Himalaya 2010 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /25/ – Week in Review.

American mountaineer Ryan Waters and his team of Elbrus climbers were among the 105 passengers freed from a hijacked plane by Russian special forces today.

In other news: few summits in Karakoram so far and all K2 pushes aborted. Norwegian Plur Nilssen was pulled out of the tent by a polar bear. Wayne Maynard made it to the North Pole alone in his aircraft, 14-year-old Laura Dekker is free to sail and Jury-rigged Franco-Italian Alessandro Di Benedetto finished his circumnavigation.

Boulder climber Ryan Waters after being freed by Caucasus plane hijack attempt: “All is OK” American mountaineer and recent Antarctica record skier Ryan Waters of Boulder is safe following an attempted hijacking of a domestic plane from Caucasus to Moscow. Ryan had just led a successful 8 person international team of members from US and Brazil up Elbrus for Mountain Professionals and was on the way to Moscow to fly back home when the hijack attempt took place.

Svalbard kayakers attacked by Polar Bear Norwegians Sebastian Plur Nilssen, 22, and Ludvig Fjeld, 22, had a nightmare awakening on Svalbard Thursday. Plur Nilssen was pulled out of the tent by a polar bear and dragged off until his expedition partner managed to shoot the animal.

Wayne Maynard’s flight across the North Pole For safety reasons, pilots assisting polar skiers always fly with a co-pilot and have fuel depots en route. But on July 27 at 3:50 pm Wayne Maynard made it to the North Pole alone in his aircraft. The 61-year old solo aviator made a victory flight over the Pole for his charity, took pictures, filmed a short video and made phone calls to donors, friends and family before he headed back to Canada.

Teen sail update: Dekker is free to sail The 14-year-old Dutch girl Laura Dekker has been allowed to sail solo around the world by the court. She is back in the care of her parents, and as long as they agree she can start her plans for a record sail. She will start her circumnavigation in two weeks.

GI and GII double-header bagged Early G1 summit claims around July 20 were left unconfirmed or denied by the climbers themselves. Canadian Don Bowie and Russian Alexei Bolotov’s attempt ended VERY close from target, in chest-deep snow and unstable snow slabs underneath. But, “If you can’t ride that thing like a pony, you ain’t on top!” Bowie “quoted” John Wayne and returned for another shot one week later. On July 29, Bowie and Bolotov summited G1 at last together with American Marty Schmidt and Czechs Radek Jaros and Libor Uher who completed their GI and GII double-header.

Tale from the northern “wild” side of GI After prevailing over solitude, lack of information and Chinese red-tape; avalanches on the virgin face finally forced Italians Daniele, Mario and Herve to abort their alpine-style attempt. Montagna.org editor Sara Sottocornola told ExplorersWeb, “Both Mario and Daniele have climbed Annapurna, and yet they were shocked at watching GI seracs and constant avalanches triggering down from every point of the wall.”

Climbing with a HAP on K2, only three days after arrival in BC Bulgarian Petar Georgiev Unzhiev reportedly went directly to Camp 1 and on to Camp 2 the next day. Fellow mountaineers on the route reported that Petar seemed unwell but trusted the HAP would look after him. After pitching the tent and brewing up, Petar’s HAP however returned to base camp. The next day Petar was found dead inside his C2 tent. Cause of death was probably HACE according to American Trey Cook, climbing with Swedish ski-mountaineer Fredrik Ericsson.

K2 Deep, unstable snow and wind increased during the night finally forced down all climbers pushing for K2 summit via the Cesen route on July 27. A second bid is planned by some, such as FTA and Korean Mr. Cha. Maxut Zhumaiev and Vassiliy Pivtsov arrived at K2 BC on July 25 after trekking along the shortest possible route via Gondogora La. The Kazakhs plan a fast acclimatization round on the Cesen route, collaborating with the Polish team through Russian Yuri Ermachek.

ExWeb interview with FTA: “Don’t expect tea served to you in your tent at C3 in the Karakoram” Although not strictly guided, Field Touring Alpine is one of the few “commercial” expeditions attempting K2. Stu Remensnyder plus guides Fabrizio Zangrilli and Chris Szymiec told ExWeb about the double-header strategy, collaboration with other teams and the real meaning of a “commercial” expedition in the Karakoram 8000ers.

