Everest Climbing Gear – Then and Now.

National Geographic has another interesting article and photo gallery up today, this time taking a look at the past and present gear used on Everest. The slideshow contains a number of fantastic images, and each one focuses on a particular topic, such as “communications” and “insulation layers,” with information what was used when Hillary and Norgay completed the first ascent, versus the gear that the rank and file mountaineers are using now.

Today’s climbers are outfitted with highly technical apparel, a host of gadgets, and gear that offers an amazing weight-to-performance ratio. Everything from the boots they wear to the tents they stay in have improved dramatically over the past 60+ years. With all of the advanced fabrics and space-age materials at our disposal, it is easier to climb lighter, faster, and more comfortably than ever before, which is part of the reason so many more people are making the attempt.

So just how different was it back in 1953? In the Nat Geo article we learn that Hillary and Norgay couldn’t use wireless communications higher up on the mountain, so they communicated by laying out their sleeping bags in a particular pattern that could be seen below. Today, walkie-talkies, sat phones, satellite messengers, and even cell phones can be used to communicate from any point on Everest, including the summit.

Similarly, the tents used on the first ascent where heavy and bulky. Those shelters were made from cotton, and were often crowded, uncomfortable, and very heavy. In contrast, today’s tents are surprisingly strong, lightweight, and warm, even at higher altitudes. Every aspect and component of a tent has been upgraded, making them easier to carry and assemble, even when the weather turns bad.

The story is a fun one and well worth a read for Everest fans and gear junkies alike. Lots of good information here comparing climbing now to then. You’re likely to come away with even more respect for those early Everest climbers.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Everest Climbing Gear – Then and Now

** see also – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/gear/

AddThis Feed Button


Himalaya 2017: Everest Summiteer Cory Richards Shares Intimate Challenges of His Life.

In the mountaineer world Cory Richards is known as quite a success story. He is an accomplished climber and adventure photographer who has topped out on some of the world’s tallest peaks, including Everest. Back in 2011, he was even part of the first team to complete a winter ascent of Gasherbrum II, joining Simone Moro and Denis Urubko on the summit. To all outside appearances, Richards looked like a guy who had the world at his feet, knocking off tall peaks in remote parts of the world and delivering some of the most stunning images of those places. But, as it turns out, he was also battling a lot of demons, which hid just below the surface threatening to bring it all crashing down.

In a new article for National Geographic, Richards opens up about the challenges he has faced in his personal life, revealing that he first ran into trouble as a young teenager who began using drugs and found himself homeless on the street at the age of 13. That would alienate him from his family for a time and send him on a downward spiral that would leave a lasting impression on any young person. But, he would eventually crawl out of that situation and reunite with his family.

Years later, while climbing Gasherbrum II, he would get caught in an avalanche, narrowly avoiding death. Understandably that would lead to Richards developing a case of PTSD that would begin to haunt him on and off the mountain. He started to drink, he battled addiction issues, he got married but struggled to stay faithful. The difficulties continued to mount, even as his career really started to take off. Eventually, it would all come crashing down. He lost his wife, he left the multimedia studio he helped found, he turned away from friends, and it looked like everything would implode.

Then, last year, climber Adrian Ballinger reached out to Richards to see if he would be interested in climbing Everest together. The two men traveled to Nepal and went to work on the highest mountain on the planet, using social media in unique ways to document their climb. On summit day, Ballinger was forced to turn back, but Richards continued upward, reaching the summit alone. It was then that he knew he had to confront the demons that he faced and get his life together.

In the article, Cory shares some very personal stories about his internal battles, how he got to the lowest point in his life, and what it has been like to crawl back out of that spot again. He gives us a stark, honest look at himself with the hopes that his story might help others, even as sharing the truth helps him too. It is an interest read and a cautionary tale for sure.

Check it on in its entirety here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Himalaya 2017: Everest Summiteer Cory Richards Shares Intimate Challenges of His Life

** see also: –Himalaya Spring 2017: Season Progressing On Schedule.

AddThis Feed Button


Video: 20 Appalachian Trail Hikers Tell Us Why They’re Making the Journey.

Have you ever wondered why someone would want to dedicate six months of their life to hike 2200 miles (3500 km) along the Appalachian Trail? In this video, produced by Outside magazine, we meet 20 of those hikers, who share their stories and the reasons behind their trek. As you can imagine, their motivations are as varied as the people, but you’ll find some good stories mixed in as well. What would it take to get you motivated to make that hike?

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: 20 Appalachian Trail Hikers Tell Us Why They’re Making the Journey

** see also: –  https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

AddThis Feed Button


Video: Traversing the High Sierra with Kalen Thorien.

