Spring Himalaya Season 2019 part 1.

02/05/2019

  • The Malaysian climber rescued from Annapurna, Wui Kin Chin, has died in hospital. Was his rescue delayed by red tape?
  • High winds and snow predicted on Everest over the weekend as Cyclone Fani hits India
  • The rope fixing team on the south side of Everest has reached the South Col and Camp 4, they will now head down as the weather turns

Everest Base Camp and the edge of the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: Aimee Silver

01/05/2019

  • The rope fixing team on Everest’s Nepal side has almost reached the Geneva Spur, tomorrow they will push on towards Camp 4 and the South Col
  • Commercial teams are studying weather forecasts in an effort to determine when to start their second rotations
  • The Himalayan Times is reporting the death of a Nepali Sherpa on Cho Oyu near Camp 2
  • Nirmal Purja Magar announces he will try Dhaulagiri without O2 as part of his project to complete all 14 8000ers within seven months

Climber Rupert Jones-Warner approaches the summit of Annapurna. Photo: Don Bowie

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Bielecki: Why I’m Going Back to Annapurna.

Polish climbing ace Adam Bielecki is leaving this weekend for another crack at the daunting Northwest Face of Annapurna. He will follow the same route, in the same style and with the same climbing mate, Felix Berg. Although frazzled by juggling last-minute preparations with daily workouts, he found time to discuss his latest project with ExplorersWeb.

Northwest face of Annapurna, Nepal Himalaya. Image by Adam Bielecki.

In the past months, Bielecki has renounced the winter Himalaya and focused totally on Annapurna. This is why he dropped his original plan to go to Patagonia during the southern summer. “Patagonia is spectacular, but you may spend three months there and only climb three days,” said Bielecki, about the place’s famously vicious weather.

Instead, he and his team looked for conditions roughly equivalent to those on 8,091m Annapurna. They chose to ice climb intensively around Kandersteg, Switzerland, then storm some classic Alpine lines, such as the 1,200m Colton-McIntyre route up the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses, which they climbed in a single push.

Adam Bielecki on Annapurna North West face

Now back home, he hits the gym five times a week, combining the climbing wall, stairs and treadmill with weightlifting and core work. “But if you ask me how I’ve prepared for Annapurna, I can honestly say that I have been training for the last 20 years of my life,” he says.

Oddly, the aesthetic line up Annapurna’s Northwest Face came up as a plan B when, back in 2017, the climbing team was refused a permit to attempt a new route on the North Face of Cho Oyu. Since then, though, Bielecki and Berg have dropped their previous goal and taken up what he describes as a rare privilege in the 21st century: an unclimbed line on a lonely, rarely attempted face. Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander opened the only previous route on the face in 1985, but they eventually traversed to the NW ridge and avoided the summit triangle.

Bielecki and Berg considered adding a third member to the team — as they did in 2017, with Scotland’s Rick Allen — but not for long. “We needed someone we knew well and who was as strong as we are, but we found none,” Bielecki said.

He believes that they’ve learned their lesson from their previous failure. “I feel super- excited, happy to go,” he insisted. On their previous attempt, he explained, bad weather was the final blow that thwarted the expedition, but it was not the only one. “We climbed too heavily loaded, with 23kg backpacks. In the end, they slowed us down too much.”

Felix Berg

This time, the two men are paring down their load ounce by ounce and believe that if the weather cooperates, or at least isn’t too perverse, they have an excellent chance of success.

Bielecki admits that their approach isn’t what he’d call pure alpine style. By his definition, that would require a totally on-sight attempt, and both of them know the route up to 6,500m, their highest point reached in 2017.

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Nepali Supreme Court Officially Strikes Down Rules Banning Disabled Climbers.

Earlier this year the Nepali government made headlines when it announced new climbing rules that prohibited disabled climbers from attempting Mt. Everest. Those new regulations were eventually challenges in the country’s Supreme Court, which eventually overturned the new laws. Now, the court has rendered its final verdict on this case, once again siding with the mountaineers.

According to The Himalayan Times, the five-person Nepali Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Deepak Raj Joshee has issued a verdict vacating the revised rules once and for all, clearing the way for double amputees and blind climbers to continue their expeditions into the Himalaya. The move comes after the Nepali government attempt to circumvent the earlier ruling of the court by interesting updated provisions into its existing mountaineer regulations. But a lawyer who represents several disabled climbers petitioned the court to block the move on the grounds that the regulations were a violation of human rights.

