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

* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan


** zapraszam na relacje z wypraw polskich himalaistów.

AddThis Feed Button


Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, take 4: Serial summiteers, lower peaks, new routes, rescues and Sherpa racers.

Here goes yet another piece of the huge Everest and Himalaya chronicle compiled by ExWeb contributor Rodrigo Granzotto. The Brazilian stats ace is now focusing on massive 8000er summiteers, lower peaks, new routes, amazing rescues and Sherpas racing for the ’14x’ mark.

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle: part 4
by Rodrigo Granzotto Peron


The first climber to reach 8000er summits 20 times was Juanito Oiarzabal (SPA). He now has 23 (or possibly 24), the actual world record (1*). So far, Juanito has repeated EV, K2, KG, MK, CH, G1 and G2 (Annapurna 2010 is contested). He is the first person to repeat the Top Three (two summits on EV, on K2 and on KG).

The second climber to summit 20x8000ers was Ed Viesturs (USA), on Annapurna in 2005. After some years of absence, he came back last year as part of the expedition organized by First Ascent. With seven summits on Everest, Ed now has 21 main 8000ers.

Several Sherpas have also broken the 20k barrier recently. The list includes Danuru (IMG guide), with 22 main 8000ers; Phurba Tashi (Himex guide), who summited Everest twice in 2010, also with 22; Apa, who ascended Everest for the 20th time, and is the first person to break the 20k barrier on just one 8000er; Tshering Dorje II Sherpa (Rolwaling Excursion), on his second summit of Makalu, now has 20. Mingma Tshering (Jagged Globe), who has 20 as well. In addition, both Chuwang Nima and Lhakpa Rita I, guides for Alpine Ascents, summited 20 times. So, now several outfits can be proud to have 20k Sherpa guides.

Situation of those who have conquered most of the main 8000ers:

23 Juanito Oiarzabal (SPA) (24 if including Annapurna)
22 Danuru Sherpa (NEP) [IMG]
22 Phurba Tashi Sherpa (NEP) [Himex]
21 Ed Viesturs (USA)
20 Apa Sherpa (NEP)
20 Chuwang Nima Sherpa (NEP) [Alpine Ascents]
20 Lhakpa Rita I Sherpa (NEP) [Alpine Ascents]
20 Mingma Tshering I Sherpa (NEP) [Jagged Globe]
20 Tshering Dorje II Sherpa (NEP) [Rolwaling Excursion]
19 Ang Rita Sherpa (NEP)
19 Chuldim Ang Dorje Sherpa (NEP) [Adventure Consultants]
19 Kami Rita I Sherpa (NEP) [Alpine Ascents]
18 Denis Urubko (KAZ)
18 Nima Gombu Sherpa (NEP)
18 Norbu (Nuru) Sherpa (NEP)
18 Park Young-Seok (S.K.)
18 Pasang Dawa (Pando) Sherpa (NEP)
18 Reinhold Messner (ITA)
17 Nima Dorje I Sherpa (NEP)
17 Ralf Dujmovits (GER)
17 Serap Jangbu Sherpa (NEP)
17 Sergio Martini (ITA)
17 Um Hong-Gil (S.K.)
17 Veikka Gustafsson (FIN)

An increasing number of climbers are between ten and 16 summits on 8000ers. In fact, more than 100 alpinists, including, for example, the recent 10k summiteers Simone Moro, Kim Chang-Ho, Palden Namgye Sherpa, Speed Pemba Sherpa, Vernon Tejas and Jorge Egocheaga Rodriguez.

And what is the absolute limit for the collectors? There is no limit at all. For example, if Juanito finishes his “double race”, he would end his journey with 14×2=28, plus two more summits on Cho Oyu–30 in total (30k). Sherpas could go even further. For example, a Sherpa beginning his career now at 20 years of age and working for an outfit at the rate of two-expeditions per year (EV in spring and CH in autumn) would enter the year of his 50th birthday with, more or less, sixty 8000ers summited (60k). With the current speed, we will start to see 30k climbers very soon–about three to four years from now.


I–Changtse (7,538m)

It is hard to be a lower satellite of such a colossal peak like Everest. Those peaks below the umbrella of Chomolungma are most of the time forgotten. It is the case of Changtse (7,538m), the highest sub-peak of the Everest massif in Tibet. Only 12 ascents registered, by 52 climbers, the last one in 1992.

This season, Alex Abramov (RUS), the leader of the respectful Seven Summits Club outfit, decided to end the hiatus, and summited Changtse with three Sherpas, on a partially new route (North Col South Ridge).

II–Takargo (6,771m)

It is a new year for a new virgin 6000er to the collection of these two great climbers who refuse to join the stream and, instead, look for challenging routes on lower peaks. The curriculum of David Gottlieb (USA) and Joe Puryer (USA) is coming to be plenty of luminous gems: 2008–Kang Nachugo (6,735m); 2009–Jobo Rinjang (6,778m); 2010–Takargo (6,771 m).

The first ascent of Takargo was performed in late winter (March 11-12). According to the sketches on the expedition website, the line goes up on the middle of the East Flank, then traverses the entire face to the extreme left, gaining the upper ridge that is entirely traversed back to the right up to the summit. The route literally makes an “S”.

By the way, the other expedition on Takargo, under leadership of Malgorzata Teresa Jurewicz (POL), was unsuccessful.

For the record: Talking about winter, there were some more activities in the coldest season of the year. Andy Parkin (UK) and Victor Saunders (UK) tried Lobuche West Peak (6,119m), but no cigar. Shinji Sato led an expedition to Khatung Kang (6484m), but gave up at 6,100 meters. And the major headline in winter was Renan Ozturk (USA) and Cory Richards (CAN) who ascended the Central Pillar of the S Face of Taboche (6,495m), a technically difficult route in pure winter weather.

III–Kojichuwa Chuli (6,439m)

Under leadership of Michihiro Honda, three Japanese climbers–Ken Fujikawa, Yuta Kawamura and Satoshi Kimoto–performed the first ascent of Kojichuwa Chuli, another beautiful 6000er first summited this season. The three previous expeditions (two from Spain in 2008 and 2009, and one from Japan in 2009) were unsuccessful.

IV–Ekdant (6,100m) and Kartik (5,115m)

Portuguese climbers Daniela Teixeira and Paulo Roxo are also “out of the stream”. They are always aiming for new routes, both virgin and seldom visited peaks. This season they paid a visit to Garwhal Himalaya and opened two alpine-style new routes. On Ekdant they performed the second ascent (the first complete new route on an Himalayan peak by climbers from Portugal); and on Kartik they opened a brand-new line: Directa Lusitana.


