(MountEverest.net) Today a heads-up from ExplorersWeb’s Asia correspondents. Yusuke Hirai has compiled a report on Japanese activities in Nepal and Tibet; while Kyu Dam Lee introduces an English version of the country’s climbing federation Korean mag.
Meanwhile in Italy, Nives Meroi is sounding off on ethical and other climbing issues.
Japan: Everest, Kula Kangri, Gauri Shankar
“Nobukazu Kuriki attempted a solo, no O2 Everest climb, via its normal route (no side specified),” reported ExWeb’s Japan correspondent Jusuke Hirai. “According to his official website, he turned back at about 7,700m but stated later he would try again in spring 2010.”
“Yasushi Yamanoi aimed for Kula Kangri’s north face, but soon called the attempt off due to high avalanche risk,” Yusuke added. “He then moved to neighboring Karjan peak, on which he launched a solo bid, reaching as far as 6,500m.”
“Three Japanese climbers lost their lives on Kula Kangri last year – they were friends, and I still remember the tragedy,” Yusuke reported further. “Right now at the Ashiyasu Mountaineering Museum on Yamanashi Prefecture there is a tribute exhibition on one of the perished climbers, Yoshinobu Kato, born and raised in Yamanashi, before moving to Tokyo and becoming a Meiji Un – or the Mountaineering Club’s “Japanese Ace Climber”.”
“Meanwhile, Piolet d’Or winner Kazuya Hiraide and Kei Taniguchi are currently out in Tibet, hoping to climb a new route on Gauri Shankar’s east face (7134m). They left Japan earlier this month and got a visa entry visa issued by mid October – so they must be approaching BC or already there.”
“The Korean Alpine Federation has published the first issue of the “Korean Alpine News” English edition,” reported Korea’s ExWeb correspondent Kyu Dam Lee.
Due to appear twice yearly (in spring and fall), the magazine’s goal is to promote Korean climbers and their achievements among the international climbing community with complete, accurate information.
“Fall 2009’s issue was distributed at the latest UIAA’s general assembly, held in Portugal on October 8-11th,” Kyu said. Contents were mainly focused on 2009 Himalayan expeditions (Everest, Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum and Spantik). Korean climbers such as Miss Oh and the late Miss Go, in addition to general rock and ice climbing coverage, books, mountain-related events in Korea and KAF’s activities.
“A KAF representative at UIAA’s assembly hoped the new magazine would help Korean climbers to get better-known and properly considered among the international community,” Kyu added. “An on-line version of Korean Alpine News will soon be available as well, said the KAF representative.”
Nives Meroi on 8000er climbing: about men, women and style beyond the rock.
The usually quiet Nives Meroi has put up a new personal website together with sister Leila. On top of general information and multimedia files about her expeditions, there are selected articles about climbing issues.
In a story about Women and 8000ers, Nives writes: “The rules of the game, as well as behavioral ethics and strict style-definitions (alpine/Himalayan, guided, commercial, etc.) have been established by men.”
“The maze of regulations is as rigid as it is (lately) less and less respected. In the end, each climber will face mountains with their own attitude and purpose, sprung from their personal circumstances; psychological, emotional and cultural. As a woman, I may have tried to adapt to the male model instead of cultivating my own skills and values, which are neither superior nor inferior to those of a man, but simply different.”
In another article, Nives issued a warning about safety in numbers. “In the Himalayas, just like in the Alps, there are areas and mountains where you’ll find yourself completely alone and isolated, while others are overcrowded,” she wrote. “However, being days away from another human being is not so different from climbing in line on fixed ropes on Everest: Having people around may just create a false sense of security; in the end, we are still alone. We must be aware of our self-sufficiency, both physical and psychological, and carefully evaluate our own risk threshold before we act.”
As for helping climbers in trouble, Nives pointed out: “Actually, I don’t think that the mountain makes us any better: we are the same at altitude and at sea level. Someone who refuses to help fellow-citizens at home won’t behave different in the mountains.”
“On the other hand, it is absurd to set up rules aiming to ‘force’ expeditions to help each other: first, because rules are apparently there not to be obeyed; second, because taking assistance for granted might encourage inexperienced climbers to face challenges they’re absolutely not prepared for.”
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