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Jun 262019
K2 2019 Summer Season Coverage - Too Few Porters, Too Much Snow

The 2019 Karakorum season seems to be getting off on the wrong boot. For over week now we keep hearing about poor weather on K2, now it’s the same story on Broad Peak. Kobler and Parter reports in with their 17 person team: At the moment the weather is not too favourable to go to the mountain which has given us time to make our base camp almost as chique as the cafe in Islamabad! Once again Mike Horn chimes in from K2: Bad weather still hampering our progress but we went for a hike up K2 to keep the continue reading

Jun 242019
K2 2019 Summer Season Coverage - Snow Stalling K2 Progress

Only a few teams have arrived at K2 Base Camp thus far while many others are making their way closer by trekking on the Baltoro Glacier. Activity is also picking up on the other 8000ers in Pakistan. Finally, more deaths are being reported on the mountains this summer. Snow at K2 BC Swiss climber, Mike Horn, is doing a nice job of keeping everyone updated on his teams progress through his expensive social media. He arrived at BC last week and wanted to get to Camp 2 but snow conditions have delayed their efforts: New week, new goals! Weather not continue reading

Jun 192019
K2 2019 Summer Season Coverage - First at K2 Base Camp

The first climbers have arrived at K2 Base camp. Mike Horn reported in that he experienced snowfall throughout the entire trek: Hello everyone, this is Mike reporting from K2 base camp. It has been an intense week trekking up to K2 base camp. Heavy snows started falling from day 1 and didn’t stop until we reached base camp. This is quite a change from our last K2 expedition in 2015, when it only started snowing on our last day before reaching K2 base camp. Occasional snowfalls are to be expected around 5000m and upwards, however I was surprised to witness continue reading

Jun 142019
K2 2019 Summer Season Coverage

Welcome to my annual coverage of the K2 summer climbing season. I will be reporting from my home in Colorado this year based on my personal experience of our successful 2014 K2 summit and covering the action the last four years. I try to report on K2 in the same style as my annual Everest coverage but accurate information is much more difficult to obtain from Northern Pakistan than from Nepal. I’ll do my best to throw in occasional coverage for climbers on Broad Peak, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum I and II. Currently there are 391 people scheduled to be continue reading

Jun 072019
Everest 2019: Season Summary The Year Everest Broke

Everest 2019 will go down as the year Everest finally broke. It was one of those seasons where a lot of things went wrong, more things went right and many trends took center stage with new and old lessons for members, support, guide companies and governments. The only remaining question is, is anyone listening? One Person’s Story There are many stories to tell this year but this one perhaps encapsulates the entire season of risks, support, drive, judgment and motivation.  Los Angles resident Mark Parella was climbing with Seven Summit Treks. A he was headed to the summit he developed snow-blindnesss continue reading

May 262019
Everest 2019: Weekend Update May 27 - It's Not About the Crowds

The third week of May 2019 may go down as one of the best and worse in Everest history. Over 500 people summited but it was not without cost, 10 people died, many of which were avoidable in my view. More are headed up to summit on Sunday, May 26. As I will develop in this post there are four reasons for the deaths on the Nepal side this season: Too many people Too few summit windows Too many inexperienced people climbing inadequate climber support The Joy of the Summit Not to be lost is the joy and satisfaction felt continue reading

May 232019
Everest 2019: 3 New Deaths, Now 9 on Everest, 19 Overall

Three new deaths were reported on Everest during last 24 hours up to Midnight Thursday, May 24, 2019. Summit pushes are underway now. The winds have returned plus the routes are extremely crowded on both sides due to few summit weather windows this spring. Thus far this spring, there have been 15 deaths across six 8,000-meter peaks: Everest, Cho Oyu, Annapurna, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, and Lhotse. The deceased climbers have been: 7 Indian, 1 Sherpa, 1 Taiwanese, 1 American, 1 Bulgarian, 1 Chilean, 1 Peruvian, and 1 TBD Summit Windows Normally there are between 7 to 12 good weather days for summit continue reading

May 192019
Everest 2019: Weekend Update May 19

Last week was important for climbers across the Himalayan. The ropes were fixed to the summit on four separate 8000-meter mountains all on the same day, May 14, 2019. This was historic in that it has never happened on so many peaks on the same day. With that, many peaks, including Everest, were summited in cold temperatures but manageable winds. Then something else historic occurred. Seven climbers lost their lives and three went missing, presumed dead. Add in one more death on Annapurna two weeks earlier, it totals 11 deaths and this is even before the largest summit push in history on Everest that begins early next week. continue reading

May 172019
Too Many Deaths - Opinion

A horribly disturbing trend is showing all the signs of coming to full life this spring season across the world’s highest peaks. Thus far, 10 11 people have died on six 8000-meters peaks in Nepal and Tibet. And the main Everest pushes have not begun. About 110 people have summited thus far with another 700 to 800 on both sides going up next week. I’ve been talking about the trend of inexperienced climbers with unqualified guides for many years now. My fear has been that with all the success seen on these big peaks, combined with operators offering low prices that it has in-fact attracted a continue reading

May 112019
Everest 2019: Weekend Update May 12

Update: Sherpas at South Col. Will fix to Balcony tomorrow and summit on Tuesday. Let’s be clear. Climbing Everest is complicated. The press likes to characterize it as an easy “walk-up” or “short-roped to the summit” after paying $65,000, As I have said for years, this is lazy cut and paste journalism that disrespects the climbers and the Sherpas. In 2019, the storyline is the trash and bodies. I’ll address this later. But for today, there is only word on the mind of most Everest’s climbers and followers today: ropes. Without the ropes, there will be few summits. The weather continue reading