25th Grand Finale GOCC – another record beaten!

Two months ago, on January the 15th, we have played in a Grand Finale – people have joined in to support Polish public healthcare for the 25th time! This year we decided to use the funds to purchase equipment for general paediatrics and to ensure that the senior patients receive medical care in a dignified environment. This anniversary fundraiser took a tour around the world – for one day only people came together in locations as remote as Jakarta, China, New Zealand, the Caucasus and the US to raise funds and to build a community of volunteers and socially aware individuals.

Thank you!

Thank you!

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37th anniversary of the first Everest winter ascent.

February 17, 1980 – First winter ascent by Andrzej Zawada’s team from Poland: Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki.

This was also the first winter summit of any of the world’s fourteen 8000 metre peaks.

Completed in 1980 by a team of phenomenally rugged Polish climbers, this ascent was led by … Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki reached the summit on February 17.

Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy celebrate winning Mount Everest in Winter.

You can see ..

Krzysztof Wielicki – detailed diary of First winter ascent of Mount Everest, Please click the links below :

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 1

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 2

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 3

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 4

** I invite you to relationships with expeditions Polish mountaineers.

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25th Grand Finale GOCC – Where to Watch Us?

The Grand Finale is the ultimate charity fete and to our knowledge it is the largest charity event in this part of Europe. The one day event is happening silmultaneously in different parts of the globe. This Sunday the sun is not going to set over our fundraiser. The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is going to be playing in Australia and in Japan. We have received news from volunteers in Georgia and updates from Collection Centres across Europe and the US.

Fot. Błażej Sendzielski

Fot. Błażej Sendzielski


Read on to find out where to tune in to watch the Grand Finale events unfold! 

The Grand Finale events are going to be broadcast nationwide on the channels belonging to TVN Network and online on Player.pl

Apart from the TV broadcast on TVN channels, we invite you to tune in to watch the Grand Finale events on the GOCC Youtube channel. Concerts from the stage in front of the Palace of Culture and Sciences will be broadcast on Kręcioła Youtube channel.

**  Source : – http://www.en.wosp.org.pl/aktualnosci/gdzie-obejrzec-transmisje-finalu-wosp

* Office of GOCC on the world :

Bergen – https://www.facebook.com/propterfamilia

Berlin – URL: http://www.wosp-berlin.de/

Bruksela – http://www.wosp.be/

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25th Grand Finale with Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

1. Thank you for playing with us!

We would like to thank you for you charitable contributions and support, which allow us to continue our work. You can make donations all year round – the funds raised this way will enable us to finance our medical and educational programmes, or you can choose to contribute in aid of a Grand Finale fundraiser and its concrete aim, such as previously specified branch of children’s medicine or help offered to geriatric units in Polish hospitals.

  • You can donate directly into our account in aid of the 25th Grand Finale fundraiser aim – 90 1240 10 37 1111 0010 7046 7977
  • If you would like to make a transfer from abroad you should use:  SWIFT Code PKO PPL PW, IBAN: PL 90 1240 1037 1111 0010 7046 7977 

* source: –http://www.en.wosp.org.pl/final/wesprzyj

* see – Extremalna noc w górach z Andrzejem Bargielem.

Bergen – https://www.facebook.com/propterfamilia

Berlin – URL: http://www.wosp-berlin.de/

Bruksela – http://www.wosp.be/

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Christmas Eve in Poland – 2016. Tradycyjna Wigilia w Polsce. /Version english, french, polish/

Merry Christmas !
May the Spirit of Christmas bring you Peace,
The Gladness of Christmas give you hope
The Warmth of Christmas grant you Love
May your holiday season be as beautiful as a Winter Wonderland!

Family members begin the celebration with a prayer and breaking of the Christmas wafer (opłatek – symbolising the bread eaten daily — our day-to-day common life) and wishing each other good fortune in the upcoming new year.

Breaking of the Christmas wafer – himalman

Kliknij na link powyżej, by podzielić się ze mną opłatkiem.

Santa’s Reindeer Orchestra

With all best wishes

Christmas in Poland

Many people in Poland celebrate Christmas Eve (Wigilia) on December 24…..

