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Jan 312018
 
Winter Climbs: K2, Everest and Wind

The death of Polish climber Tomek Mackiewicz and the rescue of French climber Elisabeth Revol by the Polish K2 team had followers at the edge of their seat over the past five days as once again the world’s attention was focused on high-altitude mountaineering. Now the K2 team is trying to regroup and over on Everest, there has been excellent progress this week. But with high winds hitting both Hills, we can expect a pause for a few days. See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two continue reading

Jan 282018
 
Nanga Parbat: 1 Saved, 1 Lost and the Spirit of Mountaineering is Strong

By now, the story is well known and earning global headlines in both the mountaineering and mainstream press. Two climbers joined together to attempt the world’s ninth highest peak, Nanga Parbat at 8,126-meters/26,660 feet. They got in trouble descending from 8000-meter level and life and death decisions were made. Tomek Mackiewicz‘s dream was to summit Nanga in the winter. This was his seventh attempt on the peak. The polish climber had teamed up with French climber Elisabeth Revol who had come within a breath of summiting last year. She was on her third attempt. The two highly skilled climbers made the summit was confirmed continue reading

Jan 262018
 
Miss Elizabeth Hawley Dies at 95

A legend in mountaineering who never climbed a single peak, passed away in Kathmandu yesterday at age 95. Miss Elizabeth Hawley was a legend. Full stop. I met her several times in Kathmandu, most recently after my 2013 climb of Manaslu. She was feisty, curious and smart. The first time I met her was in 1998. I was in Kathmandu on my way to climb Cho Oyu when I was told by the clerk in my hotel that I had a phone call. “Who would be calling me here?” I asked myself. “This is Elizabeth Hawley. What is your full continue reading

Jan 262018
 
Disaster Developing on Nanga Parbat, K2 Team to Launch Rescue - Update 4

Many media outlets and multiple press reports plus posts on Facebook are describing a developing disaster scenario on Nanga Parbat for Polish climber Tomek Mackiewicz. He and his French climbing partner Elisabeth Revol were on their summit bid in a tiny weather window when Mackiewicz developed frostbite and snowblindness. There has also been a mention of injury, but that is unclear. Update 5 Horribly sad but also part of mountaineering for a winter 8000er, due to impending bad weather the rescue efforts for Nanga climber Tomek has ended. The K2 climbers who stopped their historic effort for a winter K2 summit will descend with continue reading

Jan 242018
 
K2 Winter Update and News from Everest

As expected the K2 team is making excellent progress while the Everest gang is about to re-engage climbing Everest. The climbers on the other winter 8000er, Nanga Parbat, have been staged high on the mountain waiting for calm winds. See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Big Picture There are two styles often discussed when climbing the worlds highest peaks: alpine and siege. With alpine style, climbers make one push from their base camp to the summit, carrying all their gear with continue reading

Jan 212018
 
Winter K2 and Everest Climbs - A Rare Summit on Pumori!

This week both the Everest and K2 team should make huge progress.  Over on Nanga Parbat, the two-person team will attempt to summit midweek. See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Big Picture Entering their third week, both the K2 and Everest teams continue to set the route and acclimatize. They are busy establishing the low camps i.e. under 7000-meters before moving higher. Winter K2 The Polish team reports excellent weather for the first time in a few days. They continue to rotate climbers up continue reading

Jan 182018
 
Winter K2 and Everest Updates

Progress when climbing 8000-meter mountains is often measured in small steps, and that is what we have this week.  Also, it appears the Nanga Parbat team is heading for a summit attempt. See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Big Picture Both the K2 and Everest teams continue to acclimatize as well as trying to establish the low camps i.e. under 7000-meters before moving higher. The main issue has been, is and will always be wind. If it is about 30 mph/48 continue reading

Jan 162018
 
K2 and Everest Winter Efforts Begin Climbing

Now that both the K2 and Everest teams are nicely established at their respective base camps, they are beginning to make progress climbing the Hills.  See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Big Picture Both teams are dealing with the same challenge: establish camps to support their summit push. Both will put in fixed lines to protect them from falls. Along the way, they will set up camps along the route. The highest camps will most likely be created on their summit continue reading

Jan 122018
 
K2 and Everest Winter Efforts Gets Serious and a Death

Both the K2 and Everest teams have established a base camp and touched their mountains. In other news sadly a death on Lobuche Peak in Nepal. See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Winter K2 The Polish team arrived at the spot where they are currently building their base camp. Meanwhile, a few climbers began to fix a small part of the route up the Česen. They are reporting high winds at base camp that has delayed some progress but also some issues with continue reading

Jan 082018
 
Everest 2018: Another Everest Guide Leaves Nepal for China: Altitude Junkies

Phil Crampton’s Altitude Junkies has run Everest climbs from both Nepal and Tibet for 10 years and for 2018 he is making a radical change, returning to his roots. Phil began climbing Everest in 2001 thus is in a unique position to comment on the changing business of Everest plus the impact of recent crowds, government policies, and strategies used by other outfits to attract a wide range of climbers. Phil’s switch is the third guide company to leave Nepal for Tibet over the last several years. Is this the beginning of a movement indicating problems in Nepal or just continue reading