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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

2018/19 Winter Climbs: “Hurricane” at K2 and Messner Weighs In

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Feb 182019
2018/19 Winter Climbs: "Hurricane" at K2 and Messner Weighs In

As had been predicted, high winds are hitting K2 Base Camp and everyone is holding tight for the storm to pass. The high winds will persist through Friday so look for a quiet week and then a lot of climbing starting on the weekend with perhaps a summit push late next week. Informed Opinions say “No Summits” While these climbers are waiting out weather and trying to keep camps stocked, some big names are weighing in that they “have no chance.” Denis Urubko opined on K2, “they have no chance to get there this year”: (source) It is impossible to 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

Ecuador Volcanoes 2019: Acclimatization and Rare Bird Sightings!

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Jan 182019
Ecuador Volcanoes 2019: Acclimatization and Rare Bird Sightings!

Ecuador keeps getting better and better. Today was a real acclimatization hike on a super trail above Quito  We had another fabulous breakfast at Hacienda Rumiloma and hopped in Ossy’s FourRunner for the 10 minute drive to the telefèric or cable car to the Start of the trail to the summit of Pichincha Volcano which is considered extinct although it is next to Guagua Pichincha which erupted in 1996 covering Quito in a foot of ash. The modern convenience of the cars on cables (image that!!) to 12,950’/3,947-meters to start the hike. It was a clear, mostly cloudless cool day offering up continue reading

Sep 302018
Autumn 2018 Himalayan Climbing: Summits, Missing Climber, Skiing Lhotse

This last week has been the pinnacle for the 2018 autumn climbing season across the Himalayas in Tibet and Nepal. Sadly a Czech climber is missing after summiting Manaslu and the long-coveted ski descent of the Lhotse Couloir is apparently completed but not confirmed. Big Picture – Weekend Update This week will wrap up the volume teams leaving a few small, mostly independent climbers still attempting their peak. One point about this season I’ve noticed is that there are many, many, many small teams lead by Sherpas out of Nepal. The old-guard of western guides are here and there but continue reading

Sep 202018
Autumn 2018 Himalayan Climbing: Sherpas Dies on Dhaulagiri

Team after team are wrapping up their acclimatization rotations so look for summit pushed to begin as early as this weekend or early next week. The weather is looking poor for next couple of days but then returning to nice autumn conditions, albeit with rain around Manaslu and snow on Dhaulagiri – which seems to be the norm for those peaks. Sherpa Death on Dhaulagiri As happens regularly when climbing the world’s largest peaks, a death has occurred. This time he was Dawa Geljen Sherpa of Makalu rural municipality – 2, Sankhuwasabha on Dhaulagiri. Apparently he was part of a continue reading

Jul 292018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Season Summary

The K2 2018 summer season has come to an end when the Austrian operator Furtenbach Adventures declared the weather window had closed and they spent too much time on Broad Peak thus missing their K2 opportunity. Overall, K2 saw over 60 summits –  a record – by several different teams. As always with K2, there were deaths, two this year. Big Picture K2 continues to play hard with climbers in all seasons. Early in 2018, a well respected Polish team gave their best effort to make the first winter summit but were denied. Blame the weather, or botched logistics or poor continue reading

Jul 162018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Broad Peak, Gasherbrum Summits, K2 Push Begins

Not to be denied, the second summit push on Broad Peak was successful for most as was a clean summit of Gasherbrum II. And there are still climbers hoping to get Nanga Parbat. A large group of climbers have left K2 Base Camp hoping to summit later this week. Big Picture With good weather continuing, the routes are set and teams are pushing quickly to summit before conditions change. Its is reported to be quite warm, which can worry some leaders but thus far, the conditions seem to be about as good as they get in the Karakoram. Broad Peak continue reading

Jul 132018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Progress

With a span of good weather days, teams have made good progress across the Karakoram, including K2. Talk is starting of potential summit days in about a week. AND it looks like there was another summit on Nanga Parbat! Big Picture The primary reason climbing 8,000-meter Hills takes so long is weather. You can acclimatize at home to 17,000-feet using altitude tents but you cannot control the weather. The Karakorum and Nanga Parbat season started with a lot of snow that slowed teams down, but recently the snow has calmed down as have the winds – in other words – continue reading

Jul 092018
K2 2018 Summer Coverage: Nanga Parbat Summit, Broad Peak Playing Tough

After the tragic news of Canadian climber Serge Dessureault’s death on K2 over the weekend, some good news would be welcomed and we have it with a summit on the difficult and deadly Nanga Parbat. Also, on Broad Peak, a summit attempt was halted due to dangerous conditions but they are going right back up. Nanga Parbat Summit Korean, Mr. Kim Migon, has summited NB along with support from Summit Karakoram. Sakhi Rose told me today: The legend mountaineer Mr. Kim Migon has successfully scaled Nanga Parbat dated 9-7-2018 at 8:23am Pakistan standard time. He was with Lu Chung-han and Sanu Sherpa. This was Kim’s last 8000er. Mike continue reading