In Poland, Christmas Eve is a day first of fasting, then of feasting. The Wigilia feast begins at the appearance of the first star. There is no red meat served but fish, usually carp. The supper, which includes many traditional dishes and desserts, can sometimes last for over two hours. It is followed by the exchange of gifts. The next day, the Christmas Day, is often spent visiting friends. In Polish tradition, people combine religion and family closeness at Christmas. Although gift-giving plays a major role in the rituals, emphasis is placed more on the making of special foods and decorations.

On the night of Christmas Eve, so important is the appearance of the first star in remembrance of the Star of Bethlehem, that it has been given an affectionate name of “the little star” or Gwiazdka (the female counterpart of St. Nicholas). On that evening, children watch the sky anxiously hoping to be the first to cry out, “The star has come!” Only after it appears, the family members sit down to a dinner table…..

Christmas in Poland is the most solemn festival (there are only Easter which may have the same importance). The tradition of this celebration – family and intimate – is very old. There are even traces of these traditions from the time of ancient Slavic tribes.We began the meal at sundown, with the appearance of the first star – yet guetté forward by the children.

It began by presenting their wishes to everyone sharing the symbolic bread (opłatek). This beautiful tradition is still alive in Poland. This evening is the best for the children – the fairy tale becomes reality when under the tree they find beautiful gifts they dreamed.Recall certain traditions, characteristic for the Polish Christmas. Some are saved only in the countryside, but there are many who also exist in the cities.

The tradition is the largest share of the symbolic bread (opłatek). The former “opłatek” was all colors and highly decorated. Today they are white with design hurry.

Another beautiful Polish tradition, it only invites people for Christmas – so that no one is alone and sad. We must not forget the Polish Christmas carols (kolędy).

These magnificent songs, known and sung by all, give a specific atmosphere at Christmas Polish. Even Frederic Chopin used the melody singing Christmas “Lulajże Jezuniu” in his Scherzo in B – minor.

The custom of visiting the homes of people with large colored star disappears already. But the tradition of preparing nurseries Kraków is always cultivated a large and competition for the most beautiful nursery is held annually in Krakow. Of course, there is also a crib in all the churches. Christmas and Easter are the largest culminations of the year culinary Poland.

For Christmas Eve / Wigilia /, the most important is the dinner which is a meager meal. But our ancestors came to make it a true feast despite this constraint and the meal “lean” Polish is well known throughout the world. In the houses of the nobility and the bourgeoisie meal was composed of twelve dishes – such as the number of apostles. This was mainly based dishes of fish, and in particular we had to prepare the famous carp or pike in his gray sauce. Sometimes there were so many dishes, which they greatly exceeded in number the traditional figure. But, we found the solution – every dish of fish were counted as a dish!On the Eve began with the traditional soup – most often the “barszcz (beet soup), mushroom soup or – more rarely – almond soup. Then we used, in addition to the fish, sauerkraut pea, meals made from dried mushrooms, dried fruit compotes and traditional desserts made from poppy (łamańce poppy or kutia) and cakes – (primarily cake Poppy).

The vigil supper concludes with family members giving gifts to one another. Christmas carols are also sung. Some families attend the traditional midnight mass (pasterka).

It is still believed that whatever happens on the Wigilia day has an impact on the following year. So, if a quarrel should arise, it foretells a quarrelsome and troublesome year. If, in the morning the first visiting person is a man, it means good luck, if a woman, one might expect misfortune. Everyone, however, is glad when a mailman comes by, for it means money and success in the future.

And now some traditional recipes.
Soup Christmas to the beet (Barszcz wigilijny)
The recipe earliest date to the sixteenth century. There are two recipes from the classic “barszcz” – a lean Christmas and the other on the basis of meat broth for Easter. Both versions are prepared on the basis of pure natural beet.Cut beets into slices washed and peeled. Arrange in a jar and fill the jar with warm water (water should cover beets). One can ask above a slice of bread (which speeds up the process). Cover the jar with a gauze pad and let stand in a warm place. After four to five days to remove the foam that forms on the surface and put the liquid in bottles. The bottles can be kept closed for several months.”Barszcz” Christmas is prepared basis of vegetable broth without cabbage (celery, parsley, carrots, leeks, onions). Cook the vegetables with beet 4 peeled and cut into slices. Add a few grains of black pepper and a laurel leaf. Separately cook 50 – 80 g of dried mushrooms. Skip two broths to the colander and mix. Now we add a dose of yeast beets (1 1 / 2 l broth – 1 / 2 l leaven). Bring to a boil and stop. To get an even more beautiful color can add beet juice or flood. Then add salt, pepper (possibly a pinch of sugar or lemon juice). You can add garlic.Traditionally, it accompanies the “barszcz” by the “uszka” – “little ears” (recipe below). It takes 6 to 8 ears per person. Put small ears cooked in the vessel and pour on top of the hot soup.
“Ears” (uszka) for the beet soup
The dough: 150 g flour, 1 egg, 1 pinch salt. Knead the dough and flatten with the roll into a very thin layer. Cut squares (4 x 4 cm or smaller). Ask a little joke on each square, fold the square diagonally, paste the edges and then paste the two opposing angles of the triangle. Put in boiling salted water. When they come to the surface – they are ready.The stuffing: very finely chop the dried mushrooms cooked with broth has been added to the beet soup. Chop a small onion, brown in the pan. Mix all the ingredients with 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs and 1 egg. Add salt and pepper. The stuffing is ready.
Christmas soup with mushrooms

