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: A Drone’s Eye View of the World From 33,000 Feet.

Drones continue to evolve, become smarter and more powerful. Case in point, is this video in which Russian drone makers set a new record for highest flight, taking their remote controlled aircraft up to a height of 10 km (33,000 feet). As you can imagine, the views from up there are pretty spectacular. The clip is fairly long, but gives you a good idea of what it takes to reach such altitudes, and what the drone can “see” as it it goes up.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: A Drone’s Eye View of the World From 33,000 Feet

** 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: The Nepal Project From Proof Eyewear.

In November of 2017, Idaho-based Proof Eyewear traveled to Nepal in an effort to give something back to the community there. Working with HELP International, the eyewear company volunteered on a project to help combat sex trafficking, while supporting efforts to improve vocational empowerment as well as visual and dental health. Along the way they contributed more than $16,000, helped restock the medical supplies of a Nepali village, conducted health screenings of 468 people, and gave out more than 500 pairs of glasses. And as you’ll see in the video below, they also had quite an adventure along the way. This is a heartwarming and wonderful story in a time when we could all use a little good news.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: The Nepal Project From Proof Eyewear

** 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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Gear Closet: Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro – 2018 Edition.

A couple of years back I took a look at a product from Hillsound called the Trail Crampon Pro and found it to be an excellent add on to our hiking boots and shoes for use on icy and snowy trails. True to its name, the Trail Crampon acted much like traditional mountaineering crampons, attaching to your boot in a quick and efficient manner. But, since that time the company has updates its design, making it a lot more convenient and easy to use than the previous generation.

Unlike the previous generation, the updated model of the Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro uses a ratchet and buckle system to securely attach the spikes to your shoes. Previously hikers had to adjust the sizing of the crampon using a tool, which required setting it up ahead of time and made it challenging to adjust in the field. This latest iteration is about as simple as it gets however, and having used both models extensively, I haven’t noticed any change in performance whatsoever. Essentially, this product now offers the same level of grip as a mountaineering crampon, with the ease of something that is far less technical.

Designed for low and medium grade ascents – as opposed to ice climbing or truly taxing alpine pursuits – the Trail Crampon Pro features ten individual 1 inch spikes, with six found on the front and four at the rear. This allows hikers to not only get a solid grip on the ascents, but make descents with more control as well. I’ve used them over snow, ice, and slush on trails and over rocks, and have found them to be an excellent option for use in the backcountry during high impact winter pursuits.

The latest version of the Trail Crampon seems more comfortable on my foot as well, although I can’t tell if that is due to any change in design on Hillsound’s part or if it is the result of using them with different pairs of boots. Either way, they aren’t overly constraining or restrictive, even when ratchet on tightly, making it a breeze to wear them for long hikes and alpine approaches. And when you no longer need them, they slip right off and can be stashed inside or hung from a lashing point on your backpack until you need them again.

It is important to point out that these crampons tip the scales at 23.5 ounces (667 gram) per pair. That isn’t especially heavy, but its not the lightest we’ve seen either. But, the good news is that I feel that Hillsound has found an excellent middle ground in terms of weight, durability, and convenience, making these a good all around option for those who need a bit of extra traction on slick surfaces.

The Trail Crampon Pro is also fairly budget friendly, carrying a price tag of just $79. That makes them less expensive than most technical crampons that you’ll find, but also more expensive than some of the less technical options from competitors. Indeed, I feel like this product has found an excellent middle ground that offers a more durable and stable product for those who need it, without forcing them to purchase higher price crampons that exceed their needs. Chances are, they’ll like what they find in Trail Crampon Pro, and love the price and convenience that they bring.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –  Gear Closet: Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro – 2018 Edition

** 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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Everest 2018: The Critics Corner.

Ladders in the Icefall

I’ve been covering Everest since 2002 and each year about this time in my coverage I get the usual comments decrying the commercialism, the tourism, the lack of skills by the climbers, the lack of challenge and more. Usually I ignore the comments and in rash cases delete them when they become personal or simply irrational, of course in my humble opinion. 🙂

After all, this blog is about celebrating the challenge of mountaineering, not a platform for those with agendas to put down others by their artificial definitions of what is a “good” climb.  I fully accept and respect the sense of climbing by “fair means” or unique, difficult routes and first ascents – they are to be celebrated without question. However for most climbers, the only rules that really matter are those around their own person goals. To see if they can do it. To see if they are who they think they are. To learn and return home a better version of themselves. This is what climbing is all about for me. The summit (or just the attempt), with or without oxygen, ropes or Sherpa support is secondary and does not take away from an individual’s personal achievement, as measured by that person alone and no other.

