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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Himalaya Spring 2017: Kilian Jornet Reveals Plans, Sherpa Injured on the Everest.

Autor : Kraig Becker

It has been a very busy couple of days since I last shared any updates from the Himalaya. The spring climbing season is proceeding pretty much according to plan, with teams now settled in their respective base camps across the region and now diligently working away at becoming acclimatized. This particularly true on Everest, where the squads are stretched out from BC to Camp 2, and everywhere in between. This is all part of the process of course, and later in the week I’ll provide a more detailed update on where some of the bigger teams currently stand, but in the meantime we have some other news that is of particular interest.

I know a lot of people have been waiting to hear what Kilian Jornet is up to this spring. We know that he intends to go for a speed record on Everest, and that due to permit issues on the North Side he was forced to move his expedition up from late summer as he had originally planned. But other than that, we haven’t heard a lot of details. Over the weekend, that changed some.

In an email sent out to members of the media yesterday, the Spanish mountain runner indicated that he would first travel to Cho Oyu with partner Emelie Forsberg where the pair will attempt a summit on that 8201 meter (26,906 ft) mountain. This will serve as acclimatization and training for Kilian, who now intends to head to the North Side of Everest in mid-May to attempt his speed record. The benefits of doing it from that side of the mountain being smaller crowds and a more direct route that doesn’t include the Khumbu Icefall.

Jornet just left for Kathmandu yesterday after competing in one last race before setting out to the Himalaya. He and Forsberg will likely spend a few days in the Nepali capital before heading out to the mountains.

Meanwhile, The Himalayan Times is reporting that Sherpas working on the South Side of Everest have now fixed the ropes all the way up to the South Col. That means teams are now free to goal high as Camp 4 once their bodies are prepared to handle the altitude. It also means that everything is on schedule to complete rope fixing up to the summit ahead of the final push that will begin in a few weeks time.

The Times is also indicating the a Sherpa was injured in an avalanche on the South Side as well. Climbing guide Furba Rita Sherpa was struck by ice when a serac collapsed near Camp 1 as he and several other porters were making their way up to C2 to drop gear and supplies. He reportedly suffered a broken hand and multiple injuries to his head and wrists as well. Fortunately, others were there to immediately lend a hand and Furba was quickly evacuated back to Kathmandu for treatment. He is reportedly doing well and already recovering nicely.

That’s it for today. More detailed info to come once I’ve caught my breath from returning from Oregon.

* source: –  Himalaya Spring 2017: Kilian Jornet Reveals Plans, Sherpa Injured on the Everest

** see also: –

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Himalaya Spring 2017: Kilian Jornet Moves Up Speed Record Attempt as Chinese Play Politics with Permits.

Autor : Kraig Becker

As expected, the spring 2017 Himalayan climbing season is delivering all kinds of interesting stories and plot lines to follow. In addition to a record number of climbers on Everest, there are plenty of other expeditions to follow throughout the region. But just as many teams are getting settled into their respective base camps in the mountains, the Chinese have begun imposing permit restrictions that are causing some climbers to rethink their plans and make last minute adjustments to their schedules.

ExWeb has posted more details on the latest move by the Chinese government to impose restrictions on climbing permits in Tibet. In a nutshell, the authorities on that side of the Himalaya have announced that there will be no post-monsoon permits issued for Everest or Shishpangma this year, and only a limited number for Cho Oyu. In addition, the government is also refusing permits to any climber who has visited Pakistan in the past three years as well, causing a number of teams to alter their intended plans for this spring.

We already knew that Kilian Jornet has moved his speed record attempt to this spring, where he’ll have to contend with more crowds, and now we know why. Last year, Jornet went to Everest in the late-summer/early-fall, but ended up being turned back due to poor weather conditions. It was expected that he would probably do the same this year, as the mountain is all but deserted during those months. But, since the Chinese won’t be issuing permits for that timeframe, the mountain runner is now forced to attempt his speed record in the spring instead.

ExWeb is reporting that the change in permitting has also had an impact on climbers Adam Bielecki and Felix Berg, who were planning to attempt a new route on Cho Oyu. Both men visited Pakistan last year however, so neither is allowed to enter Tibet. Instead, they’ll now go to Annapurna in Nepal and attempt a seldom climbed route on that mountain with partners Louis Rousseau and Rick Allen.

