Himalaya Fall 2017: An Update From Lhotse Base Camp.

With the autumn climbing season starting to wind down in the Himalaya, one of the few remaining expeditions is on Lhotse, where South Korean climber Sung Taek Hong and Spanidard Jorge Egocheaga Rodriguez are attempting the incredibly difficult South Face of Lhotse. Last week, we had an update on their progress courtesy of a report from The Himalayan Times, but now Hong himself has provided more information on what has been happening, while giving us a sneak peek at what is to come as well.

In a dispatch posted to the expedition’s website, Hong tells us that everyone is currently back in Base Camp, resting up after a tough push up the mountain. That acclimatization rotation allowed the team to fully stock Camp 3 with supplies and equipment, but also gave them the opportunity to establish Camp 4 as well. But unfortunately, as we learned from The Himalayan Times, two of the Sherpas supporting the Hong and Rodriguez were injured on the descent and had to be airlifted back to Kathmandu. In the dispatch we learn that the two men are doing fine now and that their injuries aren’t especially serious however.

The injuries to the Sherpas were the result of a rockslide on the mountain, which have been occurring with increasing frequency at the lower altitudes, while avalanches has become more frequent higher up. This has forced the team to climb at night, when the colder temperatures helps to freeze everything in place and providing more stable conditions.

Hong says that the push up to C3 and 4 was delayed for about five days due to inclement weather. High winds and heavy snow hit Lhotse over the past week, keeping everyone stuck in BC for a time. Once those conditions passed, the climbers were able to resume their efforts, and now have their high camp set at 8250 meters (27,066 ft). That should put them in a position to summit soon, although a schedule hasn’t been completely established yet.

According to the dispatch, the team hopes to top out around the end of the month, which is a little over a week away at this point. Of course, they’ll need a good weather window, and at the moment the forecast is looking promising. If good conditions do arrive as expected, Hong and Rodriguez are likely to leave Base Camp near the end of the week, most likely Thursday or Friday. This will allow them to get into position to summit before October is done.

We’ll continue to follow their progress closely and share updates as they become available.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –  Himalaya Fall 2017: An Update From Lhotse Base Camp

** see also: –

AddThis Feed Button


Would You Pay $95,000 to Climb Everest in Just 4 Weeks?

Over the past few years, Adrian Ballinger’s Alpenglow team has set down the ground work for what has become known as “flash” expeditions to Everest and other big peaks. These climbs take a fraction of the time that more traditional expeditions require, but cost considerably more as a result. Now, another outfitter is getting into the fast-climb game, and they’ve set an unprecedented price level too.

Alan Arnette has all the details on the new Furtenbach Adventures Everest Expedition, which promises to get climbers to the summit in just four weeks time, and offer them unlimited oxygen along the way, all for the low, low price of just $95,000. Yep, you read that right. In an era where more Nepali companies are leading teams to the mountain at a discounted price, this new experience from Furtenbach will set you back nearly $100k.

So how do they do it? Both Alpenglow and Furtenbach get their clients set up with a proper fitness program to prepare for the climbs, but more importantly they use oxygen tents prior to departing for the Himalaya to start the acclimatization process long before the mountaineers step foot on Everest. As a result, they arrive in Nepal and Tibet much better prepared for the altitude, cutting down on the number of trips up and down the mountain and even the trek to Base Camp.

Alpenglow has had good success with this strategy in recent years, so it only seems natural that someone else would emulate it. In contrast to the 4 week climb offered by Ballinger, now Furtenbach Adventures, most people looking to summit Everest spend about two months in the Himalaya. The pitch here is that time is money, and that these expeditions save their clients as much as four weeks away from home. They also pitch these trips as being safer, since they don’t spend nearly as much time climbing to high camps to acclimatize.

Alan goes into more detail on these types of expeditions, sharing his thoughts throughout the article. He also interviews Lukas Furtenbach about this new venture as well, with the German offering his thoughts on the science behind the use of oxygen tents, how it helps his clients to prepare, and much more.

Is this the future of mountaineering? Only time will tell. But, that future is starting look more fragmented with the rich client paying exorbitant fees to reach the summit, while an increasing number of climbers choose the “budget” route instead.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –   Would You Pay $95,000 to Climb Everest in Just 4 Weeks?

** see also: –  How Much Does It Cost To Climb Mt. Everest?

AddThis Feed Button

Are You Ready to Climb Everest?

By virtue of being the highest mountain on the planet, Everest has always been viewed by many climbers as the pinnacle of mountaineering. Over the past 20 years, commercialization of the mountain has made it more accessible than ever before, to the point that hundreds make the attempt each year from both the North and South. But not all of those climbers are truly prepared for what they’ll face once they get to Nepal or Tibet.

So how do you know if you’re ready for Everest? That’s the exact question posed by an article by Bill Allen at mountaintrip.com. Mountain Trip is one of those companies that leads teams to Everest each year, and Allen has himself summited the mountain on three separate occasions. In the blog post, he not only takes a look at the requirements a perspective climber should have to take on the world’s tallest peak, but blows some holes in the myths that surround such an expedition too.

In terms of experience, Allen says that they expect their clients to have climbed both Aconcagua and Denali at the bare minimum. In other words, 8000-meter experience isn’t necessarily a necessity, but it is helpful. He also talks about the level of fitness requires for the climb, as well as whether or not an expedition to Everest is even right for certain individual people. As he notes, it is a long climb that lasts nearly two months. That’s a long time to be away from home and not everyone adapts to that situation well.

Apparently this article is the first of several that will be written to help prepare those considering an attempt on Everest. At the end of the post Bill indicates that his next story will help climbers decide which route they should take. He’ll also look at the dynamic of different sized teams, whether or not to climb with western guides or Nepali guides, and more.

You can read his current article here and we’ll keep an eye out for others down the line.

The Himalayan Database Will Soon be Available for Free.

When it comes to climbing the big mountains in Nepal – and lesser extent Tibet – The Himalayan Database is the definitive record for everything has been accomplished there over the past 50 years. The information contained in the database has been meticulously compiled by Ms. Elizabeth Hawley for five decades, and soon all of those records will be available to the general public online for free.

In an announcement posted to The Himalayan Database website reads as follows:

“Version 2 of the Himalayan Database will be released to the general public at no charge via download from this site in early November 2017 after the Spring 2017 update to the database is completed. Owners of the current version will need to download and upgrade to the new version in order to gain access to future updates and changes.”

The data covers all expeditions to the Himalaya starting in 1905 and running through 2003. It covers more than 340 different mountains across Nepal, and along the border with Tibet. According to the database website “the database is searchable by peak, climber, expedition, nationality, season, mortality rates and causes and more.”

Updated data from 2004 through 2016 is available via the Himalayan Database website, with the 2017 data to be compiled and added later. The combined information from the downloadable database and the online resource, marks the most comprehensive collection of information on mountaineering expeditions ever assembled.

Over the past few years, Ms. Hawley has eased into retirement, after maintaining the database on her own for decades. Much of her work has been taken up by German climber and journalist Billi Bierling, who along with a few other dedicated people. have been collecting and compiling the data.

Now, this resource will become available to anyone who wants to access it and search its information. For those of us who do regular reporting on the Nepal and the expeditions that visit there, it is a welcome addition to help us with that coverage. But, beyond that, it should prove very interesting for anyone who follows the mountaineering scene closely.

Watch himalayandatabase.com for an update soon.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – The Himalayan Database Will Soon be Available for Free

** see also: –

AddThis Feed Button

Himalaya Fall 2017: Details on First Ascent of Burke Khang and Elsewhere.

The news from the Himalaya keeps streaming in, even as the season chugs along at a bit slower pace. With the major commercial teams now gone for the year, the big mountains in Nepal are now seeing smaller teams achieving impressive summits. And while things have definitely quieted off, there is still plenty yet to come.

Yesterday we received more details on the recent first ascent of Nagpai Gosum, which had been the fourth highest unclimbed peak in the world. Today, we have more information on a pair of other first ascents, including Burke Khang, which we reported had been climbed last week for the very first time, albeit without its namesake – Bill Burke – reaching the top. Today, we have some more details on that ascent courtesy of The Himalayan Times.

Four members of a climbing team that was organized and supported by Asian Trekking, reached the summit on Thursday, October 5. That group consisted of Irish mountaineer Noel Hanna, along with Naga Dorje Sherpa, Pemba Tshering Sherpa and Samden Bhote.

Burke himself was part of the expedition but was unable to go up to the summit, instead electing to stay in Camp 1 while his teammates continued to the top of the 6942 meter (22,775 ft) peak. This was his fourth time on the mountain, having been turned back in the fall of 2015 and 2016, as well as the spring of this year, due to bad weather and heavy snow. The mountain was given its name back in 2014 to honor Burke’s efforts to promote tourism in Nepal.

Meanwhile, three Georgian climbers have put up the first ascent of Larkya Lha Main Peak. Archil Badriashvili, Giorgi Tepnadze, and Bakar Gelashvili reached the summit of the 6425 meter (21,079 ft) mountain at 10:12 AM local time on September 27, having climbed the South East Wall, which is reportedly a very long, icy, and technical route.

A few years back, the Nepali government made the description to open more than a hundred new mountains to climber with the hope that it would draw some away from the more overcrowded peaks like Everest. While those efforts don’t seem to have impacted the more popular 8000-meter mountains – Manaslu was incredibly crowded this fall – it does seem to have had the intended effect of luring more alpinists looking to claim a first ascent. Most of these mountains are well above 6000 and 7000 meters, so there are great challenges to be had. The first ascents we’ve seen over the past week or so are evident of that.

Congratulations to everyone on reaching a point on the Earth where no other human has ever stood.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Himalaya Fall 2017: Details on First Ascent of Burke Khang and Elsewhere

** see also: –

AddThis Feed Button

Himalaya Fall 2017: More Details on First Ascent of Nagpai Gosum,More Summits on Dhaulagiri.

The fall climbing season in Nepal continues unabated with more updates from the Himalaya. While there is no new news from Lhotse, there is plenty of other things to talk about from the big mountains.

We’ll start with an update on German climber Kobusch Jost summit of Nagpai Gosum, which we first mentioned on Monday. At that time there were few details available, other than that the 25-year old alpinist had managed to summit the previous unclimbed peak, which is 7296 meters (23,397 ft) in altitude. Before Jost topped out last week, it was the fourth highest unclimbed mountain in the world.

The Himalayan Times has shared more information about the expedition, which began way back on August 14 when Jost set out from Lukla with two teammates – fellow German Schardt Raphael Rene and a Sherpa support person. The trio went to Nagpai Gosum and set up camp there, then proceeded to acclimatize over the following weeks. When it came time to make their summit push, neither Rene or the Sherpa were able to climb higher than C2, so Jost set out on a solo attempt. He reached the top at 10:25 AM local time on October 3.
Continue reading

Himalaya Fall 2018: Update From Lhotse, More on Nanga Parbat, Not Done on Manaslu.

Despite major commercial operations wrapping up on Manaslu last week, the fall climbing season in the Himalaya appears to be far from over. In fact, following this past weekend, there is once again a lot to report from the big mountains, where some expeditions are only now truly ramping up.

We’ll start with an update from Lhotse, where Korean climber Hong Sung Taek and Spanish alpinist Jorge Egocheaga Rodriguez have been in Base Camp for a couple of weeks now, but we’ve had almost no updates on their progress. The duo are attempting to climb the tough South Face of the mountain, which has only been done once before. Over the weekend they posted a dispatch on their progress, and while things are moving slowly, they are pushing forward.
The team started acclimatizing on the mountain at the end of September, then held their Puja ceremony on October 2. After that, they set off up the mountain and established Camp 1 at 5900 meters (19,356 ft) on October 4, and Camp 2 at 7200 meters (23,622 ft) on Oct. 7.

Continue reading