“Summit at 11:35. Going down.” Today a Pakistan 8000er was summited in winter for the first time ever, adding a major page to mountaineering history. Also this morning to celebrate: an ExWeb exclusive Karakoram 3D Mountain Tracker complete with all winter teams’ locations and updates. Click here to check it out.
In other news: Christian Eide’s victory again cemented Norwegian South Pole legacy. Arriving in record speed at the base once discovered by fellow Norwegian explorer Amundsen; Eide said he encountered some pretty grumpy locals there.
Holland had some fine seafarers but now The Neverending Voyage is ending. And who is Alex Txikon? Check out ExWeb’s special on the young Basque whose woolly upper arms are not for metrosexuals. Also, an off-limit trek, interview with young Tessum, Pakistan ladies taking the lead, and more.
Pakistan: GII SUMMIT Simone told ExWeb that he had never seen Denis shiver like he did in high camp on G2. The upside: climbers worked VERY fast and this morning a short text arrived at RussianClimb: “Summit at 11:35. Going down.” Soon after over voiceSkype from C3, Simone confirmed the news to ExWeb. It was a United Nations triumph of sorts: the first Pakistan 8000er winter summit ever achieved became Italian Simone Moro’s third winter 8000er (all firsts), Kazakh Denis Urubko’s second, and American Cory Richards finally chose perhaps the worst time yet for his very first 8000er summit.
New at ExWeb! Karakoram Winter 3D Mountain Tracker Powered by HumanEdgeTech it’s many mountaineers’ dream tech: click full screen and fly in to Karakoram to the tunes of Crawl; drag to investigate the ongoing climbs on a 3D map complete with climbers’ routes, profiles, news and positions; and move around the mountains to see them in relation to each other.
Pakistan: G1, BP, Nanga Shooting for Hidden Peak – Gerfried, Louis and Alex reached the joint G1/G2 BC on Monday. Unfortunately, the team’s stash there had been looted and the climbers seem to miss some key gear. Over on Broad Peak, the Polish team is united and the route is fixed to C3. One climber is awaiting evacuation due to lung problems. And Nanga Parbat will remain unclimbed yet another winter: Polish dark horses Tomasz and Marek made it to C1 before retreating.
Choosing winter G1 over Everest: A closer look at Alex Txikon We know Gerfried Göschl and Louis Rousseau, but who is Alex Txikon? Check ExWeb’s closeup of the third part of the winter Hidden Peak team: a chunky woodchopper from Spain with potential to become the youngest candidate for the 14x8000ers summits.
Winter Denali: Lonnie Dupre retreats to BC High up on north America’s tallest peak, climbed in winter very few times before, Lonnie kicked off his solo alpine style attempt on January 7. He went fast but not fast enough for the 100mph winds and -50ºC temps that got him stuck in a tiny snow trench at 17,200 feet for six days before finally forcing him down.
Da scoop: Kazakhs summit winter Khan Tengri Kazakh Vasili Pivtsov, Alex Sofrygin and Ildar Gabassov bagged the summit of Khan Tengri in northern Tien Shan. This is only the third ever summit of the peak in winter – the two previous took place in February – the latest success is the first in the deep cold of January.
Pakistan: Shimshal girls make history on Mingligh Sar It’s a milestone for Pakistani women: The first Pakistan summit this winter was bagged on Mingligh Sar by Shimshal female climbers. First up was 16-year-old Hafiza.
Antarctica: Angry fuel strikers in Punta Arenas airport and a mechanical problem left 80 climbers & skiers grounded at UG. Some made first ascent such as the “Ilyushinis” – carved while ALE considered using two Basslers to fly people out at a cost of $14,500 per seat. Park Young-seok and his team arrived at the South Pole on January 28 after 41 days green-skidoo travel.
ExWeb interview with record speed skier Christian Eide: “Next time I’ll bring the folks at the South Pole base a present” No soft target – and no easy way to achieve it, said Christian Eide to ExplorersWeb after breaking the previous solo speed ski world record with 15 d, 6 h, 36 min over 1130 km. He also talked about a rather hostile South Pole base, what he could have done different & what contributed to his success.
ANSMET Meteorite Hunters’ season closing When you think that you are down on your luck, think again: After their 4.5 billion years’ lifetime, some meteorite land on earth to end up as “Road kill” – run over by a snow truck. Check out the ANSMET scientists’ trademark educational wrap of the past hunting season.
