Himalaya 2008 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /2/ – Week in Review.

In Pakistan last week G1 and Broad Peak had remarkable ascents and Nanga was summited as well. Over the hills; China reported that it will open Tibet but restrict Everest (for environment concerns this time), while the Lhasa torch relay turned a showdown for local political leaders who vowed to destroy the Dalai Lama – according to the (few) reporters allowed to watch.

Other big stories: ExWeb’s interview with Ueli Steck; Alex Gavan’s five cents and some cool polar projects, for no good reason at all – other than the old joy of exploration.

Pakistan: 1-2-3…G1 down for dos Pedros!

June 25, Peter Hamor and Piotr Morawski reached the summit of Gasherbrum I (8 068m) at 1.30 pm local time in alpine style by the Spanish route, which merges to American route. The top was bagged after ten days on the mountain, struggling in deep fresh snow with 20 kg heavy backpacks. According to Peter Hamor, they both traversed the summit and descended to Gasherbrum La Col.

* previous story :

Himalayan Triptych Reactivated: Gasherbrum traverse part 2. /Version english and polish/Peter Hamor and Piotr Morawski reached the summit of Gasherbrum I

Himalayan Triptych Reactivated: Gasherbrum traverse part 1. /Version english and polish/

Himalayan Triptych Reactivated – part 2# and 3#: Gasherbrum and Broad Peak traverses. /Version english/

Broad Peak – third 8000er down in Baltoro Express Dodo and Vlado headed for a summit push Thursday morning, in very bad conditions. Vlado went the normal route and probably didn’t summit; the climbers parted at 8 pm. Dodo continued up through a new variation of the route, and reached the top at about 9 pm. He said this was his hardest climb yet in Himalaya.

Nanga Parbat summits Italians Daniele Nardi and Mario Panzeri, and an Amical team comprising guide Rainer Pircher, member Thomas Streng, high altitude porters Nissar Hussain and Mohammed Ali summited Nanga Parbat on June 21.

K2 update A Liaison Officer suffering cerebral edema are the only bad news yet from the peak, knock on wood. Teams on K2 are collaborating on rope fixing; the Dutch still leading the game to C3 on the Cesen route.

Valeri Babanov’s team reached Broad Peak’s BC, reporting an American and a Belarussian expedition also in place.

China to re-open Tibet? A trekking agency in Nepal reported to its clients last week that Tibet seems to open for normal tour groups by end June. Normal groups will be allowed in first, followed by other trekking groups. Confirmation from the Tibet Mountaineering Association is expected for climbing expeditions.

Everest closed and re-opened – when, how and why Over the weekend the Chinese Government went ahead with its Olympic torch relay through Tibet. “The relay ended up being a rallying point for local political leaders who vowed to destroy the Dalai Lama,” said ABC news source. Foreigners are still banned from entering Tibet, only a handful of journalists were allowed into Lhasa to cover the torch relay, and most ordinary people were told to stay off the streets until it was over, ABC news said.

China’s number games Next year marks the 50 year anniversary of Dalai Lama’s forced exile from Tibet. China has already restricted hunting trips and other tourism events to the country until after 2009. In a June 23 report this week, Chinese state media said that authorities will limit climbers on Everest north side, citing environmental reasons. Presenting unconfirmed data for Everest garbage and tourism, China did not mention major deforestation, dumping of nuclear waste, and Chinese mining currently heavily polluting Tibetan rivers.

Alex Gavan: About Nangpa La, Makalu and Annapurna “Tibetans were hunted like rats.” These five words, feared by so many, made Alex Gavan famous. Fast forward 2 years. Currently in Gasherbrum 2 Base Camp, last week Alex reflected on the lifetime of events that has followed since that bloody autumn day. “The story goes on,” Alex wrote in his dispatch. “After all that happened since my Makalu summit and Inaki’s passing away, I was just not in the mood to write down my thoughts.” The Romanian climber wrote about personal change – and Annapurna: “I want to acknowledge the simply wonderful men who came up from nowhere when the signal for help was in the air. This was surely a gesture in the very true spirit of mountaineering, opposite with what happened on Everest with David Sharp or other people who kept silent over the Nangpa La shootings.”

ExWeb interview with Ueli Steck: “We couldn’t have lived with ourselves otherwise” Earlier this week, ExplorersWeb caught up with Ueli Steck for an interview – about Inaki. What had happened, exactly? Ueli gave it to us straight, with a repeated message: There was never any hesitation; to help is the normal thing to do.

Ben Clark Annapurna IV final Bad weather forced the American ski team back down on Annapurna IV. “To tide things over to the fall trip to China, I have posted 23 new photos on the website,” Ben Clark, who will host an hour long daily live show for Plum Tv during the winter, reported.

Everest and Himalaya Season’s end Chronicle 2nd edition Recently, Brazilian writer and chronicler Rodrigo Granzotto Peron compiled a season’s end report from the past Everest and Himalaya season. Some numbers were marked as based on preliminary data and last week, Rodrigo presented some corrections and additions.

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

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