Broad Peak: nothing is impossible Slovakia Marmota expedition, the Russians and Norwegians Peter and Alexander reckon that “everything is possible and nothing is impossible for too long,” amidst massive snowfalls.

GII Altitude Junkies team leader Phil Crampton reported that while he and four other climbers were forced back by high winds, Freddy reached the top on the 18th along with his friends Pasang Lama and Pemba Sherpa and two Korean climbers from the Korean expedition (a Swedish media report stating that Fredrik Strang rescued fellow mountaineers with wild swings of his ice-axe has not been verified). Phil Crampton reported from BC Tuesday that the remains of the team is holding out at BC for improved weather.

J’Accuse: “Summit Sweeper” Arian Lemal strikes again “Staring at the atrocity for ten minutes, I counted 21 shredded-semi-buried-in-the-ice tents,” Arian reported from a junk-filled C4 on GII. “I also found “newish” empty gas canisters and food wrappers […] without asking, climbers believe it to be acceptable and maybe ‘useful’ to leave their unconsumed food for others. In my opinion, this is like abandoning rubbish,” he stated from BC.

Italians Daniele Nardi and Lorenzo Angelozzi are on their way to 6,300 meters Hassin Peak in Hushe valley. The “Hassin Peak Freedom 2010” expedition will climb in alpine style and hope to bag the spire’s first summit ever. According to the Italians, Hassim has been only attempted once, by a Canadian expedition.

Ama Dablam spring 2010: Russian debrief and reply to Philippe Gatta Eugeny Voronov took the thermos, and only the thermos he says, believing it had been left there by Zelenograd climbers. He then gave it back with an apology. He did not take the food and gas. Check out the Russian’s debrief and – um – feisty reply to Philippe Gatta.

ExWeb Interview with Sebastian Copeland, “filming goes on top of the demanding physical requirements” Sebastian and Eric McNair-Landry hold the world record for the longest kite ski distance travelled in a 24h period. Sebastian documents his extreme expeditions on film and told ExWeb about caring for cameras and filming in sub-zero temperatures.

ExWeb interview with Eric McNair-Landry, “I’m a kiter; I want to see the limits of this sport pushed” Setting a kite ski distance world record in June, Eric told ExplorersWeb all about the record setting day, navigating while kiting, and the gear he used on the record breaking trip.

Salt flat solo crossing coming up Greek adventurer Yanni Piveropoulos is in the final stage of preparing for his solo, unassisted, unsupported trek from west to east across Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat located in Bolivia at an altitude of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft).

Charlie Frew’s Trans Eurasian off-road Expedition Charlie Frew is attempting a 25,000 mile off-road expedition through parts of the world’s most fragile environments and remotest habitable places. Starting in May he is currently in Mongolia making his way across Asia and Europe and aiming to finish in May 2011 in Portugal.

Mongolia: Ripley Davenport evacuated Ripley passed the 1000 mile mark while trekking in the Altai Valley on his attempted solo crossing of Mongolia. Losing his footing on a steep slope, he was evacuated with injuries.

Iceland: ExWeb interview with Christopher Mike Two years ago Brit Christopher Mike became the first person to walk solo across Iceland. He spoke to ExWeb about the route, the challenges and feasibility of a winter Iceland crossing, and the responsibility that adventurers have regarding their own safety and towards the host country.

Iceland: Crossing lava and glacier fields Nearing Kotlutangi, the most southern point of Iceland, during the past week Louis-Philippe Loncke crossed a lava field and a section of Vatnajökull Glacier.

Girls around Britain: Setting a new record The Seagals Belinda Kirk, Laura Thomasson, Beverly Ashton and Angela Madsen passed under London’s Tower Bridge Friday 23rd July and set a new new Guinness world record of 51 days 16 hours and 42 minutes for an all-female crew rowing unaided around Britain.

North Pole Yacht Race: Russians in trouble Russian bureaucracy was a challenge even to the Russian expedition but the Russian steel yacht Peter 1 left Murmansk July 14th and got a gale pushing them North fast the first couple of days. Close to the top of Novaja Semlja they dealt with contaminated freshwater tanks.

