Showing posts with label Kangchenjunga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kangchenjunga. Show all posts

Himalaya Spring 2017: Season Progressing On Schedule

So far, the spring climbing season in the Himalaya has been a textbook one, with schedules and plans unfolding exactly as expected. That's good news for all of the expedition teams, which are now spread out at various points along their respective mountains working on their acclimatization process. For the most part, things are going about as smoothly as one could expect with some squads already eyeing summit bids in the days ahead.

We'll start with an update on Ueli Steck and Tenji Sherpa, who are preparing to make an attempt at an Everest-Lhotse Traverse. Ueli has been in Nepal for several weeks now, and has been focused on training for the upcoming climb. According to reports, he and Tenji climbed as high as Camp 2 on Everest and spent two nights there before April 12, which is two weeks ago at this point. We're still awaiting a new dispatch to give us an indication of what they've been up to since then, but it is safe to say that the duo have now spent more nights at altitude and may have even touched Camp 4 at this point. It is believed that Ueli will want to begin the traverse ahead of the massive summit push that will come around mid-May so that he can avoid the traffic jams, although the weather will ultimately decide when that happens.

Also on Everest, the big commercial squads are spread out across the mountain. International Mountain Guides has three different teams moving on the mountain with the first descending from C2, while another moves up to that point, and the third treks up to Camp 1. Likewise, the Adventure Consultants team went up to C2 this past weekend and touched the Lhotse Face, while RMI's climbers are currently safe and sound in Camp 1.

On the North Side of Everest, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki is getting settled in and will be making his sixth attempt on the mountain. Previously he has climbed solo in the fall, but due to shifting politics on permits he's back for a go in the spring. The #EverestNoFilter team of Corey Richards and Adrian Ballinger are also climbing from that side of the mountain and have now been as high as 7010 meters (23,000 ft).

Over on Annapurna, the mountain is being as stubborn as ever. ExWeb is reporting tough conditions for climbing so far, including a series of Avalanches that struck C2 last week. That forced some of the teams to retreat to BC to regroup and wait for some stability to set in. The mountain is well known for being extremely dangerous with avalanches occurring frequently, but over the past few years teams have attempted early summits while the slopes were still frozen. That doesn't seem to be the case this time out however.

Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger are in BC on Kangchenjunga have begun fixing rope up the mountain. They report high winds on the mountain so far, with one gust even picking up Simone's tent and depositing it down the mountain with the climber still in it. Still, the duo seem to be in good spirits and are plugging away at getting acclimated while establishing the first of their high camps. Their plan is to traverse the entire Kangchenjunga massif this season, which is an incredible 5.5 km (3.4 miles) in length.

Finally, David Göttler and Herve Barmasse are no enroute to Shishapangam Base Camp after completing all of the paperwork needed to make their climb. The two men hope to open a new route along the South Face of the mountain and are now trekking to the start of their climb. Previously they've been climbing in the Khumbu region and topped out on Island Peak to help with acclimatization.

That's all for now. More updates soon.

Himalaya Spring 2017: The Kangchenjunga Skyline Expedition - 3 Miles Across the Death Zone

Earlier today I posted a story about some interesting expeditions to follow in the Himalaya this spring the aren't taking place on Everest. Not long after that story went live on The Adventure Blog, we got news of yet another very interesting climb that is set to get underway soon as well, with one of the most difficult mountains in the world as the target.

This morning, Simone Moro took the wraps off of his next project which is called the Kangchenjunga Skyline Expedition. As has been the case in most of his recent expeditions, he'll be climbing with Tamara Lunger on what promises to be one of the most difficult endeavors of their careers – which is definitely saying something.

The plan is for the the duo to attempt an incredibly difficult and high altitude traverse without the use of supplemental oxygen or Sherpa support. They'll start on the Kangchenjunga plateau and cross over four massive peaks along the way, starting with Yalung Kang (8505 m/27,902 ft), then on to the third highest peak on the planet in Kangchenjunga itself at 8586 meters (28,169 ft), before proceeding on to Kangchenjunga Central (8482 m/27,828 ft), before proceeding to Kangchenjunga South (8476 m/27,808 ft). Along the way, they'll cover more than 5.5 km (3.5 miles) above 8300 meters (27,230 ft), all the while trekking above the so called "Death Zone" without bottled oxygen.

Once acclimatized, Simone and Tamara will spend seven days on the traverse, completely unsupported along the way. If they are successful, it will be the longest traverse at altitude ever.

To learn more about this impressive expedition, check out the announcement video below.

Three Female Nepali Climbers Announce Kangchenjunga Expedition for Spring

Three of the most famous women climbers from Nepal have announced their next big expedition, and true to form they're going after one of the highest mountains on the planet. Back in 2014, Maya Sherpa, Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, and Pasang Lhamu Sherpa drew accolades from the mountaineering community when they summited K2, which was an impressive addition to their resume which already included an Everest climb in 2007. Now, with the two highest mountains in the world already under their belt, they'll turn their attention to the third tallest - Kangchenjunga.

The expedition is set to take place this spring, with the goal of reaching the summit in April or May. The ladies are hoping to become the first Nepali women's expedition to scale that mountain, which to date has seen just nine female ascents, all made by foreigners.

Kangchenjunga, which sees very little traffic in general, has only been summited a total of 344 times since it was first climbed on May 25, 1955. It is a technically challenging ascent that is usually made all the more difficult due to unpredictable weather conditions.

The ladies say they are climbing the mountain not to just establish a new record for Nepali women, but also to raise awareness of climate change and demonstrate that the mountains in their home country are safe. Since the earthquake back in 2015, tourism and climbing expeditions have been down, impacting the economy there. That is expected to change this year as climbers begin to return in larger numbers, and trekkers make their way back into the Himalaya as well.