The move has been hailed as a victory for disabled individuals from a number of camps, including former Ghurka soldier Hari Budha Magar who plans on making an attempt on Everest in 2019. If successful, he’ll become the first above-the-knee double amputee to complete that climb. Blind climber Amit KC says he’ll also make an attempt on the world’s highest peak next year too, after coming up short in 2017.

This should bring an end to this controversy, which has been swirling around since last fall when word of these potential changes to the climbing rules in Nepal first hit the press. These regulations were criticized roundly when they were first revealed, as most believe that they did nothing to improve safety on Everest and only prevented a small number of climbers from actually making an attempt. On top of that, disabled climbers haven’t actually been the ones who have been dying in the Himalaya, so it was always unclear as to who these rules were protecting. Thankfully, clearer heads prevailed and the big mountains remain open to everyone who wants to give them a go.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Nepali Supreme Court Officially Strikes Down Rules Banning Disabled Climbers

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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Karakoram Summer 2018: Snow Slows Progress Everywhere.

I’m back from Africa and will start posting regular updates again. A lot took place while I was away, particularly in the Karakoram where the summer climbing season is now in full swing. When I left, many teams were still en route to Base Camp, but now most have settled into place and have started their acclimatization rotations, although as usual in the big mountains the weather is dictating the schedule so far.

The big news of the climbing season in Pakistan so far is the continued heavy snowfall. K2, Broad Peak, Nagna Parbat, and the Gasherbrum Massif has been hit hard with snow storms, depositing more than a foot (30 cm) of powder across the region. This has had the effect of keeping most teams in BC or Camp 1 at the highest, which is slowing down he schedules when it comes to acclimating to the altitude. As Alan Arnette points out, this isn’t necessarily all that unusual at this time of the year, but it could cause a traffic jam on higher sections of the mountain, and at campsites, once conditions do finally improve.

Meanwhile, the heavy snow seems to have brought an end to at least one expedition so far. Mike Horn has left Base Camp on Nanga Parbat and it appears he won’t be going back. The Swiss explorer indicates that heavy snow higher up the mountain, along with a grim forecast, have caused him to pull the plug altogether. He was one of the first climbers to arrive on Nanga Parbat this year, but is also one of the first to head for home too.

Furtenbach Adventures has checked in from Broad Peak where they are one of the few teams who managed to go all the way up to Camp 2 as part of their acclimatization strategy. Their Sherpa team has also already established Camp 3 further up the hill, but for now they’re stuck in BC like everyone else, waiting out the storm and hoping that the snow will settle enough that it is safe to climb higher. That may be a few days off yet however.

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Mike Horn to climb Nanga Parbat.

Photo: Mike Horn

In a break from his ongoing Pole2Pole project, in which Mike Horn is trying to circumnavigate the earth via the polar regions, the South African adventurer has set out to climb Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world. Horn arrived at Base Camp on June 6 and is planning to climb the Diamir face. Success on Nanga Parbat would mark Horn’s sixth 8,000m peak.

Mike Horn’s lengthy list of achievements include his 2006 expedition to the North Pole in winter with Borge Ousland; a solo 6,500km traverse of the Amazon; and a full circumnavigation of the globe via the equator in 2001, by sailing, canoeing and walking. As part of his Pole2Pole journey, he has already traversed Antarctica solo and sailed the Southern Ocean.

Horn has arrived in Pakistan with his two daughters after an overland trip through southeast Asia. Photo: Mike Horn

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* source: – https://explorersweb.com/

** see also: – Spring 2018 Himalayan Recap.

– 15 days Nepal Everest Base Camp Trekking .

– Overview of Trekking Routes in Nepal.  Expedition in Nepal with Nepal Trekking Routes (Ama Dablam, Annapurna, Makalu, Manaslu, Pumori)

– Nepal Celebrates 65th Anniversary of First Ascent of Mt. Everest.

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

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Hansjörg Auer to solo Lupghar Sar West.

Austrian mountaineer Hansjörg Auer has just departed for 7,181m Lupghar Sar West in Pakistan’s Karakorum.

Hansjörg Auer on the southeast ridge of Annapurna III in Nepal, 2016. Photo: Alexander Blümel / Red Bull

Tempered by a number of hard solo climbs in Europe, Auer is now translating these abilities to the great ranges. He will continue his tradition of solo climbing. His only companions will be a cook and a few porters on the lower slopes.

