her version of the story. However, the third Sherpa climber on that occasion–Nurbu Sherpa–had a different point of view. According to him, they stopped 150 vertical meters below the top (as consigned on Himalayan Database).

We all thought that the female climbers would give the world a good example, but things ended very sadly. Some people said that it is some sort of Edurne’s revenge for not being the first (something like ‘Since I am not the winner, this race will have no winner at all’). Others say that Oh Eun-Sun is a cheater and her summits are not clarified. No matter which side one chooses, the race ended with negative effects. And it is possible that this story will never end. The “disputed” mark would remain, since Edurne would have no purpose of retracting her accusations. On the other side, it is not necessary for a picture to validate a summit–the words of other climbers are enough, because there are hundreds of cases like this–and Oh Eun-Sun has the testimony of his two climbing Sherpas, one of them–Dawa Wangchuk–who stood at the top of KG four times. Possibly an endless mystery to the folklore of the race…

IV–The Aftershock

On the bright side of the story, the major lesson about these two South Korean female climbers is that it’s possible for someone, with unlimited financial resources and putting aside style concerns, to summit all 14 in a very short lapse.

Go Mi-Sun (Ko Mi-Young) summited her first 8000er in October of 2006, and would end the race in April of 2010, less than four years from the beginning. She would cut to half Kukuczka’s present record of seven years and 11 months. The same with Oh Eun-Sun. Discounting the 8000ers previous to the decision to grab all, she collected 11 peaks in about four years.

I received a curious e-mail from a climber saying that if Denis Urubko, Anatoli Boukreev, or Carlos Carsolio had unlimited money, they would end the race in a year or so. Pure speculation! But the South Korean female climbers proved that it is possible to complete the entire pack of 14 in the three to five year lapse.

Another conclusion is that it became very clear that from now on climbers must be divided into two groups.

One group is formed by those who are only interested in completing all 14–it does not matter how. For example: Oh Eun-Sun, Go Mi-Sun, Edurne Pasaban, Han Wang-Young. This group, with or without strong financial support, would climb with many “helpers”, such as guides, Sherpas or other climbing helpers, who are co-actors, and would go up on the most basic routes, trying nothing different in terms of alpinism, and using oxygen when necessary.

The other group–for example: Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Reinhold Messner, Denis Urubko–would be formed by those who face mountaineering as sport and tries to go beyond the limits, using a large spectrum of “tools”: speed ascents, taking advantage of new or difficult routes, doing winter climbing, going without bottled oxygen, etc….

V–Female collectors with at least one summit in spring

14 Oh Eun-Sun (S.K.)
14 Edurne Pasaban (SPA)
13 Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (AUT)
7 Kinga Baranowska (POL)
5 Eva Zarzuelo (SPA)
4 Sandrine De Choudens (FRA)

NOTE: This Chronicle is based on preliminary data and under analysis. Some numbers will be revised in the following months, with possibly a few corrections made by then.

* Previous story :

- Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, Take 1: 8000er Collectors, Everest Serial Summiteers and Lost Climbers.

* Related Links :

- StatCrunch: ladies of thin air – beyond Wanda’s footprints.

- Oh Eun-Sun summits Annapurna – becomes the first woman 14x8000er summiteer!

- Edurne Pasaban the first European and second woman in the world to complete the 14x8000ers.

- Piotr Pustelnik summits Annapurna – bags the 14x8000ers!

- Veikka Gustafsson completes the 14×8000ers list!

- Andrew Lock completes the 14×8000ers list!

* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: Miss Oh and Miss Go, Himalaya Dream Mile.

“Man could not run a mile in less than 4 minutes!” And yet Bannister did exactly that, shortly followed by hundreds.

Tied with 11 mountains each, at the start of this year, Spanish Edurne Pasaban, Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Italian Nives Meroi were the three main women in place to become the first females to summit all 8000ers.

That all changed when two Korean ladies entered the scene. 

Miss Oh

Korean climbers live under different conditions than western mountaineers. South Korea faces constant threat from communist North Korea and most elders have fresh memories from the Korean War (1950-53) that killed 2.5 million people. It has provided Korea with mountaineers known for taking bigger risks but also achieving spectacular climbs.