I–Lhotse (W Face route and Kazakh upper variant)

The incredible Denis Urubko (KAZ) performed solo on this new route on the West Face of Lhotse. He went on the high slopes of the fourth highest mountain and opened an upper variant that differs from the original Swiss Route of 1956. According to the sketches released to the press, the route is equal to the route of 1956 until 8,000 meters. Then, instead of traversing the upper S Col plateau to the couloir that leads to the summit, Denis went to the left, traversed the entire rock bands to the right, and then went to the summit by the ridge. This is the first new route on Lhotse in the past two decades and it is the first new route on the West Face since 1956.

Denis so far opened new lines on Broad Peak (SW Face, 2005), Manaslu (NE Face, 2006), Cho Oyu (SE Face, 2009) and Lhotse (W Face upper variant, 2010). An astonishing curriculum!

For the record: Lhotse is still the 8000er with less different routes. The regular W Face has only two: Swiss 1956 and Kazakh 2010. The dangerous and difficult S Flank has also two lines: Russian 1990 and Slovenian 1990, while the challenging E Face is completely virgin. Except for the standard route, none of the other routes were completely repeated. So, only four routes in 54 years. In comparison K2 has 11 routes and variants and Everest has 21.

II–Makalu (SW Face–Ukrainian Route)

The south side of Makalu, divided into two portions (SW Face and SE Face), has had several successful routes over the years: SE Ridge Complete (Japanese Route, 1970); Slovenian Route (1975); S Pillar (Czech/Slovak Route, 1976); SE Ridge and E Face (S Korean Route, 1982); and Beghin Route (1989). However, in the last two decades this flank has been neglected. In fact, the last new line on Makalu was a variant to the French Route, performed by Iñaki, Vallejo, Txikon, Martinez, and Ogwyn in 2004.

In 2010 several different expeditions explored this mighty face of Makalu.

A British expedition, under leadership of Colin Scott, tried again the SE Ridge Complete. Previously, Colin had led two expeditions on this route, one in 2004 and the other in 2008, without success. The American expedition of Chris Warner and Marty Schmidt aimed a new line on the southern slopes of Makalu. Warner, with HAPE symptoms, had to be airlifted out of the mountain. Schmidt tried alone, but gave up before summiting.

The Ukrainian team to the SW Face was led by Valentin Simonenko and Yuri Klugov, and comprised of several climbers who conquered Himalchuli in 2007. After installing five altitude camps, the first rope–Serguey Pugachov and Sasha Zakolodny–could not proceed to the summit. Two days later, the second rope–Dmitry Venslavovsky, Serguey Bublik and Vladimir Roshko–made it to the highest point. As reported, the crux was a barrier of rocks from 8,300 to 8,400 meters.

The new line follows the Slovenian Route of 1975 on the lower parts, then at the point it intersects the Beghin Route of 1989 inflects to the left until touching the W Pillar on c7,600 meters, following it to the main summit. The summiteers down climbed via the regular route, completing the third traverse on Makalu (Himalayan Database registers two previous traverses: Marc Batard, 1988, and Pierre Beghin, 1989).

For the record: The Ukrainians, mainly Serguey Bershov and Vladislav Terzyul, have participated in the opening of several very hard routes on 8,000ers, such as: Everest, SW Face (1982); Kangchenjunga, NE Ridge [traverse] (1989); Lhotse, S Face (1990); Annapurna, NW Face (1996); and Manaslu, SE Face – SE Spur (2001). Now, with Makalu, SW Face (2010), it is time for a new generation to keep the flame burning.


Pakistani Army’s helicopter pilots are famous for the audacious and difficult rescues in high altitudes. The most known episode was the dramatic rescue of Tomaz Humar (SLO), trapped at almost 7,000 meters at the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat in 2005.

Helicopter activity is very dangerous in thin air. So these pilots who risk their own lives to take stranded climbers out of the mountain are truly heroes. Nevertheless, the higher the riskier. The highest rescue operation by a chopper took place on Kamet in 2004 at 7,083 meters by an Indian Air Force’s SA315 LAMA.

In spring of 2010, Air Zemmatt (SWZ) and Fishtail Air (NEP) joined forces to provide the first standby helicopter rescue service in Himalaya, doing in Nepal the same incredible job that Pakistan’s pilots had performed over the past decade on Karakoram. As soon as the ‘season’ started to heat up, the service proved to be extremely necessary. On April 23 the body of a dead climber–Philip Ulrich (DEN)–was airlifted out of Kyajo Ri (6,186 m). Then came well succeeded operations on Manaslu (S Korean climbers), on Makalu (Chris Warner), on Dhaulagiri (Chinese climbers), among several others.

Since climbing 8000ers became touristic, it is clearly important to create a strong security and support structure to help those tourists who have had problems on the mountains. The joint operation between Air Zemmatt and Fishtail Air is one of the most important steps in this field. And the Spring of 2010 was really a landmark of air rescue.


There is another “race” going on, but of course without the media coverage that the womens race had. Several Sherpas are engaged in being the first Nepali to summit all 14. In spring 2010, Serap Jangbu and Mingma I were on top of the list with 11 8000ers summited (Mingma would later add NP and GI in later months).

Evolution line of the Sherpas collectors:

First to 1x8000er: Phu Dorje I, Khumjung (EV 1965)
First to 2x8000ers: Urkien Tshering (1977)
First to 3x8000ers: Nga Temba II (1981)
First to 4x8000ers: Ang Rita (1986)
First to 5x8000ers: Nima Temba II (1994)
First to 6x8000ers: Nima Temba II (1994)
First to 7x8000ers: Nima Dorje (2000)
First to 8x8000ers: Mingma I (2004)
First to 9x8000ers: Serap Jangbu (2006)
First to 10x8000ers: Serap Jangbu (2006)
First to 11x8000ers: Serap Jangbu (2009)

Ed. Note: On an email to ExplorersWeb, Nicholas Chaigneau states that Mingma I summited NP on July 11th and G1 on August 5th. Thus “he only needs KG to complete the list (he’s now the first nepali who climbed all pakistani 8000ers);” Nicholas notes.

Bob Schelfhout then provided futher details: “July10, Iranian climber Azim Gheychi Saz summited Nanga Parbat. He was accompanied by Sherpa climber Mingma, who summited his 12th 8000er.Later in the season, on August 5th, Mingma Sherpa summited Gasherbrum I with the Korean expedition. That brings the tally to 13 for Mingma, with only Kangchenjunga left.”

Stats on this article correspond to spring 2010 season. Summer 8000+m summits have not yet been filed up. These will be hoever included in a summer season chronicle soon.

Sherpas with most 8000ers summited:

11 Serap Jangbu
11 Mingma I (in spring, 2010)
9 Dawa Wangchuk
7 Nima Dorje I
7 Pema Tshering
6 Nima Temba II
6 Phurba Chhiri
6 Dawa Tshering I
6 Tshering Dorje I
6 Tshering Dorje III

The first Sherpa to declare his intention of summiting all 8000ers was Serap Jangbu. Serap is from Khumjung and was born in 1969. His first 8000er was Kangchenjunga, where he miraculously escaped alive after falling into a crevasse. Instead on working mainly on EV and CH, like most Sherpas, he opted to venture on other peaks. Among other accomplishments, he summited K2 twice, scaled the SW face of SH and tried a new route on the incredible SW face of EV with Park Young-Seok. He has 17x8000ers in all, and still needs G1, BP and NP to complete the race. He is in Pakistan, and will try NP and G1.