Challenging ice conditions in the Arctic Several sailboats will try to go through the Northwest and Northeast Passage this Arctic summer. It is not a given that they succeed, says Arctic ice expert and adventurer Knut Espen Solberg: one of the foremost experts on Arctic ice conditions who has lived and sailed in the area.

Jury-rigged Italian finishes circumnavigation On Thursday July 22nd Franco-Italian Alessandro Di Benedetto arrived back in Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Alessandro spent the past 268 days circumnavigating the world in a 6.5 meter yacht solo. The last part, the whole Atlantic, of it with a jury rig.

* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan

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K2, The Ascent of the Savage Mountain – Portland meeting.

Alpinist Don Bowie will be presenting a multimedia show on his successful climbing expedition to K2. At 28,253ft above sea level, K2 is located in Northern Pakistan and is the world’s second highest peak. It is widely considered to be the hardest and most dangerous mountain on earth to climb. On July 4th, 2007, Don became the 4th Canadian to summit K2, and did so without the use of supplemental oxygen.

Come see fantastic images, video clips, and hear stories of the dramatic ascent and tragic descent on what climbers call, “The Savage Mountain.”

$1000’s in gear giveaways and raffles from Jetboil, Westcomb, and Backcountry.com!


Portland Show:
Wednesday, Jan 20th
McMenamins Bagdad Theater and Pub
3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Doors: 6:o0 p.m.
Show: 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $15 at McMenamins Box Offices or at any Ticketmaster

Bend, OR Show:
Tuesday, Januray 19th
Venue – TBD

For more info visit www.donbowie.com

Don Bowie loves remoteness and adventure, and thrives on long approaches and unclimbed routes in the higher ranges.

This past summer marked his eighth Himalayan/Karakoram expedition, with a new route attempt on the north face of Gasherbrum III with Bruce Normand.

In 2007, he and Normand summited K2 without supplementary oxygen, making Bowie the 4th Canadian to do so. In 2008, he endured 75 grueling days on a Broad Peak winter expedition before resigning to high winds and extreme cold.

Earlier this year, Don received the Alpine Club’s Spirit of Mountaineering Commendation at the Piolets d’Or Awards ceremony for his part in the 2008 rescue attempt of Inaki Ochoa on Annapurna.

* Source : – K2, The Ascent of the Savage Mountain – Portland

* Previous story : – Books.

–  Book Review: Beyond the Mountain by Steve House.

–  Himalayan Playground: Adventures on The Roof of the World, by Trevor Braham.

–  The Last Man on the Mountain by Jennifer Jordan.

–  K2 : Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain by Ed Viesturs.


** zapraszam na relacje z wypraw polskich himalaistów.

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Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards – Special mention.

We have covered hundreds of expeditions in 2009. It’s difficult to choose the best, as they all contributed in their own way, sharing their story – their very soul in fact – with us and the world.

And yet, there are those who continue to linger in our minds long after their final debrief. We have chosen 8 expeditions who have contributed in an extraordinary way to the Spirit of Adventure in 2009.

By their performance, these expeditions have proved themselves outstanding in all or most of the following:

– Courage
– Determination
– Persistence
– Self reliance
– Ingenuity
– Pioneering
– Idealism
– Comradeship
– Compassion
– Respect towards competition
– Honesty

Out of the hundreds of expeditions, the countdown of the most exceptional begins tomorrow, but starts already today with a special mention to an additional 4:

Special mention: Good guys leaving too early – Tomaz, Piotr, Serguey, Martin, Oscar, Roby, Mark…

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare,” said Mark Twain. You might be surprised to find this quote in a place covering hard adventure. Yet real explorers know that true heroes own the full spectrum of guts.

A special mention to the many this year that left us with a legacy to do things our way, and the right way.

* see :

–   Tragedy in the Himalaya, 2009 climbing season.

Special mention: GIII rescue

Bad tales grab most headlines but Himalaya also offers the most incredible rescues. Often un-noticed so far away from the climbers’ homelands, here’s just one example:

Attempting a new line on GIII’s NW flank in Pakistan, American Don Bowie, Bruce Normand, Billy and Guy were in C4 at 7300m going for the summit at midnight.

Things didn’t go to plan. Bruce became sick that night and his state worsened through the following day, while a storm unfolded outside. By the second night the situation became critical as the climber drifted in and out of consciousness, with an O2 sat measurement a staggeringly low 37%.