Codenamed “squirrel” and “iron woman”, the oldest of three children Miss Oh worked several jobs and set up a noodle-shop to make money for her climbs. “Had I quit my job only to climb mountains, I wouldn’t have lasted long. In my opinion, to realize one’s true wishes it’s important to stay independent – not only financially, but also mentally,” she wrote in an open letter to fellow Korean women admirers.

Oh Eun-Sun achieved her very first 8000er (G2) 12 years ago in company of Um Hong-Gil and Park Young-Seok. Following several setbacks her second 8000er came not until 2004 on Mount Everest. That’s when everything changed for Miss Oh.

A charge of historical proportions over the highest mountains in the world followed; with Shisha Pangma in 2006, Cho Oyu and K2 in 2007, Makalu, Lhotse, Broad Peak and Manaslu in 2008, and Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum this year.

She broke records too numerous to count, male and female. Speeding up 8000er after 8000er, in Himalaya she was the female version of Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter now considered the greatest sportsman on the planet.

Doubt

With the incredible successes came doubt. Some of Miss Oh’s summits were questioned. Other South Koreans facing the same problem in the past returned with a vengeance to clear their records. They were in fact Miss Oh’s partners from G2, her very first peak.

Um Hong-Gil repeated Lhotse and Shisha Pangma. Young-Seok Park repeated Lhotse, providing a super- photo gallery from all the sections, summit included. As for Miss Oh, ExplorersWeb have not seen any facts warranting doubts of her claims.

Criticized for heavy support, the woman climber said she climbs with a few regular Sherpa and used oxygen support only on Everest and K2. “And since an incident when we helped a climber with medical O2 (one of the Sherpas gave him a bottle of O2, I gave him my mask and there were comments afterwards) I don’t even carry a mask during the climbs,” she said. Go Mi Sun by ExWeb's

Miss Go

Korean star climber Go Mi Sun, 41, was another story and western mountaineers often confused the two. Former Asian X Games champion – Go had doggedly entered the world top-league of Himalaya climbers.

The youngest of 6 siblings, except for her first 8000er (Cho Oyu), Go Mi Sun mostly climbed in big teams using oxygen and led by Kim Jae-Soo. The two survived K2 together last year, and Go said that she hoped to climb all 14, 8000ers by 2011.

But shortly after she sped up her ambition. Following her Makalu-Kangchenjunga-Dhaulagiri triple this spring, Miss Go was headed for the Gasherbrums and Nanga Parbat this summer, hoping to crown her list with Annapurna in fall.

Miss Go’s records set a number of milestones for the world mountaineering community, in the end underlining the seriousness of Himalayan 8000+ meter exposure. She fell to her death on descent after summit at around 6200 meters on Nanga Parbat in a section where the previously fixed rope had been removed.

Back home in Korea, some local climbers said that media, sponsors and the “first-ism” of society had fueled a competition between Miss Go and Miss Oh – forcing the climbers to take undue risks.

Go’s older brother however replied that his sister and Miss Oh were friends, and never competed with each other. As for the sponsors, “My sister didn’t have enough money to climb, so they helped her,” the brother said.

Asked to rate the biggest difficulties, Miss Oh in turn told ExWeb’s correspondent in Korea Kyu Dam Lee, “It was hard to wait for a chance to summit Broad Peak on our third attempt. But the toughest was to recover from the shock after Go Mi-sun died on Nanga Parbat; I had to struggle to get my mind back in control.”

Cards still open

Currently preparing for Annapurna, her last 8,000er, nobody doubts anymore how serious Miss Oh is about her goal to grab the first female 14, 8000ers position (Messner holds the male spot).

Seasoned enough to evaluate the risk, “fear is only in our mind,” she said, “even though, every time I start an expedition, I can’t help thinking whether the mountain will accept me on her summit or not. I am also aware that death is very close to me all the time while I climb.”

“I am preparing to do my best,” she told ExplorersWeb. “In the end though, Annapurna will decide.”

With Edurne, Nives and Gerlinde so far ahead only some years ago, what then seemed impossible is now totally achievable for the South Korean woman.