Mingma I is also a freelancer, from Nurbu Chaur and born in 1978. He had a meteoric career from 2000 to 2004, when he grabbed nine different main 8000ers. Then, no more news about him until the beginning of the last spring season on Nepal, where he performed a difficult double-header. First, Annapurna with Edurne Pasaban. Nine days later, Dhaulagiri with the Iranians. It was the fifth AN and DH combo ever, and the one in less time (previous record was Andre Georges, in 1996 [ten days]). Mingma only needs KG to complete the list.

Other two Sherpas who pursuit all 14 are Dawa Wangchuk (the partner of Oh Eun-Sun) and Tshering Dorje II (from Rowlwaling Excursion).

Let’s stay tuned this summer, because the Sherpa’s race will become even hotter, since the two Nepalis with the most 8000ers can end the season with 13x8000ers each.

(1*)ExWeb Note, Aug26: Juanito’s summit of Annapurna is valid according to mountaineering tradition and Explorersweb. The views expressed is the author’s only. Check a related story here.

NOTE: This Chronicle is based on preliminary data and under analysis. Some numbers will be revised in the following months, with possibly a few corrections made by then.

* Previous story :

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, take 3: Firsts, records and 14x8000ers happy endings.

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, take 2: The final chapter of the women’s race.

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, Take 1: 8000er Collectors, Everest Serial Summiteers and Lost Climbers.

* Related Links :

StatCrunch: ladies of thin air – beyond Wanda’s footprints.

Oh Eun-Sun summits Annapurna – becomes the first woman 14x8000er summiteer!

Edurne Pasaban the first European and second woman in the world to complete the 14x8000ers.

Piotr Pustelnik summits Annapurna – bags the 14x8000ers!

Veikka Gustafsson completes the 14×8000ers list!

Andrew Lock completes the 14×8000ers list!

* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan

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


AddThis Feed Button

zapraszam do subskrypcji mego bloga

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, take 3: Firsts, records and 14x8000ers happy endings.

This third part on Rodrigo Granzotto’s Everest and Himalaya Chronicle focuses on climbers joining the 14x8000er summiteers’ club, historic records, and other “firsts” achieved in spring 2010. It also hits the bull’s eye on some doubts and controversies which made waves during the season.


As predicted on last year’s Chronicle, the list of climbers with all 14 would double or more in the next few years, and we are starting to see just this. In 2009 four climbers ended the race: Denis Urubko, Ralf Dujmovits, Veikka Gustafsson and Andrew Lock. This year, so far, four more: João Garcia, Piotr Pustelnik, Oh Eun-Sun and Edurne Pasaban. The list had 14 names by the end of 2008, and now there are 22 (an increase of 57%).

The next hot spot will be K2, where Maxut Zhumayev, Vassili Pivtsov, Serguey Bogomolov and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner are in position to also join the club, therefore, the list will almost double in just one year (2009-2010). Also, as dark horse, there is Serap Jangbu Sherpa, who still needs NP, G1 and BP.

Spring Season: those who concluded the quest for all 14:

João Garcia: the first Portuguese and the eleventh person to summit all 14 without oxygen. The career of João started on Cho Oyu (1993) where he opened a partially new variant with Wielicki and Pustelnik and then Nanga Parbat. After the tragedy on Everest (1999), he suffered severe frostbite and needed to be helped down by the Brazilian couple Paulo and Helena Coelho. But João was strong and persistent. He recovered and came back to the game with a strong appetite. He succeeded during 2004-2010 by finishing the last ten 8000ers.

Piotr Pustelnik: the third climber from Poland to end the race. Very respected not only for his skills but also R) . for humanitarianism works in helping so many times with climbers who were in trouble (K2 in 1996, BP in 1999 and AN in 2006). Annapurna–the last 8000er on his path–proved to be tough. Two tries on the S Face (2004 and 2005), one on the E Ridge (2006) and one on the N Face (2008), which all ended without success. After 2006, Pustelnik stated: “This mountain, which I tried to conquer for the third time, sucked out all my climbing skills and my humanity.” But fortunately he came back and finally conquered Annapurna and ended an almost 20-years journey among the 8000ers. He is also the oldest climber to conquer all 14 at 58 years old.

Oh Eun-Sun: accomplished what seemed impossible. In 2007, with only three 8000ers summiting (G2, EV and SH), she was light-years away from Edurne, Gerlinde and Nives. But she had big plans and, with support of strong sponsors, unlimited money and a formidable structure; she summited eleven 8000ers in about three years. On Gasherbrum I (2009) she left Edurne behind and become the leading female climber. Consequently, this spring she concluded her quest as the first woman to summit all 14.

Edurne Pasaban: the third climber from Spain and the second female climber to summit all 8000ers. Her first peak was Everest, with Ivan Vallejo and Silvio Mondinelli, two of her most regular partners. After climbing some mountains, she joined the Al Filo de Lo Imposible, a television show for TVE, and also had sponsorship and structure to pledge herself to the race. With two summits this Season (Annapurna and exactly one month later Shishapangma), she succeeded. It is interesting to point out that she has conquered all 14 in a very short time: eight years and 11 months (faster than her, only Jerzy Kukuczka, Park Young-Seok, Han Wang-Young and Denis Urubko).



First Austrian women–Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Sylvia Studer, Claudia Studer
First Bangladeshi–Musa Ibrahim
First British to summit 8x–Kenton Cool
First Central-American to summit EV from both sides–Julio Bird (P.R.)
First climber to summit 20x–Apa Sherpa (NEP)
First climbers to summit twice in five different seasons–Phurba Tashi (NEP) and Dorje Sonam Gyalzen (NEP)
First Finn woman–Carina Raihasta
First Greek woman–Anastasia Iliopulou
First Guatemalan woman–Andrea Cardona
First Hungarian to summit 2x–Anita Ugyan
First Irish to summit 3x–Noel Richmond Hanna
First Italian to summit 4x–Simone Moro
First woman from Central America–Andrea Cardona (GUA)
First woman to summit the Nepali Route for three straight years–Melissa Sue Arnot (USA)
First Maltese–Robert Gatt, Greg Attard and Marco Cremona
First Mexican to summit 4x–Yuri Contreras Cedi
First Montenegrins–Niksicani Dordije Vujicic, Marko Blecic, Dragutin Vujovic
First New Zealander to summit 7x–Mark Woodward
First mother-and-daughter team from Tibetan side–Sylvia and Claudia Studer (AUT)
First Omani–Khalid Sulaiman Humaid Al-Siyabi
First South American disabled–Nelson Cardona (COL)
First South Korean to summit 4x–Heo Young-Ho
First western brothers to summit together two consecutive years–Willie and Damian Benegas (ARG/USA)
Oldest Brazilian–Manoel Morgado, 53
Oldest Brazilian woman–Cleo Weidlich, 46
Oldest Finn–Mika Pitkamaki, 40
Oldest Danish woman–Stina Dalgaard Pedersen, 35
Oldest Norwegian–Tore Rasmussen, 60
Oldest Portuguese–Angelo Felgueiras, 46
Oldest Turkish–Ali Nasuh Mahruki, 42
Second western climber to summit Everest 10x–Guillermo Willie Benegas (ARG/USA)
Western climber with more summits (12)–Dave Hahn (USA)
Youngest climber–Jordan Romero (USA), 13
Youngest British woman–Bonita Gina Norris, 25
Youngest Indian–Arjun Vajpayee, 16
Youngest Indian woman–Bhagyashree Manohar Sawant, 18
Youngest Lebanese–Elia Saikaly, 31