Early morning Bruce vomited while Don failed to establish a GPS signal. An amazing emergency descent followed in howling winds and zero visibility. Roped together the four climbers tackled unknown terrain through icefalls, black crevasses, fresh snow and avalanche debris for hours on end, eventually bringing their mate down to safety.

Details and more images here.

Related story: GIII-GVI: ExWeb special on “the other Gasherbrums”.

Special mention: Nives Meroi, fame vs. love

The position of the first woman in the world to summit all 14, 8000ers (Messner was the first male) will not necessarily go to the one who “deserves” it most.

A few years ago Nives Meroi and her husband Romano Benet were the only to summit K2 without oxygen, Sherpas or fixed rope on the upper sections. That year only two other climbers reached the summit, heavily supported.

This spring, Romano became seriously ill high up on Kangchenjunga and his wife gave up her top rank on the female 14x8000ers list to save his life. In her interview with ExplorersWeb, Nives said the chain of events helped her realize what is really important in life.

“I have summited all my 8000ers together with [Romano] and can’t think of reaching a summit without sharing it with him,” she said. “[The events] opened my eyes, and put my feet back on the ground. I remembered why I climb, how I climb, what is really important in life, and what is without sense.”

Related story: ExWeb Interview with Nives Meroi: “Romano comes first, whatever happens”.

* Previous story :

–  ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Farewell to friends.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Polar adventures.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Significant climbs.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: The Oceans.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Mount Everest.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Controversies.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Technology and Space.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review Final: Statistics and Politics.

–   Tragedy in the Himalaya, 2009 climbing season.

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com


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Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /27/ – Week in Review.

Very few victories with two fatalities only in the past two weeks attest to the unceasing seriousness of Pakistan 8000+ mountaineering. This weekend all eyes or on K2 where a huge, last ditch summit push is on. Check a detailed latest report below.

In other news: Veikka Gustafsson completed the 14x8000ers list; Devon McDiarmid, Derek Crowe and Adrian Hayes arrived after 67 days of kite-skiing across Greenland; Sarah Outen is closing in on the end of her historic Indian Ocean row; and two teenagers sailing around the world prove that age is just a number.

Side note: following an avalanche of false victory claims in later years, unclear summits are now openly questioned by climbers. While difficult and not always just; the ongoing battle for fairness will hopefully benefit all in the end.

K2: Bad conditions at the Shoulder and around the Bottleneck forced all climbers back from summit push last K2 image by ExplorersWebweek. However, a sharp drop in the wind forecasted for Tuesday got most to decide on another shot. Kazakh Max and Vassiliy, Russian Serguey, Austrians Gerlinde, Gerfried and Sepp, Canadian Louis, Ecuadorian Santiago, Field Touring’s Jake Meyer, Fabrizio Zangrilli and other international climbers, speed climber Christian Stangl are among those who will join hands for what is probably a last attempt this season. Korean Hong-Bin Kim (6, 8000ers) is attempting the peak in spite of losing all his fingers to frostbite on McKinley in 1991, ExWeb’s Korean sources stated.

For technical reasons the alternative route proposed last year has turned a no-go so the push will go over the usual Cesen and Abruzzi lines. Gerfried’s team reported that the Americans, Kazakhs and Russians started ascending the Abruzzi on Friday. Santiago, Kim and his Sherpas, Gerlinde and Americans started ascending Cesen yesterday. Gerfried, Louis, Sepp and Christian started out last and went straight to camp 2, which they reached today. Gerlinde, Maxut, Serguey, Vasily, Santiago, Fabrizio, Kim, Pemba, Mingma, Dave, George and Ali all plan to meet and climb together from the Bottleneck, fixing the route along the way. This is an experienced bunch, Gerfried pointed out, sharing about 75, 8000er summits between them.