The cards are still open though. All we know for certain is that Miss Oh and Miss Go have done something many mountaineers didn’t think was possible until a year ago. Miss Go died precisely because the quest is difficult and dangerous, showcasing the very heart – and risk – of pioneering.

As for the race, Miss Oh had the following advice to fellow Korean women: “Identify your dreams and follow them: Happiness lays right there. You will lose if you compare yourself to others. You will lose if you begin to worry about money, honor or whatever others may think. Remember that dreams and happiness come out of what you like to do – for yourself.”

Roger Bannister put it this way:

“We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves. The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.”

Related story: StatCrunch, take 3: ladies of thin air – beyond Wanda’s footprints.

Related story: StatCrunch, take 3, final: ladies of thin air – XXIst Century women.

Related story: ExWeb interview with Oh Eun-sun: “Annapurna will decide”.

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.

* Previous story :

-   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: new route on Nanga Parbat.

-   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: the 14×8000ers.

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

-   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards – Special mention.

-   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Farewell to friends.

-   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Polar adventures.

-   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Significant climbs.

-   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: The Oceans.

-   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Mount Everest.

-   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Controversies.

-   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Technology and Space.

-   Tragedy in the Himalaya, 2009 climbing season.

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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StatCrunch: ladies of thin air – XXIst Century women.

(MountEverest.net) Today the final part of Rodrigo Granzotto Peron’s interesting check of the Himalayan stats, focusing this time on the thin air ladies.

Last week we learned that the first female 8000er summit to go down was Manaslu in 1974. And while Junko Tabei became the first woman to summit Everest in 1975, Tibetan Ms. Phantog followed only ten days later, via the north side.

The biggest name in female Himalaya history was Polish Wanda Rutkiewicz who summited eight 8000ers until Kangchenjunga took her life in 1992. A feat so outstanding, that it would take 15 years for another woman to equal her record.

Today: Individual female current ranking, and the National female ranking.

The XXIst Century top high altitude women

Oh Eun SunBy the turn of the Century, three outstanding female collectors entered the 14x8000er scene: Italian Nives Meroi, Spanish Edurne Pasaban, and Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner.

While Gerlinde was the first to grab 9 and 11 different main 8000ers, Nives was the first to hit 10 and Edurne the first to bag 12. They were surpassed very recently by South Korea dark horse Oh Eun-Sun, who this summer became the first woman to summit 13 different main 8000ers (ed note: a few of the summits are still investigated though).

The current record-holder has only Annapurna to end the list – after a failed attempt this fall, she’ll give the peak another shot next spring.

III – Individual female 14x8000ers current ranking

Gerlinde KaltenbrunnerFollowing is the current list of female lady collectors, with 3 to 13 different main 8000ers bagged. Oh Eun Sun leads the pack of a bunch of brave climbers coming from 22 different countries, with a predominance of Spanish, Polish and Japanese women.

13 Oh Eun-Sun (S-K)

12 Edurne Pasaban (SPA)
12 Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (AUT)

11 Nives Meroi (ITA)
11 Go Mi-Sun (S-K) [deceased]

08 Wanda Rutkiewicz (POL) [deceased]

06 Chantal Mauduit (FRA) [deceased]
06 Christine Boskoff (USA) [deceased]
06 Anna Czerwińska (POL)
06 Kinga Baranowska (POL)Kinga Baranowska Shisha Pangma 2009

05 Tamae Watanabe (JAP)

04 Ingrid Baeyens (BEL)
04 Yuka Endo (JAP)
04 Taeko Yamanoi (JAP)
04 Fumie Yoshida (JAP)
04 Ji Hyun-Ok (S-K) [deceased]
04 Ginette Harrison (UK) [deceased]
04 Marija Stremfelj (SLO)
04 Marianne Chapuisat (SWZ). Edurne Pasaban in Shisha Pangma's 2009
04 Sue Fear (AUS) [deceased]
04 Badia Bonilla Luna (MEX)
04 Rosa María Fernandez (SPA)
04 Joelle Brupbacher (SWZ)
04 Anita Ugyan (HUN)

