Himalaya Spring 2017: Blind Austrian Climber Returns to Everest.

Autor : Kraig Becker

As I mentioned early, the spring climbing season in the Himalaya is still a month away from truly getting started, but we’re starting to see some interesting stories emerge ahead of the climbers arriving in Kathmandu. As usual, there will be a number of fascinating climbs to follow over the course of the two months that the season runs, not the least of which will be Andy Holzer’s expedition to Everest, his third attempt in the last four years.

Andy is an Austrian mountaineer who happens to be blind. He has set a goal for himself to climb the seven summits, and has already knocked off six of those mountains, leaving just Everest yet to be climbed. He first traveled to the mountain back in 2014, when the collapse of a serac claimed the lives of 16 porters, abruptly ending that season before it ever got started. In 2015, Holzer returned to Everest, only to have the devastating earthquake that occurred that year bring an end to his efforts. After skipping 2016, he now plans to return again this year.

Recently, Holzer conducted an interview with Stefan Nestler, which as now been posted to his adventure sports blog. In that interview he talks about his return to the mountain, the reasons he’s climbing from the North Side in Tibet, his training and preparation, and a lot more. He also talks about his relationship with Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind climber to summit Everest to date. The two have been friends for awhile now, but Andy’s approach to the climb is a bit of a different one.

Everest always delivers such interesting stories and 2017 is already shaping up to be no different. I expect the mountain will be very crowded this year, with a record number of summits. Most of those men and women will go up and down the slopes with relative anonymity, But every once in awhile we get a really great, touching story. Hopefully we’ll have a lot more to share in the days ahead.

* source: – Himalaya Spring 2017: Blind Austrian Climber Returns to Everest

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Himalaya Spring 2017: Bill Burke Heading Back to his Namesake Mountain.

Autor : Kraig Becker

Over the past couple of climbing seasons in the Himalaya, one of the mountains that we’ve watched closely has been Burke-Khang, an unclimbed 6942 meter (22,775 ft) peak located in the  Solukhumbu region of Nepal not far from Mt. Everest and Cho Oyu. The mountain is named after American climber Bill Burke, who has spent the past couple of years trying to complete the first ascent of the peak that bears his name. Those efforts have been stymied by bad weather, and in some cases bad luck, so far but, and after not being able to summit last year, it looked like it might be awhile before anyone would try again. But, it turns out that a new expedition is in the works, and Bill will once again be taking a crack at the mountain.

In a recent blog post on his website, Bill wrote “It’s a Go!” regarding a new expedition to take place this spring. Apparently, the team of Sherpas that he works with on this climb have made a reconnaissance flight over Burke-Khang and have spotted a route that will take the team up the mountain more safely. Last year’s attempt was blocked by a dangerous icefall, but in the months since they were last there, the seracs that made up the icefall have collapsed, clearing the way forward.

Bill says that there are still a few crevasses to traverse, but the snow is reportedly in good condition and the route up is much safer and more straightforward. There are a few sections of blue ice to climb, and the headwall on the way to the summit is described as “steep,” but everyone is feeling much better about their chances heading into the 2017 season.

Burke left for Kathmandu on March 1 and should now be in Nepal and making plans for the start of the expedition. Hopefully, after two years of being denied the chance, he’ll finally stand on top of his namesake mountain at long last.

We’ll be following Bill’s progress and adding a number of other expeditions to our line-up in the days ahead. The start of the season isn’t as far off as it would seem at this point and things will start to get very interesting in just a few weeks time. Stay tuned.

* source: – Himalaya Spring 2017: Bill Burke Heading Back to his Namesake Mountain

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Everest 2017: Looking Back Before We Look Forward.

Autor : Kraig Becker

The 2017 spring climbing season on Everest is about a month from getting underway at this point. The first teams will begin arriving in Kathmandu around the end of March, with more streaming into Nepal – and eventually Tibet – in the early days of April. For most, it will be a two-month long adventure, during which they will be attempting to reach the summit of the highest mountain on the planet. Right now, those climbers are putting the final touches on their preparation, organizing their gear, and starting to look ahead to the challenges to come. But, before we also look ahead to the season that is now fast approaching, it might be appropriate to first look back at seasons past.

Our friend Alan Arnette has been covering Everest for 15 years, and is now gearing up for the 2017 season as well. Over the past decade and a half, he has offered some of the best insights and commentary on the evolving climbing scene, which has undergone a lot of change since he penned his first blog. To start his coverage this year, Alan has written an excellent post in which he looks back at each of the seasons from 2010 through 2016.

If you follow Everest closely, you probably already know that some of those years were amongst the most unusual and tumultuous ever. For instance, 2013 was when the now infamous brawl took place on the Lhotse Face between a group of Sherpas and a team of prominent European climbers. At the time, that incident shocked the mountaineering community and sparked debates about who was wrong and who was right. The following two seasons, 2014 and 2015, were marred by tragedy with significant loss of life both years. Those seasons also ended abruptly, with climbers and Sherpas leaving the mountain.

To wrap up this blog post and set the scene for the season ahead, Alan has also posted his thoughts on what he thinks 2017 will be like. He predicts a record number of summits, but also expects disorganization on both the North and South Sides of the mountain. There will be more new operators guiding clients on Everest this year, many of whom will be inexperienced. Additionally, more climbers are also flocking to the Himalaya as prices for climbing continue to drop. That inexperience could show through as well.

The article, which you can read in full here, is a good introduction to the current climate on Everest. It also sets the stage nicely for what is to come. In a few short weeks, I’ll begin my regular Everest coverage as well, and as usual it promises to be another interesting year.