Summit question marks: Spanish Jorge Egocheaga reportedly summited K2, his 10th 8000er, on July 19 via the Abruzzi Spur route. Late Iñaki Ochoa’s regular climbing mate, the independent Egocheaga is known for fast and light ascents in small teams. The climber decided on a solo attempt with a break in the weather. He topped-out at 7.30 am local time; and returned to C3 in 3.5 hours. His summit claim was however questioned by a number of climbers in BC. Five Iranian members of the Tehran and Sarab expeditions were reported to have reached GII’s summit in high winds. The statement was however pushed back by climbers in BC, who reported that the mountaineers said they had turned around 50 meters shy from the real top. On Broad Peak: two Swiss, one German, and Cleo Weidlich reportedly summited on the morning of July 20th at 8:17 am. This statement has been disputed by Dutch expedition leader Eelco Jansen who states that this year nobody reached the main Summit of Broad Peak (yet – a team remains on the SW side). 11 mountaineers made it to the Fore Summit also known as the Rocky Summit (8035 m). AdventureStats will contact all disputed climbers for summit pictures and/or other evidence.

Broad Peak: Cristina Castagna, 31, lost on descent from C4 Nicknamed “El Grio” (the cricket) Cristina reportedly slipped and fell into a crevasse while descending with mate Giampaolo Casarotto. She had previously summited Shisha’s central summit (2004), GII (2005), Dhaulagiri (2007) and Makalu (2008). This season, she and Renato hoped to summit Broad Peak and then give GI a shot.

Tragedy on Broad Peak, 2009 climbing season – Cristina Castagna lost on descent from C4.

Broad Peak’s SW side: 29 days after arriving in BC, Iran’s Arash Mountaineers team is still trying to reach C3,” IMZ news reported. “They’ve fixed 2,050 meters of rope between 4900m and 6500m.”

Gasherbrum II: fatality Climbing behind the Iranian team with Polish mate Jacek Teler; Spanish mountaineer Luis M. Barbero was last seen near the summit and was reported lost some days later by his team mates down in BC.

GI summits – Veikka Gustafsson completes the 14x8000ers list! Following a 16-year long quest, Finnish climber Veikka Gustafsson is now one of the very few men in the world to have climbed all the 14x8000ers without supplementary O2. The victory came on July 26, when Veikka and his climbing mate Kazuya Hiraide (Japan) reached the summit of Gasherbrum 1 together with Bulgarian mountaineers Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov, Boyan Petrov, and Nikolay Valkov.

G1 summit push Polish Jacek Teler, Carlos Soria’s team are on a summit push at the time of this publishing while FTA hopes a summit attempt on Tuesday. Korean Oh Eun-sun and her team hope for summit today, Sunday, Black Yak told ExWeb correspondent Kyu Dam Lee. Oh will shoot for the top straight from C3 in order to take advantage of the weather window.

Latok I Oscar Perez and Alvaro Novellon are attempting the unclimbed north face of Latok 1 in alpine style. “Should everything go well, we’ll spend about seven or eight days on the wall,” they told their home team from BC. “That is just an approximate amount of time – since no one has climbed the face completely, we have no references.”

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /26/ – Week in Review.

All eyes are on Broad Peak where a summit push was planned for this weekend. Climbers on GIII posted a thrilling tale of a hairy rescue; while a first ascent of Karim Sar was proudly annunced.

Several interviews went up in the polar section on top of a James Bond-style update about Thule’s (Greenland) ballistic missile early warning radar.

Still, it was Miss Go’s fate on Nanga Parbat that stole most headlines last week.

Nanga Parbat: Among other rescues lately, Askari Aviation (“The Fearless Five”) in Pakistan retrieved Miss Go’s remains on Nanga Parbat. ExWeb’s Korean sources report that the body has arrived in Seoul, Korea, accompanied to the mortuary by expedition leader Jae-Soo Kim. Go’s family reportedly said that some of her ashes will go to Miss Oh and Ji Hyuk Kim to be scattered on the three mountains she had left to summit.

In Korea, some local climbers said that media, sponsors and the “first-ism” of society all fueled a competition between Miss Go and Miss Oh – forcing the climbers to take undue risks. Go’s older brother however replied that his sister and Miss Oh were friends, and never competed with each other. As for the sponsors, “My sister didn’t have enough money to climb, so they helped her,” Seok-Kyun Go said.

Joao Garcia’s Nanga Parbat debrief: “the fixed rope where Miss Go fell was removed” When it comes to fellow climbers, usually Joao Garcia tries to be a diplomat. Not so in his debrief from Nanga Parbat. The veteran climber was upset that the upper rope-fixing task was mostly left to a handful climbers and moreover – the rope where Miss Go fell (and which he had fixed) had been cut.