03 Liliane Barrard (FRA) [deceased]
03 Lutgaarde Vivijs (BEL)
03 Gabriele Hupfauer (GER)
03 Christine Janin (FRA)
03 Charlotte Fox (USA)
03 Junko Tabei (JAP)
03 Anna Akinina (RUS)
03 Katja Staartjes (NED)
03 Lydia Bradey (N-Z)
03 Chieko Shimada (JAP)
03 Eva Zarzuelo (SPA)
03 Sandrine De Choudens (FRA)
03 Pemba Doma Sherpani (NEP) [deceased]
03 Alessandra Canestri (ITA)
03 Ji Ji (TIB)
03 Katalin Csollany (HUN)
03 Cristina Castagna (ITA)
03 Lina Quesada (SPA)
03 Cecilie Skog (NOR)
03 Ester Sabadell (SPA)
03 Alix von Melle (GER)
03 Ellen Miller (USA)

IV – National female 14x8000ers

The list can also be classified by countries, with each nationality represented by its leading woman summiteer:

13 S Korea (Oh Eun-Sun)

12 Spain (Edurne Pasaban)
12 Austria (Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner)

11 Italy (Nives Meroi)

08 Poland (Wanda Rutkiewicz)

06 France (Chantal Mauduit)
06 USA (Christine Boskoff)

05 Japan (Tamae Watanabe)

04 Belgium (Ingrid Baeyens)
04 UK (Ginette Harrison)
04 Slovenia (Marija Stremfelj)
04 Switzerland (Marianne Chapuisat)
04 Australia (Sue Fear)
04 Mexico (Badia Bonilla Luna)
04 Hungary (Anita Ugyan)

03 Germany (Gabriele Hupfauer, Alix von Melle)
03 Russia (Anna Akinina)
03 Netherlands (Katja Staartjes)
03 N Zealand (Lydia Bradey)
03 Nepal (Pemba Doma Sherpani)
03 China/Tibet (Ji Ji)
03 Norway (Cecilie Skog)

Author’s Notes:
a) The lists are updated to October/2009.
b) Only confirmed main summits are accepted. Non-proved claims, fore-summits (like Shisha Pangma Central, Broad Peak’s Rocky/Fore-Summit, etc.) and disputed summits are discharged. Some facts were proof-checked with Miss Hawley’s Himalayan Database.
c) Some summits are still being investigated – so some entries may be revisited in the following months, with possibly a few corrections to be done.

* Previous story :

StatCrunch: ladies of thin air – beyond Wanda’s footprints.

StatCrunch: 8000er mountaineers with 6 summits or more, updated – October/2009.

* see : – Wanda Rutkiewicz – skarb narodowy. /Version polish and english/

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /41/ – Week in Review.

Some explorers are truly testing the waters for human limits; such as the kids roaming the oceans and people like Geoff Holt, about to cross the Atlantic in a wheelchair.

Last week also brought Himalayan female milestones and polar speed records; ending with the annual Turkey story for the Thanksgiving weekend!

StatCrunch, take 3: ladies of thin air – beyond Wanda’s footprints With only Annapurna left, Oh Eun Sun is currently leading the world’s14x8000er female rank. But who was the first woman to summit an 8000er? And what is the history of women in Himalaya? Last week ExWeb’s Rodrigo Granzotto Peron continued his interesting crunch of the Himalayan stats, focusing this time on the ladies of thin air.

Spring 2010 Everest preview: Kaltenbrunner & Dujmovits Gerlinde and husband Ralf are reportedly aiming for Everest north face next spring.

2008/2009 Antarctica speed records… The fastest time from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole (1130 km) is currently 33 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes by Canadians Richard Weber, Kevin Valley and Ray Zahab. The fastest solo from Hercules Inlet is 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes bagged by American Todd Carmichael. From the Ronne-Filchner (Messner) start point, a distance of 890 km, the speed record is 24 days 8 hours and 50 min done by Norwegians Christian Eide (leader), Rune Midgaard, Mads Agrup and Morten Andvig – averaging a very fast 36.87 km/day. None of the teams/skiers used airdrops or sails for their record-breaking performances.

…and new season roundup Fewer teams are on the ice this season and 11 out of the 17 skiers are women. 5 skiers summitted Everest: Cecilie Skog, Ryan Waters, Meagan McGrath, Bill Hanlon and Arnold Witzig. 5 out of the 17 skiers are Canadians or Canadian residents.