Youngest woman climber–Tamara Lunger (ITA), 23


First Dutch–Arnold Coster
First French woman–Sandrine De Choudens
First Greek–Zaharias Kiriakakis
First Swiss woman–Alexia Zuberer
First Turkish–Tunç Findik
Youngest Ukrainian–Vladimir Roshko, 27

IV–Cho Oyu:

First South American to summit 2x–Maximo Kausch (ARG)


First Iranians–Azim Gheychisaz, Iraj Maani, Vaase Mousavi, Majid Nematollahi and Mahmoud Hashemi


First Romanian–Horia Colibasanu
First Spanish woman–Edurne Pasaban
First woman to summit all 14–Oh Eun-Sun (S.K.)
First woman to Top Eight Nepal–Edurne Pasaban (SPA)
First Westerner to summit AN 2x–Peter Hamor (SLK)
First Westerner to summit from both sides–Peter Hamor (SLK)
Oldest Russian climber–Evgeny Vinogradsky, 63
Oldest Polish–Piotr Pustelnik, 58
Oldest South Korean woman–Oh Eun-Sun, 43
Oldest Spaniard–Juanito Oiarzabal, 54
Youngest Polish woman–Kinga Baranowska, 35

VII–Shisha Pangma:

First Spanish woman–Edurne Pasaban
Oldest Japanese–Kazuyoshi Kondo, 68
Second Spanish woman to summit all 14–Edurne Pasaban
Third country were all 14 were summited by women–Spain

VIII–Some doubts during the season:

1. Can the summit of Juanito Oiarzabal on Annapurna be considered valid?

Juanito Oiarzabal (SPA) is one of the most amazing climbers of all time. His restless spirit is bonded to the 8000ers, and for him the end of one “race” was only the beginning of another. Now the Basque wants the “double race”–to be the first climber to summit all 14 twice. He has repeated so far EV, K2, KG, MK, CH, G1 and G2.

On April 27 he stood at the summit of Annapurna to become the second westerner to top out this peak twice. But can his “summit” really be considered valid?

Polemics emerged because Juanito did not come down on foot. He and Carlos Pauner were airlifted from C4 (6,900m) by chopper. In an interview with Desnivel on May 5, the Spaniard said that he “went down by helicopter because of the circumstances–not out of need”. He added: “The chopper was there after flying over the area several times searching for Tolo, then we went down [by helicopter] because of the circumstances–not because we needed to.”.

So the helicopter flight was not a rescue operation. Juanito was not injured, nor ill, nor in immediate danger. He simply was physically fatigued and opted to go out of the mountain; he could have descent on foot–“by his own means”, his words– but by chopper for comfort reasons. This event aroused the attention of those who are concerned about stats with the need to rethink this sport because helicopters are becoming quite popular on Himalaya and Karakoram–not just because of rescue operations. Several climbers are being airlifted to BCs off the mountain which means that it is time to define what climbing expeditions are considered valid and invalid.

For example, can an acclimatized climber can be airlifted to Everest’s South Col, go for the summit and then descend to South Col just in time to take a “air ride” off the mountain? And can an ABC-Summit-ABC endeavor be considered valid just to avoid the dangerous Khumbu Icefall? If Juanito’s “summit” remains valid, this will open a new possibility for climbers. It would only be necessary to ascend the mountain to the summit. On the descent, one could be picked up at any point by a chopper and go home with the “summit” validated.

The debate is open.

ExWeb Note, Aug26: Juanito’s summit of Annapurna is valid according to mountaineering tradition and Explorersweb. The views expressed is the author’s only.

2. Which is the standard route of Shisha Pangma?

The author was questioned by email about the regular route of Shishapangma. The smallest of all 8000ers is a very curious mountain. Looking briefly at numbers, one can assume that it is not a popular peak with only 304 people ascending. But, if included in stats for the climbers who reached the fore summit (Shishapangma Central), numbers go very high with 1,078 people ascending in total.

The difference is explained with two words: summit ridge. The regular route on the N Face (Chinese 1964) and its several variants conduct to Shishapangma Central. Since the ridge between it and the main summit is very dangerous and exposed, most of the climbers decide to stop on the lower fore summit (many of them claiming to be “summiteers”, in spite of everybody knowing that they are a literal ridge away from success).

Because of this in particular, several climbers have been seeking alternatives, going to the left (E Face) to avoid the ridge and proceed directly to the main summit. Therefore, new lines start to appear. The first were the Austrians Obojes and Putz (1980): “Our climbers followed the Chinese first-ascent route to C4. On the summit slopes they went farther east and then climbed straight to he northeast ridge, which they followed to the top” (source: AAJ). This route was repeated for the first time by all the teams in 2010, totaling 19 summits.

Iñaki Ochoa de Olza, more or less, followed this line in 2006. But he went lower on the face, below the serac band, and after it rejoined the straight line on the center to the top. This variation was repeated by Danielle Fischer (USA) and Lhakpa Rita Sherpa (NEP) in 2007. However, they mistakenly went to the Central Summit, and by Andrew Lock (AUS) and Neil Ward (UK) in 2009.

Finally, to the extreme east, after traversing the entire face to the NE Ridge, there is the ‘Russian Route’ of 2002 (Bogomolov and Oleynik), which has not been repeated.

On the other side of the peak, it is also possible to say that the ‘British Route’ on the SW Face of Shishapangma is a regular route. The highest point was reached 57 times by this line from the year 2000 onward. Therefore, 41% of the ascents were performed by it, which makes it a standard also. Of the technical routes on 8000ers this is the most popular indeed.

In conclusion, Shishapangma (like Everest and K2) has two standard routes (Chinese 64 and British 82). In the future, if the Austrian Variant (80) becomes popular, it could transform SH into the first 8000er with three regular routes (or maybe the ‘Chinese Route’ could even be abandoned).