Put the casserole in 100 g of dried mushrooms and 2 litres of water warm and bring to a boil over low heat. When the mushrooms are cooked, add cabbage without vegetables (celery, carrot, parsley, onion), pepper, bay leaf and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Pass soup colander, salt and add the cooked mushrooms and cut into strips. Add chunks of cooked lasagna before. You can add the cream.

Carp to the Polish in his gray sauce

It is a recipe for Christmas well known. There are several versions of this dish – one cited below is the most characteristic for the kitchen of former Poland. It is also a dish that requires work, but it’s worth being prepared for Christmas.Clean and cut into steaks a beautiful carp (weight approx. 1 kg). If the fish was alive, keep the blood in a bowl or on a paid juice 1 / 2 lemon.Place fish in a pan, pour on top of the broth prepared a little celery, cut into strips, 1 large onion, 1 cup red wine, 1 lemon zest, a few grains of pepper, 1 / 3 of a spoon Coffee ginger juice and 1 / 2 lemon. Place fish cooked on the hot plate, and keep warm. Skip broth to the colander for a sauce finely mixed, add the blood of carp (if it was), a glass of beer, 2 to 3 pieces of sugar, 1 tablespoon of jam prunes, 50 g Gingerbread based honey and grated dry, gd’amandes cut into 50 pieces, 50 of raisins and 1 tablespoon butter great. Cook the sauce over low heat 10 to 15 minutes, cool slightly, verify its taste and napper fish in the dish.

For those who find this recipe too complicated, another traditional dish – ie:

The pike in the water to the former

It is also a traditional dish and if it serves two meals pike fish should be served first.Clean and salt pike (weight approx. 1 kg). Prepare a vegetable broth (without cabbage), 1 large onion, a few grains of pepper and a bay leaf. Put the pike in the whole fish, and then the cold broth on top, bring to a boil. Bake 15 -20 minutes on low heat, covered. Keep warm.Melt in a pan 50 g of butter. 3 Add finely chopped hard-boiled eggs and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Do not fry, just heat.Ask the pike hot on a platter, pour the juice of 1 / 2 lemon and dispose above the preparation of butter, egg and parsley. According connoisseurs it is the most correct way to serve the pike to emphasize the distinct taste of this excellent fish.You can also prepare the traditional dish as simple as follows:

Carp panée as steaks

Clean carp, cut the steaks with salt and let stand 30 minutes. Pass each steaks in flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs. Fry over medium heat the butter. Put in the oven a few minutes to finish cooking. You can marry carp to the sauerkraut with mushrooms.

The sauerkraut with mushrooms

This dish is a good example of the traditional Polish cuisine.1 kg of sauerkraut (if it is too acidic, rinse through a sieve), 2 large glasses of water. Bake. Separately, cook 50-80g dried mushrooms in a small amount of water. The slice them and add broth with her in sauerkraut cooked. Add 1 large chopped onion and golden, and the roux prepared in a tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of butter. Salt and pepper and cook a little while.

“Pierogi” sauerkraut

Or sauerkraut and mushroomsDOUGH: 350 g flour, 1 egg, approx. 1 / 2 glass of water, a pinch of saltPrepare the stuffing according to the recipe.Pour the flour on a board, make a hollow, add salt, egg, and a quantity of water to make a paste quickly not too hard. Spread rolls with the small parties, the board dusting of flour. Crop circles using a glass in order to put the most possible meadows. Ask the stuffing on each round with a spoon, fold each circle in half and glue the edges. Submit as on a floured board or a cloth. Use the leftover dough to make the next part of “pierogi.” Bake a few minutes in boiling salted water. Serve sprinkled with melted butter, possibly with an onion cut into cubes and browned.

