Himalaya 2010 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /9/ – Week in Review.

Spaniards are leading Himalaya action with a race against time up Annapurna’s slopes. Italians and Americans are getting ready for their contribution: Chris Warner and Marty Schmidt are headed to the South Side of Makalu, hoping to climb a new route to Makalu SE and then the SE Ridge to the Summit. Agostino da Polenza has collected an Italian dream-team for an expedition to the Chinese Side of GI.

In other news: North Pole skiers are all beyond the crucial Devil’s Maze first degrees and Amanda Padoan kicked off the Everest season together with a number of local heroes.

Edurne & Co: pedal to Annapurna (hot) metal Still within calendar winter, Spanish Al Filo de lo Imposible team led by Edurne Pasaban reached a lonely Annapurna north side BC last week, held their puja and fixed 400 m of rope to C1 all in one breath. By Saturday, also C2 was fixed with another 400 meter of line added enroute. The weather is hot, a mixed blessing for the avalanche-prone passages between C2 and C3 that the climbers hope to prepare this week.

Oh Eun-Sun, closing in on BC, hopes to finale the 14x8000ers live on TV. Pustelnik, Kinga, Horia, Hamor, Bogomolov, Evgeny Vinogradskiy and Joao are prepping on Pumori.

Currently, Kinga Baranowska and her “Pan-European” team are enjoying a trek through the Khumbu region, and reached Namche Bazaar a few days back.

The all-star team of climbers from across Europe include Piotr Pustelnik and Kinga, both from Poland, Horia Colibasanu of Romania, Peter Hamor from Slovakia, Russians Sergey Bogomolov and Evgeny Vinogradskiy and Joao Garcia from Portugal.

As you can imagine, all of those nationalities has led to some interesting language barrier issues amongst the team so far, although they do seem to be getting along well.

History in the making: G1 NF Italian dream-team unveiled The Italian expedition to the Chinese Side of GI will mark the end of the unexplored faces of the 8000ers. “After this adventure, there will be no face entirely unexplored among the Himalayan giants,” remarked leader Agostino da Polenza.

Americans for new route Chris Warner (USA) and Marty Schmidt (USA and NZ) are headed to the south side of Makalu, leaving this coming week, hoping to climb a new route to the summit of Makalu SE (7803 meters) and then follow the SE Ridge to the Summit. Check in on http://www.sharedsummits.com in a few days for details and then plenty of video, dispatches etc. from the quest.

Geographic North Pole wrap-up: Crossing 84 degrees North Some adventurers tout a last degree ski as a land to pole expedition. “When I did the last degree last year, it took us 4 days to do 100 km, totally different to now,” stated solo skier Tom Smitheringale after covering about 60-70 km in 15 days with a sled holding his entire life for the huge distance ahead. The veteran Weber team is leading the pack beyond 85, but all teams have crossed 84°N. “A big milestone in Arctic terms as it is the heaviest loads, worst ice, minimal sunlight” said Dan and Amelia (unsupported), reporting that their full-load sleds still feel like they are filled with lead.

Peter Gostelow Africa cycle update: Machete attackers in Dakar “I looked down at my arm and saw the gaping slash; blood was collecting on my left foot”; Five men attacked solo cyclist Peter Gostelow in Dakar Senegal. There were shouts as hands began to tug at his bags. He resisted. The machetes started slashing in front of his face and one connected with his wrist.

Sherpa tigers kick off Everest with a blessing One out of six Sherpas from Rolwaling valley are Everest summiteers – many will face the mountain again this year. Their own private season kick-off was a massive Puja held in Kathmandu on March 4th, witnessed by ExWeb’s contributor Amanda Padoan.

Heads up: Mathieu Bonnier to row the Northwest Passage French rower Mathieu Bonnier plans to transit the Northwest Passage in a rowboat. He will start from Greenland in the summer of 2010, take a break during the Arctic winter months and complete the row in the summer of 2011 when he reaches Alaska.

Lake Baikal wrap-up: Kevin Vallely and Ray Zahab finished Canadians Ray and Kevin finished their speed record attempt across Lake Baikal in Siberia. They reported a time of 13 days and 16 hours, which they say, eclipsed the previous fastest time by a week.The two Czechs are also nearing the end of their expedition in warmer temps and on mixed terrain.

Katie Spotz and Shaun Quincey finish their solo rowing 22-year old Katie Spotz finished her solo row across the Atlantic Ocean from Dakar in Senegal to Georgetown in Guyana after 71 days at sea. In the Southern Hemisphere 25-year old Shaun Quincey finished his solo row across the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand after 54 days at the oars.

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