Auer has previously summited the 7,000-er Kunyang Chhish East, also in the Karakorum, with his brother in 2013. This expedition sparked his interest in returning to the region. A German team first climbed Lupghar Sar in 1979, but Auer says that there has been no recorded activity on the mountain since 2000. He intends to climb the peak’s west face.

Hansjörg Auer during a break on the way to Masherbrum in Pakistan, 2014. Photo: Manuel Ferrigato

Auer told ExWeb that his original intention was to climb a different mountain in the region, Khurdopin Sar, but that his climbing partner for that attempt fell ill. Speaking to PlanetMountain, Auer gave a fascinating insight into the mindset required for solo climbing in the highest mountains on earth:

There is a big difference between setting off alone from home and soloing a mountain, to going on an expedition with others and then soloing … because a partner is unwell, or whatever. Sometimes 80% of the time during an expedition you’re not actually climbing. When you have a team of friends with you, it’s easier to deal with that time off … But now I won’t be able to count on my friends … This lends the project a very special taste. If I’m honest… this is a taste I’m always looking for somehow.

Auer built his reputation by his impressive solo climb of the south face of the Marmolada in the Italian Dolomites, his first ascents in Patagonia, and his 2013 first ascent of Kunyag Chhish East (7,400 m), which was considered one of the last great problems of the Karakorum.

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* source: – https://explorersweb.com/

** see also: – Spring 2018 Himalayan Recap.

– 15 days Nepal Everest Base Camp Trekking .

– Overview of Trekking Routes in Nepal.  Expedition in Nepal with Nepal Trekking Routes (Ama Dablam, Annapurna, Makalu, Manaslu, Pumori)

– Nepal Celebrates 65th Anniversary of First Ascent of Mt. Everest.

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

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Karakoram 2018: More Teams Heading to Base Camp in Pakistan.

Yesterday we took a quick look a the main peaks that climbers will be focused on summiting this summer in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan. Some of those mountains already have a few alpinists already in place, while other teams are starting to make their way to Base Camp in preparation for the summer climbs ahead. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the things that are currently happening.

The Furtenbach Adventures team is trekking to BC on Broad Peak where they’ll warm up before attempting both that mountain and  K2. The squad had been on the trail for more than week now and expect to reach Base Camp on Friday where they’ll spend a few days getting settled before starting their first acclimation rotation. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Madison Mountaineering team is just now preparing to leave for Pakistan, so they’ll be about two weeks behind Furtenbach in terms of reaching BC.

Other major expedition teams that will be on K2 this year include Seven Summits TreksSummitClimb, and Himex, although Russell Brice has still yet to confirm his company’s participation this season. Last year was a particularly frustrating one for him and his squad, promoting Brice to head home early, only to have other teams reach the summit. At the time, he had expressed his frustrations in an open letter that seemed to indicate he was ready to retire, but later clarified that stance and said he would continue guiding, admitting he still had to figure out what K2 was all about.

In addition to the well established commercial squads, there are a number of talented individual climbers in the region this summer with their own objectives too. For instance Romanian Alex Gavan and Turkish alpinist Tunc Findik have set their sites on Nanga Parbat this summer, while Adam Bielecki and Jacek Czech are heading to the Gasherbrum massif, possibly to bag several summits. Polish climber Andrzej Bargiel is back once again this summer as well to continue his pursuit of climbing and skiing down K2, something that seems utterly wild. Fredrik Sträng will have a go at K2 as well and indicates that he’ll be setting out for Pakistan in the middle of next week, while Nathalie Fortin and Brit Jake Meyer have also targeted the world’s second highest peak.

For now, most of these teams and climbers are still in the preparation phase back home, but there are a few who have already reached their starting points. For instance, Mike Horn has already started acclimatizing on Nanga Parbat and went to Camp 2 yesterday. His most recent dispatch indicated that he is planning on moving higher today, which would lend me to believe that he is looking at a rapid ascent on this mountain. At this rate, he could be done and heading home before most of the other teams arrive. We’ll just have to wait to see what happens.

That’s all for now. The stage has been set and soon the Karakoram will start to get busy. We’ll be following the news there very closely for the next month and a half.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Karakoram 2018: More Teams Heading to Base Camp in Pakistan

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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