* source: –Everest 2017: Looking Back Before We Look Forward

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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.

wielicki-cichy
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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Will the Everest 2017 Season Be One for the Record Books?

Autor : Kraig Becker

The start of the 2017 spring climbing season on Everest is still a couple of months off, but already there are climbers, guides, and Everest junkies all over the world who are gearing up for its start. Amongst them is mountaineer/blogger Alan Arnette, who always follows the climbing scene on the Big Hill closely and provides excellent insights as to what to expect and thoughts on events as they are developing. With a new season on the horizon, Alan is currently looking ahead and says that we can expect big things this year.

In an article posted to his blog yesterday, Alan says that 2017 is looking like a year for the record books. Two months before the first climbers start to arrive in Kathmandu, he is already predicting a record number of summits and many new climbers in Base Camp. This is in part because of the low cost operators who have begun taking over the mountain. This has allowed an influx of climbers from India and China in particular, and since those operators don’t mind dealing with large groups of clients. In some cases, more than 100 at a time.

But beyond that, there are a number of stories to watch this year that should prove of interest. For instance, Alan notes (as we have here at The Adventure Blog) that Ueli Steck is planning to return to attempt an Everest-Lhotse Traverse. He also mentions the Indian survey team that will be measuring the current height of Everest to see if the 2015 earthquake has had an impact on that number. And as if that wasn’t enough, Alan also notes that Nepali Min Bahadur Sherchan will be on the mountain in an attempt to set a new record for the oldest person to summit. At the age of 86, Min Bahadur says he is still in good shape and ready to go.

Of course, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg in terms of storylines and drama that we’ll see on Everest this spring. As always, it will be a never ending source of inspiration and motivation, and probably a bit of controversy along the way too. It wouldn’t be Everest otherwise. Stay tuned for regular reports throughout the spring as events unfold.

* source: – Will the Everest 2017 Season Be One for the Record Books?

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New Virtual Reality Experience Will Recreate First Ascent of Everest.

Autor : Kraig Becker

Do you ever wonder what it was like to climb those final few steps up to the summit of Mt. Everest with Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay when they made the first ascent of the mountain back in 1953? If so, then you may soon get the chance to witness that historical moment for yourself thanks to a new virtual reality project from a company called CGO Studios that is slated for release later this year.

The creative team at CGO specializes in making VR experiences that center around historical events. In the past, they’ve done projects that centered around the Wright Brothers’ first flight and they are currently putting the finishing touches on a digital visit to Anne Frank’s attic. But, the team is also knee deep in a project called “Everest ’53” that will take viewers high up the Himalayan peak, where they will join Hillary and Norgay as they approach the summit.

According to CGO, the team is creating its Everest project for use with the Oculus Rift VR goggles and its Touch controller. The virtual reality experience will immerse viewers in a 360º environment, and will equip them with historically accurate tools and gear to get them to the summit. The virtual environment will also replicate weather conditions on Everest on May 29, 1953 when Hillary and Norgay went to the summit for the first time, making the experience has real as possible. Both Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing Norgay – the sons of the two famous climbers – are assisting with the project, helping to deliver more realism.

The description for “Everest ’53” says that viewers will join Hillary and Norgay in the “final moments” of their ascent, but just where it will start is hard to say. Will it begin at the Hillary Step or closer to the top? Is it mostly going to just center around the view from the summit, or something else? We’ll have to wait to see for sure, but it is an intriguing premise to say the least.

I’ve had the chance to test a few VR experiences and can say that they are a lot of fun and offer some interesting tools to do unique things. For the most part, they’ll never replace actually going outside to take part in real-world activities, but I do think the technology holds a lot of promise for delivering very compelling content like this. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to check it out for myself at some point.

Find out more at cgostudios.com.

* source: – New Virtual Reality Experience Will Recreate First Ascent of Everest

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Forbes Interviews 21-Time Everest Summiteer Apa Sherpa.

Autor : Kraig Becker

Who do you talk to if you want to know about climbing Everest? Why, Apa Sherpa of course. After all, he is the man that has stood on top of that mountain 21 times, tying him with Phurba Tashi for the most successful summits of the highest peak on the planet. Recently, Forbes magazine caught up with the now retired Apa and conducted an interview with him, getting some very interesting insights along the way.

In the interview, Apa talks about his first ascent of Everest, how he missed out on the infamous 1996 season, and why he made his last ascent in 2011, well before the disasters of 2014 and 2015. He also touches on what it is like to climb the mountain, providing advice for anyone who is considering doing it themselves. He even shares his experiences with meeting Sir Edmund Hillary, the legendary climber from New Zealand who – along with Tenzing Norgay – was the first to summit the Everest back in 1953.

Apa also talks about the experience of passing through the Khumbu Icefall, widely held as the most dangerous part of the climb from the Nepali side of the mountain. He estimates that he made that trek more than a thousand times, braving the shifting ice there far too often.

In another very interesting story, he talks about how he summited the mountain in 2008 in just 9 days. That was the year that the Chinese closed down the mountain until after their team took the Olympic torch to the top. So, rather than wait in BC, Apa stayed at his home, which is located near by. Then, after the torch circus was over, he reported to Base Camp and was on top of Everest a few days later.

This is a brief, but very interesting, interview that fans of Apa or climbing on Everest won’t want to miss. Read the entire thing here.

And as always, thanks to my friend George for sharing this with me.

* source: – Forbes Interviews 21-Time Everest Summiteer Apa Sherpa

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