Himalaya 2008 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /17/ – Week in Review.

Lonely climbers on difficult attempts have taken center stage in Himalaya, with two teams reported on Everest.

In other news: a Portuguese team was reportedly expelled from Cho Oyu, while it’s climbing as usual in troubled ex-Soviet. In Pakistan, the ministry has granted continued royalty cut, reporting all well in the northern areas.

The week brought a number of tech stories, introducing the 8848 High Speed Package plus the latest on Antarctica safety gear.

Lonely Kangchenjunga Jörgen and Fredrik are the only climbers on the south side of Kangchenjunga. The two have scouted the route pass crevasses and seracs on a steep glacier to camp 1 at 6200 meters. Next, the climbers will find the route up to Camp 2 at 7000 meters.

Everest: two expeditions Peak Freaks have reached ABC (5700m) on Pumori, with great views of Everest. The team reports two expeditions there this fall. Korean Park Young-seok is attempting Everest’s SW face with a team of 11 climbers. The other expedition could be that of François Bon, hoping to speed ride Everest, although this news is yet unconfirmed.

Shisha Pangma: It’s over for Edurne Dhaulagiri and Manaslu will have to suffice as 2008 summit results for Edurne Pasaban. Deep cold, mainly threatening her feet mutilated by frostbite from K2, forced her to give up her Shisha attempt. Meanwhile in Madrid, Sebastian Alvaro stated Al Filo is not returning to 8000+meters climbing, but will instead focus on smaller, technical peaks.

Cho Oyu: Portuguese expelled from BC A signed and stamped climbing permit was not enough for a small Portuguese expedition to Cho Oyu. The three members reached ABC on October 7, but sent home an SMS on October 9 stating that the Chinese wanted to close access to BC and would not let them stay in ABC. The team was forced to abort the expedition and leave.

Annapurna: Climbers reached 6,300 meters after 11 hours fighting their way in 50cm of fresh snow. With that much powder the mountain wasn’t ready Jean Troillet decided and called the attempt off for now.

Makalu-La reached Vince, Steve and Marko are acclimatizing on Makalu’s normal route reaching Makalu La (24,000 ft.) last week.

HumanEdgeTech presents: the new deal – 8848 High Speed Package Combined, the components of HET’s brand new 8848 High Speed Package are a giant leap: Wideye Sabre High Speed Modem & handset; ASUS EEE Solid State laptop with webcam; FEATHER 20 Solar Blazt; P50 Polymer battery and CONTACT Dispatch System delivered in a single Pelican case with all the data possibilities you’d want at a regular office. At less than 4 kg (8.65Lbs); the introduction price is $3999, all included.

Heads-up from Baruntse climber: “ECO card worked perfectly in the Hunku valley” Following his recent summit of Mera and Baruntse, and walking out via the Amphu Laptsa pass, Contact user Louis Kosztelny checked in with a heads-up for the HET community: “the ECO card worked perfectly in the Hunku valley,” he wrote. “With daily dispatches and phone calls I still only managed to use up less than two ECO scratch cards, so it is very economical.” Next, Louis is off to New Zealand in early November for a MtCook Grand Traverse and for next year he’s planning a private trip to GII and GI, pending the political situation in Pakistan at the time.

Pakistan: reduced climbing fees to continue in 2009 The Pakistan Ministry of Tourism has decided to continue the reduction in Royalty fee for the year 2009. There’s zero royalty fee for peaks up to 6500 m; 10% on mountains situated in Chitral, Gilgit and Ghizer except on Spantik/Golden Peak; 5% fee on all peaks during winter; and 50% discount on all peaks such as K2 during summer. The northern areas remain safe.

ExWeb checks in with ALE: technology must-have at Antarctica HumanEdgeTech checked in with Mike Sharp, Operation manager of ALE and longtime manager of the Patriot Hill Base Camp to get the scoop on safety gear requirements. Check the latest for GPS, Satellite phone and VHF on the ice.

Blank sun could mark calm before the storm in space weather forecast Solar activity rises and falls in 11-year cycles, and around two years back we reached the end of the last one. The next cycle is expected to be exceptionally stormy, with sunspots and solar flares messing up expeditions’ satellite phones and other satellite based tech. Solar cycles take time to build up to fever pitch and until now, the star has sported very low activity. But now SpaceWeather.com reports that for the third time in as many weeks a new-cycle sunspot has interrupted the year’s remarkable run of blank suns. While solar activity remains very low, the sunspot cycle is unfolding more or less normally, the source concluded.

2008 International Elbrus Race debrief During the eighties, speed ascent competitions on Elbrus (5642 meters) were part of the training program for members of the first Soviet Himalaya expeditions. The new Elbrus race is now open to the entire world. The latest edition kicked off in September with a record number of attendants. The four Extreme Class climbers topped out after 4-6 hours. Roman Gubanov (K2 Abruzzi ridge climb in 2007) won the extremes at 4 hours and 53 minutes. While the Classic class started at an advanced point 1300 meters higher up; many racers didn’t make the Col in 6 hours and only 13 finally made the summit, with Anna Petrova the only woman at 4 hrs 38 min.

Focus Russia: Georgia film festival and other short stories The Georgian Tbilisi Mountain, Adventure and Extreme film festival will kick off on February 12-22, 2009. Check ExWeb’s skinny on the current state of things in ex-Soviet.

G3 Announces A Ski Graphic Contest Genuine Guide Gear is inviting aspiring and professional designers and artists to submit their designs for a new topsheet on a G3 ski. The winner will be announced at the Coldsmoke Powder Festival the weekend of February 20, 2009 in Nelson BC.

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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