Video: How to Become a Better Belayer.

While it isn’t the most fun aspect of climbing, it is something that we all have to do from time to time. I’m talking about being on belay of course and this video offers up some tips on how we can all do a better job in that role. With spring climbing just around the corner, perhaps its time to refresh ourselves on how to be a better belayer.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: How to Become a Better Belayer

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

– Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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Video: If Mountains Could Speak, What Would They Ask Us?

This short and beautiful clip comes our way courtesy of Osprey Packs. It asks some important questions about why we go out into the wilderness, what drives us to explore, and examines our connection with nature. If the mountains could speak, these are the things they would ask us, as it is the vary same things we often ask ourselves when heading out on an adventure. This is a very well done video that is captivating to watch and listen to. Give it a look.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: If Mountains Could Speak, What Would They Ask Us?

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

– Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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Nat Geo Has Fun Facts for All 59 U.S. National Parks.

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the start of National Park Week, and to help celebrate National Geographic has published a story that shares fun facts about each and every park in the U.S. system. That’s 59 parks at the moment, stretching from Acadia in Maine to Haleakala in Hawaii, with some pretty fantastic landscapes located in between.

The list runs through all of the parks in alphabetical order starting with the aforementioned Acadia and ending with Zion. Scrolling through the story you’ll learn some fascinating things, such as the fact that Arches National Park has more than 2000 documented rock arches within its border or that Big Bend is home to a hot springs that reaches temperatures in excess of 105ºF (40.5ºC). You’ll also discover that Crater Lake’s caldera is nearly 6 miles in diameter and that beautiful wildflowers spring up in Death Valley for a brief time after a rainstorm.

These are just a few hints at the wonderful secrets that America’s national parks hold. These wonderful, beautiful, and endlessly wild places are amazing destinations, which is why they continue to hold such a sway over travelers. During National Park Week, entrance into the parks is completely free, making them even more enticing. And since the week comes prior to the start of the busy summer travel season, there is a good chance you’ll have the place to yourself if you go.

Find out more about National Park Week here and read all of Nat Geo’s fun national park facts here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Nat Geo Has Fun Facts for All 59 U.S. National Parks

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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The Top 10 Most Visited National Parks for 2017.

The U.S. National Park Service has announced visitation numbers for America’s national parks in 2017, and as usual these amazing outdoor spaces continue to attract a large audience. According to reports, more than 330 million people filtered through the park system last year, which is down slightly from 2016 when the NPS celebrated its 100th anniversary.

If you’ve seen the list of most visited parks in the past, you’ll probably be able to tell which ones made the cut. But, there has been some shuffling around of the parks with perennial favorite Yosemite dropping from number 3 down to number 5, while Zion moves up to take its spot in the top five.

Here’s what the top ten looks like:

  1. Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee
  2. Grand Canyon in Arizona
  3. Zion National Park in Utah
  4. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
  5. Yosemite National Park in California
  6. Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming
  7. Acadia National Park in Maine
  8. Olympic National Park in Washington state
  9. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
  10. Glacier National Park in Montana
In total there are 59 national parks in the entire system, but 417 “sites” that include monuments, battlefields, historic places, and so on. If you include those into the mix, the visitation picture looks a bit different. Here are the top ten most visited places that the National Park Service oversees:
  1. Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia
  2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay Area
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee
  4. Gateway National Recreation Area in New York and New Jersey
  5. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  6. Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Arizona
  7. George Washington Memorial Parkway in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
  8. Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee
  9. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
  10. Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
None of these are bad places to have on your bucket list if you haven’t seen them.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – The Top 10 Most Visited National Parks for 2017

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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Himalaya Spring 2018: Puja Ceremonies and Into the Icefall.

The spring climbing season on Everest and other big peaks in the Himalaya is proceeding on schedule. Most of the teams have now arrived in Base Camp on both sides of the mountain or will be there very shortly, and the acclimatization process is now underway. But before anyone can go up the mountain for the very first time, they must first complete an important step in the climbing process – the Puja ceremony.

