Himalaya Spring 2017: First Summits of Lhotse, South African Climber Detained.

We’ll start the day with yet another update on the current climbing scene in the Himalaya, where things are now quickly coming to a head. On Everest, the teams are now eyeing a weekend summit push, but elsewhere there is plenty to report as well.

We’ll start on Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain on the planet and the closest neighbor to Everest. Yesterday, a team of Sherpa’s completed fixing ropes to the summit of the mountain, becoming the first people to stand on top of that peak in three years. According to The Himalayan Times, that group consisted of Tshering Pemba Sherpa, Temba Bhote, Phurba Wangdi Sherpa, and Jangbu Sherpa, along with a few others, were amongst those who installed the lines and made the push to the top. They’ve now cleared the way for others to follow, with about 100 climbers expected to make the attempt in the days ahead.
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Himalaya Spring 2017: More Summits on Everest, Dhualagiri, and Makalu.

With mid-May finally here, the pace of climbing has definitely started to pick up in the Himalaya. The season will start to grow short soon, and in just a few weeks it will close down altogether. With that in mind, teams are on the move all over the region, with more than a few now finding success on their respective mountains.

Yesterday we reported that the route to the top of Mt. Everest from the South Side had opened after the rope fixing team took advantage of a small weather window to finish installing the lines to the summit. We also knew that a few foreign climbers followed closely behind but just how many remained a bit of a mystery. Today, The Himalayan Times reports that at least 35 other climbers summited Everest in the wake of the rope fixing team, with some of the most prepared and eager mountaineers also taking advantage of the weather window. The group of summiteers was a mix of both foreign climbers and Sherpa guides. With the weather window now closing, they are all descending back to Base Camp today.

Most of the teams are now in Base Camp and eyeing the forecast, which calls for higher winds over the next few days. But, as we inch closer to the weekend, conditions are expected to improve and another weather window is expected to open. Look for a major push on both sides of Everest to begin on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, with climbers looking to top out over the weekend. We’re in the final stages of the season now, but there is a lot of work to be done before we’re through.
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Himalaya Spring 2017: Ropes Fixed on Everest North Side, Nine Sherpas Reach Summit.

More news from the Himalaya this morning (May 11, 2017), where we’ve learned that rope fixing efforts on the North Side of Everest are now complete. According to The Himalayan Times, nine Sherpas from Kathmandu-based Arun Treks recorded the first summits of the season at 4:30 PM local time today.

This news means that climbers on the Tibetan side of the mountain can now begin planning their summit window, as the weather is reportedly quite good there at the moment. Whether or not that forecast will hold long enough for teams to make their push to the top remains to be seen, but the route is now open and ready to go. Eager climbers will now wrap up their acclimatization efforts and starting looking for the proper timing, with the first commercial summits possibly coming as soon as early next week.

Meanwhile, on the South Side of Everest the story is a completely different one. Yesterday, the rope fixing team descended to Camp 2 to rest and avoid incoming poor weather conditions. The upper flanks of the mountain are reportedly very windy at the moment, delaying all efforts to install the fixed lines above the Balcony. The Times indicates that efforts to finish installing the ropes are now delayed until early next week while the Sherpas rest and wait for better conditions.

If the ropes are installed as planned, expect the first commercial summits from that side of the mountain to occur not long after. By now, the teams have mostly wrapped up their acclimatization rotations, and are heading back to BC to wait for conditions to improve. When that happens, they’ll be ready to head up, with mass summits likely coming within a day or two of the ropes being fixed.

For now, the spring season is still proceeding as expected with only a slight delay in the schedule. If a proper weather window doesn’t open however, things could get very interesting. With mid-May quickly approaching, and the summer monsoon now just a few weeks off, persistently poor weather conditions could make reaching the summit a real challenge. That isn’t likely to happen of course, but Mother Nature is fickle, and the weather always decided when climbers can go up.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on things and report any changes as they occur. For now though, it looks like the North Side climbers can start planning their summit bids, while those on the South Side will have to continue to wait.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Himalaya Spring 2017: Ropes Fixed on Everest North Side, Nine Sherpas Reach Summit

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70-Year Old Aleksander Doba Lunches Third Atlantic Crossing by Kayak.

This past Sunday, 70-year old Polish adventurer Aleksander Doba set off on his third voyage to cross the Atlantic Ocean in Kayak. The attempt comes after a similar voyage was canceled last year just a short time after it started when prevailing winds pushed Doba’s kayak – dubbed Olo – back onto the shore, damaging it in the process. This year however, he seems to have cleared those dangers and is now making his way out into open water.

The journey began in New York City Harbor, near the Sandy Hook region, which is where Olo was damaged last year. The 23-foot custom kayak nearly ran aground again, but Doba was able to keep it away from the rocks and navigate the boat out into the water, where he is now relatively safe for the time being. Ahead of the Pole is a 5000 mile (8046 km) journey across open water that if all goes as planned should end when he reaches Lisbon, Portugal. It should take him about four months to cover that distance, arriving just before his 71st birthday.