The Other Side

I have defended Everest climbers, and myself, since 2002. I have seen and heard it all. While I agree with some criticism, especially around those climbers with limited experience and those “guides” who take money with inadequate experience; overall an attempt of Everest is a moment in a person’s life to be supported and admired. I will dispute that anyone is “hauled to the summit.”

I could go on and on as I did in the article I wrote for Rock and Ice in 2013 but I won’t. I will simply quote Chris Bonington in a recent publication in the by invitation only Explorer’s Club Explorers Journal. If you don’t know Chris, do some homework. If you don’t know Chris, you may want to to reconsider your criticism. Here’s Chris.

EJ: What do you think of the way Everest is climbed today?

CB: Well, I’m incredibly glad that I did it when I did, because we had the place to ourselves. So far as what’s happened since, I don’t blame the Nepalese government for opening up the mountain and basically saying that any number of expeditions can go up it. This has created the opportunity for guided and commercial climbing. Now you have a thousand people at basecamp and a hundred on the South Col, where there are fixed ropes that go all the way to the summit. But I don’t begrudge or regret what happened. It’s a natural evolution. Crowds of people have been guided up on Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn in the Alps for more than a century now. What’s happening on Everest is the same.

But for each of these people going up today on fixed ropes it is still the experience of a lifetime.

I just think that the experience could be made better. But I’m not worried about it. Climbing is an adventure and adventure is alive and well.

.. more on : – http://www.alanarnette.com/blog

Autor : Alan Arnette

* source: – Everest 2018: The Critics Corner

** 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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Everest 2018: Zos, Yaks, Porters and Helicopters.

When planes, trains and automobiles are not available to move your stuff, you do what you have to, to move your stuff. And that’s what we are seeing right now from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp.

Pause for a moment and think about how much gear it takes to support a team, it can be overwhelming. Even a small team of a handful of climbers will have a couple of cooks, separate tents for dining, cooking and sleeping. Then the large teams add another few tents for storage and toilets. The high-end guides will have communications tent and even a “relaxation” tent.

All of this is at base camp where you live, eat and sleep for the better part of six weeks. Speaking of food, it also must be stored somewhere and there has to be fuel for the stoves, and sometimes heaters. Then there are generators, solar panels and on and on. Oh and don’t forget a few thousand oxygen bottles.

As you go higher, climbers share tents and often eat in the cooking tent.  Then there are the fixed ropes with snow bars, pitons, carabiners, ladders and everything else you need to actually move up the Hill. Regardless, the problem remains of how to get that gear up there.

So how does all the stuff get to base camp? On the Tibet side, it’s straightforward. Huge trucks haul it in on paved roads. However, it’s a different story on the Nepal side. Since Everest is within the Sagarmatha National Park where motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails, everything is transported on the backs of people or animals or in a heavy duty helicopter. Lets first look at how the expeditions move their group gear to base camp and then how the personal gear is handled.

AirYak

Freight helicopter at Syangboche

It may seem obvious to just use a helicopter to ferry tons of tents, stoves, fuel, etc. from Kathmandu to the foot of the Khumbu Icefall, but they are expensive and risky. If one goes down with all your gear, your season might be lost. Usually a version of a Russian cargo helicopter flies gear to a relatively low landing strip close to Namche Bazaar, at Syangboche, at 12,410’/3782m. Any higher might be impossible given the heavy loads. From there, the gear is shifted to animals and people.

Most expeditions use a combinations of animals – yaks and dzomos aka dzo. This last beast is a cross between a yak and a cow and can haul loads under 14,000 feet. They are smaller than yaks but not as happy! OK, so how do I know? Well all I know is that I get happy seeing a yak, so they must be happy as well. 🙂

All kidding aside, yaks are huge furry beast of burden that can seemingly go forever at glacial speed. They are colossal animals with a full-grown male weighing in at 1,400 pounds and standing 5.5 feet at the shoulders. Yaks have three times more red blood cells than regular cows thus can go higher than their cross-breed siblings. Also their long, thick hair insulates their bodies from winter temperatures that can plummet to -30C (-22F) or colder.

Continuing with “more than you wanted to know about yaks”, they are most comfortable above 14,000 feet probably due to generations of genes nurtured on the high Steppes of Tibet where Nomads constantly moved them between summer and winter pastures at 14,000 to 16,000 feet high. They will forage for food as high as 20,000 feet in the summer but usually don’t go lower than 12,000 feet.  Today, many yak owners in Nepal will not let them go lower than Namche fearing malaria, parasites or other diseases, often carried by cows, sheep and goats. They are treated very well by their owners due to their cash value from expeditions and then their meat at the end of life.

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