Showing posts with label Andes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andes. Show all posts

Video: The Best Mountaineering Films of All Time

Looking for some great mountaineering films to watch in your downtime? Then you'll certainly want to give his video a look. It provides a brief glimpse of some of the best mountaineering films ever made, including some top-notch documentaries and Hollywood produced dramas that offer a look at life in the mountains from a perspective that many of us never get the chance to see. I think I've personally seen everything on this list, but if you haven't, you'll find some good suggestions of what to add to you DVD collection or Netflix queue.

Video: Unclimbed - Reaching the Summit in the Himalaya (Part 5)

Discovery Channel Canada has released the latest episode of its Unclimbed series, which follows mountaineers Gabriel Filippi, Elia Saikaly, and Pasang Kaji Sherpa as they attempt to make several first ascents in the Himalaya this fall. In this episode, Gabriel and Elia travel to Peru to continue their preparation for the challenges they'll face in Nepal. This training expedition is overshadowed a bit by a previous attempt in the Andes, with the ghosts of that past climb impacting their current situation. If you've been watching this ongoing series, you'll definitely want to catch up with the team in this latest installment.

Video: Traveling the Andes Mountains - Spine of the South

In 2015, photographer Eric Hanson spent seven months traveling the length of South America along the spectacular Andes Mountains. Starting in Ecuador and ending in Patagonia, he captured thousands of photos of the landscapes that he encountered along the way. The very best of those images can be found in this breathtaking video, which give us an incredible look at these amazing mountains. Sit back and enjoy this clip, it is gorgeous.

Spine of the South from Overland Collective on Vimeo.

Winter Climbs 2016: Teams Pre-Acclimatzing in South America, Gathering in Pakistan

The winter climbing season is nearly upon us. The season officially arrives next Monday, which is the date that several teams have circled on their calendar as the start of the big challenge ahead. This year, there will be at least five individual teams attempting the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, while there are none currently scheduled for K2. In the days leading up to the start of the season, the climbers are busy preparing for what promises to be a long, difficult season. And while some are acclimatizing elsewhere, others have already arrived in Pakistan and are preparing to begin.

The Polish Justice For All squad is the first to arrive in Base Camp on Nanga Parbat. The team reached Lattabo two days ago, and have been busy building their camp ever since. They've set up their satellite communications system, solar panels, tents, and other gear, and are now patiently waiting for winter to officially arrive. They won't even begin to head up the mountain until that happens, but when it does, they'll be more than ready. The team is prepared to stay on Nanga for the entire season if necessary, waiting well into March for their chance at a summit. Hopefully it won't come to that, but with fickle weather a common occurrence on the mountain, anything is possible.

Meanwhile, the duo of Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger are also in Pakistan. They arrived in Skardu last week, and while there haven't been updates since then, it is safe to assume they are now trekking towards Base Camp themselves. Depending on when they departed, they should arrive on the mountain before the start of winter as well. Simone reports that they had an armed escort with them, which is unsurprising considering the 2013 attack on Nanga Parbat BC by militants that left 11 people dead. The Pakistani government has taken strides to ensure that doesn't happen again, but it still weighs on the thoughts of climbers going there.

Elsewhere, Alex Txikon is busy acclimatizing in the Andes region of Argentina. He reports that while the altitudes there are helping his body prepare for the Karakoram, the climbing is non-technical, and the spring weather isn't anything close to what he'll face on Nanga Parbat. Still, it is a good way to get ready for the challenges he'll face on the mountain once again this year, as his team looks to complete the first winter route as well.

Finally, Adam Bielecki is also in South America acclimatizing, although he has chosen to workout in Chile instead. He reports that he is currently camping on the edge of a crater of a volcano at 22,244 ft (6779 meters), which is of course preparing him for altitude, but he too says that this is a non-technical climb. In a Facebook post he says that he is already bored with just hiking in the mountains, and is now ready for the real climbing to begin.

Both Alex and Adam will depart for Pakistan next week and begin making their way to Nanga Base Camp. Look for them to arrive around the start of the new year.

Right now, we're in a period of calm before the start of the winter season. After that, things will start to get interesting. The teams will be very busy acclimatizing, establishing their camps, fixing ropes, and watching the weather. Hopefully at least a few of them will get a legitimate shot at the summit this year. Those chances are few and far between, which is why the mountain has never been climbed in the winter before.

Stay tuned for more.

Blind Adventurer Completes the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is one of the most popular hiking routes in South America, if not the world. Depending on the itinerary, most people spend about four days hiking from the trailhead to the terminus at Machu Picchu. By most accounts, it is a challenging hike, with lots of climbing and descending through the Andes mountains along the way.

Last week, blind ultra-runner Dan Berlin became the first person to run the route without the use of his sight. Joined by teammates Charles Scott, Alison Qualter Berna, and Brad Graff – collectively known as Team See Possibilities – Berlin ran the route in about 13 hours, with approximately 5000 feet (1524 meters) of vertical gain.

The four runners set out on the trail at 4:30 AM local time in Peru on October 14. Throughout the day, they were not only pushing their own personal boundaries, but were also racing the sun. The team knew that if they were going to reach the finish line in Machu Picchu before dark that they had to make it to the checkpoint at Winayawayna before 4:00 PM. They passed through that CP at 3:58 PM. That allowed them to press on all the way to the end, wrapping up the journey around 5:30 PM.

This isn't the first time that Berlin has undertaken such an excursion. Last year, he ran across the Grand Canyon, rim-to-rim, in 28 hours, becoming the first blind athlete to complete that challenge as well. While he tells Outside magazine that the Inca Trail wasn't as tough as that expedition, the more than 10,000 steps he had to overcome along the way were still very daunting.

Berlin received support from Intrepid Travel while undertaking this endeavor. The company offers small group excursions to destinations all over the world, and organizes a number of trips along the Inca Trail.

Congratulations to the entire team on a job well done, and to Dan for reminding us what we are all capable of if we set our minds on achieving a goal.

Video: Traveling Along La Ruta de los Gringos in Peru

Peru is a country with a surprising number of unique environments and landscapes. Ranging from the dense Amazon Rainforest to stark deserts, to the snowcapped peaks of the Andes, it is a land of startling contrasts. All of those settings, and more, are captured nicely in this video, which was shot over a three-week journey through the South American country. It is a wonderful travelogue that documents all of the fantastic things to see and do there, reminding us why Peru is a top destination with adventure travelers the world over.

Perú - La ruta de los gringos from Guillaume JUIN on Vimeo.

Video: Chasing the Inca on Mountain Bikes in Peru

A few weeks back I shared the trailer for a mountain biking documentary entitled Chasing the Inca. At the time, the full video was available online, but it couldn't be embedded on other websites. That has now changed, and you can watch the full 18+ minute film below. It follows riders Darren Berrecloth, Garrett Buehler, and Chris Van Dine as they explore remote regions of Peru in search of a lost Incan road through the Andes that was once used to escape invading Spaniards. This is a film of that combines both exploration and adventure on the back of a mountain bike, and it is definitely intriguing to watch.