STUFFING THE CHOUCROUTE: ok. 800 g of sauerkraut, 2 onions, oil, salt, pepperCook the cabbage in a small amount of water for 30 minutes. Peel and chop onions and brown. Drain sauerkraut carefully, chop them finely, add the browned onions, salt, pepper and mix.

STUFFING THE CHOUCROUTE AND MUSHROOMS: approx. 800 g of sauerkraut, 100 grams of dried mushrooms, 2 onions, oil, salt, pepperRinse mushrooms, soak for several hours, cook in water soaking, drain. Mince. Cook the cabbage in a small amount of water for 30 minutes. Peel and chop onions and brown. Drain sauerkraut carefully, chop them finely, add the browned onions, mushrooms, salt, pepper and mix.Now something for dessert.

The split poppy (Lamance z makiem)

It is a traditional dessert prepared based poppy decorated by long shortbread biscuits.Put a large glass poppy in a pan, add above 2 glasses of milk boiling and keep over low heat for 15 -20 minutes. Drain through a colander. Crush the seeds when moving the poppy three times by the meat chopper. Then add 2 / 3 glass of liquid honey, vanilla, 100 g raisins soaked in rum before or cognac and 100 gd’amandes peeled and chopped. If the preparation is too thick, add a little cream liquid. You can add a small glass of good cognac. Then refrigerate. Before serving have in a glass bowl and top with “broken”.The dough for broken (łamańce).Knead the dough using 130 grams of flour, 60 g of butter, 30 g powdered sugar and 1 egg yolk. Flatten roll. Cut 2 rectangles x 7 cm and cook in the oven.There is an alternative – the dough “lean” – 120 g flour, 120 grams of sugar and 1 egg. Prepare as above.

The rolled in poppy (Makowiec)

The brioche dough:300 grams of flour, 150 grams of sugar, 150 g of butter, 2 eggs (or 1 egg and 2 egg yolks), 1 / 2 cup of milk, 40 grams of baking yeast and a pinch of salt.Work the butter with sugar to obtain a homogeneous mass. Add eggs in a, salt and yeast baking diluted with milk. Finally, add the flour and knead the dough very carefully with her hand. Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm place for at least one hour. Flatten the dough then climb with the roll on a board sprinkled with flour by the shape of a rectangle. With the brush move a layer of egg white (so that the stuffing glue well) and have the stuffing to poppy regularly. Roll out the dough stick ends. Put butter in pan and let stand a little longer. Bake in oven 45 -50 minutes. After cooking you can glaze the log.The farce poppy:Put the casserole in 400 g of opium and pay above 1 litre of milk boiling. Keep on low heat for 30 minutes. Drain through the sieve. Crush the seeds when moving the poppy three – four times by the meat chopper.Melt in a pan 150 g of butter, 3 / 4 of full glass of honey, add vanilla, 100 gd’amandes or chopped nuts, 150 grams of raisins, 1 / 2 cup of orange peel fries sugar and chopped. Now add the poppy and cook a little mixing. Cool. Add 3 to 4 egg yolks beaten with a glass of white sugar and beaten in the remaining snow very firm. The taste will be further refined if we add a glass of rum or cognac. Place the stuffing still lukewarm on the dough.

The gingerbread nuts

The dough prepared with honey was known already by the ancient Slavs. But the “discovery” of spices and yeast dough has turned into hard gingerbread today. The most famous were the gingerbread Torun Nuremberg and mussels cooked in beautifully carved. “Catherinettes” Torun were known already in 1640.Components: 500 grams of flour, 250 grams of sugar, 250 g of honey, 150 g walnuts, 4 to 5 eggs, 2 tablespoons of caramel liquid (10 g brown sugar on the stove, add 2 to 3 tablespoons water, bring to boiling), 1 teaspoon spices (cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg), 10 g of sodium bicarbonate, 50 – 100 g butter.Work the butter, add the egg yolks, one by one, sugar, liquid honey, baking soda, caramel, spices and half the flour. Mounting white snow and put in the preparation by adding the remaining flour and chopped nuts. Pour batter into the pan and bake in the oven. You can glaze gingerbread with chocolate or fill with jam or cream chocolate.