It should be fun to follow this trio come spring, when the big mountains in Nepal will be very busy with some interesting expeditions. We're still three months away from the start of the spring climbing season, but it is already shaping up to be a good one. For now though, we'll continue to keep an eye on the developing winter climbs, which are mostly just getting underway.

Video: India - Land of Kings

India is a nation with a rich history, deep culture, fascinating people, and beautiful landscapes. In this video we travel there, visiting places like Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer while getting a look at the manmade and natural wonders that the country has to offer. It is a place of of contrasts, deep spiritualism, and vibrant colors that any traveler will find both challenging and rewarding.

If you've always dreamed of visiting India yourself, Mountain Travel Sobek has a number of unique itineraries to help you make that dream a reality. For instance, their 13-day journey through the Sikkim region takes you into the shadow of Kangchenjunga on foot, and to then home of legendary Everest climber Tenzing Norgay himself.

India - Land of Kings from Neftali on Vimeo.

Himalaya Spring 2015: Expeditions to Watch

This weekend many climbers from across the globe will set out for Nepal at long last. Even though there has already been action in the Himalaya this spring, the season won't truly get underway until next week when the teams begin arriving in Kathmandu in droves. It'll take them some time to get out to their various Base Camps, but things are about to get very interesting in the big mountains.

To prepare us for the season ahead, Alan Arnette shared a post yesterday detailing some of the major expeditions to watch in the weeks ahead. Most of these climbs center around Everest of course, but several will focus on other major peaks too. Alan himself will leave shortly for Nepal as well, where he'll be attempting Lhotse this spring.

Among the climbs that Alan recommends keeping an eye on this year are an expedition to the rarely visited North-Northeast Ridge, where Canadian Raphael Slawinski will be joined by Germans David Goettler and Daniel Bartsch to attempt a new route without the use of Sherpas or supplemental oxygen. This side of the mountain has only been scaled one other time, but a Russian team back in 1996. The trio will be going up the ridge along a different path however.

Kilian Jornet's speed attempt on Everest will certainly get plenty of attention as well. His original plans were to make the attempt from the North Side, but Alan's report seems to indicate that is no longer the case. Considering the challenges and uncertainty that come with climbing in Tibet, and the fact that some operators switched sides and cancelled climbs on the North, perhaps Kilian has had to change up his plans as well. That will make things difficult for him, as the larger crowds on the South Side will certainly alter his approach.

Other interesting expeditions on the schedule an attempt to ski the Lhotse Coulair on Everest by Matt Moniz and Wilie Benegas. Alan says the coulair has never been fully skied before, and these two climbers will do it after summiting Everest. British climber Kenton Cool has ambitious plans for the weeks ahead as well. He'll first attempt to summit Everest – something he has done 11 times in the past – before moving on to Kangchenjunga and eventually K2. 23-year old Brit Rupert Jones-Warner will attempt to summit Everest from both the North and South Side, using a helicopter to travel between the two Base Camps on the respective sides of the mountain. Finally, German climbing legend Ralf Dujmovits is returning to Everest once again to attempt to summit without the use of bottled oxygen. Ralf has already climbed all 8000-meter peaks, but feels he has unfinished business on Everest after using O's to summit that peak.

That's the run-down of Alan's suggestions for climbs to watch this spring. Of course, I'm sure there will be plenty of other interesting expeditions to keep an eye on as well. The season is only about to get underway, so there should be plenty of action to come.

All-Female Sherpa Climbing Team Turns Attention to Kangchenjunga

One of the best stories to come out of the mountaineering world over the past few years has been the emergence of the Maya Sherpa, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa as a high profile climbing team. The three women have joined forces to knock off some of the tallest – and toughest – mountains on the planet, and they aren't finished yet. But they have also found themselves struggling not just with the peaks that they have elected to climb, but also plenty of bureaucracy and misunderstanding as well.

The three ladies have already successfully climbed both Mt. Everest and K2. They were part of the very successful climbing season that took place in Pakistan this summer, and were able to summit K2 on July 26. In doing so, they became the first Nepali women to top out on the second highest mountain on the planet – one that is considered much more difficult to climb than Everest itself.

You would think that having knocked off two of the highest profile mountains on the planet, these women would have little problem finding sponsors to assist them in their endeavors. But according to a recent story in the Nepal Times, they are finding very little support for their efforts, even back home in a country that thrives on mountaineering. When they announced that they intended to climb K2, the response from many officials in Nepal was "Where is that?" Never the less, the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal pledged to give the team Rs 500,000 (roughly $8000) to help pay for their expedition. They have yet to receive any of that money, and they still owe Rs 2 million (about $31,600) on their K2 expedition.

Despite these set backs, they are forging ahead with plans to climb another 8000 meter peak. In the spring they hope to make an attempt on Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world at 8586 meters (28,169 ft). The mountain is located along the border of Nepal and Tibet, which will hopefully aid their cause in finding funding for the expedition. 2015 will mark the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of the mountain, and the girls hope to be there to commemorate that historic event.

When not climbing, the three women – each of whom is married – works as trekking and climbing guides. They are also very active in Himalayan Women Welfare Society, and organization focused on improving the lives women living in the region. They hope to be a good example for young Nepalis, many of whom don't know much about the mountains that surround them.

Considering all of the stories we've heard about the Nepali government over the past year, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that officials would promise to help this team, only to not deliver on that promise and provide the women with the funds they need. Hopefully they will find a good connection with some sponsors, as they certainly deserve to have some attention drawn to their adventures in the mountains.