Luke Smithwick Thwarted on Labuche Kang III.

A walk in the park. The team at their high point of 6900 meters on Labuche Kang III East. Photo: Luke Smithwick

Last month, experienced Himalayan alpinist and guide Luke Smithwick travelled to the northern Himalaya to lead a climb of Labuche Kang III East, a virgin peak standing at 7,250 meters.
The five-strong multinational team spent some time acclimatizing in Nepal on trekking peaks, before flying to Tibet in early May. After a few days in Lhasa, they moved on to base camp, which is within 40km of the well known eight-thousander Cho Oyu.

Camp one on Labuche Kange III East. The team in high spirits before the severe beating began. Crevasse falls, full-on drenchings in hidden kettle ponds, and other delightful life experiences ensued in the following days. This is first ascent high altitude mountaineering in the Himalaya. Bring your big boy pants. Caption and Photo: Luke Smithwick

Smithwick approached the climb ‘expedition style’ by fixing ropes up the northern flanks of the peak alongside two climbing Sherpas, then the rest of the team followed. Advanced Base Camp was set at 5,258 meters, Camp One at 5,751, Camp Two a little higher at 5,995 meters, with the final Camp (Three) at 6,276 meters.

Forty degrees in average steepness doesn’t mean it was always forty degrees. A steeper section of the route, with Luke Smithwick dealing with fixing 8mm static rope for the group anchored with 22cm ice screws. Yes, that is alpine ice. This is not a snow plod. Caption and Photo: Luke Smithwick

Smithwick reported that crossing the terrain from Advanced Base Camp entailed hard work up a lateral moraine to Camp One, followed by running a gauntlet of seracs to  Camp Two. Further risk awaited en route to Camp Three, with severe crevasse danger.

Escaping the labyrinth. Getting to the upper snowfield and camps of LK3 takes route-finding skills, luck, and a willingness to keep going when it sucks. Caption and Photo: Luke Smithwick

The team made good progress, fixing ropes up steep headwall, and were within tantalizing sight of the top early on May 20:
We turned around only 400 meters from the summit after climbing for 8 hours up a blue ice wall that averaged 40 degrees in steepness.  I felt OK and able to go on… along with the two Sherpas I was working with, however our group was fairly exhausted collectively, and I was guiding, so we retreated to our Camp Three at 6,276 meters (20,486 feet).
A forecast of bad weather also influenced their decision to retreat. But those weather reports that suggested the group needed to summit by May 21 at the latest proved wrong, and the predicted storms never arrived.

6,276m Camp Three on Labuche Kang III East. Surrounding this camp, Luke made “the death circle” with one of the climbing ropes. No one was allowed to leave the circle, as the perimeter was riddled with crevasses. Two crevasse falls occurred right on the edge of this camp, and they were big enough to eat someone. Fortunately, no one was injured on the climb. Caption and Photo: Luke Smithwick

In total, the team recorded 17 crevasse falls, although none were considered “big”. Smithwick also said that they fell into water on the glacier 24 times. “You will not summit this mountain easily,” he concluded. Nevertheless, the prolific American climber plans to return to Labuche Kang III East, possibly as early as September.
The team had earlier believed the mountain was the highest open unclimbed peak in the world, but further research has revealed that Muchu Chhish in Pakistan at 7,452 meters is higher. However, not everyone, including Smithwick, believes that Muchu Chhish is prominent enough to be considered a separate peak.
[Ed: June 4. This story has been edited to reflect that Kabru, a peak on the India-Nepal border, has recently been climbed and that the jury is still out about whether Muchu Chhish is an independent peak. For a discussion of mountain prominence, see Prominence or Dominance: What Makes a Mountain]

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* source: – https://explorersweb.com/

** see also: – Nepal Celebrates 65th Anniversary of First Ascent of Mt. Everest.

– Today is 65th Anniversary of Everest’s First Ascent.

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The Most Epic Adventures in All 50 States.

If you’re looking for some big adventures to occupy your time this spring and summer, then Men’s Journal is once again here to help. The magazine has created a comprehensive list of the top adventures to do in all 50 states, offering something for just about every kind of traveler, athlete, and explorer.