For approx. 10 sharesComponents: 250 g dried fruit (prunes, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, figs), a few cloves, cinnamon1 / 2 cup sugar, 2 1 / 2 litres waterSoak fruit for a few hours. Add sugar, cloves, cinnamon and cook slowly. Serve chilled in a large bowl.Prepared according to the book “In the kitchen of old Poland” and “The Polish cuisine”And the site http://www.kuchnia.com.pl/


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February and March Climbing Events by American Alpine Institute.

February and March The Forest Service is offering Snowshoe Hikes and Cross Country Ski Tours for all ages. Scroll down to  find one in your area and make your arrangements.

2/2 – 2/4  Champagny en Vanoise, France — Ice Climbing World Cup

2/2 – 2/5 Munising, Michigan — Michigan Ice Fest

2/2 Las Vegas, Nevada — Save Red Rock Meeting at REI

2/4 — Everett, MA — Dark Horse Bouldering Series Championship

2/11 — Bellingham, WA — NC3 Climbing Comp at WWU

2/10 – 2/11 — Busteni, Romania — Ice Climbing World Cup

2/16 Las Vegas, Nevada — Save Red Rock Meeting at REI

2/17 – 2/20 — Cody, WY — Waterfall Ice Festival

3/3 – 3/4 — El Paso, Texas — Hueco Rock Rodeo

3/3 — Boston, MA — American Alpine Club Annual Benefit Dinner

3/3 — Moscow, ID — University of Idaho NW Collegiate Climbing Comp. 208-885-6810

Make reservations the Wednesday prior to the scheduled program by calling Glacier Public Service Center,
360-599-2714 weekends, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or Mt. Baker Ranger District Office, 360-856-5700 ext. 515 weekdays,
8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. To offset the costs of the program a donation of $10 per person is suggested for all programs payable
by cash or check made out to Discover Your Northwest Interpretive Association.

Heather Meadows 90-Minute Walk
Feb. 4, 18, 19, 25, 11 a.m.
Meet at upper Mt. Baker Ski Area parking lot by the Bagley Lakes Trailhead.
Learn about area history, winter ecosystem, wildlife and safety.
Group size 15

Snowshoe Hannegan Road Feb. 11, 11 a.m.
Meet at the Shuksan Picnic Area at the base of the Hannegan Road, milepost 46.5 off the Mt. Baker Highway, SR 542.
Learn about area history, winter ecosystem, wildlife and safety.
Group size: 15

Make reservations Jan. 8-Feb. 26 at Skykomish Ranger District, 360-677-2414. Trips for special events and school groups can also be scheduled. Sultan Shuttle offers transportation from Sultan to the resort. Check http://www.stevenspass.com/Stevens/the-mountain/sultan-shuttle.aspx  for fees and schedules.

Introductory Snowshoeing
Sat. Sun. 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Learn about the history of the area, the winter ecosystem and wildlife on this beginning walk.
Group size: 20

No reservations are necessary. Participants must have intermediate ski skills. Meet at Grand Junction on the Nordic ski trail out of Summit East Ski area at 10:30 a.m. The program is free, but participants will need a ski area trail pass to access Grand Junction. For more information call 425-434-6111 or 425-434-7669.

Interpretive Tour
Sun. 10:30 a.m.
Learn about the history of the area, the winter ecosystem and wildlife.

The 90-minute walk and extended snowshoe trips run Jan. 8-March 31, the winter photography and ecology outings Jan. 21-March 31 and the “Kids in the Snow” program Feb. 4-March 31. Make reservations at 425-434-6111. Trips for special events and school groups can also be scheduled. Meet 15 minutes early at the visitor’s center off I-90, exit 52 on Snoqualmie Pass.

Interpretive 90-Minute Walk
Sat. Sun. 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m.
Learn about winter ecosystem, wildlife and safety.
Group size 20

Extended Half-Day Hikes
Fri. Sat. Sun. 9:30 a.m.
Experience Commonwealth Basin in the winter surrounded by the Cascade crest peaks.
Group size 10

Winter Photography & Ecology Outings
Jan. 21, Feb. 4, 18, March 3, 17, 31, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Capture winter nature on film while learning about ecology.
Group size 6

“Kids in the Snow”
Feb. 4-March 31, Sat. 1 p.m.
Earn a Junior Ranger Snow badge! Learn about tracking, crawl into a snow cave and check out a snow crystal with a magnifier.
Group size 20

* Source : – http://alpineinstitute.blogspot.com/

* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan


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Himalaya 2011 climbing season – Year in Review.

