Himalaya 2008 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /11/ – Week in Review.

Even in our world, it’s not often we get invited to four memorials for young friends within only a few months. It gets to you. But then the climbs go on: for we were born explorers and that’s what we must do.

Mixing with debriefs, announcements of new climbs are arriving ExplorersWeb’s mailbox. And it looks we are up for perhaps the most challenging and courageous fall season in Himalaya yet.

Nanga Parbat – it’s over Following 5 weeks and only 4 days of blue skies; the Slovenian/American expedition decided that enough is enough when they found camp 2 buried under 4-5ft fresh snow. “The forecast calls for more rain and snow. There is no chance to acclimatize for the face,” wrote Zangrilli and reported that the team plans to be back next year.

Survivors Kehrer and Nones not coming back Simon and Walter are not eager to return to the mountain where their expedition leader Karl Unterkircher was lost. As they told ExWeb’s correspondent Karrar Haidri, they are definitely not repeating the NP expedition next year.

Slovenian K7 and Muztagh Tower climbers A kidney problem forced the evacuation of Gregor on August 19th, Dejan told Karrar last week. Dejan and Pavle decided to continue the climb – in fact the original plan was to climb the tower and then join Ales Cesen’s K7 expedition. On August 25, Dejan and Pavle had already completed the difficult part of the tower when at 6800 meters a cornice broke off and Pavle fell to his death, Dejan told ExWeb. The climber also said that he had been forced to spend two days at 5400 meters because the Askari Aviation chopper was late. Ales Cesen, Luka Lindic and Rok Blagus summited K7 West Pillar on August 22.

Newcomers on Trango Free Dream expedition members British Jerry Gore and Gaz Parry; French Denis Roy and Pierre Muller; Romanian Boyan Petrov (35), and Polish David Kaszlikowski and Eliza Kubarska have arrived BC for a free ascent of Eternal Flame (800m., 35 pitches, ABO, Fr. 7c+/A0) on Nameless Tower, a free ascent of the Slovenian route (900m., ED+, Fr.7a or A0), and a new route on the nearby Trango Monk (5,850m).

Korean Park Young-seok back for Everest’s SW face. Park’s first attempt in spring last year ended up tragically, as his team members and close friends Oh Hee-joon and Lee Hyeon-jo perished in an avalanche. According to Korean paper Donga, Park was devastated by the loss of his friends, “he kept to himself and drank for six months to relieve his sorrow.” But then Park resumed training and climbing, and reportedly even quit smoking. “I don`t want my friends to have died in vain,” he said. “If I give up now, I won’t dare to meet them later.”

Jean Troillet for Annapurna south face After previous attempts in 1984 and 1985, Troillet will try to reach his 11th 8000+ meters summit on Anna’s dreaded south face, this time together with Martial Dumas, Jean-Yves “Blutch” Fredriksen, Kobi Reichen and cameraman Sébastien Devrient.

Piolet d’Or winners Steve House and Vince Anderson are setting their sights on Makalu’s difficult west face.

Americans for Annapurna North side Led by Everest Summiteers Tonya Riggs and Brad Clement, the American Dare to Dream expedition will attempt Annapurna, by the French route on the north side. “Tentatively, we will be attempting the Dutch Rib route,” the team also stated.

Tien Shan: another new route for Urubko & Co Denis Urubko, Boris Dedeshko and Gennady Durov climbed a new route on Tien Shan’s Eight women-climbers Peak (6110 m), in alpine style. RussianClimb reported the peak had been unclimbed since its first ascent, 34 years earlier.

Ueli Steck free-climbs “Paciencia” on Eiger’s North Face Following his major rescue attempt of Iñaki Ochoa on Annapurna last spring; Swiss Ueli Steck has free-climbed “Paciencia” (patience), the most difficult and most demanding sports-climbing route on the Eiger north face with difficulties up to 8a. Ueli and Stefan Siegrist free-climbed the route in a single push without bolts. Leading all the difficult ones; Ueli ended up free climbing all the 27 pitches.

Rerouting from Everest: Finland off to the South Pole Finland’s Airborne Ranger Club made waves a few years back, when they succeeded to ski unsupported from Canada to the North Pole in their very first attempt. For those familiar with the 1939 Finnish/Russian winter war; the Finns’ NP victory came as no surprise; back then with a population of only 4 million, Finland managed to hold off over a million invading Russian soldiers. As for the NP expedition, the team later published NORTH POLE – ARCTIC CHALLENGE, a book where every detail is put down; such as break boots from Poppicock and underwear from Ruskovilla. The Finns had to postpone Everest north side 2008 due to the ban and with China announcing they aim to keep Everest closed also in 2009 for a “clean-up” the Finns have rerouted. Poppis Suomela and mate Pasi Ikonen will ski unsupported to the South Pole in December 2008, via the classic route from Hercules Inlet to the pole.

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.
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