Doba has already completed two previous crossings of the Atlantic. The previous two attempts saw him paddling east to west, so for this particular journey he wanted to go the opposite direction. His first trip took 99 days to complete, setting a record for the longest kayaking journey in history. It began in Senegal and ended in Brazil. The second expedition left from Dakar in Africa and also finished in Brazil.

Last year, Doba set out to much fanfare, with well wishers lining the shore or following along in boats and kayaks. It was a media circus that proved distracting, particularly when the trip ended so abruptly. This year, he snuck out a bit more quietly, watching the weather closely for the right window to get underway. Still, the Sandy Hook peninsula nearly got him again and for a moment it looked like the trip would end quickly once again. Thankfully that didn’t happen, and now this 70-year old living legend can press on towards his goal.

Good luck to Aleksander. You’re in inspiration to us all.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – 70-Year Old Aleksander Doba Lunches Third Atlantic Crossing by Kayak

** see also: –

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Himalaya Spring 2017: Rope Fixing Team Retreats on Everest, Kilian Speed Climbs Cho You.

Just a quick update from Everest today, as it seems that the rope fixing team on the South Side was forced to retreat to Camp 2 yesterday before reaching the summit. Reportedly the weather there is quite good, and should remain so for the next several days, but heavy snow on the upper slopes of the mountain have made the process of installing the lines on the mountain more time consuming and exhausting than expected. As a result, the Sherpa team was able to add to the route yesterday, extending it up above the balcony, but after spending several days above 8000 meters (26,200 ft), the squad simply had to descend to regain their strength and get some much deserved rest.

This delay in getting the ropes into place will likely cause the teams that are currently at or above C2 to retreat to Base Camp as well and wait for the work to be completed. Most of the climbers are now fully acclimatized and are simply waiting for the lines to be installed and a proper weather window. Once access to the summit is granted, there is likely to be a mad dash for the summit, provided the weather allows.

Reports indicate that there is plenty of snow on the upper flanks of Everest this year, which is welcome news for the climbers. Most would rather climb on snow and ice rather than bare rock, and it seems that will be the case this season. Not only is it easier to make the ascent over the more technical sections of the climb, it is also safer too. Often the wind clears the snow from the upper sections of the mountain, but this year it looks like it will remain.

So what does this mean for the climbing schedule? It now looks like the ropes won’t be fixed until late this week, which means summits attempts will be pushed into next week. The forecast continues to look good, although winds do pick up some over the next couple of days. If everything holds however, we can now expect possible summits by next week this time, although even that could fluctuate some. So far, everything is still going as schedule, and nothing is really out of the ordinary, but until the rope fixing is completed, the teams remain in a holding pattern.
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Video: From Base Camp to The Summit of Everest in 3D.

In just a few days time, dozens of teams of climbers will launch their summit bids on Mt. Everest. If you’ve ever wondered what the path to the top looks like, this video will give you an idea of what they’ll be climbing and hiking over in the days ahead. Made with Google Earth, it gives us a 3D view of the South Side of Everest in Nepal, taking us from Base Camp to the summit along the way.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: From Base Camp to The Summit of Everest in 3D

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

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Himalaya Spring 2017: Teams Continue Acclimatization and Look Toward Summit Bids.

The climbing teams on Mt. Everest continue to play the waiting game today, watching the weather, waiting for news on the completion of the route to the summit, and plotting their eventual summit bids. Reportedly, conditions are good and things are going according to plan, but it remains unclear as to when the first summits of the season will take place, or when the waves of commercial climbers will follow along. But over the next few days, we should learn a lot about the schedule ahead and have a clearer picture of what to expect later this week and next.

The rope fixing team continues to make progress and could potentially complete their work today. Yesterday, the group of Sherpas charged with installing the lines on the South Side of Everest reached the Balcony and today they hope to go all the way up to the summit. They’ll need to put in a full day’s work to finish the task, but they seem poised to make that happen and record the first summits of the season at the same time.
Once the ropes are in place they’ll descend back to Base Camp for a much needed and deserved rest. At that point, the other teams will check the weather forecast and their own health and condition, to begin thinking about when they’ll launch summit bids of their own. Right now, that looks like it could start as early as this coming weekend, although ultimately Mother Nature will decide when to grant access to the top of Everest.
In the meantime, the teams are keeping busy in a variety of ways. For instance, the IMG squad is spread out between Camps 1 and 3, with climbers in each location wrapping up their acclimatization process. It is possible that they are moving into position to make a dash for the summit once the ropes are installed, or they could be finishing one last rotation before returning to BC for a rest before starting their summit bids next week. A number of the other teams are on track for the same schedule, making a mass ascent in the days ahead as has become the norm on Everest in recent years.
So there you have it. The stage is nearly set, and teams are preparing to make their push. The weather forecasts look good heading into next week, which is pretty much exactly what is expected for mid-May. Now, it is only a matter of time. But first, the Sherpas must finish their work. Hopefully that will happen today, and the summit season will officially begin.
Good luck to everyone!

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Himalaya Spring 2017: Teams Continue Acclimatization and Look Toward Summit Bids

** see also: –

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