Himalaya 2008 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /13/ – Week in Review.

Where there is a will there is a way. Mountaineers and outfitters who got the Chinese boot have rerouted to peaks such as Manaslu where action is mounting already.

In other news: Swedish Viking skier Fredrik Eriksson has revealed bold plans and several interesting Pakistan debriefs have been delivered. There’s also action on the Oceans with tales of lightnings, a forced escape, and Antarctica deadline creeping up on Tommy’s “icebreaker.”

Kangchenjunga Fredrik Eriksson is in KTM, ready to take on the first peak in his three year project: to try and ski the three highest mountains in the world: Kangchenjunga (8586m) this autumn, K2 (8612m) next summer and Mount Everest in the Autumn of 2010.

The new Cho Oyu: Manaslu International climbers are gathering on Manaslu in record numbers. Many after they were refused visas or permits to climb in Tibet. “New rules imposed by the Chinese Tibet Mountaineering Association have made it very difficult for expeditions with several different nationalities of climbers to obtain a climbing permit,” one reported.

A violent snow storm caught several teams in Manaslu’s C2 on Wednesday night. Climbers were forced back in loads of fresh snow, avalanches and collapsing seracs. No one is reported injured, but there were close-calls on the way down.

Edurne’s redemption song In spring this year, after climbing with Al Filo de lo Imposible for years, Juan Oiarzabal was kicked out from a Dhaulagiri expedition led by Edurne Pasaban whom he had introduced to the TV crew. It was considered he was not fit for Himalayan climbing after he lost all his toes with the team on K2. Juanito went for Makalu instead, and reached the summit – his 22nd 8000+ meter peak. Currently on Manaslu leading a team of fellow-Basque climbers, Juanito shares BC with Edurne and Al Filo. “It seems so weird to be members in separate teams,” Edurne dispatched last week, “after all these years climbing together.” The two bumped into each other on the mountain, and Edurne wrote, “We talked, we hugged and I ended up crying in his arms…Manaslu has provided me with a moving experience: It has brought back the love and care of a friend. Thank you, Juanito.”

The new Cho Oyu: Baruntse: Some of the main expedition outfitters who were refused a climbing permit for Cho Oyu are leading teams on Baruntse instead – an isolated 7,000er offering a demanding climb. “Our sherpa team was impressed by the steepness and length of the route above CII,” Alpine Ascents reported. “This is true wilderness,” Adventure Consultants Louis Kos chimed in, “This upper part of the Hunku valley is practically uninhabited, and we have to be 100% self-sufficient. To get back onto the main Khumbu ‘highway’ one has to cross two high passes.”

The new Cho Oyu: Pumori Other outfitters such as Peak Freaks (7121m) have rerouted for Pumori, a peak offering a wonderful trek to its slopes and not that hard to climb if properly fixed but still a worthy challenge: Up to 2005, 472 people had summited Pumori and 42 had died (13 after summiting). Compare Ama Dablam with more than 2000 summits and “only” 18 fatalities, or Everest with over 3500 summits and 209 deaths. Also mountain guide Fabrizio Zangrilli is headed there after Nanga Parbat…

Dealing with loss and failure: Fabrizio’s final thoughts Fabrizio Zangrilli has published his debrief from Nanga Parbat. In addition to his own attempt, the American climber reflects on K2, and the rest of the Pakistan season. Karim, Rolf, Hughes – Fabrizio had met them all. “Too many other events from the summer: Karl, Pavle, the generosity of Tomaz and what can only be described as the whirlwind visit from Messner,” Fabrizio wrote. “Recover, train harder, find money again, focus and return are the only options for dealing with the loss and failure.”

To rope or not to be – Gasherbrum II reflections by Paulo Roxo and Daniela Teixeira Originally this spring, Portuguese Daniela Teixeira was to attempt Everest north side without oxygen and high altitude Sherpa. When the ban came, Daniela and partner Paulo Roxo finally landed on the Gasherbrums in Pakistan. The rock climbing couple ended up acclimatizing on G2’s normal route and then attempting the French Spur. Finally forced back; they came away wide-eyed with new experiences – of climbing politics, tamed slopes, summit lies and inflated stories. “Where’s the spirit of it all,” they ask?

Annapurna: Swiss climbing – Americans approaching The Swiss have started to climb Annapurna’s south side. The Americans will acclimatize on Annapurna IV, before tackling Anna’s main summit via its north side w/o Sherpa support.

Pakistan: Trango’s Nameless Tower The Dream Free team is still battling Trango Towers, “We were absolutely knackered but very happy to have established camp at ‘Sun Terrace’ (the Shoulder). Above the route looks fantastic and dry. Now all we need are a couple of good days and maybe we can summit,” they reported last week. Gaz, Piere, Denis and Jerry hope to attempt “Eternal Flame”, while David and Eliza may join them – or they may go for the Slovenian route instead.

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