Himalaya 2008 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /7/ – Week in Review, wrapping up other news from the past two weeks.

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ExplorersWeb Week in Review Special K2 Edition

(Aug 11, 2008 ) Yesterday we ran a WIR K2 special; and here goes the second edition, wrapping up other events over the past two weeks. Pakistan has been action packed with a first ski descent of Nanga’s central Diamir face; a new route double by Babanov and Afanasyev; G4 success by the Spaniards and an Italian new ascent on Beka Brakai Chhok.

Piotr Morawski delivered a GI & GII debrief; while in the polar areas a solar eclipce and global warming were big issues. ExWeb flew a banner over Manhattan but the Olympic inauguration lost more publicity to Russian tanks and jets invading Georgia Friday.

Thoughts went to Georgian climber Gia Tortladze (Shisha central twice, Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and several K2 attempts, latest in 2006) who escaped a car bomb attack on his life only this past January.

ExWeb special: Stitzinger’s first ski descent of Nanga Parbat central Diamir face It has been an unfortunate season for Karakoram extreme skiers. French Jean Noel Urban was lost on Gasherbrum in a crevasse fall and the North Face Ski & Snowboard G-II Expedition aborted their summit attempt on July 23d. The season was equally dark on Nanga Parbat; but there were highlights. Following his 2006 speed ascent and complete ski descent of G2; Luis Stitzinger climbed Nanga as a guide via Kinshofer route. He wanted to reach summit over the unclimbed Manzeno ridge, where he climbed until Manzeno Peak and descended due to bad weather via Messner route on the Diamir wall. Finally he made a speed climb up the Kinshofer route, had to abort short from summit but skied down the whole Diamir face in a 24,5 hours roundtrip.

Broad Peak, G1 and G2 triple – new route double! Valery Babanov and Viktor Afanasyev summited BP on July 17th via a new, 3000 meter long route which they rated “VI, WI5, M6, Max 90º”. Starting July 29th, the two went on to attempt a new route on the SW face of Gasherbrum 1 in alpine style. The two reached the summit of G1 on August 1. Incredibly, on the second night a rock shot right through the climber’s tent hitting the sleeping Viktor in the head. The climbers spent the remains of the night trying to stop the bleeding, wrapped the wound, put on helmets and resumed the climb by daybreak. “We thought our climb was over, but couldn’t go down our ascent route.” Left without a choice, the two climbed up the new route to the ridge from where a safe descent would be possible. There Viktor decided he wanted the summit after all. At about 3 pm local team mates Valery Shamalo, Pavel Chochia and Elizabeth Revol made an unscheduled show, and the 5 climbers summited GI together. With that Valery Babanov and Viltor Afanasiev had opened two new routes in alpine style within only 16 days. Valery and Viktor will reportedly try to climb Gasherbrum II next.

More on Revol & co Before G1; Valery Shamalo and Pavel Chochia summited G2 on July 29th via normal route; while Elizabeth Revol summited G2 on July 30th via the classical route, expedition leader Valery Babanov confirmed on his website.

Gasherbrum IV success August 1 Alberto Iñurrategi, Jose Carlos Tamayo, Ferran Latorre, Juan Vallejo and Miguel Zabaleza summited Gasherbrum IV via the NW Ridge (the third conquest of this 1986`s route). On descent, Ferran Latorre suffered leg injury due to rock fall. The team managed to bring him down and reached BC August 2nd.

Broad Peak summits, Veikka tops out no 13 July 31 at around 11 am, French duo Stephane Portier and Claude Labatut, Italians Mario Panzeri and Daniele Nardi, and Finnish Veikka Gustafsson summited Broad Peak. The mountain marked the second top in Pakistan this season for the Italians who previously summited Nanga Parbat, and also for Veikka Gustafsson who previously summited G2. With Broad Peak, Panzeri now has 9x8000ers, Nardi 4x8000ers and Veikka 13x8000ers.

Chris Warner’s Nanga Parbat debrief: about Karl, Saman, egotism, camaraderie, risks and the spirit of mountaineering. For a number of years now, stories of people left for dead but surviving on Everest – such as Beck Weathers, Lincoln Hall, latest Sultan and Faruq – have taught mountaineers that we can survive on high altitude much longer than we had previously thought. This summer, Nanga Parbat offered the same lesson, only too late. Go to Chris Warner’s debrief and get all the details on what went down on Nanga Parbat last month, including flashbacks on K2 last year; egotism, camaraderie, risks and the spirit of mountaineering.

Nanga Parbat take 2 American Fabrizio Zangrilli is in Pakistan with Billy and Dave for an attempt on the Rupal Face. Fabrizio Zangrilli provided a detailed report on the team’s gear.

Piotr Morawski’s GI & GII debrief: Beyond the summit fever Polish Piotr Morawski has submitted a debrief on his Polish-Slovak Alpinus Expedition. Together with Peter Hamor, shortly after their very demanding Annapurna attempt, they made a beautiful traverse of Hidden peak, in alpine style and hard conditions, ending with a cool ascent to GII, ahead of dozens of climbers burning with “summit fever.”

Simone Moro’s Beka Brakai Chhok first ascent debrief: “we climb to live” “Vetta!!Vetta!! Vetta!!! Finalmente!!! (Summit!! Finally, the summit!!).” So began Italian Simone Moro’s report on the first ascent of Beka Brakai Chhok he did together with Herve Bramasse – without high camps and in less than 48 hours. In light of the recent events on K2 and Nanga Parbat, Simone wrapped up: “Alpinism is not just death, tragedy, survival and heroism. We hope our climb will serve as a reminder that mountaineers like us and many others climb mountains to live, to enjoy, to grow. And to accept the verdicts of life and sometimes also of fate; without arguing or lacking respect toward those who share the same value: the value of life.”

Danijela’s impossible climb to the top of the world “Don’t play to impress, play to win,” said Michael Gersitz about the game of poker. Dealt nothing but leftover cards at birth, Danijela too had a choice. After spending most her life in an institution and an IQ level of only 80, Danijela Jovanovic became the only woman without hands and feet to pass the mental and physical training set up by Extreme Sport Club “Pozitiv” and Federation for Sport and Recreation for People With Disabilities of Serbia. Saturday, she summited Mount Elbrus! With this success; Danijela will head to Aconcagua in January next year – and you already guessed the ultimate goal: the summit of Everest, with Danijela the first disabled woman to climb all the way to the top of the world.

Gasherbrum 1 Mid-July, Colombian Fernando Gonzalez-Rubio attempted Gasherbrum I along with Veikka Gustafsson, but the two were forced to abort the summit bid around 7.600m due to bad weather. Portuguese couple Dani & Paulo also aborted their summit bid.

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