The Arctic season is heating up: North Pole teams are busy with their last preparations for their ski expeditions from Canada to 90°N. Several have arrived in Resolute Bay – first to be dropped were the only unsupported team this year, Dan and Amelia.
A scary winter climb attempt is ongoing on Denali, Andy Pag is pleading for public support from India and at a heart-wrenching message was published last week at ExWeb from Leila Meroi to her Luca.
Ciao amor: Leila’s love tribute to her Luca “You can’t love a climber if you don’t love the mountain.” Last month Luca Vuerich perished while ice climbing in Slovenia. In her final words to him, Leila Meroi hopes to send a message to those who wish to find a meaning in life’s circumstances no matter how hard they may get.
Irvine update: rich Saudi Prince unfound – Everest expedition postponed Despite burning evidence of Andrew Irvine’s possible location, Tom Holzel failed to raise the $200K needed to launch a search expedition. Even the London Sunday Times query to Richard Branson fell flat. The project must wait for next year, unless a dark horse shows up on Everest.
Winter Denali: Christine Feret off on the first female attempt Artur Testov and Christine Feret are off for a winter attempt on Denali (McKinley) – a female first for Christine. With the mountain to themselves, they’ve chosen a true “polar” approach: snow shoes, heavy sleds, huge distances and no tents – but a good pair of rough shovels.
Andy Pag Indian Terrorism Trial update: Asking public support “This is my last resort,” says green traveler, Andy Pag, whose drive around the world came to a halt in India. He was arrested for terrorism because he had a satellite phone. His trail has been postponed, again, until March 5 because the Indian police didn’t submit charges. Andy asks for public help.
Geographic North Pole update: Dan and Amelia are off After a sleepless night the two unassisted, unsupported Britons, Dan Darley and Amelia Russell were dropped at Cape Discovery on February 26. The pilot first gave them a look at the ice and the big open lead. The Canadian Ice Service reported the ice south of 85°N is not looking very nice this year.
ExWeb interview with Dan Darley and Amelia Russell, “We work well as a team and will look out for each other” On their way to the North Pole Dan and Amelia are going to reward themselves with a pudding as a treat after each degree (60 nm, 110km). Amelia is only the third woman who is attempting a ski expedition to the North Pole without resupplies along the way. They chatted to ExWeb from a stormy Resolute Bay.
ExWeb interview with Michele Pontrandolfo, “The preparation has been meticulous; nothing must be left to chance” “Everest is very dangerous, but crossing the North Pole, which I attempted to do… is ten times more dangerous,” Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner reportedly said and never returned. Fellow countryman, Michele Pontrandolfo is ready to get on the ice for a solo to the NP and talked to ExWeb about the challenge.
First Lake Baikal skiers off The two Czechs, Vasek Sura and Pavel Blazek, started their ski across Lake Baikal in Siberia. The lake had more snow on than expected.
ExWeb interview with Vasek Sura, “It’s a great feeling to depend only on what I pull behind me in the sled” The two Czechs, Vasek Sura and Pavel Blazek, left for Siberia to ski across Lake Baikal. Before they left Vasek spoke from his hometown in the Czech Republic to ExWeb about his Russian connections, his worries about leaving his family and company behind and what attracts him to the ice fields.
Shaun Quincy update: Back at the oars Solo Tasman rower Shaun Quincey’s rescue team was on standby for 24 hours after his rowboat was knocked over several times and left him feeling “mentally shattered”. Shaun lost another oar and some smaller items. With his desalinator not working he is keen to row the last 800 km to New Zealand.
Roger Chao and Megan Kerr update: Through the Taklamakan Desert, out of China, into Kazakhstan The two Australians did a winter pedal crossing of the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang, China and went back to Kazakhstan. They said were glad to get out of the political turmoil and police state of Xinjiang where they were “watched, bugged, searched, chased, and deported.” Kazakhstan had its challenges.
Hayley Shephard kayak update: Arrived at South Georgia Hayley Shepard arrived in South Georgia after an unplanned visit to the Falkland Islands when the captain of her support boat was injured on the Drake Passage. The other owner of the boat took over and a very happy Hayley arrived at South Georgia for her sea kayak around the island.
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Filed under: Climbers, Expedition, Himalayas, Week-In-Review | Tagged: Arctic season, Climbers, Everest, Expedition, Himalaya, interview, North Pole, Tom Holzel, Travel, Week-In-Review, Winter Denali |