With such a diverse number of places and environments to cover, the list of things to do is pretty broad. For instance, the opportunities for outdoor adventure abound in a place like Alaska, where MJ recommends chartering a float plane and visiting Mount Anialkchak, an collapsed volcano in the Aleutian Range. Of course, the hard part about finding something to do in Alaska is narrowing your options down from all of the available choices. That isn’t the case in place like Iowa, where those opportunities are fewer and far between. If you’re visiting the Hawkeye State, Men’s Journal recommends you go cliff jumping in Chickasaw Park.

Other big adventures that can be had in various states include climbing at the Red River Gorge (Kentucky), go paddling on the Upper Missouri River (Montana), traverse the Presidential Range (New Hampshire), and go sailing at dawn (Rhode Island). The list includes options for mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, climbing, and much much more. In short, if you live for outdoor adventures, chances are you’ll find plenty to keep you busy here.

Whether you’re looking for something to do in your backyard or you’re planning a trip across the U.S. this year, this article will give you some things to put on your bucket list. Check out the entire run down by clicking here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –The Most Epic Adventures in All 50 States

** 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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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/

I invite you to subscribe to my blog 🙂

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Video: How Climbers Sleep on a Big Wall.

On more than one occasion I’ve been asked by non-climbers how rock climbers sleep on a big wall when they are doing a multi-day ascent. I’ve tried to describe to them the process to varying degrees of success, with most looking horrified just at the thought. In this video, we’ll see just how this is done, as we join Sasha DiGiulian as she takes on a massive climb, and elects to set up camp that night 1200 feet above the ground.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: How Climbers Sleep on a Big Wall

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

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How to Train for Expedition Style Climbing.

Getting your body prepared for the challenges it will face in the mountains is the key to success on just about any major climbing expedition. And while acclimatization is a big part of what you’ll do while on the mountain itself, the battle for the summit is often actually won or lost at home before you ever even depart. That’s when you’ll be working on your overall fitness and training for the long, arduous task of relentlessly moving uphill.

That is the very subject of another insightful blog post from the team at Mountain Trip, the same group that brought us the article on knowing whether or not you’re ready for Everest that I posted last week. This time out, we take a look at how to physically train for climbing big mountains, like Denali, Everest, or even that 14er you’ve been eyeing. No matter which peak is on your bucket list, the goal is to successfully reach the top, and having the right level of fitness will not only improve those chances of success, but limit the level of suffering you experience along the way.

Mountain Trip has partnered with a company called Uphill Athlete to create a training program for its clients. That program is designed to maximize their chances of success by offering a comprehensive plan built to prepare them physically for an expedition. It consists of four distinct phases that build in intensity before easing off prior to the start of the climb. Those phases, as described in the article, are as follows:

  • Transition: Lower volume and re-introduction into training. The amount of time you spend pounding trails and hitting the weights will vary depending on your current fitness and familiarity with working towards a big objective.
  • Base: The most important and longest phase! Here you will slowly and deliberately build the endurance that will get you to the top.
  • Specific: During this phase, you’ll work on movements and strength pertinent to your goal, and more importantly, get into the mountains as much as possible.
  • Taper: Allowing your body much needed rest to rebound to peak fitness.
The article goes into more detail on the focus and preparation work in each of the stages and how they benefit the climber. Obviously this is just a starting point of course, but it does give you an idea of what Mountain Trip stresses to its clients. The program clearly works however, as the company has had a lot of success on its expeditions over the years.
Read more here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –  How to Train for Expedition Style Climbing

** see also: –

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Video: The Top 5 Mountaineers of All Time.

Amongst climbers it is always fun to debate who the greatest mountaineers of all time are. Of course, such a list is always subjective, particularly when discussing climbers across different eras. That doesn’t stop the makers of this video from attempting to make their picks however, so I present to you a list of the top 5 mountaineers of all time. Not sure I agree with all of them, or the order for that matter, but it sure makes a lively discussion. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: The Top 5 Mountaineers of All Time

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

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Video: Climbing Big Walls in Madagascar.

Earlier today I posted a story about three Belgian climbers completing a free ascent of the Central Tower in Torres del Paine. Two of those climbers were Sean Vilanueva and Siebe Vanhee, both of whom you’ll find in this video as they travel to Madagascar to climb big walls in that country. While there, they discovered a completely unclimbed line on Tsaranoro Atsimo and set out to see if they could make the first ascent. This is the story of that expedition.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: Climbing Big Walls in Madagascar

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

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