Those who follow the Himalayan climbing scene closely probably already know about the importance of the Puja. During this ceremony, a Buddhist lama comes to Base Camp and performs a ritual in which he asks permission of the mountain for the climbers to safely pass up and down its slopes. The lama will also bless the climbers themselves and the gear that they are using for the expedition. This is a long standing tradition amongst the Sherpa people and most will not proceed up to the higher sections of the mountain they are on until the Puja has been completed. It is not mandatory for the western climbers to attend the ceremonies, but it is part of the Himalayan climbing experience, so most do come and take it all in.

Once the Puja has been wrapped up the teams are now free to start their climb in earnest. Several squads are at that point now, particularly on the South Side of Everest where climbers have been getting settled, making acclimatization hikes, and working on their rope skills for the past week or so. Some have ever gone into the notorious Khumbu Icefall where they’ve practiced climbing ladders and negotiating their way through that dangerous section of the climb. Reportedly, this year’s route through the icefall is as direct, quick, and straightforward as any have seen before. Hopefully this will limit the amount of time spent in that section of the climb, which is widely considered the most treacherous on the Nepali side of the mountain.

One of the first teams to pass through the Khumbu Icefall is IMG. The operator’s Team 1 went up yesterday and arrived in Camp 1 for its first rotation. Today they’ll climb higher up into the Western Cwm, before returning to C1 for a second night of rest there. It’s all part of the plan to slowly get their bodies accustomed to the altitude over the next few weeks. British guide Tim Mosedale is leading his team into the icefall today too and they will make their way up to C1 as well. He reports that so far, the route doesn’t seem all that busy or crowded, although that will change as more climbers arrive in BC and start heading up the mountain.

Meanwhile, the Adventure Consultants have made their first foray into the icefall as well, but mostly just to scout the route and prepare themselves for the crossing. They’ll actually head up to Camp 2 in a few days time, starting their acclimatization process too.

Finally, The Himalayan News is reporting the numbers for the 2018 season in terms of climbing permits issued. According to officials, 649 permits have been issued this year for 22 peaks across Nepal. That includes 316 foreign climbers and 20 Nepalese on Everest, which is down some compared to last year. Additionally, the numbers for the other big peaks look like this: Annapurna I 1, Dhaulagiri I 26, Lho Tse 88, Makalu 27, Manaslu 8 and Kangchenjunga 42. A lone Korean climber on Annapurna is especially of interest.

That’s it for now. More news to come soon I’m sure.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –Himalaya Spring 2018: Puja Ceremonies and Into the Icefall

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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Historic No-Oxygen Climbing Team Returns to Nepal 40 Years Later.

While the teams up in Everest Base Camp and on other mountains in the Himalaya continue to get settled in for the climbing season ahead, an historic reunion was taking place in Kathmandu. That’s where the surviving members of the first team to summit Everest without the use of bottled oxygen joined one another to celebrate their achievement 40 years after they changed the paradigms of mountaineering forever.

The expedition took place back in 1978 and consisted of 12 members, of which 8 are still alive. They include mountaineering legends Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler, as well as their support team consisting of Wolfgang Nairz, Helmut Hagner, Hanns Schell, Robert Schauer, Oswald Ölz and Raimund Margreiter. The four members of the squad who have since passed include Horst Bergmann, Josl Knoll, Reinhard Karl and Franz Oppurg.

40 years ago when this team gathered on Everest to attempt to climb the world’s highest mountain without the use of oxygen, the thought of going to the summit without wearing a mask and oxygen tank was pretty much unthinkable. It was thought at the time that man simply couldn’t exist at those altitudes without bringing their own oxygen supply. The entire team proved this theory to be wrong by putting Messner and Habeler on the summit without using supplemental O’s.

Messner has long been a proponent of climbing under the “fairest means” possible, which to him means leaving the oxygen tanks behind. He also laments the commercialization of Everest in general, calling the current state of affairs on the mountain “tourism,” and not climbing.