3. The Romeros are the first “family” to summit Everest together?

The wonder boy Jordan Romero (USA), the youngest climber to summit Everest (May 22), made it to the top side-by-side with his father Paul Romero (USA) and his stepmother Karen Lundgren (USA). On their personal website, they proclaim themselves the first family to summit together.

The concept of “family” varies from country to country. The traditional is father, mother and children, but socio-affective instances can make the concept have several more variations. In 2008 the Mallory’s (Canada) summited together on Everest (Dan and his sons Adam and Alan). On May 23, 2010 the Studers (Austria) topped out the Tibetan Flank of the mountain (Wilfred [father], Sylvia [mother], and Claudia [daughter]).

So, if we use the “traditional” definition of family, the Romero’s would be the first. But if used in the non-traditional sense (socio-affective), then they are not.

Also in 2010, other “families” also grabbed the summit:

a. Willie Benegas and Damian Benegas–brothers
b. Lhakpa Rita and Kami Rita–brothers
c. Ruairidh Finlayson and Fionnlagh Finlayson (UK)–brothers
d. Malgorzata Pierz-Penkala and Daniel Mizera (POL)–mother and son
e. John Dahlem and Ryan Dahlem (USA)–father and son
f. Brandon Chalk and Kristine Chalk (USA)–husband and wife
g. Vladimir Fetjek and Denise Fetjek (USA)–husband and wife
h. Richard Birrer and Richard Birrer Jr. (USA)–father and son
i. Bryan Chapman and Michael Chapman (USA)–brothers.

NOTE: This Chronicle is based on preliminary data and is under analysis. Some numbers will be revised in the following months, with possible corrections that might need to be made.

* Previous story :

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, take 2: The final chapter of the women’s race.

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, Take 1: 8000er Collectors, Everest Serial Summiteers and Lost Climbers.

* Related Links :

StatCrunch: ladies of thin air – beyond Wanda’s footprints.

Oh Eun-Sun summits Annapurna – becomes the first woman 14x8000er summiteer!

Edurne Pasaban the first European and second woman in the world to complete the 14x8000ers.

Piotr Pustelnik summits Annapurna – bags the 14x8000ers!

Veikka Gustafsson completes the 14×8000ers list!

Andrew Lock completes the 14×8000ers list!

* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan

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


AddThis Feed Button

zapraszam do subskrypcji mego bloga

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, take 2: The final chapter of the women’s race.

Here goes the second take of the huge spring 2010 Everest and Himalaya spring 2010 season chronicle, by stats expert and ExplorersWeb contributor Rodrigo Granzotto Peron. Today, the lights and shadows of the tight race between Edurne Pasaban and Oh Eun-Sun for the first female 14x8000ers ascent.

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s end Chronicle: part 2
by Rodrigo Granzotto Peron


I–Background of the Final Chapter

Not long ago Edurne Pasaban (SPA) was pretty sure she would be the first female climber to summit all fourteen 8000ers. With Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (AUT) and Nives Meroi (ITA), her closest competitors, aiming difficult routes and winter climbs instead of simply grabbing 8000er by 8000er, Edurne was meant to be the first. undefined

This certainty changed from 2008 onward when two new faces from Asia began to be noticed.

South Korean female climbers Oh Eun-Sun and Go Mi-Sun became 8000ers very fast. Go summited ten different main 8000ers in about two years, while Oh summited 11 in less than three years.

What was clear and sure for Edurne started to fade when she visualized the South Koreans approaching more and more on her numbers; then, on August 3, 2009, Oh Eun-Sun grabbed Gasherbrum I, therefore surpassing the famous Spanish climber. Go Mi-Sun would also achieve this mark, but a sad fatal fall on Nanga Parbat took her life.

Oh Eun-Sun told Chosun newspaper in March 2009: “Since there is no woman in the world who has climbed all 14 summits, I hope I will be the first”. One year later her words become a reality.

II–First Place (Or not?)

On April 27 Oh Eun-Sun stood on the top of Annapurna and became the first female climber to summit all 8000ers. The event was broadcasted live on KBS TV in what was the first television broadcast from the top of the most dangerous 8000er of all. It was the golden moment for this incredible South Korean who broke several records in the past few years: [1] first woman to summit four different main 8000ers in one calendar year (2008); [2] first female climber to TOP THREE (EV, K2, and KG) and to TOP FIVE (EV, K2, KG, LH, and MK); [3] first climber to summit four different main 8000ers in two consecutive years; and [4] first woman to summit all 14 main 8000ers!

Oh’s first summit was Gasherbrum II (1997), which she topped out with two legends from homeland: Park Young-Seok and Um Hong-Gil. After some years, she grabbed Everest (2004). After Shishapangma (2006), she pressed the “turbo button” and conquered Cho Oyu and K2 (2007), Makalu, Lhotse, Broad Peak and Makalu (2008), Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum I (2009), and Annapurna (2010). Her most regular climbing mates were Sherpas. First, she teamed-up with Thilen (from 2006 to 2008), then recently teamed up with Dawa Wangchuk and Pema Tshering (from 2008 to 2010). She used oxygen on EV and K2, but the others she went NOOX.

While Korea was filled with joy and happiness things were a little different in the largest country of the Iberian Peninsula.

Al Filo’s top climber Ferran Latorre published on his blog some doubts about Oh’s summit on Kangchenjunga. The main arguments are:

1. The summit pic was not taken on the highest point. The pic shows Oh on bare rock, while other pictures this year presents climbers on a snowy summit. Ferran concluded: “looking at the released photos of the ‘supposed’ summit of Kangchenjunga, I doubt she summited”.

2. The Sherpas that accompanied Oh would said to Edurne, in Annapurna BC, that the South Korean did not top out.

3. Some climbers say that it was not possible for a climber to go from 8,400 meters to the summit and back in just three hours and 40 minutes–that was the time Oh took to cover this distance, according to binocular watchers in Kangchenjunga’s BC.

What started as a simple comment on a personal website soon became a tsunami of catastrophic proportions on Spanish news and then around the globe.

III–The Darkest Hour of the Race:

The events that followed the declarations of Latorre were surely the darkest hour of the race.

Several accusations emerged–some of which the South Koreans could not personally defend because they were on the summit push of Annapurna–which included:

1. Complaints about the South Koreans on the “fixed ropes case” and that they did not properly manage their own garbage, therefore, polluting the slopes of Annapurna.

2. Montagnes Magazine presenting doubts about Oh’s summits, not only on KG, but also on Everest (2004), Cho Oyu (2007), Lhotse (2008) and Broad Peak (2008).