Antarctic wrap-up: Cecilie Skog and Ryan Waters crossed Berkner Island and are skiing on sea ice towards the Dufek Massif, their gateway to the Antarctic continent. They travel fast, up to daily 25 kms in spite of lugging a full load so early in the crossing. Eric Larsen, Dongsheng Liu and Bill Hanlon reported one degree down while the Commonwealth Ladies were “almost sweating” in the sun.

Desert wrap-up: The river Nile Christian Bodegren reached his first big landmark on his Sahara crossing, The Nile. He changed guides and bought a new camel for the next leg.

Two Clipper Race yachts collided A dramatic start on 22 November to Race 4 of Clipper 09-10 in Cape Town, South Africa saw eight of the boats cross the start line for the 4,700-mile race to Geraldton, Western Australia, while a collision between Hull & Humber and Cork resulted in the two teams returning to harbor reported the Clipper team.

ExWeb interview with Geoff Holt, “I’ll be returning as master of a sailing yacht, despite my disability” Twenty-five years ago Geoff’s sailing career was cut short by a life changing accident which left him paralyzed from the chest down. He is now heading back to the Atlantic Ocean which he had crossed three times as a teenager; this time as master and commander of his boat, in a wheelchair and full of life lessons. “You can only achieve any of these things when you are comfortable with who you are as a person,” he told ExWeb.

17-year old Ryan Langley preparing for a sail around the world non-stop He got an introduction to sailing when he was just months old and is playing the violin since he was nine: American Ryan Langley is currently preparing to sail non-stop around the world, working full steam ahead with high hopes to secure a main partner.

A little turkey story rerun It began in 2003. The next year there was a rerun. Now it’s an ExWeb tradition. Here goes the annual turkey story. Happy Thanksgiving, guys!

So here you are, getting ready to enter the world of extreme adventure. You are preparing your sponsor and media pitch and time has come to decide on a strategy. Before you decide on which tale to present, ponder this:

A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, but I haven’t got the energy.” “Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.”

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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StatCrunch: ladies of thin air – beyond Wanda’s footprints.

(MountEverest.net) With only Annapurna left, Oh Eun Sun is currently leading the world’s14x8000er female rank.

But who was the first woman to summit an 8000er? And what is the history of women in Himalaya? ExWeb’s Rodrigo Granzotto Peron continues his interesting crunch of the Himalayan stats, focusing this time on the ladies of thin air.

Women’s 8000ers
By Rodrigo Granzotto Peron

I – First Female Ascents on 8000ers:

EV – 1975 – Junko Tabei (JAP)
K2 – 1986 – Wanda Rutkiewicz (POL), Liliane Barrard (FRA)
KG – 1998 – Ginette Harrison (UK)
LH – 1996 – Chantal Mauduit (FRA)
MK – 1990 – Kitty Calhoun (USA)
CH – 1984 – Vera Komarkova, Margita Sterbova (CZE)
DH – 1982 – Lutgaarde Vivijs (BEL)
MN – 1974 – Naoko Nakaseko, Masako Uchida, Meiko Mori (JAP)
NP – 1984 – Liliane Barrard (FRA)
AN – 1978 – Vera Komarkova (CZE), Irene Miller (USA)
GI – 1982 – Marie-Jose Valençot (FRA)
BP – 1983 – Krystyna Palmowska (POL)
GII – 1975 – Anna Okopinska, Halina Kruger-Syrokomska (POL)
SH – 1981 – Junko Tabei (JAP)

First: Manaslu – last: Kangchenjunga – Everest: two (!) female ascents in 1975

The table shows that the first 8000er summited by women was not Everest.

Members of an all-female Japanese expedition, Naoko Nakaseko, Masako Uchida and Meiko Mori topped-out Manaslu in 1974, one year before fellow Japanese Tabei Junko completed her Everest feat.

Junko became world famous for being the first woman to summit Everest on May 16th, 1975 (via the south side). Few know that only 10 days later, Tibetan Ms. Phantog topped-out Everest via the north side.

The last 8000er to be summited by a woman for the first time was, very recently, Kangchenjunga in 1998.