Denis Urubko had a similar experience on Nanga in 2003, RussianClimb reported: A mint, high-quality rope he fixed at the rock section above Camp 2 on Nanga Parbat had been replaced by short pieces of old rope while he was gone and Denis fell. Only his fast reaction saved him; he had time to push off the slope and prevent to go head over heels: “All was like a slow cartoon, flying some meters with my arms and legs spread out, I caught hold of a rock at the edge of precipice,” Denis wrote.

Gerfried Göschl’s Nanga Parbat debriefs: ÖAV expedition leader Gerfried Göschl posted a fast report on the circumstances surrounding Wolfgang Köblinger’s fatal accident in the commercial part of his Nanga Parbat expedition; and answered Joao’s debrief. “My team brought the most rope and fixing gear,” he said, “it’s normal that if one provides more material and faces higher costs the others fix more.” As for Miss Go; “Porters of ALL expeditions decided to cut ropes from safer places and fix them in the more dangerous parts of the route above C2,” Gerfried explained, threatening Joao with a lawsuit for defamation.

(Ed note): While people have a right to defend their honor; they also have a right to express opinions about wrong-doings they feel strongly about. In countries practicing free speech rights, a defamation lawsuit can only be successful if the offender knowingly makes false allegations with intent to damage. In foreign mountain fatalities especially; fact finding attempts must be open to a free debate without fear.

Gasherbrum III “Bruce struggled to remain conscious throughout the evening and by the night of the 10th he was drifting in and out of consciousness – outside the winds were howling and visibility had dropped to zero,” Bowie recalled the summit attempt last weekend. Read all about the emergency descent in a blizzard with a semi-unconscious Bruce in Bowie’s 3-part debrief.

K2: Human body parts protruding from the moraine on top of Michele Fait’s fatal accident, “the presence of death here is overwhelming,” said Sean Wisedale right before leaving K2’s BC together with Tunc Findik – both climbers have called their attempts off.

Gasherbrum I While most big teams have packed up and gone home, Veikka & Kazuya are ready to sit out and wait for their summit chance.

Gasherbrum II “Scottish conditions” Adele Pennington (JG) said about the weather that thwarted all summit pushes on the Gasherbrums.

Karim Sar (6,180m) first ascent Pat Deavoll (NZ) made a spectacular first ascent of Karim Sar (6,180m) on June 21st. Teaming up with Paul Hersey, Pat forged a route up the 2,600 meters tall south face. On the definitive summit push, she climbed the final 1000m alone while her climbing partner stayed at the top camp at 5100m. “The final 1000 meters took me 12 hours,” Pat told ExplorersWeb.

Spantik – Iranian ladies to the top Lady Iranian climbers Leila Ebrahimi, Parastou Abrishami, Shiva Farsi, Fereshteh Khademi-talab and Masoumeh Maleki are about to attempt Spantik, IMZ News reported.

Broad Peak Iran’s Arash expedition members planned to set up a second camp on the peak’s SW side this weekend.

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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Karakoram Summer 2009 expeditions wrap-up : Broad Peak summit watch, GIII attempt and incredible rescue debrief.

(K2Climb.net – Jul 17, 2009) Climbers on Broad Peak are expected to depart C3 for the summit tonight. Bids on K2 might follow next week. Veikka and Kazuya are among the few still holding on the Gasherbrums.

The attempt on GIII last week ended with an impressive rescue. Broad Peak

Broad Peak

Nearly 30 climbers reached C2 yesterday, planning for C3 today. Summit push will start midnight, weather pending.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Arash expedition members climbed to C1 on the peak’s SW side in a spell of good weather. A second camp is planned for tomorrow. “We have already fixed 1400 meters of ropes from BC at 4750m to 6000m through the last ten days.” Babazadeh told IMZ.

Nanga Parbat

Korean Go Mi-sun’s remains were retrieved yesterday and will be airlifted to Islamabad, Askari Aviation’s Lt. Col. Ilyas Ahmad confirmed to ExplorersWeb. Don Bowie at 7,300m on GIII

Gasherbrum III

Don, Guy, Bruce and Billy set off from BC towards GIII on July 6th, hoping to give the summit a shot by July 10th. Things didn’t go as planned though. Bruce Normand became sick at C4 (7,300m) on the night before the team’s summit push. His state worsened through the following day, while a storm unfolded outside – by the second night the situation became critical.

