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Sep 172017
Autumn Himalayan Climbing: First Summits and Heavy Snow Ahead

The rope fixers reached the summit of Manaslu while other teams across the Himalayan continue to establish high camps enjoying good weather with one exception, those on Dhaulagiri saw their summit bid stopped cold. Dhaulagiri – summit stopped 78-year-old Spanish climber Carlos Soria Fontan on Dhaulagiri saw his first summit attempt stalled after they went up the wrong gully to reach the summit. By the time they had discovered their mistake, the conditions turned cold, windy and snowy so they have returned to base camp to regroup and will hopefully give it one more try. Carlos is trying to complete his continue reading

Sep 112017
Autumn Himalayan Climbing: Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Lhotse

The autumn Himalayan climbing season is well underway with Manaslu, located entirely in Nepal, dominating the numbers but not the challenge. Let’s look at the more interesting climbs first. Lhotse – South Korea back for 5th time South Korean, Sung Taek Hong at age 51 is back for the 5th time to attempt Lhotse’s South Face.  The only time this route has been climbed was in October 1990 by Russian climbers Serguey Bershov and Vladimir Karataev according to the Himalayan Database. Sung Taek has attempted this route in each of the previous four years. This year he has Spanish climber continue reading

Sep 052017
Autumn Himalayan Climbing Begins

If it is early September, it must mean a migration to the big mountains of Tibet and Nepal, however for 2017, the Tibetan high peaks will be quiet. The Chinese have closed climbing throughout Tibet due to a “meeting” being held in the area. As usual the real reason remains elusive adding to the uncertainty to climbing in Tibet on any mountain in any season. Cho Oyu The world’s sixth highest peak at 26,907’/8201m, closed for 2017,  is the second most popular 8000er after Everest with over 3,500 summits. Everest now has over 8,000 summits. For many years, the Chinese continue reading

Aug 282017
Staying Safe on Colorado's Deadly 14ers

2017 is proving to be a deadly summer in the Colorado mountains above 14,000 feet aka the 14ers. Thus far 8 10 now 11 as of 4 September 2017 people have died across the state. Hiking and climbing in the Colorado Rocky Mountains is supposed to be fun, not deadly. Most accidents and death happen when a person lacks the experience or exercises poor judgment. Take your time, learn the basic, follow the known rules and have fun. Certainly things can happen beyond your control as I experienced earlier this year when a gust of wind knocked me over at 11,000 continue reading

Aug 242017
Climbing News: The Difficulty of Finding the Summit

If there is one certainty in mountaineering it is not to believe everything you read, and in some cases your own eyes. For the second time this season, well-regarded Sherpa guide, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa seems to have missed the summit. First on Nanga Parbat by his own admission now on Broad Peak according to one of the climbers with him. These are not the first time Mingma has had his summit questioned even though he claims to have summited 11 of the 14 peaks above 8000 meters. For many climbers, these claims end up being honest mistakes where the climber continue reading

Aug 232017
Russell Brice Continues to Guide, but with Caveats

Last week, I made a post about Russell Brice’s public statement that he will “hang up the guiding boots.” In that post I also hoped this was an emotional reaction to cancelling his second expedition on K2 in three years. Well we now have the answer. Brice to “Stay” Russell Brice, stung by his decision to stop his K2 expedition this season when another team went on to summit, wrote a heartfelt description of exactly why he made the decision to end the summit push on K2 and summed up his newsletter with these startling statements: So once again it would continue reading

Aug 222017
Young Sherpa Brought to U.S. Before Amputation

One of the tragic stories from Everest 2017 was of Dawa Sange Sherpa who had all of his fingers severely frostbitten while working with a client who reportedly refused to turn back in bad weather. Thanks to the generosity of the climbing community, Sange is now in Vail, Colorado receiving treatment from some of the world’s best doctors but he needs our help. Good Samaritan David Snow was trekking to Everest Base Camp with his group from Utah. Sange was guiding them on the trek and on to attempt Lobuche Peak. David found the young Sherpa eager to help his continue reading

Aug 042017
Mingma Sherpa Continues 8000er Roll with Broad Peak

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa founder of Dreamers Destination continues his impressive 2017 with yet another summit of an 8000 meter mountain, Broad Peak. Icelander John Snorri Sigurjónsson also summited BP adding to his two 8000ers this year – K2 and Lhotse. British-American Vanessa O’Brien who summited K2 with Mingma was not with them but apparently, as reported by Mingma, Fredrik Sträng went along to nab Broad Peak thus not wasting his trip to the Karakorum after not being able to summit K2. Mingma posted on Facebook: Finished my 11x8000m peak. Broad peak is my 10th 8000m without oxygen. All safely arrived back to camp3. Congratulation continue reading

Jul 282017
Russell Brice Announces End of Guiding Career - Update

UPDATE: It appears that Russell Brice’s comments last update from K2 left us with an incorrect impression. He now clarifies his intent that he is not leaving guiding altogether but rather spending less time at base camp. He now says (emphasis is mine): And of course I need to discuss my flippant comment that I would hang up my boots. Thanks for all of you who have sent supporting messages, they are all appreciated. It is nice to know that people appreciate my work, but you do not have to live in a tent, wake up early every morning, make continue reading

Jun 222017
Everest 2017: Loose Ends

Now that the last summits of Everest 2017 are about a month old, there are a few storylines that continue to get press. In the grand scheme, nothing really changes with any of this “news”. Big Summit Numbers from Nepal Nepal Tourism reported for spring 2017 there were 445 summits from the south (Nepal) side consisting of 190 foreigners, 32 fee-paying Nepalis, 233 Sherpas. They issued 375 foreign permits thus a 50% foreigner success rate, much lower than recent history in the 70+% range – this was perhaps due to flu and an elongated summit window of a few days continue reading