It has been a tumultuous year in the world of exploration. 

New route attempts were rare on high altitude. There were no victorious expeditions to the North Pole and Greenland had a thin season. At the South Pole, Amundsen’s 100-year anniversary was celebrated largely without explorers.

But we got the first winter ascent of a Pakistan 8000er, a rare ascent of K2, and a fairytale Everest paraglide.

Political events shook the community and this time the Arab freedom fighters were more lucky than the freedom fighters in Tibet.

Adventurers stretched the limits of age as disabled folks overcame the most extreme parts of the world.
We lost some of our greatest profiles and watched a new generation form.

Here go some of the memorable news from the year that passed.


In January winter attempts on Denali and in Pakistan grabbed all attention. Over at Antarctica, a Norwegian solo speed skier shattered all previous records.

An ExWeb exclusive added yet another controversy to The Long Walk tale and three Norwegian kayakers made the first unsupported circumnavigation of South Georgia.

Three Kazakhs bagged the first summit in the deep cold of January on Khan Tengri in northern Tien Shan.

A South Korean team arrived at the South Pole after 41 days green-skidoo travel. It would be Park Young-Seok’s last adventure victory.


February kicked off in triumph on Gasherbrum II. The first Pakistan 8000er winter summit ever achieved became Italian Simone Moro’s third (all firsts), Kazakh Denis Urubko’s second, and American Cory Richards first winter 8000er top.

The first Pakistan winter summit overall was bagged on Mingligh Sar by 16-year-old Hafiza from Shimshal, in a milestone for Pakistani women.

Out on the Oceans, The Neverending Voyage ended.

At Antarctica, angry fuel strikers and a mechanical problem left 80 climbers & skiers grounded on the ice.

Norwegian yacht Berserk was lost outside the Scott base with three people onboard. Racing towards the coast in two ATV’s, Berserk’s leader/skipper Jarle Andhøy and an 18 year old crew/team member were airlifted.

Arab spring

In a thrilling 24 hour head-spin Egypt’s former President Mubarak finally decided to leave the palace after all, carried off by helicopter and the peoples’ roar of approval. As history was being made, ExplorersWeb was there.

Extreme trekker Arita Baajiens reported to ExWeb from the midst of the revolution at Tahrir square. First Egyptian Everest summiter Omar Samra commented from the summit of Aconcagua. “Gulf States are watching with some concern,” UAE based ‘Three Poles’ Adrian Hayes told ExplorersWeb.

Comparing to a North Pole expedition, ExWeb’s Tina Sjogren promised the Egyptian demonstrators victory after they had stuck it out for 16 days. More though, she revisited other – not so lucky – uprisings.

Khadaffi’s sat phone jam directed at the Libyan freedom fighters affected climbers in Africa and HumanEdgeTech ran a report on the tech used by the dictator.


The North Pole season had a dramatic start (and end) with all expedition teams from Canada aborting due to financial implications and too snug pick-up date related to failed logistics.

Christine Feret and Artur Testov debriefed about their Denali “retreat from hell.”

A bomb destroyed a Goldola lift at an Elbrus ski resort, three skiers were shot dead and two more were injured in a machine-gun attack while traveling on a bus. The peak was closed until fall.


In April choppers took off for Borneo, on the Russian side of the North Pole. When the runway broke beneath a coming plane, all flights were suspended and Prince Harry was stuck on the ice, barely making it to his brother’s wedding.

Spring Himalaya kicked off. News that Everest climbers would be able to breathe oxygen pumped up the mountain to South Col was April Fool’s hoax.

In a M&I Everest special Pete Poston explained “Why Andrew Irvine Will Not Be Found in a Sleeping Bag” and followed up by a gutsy editorial about the politics surrounding the search.

Adding to the proud collection of foreign correspondents at ExplorersWeb, Yusuke Hirai reported on the Japanese earth quake, tsunami and radiation scare. “Japan will rise again!” Himalaya climber Hiro (Hirotaka) Takeuchi chimed in live from Tokyo.