First female doubles: Junko, Vera and Liliane (Wanda permitting)

By her summit of Shisha Pangma in 1981, Junko became the first to bag two female 8000er virgins.

Three years later in 1984, Czech Vera Komarkova summited another female first – Cho Oyu – after becoming the first woman to summit Annapurna in 1978.

However, I have also included French Liliane Barrard, who completed the first female ascents of Nanga Parbat (1984) and K2 (1986).

It is a controversial subject though as K2’ first female ascent is credited to Wanda Rutkiewicz who actually climbed together with Liliane on the summit push. Wanda was faster and topped out a mere one hour ahead of the French.

In my opinion, the two women deserve to share the achievement and I believe Wanda would not oppose to this, had she been alive.

II – Female 8000ers historical ranking

01x8000er – Naoko Nakaseko, Masako Uchida and Meiko Mori (JAP) [1974]
02x8000ers – Junko Tabei (JAP) [1981]
03x8000ers – Wanda Rutkiewicz (POL) [1986]
04x8000ers – Wanda Rutkiewicz (POL) [1987]
05x8000ers – Wanda Rutkiewicz (POL) [1989]
06x8000ers – Wanda Rutkiewicz (POL) [1990]
07x8000ers – Wanda Rutkiewicz (POL) [1991]
08x8000ers – Wanda Rutkiewicz (POL) [1991]
09x8000ers – Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (AUT) [2006]
10x8000ers – Nives Meroi (ITA) [2007]
11x8000ers – Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (AUT) [2008]
12x8000ers – Edurne Pasaban (SPA) [2009]
13x8000ers – Oh Eun-Sun (S-K) [2009]
14x8000ers – ???

Wanda’s kingdom

The 80’s and the 90’s were dominated by the first woman 8000er collector, the astonishing Wanda Rutkiewicz, widely considered the most talented high-altitude lady climber ever.

Polish Wanda summited Everest (1978), Nanga Parbat (1985), K2 (1986), Shisha Pangma (1987), Gasherbrum II (1989), Gasherbrum I (1990), Cho Oyu (1991) and Annapurna (1991). Intended to become her 9th 8000er, Kangchenjunga took Wanda’s life one year later – and the world lost an icon.

It would take 15 years for another woman to equal Rutkiewicz’s record.

Friday, final: Individual and National female ranking

Author’s Notes:
a) The lists are updated to October/2009.
b) Only confirmed main summits are accepted. Non-proved claims, fore-summits (like Shisha Pangma Central, Broad Peak’s Rocky/Fore-Summit, etc.) and disputed summits are discharged. Some facts were proof-checked with Miss Hawley’s Himalayan Database.
c) Some summits are still being investigated – so some entries may be revisited in the following months, with possibly a few corrections to be done.

* Previous story :

StatCrunch: 8000er mountaineers with 6 summits or more, updated – October/2009.

* see : – Wanda Rutkiewicz – skarb narodowy. /Version polish and english/

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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III Spotkania Podróżników i Eksplorerów w Krakowie (13-15 listopada 2009).

Od 13 do 15 listopada odbędą się w Krakowie III Spotkania Podróżników i Eksplorerów, kilkanaście godzin pokazów zdjęć, filmów i prezentacji.

Prelegenci to zarówno postaci dobrze znane i cenione w podróżniczym środowisku, jak i – a może przede wszystkim – młodzi, ambitni globtroterzy także mający już w swoim dorobku znakomite dokonania, nierzadko światowej rangi. Nie zabraknie m.in. laureatów Kolosów.

Wśród uczestników także wielu znakomitych wspinaczy, którzy opowiedzą o swoich górskich zmaganiach. Nie będą to jednak zwykłe relacje z zakończonych łatwymi wejściami wypraw, ale pełne dramatyzmu i autentycznych emocji opowieści o tym, że powodzenie w górach zależy m.in. od tego, czy umie się im okazać pokorę.

By podzielić się wrażeniami z tegorocznej wyprawy na Kanczendzongę, na Spotkaniach pojawi się Kinga Baranowska (Kolos za dokonania 2008 roku), która pod koniec października wróciła spod Shisha Pangmy.