3. The declaration by Edurne Pasaban that the Sherpas of Miss Oh assured that she did not reach the highest point of Kangchenjunga. Even though Edurne was pressed to reveal the names of the Sherpas at first, she did not. However, afterwards, she did say: “The names are Dawa Wangchuk, Pema Tshering, Tshering Nurbu, Dawa Sange, Ong Dorje, Chumbi and Phu Dorje.” (It is important to point out that Edurne never said that “this Sherpa said this” or that “this Sherpa said that”–she only released the names in general.)

4. April 26 interview on Desnivel with Juanito Oiarzabal: “I believe she did not summit.”

5. April 28 interview on Desnivel with Edurne Pasaban: “The picture was not taken on the summit” and “the truth can be bought and there is a chance that the Sherpas [of Miss Oh] ‘go this way’.”

6. Juanito declared that “the solidarity on mountaineering is lost. Even more in the case of the South Koreans.” The critics were poised in the event of Tolo Calafat’s death on Annapurna. On that occasion, Oiarzabal thought that Oh Eun-Sun could have, but did not, sent her Sherpas on a rescue mission. Later, Juanito regretted his words when the South Korean female climber stated that the Sherpas were too tired to participate in the rescue and that it would be suicide to send them up again.

7. May 4 interview on Spiegel with Hans Kammerlander: “She’s a flash in the pan” and “She was taken to the top by her team.”

All the critics lead Miss Elizabeth Hawley, editor of Himalayan Database, to alter the registration of Oh Eun-Sun’s summit on KG from “clear” to “disputed”. It is important to point out, however, that “disputed” does not mean “not summited” or “unrecognized”, but only means that some climber presented suspects over a particular summit.

Later, when back from the summit bid, Oh Eun-Sun defended herself from the accusations. On a television conference in Seoul, the climbing Sherpas that went to the very summit of Kangchenjunga with Miss Oh– Dawa Wangchuk and Pema Tshering–confirmed her version of the story. However, the third Sherpa climber on that occasion–Nurbu Sherpa–had a different point of view. According to him, they stopped 150 vertical meters below the top (as consigned on Himalayan Database).

We all thought that the female climbers would give the world a good example, but things ended very sadly. Some people said that it is some sort of Edurne’s revenge for not being the first (something like ‘Since I am not the winner, this race will have no winner at all’). Others say that Oh Eun-Sun is a cheater and her summits are not clarified. No matter which side one chooses, the race ended with negative effects. And it is possible that this story will never end. The “disputed” mark would remain, since Edurne would have no purpose of retracting her accusations. On the other side, it is not necessary for a picture to validate a summit–the words of other climbers are enough, because there are hundreds of cases like this–and Oh Eun-Sun has the testimony of his two climbing Sherpas, one of them–Dawa Wangchuk–who stood at the top of KG four times. Possibly an endless mystery to the folklore of the race…

IV–The Aftershock

On the bright side of the story, the major lesson about these two South Korean female climbers is that it’s possible for someone, with unlimited financial resources and putting aside style concerns, to summit all 14 in a very short lapse.

Go Mi-Sun (Ko Mi-Young) summited her first 8000er in October of 2006, and would end the race in April of 2010, less than four years from the beginning. She would cut to half Kukuczka’s present record of seven years and 11 months. The same with Oh Eun-Sun. Discounting the 8000ers previous to the decision to grab all, she collected 11 peaks in about four years.

I received a curious e-mail from a climber saying that if Denis Urubko, Anatoli Boukreev, or Carlos Carsolio had unlimited money, they would end the race in a year or so. Pure speculation! But the South Korean female climbers proved that it is possible to complete the entire pack of 14 in the three to five year lapse.

Another conclusion is that it became very clear that from now on climbers must be divided into two groups.

One group is formed by those who are only interested in completing all 14–it does not matter how. For example: Oh Eun-Sun, Go Mi-Sun, Edurne Pasaban, Han Wang-Young. This group, with or without strong financial support, would climb with many “helpers”, such as guides, Sherpas or other climbing helpers, who are co-actors, and would go up on the most basic routes, trying nothing different in terms of alpinism, and using oxygen when necessary.

The other group–for example: Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Reinhold Messner, Denis Urubko–would be formed by those who face mountaineering as sport and tries to go beyond the limits, using a large spectrum of “tools”: speed ascents, taking advantage of new or difficult routes, doing winter climbing, going without bottled oxygen, etc….

V–Female collectors with at least one summit in spring

14 Oh Eun-Sun (S.K.)
14 Edurne Pasaban (SPA)
13 Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (AUT)
7 Kinga Baranowska (POL)
5 Eva Zarzuelo (SPA)
4 Sandrine De Choudens (FRA)

NOTE: This Chronicle is based on preliminary data and under analysis. Some numbers will be revised in the following months, with possibly a few corrections made by then.

* Previous story :

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, Take 1: 8000er Collectors, Everest Serial Summiteers and Lost Climbers.

* Related Links :

StatCrunch: ladies of thin air – beyond Wanda’s footprints.

Oh Eun-Sun summits Annapurna – becomes the first woman 14x8000er summiteer!

Edurne Pasaban the first European and second woman in the world to complete the 14x8000ers.

Piotr Pustelnik summits Annapurna – bags the 14x8000ers!

Veikka Gustafsson completes the 14×8000ers list!

Andrew Lock completes the 14×8000ers list!

* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan

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


AddThis Feed Button

zapraszam do subskrypcji mego bloga

Karakoram Summer 2010 expeditions.

Updated: June 14, 2010
Note: List is preliminary and subject to changes

K2 double headers
FTA for K2/Broad Peak

Field Touring Alpine has a 14 member team (including guides Fabrizio Zangrilli and Chris Szymiec) for BP, with 8 of them continuing on to K2 for our 3rd effort on the mountain.

K2 team will climb via the cesen route. According to Szymiec, this is a non-guided trip for experienced climbers. All members have summited at least one 8000er in the past.

Mike Horn – Pangaea expedition
Swizerland resident Mike Horn will lead a large, multinational team of youngsters along the Baltoro; he also has a climbing permit for both K2 and Broad Peak, together with another climber.
Polish Broad Peak & K2 expedition
Boguslaw Ogrrodnik will lead this 9-member team on K2 & BP.
Bulgarian Broad Peak & K2 expedition
Petar Georgiev is appointed leader of a 19 member team aiming for the BP+K2 double header.

K2 (8611)

Fredrik Ericsson back for a K2 ski-descent

Hoping to become the first person to ski the worlds three highest mountains, Swedish ski mountaineer Fredrik Ericsson is now returning to K2, teaming up with American alpine journalist Trey Cook.

Ericsson attempted to climb and ski K2 last year – the expedition came to a sad end when his mate Michele Fait fell to his death while skiing down from C2 on the Cesen route – the same line Ericsson plans to climb.

Fredrik Ericsson has completed ski descents on Peak Somoni, Shisha Pangma, Gasherbrum 2 and Dhaulagiri.