During the 1978 expedition, most of the climbers did summit, although Messner and Habeler were the only ones to do it without oxygen. Then successfully topped out on May 8. Bergmann, Schauer and Wolfgang climbed Mt Everest on May 3 while Ölz and Karl stood atop the peak on May 11, with Oppurg following along on May 14. Margreiter, Hagner and Schell were forced to turn back due to poor weather, while Knoll abandoned his attempt when his oxygen mask stopped working.

The entire team – now all in their 70’s – is currently traveling in the Khumbu Valley where they are visiting some hospitals damaged in the 2017 earthquake. They’ll also spread the ashes of famed mountaineer Norman Dyhenfurth who passed away at the age of 99 last year, before attending a special function held in their honor by the Nepal Mountaineering Association back in Kathmandu.

A major salute to this group of men from The Adventure Blog. They truly changed the way we see high altitude mountaineering and pushed the envelope in terms of what humans can do in the big mountains.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Historic No-Oxygen Climbing Team Returns to Nepal 40 Years Later

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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Himalaya Spring 2018: Adrian Ballinger Goes for Cho Oyu-Everest Double Header.

It continues to be an interesting and busy spring season in the Himalaya, where teams are now steadily filing in to Base Camp on both sides of Mt. Everest as they begin the long process of acclimatization. As reported last week, the Icefall Doctors have completed the route through the Khumbu Icefall on the South Side, and the way is now clear for teams to go all the way up to Camp 2. Meanwhile, on the North Side, the teams are getting settled and shuttling gear to Advanced Base Camp further up the mountain.

Typically it takes a few days for most of the teams to get settled into place and a rest is often in order prior to beginning the actual climb. The first few days in BC are often spent polishing climbing skills and taking short hikes around the area, before setting a schedule to move further up the mountain. On the Nepali side of Everest, a number of teams will make their first acclimation rotation on another nearby peak, thus limiting the number of times the teams have to pass through Khumbu Icefall.

Ahead of the start of true climbing operations on Everest comes some interesting news of things we can expect in the days and weeks ahead this year. For example, I conducted an interview with Alpenglow owner and head guide Adrian Ballinger last week that was posted over at Gear Junkie. In that interview, Ballinger talked about a wide array of topics, but especially his plans for this season. Adrian will lead a team of climbers on a potential Himalayan double-header, making rapid ascents of both Cho Oyu and Everest. To do this, he and the other members of the team have been acclimating prior to leaving for Tibet by using oxygen tents back home, a process that has proven to be very successful in recent years.

Beyond that, Ballinger also told me that he would be climbing with bottled oxygen this year. The past two seasons he concentrated on getting a no-O’s summit of Everest, making that dream a reality in 2017. But, he says that he didn’t enjoy those climbs and remembers very little of the expeditions on the top third of the mountain. This year, it will be like discovering the route all over again. In the interview, he also shares his thoughts on low cost operators, the evolving environment on Everest, and much, much more. It is definitely worth a read and you can check it out here.

Ballinger isn’t the only one going for two summits this season, as two other squads are looking to complete an Everest-Lhotse traverse. The first of those will be attempted by Tenjing Sherpa, who wants to complete that expedition in memory of his climbing partner Ueli Steck, who perished in the Himalaya while preparing for that climb last year. The duo of Horia Colibasanu and Peter Hamor are also looking to make the same climb. Meanwhile, Willie Benegas and Matt Moniz will also attempt an Everest-Lhotse double-summit, but not the traverse.

There will be plenty of other good stories to follow in the days ahead, including some interesting climbs taking place on other peaks throughout the region. For now though, most of the teams are just finding their place and haven’t even truly begun their expeditions yet. Stay tuned for more updates in the days ahead.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Himalaya Spring 2018: Adrian Ballinger Goes for Cho Oyu-Everest Double Header

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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