Baranowska Kangch_2009  18.05 Na szczycie Kanczendzongi 8598m New

* Zobacz :

- Kinga Baranowska, first Polish woman to reach the summit of Kangchenjunga. Kinga Baranowska pierwszą Polką, która zdobyła Kanczendzonge.

- inne wyprawy : – Kinga Baranowska

Będzie też Michał Król, wyróżniony w marcu na Kolosach za wytyczenie nowej drogi na północnej ścianie Pharilapcha w dolinie Khumbu, który zmagał się w tym roku z Kyzyl-Asker, co okupił zresztą poważnym urazem, oraz Paweł Szlachta, który mierzył się z klątwą Nanda Devi – Bogini Śmierci.

Z kolei Leszka Cichego nikomu nie trzeba przedstawiać. Jego prelekcja będzie stanowić prolog do obchodów 30. rocznicy jednego z najważniejszych wydarzeń w dziejach himalaizmu – pierwszego w historii zimowego wejścia ludzi na Everest, najwyższy szczyt Ziemi, którego 17 lutego 1980 roku Leszek Cichy dokonał wraz z Krzysztofem Wielickim.

Polish Winter Expedition 1980
1st winter Summit / Zdobycie Mt. Everest.
Foto galeria.

Summit Day

* Zobacz relacje z wyprawy :

- Krzysztof Wielicki – Polish Winter Expedition 1980

PROGRAM

Uwaga!

W skróconym programie istnieją aktywne linki do poszczególnych dni i do szczegółowych opisów pokazów.

PIĄTEK, 13 listopada 2009

Prowadzenie: Piotr Tomza

18.00-18.40
Malinowski wraca na Trobriandy
Leszek Ciupiński

18.50-19.30
Nanda Devi 70 lat później
Paweł Szlachta

19.40-20.20
Pieszo przez Kraj Indian – Polak w marszu przez Amerykę
Marek Nowocień

20.30-21.10
„Polski” Hindukusz na motorze
Krzysztof Samborski

21.20-22.00
Szaman w trampkach oraz Matka Boska Przemytnicza, czyli tydzień z życia w Paragwaju
Magdalena Moll, Monika Wiącek

SOBOTA, 14 listopada 2009

16.00-16.40
Lata eksploracji: alpejskie jaskinie

16.50-17.30
Górne partie Azji
Piotr Milaniak

17.40-18.20
Rapa Nui: jaskinie w „Pępku świata”
Andrzej Ciszewski, Zdzisław Jan Ryn

18.30-19.30
Mount Everest zimą: prolog do 30. rocznicy
Leszek Cichy

19.40-20.10

Piękna, wymagająca linia

Michał Król

Prelekcje zarejestrowane cyfrowo podczas XI OGÓLNOPOLSKICH SPOTKAŃ PODRÓŻNIKÓW ŻEGLARZY I ALPINISTÓW w Gdyni

20.15-21.05
„Victorią” dookoła świata
Michal Nešvara

21.10-22.00
W poszukiwaniu dna absolutnego
Krzysztof Starnawski

NIEDZIELA, 15 listopada 2009

16.00-16.50
Rowerem do wodospadów Antanambalana
Arkadiusz Ziemba

17.00-17.50

Pokora wobec gór

Kinga Baranowska

18.00-18.50
Prowadził ją los – Kinga Freespirit
Radosław „Chopin” Siuda

19.00-19.50
„Que te vaya bien!” – samotnie zimą rowerem przez Andy

Piotr Strzeżysz

20.00-20.50
Bislama, czyli jak zmienić melanezyjskich ludożerców w najszczęśliwszy naród świata
Przemysław Domański

21.00-21.50
Free Tibet Expedition 2008: Mount Logan, Alaska i terytorium Jukon
Film Marka Klonowskiego 50’

Miejsce: Centrum Kultury „Dworek Białoprądnicki”
Zajazd Kościuszkowski, ul. Białoprądnicka 3, Kraków

Wstęp wolny
!

Szczegółowy program: kolosy.pl

* Poprzednie posty : – Mountain festival

goryonline.com

** zapraszam na relacje z wypraw polskich himalaistów.

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Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /21/ – Week in Review.