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner’s ultimate No-O2 8000er

After summitting Everest in spring this year, Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner will go for K2, hoping to become the first female to complete the 14x8000er quest without supplementary O2.
S. Korean K2 Expedition
Cha Moung Kwan is the leader of a S. Korean expedition on K2
Luis Benitez
Sharing FTA’s permit and returning to high altitude is multiple Everest summiter, guide and Nangpa La hero American Luis Benitez, leading a small but strong K2 team of three other climbers.
Georghe Dijmarescu
Another multiple Everest summiteer, American guide Georghe Dijmarescu is returning to K2 as a leader of an US/Europe expedition.

Italian K2 expedition

Giuseppe Pompili (leader), Adriano Dal Cin and Sergio Valentinie will try the Abruzzi Spur w/o O2 in late july, after a period of acclimatization at the Deosai plains. Logidtically an independent team, they are however sharing climbing permit with George Dijmarescu.
EV K2 CNR “Keep Baltoro/K2 clean” expedition
An Italian team by EV KK2 CNR, collaborating with several organizations in Pakistan plus the country’s Alpine Club, will launch two clean-up expeditions: one along the Baltoro valley and another to K2’s high camps where they hope to retrieve solid waste.

Broad Peak (8047)

Basque BAT team for Broad Peak’s three summits traverse

panish 14x8000er climber Alberto Iurrategi is teaming up with regular mates Juan Vallejo and Mikel Zabalza to repeat a feat done just once before: the complete traverse of Broad Peak’s three summits. The climb will go in alpine style.

Alberto & Co. are sharing permit with some other climbers.

Martin Gablik

Slovak Martin Gablik will attempt Broad Peak with four climbing mates.

Russian/Norwegian expedition
Aleksander Gamme and three others comprise this expedition.

Nanga Parbat (8125)

Polish Winter Himalaism 2010-2015 Expedition

winter pioneer Artur Hajzer is leading 11 mates on Nanga Parbat (mostly rookies on their first Himalayan experience, scorted by seasoned veterans). First to reach the mountain this year and climbing the Kinshoffer route on the Diamir side, the Poles hope the fast start will permit to attempt a hat-trick by climbing both Gasherbrums next.

Sharing the permit are Italians P.Michalski and S.L.Terra plus, separately, an American lady.

* see :

Nanga Parbat 2010: Polish Hajzer and Szymczak top-out Nanga Parbat!

Polish Pawlowski Nanga Parbat Expedition
Ryszard Pawlowski is leading nine fellow Poles. www.patagonia.com.pl
Korea Nanga Parbat Expedition
Hong Bo Seong and four other South Korean climbers will be on Nanga too.

Gasherbrum multiple climbs

GI+BP: Brazilian 10 Anos do Brasil no K2 expedition

10 years after summiting K2, Waldemar Niclevicz is back to Pakistan for an attempt on both Hidden Peak and Broad Peak. He is teaming up with regular mate Irivan Burda.

Don Bowie back to GIII+GIV
After a failed attempt due to bad conditionas last year, don Bowie is back to GIII and GIV together with another climbing mate. www.calpinist.com
Slovenian Gasherbrumx4 expedition

Slovenian Miha Habjan and team want all four: GI, II, V and VI.

GI (8068) & GII (8035) doubles

Altitude Junkies

Altitude Junkies’ Phil Crampton is leading an international team on both Gasherbrums.

Double-header climbers are Phil Crampton (UK/USA), Max Kausch (Argentina/UK), Arian Lemal (France), Samuli Mansikka (Finland), and Fredrik Strang (Sweden). Roo Dix (UK), Tachi Pesando (Italy) and Wally Reisinger (Canada) will go just for Gasherbrum II. www.altitudejunkies.com

Latin American GI+GII expedition
After joining up forces with Brazilians Waldemar Niclevicz and Irivan Burda on GI, Argentinean Hernan wilke and wife Monica (from Colombia), Colombians Lucho and Maria; plus Dunaj and Rodrigo from Guatemala will attempt GII.
Ludovic Challeat
French Ludovic is climbing GI and GII. His team includes Marc Dreyer, Jean-Marc Wojcik, Yves Blazer (on his 3rd 8000er), Christian Maurel and Pemba Sherpa from Katmandu.
Denis Urubko
Kazakh star-climber denis Urubko has applied for a climbing permit on both Gasherbrums.
Swiss GI+GII expedition
Swiss Rolf Traschsel and four other climbers will be also there for a GI+GII double-header.
Czech GI+GII Expedition
Radek Jaros is leading an 8-member team.
Jacek Teler
Jacek is back for a double GI+GII attempt, appointed as leader of an 8-member team.
GI (8068)
Italian GI north side Expedition
A team of all-star Italian climbers led by Agostino da Polenza will attempt Gasherbrum I north face, in Chinese territory.
GII (8035)
Nicola Campani
Italian Nicola is giving GII a shot.
Amical Alpin
Amical Alpin is launching a team led by Rainer Pircher.

Spires & Lower peaks

Gasherbrum V (6980)

Korean GV expedition

Kim Hung Il is giving GV a shot.

Kanjut Sar (7790)

US/Russian International expedition
Lev Loffe is appointed leader of a 13-member international team attempting Kanjut SAR (7,790 m) located in the Hispar Muztagh range (northern Pakistan).

Latok-I (7215)

David Falt Latok-I Expedition
Swede David Falt is attempting Latok-I.

Japanese Latok-I Expedition

Piolet dOr 2009 winner Yusuke Sato is leading a small party from Japan on latok I.

Spantik (7027)

Lithuanian Spantik Expedition

Lithuanian Saulius Rundickas is the head of a 5-member team on Spantik.

Tahu Ratum (6651)

British Expedition
Brit Luke Hunt and two climbing mates are climbing Tahu Ratum peak.

* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan

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


AddThis Feed Button

zapraszam do subskrypcji mego bloga

Himalaya 2010 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /18/ – Week in Review.

Mount Everest has had a large number of summits from both sides. Among the major events: Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner – in her 13th no-O2 8000er, Jordan Romero, 13, Apa Sherpa in his 20th Everest summit, Silvio Mondinelli, Abele Blanc, etc. On the third day of the current summit wave, wind has spiked and teams are describing tough conditions. Pushes and summits are reported also from Cho Oyu and word just arrived from RussianClimb that the Ukrainians summited Makalu via a new route. Go to ExplorersWeb for all the details. In other news:

Dhaulagiri inferno: Air Rescue Mission debrief A Chinese expedition on Dhaulagiri reached the summit by nightfall and had to force a bivouaq through the stormy night. In an ensuing inferno three of the climbers lost their lives. A frantic effort by Fishtail Air and Air Zermatt rescued the survivors; read their report.

Annapurna Both Iranian Ehsan Partovi-Nia and S. Korean Park Young-Seok have called it quits on Annapurna.