All across the Himalaya other teams are now arriving in BC. In addition to large numbers trickling into Base Camp on Everest, others are now getting settled on Annapurna, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, and Kangchenjunga. Most have been acclimatizing in the Khumbu Valley or on smaller peaks already, and thus are arriving in good shape to start their first rotations. It won’t be long now and we’ll start to receive word of teams moving up as they begin building their high camps, fixing ropes, and generally becoming accustomed to the altitude.

Weather is already playing a part early in the season. Reports indicate that high winds have been common so far, particularly on Everest, Lhotse, and Annapurna. But, that is not unusual for this time of year, and things tend to calm down a lot as the season progresses. Right now, we’re about a month away from major summit bids, give or take a week. The plan moving forward will be to slowly acclimate to the conditions and begin preparing for the challenges ahead.

More to report soon.

* source: – Himalaya Spring 2017: Kilian Jornet Moves Up Speed Record Attempt as Chinese Play Politics with Permits

** see also: – Adam Bielecki planuje wytyczyć nową drogę na Cho Oyu.

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Himalaya Spring 2017: New Routes on Cho Oyu and Shishapangma .

Autor : Kraig Becker

Not all of the action will take place on Everest this spring. While the tallest peak on the planet always takes center stage at this time of the year, there are plenty of expeditions to other mountains to keep our eyes on in the days ahead as well, including two attempts to open new routes on Cho You and Shishapangma.

ExWeb is reporting that the four man team of Louis Rousseau, Adam Bielecki, Rick Allen, and Felix Berg have announced that they will attempt a new line along the North Face of Cho Oyu. Their plan is to start at the base of the North Wall and climb directly up to a completely untouched section of the mountain. Much of this route is reportedly unexplored and the team isn’t sure what to expect when they get there, other than that it will be extremely technical.

The 8201 meter (26,906 ft) mountain is the sixth highest mountain in the world and is often described as the “easiest” of the 8000-meter peaks. But this team will be attacking its most difficult section, as the big wall they hope to ascend is roughly 2000 meters (6561 ft) in height and requires excellent rock climbing skills to go along with the demands of high altitude mountaineering. They’ll likely have to climb in alpine style and it could potentially be quite cold there. The North Face sees very little sunshine and even in the spring it can see temperatures well below freezing.

Meanwhile, Stefan Nestler has the scoop on another major expedition that has just left for the Himalaya. David Goettler is joining forces with Hervé Barmasse to attempt a new route along the South Face of Shishapangma in Tibet. Goettler attempted this same route last year with Ueli Steck, but the two were turned back in their attempt. This season, he is feeling much more confident about their chances.

The two climbers joined Steck in the Khumbu Valley for acclimatization training in February and will return to that region to tune up for the expedition again. They’ll spend another two weeks there prior to crossing over to Tibet to begin the climb. They’ll trek throughout the area and even warm up on Island Peak (6180 m/20,275 ft) before jumping across the border to begin.

Last year, Goettler and Steck were turned back on the 8027 meter (26,335 ft) Shishpangma due to bad weather. This year, the team is hoping for improved fortunes with better all around conditions. They should have already arrived in Kathmandu as I write this, and will be preparing to head out on their acclimatization treks soon.

Add both of these expeditions to your lists of ones to follow this spring. It is shaping up to be an interesting time in the Himalaya for sure.

* source: – Himalaya Spring 2017: New Routes on Cho Oyu and Shishapangma

** see also –

Adam Bielecki planuje wytyczyć nową drogę na Cho Oyu.

Za kilka dni Adam Bielecki wraz Rickiem Allenem, Felixem Bergiem i Louisem Rousseau wyruszy w Himalaje, gdzie zamierza zdobyć nową drogą Cho Oyu (8201 m n.p.m.).

