Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /19/ – Week in Review.

Last week was all about Himalaya. Following an extended storm, the peaks were summitted one after the other in improving weather. Everest (both sides), Lhotse, Manaslu, Dhaula, and Kang all had success – Everest south side in very large numbers.

The most remarkable of them all became Mr Park’s summit of the highly technical Everest SW face.

We lost two climbers; one on Everest north side and one on Manaslu. The list of 14, 8000er summiteers got another addition – this time of Ralf Dujmovits. His wife Gerlinde topped out Lhotse as well in her 12th, 8000er – equaling Edurne who summited Kangchenjunga in a scary climb. Nives Meroi turned back, for her husband.

Mr Park climbs Everest SW face The wall cost him three very good friends over the years. But for them exactly, South Korean Mr Park summited Everest Thursday, via a new route on the immense and difficult technical SW Face – 27 years since it last was climbed.

Everest south side: summits! About 100 climbers departed South Col Monday night on the normal route towards the top of the world. Jagged Globe was among the first summiteers at 7:15 am on Tuesday morning local time, followed by First Ascent (with Ed Viesturs on supplementary oxygen) at around 8 am. The following day, another wave of summits kicked off already before dawn. At 3.45am, 3.54am and 4.43am respectively the Singaporean women’s’ team were not only first up that morning but became also the first Singaporean women to summit the world’s tallest mountain. By Thursday, most teams had topped out. Croatian Darija and Iris Bostjanèiã became the first sisters to summit Everest together. British polar farer Ran Fiennes made it in his third attempt since his heart attack and Apa Sherpa summited the peak for a record 19th time.

Everest north side: summits! With fewer climbers to fix the normal route Everest north side proved a tougher nut to crack this season. In spite of high winds, the peak was summited on Monday morning by Kanagawa University’s Yasunori Tanaka (57) and Kenta Miyamori (28) and a large team of Chinese climbers. Wu Wenhong, from eastern Jiangsu Province, however died on descent at around 8,750 meters of altitude exhaustion. The north side of Everest was also summited by SummitClimb on 20 May.

Lhotse-Everest traverse: Ready to try again Heavy loaded, the Kazakh LET team fixed 600m of rope above C4, but were forced to abort their summit push when weather deteriorated. They left another 250 meters of rope in a cache close to the top, which they hope to use in a new attempt after a short rest in BC.

Lhotse summit! Gerlinde bags her 12th – Ralf his last Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Ralf Dujmovits, Hirotaka Takeuchi and David Götller summited Lhotse; with that Gerlinde is now level with Edurne Pasaban: both hold the current female record with 12x8000ers summited; Ralf has become a 14x8000er summiteer. IMG put members on top and so did SummitClimb. Catalan Xavi Arias made it on his own – after his Sherpa skipped BC town just before the summit push.

Kangchenjunga – Edurne bags her 12th 8000er! Spanish Ferran Latorre, climbing ahead of the rest, topped-out Kangchenjunga around 2:30 pm, local time. Ferran’s mates Edurne Pasaban, Juanito Oiarzabal, and Asier Izguirre reached the summit about two hours later. The descent proved very difficult – especially for Edurne. The climbers reached high camp only past midnight, and Edurne was finally administered oxygen in C3 in order to make it back to BC. Alberto Zerain (K2 speed climber and survivor last year) abandoned his summit push and left high camp carrying oxygen and a tent to aid the descending climbers. Or so he thought: after checking they were OK, he continued up – and summited shortly after dawn.

Kangchenjunga – more summits with love as the greatest of them all “It was the toughest climb of my life!” Polish Kinga Baranowska (w/o 02) and Norwegian Jon Gangdal (on 02) both used the same words to describe their ascent of Kangchenjunga. Kinga summited alone and dedicated her top to Wanda Rutkiewicz’s memory.

Baranowska Kangch_2009  18.05 Na szczycie Kanczendzongi 8598m New

Also the Koreans summited (on 02), according to Kinga. Had she continued up, she would have equaled Edurne and Gerlinde with 12, 8000ers summited. But Nives Meroi gave up her success for the best reason possible – Romano felt bad during the summit push and, fearing he might be developing HACE, Nives sacrificed her summit chance in order to escort her husband down.

Manaslu: the rocky top, and disaster Italian Mario Panzeri was the first to reach Manaslu’s summit last week, in his 10th 8000er. Alexei Bolotov’s Russian team paved the way on Monday but strong wind forced them back. A second attempt on May 18th lucked out and included Gleb Solokov, summiteer in the 2007 Russian K2 West Face expedition, and 2004’s Everest’s Central North face wall. Manaslu was also summited by Tamara Romero and Inma Garrido, from the Andalusian female Manaslu expedition and Manuel ‘Lolo’ Gonzales. American Nick Rice made it as well. Hungarian Zsolt Eröss (8, 8000ers) summited with Daniel Barna, “including its very top Rocky Summit,” the press correspondent pointed out. Sadly, fellow climber Levente Szabo fell to his death after turning back at 7800 meters.

Dhaulagiri: summits! South Korean Kim Chang and Seo Sung Ho from the Dynamic Busan Expedition (SK) reached the summit of Dhaulagiri last week in their second 8000 meter ascent this season. The summit marks the 9th 8000 meter peak for Kim Chang Ho (all without aid of bottled oxygen) and 5th 8000er for Seo Sung Ho. The expedition, led by Hong Bong Seong, plans the possibly first Nepal triple-header within one season and hopes to leave for Annapurna I after Dhaula and Manaslu. Also a Japanese mountaineer and 7 out of 9 DAV Summit Club Dhaulagiri Expedition members topped-out. DAV leader Luis Stitzinger and team mate Rupert are not yet done with Dhaula though. They hope to summit again, and then ski down to BC.

Cho Oyu: It’s over for the Spaniards Strong wind forced back the Spanish Al Filo team from Cho Oyu’s C2.

Cho Oyu: Denis’ new route topo Back in Kathmandu, Kazakh Denis Urubko sent RussianClimb a topo showing the new route he recently opened on Cho Oyu’s SE face. Denis’ line goes straight up the face and eventually joins the winter Polish route. Kazakhs Denis Urubko and Boris Dedeshko climbed Cho Oyu’s SE face in alpine style via a new route on May 11th – a remarkable finish of the 14x8000ers project for Urubko.

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

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