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Mar 062019
2018/19 Winter Climbs: Search Draws Down for Nanga Climbers, K2 Team at C3

Another disappointing day on Nanage Parbat. The Russian lead K2 team made good progress and are hopeful they can summit soon. Search Draws Down on Nanaga Several sites are reporting that the search has officially ended for Nanga Parbat climbers Tom Ballard and Daniel Nardi. But the official page acknowledges today’s search on the Kinshofer route, which is to the climbers left of the Mummery Spur, yielded no positive results but the search continues. It appears the families have asked for another, perhaps last, search Thursday in an area of the spur that is sheltered from avalanches. K2 climbers Alex Txikon continue reading

Mar 052019
2018/19 Winter Climbs: K2 Winds, Nanga Search to 6500M

The search on Nanga Parbat has made progress with searchers on the Mummery Rib using drones, however, no sign of Tom or Daniel at the end of Tuesday, March 5, 21019. The searchers will look on the Kinshofer route on Wednesday. The K2 teams have been stopped near Camp 3 and Camp 1 by high winds, once again. Nanga Search Overview It has now been 9 days since Nanga Parbat climbers Tom Ballard and Daniel Nardi went missing and their last sat phone communication with base camp. By now there have been multiple searches using helicopters with trained mountaineers and continue reading

Mar 042019
Everest 2019: New Route Attempt on Everest

This spring Everest season, something rare will take place – an attempt on a new route. According to Everest historian, Jochen Hemmleb, the last time a new route was successfully completed was the Korean line on the left side of the Southwest Face (Southwest Face to West Ridge) in 2009, 10 years ago. And for the statistics, the following year Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner was the first to climb the North Col from the West and continue all the way to the summit. Two well known and seasoned climbers, Cory Richards and Esteban “Topo” Mena, will join forces to attempt a natural line continue reading

Mar 032019
2018/19 Winter Climbs: K2 Resumes, Nanga Search Update

The search on Nanga Parbat continues to suffer delays, mostly weather related. On K2 one team has left to help on Nanga, similar to last year, while another is climbing towards the summit, weather permitting. This week will close many open questions. Nanga Search Overview It has now been a week since Nanga Parbat climbers Tom Ballard and Daniel Nardi went missing. Repeated attempts to use Pakistan quasi-military helicopters have been thwarted by low clouds, or heavy snow. Bureaucratic issues have taken precious time away from the search due to the helicopter operations requiring cash upfront before launching missions. Ground continue reading

Mar 012019
2018/19 Winter Climbs: No Sign of Nanga Climbers

Update on missing Nanga Parbat climbers Tom Ballard and Daniel Nardi. In spite of two helicopter passes plus a foot search to Camp 1, there is no sign of the climbers. They have now been missing almost 6 days, and last heard from on Sunday, February 24th. The weather has hampered further air searches. A helicopter search on Friday, March 1, was cancelled due to poor weather. Plus, as is normal in Pakistan, payment (perhaps 30% of the total estimated bill) must be made before a helicopter search begins and that created some delays. The Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo had continue reading

Feb 272019
2018/19 Winter Climbs: What Now? - Updated

Update 28 February 21:00 local time: First Helicopter search completed with Pakistani climber Ali Sadpara on board. He reports seeing their tent at Camp 3 at 5,700-meters but also evidence of avalanche in the area. Tomorrow, March 1, is for four climbers from the Russian lead team to be picked up and dropped off at NP Camp3 for ground search. Update from Nardi’s Facebook page by his home team: Following the sweeps this morning, in agreement with the Italian Embassy and Pakistani Aviation, two helicopters helicopters, weather allowing, early morning from skardu for the base camp of k2. There will be the continue reading

Feb 272019
Climbers Missing on Nanga Parbat - Search Hampered

After having no contact for two days, the home team and base camp crew for British climber Tom Ballard, 30, and Italian Daniele Nardi, 42, have asked for help to search for them. They were attempting a new route on the Mummery Rib – a steep, avalanche-prone area known for taking lives. The two climbers arrived at base camp in December but made little progress due to harsh weather and deep snow along the route. Two Pakistani climbers on their team left a few weeks ago citing the difficult conditions and poor weather forecast.  Their last known position was near continue reading

Feb 102019
2018/19 Winter Climbs: K2 Progress

Excellent progress on K2 over the weekend with both teams moving well but more bad weather in the forecast including wind chills of -108F!! K2: Progress and Waiting K2: Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan Team – Progress Four climbers, Abildaev, Aubakirov, Danichkin and Pivtsov, of the The Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan team climbed above the Black Pyramid and left a cache of gear at 7,100-meters over the weekend. This was their high point thus far. They returned to Camp 2 and will return to base camp to wait out degrading weather. You can follow them on Instagram but Russian Climb and their site are the best sources. continue reading

Feb 082019
2018/19 Winter Climbs: K2 and Nanga Stalled by Weather

More big winds and snow are causing slow, if any, progress on these two Pakistan 8000-meter peaks. One teams feels they might not go for the summit until early march. K2: Reinforcements K2: Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan Team – More Money The Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan team has received a boost in funding from their sponsor allowing three new members to join the team. Originally there were 11 members but due to lack of funds it was reduced to 7. Now three Kazakh climbers: Ildar Gabbassov, Ahat Smailov and Amaner Temirbaev will join the team. While they are not acclimatized, they continue reading

Feb 072019
Does Ecuador Replace Nepal for Best 20,000-foot Climbs?

I just returned from a rewarding trip to Ecuador to climb three of their volcanoes. I went with US-based, Mountain Madness. While this was my seventh trip to South America, it was my first to Ecuador and now I see what I’ve been missing! I’ve been climbing and going to Nepal 13 times since 1997. As anyone who has read my blogs knows, Nepal is close to my heart for many reasons. However, Ecuador was so impressive, Nepal may have to share the top spot. In evaluating the two countries for trekking and climbing, both have pros and cons and continue reading