Swój nowy projekt opisuje w wywiadzie dla Gazety Wyborczej:

Celem Polsped Cho Oyu Expedition 2017 jest wytyczenie nowej drogi na szóstej co do wysokości górze świata, czyli Czo Oju [8201 m n.p.m.]. Wybraliśmy ponaddwukilometrową północną ścianę. Wiedzie przez nią jedna droga, wytyczona po prawej stronie przez Słoweńców w 1988 r. Wszystko na lewo to dziewiczy teren.

Dodaje dalek w rozmowie:

To 2000 m terenu nachylonego średnio pod kątem 45-50 stopni. Momentami będzie jednak o wiele stromiej. Na dole więcej jest lodu i śniegu, w górnej części zaczynają się skały. To najbardziej wymagający odcinek. Nie ujawniamy naszych dwóch pomysłów na nową drogę, bo linii nie wytycza się w domu. Staniemy pod ścianą, zobaczymy, gdzie wiszą seraki [ważące setki tysięcy ton bryły lodu często wielkości dużych bloków]. Wtedy spróbujemy znaleźć bezpieczne przejście. Nie wiemy, co nas czeka. To ekscytujące.

Cho Oyu od północy (fot. Steve Hicks/Wikipedia)

Bielecki zdradza także dalsze plany, czyli dołączenia do polskiej wyprawy, której celem jest pierwsze zimowe zdobycie K2:

Jeśli wszystko dobrze pójdzie, w zimie pojadę z polską wyprawą na niezdobyte o tej porze roku K2, ale nie żyję tym planem na co dzień. W zimie już sporo osiągnąłem, a nowej drogi na ośmiotysięczniku nie poprowadziłem. Chcę to zrobić w małym, szybkim zespole i w dobrym stylu. Opętała mnie ta myśl.

Trzymamy kciuki i czekamy na kolejne wieści!

* source: – http://outdoormagazyn.pl/2017/04/adam-bielecki-planuje-wytyczyc-nowa-droge-na-cho-oyu/

** see also – Himalaya Spring 2017: New Routes on Cho Oyu and Shishapangma .

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Himalaya 2011 climbing season, Pakistan wrap-up: K2 not over yet on either side, under the radar notes from Rodrigo, and more.

(Angela Benavides) Compared to Everest where KTM heli shuttles, food yaks, bars, and a general bustling scene of hundreds of climbers cushion the waiting game: hanging in the dark and cold BC on K2 south side is a challenge in itself. Fabrizio and Kinga have done it for two months already, still hoping for a summit chance. On the equally empty north side; the international team hopes for a final push early next week.

In other news: Rodrigo Granzotto Peron has compiled a bunch of expedition reports which passed unnoticed by most media. There’s also word from Korea, and about landslides in NW Pakistan.

K2 south

When everyone left for home after the failed summit push on Cesen last week, American Fabrizio Zangrilli and Polish Kinga Baranowska stayed behind in BC. First to arrive and last to leave, “We are alone in BC, just like in the beginning, checking weather forecasts which, unfortunately, are bad,” Kinga wrote. “We will give it another go if the weather will give us a chance in the next 10 days,” Fabrizio added noting that, “K2 is a tough nut to crack.”

K2 north

Dodging avalanches and shooting rocks, back in BC Maxut Zhumayev reports that the definitive summit bid may take place as soon as the currently strong wind recedes, by August 16.

It’s an all or nothing bet. “The next attempt will by our only chance to summit,” Gerlinde told Nachrichten.at.

Korean Gasherbrum summiteers: Cho Oyu next

South Korean Gasherbrum summiteers Kim Chang-Ho and Suh Sung-Ho will attempt Cho Oyu next, ExWeb correspondent Kyu Dam-Lee reported from Seoul. The ‘Turquoise Godess’ (Cho Oyu’s Tibetan name) could become Kim’s 13th 8000er (with only Everest left to go) and the last colective peak for the Busan Hope Expedition series. As for Suh, he has Cho Oyu, K2 and Broad Peak left to complete his 14x8000er challenge.

Dark horses: more expedition stats

Rodrigo Granzotto-Peron compiled a bunch of expedition reports which have passed largely unnoticed so far.


The Czech expedition made a summit bid in late July, when they reached C2 on the regular route of Nanga Parbat, but the attempt was called off on July 29 because of “steep ice and falling rocks”. Check for further info here.