Mid April ExplorersWeb ran a 5-part Space special while HumanEdgeTech brought news of 3D streaming over satellite. Everest south meanwhile reported 3G with a 2G feel due to overload and charging of the station in Gorak Shep.

In Dubai Alain Robert climbed Burj Khalifa, 828m, antenna and all, with kids below chanting “Spiderman”!

The young and the old

“Be wild and don’t forget to have fun,” Tessum Weber said his advice would be to other adventure kids after becoming the youngest person to ski from land to the North Pole at only 20 years old. Dad Richard Weber’s Top 5 Reasons for North Pole expedition failure became a popular editorial.

Retracing the route sailed by Amundsen, young adventure siblings Eric and Sarah McNair-Landry started their 3000 km kite-ski, sledge-hauling expedition through the Northwest Passage.

76 years old big wall climber Bob Shepton follows in Bill Tillmans wake by combining passions with no consideration to age. ExWeb caught up with him for an interview.

Sarah Outen left London Bridge on April 1st and will have covered 20.000 miles before she sees it again.

At age 70+ Carlos Soria continued to bag 8000ers.


May kicked off dramatic.

Osama Bin Laden was found not in a cave in Afghanistan but a fancy mansion close to Islamabad.

In areas where many women are still hidden behind shut doors, he built schools for girls. “No good deed shall go unpunished?” wondered Tina Sjogren in response to Krakauer’s accusations of Greg Mortenson.

A diabetic & former British Royal Air Force jet pilot, Douglas Cairns flew from Alaska to the Magnetic and Geographic North Poles in a light twin-engine, piston powered aircraft.

Erden Eruc returned to his rowing boat on Madagascar to finish the crossing of the Indian Ocean and reached mainland Africa.

Erhard Loretan died in a climbing accident in the Swiss Alps. American ski mountaineer Kip Garre was killed in an avalanche near Lone Pine. Nawang Gombu Sherpa, the youngest on Hillary’s Everest team in 1953, died at age 79.

The climbs

What’s most exciting in Himalaya 8000er climbing this season, we asked? Hang-glides/paraglides, ski/snowboard descents, new routes, youngest/oldest attempts? “New Routes” said 60% of you, of which we got none.

The 2011 Everest spring season brought summits only on 02 and via normal routes. Fatalities showcased the ongoing PR charade in many commercial outfits. Accidents were mentioned – and then in triumphant press releases – only if they happened to independent climbers.

IMG client Rick Hitch died en route to Camp 3. The fatality was made known by local media in California. Nepalese Sailendra Kumar Upadhyaya, 82, died in the Everest icefall. Japanese “Butterfly collector” Takashi Ozaki, 58, died at the Balcony. Irish climber John Delaney became the fourth known (to ExplorersWeb) fatality on Everest during the 2011 spring season.

The good: an amazing paraglide, a ski descent on the Lhotse face, and Everest-Lhotse traverses by Alpine Ascents. Ueli Steck solo-speed climbed Shishapangma in 20 hours tent-to-tent and Abele Blanc, 57, scaled Annapurna, his last 8000er.

The biggest story was a rescue report from Kanchenjunga. An unconscious woman climber – left head down on a slope by her Sherpas – survived only by the tenacity of two of her team mates.

Popular female climber Joelle Brupbacher died on Makalu La May 22. Dutch high profile climber Ronald Naar collapsed during descent on Cho Oyu. Iranian Isa Mir-Shekari died in C4 on Manaslu.

Half leg shorter, full spirit taller Hungarian Zsolt Eross bagged his 9th 8000er – Lhotse on May 21 – with an artificial leg following a serious climbing accident in the Tatras.

Come summer

No team was able to set off skiing from land to the North Pole this year, but two teams made it from the North Pole to land. In summer Greenland was hostile for the skiers. Only 2 Norwegian and one Swedish team made it over.

Brainchild of Bertrand Piccard (first balloon around the world) born with adventure imprinted in his genes (dad Jacques record-dove into the Marianas Trench); after a flight lasting 12 hours 59 minutes, using no fuel and propelled by solar energy alone, Solar Impulse landed safely in Brussels.

ExWeb kicked off “bits from the Silver Bullet” Silicon Valley tech roundups with an adventure edge.

New poll – which is toughest? While most of you checked correctly that a face mask will do a better job than artificial intelligence to protect from Khumbu cough, the next poll showed surprising results: rowing the Atlantic is more difficult than climbing Everest you figured.