“Bruce struggled to remain conscious throughout the evening and by the night of the 10th he was drifting in and out of consciousness – outside the winds were howling and visibility had dropped to zero,” Bowie recalled. “The last O2 sat measurement I took in the night for Bruce was a staggeringly low 37%. I congratulated him for officially breaking the Guinness World Record for having the lowest oxygen sats and still being alive. He didn’t laugh.”

Read all about the emergency descent in a blizzard with a semi-unconscious Bruce in Bowie’s 3-part debrief debrief (last part to be posted today).


“We are planning to head back up the mountain in two waves to try and fix to C3 (7200m approx) over the weekend, as the weather will hopefully be good enough for a few days,” Jake Meyer reported from K2 BC yesterday.

Jorge Egocheaga and Martin Ramos are also headed from BC to C3 in one push tomorrow. “That will be our last acclimatization trip before the definitive summit push – which could be launched in a weather window expected next week,” Martin said.

Gasherbrum I

While several big teams have packed up and gone home, Veikka & Kazuya are ready to sit out and wait for their summit chance – no matter how long. “They are taking it easy and just relaxing at the Gasherbrum base camp, while they wait for the right climbing weather,” home team’s Tammisuo reported.

* Previous story  : – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/karakoram/

* Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /22/ – Week in Review.

Flights cancelled due to bad weather and mounting waiting lists forced Karakoram-bound teams to hit the bumpy and exposed KKH for a 25 hour ride to Skardu; at times with police escort.

Climbers reported high security also in Islamabad due to recent bomb attacks. The weather is another issue, snow packed peaks are reported by mountaineers high and low: Following a hard, week-long attempt in heavy snowfall, the French climbers aborted their Broad Peak summit push last weekend.

In other news; Mick Parker died unexpectedly following his Makalu summit, and Wade Johnson’s remains have been found. On the Arctic Ocean; the recent North Pole to Greenland expedition brought out another set of pioneers – and AdventureStats.

Mick Parker found dead in Kathmandu He summited Makalu (his 5th 8,000er without 02) on May 21st; on June 4th Australian Mick Parker (36) was found dead in his hotel in Kathmandu. The results of the post-mortem indicate his death was a combination of exhaustion, lingering effects of HAPE and alcohol, Mick’s British climbing partner Roland Hunter told ExWeb.

Wade Johnson’s remains found on E Gongga A second body was found in avalanche debris on China’s E Gongga last week – it was identified as Wade Johnson, 24, of Boulder, CO.

Don Bowie, Bruce Normand, Guy McKinnon, William (Billy) Pierson and David Fält reached BC on June 4th. Bruce, Guy, Billy and Don are currently out on a five day-attempt to reach the col between Gasherbrum 3 and 4. Following GIII, the climbers also hope to give GIV a try. “The glacier is blanketed by fresh snows which have accumulated almost daily since we arrived a week ago,” Don reported end last week, worried about the hidden crevasses underfoot.

Serap Jangbu Sherpa’s 14x8000ers With 11, 8000+meter summits bagged and hoping to become the first Sherpa 14x8000er summiteer; Serap Jangbu Sherpa is headed for Broad Peak and GI. Should he succeed, he would have only Nanga Parbat to go – a goal he plans to attempt in 2010, he told ExWeb’s Karrar Haidri in Islamabad.

Joao’s plan Portuguese Joao Garcia hopes to turn Nanga Parbat – which he attempted already in 1996 – into his 13th 8000er. Teaming up with Pakistani Amin Ulla, his K2 mate two years ago, “we’re climbing buddies, no more,” Joao told ExWeb. “We are each carrying our own gear and Amin makes his own climbing decisions.” Sleeping in an altitude tent during his brief visit home in Portugal since Manaslu, Joao hopes for shorter exposure on Nanga Parbat. “I just need to climb to C2 (6,000m) once, and then I’ll be ready to attempt the top,” he said.

Castagna and Casarotto for BP+GI double header Italian climbers Cristina Castagna and Giampaolo Casarotto are headed for Broad Peak and GI.

Simone and Denis win the Eiger Award The prestigious Eiger award went this year to Winter Makalu summiteers Italian Simone Moro and Kazakh Denis Urubko.

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

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