On July 13, Pavel Matousek, Olga Novakova, Suzanna Hofmann, Antonin Belik, Vit Auermüller, Libor Kadlcik, Tomas Kruml and Michal Vyroubal became the first Czechs to summit Spantik (7027 m).


Strong winds, unfavorable weather forecasts and excess of snow on the upper plateau of Broad Peak led several expeditions to abort the summit bids and return home empty handed.

This was the case of Altitude Junkies expedition, under leadership of Phil Crampton, and with a multinational team of six climbers and five Pakistani HAPs. The expedition was called off on July 22.

The same reasons cut short the Spanish-Argentine expedition. All four members – Javier Camacho Gimeno (Chavi) Bueno and Arturo Aparicio, from Spain, and Lito Sanchez and Heber Orona, from Argentina – more or less reached 7850 meters, on the plateau, but due to strong winds (60-70 km/h) and cold feet, they headed down. Further attempts were halted by instable weather. Check for further info here.

Mexican well-known couple Mauricio Lopez Ahumada and Badia Bonilla de Luna, self-dubbed Una Pareja en Ascenso, managed to reach 7500 meters on July 12. Later, bad weather prevented further attempts, and they headed home.

Exception was the British-Spanish expedition. On July 25, Scott Mackenzie (UK), the expedition leader, and Koldo Zubimendi (SPA) summited Broad Peak.. The British side of the team had acclimatized on Mount Damavand (Iran, 5621 m). Scott summited and skied on descent.


Supposed to team up with Colin Haley for a new route on Ogre II (6960 m); when the American could not participate Norwegian top climber Bjorn Eivind Artun changed plans for a solo attempt on Hunza Peak (6270 m). The spire was first climbed in 1991 by Mick Fowler and Crag Jones and news are expected soon from Artun.

Among other conquests, Bjorn has two new routes on a 1000-meter-high wall on Kjerag Mountains (Norway) and a speed ascent of the Cassin Ridge on Denali, with Haley.


Swedish duo Magnus Eriksson and Martin Jakobsson just arrived in Pakistan to attempt the 1500-meter-high central pillar of Tahu Ratum (6651 m). “The route has never been climbed before, so we really don’t know what to expect,” Martin said. The climbers plan to summit early September Check for info here.

Landslides strike NW Pakistan – again

Natural disaster is striking Gilgit-Baltistan region again. Nearly 130 houses in Talis village have been flattened by landslides, affecting 1,200 to 1,500 people, according to AFP.

NGO’s such as Alberto Iñurrategi fundation plead for help, since the relief work done in the area since last year’s flood is destroyed. Check the story on Barrabes here.

Links to 2011 Pakistan teams:

K2 – Pakistan (south) side:

Kinga Baranowska
Fabrizio Zangrilli

K2 – China (north) side:

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner
Ralf’s Amical
Maxut Zhumayev

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** zapraszam na relacje z wypraw polskich himalaistów.

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Himalaya 2011 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /8/ – Week in Review.

Pakistan climbing is full throttle: season’s first summits went to Latok III; a massive rescue saved a life; scattered victories on the Gasherbrums so far.

The past two weeks brought out interviews and some major stories; one such touching the final flight of the shuttle.

Pakistan wrap-up: Alexander Odintsov’s Russian Big Wall team summited Latok III at last.

‘World’s Toughest Jobs’ Chances are slim that Discovery will do a feature on Sherpa and HAP’s but they probably should: people from unrelated expeditions on the Gasherbrums saved the life of a Pakistani climbing porter reportedly seriously neglected by his Japanese employers.

A total of 12 climbers summited GI or GII last week. Later pushes were aborted, along with pushes on Broad Peak. Following no-shows including Swede Strang’s, Nanga Parbat is quiet: bad weather finally thwarted the Kyrgyz-Russian summit attempt and only the Spanish remain in a wet BC, hoping to at least try the normal route. Austrian Stangl is enroute back to K2, saying he’ll tape on real summit and post to YouTube. The north slope K2 climbers are fixing route.