Opinion: Richard Weber’s Top 5 Reasons for North Pole expedition failure Richard Weber has skied seven times from the coast to the Geographic North Pole and kicking off the brand new 2011 season, ExWeb’s Correne asked for his opinion about why so many expeditions to the North Pole fail. Read Richard’s top 5 reasons for Arctic failure.
Baptized by fire: ExWeb interview with Tessum Weber They are young, they are wild, and they do not as we say but as we do. Last spring, at age 20, Tessum Weber became the youngest person to ski from land to the North Pole. In an ExWeb interview, “be wild and don’t forget to have fun,” Tessum said his advice would be to other adventure kids.
Alaska Crossings: ‘lost’ kids into the wild “There are lessons in the text that nature renders,” wrote Robert Service in his classic poem The Call of the Wild. The team at Alaska Crossings take this literally, helping ‘lost’ youths cope with abuse by exposing them to a Wild of a purer kind.
Girls aged 16-20 needed for expedition to the Himalayas NO experience necessary! BSES Expeditions is calling for 16-20 year old adventurers to join a five week science expedition to the Indian Himalayas this summer. The Society is particularly keen to encourage female mountaineers to balance the expedition team. No previous experience is needed. The closing date is April 4, 2011.
Atacama Desert Run: Avoiding landmines marked the Jan 23 start of Ray Zahab’s 1000+ km Atacama Desert run. A few changes in the expedition plan had to be made in the first week, in particular to care for Ray’s safety. Temperatures neared 40°C.
Atlantic Wrap Up: On a record hunt to sail around the world in less that 57 days French Thomas Coville nearly ended his solo round the world record just minutes after the start. In a fresh northerly gale and a very choppy sea the giant trimaran nearly pitch poled. The Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V have to average 18.76 knots every day to beat the current round the world speed record. The crew on the rowing boat Sara G had a number of record days when they averaged over 100 nautical miles.
The End of The Never Ending Voyage – Henk de Velde is coming home Setting out in 2007, the original goal of The Never Ending Voyage was to stay out there, well, forever. But now Henk de Velde has had a change of heart and turned his sails for home. ExWeb’s Ocean Editor Jon Amtrup caught up with the world circumnavigator for an interview.
Savage: Focus on green happiness On March 31st Roz Savage will start her next goal: spending 5-6 months in the Indian Ocean rowing from Freemantle to Mombai in India. She will do her last row in 2012 and then end that career. ExWeb’s Jon checked in with Roz to ask why.
Off-limits: Swede to cycle Iraq, “The best way to build a bridge is to start from both sides of the river” Is there any country on earth which is off limits to a touring cyclist? Talking to a bunch of long distance cyclists located in every corner of the globe, only five such spots emerge. With Swedish cyclist Lars Bengtsson trying to cross Iraq, soon they might be down to four. ExWeb’s Micke talked to Lars about travel in difficult contries and the hurdles ahead.
Extreme trek specials/interviews: Papua New Guinea Sepik River, hard as it comes according to Clark Carter and Andrew Johnson. Cycling the world with Emuna, a journey spanning 5 continents and 56 000 kilometers. Oli Broom cycled 25 000 kilometres (15 500 miles) during 14 months from England to Brisbane in Australia, through 23 countries. And Kyle Henning arrived NE Ethiopia to go from Africa´s lowest point – the shore of Lake Assal, Djibouti (155m below sea level) to its highest; the summit of Uhuru Peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (5,895m above sea level).
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market kick off: “A new era of steadily rising prices is afoot” In a recent ExWeb poll, 185 responded “Synthetics” is their favorite base layer, 242 responded “Natural” (silk, wool, cotton) and 151 listed “Combination of both.” A 90 percent increase in raw cotton prices is just one factor in rising prices ahead according to an OIA newsletter that kicked off the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.
HumanEdgeTech Early Bird Special: Major Price Cut on Satellite Phone It’s the lowest price on the internet: in an early bird price drop the latest Iridium model 9555 is now offered by HumanEdgeTech at $1145. Himalaya climbers should also note HET’s super deal on Thuraya SO-2510 – now offered at $595. And check out the new selector for HET’s unique expedition tech bundles.
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