What do you do in the off season if you’re a professional skier? In the case of Kalen Thorien, you set out on an 18-day, 270-mile solo traverse across the High Sierra Mountains. In this video, we join Kalen on this adventure as she goes in search of adventure and solitude. She finds all of that, and a lot more, as she makes the hike through some very remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: Traversing the High Sierra with Kalen Thorien

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

AddThis Feed Button


Which Countries are the Most Adventurous? One Company Thinks it Knows.

Ever wondered which countries in the world have the most adventurous citizens? A new study by a company called ShareaCamper claims to have figured out the answer to that question by studying the online search patterns for more than 40 countries and ranking the results. The winner, at least on this criteria? The Netherlands.

According to a press release put out yesterday, ShareaCamper – which as the name implies is an RV rental service – chose eight different adventurous actives, such as skydiving, skiing, and caravanning (aka overlanding) to be the basis of its research. Other terms included BMX, bungy jumping, hiking, rock climbing, and surfing.  The company then sifted through the Google searches for 40 different countries over the past 12 months to determine he number of searches made on the adventurous terms that were selected. The numbers were then averaged out for the time period to discover how many monthly searches were made proportionate to 100,000 citizens. This allowed countries with smaller populations to compete with larger ones, so it wasn’t just about the sheer number of overall searches.

After the results were tabulated, The Netherlands came out on top, followed by Australia, and Sweden. Germany and France rounded out the top five, with Denmark, Norway, the U.K., the U.S., and Austria all making the top ten. Surprisingly, countries that are well known for their adventurous activities like New Zealand and South Africa came in further down the list, ranking 16 and 39 respectively. Thailand came in dead last at number 40.

Whether or not using Google search terms is a good way to determine just how adventurous a country is would certainly be up for debate. Perhaps the citizens of some places simply don’t need to search for the activities that the would like to go out and do, as the options are easily accessible and don’t require much time on a computer. Still, it is interesting to see where the rankings fell based on those criteria. Where did your country land?

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Which Countries are the Most Adventurous? One Company Thinks it Knows

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/travel/

AddThis Feed Button


Traveling to California – The Lost Coast Trail with Tepui Tents.

As we round out the week, just a quick note on blog updates for next week. I’ll be starting the month of May with a quick trip to California where I’ll be testing out a Tepui Tents rooftop tent while spending a couple of days hiking on the Lost Coast Trail. This gives me the opportunity to not only see a place that I’ve heard so much about, but also test out some gear as well. I’ve been wanting to checkout Tepui’s shelters for some time now, and this will be a great chance to do just that.

I depart early on Monday and will be back early on Thursday, so there is a good chance there won’t be any updates until next Friday. But should a big story break, there is a chance I’ll be able to post something to the blog before then. In the meantime, have a great weekend, enjoy the spring weather, and I’ll be back before you know it.

After this trip, I don’t have anything planned for a few weeks, which means I should be around for summit season in the Himalaya. Always an exciting time of year for sure.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Traveling to California – The Lost Coast Trail with Tepui Tents

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/travel/

AddThis Feed Button


Gear Closet: EcoFlow River Portable Generator Review.

The options available to us for keeping our electronic devices charged while in remote regions continue to grow. A couple of weeks back I took a look at the Renogy Phoenix Solar Generator and found it to be a powerful and full featured – if a bit heavy – method for staying charged while on the go. Now, I’ve gotten my hands on another portable generator called the EcoFlow River that will be available soon, and it brings some more intriguing possibilities to the market.

Currently, the River is only available for preorder on Indiegogo, but the device is already fully-funded and should begin shipping in July of this year. In fact, the River has been such a success on the crowdfunding site that it’s designers had hoped to raise $30,000 to get it into production, but have already raked in more than $400,000 with more than two weeks to go before the campaign ends. In other words, people already want this gadget and it is a major success before it even goes on sale.

I’ve been lucky enough to get to test out a pre-production model of the River, and have found it to be an incredibly well made product. Everything about the generator screams high quality, from the excellent case (complete with handle on top), to the LCD screen that provides info on the amount of power in the device, and how it is being used, to the plethora of ports to keep our gadgets charged. In terms of lightweight, portable generators with lots of power, this is the most well thought out and best designed version I’ve seen yet.

With its 116,000 mAh battery and 500-watt output, the River is capable of recharging a smartphone up to 30 times and a laptop as many as 9 times depending on the model. Additionally, it can power a projector or mini-refrigerator for 10 hours, and recharger a drone 4-8 times as well. This makes it a great tool to have at base camp, whether you’re working in the field or spending an extended amount of time in the backcountry. And since it is waterproof resistant, offers built-in surge protection, and weights just 11 pounds, its an excellent companion for use on our adventures.

Continue reading