ExWeb interview with 14x8000er summiteer Kim Jae Soo: “Korea is isolated behind the language barrier” In this unique interview with ExplorersWeb, regular partner of the late Mi Sun-Go and recent 14x8000er summiteer Kim Jae Soo talks about why he will return to Cho Oyu, the language problems, the controversies, the definitions, why he climbs and how to help locals beyond building schools

Opinion: Royal Marines Officer Sean Chapple about polar teamwork and success In addition to polar feats both north and south, a few years back Sean Chapple led a team of three Royal Marines unassisted and unsupported at Antarctica in over 2200 km distance. The 2011-12 Antarctic season will be busy and Sean discussed at ExWeb what makes the difference between teams who succeed and those who don’t.

A blind man’s adventure, “What inspires and encourages humans is consciousness of one’s power” “In summary, this trip reminded me of what I could do, and not what I was incapable of doing,” said Imtiaz Moosa following a canoe expedition down the Yukon River. Fellow seeing adventurer Howard Fairbanks in turn wrote how returning to the city changed everything.

ExWeb interview with Alex Hibbert about Greenland speed ski attempt in August After being grounded in Tasiilaq in April, Hibbert & Wilkinson will be back in Greenland in August to attempt to break the Norwegians’ 8 days & 9 hrs ski record across the appr 530km Nagtivit – 660 route. Hibbert told ExWeb about their April experience.

ExWeb interviews with Dimitri Kieffer, finals Losing 2 tents in 2 seconds, cooking in the open in minus 35°C and skiing with open toes were some of the low points in Dimitri’s trek in Far Eastern Russia. In the final two parts of the interview series he told ExplorersWeb also about the magic, life changing moments, and The Missing Link.

Africa walk from Mozambique to Angola ended near heavily land mined area Julian Monroe Fisher has completed his ‘Equatoria’ – A Walk Across Africa, from the coast of Mozambique, across Malawi, Zambia and the DRC to the coast of Angola. He experienced Africa as a complex mixture of beauty and ugliness all wrapped up into one vast space.

Avalanche evaluation made easy by southern volcano On June 4th the Puyehue volcano in the Andes mountains of southern Chile erupted, setting up an incredible snowpack in the ski resort of Cerro Bayo. French avalanche specialist Cedric Larcher sent over pictures of the ashes clearly dividing layers of snow.

Paragliding World Cup boss Xavier Murillo missing Paragliding World Cup boss Xavier Murillo went missing while paragliding in Peru on Friday 1 July. The Paragliding World Cup Association (PWCA) appealed for donations to help fund the aerial search. “The support that we have received on Xavier’s behalf via the appeal fund has been wonderful, and a reflection of the love and affection that we all feel for him,” wrote PWCA in a note to ExWeb. Unfortunately, Murillo remains missing.

US Family of four heading for unofficial speed sailing record James Burwick is known for his exhausting solo adventures at sea. On Sunday June 26th James and his family left Maine to set an unofficial speed record to France. The youngest on board is 9 months old.

Are you ready for it? ICON raises 25 million, let production begin! The new Sport Pilot License is cheaper and faster. With a mission “to bring the fun and adventure back to flying,” ICON says it has closed a $25 million round of venture financing. With that, full-scale manufacturing of the sport plane can begin.

Bits from the Silver Bullet: latest from Japan A few times each month SF New Tech come ashore and head for the Mars Bar. There, developers and inventors are offered 5 minutes sharp to pitch their ideas. Latest we checked out the 6 most promising startups from Japan.

Final countdown: “Sad, not fatal,” says Space industry CEO On Friday, the final Space Shuttle launch is scheduled. What will this mean to the industry, and the very soul of America? “It is the end of an era. It is not the end of the world,” said Elliot Holokauahi Pulham, CEO of the Space Foundation, in a newsletter.

ExplorersWeb space shuttle editorial: why we explore “Exploration can’t wait for perfect times and it never has.” Who founded National Geographic and why; Why military and academia make poor explorers; Who we are and who we are not; Why we matter; and What American historian Frederick Jackson Turner had to do with it – a big editorial by the founders of ExplorersWeb touched on the last voyage of the shuttle in the perspective of explorers, and new Americans.

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