Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /14/ – Week in Review.

Investigating all clues, American historian Tom Holzel pin-pointed Irvine’s possible location in a 3-part series at ExWeb last week. Another special was a story about Himalaya ski/board-mountaineers.

In other news: the first Everest climbers have crossed over to Tibet, Australian Andrew Lock is postponing both climbs, two teams bumped into each other on the Arctic ice, and Olly Hicks Antarctic circumnavigation row has been abandoned.

ExWeb series special: the search for Andrew Irvine, by Tom Holzel Everest North side, 1999: on a snow terrace at 8,200 meters, an international team of mountaineers found Mallory’s body. The corpse showed severe rope-jerk injuries around the waist, suggesting that he could have fallen to his death while roped-up with climbing mate Andrew Irvine. No trace of Irvine was to be found though; or the camera the two carried on their last climb. It became one of the greatest mysteries in climbing history, with many still searching the barren slopes for the missing clues. Following a systematic research American historian Tom Holzel has found (more than) a clue to Irvine’s possible location – which he explained in a big three-part series published at ExWeb last week.

ExWeb 2009 sky-descent special: surfing down frozen giants This spring, German Luis Stitzinger aims for a complete ski-descent of Dhaulagiri. American Ben Clark is back to Himalaya for an attempt to ski down Baruntse and in summer, Swedish extreme skier Fredrik Ericsson will kick off his attempt to become the first to ski the world’s three highest mountains: Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga. For such extreme athletes, the summit is truly half-way there and last week ExWeb ran a special story on the unique world of Himalaya ski/board-mountaineers.

The Kazakh traverse team is considering the West ridge of Everest for descent. The team set up C1 on Everest south side Wednesday, hoping to establish C2 on the Western Cwm and venture to C3’s location before the weekend. Vaso (leader) Max, Sergei Samoilov, Alex Sofrygin, Evgeniy Shutov and Artem Skopin are attempting the LE traverse, while a second team including Dmitriy Grekov, Nikolay Gudnik, Alex Rudakov, and Sveta will head for Lhotse.

Everest south side BC not so crowded “Our Sherpas seem to be in agreement that this year there seems to be fewer teams at base camp than last season,” noted Altitude Junkies’ Phil Crampton. “We were under the impression that we would see record numbers of climbers this spring but we think there have been several groups cancel their plans last minute.” An expedition leaders’ meeting was reportedly held between IMG, HimEx, Adventure Consultants and Jagged Globe, along with a number of international teams. Peak Freaks’ Tim Rippel reported about 30 people attending – including the ever-present Discovery channel filming crew. Ed Viesturs plans to summit Everest without supplementary oxygen, David Hahn reported.

Everest North side SummitClimb had a hard day crossing the border in Zhangmu Tuesday, but eventually managed to get into Tibet, leader Arnold Coster reported from Tingri. Japan’s Kanagawa University team was permitted to enter Lhasa last week, after climbing Yara Peak in Langtang. The situation is still uncertain for Dragan Jacimovic’s Serbian team, delayed in Kathmandu for over a week and then stopped near the border mid last week due to a blockade of the road to Kodary (on the Tibetan side of the border). Libor Uher and his team reached 5850 m on Annapurna but bad conditions aborted the expedition; now turning to Everest north side (normal route). Japanese Nobukazu Kuriki had still not received his permit by March 25 and was forced to switch for Dhaulagiri instead, considering to give Everest a try in fall instead.

Australian Andrew Lock hoped to complete his 14x8000ers quest on Shisha followed by Everest north side without supplementary O2. Unable to secure a climbing permit, Andrew and climbing mate Hector will try again in the post monsoon.

“Our goal is to lay fresh tracks on an unexplored feature of Baruntse…a rib that runs down the Northeast face of the mountain like a lightning bolt. Each jagged kink in this striking feature could surprise us with firm blue ice, cold grey granite and adventurous problem solving,” reported Ben Clark, Josh Butson and Jon Miller.

Roland Hunter, Mick Parker and Paul Hudson reached Makalu’s lower BC on April 7th. Climbing on the peak’s normal route, they moved up to ABC, at 5,700m, on April 10th.

Manaslu Carlos Pauner reported that Czech Radek Jaros and four young Iranian climbers are new arrivals on the peak. Joao García will be on his own for the remains of the climb as work obligations force Jean-Luc Fohal and Johan Perrier back home by May 1st. The Korean Dynamic Busan Hope team’s summit bid was thwarted by strong wind at the 7,300/7,400 meters plateau on April 14th.

Annapurna Elisabeth Revol reported over SMS on Friday that the team remained on 6,700m (reached on Wednesday) due to wind and snow storm.

Kangchenjunga Edurne Pasaban’s Spanish team has reached BC.

Cho Oyu Spanish TV Al Filo de lo Imposible is supporting a team of physically-challenged climbers on Cho Oyu this spring; Ricardo García, Valentín Ruiz, Miguel A. Gavilán and Arturo Rodriguez will climb without O2 support.

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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One Response

  1. How exciting to encounter other climbers along the way. It interests me that you find fewer climbers this spring.
    I can only imagine the beauty of coming into Tibet.
    Be safe and see the wonders for all of us who cannot!

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