In honor of our surprisingly techie polar ancestors HumanEdgeTech brought out two major news. The PDA – for almost a decade King of Antarctica dispatches – got to share the throne with the Polar Pad and Polar Netbook.

James Burwick and his family set an unofficial speed record from Maine to France. The youngest on board was 9 months old.

Paragliding World Cup boss Xavier Murillo was lost while paragliding in Peru.

Final countdown: “why we explore.” A big editorial by the founders of ExplorersWeb touched on the last voyage of the shuttle in the perspective of explorers, and new Americans.


Karakoram had a thin but serious climbing season with new route attempts without gas.

Alexander Odintsov’s Russian Big Wall team summited Latok III at last.

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Darek Zaluski, Vassiliy Pivtsov and Maxut Zhumayev summited K2 via the north pillar. K2 became Gerlinde’s, Max and Vasso’s 14th 8000er without supplementary oxygen.

“Summiting K2 with a small group of friends, through the peak’s wild side, and without supplementary oxygen is almost as beautiful as it gets,” wrote ExWeb founder Tina Sjogren about Gerlinde’s K2 success closing the dramatic and decade-long quest for the first female fourteen 8000ers.

The first female expedition leader from Iran, Leila Esfandyari fell to her death while descending from GII’s top July 22. Deeply admired by her countrymen, “she lived free and died free,” commented a reader the news at ExplorersWeb.

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.

Difficult Arctic summer

On Svalbard 17-year-old Horatio Chapple was killed in a polar bear attack at a BSES camp. 4 other persons were severely injured.

Erik Boomer & Jon Turk traveled 1485 miles in 104 days on bad ice around Ellesmere Island. During the last week they were targeted by polar bears; one bit through the tent while 5 looked on. Knowing that this was his last big expedition, he needed to savor every last moment of the rigor and intensity, 65-year-old Jon Turk told ExplorersWeb. Being attacked by a walrus was much scarier than his 20 encounters with Polar bears Boomer, 26, told ExWeb.

A First Air passenger jet crashed near Resolute Bay, killing 12 people and injuring three. Aziz (Ozzie) Kheraj lost his 6-year-old granddaughter Cheyenne Eckalook, other victims included Arctic researcher Marty Bergmann and South Camp Inn cook Randy Reid.

Autumn climbing in Himalaya

The 8000er fall climbing season was slow to start and then almost over in a week. Simone Moro answered rumors about Himalaya rescue commissions and the world climbing community lost its ultimate reference for excellence when Walter Bonatti passed at the age of 81.

In an unique interview with ExplorersWeb, recent 14x8000er summiteer and climbing partner of late Miss Go, South Korean Kim Jae Soo talked about why he returned to Cho Oyu, language problems, controversies, definitions, why he climbs and how to help locals beyond building schools.

The youngest member in Col Hunt’s 1953 Everest team, Kangchenjunga pioneer George Band passed at 82 years old.

Year’s end

As Himalaya folded and Antarctica kicked off, we lost one of the greatest explorers of both worlds.

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: “I have the destiny of the explorer – my fate is to explore till I die.” Annapurna, where he pushed for a new route with two mates, became Mr Park’s last mountain.

“He made some very important journeys,” CuChullaine of the Long Riders’ told ExplorersWeb when great French explorer and Guardian angel of Tibet Peissel died in Paris, “and stood up the Red Chinese to his dying.”

In October the Antarctica anniversary kicked off with side-by-side now-and-then dispatches at ExplorersWeb providing interesting and unexpected insights in the evolution of exploration.

As for new technology, ExWeb Poll results showed that explorers would ditch Facebook and Twitter before website and emails if they had to choose expedition comms.

“The future is in the lap of the gods; I can think of nothing left undone to deserve success,” wrote Scott. Paying homage to the ancient polar men, 100 years later explorers from all corners of the world were on track from Hercules, Ross, and Novo to the South Pole.

By December it stood clear that it’s gearing up to a phenomenal winter climbing season with action on all the unclimbed 8000ers in Pakistan.

Over at Antarctica, when the anniversary finally hit no skiers were actually present at the pole. Out on the ice following silently in his tracks and comparing notes, Amundsen’s soul was instead charging them on: Be prepared, be fast, travel light, and keep spirits high!

Salute and have a great 2012 everyone!

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Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

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