Shisha Pangma summit debrief and pics: Edurne Pasaban ultimate 8000er “I just can’t assume the fact that I am done,” Edurne Pasaban told ExplorersWeb from BC after bagging Shisha at last. Together with Asier Izaguirre, Alex Txicon, Nacho Orbiz and sherpas, Pasaban climbed in rather light style, pitching three camps on the way up to her 14th 8000er.

Lhotse: Kazakhs on top! Kazakhs Maxut Zhumayev, Vassiliy Pivtsov and Vlad Chekhlov summited Lhotse in what became the 13th 8000er for both Maxut and Vassily Pivtsov. As usual, Denis Urubko went his own way and opened a new route on the mountain sans 02.

Christian Bodegren Sahara Desert update: Leaving the camels and the desert The Swede brought his Sahara Desert crossing to a halt due to raising temperatures. Before leaving Christian had to sell his camels.

* Polish Himalayas – Become a Fan

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


AddThis Feed Button

zapraszam do subskrypcji mego bloga

Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: Miss Oh and Miss Go, Himalaya Dream Mile.

“Man could not run a mile in less than 4 minutes!” And yet Bannister did exactly that, shortly followed by hundreds.

Tied with 11 mountains each, at the start of this year, Spanish Edurne Pasaban, Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Italian Nives Meroi were the three main women in place to become the first females to summit all 8000ers.

That all changed when two Korean ladies entered the scene. 

Miss Oh

Korean climbers live under different conditions than western mountaineers. South Korea faces constant threat from communist North Korea and most elders have fresh memories from the Korean War (1950-53) that killed 2.5 million people. It has provided Korea with mountaineers known for taking bigger risks but also achieving spectacular climbs.

Codenamed “squirrel” and “iron woman”, the oldest of three children Miss Oh worked several jobs and set up a noodle-shop to make money for her climbs. “Had I quit my job only to climb mountains, I wouldn’t have lasted long. In my opinion, to realize one’s true wishes it’s important to stay independent – not only financially, but also mentally,” she wrote in an open letter to fellow Korean women admirers.

Oh Eun-Sun achieved her very first 8000er (G2) 12 years ago in company of Um Hong-Gil and Park Young-Seok. Following several setbacks her second 8000er came not until 2004 on Mount Everest. That’s when everything changed for Miss Oh.

A charge of historical proportions over the highest mountains in the world followed; with Shisha Pangma in 2006, Cho Oyu and K2 in 2007, Makalu, Lhotse, Broad Peak and Manaslu in 2008, and Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum this year.

She broke records too numerous to count, male and female. Speeding up 8000er after 8000er, in Himalaya she was the female version of Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter now considered the greatest sportsman on the planet.


With the incredible successes came doubt. Some of Miss Oh’s summits were questioned. Other South Koreans facing the same problem in the past returned with a vengeance to clear their records. They were in fact Miss Oh’s partners from G2, her very first peak.

Um Hong-Gil repeated Lhotse and Shisha Pangma. Young-Seok Park repeated Lhotse, providing a super- photo gallery from all the sections, summit included. As for Miss Oh, ExplorersWeb have not seen any facts warranting doubts of her claims.

Criticized for heavy support, the woman climber said she climbs with a few regular Sherpa and used oxygen support only on Everest and K2. “And since an incident when we helped a climber with medical O2 (one of the Sherpas gave him a bottle of O2, I gave him my mask and there were comments afterwards) I don’t even carry a mask during the climbs,” she said. Go Mi Sun by ExWeb's

Miss Go

Korean star climber Go Mi Sun, 41, was another story and western mountaineers often confused the two. Former Asian X Games champion – Go had doggedly entered the world top-league of Himalaya climbers.

The youngest of 6 siblings, except for her first 8000er (Cho Oyu), Go Mi Sun mostly climbed in big teams using oxygen and led by Kim Jae-Soo. The two survived K2 together last year, and Go said that she hoped to climb all 14, 8000ers by 2011.

But shortly after she sped up her ambition. Following her Makalu-Kangchenjunga-Dhaulagiri triple this spring, Miss Go was headed for the Gasherbrums and Nanga Parbat this summer, hoping to crown her list with Annapurna in fall.

Miss Go’s records set a number of milestones for the world mountaineering community, in the end underlining the seriousness of Himalayan 8000+ meter exposure. She fell to her death on descent after summit at around 6200 meters on Nanga Parbat in a section where the previously fixed rope had been removed.

Back home in Korea, some local climbers said that media, sponsors and the “first-ism” of society had 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,” the brother said.

Asked to rate the biggest difficulties, Miss Oh in turn told ExWeb’s correspondent in Korea Kyu Dam Lee, “It was hard to wait for a chance to summit Broad Peak on our third attempt. But the toughest was to recover from the shock after Go Mi-sun died on Nanga Parbat; I had to struggle to get my mind back in control.”

Cards still open

Currently preparing for Annapurna, her last 8,000er, nobody doubts anymore how serious Miss Oh is about her goal to grab the first female 14, 8000ers position (Messner holds the male spot).

Seasoned enough to evaluate the risk, “fear is only in our mind,” she said, “even though, every time I start an expedition, I can’t help thinking whether the mountain will accept me on her summit or not. I am also aware that death is very close to me all the time while I climb.”

“I am preparing to do my best,” she told ExplorersWeb. “In the end though, Annapurna will decide.”

With Edurne, Nives and Gerlinde so far ahead only some years ago, what then seemed impossible is now totally achievable for the South Korean woman.

The cards are still open though. All we know for certain is that Miss Oh and Miss Go have done something many mountaineers didn’t think was possible until a year ago. Miss Go died precisely because the quest is difficult and dangerous, showcasing the very heart – and risk – of pioneering.

As for the race, Miss Oh had the following advice to fellow Korean women: “Identify your dreams and follow them: Happiness lays right there. You will lose if you compare yourself to others. You will lose if you begin to worry about money, honor or whatever others may think. Remember that dreams and happiness come out of what you like to do – for yourself.”

Roger Bannister put it this way:

“We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves. The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.”

Related story: StatCrunch, take 3: ladies of thin air – beyond Wanda’s footprints.

Related story: StatCrunch, take 3, final: ladies of thin air – XXIst Century women.

Related story: ExWeb interview with Oh Eun-sun: “Annapurna will decide”.

Special mentions:
– Good guys leaving too early: Tomaz, Piotr, Serguey, Martin, Oscar, Roby…
– GIII/GIV attempt and rescue.
– Nives Meroi, fame for love.
– North Pole-Greenland crossing and polar records.

* Previous story :

–   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: new route on Nanga Parbat.

–   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: the 14×8000ers.

–   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: Altitude Junkies and FTA – corporate compassion.

–   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards – Special mention.

–   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.

–   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


AddThis Feed Button

zapraszam do subskrypcji mego bloga

%d bloggers like this: