Ed Viesturs Tells Us About His New Book – video.

Another interesting video today, this time featuring Ed Viesturs who gives us the low down on his new book entitled K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain and currently scheduled for release on October 13th.

In the video, which was incidentally shot just two days after Ed summitted Everest in the spring, he tells us a bit more about what we can expect in the new book. He focuses on the six most critical season on K2, including last year’s tragedy. He’ll also share more thoughts on his experience on the mountain, including stuff he left out of No Shortcuts to the Top. Ed says that K2 taught him a valuable lesson about trusting his instincts, and that is something that he carried with him on the other 8000m peaks.

The book looks like it’s going to be another good one, and I should have a review up before it’s released. I know a lot of people are really looking forward to this one.

*Source : – http://theadventureblog.blogspot.com/

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

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Blind Climbers Summit Kilimanjaro.

by Kraig Becker on Jul 9th 2009

A team of visually impaired climbers representing the See Kili Our Way organization reached the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, last week, claiming two records in the process. Blind Climbers Summit Kilimanjaro

The group consisted of eight blind mountaineers and 17 sighted guides, and their successful summit was remarkable for putting the most blind climbers on top of Kilimanjaro ever. 13-year old Max Ashton claimed the record for youngest visually impaired climber to achieve the summit as well.

Standing 19,340 feet in height, Kilimanjaro is the tallest free standing mountain in the world and has become a major destination for adventure travelers. A typical climb takes roughly seven days to complete and there are a variety of routes to the summit, and while the mountain doesn’t require any technical skills to climb, its altitude often poses problems for those trekking its approach trails.

That didn’t seem to be the case for these 25 climbers, who kept an interesting blog of their adventures, and managed to summit as a single unit. The group was climbing to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation for Blind Children, an Arizona organization dedicated to helping the blind live full and enriched lives, often by beginning to assist them at a very young age.

Congratulations to the entire team. They are an inspiration to all of us.

* Source : – http://theadventureblog.blogspot.com/

** Previous story  : – Nepal Expedition – International Pumori Expedition Spring 2010.

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

K2 : Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain by Ed Viesturs – Coming October 2009 – Pre-order your copy today!”

About the Author :

Ed Viesturs become the first American climber to reach the summit of all the world’s 8,000-meter peaks, in May, 2005. This May, he summited Everest for the 7th time.K2 Life and Death book

He is the first American, and 12th person overall, to summit all fourteen mountains over 8000 meters (collectively known as the eight-thousanders), and the sixth climber to do it without bottled oxygen.

* Ed Viesturs homepage : – http://www.edviesturs.com/

* see – Ed Viesturs the famous American climber

ABOUT THIS BOOK :

A thrilling chronicle of the tragedy-ridden history of climbing K2, the world’s most difficult and unpredictable mountain, by the bestselling author of No Shortcuts to the Top

At 28,251 feet, the world’s second-tallest mountain, K2 thrusts skyward out of the Karakoram Range of northern Pakistan. Climbers regard it as the ultimate achievement in mountaineering, with good reason. Four times as deadly as Everest, K2 has claimed the lives of seventy-seven climbers since 1954. In August 2008 eleven climbers died in a single thirty-six-hour period on K2–the worst single-event tragedy in the mountain’s history and the second-worst in the long chronicle of mountaineering in the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges. Yet summiting K2 remains a cherished goal for climbers from all over the globe. Before he faced the challenge of K2 himself, Ed Viesturs, one of the world’s premier high-altitude mountaineers, thought of it as “the holy grail of mountaineering.”
In K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain, Viesturs explores the remarkable history of the mountain and of those who have attempted to conquer it. At the same time he probes K2’s most memorable sagas in an attempt to illustrate the lessons learned by confronting the fundamental questions raised by mountaineering–questions of risk, ambition, loyalty to one’s teammates, self-sacrifice, and the price of glory. Viesturs knows the mountain firsthand. He and renowned alpinist Scott Fischer climbed it in 1992 and were nearly killed in an avalanche that sent them sliding to almost certain death. Fortunately, Ed managed to get into a self-arrest position with his ice ax and stop both his fall and Scott’s.
Focusing on seven of the mountain’s most dramatic campaigns, from his own troubled ascent to the 2008 tragedy, Viesturs crafts an edge-of-your-seat narrative that climbers and armchair travelers alike will find unforgettably compelling. With photographs from Viesturs’s personal collection and from historical sources, this is the definitive account of the world’s ultimate mountain, and of the lessons that can be gleaned from struggling toward its elusive summit.

* Source : – http://www.randomhouse.com/

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No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs.

About the Author :

Ed Viesturs become the first American climber to reach the summit of all the world’s 8,000-meter peaks, in May, 2005. This May, he summited Everest for the 7th time.No Shortcuts to the Top

He is the first American, and 12th person overall, to summit all fourteen mountains over 8000 meters (collectively known as the eight-thousanders), and the sixth climber to do it without bottled oxygen.

* Ed Viesturs homepage : –  http://www.edviesturs.com/

* see – Ed Viesturs the famous American climber

Publisher Comments:

This gripping and triumphant memoir follows a living legend of extreme mountaineering as he makes his assault on history, one 8,000-meter summit at a time.

For eighteen years Ed Viesturs pursued climbing’s holy grail: to stand atop the world’s fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. But No Shortcuts to the Top is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go.

A preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto, “Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues. And, for the first time, he details his own pivotal and heroic role in the 1996 Everest disaster made famous in Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air.

In addition to the raw excitement of Viesturs’s odyssey, No Shortcuts to the Top is leavened with many funny moments revealing the camaraderie between climbers. It is more than the first full account of one of the staggering accomplishments of our time; it is a portrait of a brave and devoted family man and his beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificent pursuit.

Review:

“In the opening scene of Viesturs’s memoir of his quest to become the first American to climb the 14 mountains in the world higher than 8,000 meters, he and a friend nearly get thrown off the face of K2 when they’re caught in an avalanche. It’s one of the few moments in the story when his life genuinely seems at risk, as his intense focus on safety is generally successful. ‘Getting to the top is optional,’ he warns. ‘Getting down is mandatory.’ That lesson comes through most forcefully when Viesturs recounts how he almost attempted to reach the summit at Everest the day before the group Jon Krakauer wrote about in Into Thin Air, but backed out because it just didn’t feel right. His expertise adds a compelling eyewitness perspective to those tragic events, but the main focus is clearly on Viesturs and his self-imposed ‘Endeavor 8000.’ From his earliest climbs on the peaks of the Pacific Northwest to his final climb up the Himalayan mountain of Annapurna, Viesturs offers testimony to the sacrifices (personal and professional) in giving your life over to a dream, as well as the thrill of seeing it through.” Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

* Source : – http://www.powells.com/

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Accidental First Ascent: Fight or Flight in the North Cascades.

Author of post :  Blake Herrington.

Editor’s Note: Blake Herrington is one of few young climbers pushing boundaries in the remote Cascades. Last year he completed a major first on the east ridge of Mt. Goode (read the Mt. Goode´s Megaladon Ridge), on the heels of establishing the four-peak Gunsight traverse (read the Gunsight Range Traverse). Below, Herrington tells of his latest expedition, to the north face of Castle Peak, where he and Peter Hirst accidentally climbed a new route, Fight or Flight (IV 5.10+, 1,400′).

herrington-1 Fight or Flight (IV 5.10+, 1,400′), north face of Castle Peak, North Cascades, Washington. Blake Herrington and Peter Hirst established the route accidentally on August 3, 2008, while trying to climb the Colorado Route. The Colorado Route lies right of the new climb. [Photo] Blake Herrington collection

The clock on the wall showed 1:30 a.m. as the US border patrol agent sauntered across the office and up to the desk. Under the glare of fluorescent lights and overweight customs officers, having to admit that we’d forgotten a passport suddenly seemed morally equivalent to citing kitten-drowning as a frequent hobby. My climbing partner and I weathered the predictable litany of questions, stated our thoroughly non-terrorist occupations, and tried to deflect verbal blows with a steady return fire of “yes sir” and “no sir.” Unlike the other angry late-night travelers at this remote border crossing, Peter and I displayed an odd satisfaction that seemed as out of place as the ominously smiling portraits of Dick Cheney and George Bush overhead. We knew this passport issue was only a temporary delay, not a real obstacle. Not something that would prevent our progress or do us harm. And to a couple of caffeine-hyped climbers twenty-two hours removed from an alpine start, our late night border interrogation was, in retrospect, the most calming part of our whole day.

Peter Hirst and I had left Bellingham, Washington on the morning of Saturday August 2, and driven several hours to Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia. From here, seven miles of trail brought us to an 8,000′ pass and a gathering rain storm. As the drops became more snow than rain, we caught a view of our objective, the North Face of Castle Peak. From the well-maintained trail, beautiful alpine ridges led directly to the glacier below the peak, and the storm abated in time for us to dry out at camp that evening. We intended to climb the Colorado Route, a (likely unrepeated) 5.11 climb tackling the granitic north face of Castle Peak, just south of the USA/Canada border. Fred Beckey had recruited a trio of Colorado climbers to attempt the project fifteen years ago, but he had stayed at camp due to hip troubles while they completed the climb. herrington-2 New

This year a large snow patch lingered at the base of the route, seemingly on top of its first pitches. Armed with an excitement fueled by the visions of clean granite overhead, we decided to simply follow whatever features offered protectable and compelling climbing up the wall. After an exciting wakeup crossing the glacial moat, we began just left of the clean buttress face, climbing across to the top of the snow patch in two pitches. Rising up from the belay was a stretch of some of the cleanest alpine granite I’ve ever seen. Though lacking in long corner or crack systems, the appearance of face holds allayed our fears and we set out hoping for adequate protection. The first pitch off the snow (our third) linked balancy face features, a thin crack, and show-stopper crux moves to the belay ledge. On Pitch 4, Peter started with a long stretch of unprotected but positive face climbing before pulling into the twin cracks of a steep dihedral we’d noticed from the glacier below. From the pedestal above these cracks, face climbing continued up and left to a finger crack which provided good protection as the moves again became more difficult and the route was forced up and around a few left-facing corners to the left-edge of the wall. From the belay at the base of pitch seven, we questioned the route ahead and debated, aloud and internally, how best to proceed. I decided to try straight up the arete above, which began with a long stretch of difficult and nervous climbing where the thought of a fall had me wishing for more than the occasional purple TCU for protection. Peter led the next pitch, finding a fantastic and powerful left-facing corner with difficult but manageable finger locks.

From here the rock became more mossy, especially in the obvious dihedral systems. Luckily we were able to follow flakes and cracks onto to an amazing quartz dyke system. This stripe of bright rock–the golden staircase–carried us on for most of two pitches and provided a continuous line of perfect holds, really fun climbing, and occasional gear. From a small ledge below the summit, Peter used double ropes, our lone ice tool, an overhanging pullup move, and all the tricks in the book to get us up a hidden snow patch and through the final rock wall to the summit.

Our entry into the summit register was the first in 2008 and kept this year on pace with 2006 and 2007, which both also feature one entry. However, it was a good thing that the register couldn’t hold our attention for long. With both of us expected to show up for work the next morning, we soon began the descent to camp and hike out. Hitting the trail as stars emerged, we pounded down the final seven miles to the car–assuring each other that the inventor of the two-day weekend simply could not have been an alpinist.

After some email and photo sharing with the Colorado climbers, it sounds like we were never on their route at all, so now the Central Buttress on Castle Peak has a couple routes awaiting second ascents. Don’t forget your passport.

* Source : – http://www.alpinist.com/http://blakeclimbs.blogspot.com/

** Previous story  : – Rock climbing.

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Sir Chris Bonington Interview.

On the 21st April 1985 Chris Bonington reached the summit of Mount Everest at the age of 51. He was a member of the Norwegian Everest Expedition. He was the leader of the 1972, 1975 and 1982 British Mount Everest expeditions, and has travelled all over the world, making him become one of Britons most successful and loved mountain climbers.

1. You reached the summit of Mount Everest while on a Norwegian expedition, would you of preferredChris Bonington _300 New it to of been on a British expedition with some of your climbing colleagues?

I don’t regret going to the top with a Norwegian Expedition because I made so many life long friends in the course of the expedition, especially Odd Elliassen and Bjorn Myrer Lund with whom I went to the top. And of course, Pertemba Sherpa, who is one of my dearest friends also went to the top with me – he was our Sirdar in 1975 on the South West Face. Apart from anything else, it’s great making climbing friends from around the World.

2. As the leader on the 1972, 1975 and 1982 British Everest expeditions, did the media or anyone else ever try to blame you for the ones that perished and never came home?

NO, there was never any question of that.

3. Are you happier climbing or sat in Base Camp running the expedition as a leader?

I’ve never sat at base camp during an expedition. I believe the best position as leader of a big siege style expedition is to be in the camp just behind the lead climbers. In this way you can have a real feel of what the problems are out in front and also how the supply line is working, getting the big picture of what is going on through out the expedition. I have always done a bit of lead climbing, mainly because that is what I love doing but also, once again to get a feel for the climb. It’s a mistake to spend too much time out in front however because you tend to think tactically and loose sight of what else is going on.

4. What have been your most favourite climbs?

Climbing the West summit of Shivling with Jim Fotheringham – It was a 2 man trip, completely spontaneous, Alpine style, interesting technical climbing to a lovely pointed summit and a scary descent down the other side. Another greast trip was when Charles Clarke and I went into NW Tibet to find Sepu Kangri – this was real exploration – not much climbing, but fascinating country and exploration.

5. Over the years you have sadly lost some very close friends to the mountains. Has it ever made you stop and think why am I doing this (climbing)?

You never get hardened to losing good friends but I love the process of climbing and everything about the mountains so much that I have never thought of giving up.

6. What do you think about all these ‘stunts’ that happen on Everest? For example the fastest ascent, oldest person, youngest person, snowboarding, wedding vows and even standing naked on the summit.

Thank goodness I got up before the “Stunt “ era. It is of no real significance to mountaineering, but it is a great personal achievement for anyone who gets to the top, and certainly to snow board, parapont, ski from the summit, or for some one wioth a disability, or over 70 to reach the top is also one hell of an achievement. I think this trend is inevitable in the evolution of things.

7. Your wife, Wendy must of hated it every time you said your goodbyes before hopping on a plane for another expedition. Did she ever try and talk you out of going on any?

Wendy has always been 100% behind me on all the climbs I have been on. She fell in love with a mountaineer and has never wanted to change me.

8. Its been nearly 24 years since you reached the summit of Everest. What one item do you think has technically advanced in some way to make climbing Everest easier today than in 1985?

It’s really the arrival of commercial expeditions that run a line of fixed rope from bottom to top and then look after the clients and help them up. Improved oxygen gear and lighter bottles certainly have helped.

9. There are more commercial expeditions on Everest than ever before now. I know that they all bring much needed money into the area, but do you think that there should be a restriction on how many should be allowed on Everest in any one season?

I think there does need to be a level of regulation on Everest both in terms of numbers going on the mountain and also on a code of conduct and guiding qualifications. It seems ironic that guiding on Mont Blanc is very strictly (quite rightly) regulated with the guide needing proper qualifications that demand a long and thorough training, and the guide only having a maximum of, I think it is three, on his rope, whilst on Everest which is infinitely more serious and dangerous, there are no regulations at all.

And finally, my last question.

10: Do you think that George Mallory and Andrew Irvine climbed the Second Step?

I think it is very possible that Mallory climbed the Second Step. He was a very good rock climber, but I think it is unlikely that he and Irvine reached the summit, but you can never be sure, and let’s hope that remains a tantalizing mystery.

If you would like to find out more about Chris Bonington then head over the his website at www.bonington.com

The above Questions & Answers are (C) Copyright of Mount Everest The British Story

* Source :  – http://www.everest1953.co.uk/ChrisBonington

www.Everest1953.co.uk

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Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up : Climbers are leaving south side Everest BC.

(MountEverest.net) Climbers are leaving south side BC in a hurry – only the LET Kazakh team remains up on Lhotse.  Everest BC packing New

Climbers are heading up on the north side, hoping to reach the summit between tomorrow and Thursday. Meanwhile, Norwegian Jarle Traa has been evacuated from BC.

Everest South side: season closed

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Everest season end so early or so abruptly,” First ascent’s Dave Hahn reported yesterday. “It began snowing hard at BC at around 6 AM and that has continued without pause for the entire day.”

“BC is being deserted and in those camps where are still some climbers, packing takes major action,” Finnish Airborne Rangers wrote on Saturday. They planned to walk down to Pheriche on the following morning.

Everest basecamp Everest BC covered in snow yesterday. Image courtesy of First Ascent’s – website

Several teams reported through the weekend on helicopter flights being delayed or cancelled due to bad weather. Some climbers hoping to be airlifted are waiting for better conditions, while others have chosen to walk back to Lukla.

Everest North side: Jarle evacuated – teams on summit push

Norwegian climber Jarle Traa was evacuated by jeep from BC (5,200m). NRK news agency reports the climber reached the Nepali border earlier today, in order to board an ambulance which will take him to hospital in Kathmandu. According to reports, Traa summited Everest w/o O2 from its north side on Friday, and suffered frostbite on descent.

Dragan Jacimovic’s Serbian team and Gabriel Filippi, from Quebec, prepare to launch a summit push: “A few days of good weather are expected on May 27th,” the Serbian home team reported on Friday. “All climbers feel well and cannot wait for the summit day.”

“Gabriel is on his way to C2 on a final summit push,” Filippi’s team stated yesterday. “He will attempt to reach the top of the world on May 28th.

Update on records and casualties

Bill Burke of Cost Mesa, Calif., who summited from the South side on Thursday, became the oldest American Everest summiteer at 67. Eddy Dawes, 66, of Spokane, topped-out two days before. Bill was member in Asian Trekking’s group, while Eddy climbed with IMG.

On Friday, Alpine Ascents’ member Kay LeClaire, 60, of Spokane, became the oldest U.S. woman to climb the peak. Incredibly enough Lori Schneider 52, of Wisconsin, summited Everest with multiple sclerosis.

Casualties on Everest last week, now confirmed, are German (Calgary resident) Frank Ziebarth, 29, who perished after summiting Everest w/o O2 via the South side on May 21st; and Czech Veslav Chrzaszcz, who passed during the night at the North Col on May 18th, probably due to a heart attack.

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

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

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