American climbers Micah Dash and Wade Johnson are missing in Sichuan while Jonathan Copp’s remains have been found. Read more in a Monday update at ExWeb. jonny micah wade New

In other news: Pakistan is gearing up although in lesser numbers. Last-word debriefs still trickle in from the past Nepal/Tibet-Himalaya season; with reportedly also Cho Oyu claiming a victim last week.

Out on the ice; Skiers Arnaud Tortel and Charles Hedrich have carved a new Arctic route.

American climber found in avalanche debris In an eerie reminder of Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff lost in a 2007 Sichuan avalanche; Micah Dash, Jonathan Copp and Wade Johnson were reported missing on Sichuan’s E Gongga end last week. Fellow Boulder climbers were quickly dispatched to assist in the search; sadly Copp’s remains were found in avalanche debris at 4000 meters near BC this weekend.

Everest North side: Canadian Gabriel Fillipi and Peruvian Richard Hidalgo were two out of four climbers hoping for a last chance weather window on Everest’s North side last week. By Saturday, Gabriel had called his expedition off while news is still expected from the other climbers.

Dennis Verhoeve lost on Cho Oyu Dutch Dennis Verhoeve reportedly fell to his death while abseiling from Cho Oyu summit on June 2nd.

Broad Peak: Last weekend, Ludo and Eli climbed up a new variation route up Broad Peak, while Antoine climbed to just below C3 (7000m) on the normal route. “From 6,500 meters up, the route goes on hard ice, barely covered by 5-10cm of inconsistent snow. It was also extremely cold,” Antoine reported. “Our first bivouac was improvised on the couloir,” Ludo and Eli debriefed. “It was so steep, we had to sleep roped-up to a 3-point belay secured to a snow-mushroom, a piton and an ice-axe [...] After a second bivy, we faced one last obstacle separating us from BP’s plateau, which would lead to the summit – but there was no pass to be found.” The climbers might be headed for a new summit attempt at this moment.

Laila & K2 Skys-kiers Swedish Fredrik Eriksson and Italian Michele Fait are off for Laila Peak, hoping to climb and ski down from its summit as a preparation for K2.

K2 and Broad Peak FTA has a permit both for K2 and Broad Peak. K2 will be led by Fabrizio Zangrilli, “serving more as a coach than a step-by-step guide,” he told Vail daily.

G1 & new route attempt on Gauri Shankar Recent Piolets d’Or winner Japanese Kazuya Hiraide will attempt G1 with Finnish Veikka Gustafsson before moving to Gauri Shankar(7134m), aiming for a new route on its SE face.

Triples French climber, ski-runner and 7Summits summiteer Philippe Gatta is attempting the GI+GII+Broad Peak triple header this season as an independent climber in a large team led by Altitude Junkies/Project-Himalaya’s Phil Crampton, bringing with him three Sherpa fresh off the slopes of Everest.

14x8000ers racers for K2, Nanga and GI Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Joao Garcia hope to turn K2 and Nanga Parbat, respectively, into their lucky 13th, while South Korean 8000er female racer Oh Eun-sun is going for Nanga and GI, before her claimed last 8000er – Annapurna – planned for fall this year.

Kinga Baranowska: fresh from summiting Kangchenjunga, Polish Kinga hopes to turn GI and GII into her 7th and 8th 8000ers.

Final reports from Kangchenjunga and Dhaulagiri Bad weather prevented German Louis and Rupert from completing a ski descent from Dhaulagiri’s summit. Spaniards Alberto Zerain and Koke Lasa were airlifted from Kangchenjunga with frostbite and AMS. “After summiting Kangchenjunga on his own, Alberto wanted to attempt Yalung Kang, but instead went up to Kangch’s high camps to check on his team mates,” Kinga told ExWeb. “He suffered slight frostbite in the process which cost him the Yalung Kang attempt.”

Ben Clark: We’ll be back “We’re coming back to finish the climb – Baruntse 2010,” American Ben reported from Kathmandu. “This route is incredible and something we’re committed to working toward and completing,” Ben stated.

Ang Tshering writes from Nepal… Ang Tshering Sherpa is the major expedition organizer in Nepal, with experience dating back to the early history of Everest and Himalaya mountaineering. He has made it a tradition to write reports from main events – check his latest at ExWeb last week.

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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