Himalaya 2011 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /11/ – Week in Review.

“So here end the entries in this diary with the first chapter of our History. The future is in the lap of the gods; I can think of nothing left undone to deserve success.” (Scott diary). 100 years later, a new South Pole race is on. Paying homage to the ancient polar men explorers from all corners of the world plan to follow in their historic footsteps, or just rumble about the continent in new ways. Teams are on track from Hercules, Ross, and Novo.

Check ExWeb for the anniversary list of expeditions and updated polar stats, map of routes, daily then-and-now dispatches, a complete list of useful Antarctic terms and links, plus the expeditions classified by departure points and expedition styles.

In other news: just as Himalaya folded and Antarctica kicked off, we lost one of the greatest explorers of both worlds: Annapurna became Mr Park’s last mountain.

Annapurna: Mr Park, “mine is the destiny of the explorer” Climbing all the 14x8000ers and walking to both poles, in 2005 Korean Park Young-Seok completed the world’s first Adventure Grand Slam. In 2009 he summited Everest via a new line on the immense and technical SW Face. This fall, he attempted yet another new line in high Himalaya. “I have the destiny of the explorer – my fate is to explore till I die.” Displayed on a screen during his funeral service in Seoul, friends and relatives reportedly broke out in tears when Mr Park’s words came up.

It’s over: search for Korean climbers called off The only men left on top of the world: Mr. Park and his two Korean mates, pushing for a new route on Annapurna south face, suddenly went missing on October 18. The South Korean climbing community mobilized fast. Rescuers reached the bottom of a big crevasse at 5,800 m where Park and his mates were suspected to have fallen, but found no trace of the missing climbers. The thorough and dangerous effort was over when KAF finally called off the rescue operation for Mr. Park and his team at 12:00 on October 28.

Antarctica then and now Satellites and compass guide expeditions today but what about the pioneers? Weather forecasts were done by simply looking up. Location tools were piled up rock and ice. Much like today’s skiers Scott and Amundsen were green by necessity but ask them to leave no trace and you’d get a blank stare. Pieces of Scott’s tractor were scattered on the ice; Amundsen buried all kinds of things in his depots. Scott had his horses, Amundsen the dogs. 100 years later some teams will have airdrops; others no pulling help at all. Pushing our limits, “one gets used to everything,” Amudsen wrote. Check ExplorersWeb for unique, side by side, then and now dispatches providing interesting and unexpected insights in the evolution of exploration.

Antarctica wrap-up: Novo in the game It’s been a windy week for skiers from Hercules Inlet. Ross ice shelf teams are on a roll. Reciting Elvis, Sam and Dixie started their Kite-supported expedition from Novo earlier this week. Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland are on their marks. So are the Jubilees, Felicity and Weber in Punta.

Antarctica wrap-up: smart tools shrink Amundsen’s lead “This is our secret weapon – the competitive edge we hope will give us a chance to catch up with ‘the Chief’,” raved the Bay of Whales Norwegians who, flying their sails, narrowed Amundsen’s lead by 23 km.

Aleksander Gamme going for a solo return journey No one has ever done a solo return journey with no resupplies and no kites on Antarctica. In the spirit of the Norwegian discovery of the South Pole 100 years ago one of the kids of Amundsen, Aleksander Gamme, is taking on the challenge over a distance of 2260 km from Hercules Inlet and back.

4000 km across Antarctica – Sebastian Copeland’s 5 survival tips and 2 rules of perseverance In the spirit of Scott and Amundsen, Sebastian Copeland and Eric McNair-Landry will open a new route to the SP; with kites and without resupplies. Copeland shared with ExWeb his survival tips.

The Basque traverse: ‘Horizontal Alpinism’ in Antarctica Departing from Spain to Cape Town Friday, their main goal is a complete Antarctic traverse from Novolazarevskaya Base with a stop over in the mountains of Queen Maud Land. After all, Alberto Iñurrategi, Juan Vallejo and Mikel Zabalza are climbers with nearly 30, 8000ers between them.

Berserk tragedy ends in fine for skipper Jarle Andhøy, expedition leader and skipper on Berserk that was lost with three men on board in Antarctica waters this spring, has been fined $4500. Jarle accepted the fine because he doesn’t want more “noise” around the incident, he said. In August Andhøy’s request to make a documentary about the tragedy was turned down by relatives.

