October just begun Himalaya is already falling quiet. The peaks have claimed five climbers in the past weeks, including two of the greatest names in high altitude mountaineering. Teams are leaving the 8000ers with summit attempts only expected by a few on Cho Oyu and Eric Larsen on Everest.
The sun is rising over Antarctica and one of her greatest polar skiers recently dancing with the stars for her late husband. Graeme Kendall did a solo 12 day transit of the NWP passage while the young crew on board Peter 1 became the first to sail through both the North East and North West passage in one season.
Italian Walter Nones lost on Cho Oyu Aiming for a new route on the SW face in alpine style, Nones fell to his death on Sunday morning October 3 following a solo bivouac at 7,000 meters. His team mates believe Walter was probably blown off the wall while folding the tent. Walter Nones, 39, summited K2 in 2004 and Nanga Parbat up the Rakhiot face in alpine style in 2008. He also had a number of first ascents on 6000ers in Pakistan and China, plus several new routes in the Italian Alps.
Japanese Osamu Tanabe lost on Dhaulagiri Japan’s leading climber Osamu Tanabe was among the lost in an avalanche on Dhaulagiri last week. Dhaulagiri was meant to be Osamu’s tenth 8000er: previous feats included off-season ascents of Everest (summited December 20 in 1993) and Lhotse south face up on the summit ridge (2006). Tanabe climbed the east ridge of Makalu in 1995, and made a partial new route on K2’s west face in 1997.
“Red Point” pioneer Kurt Albert in fatal accident German free-climbing pioneer Kurt Albert sustained critical injuries after falling from a via ferrata in the Frankenjura region and died in hospital two days later. Albert, 56, was considered inventor of the sports-climbing term “Roktpunkt” (red point).
Manaslu Summits last week were led by Kenton Cool of the Dream Guides. Kenton fixed the rope to the very top of the mountain and skied back to C4 together with Andrew Eggleston. All summiteers used supplementary O2. A number of mountaineers reached the top in better weather one day later. Among them, at 71, Spanish Carlos Soria became the oldest climber to summit Manaslu, his 9th 8000er. Last year Soria also became the oldest climber to summit GI. Carlos Pauner collected his 10th 8000er peak, while Phurba Tashi became the Sherpa with the most +8000 summit ascents (23). Sadly, Manaslu claimed Japanese Nobuaki Kuwabara on September 24.
Everest Avalanches sweeping Everest’s Hornbein Couloir finally forced back Spanish Alberto Zerain and his team. “Conditions became so impossible that finally all hope was lost and we aborted the attempt,” the Italian team chimed in shortly after. On the south side, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki aborted his climb after reaching above C3. Eric Larsen, still in the game, climbed to C3 and reported that ropes are not fixed above it yet.
Cho Oyu normal route Extreme high winds and avalanche danger have been reported from this normally “easy” peak even by the most veteran mountaineers. A group of sherpas fixing the route were avalanched above the second rock band just one week after TMA’s crew suffered the same fate. The only Cho Oyu summiteers to the moment is German/Austrian combo Rupert Hauer and Alix von Melle, stating to fellow mountaineers that their fourth 8000er turned out their toughest climb yet. Most folks are now headed home.
Polish young guns take it all at the Elbrus Race Artur Hajzer’s young guns are training hard for their upcoming Broad Peak winter attempt — most of them took part in the Elbrus Race on September 24, with amazing results — Andrzej Bargiel smashed the previous record by Denis Urubko and “Ola” Dzik bagged the first female post.
Exweb interview with Shimshal daughter Samina Baig Eighteen-year old Samina Khayal Baig recently climbed Chashkin Sar (6,400m) in Shimshal, a remote valley in Pakistan’s Hunza region. A trailblazer for Pakistani female climbers, Samina talked with ExWeb’s Amanda Padoan about how she got started and why K2 is her ultimate goal.
Climbers aiding Pakistan encore News keep reaching ExWeb of climbers launching aid actions and promoting tourism in Pakistan. Latest the Saxony Alpine Club (on the job since 2005) plus Slovenian climber and doctor in environmental affairs Irena Mrak.
Shattered at Grand Teton Remember Stephen Koch’s Everest Hornbein snowboard attempt years ago? This year in Wyoming, Koch got involved in a rescue on the backside of the Grand Tetons. Climbing the Valhalla Traverse Koch’s climbing partner, Michelle Smith, slipped and fell 30 feet until left hanging in the rope with a broken leg. Check out a video (including xrays!) of the entire incident.
Xtreme photoshoots: interview with Christopher Herwig Lugging 40 kg backpacks, travel photographer Christopher Herwig recently trekked across Iceland with Alastair Humphreys. “Stay up late, wake up early, and nap in the middle of the day,” is Herwig’s advice for the best Iceland shots. Check out the interview about photography in this and other remote places on earth.
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Filed under: Climbers, Expedition, Himalayas, Week-In-Review Tagged: | Alberto Zerain, Cho Oyu, Climbers, Everest, Everest Hornbein, Everest South side, Expedition, Himalaya, Himalaya 2010 Season’s, Lhotse, Manaslu, mountaineering, Nepal, Travel