The legend: 5 stars out of 5 for new Kukuczka documentary The wonder-climber’s accomplishments were overshadowed by the “second” place he held in the 14x8000ers race behind Messner. A new docu about Jerzy Kukuczka is hailed by mountaineers. “It’s a long time overdue that somebody puts facts against fiction!” said Kurt Diemberger.

Debrief: Slovenian women’s stealth Nanga Parbat attempt This summer two female climbers managed to work Nanga’s icy Diamir face in alpine style, via a bold combination of routes, and few aware they were there. The remarkable climb included one week spent to ascend the face to 7590 meters and a 150 meter fall on descent.

Debrief: Manaslu ski descents, one (first) from Top True Skiing down an 8000er remains a kick-ass challenge for a select crowd. This fall we had no less than two partial ski descents on Manaslu. Guiding Russian client Sergey Baranov, Andrian Ballinger skied from the true top. Hours after Adrian and Serguey, Perth-born American Robert Kay followed.

Winter Karakoram “After dreaming of a new route in winter on GI since 2003, the time has come to make it real with a small, strong theam,” Gerfried Göschl announced to ExWeb. Louis Rousseau, won’t join the expedition for personal reasons. Simone Moro confirmed in a previous interview with ExplorersWeb that he’ll go for Nanga Parbat with his winter GII mates Denis Urubko and Corey Richards. Simone originally planned to attempt Broad Peak but changed his mind after Askari Aviation raised prices.

Grants in honor of lost climbers In tribute to Joe Puryear a Sherpa adventure gear company is launching a new scholarship.

AAC moved up application deadline for the Lyman Spitzer award.

In from the East: Elbrus open, Snow Leopard Stats Good news 7-summiteers, Elbrus is back in business. Closed in February 20 this year, allegedly in response to terrorist threats, the Counterterrorist Operation (CTO) was finally canceled on November 5, reported 7 Summits Club. Russian Climb has updated and translated into English the brand new Snow Leopards ‘Snezhny Bars’ statistics. 600 climbers have so far bagged all the five tallest peaks of ex-Soviet.

Silver Bullet: AppPlanet China, “computers have to be smarter” China is second largest in the world in iPhone app users but getting paid for your app is another story. According to a tech conference in Santa Clara, Calif., the Chinese pay for apps even less than folks do in Pakistan. The flip side: uncrowded territory.

Silver Bullet SFNT wrap: divorce 2.0, quake 3.9 and a world of APIs San Francisco’s SOMISSPO district, an industrial loft type area where SOMA meets Mission and Potrero Hill, gets pretty quiet past 5 pm. Live healthy, hack happy is mantra which means a good nights sleep. Only a Taco truck and a guard parked outside Mighty give away that something’s up. Check out ExWeb’s inside report.

Organic matter, resembling coal and oil, made by stars Hong Kong astronomers report that organic compounds of unexpected complexity exist throughout the Universe. The results, reported in Nature, suggest that complex organic compounds are not the sole domain of life but can be made naturally by stars.

Antarctica: Polar car speed attempt details Time is short for the Pole anniversary on December 14, except for Jason de Cateret driving a cutting-edge polar vehicle for the fastest overland journey to the South Pole yet. Check ExWeb for details.

Baby jellyfish? Plankton? Help rower Erden Eruc Out on his Atlantic row, Erden Eruc came across a bloom of millions of tiny transparent creatures, similar to ones he found in the North Atlantic. He wonders what they are.

Roque wave: World record surf Garrett McNamara broke the world record for the largest wave ever surfed last week. Garrett was towed into a rogue wave in Portugal, at the North Canyon.

Diving: world FIM titles William Trubridge (NZL) and Natalia Molchanova (RUS) continued to dominate as the duo were named Free Immersion (FIM) champions at the 2011 AIDA Freediving World Championships. Additionally a total of 15 new national records and one world record were broken.

In Thesiger’s Arabic Desert footsteps: Interview with Adrian Hayes Former Gurkha officer, Adrian Hayes, who has ventured across ice fields and above snow lines, is now heading to the burning heat of the Arabic desert sands. Probably the biggest challenge is the sensitivities and politics in this region, he told ExplorersWeb.

Guardian angel of Tibet, great French explorer Peissel died in Paris The Harvard Business School drop-out explored the world off the beaten path all the way into the 1980s. Michel Peissel early took to the people of Tibet. “He made some very important journeys,” CuChullaine of the Long Riders’ told ExWeb, “and stood up the Red Chinese to his dying.”

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