Friday, 22 July 2016

Nicholas Rice K2 Expedition 2016

These past five days have been spent waiting out bad weather that has brought heavy snowfall and high winds to K2. The commercial expeditions (Seven Summits, Kobler and Partners, and Madison Mountaineering) ended up pushing off their departure dates so that they could allow their members the opportunity for a summit push. Yesterday, I had an incredibly unpleasant interaction with the owner of one of the commercial expeditions, Kari Kobler. He arrived to my mess tent after breakfast and called for me to come out. He apparently hadn’t paid his Sherpas enough money for the work they were brought from Nepal to do on the mountain (fixing the route for the clients who paid $35,000 dollars a piece to be here). Therefore, he was asking climbers throughout base camp to subsidize this service for him. The problem with his request is that the Sherpas are here on tourist visas, meaning that what he was asking for me to do is to participate in an illegal business transaction whereby I would be soliciting services from someone in Pakistan who was not permitted to supply these services for profit. Were they to have acquired work visas for their Sherpas, or used Pakistani high altitude porters, this would not have been the case. Regardless of this fact, I told him that due to the similarity of his request to that of Wilco before the 2008 disaster, I would prefer that he make this request after the summit push. He immediately blew up at me and said that he was “ashamed of his fellow western climbers” and that “this was pennies to us”. He claimed that he had “kicked the ass of another American climber in Everest base camp who had refused to pay” and then stormed off. As a student who is applying to medical schools and who has spent upwards of $5000.00 so far this summer on medical school application fees alone, I can say that the amount that he was asking from me was far from inconsequential. These are the words of someone who has been making enormous profits off of rich clients for decades. He has clearly lost touch with the average climber. I also plan on returning to Pakistan and would prefer not to break the law here and end up banned from climbing in Pakistan like other western climbers have been this year. Therefore, I have decided not to pay (he stormed off yelling how ashamed he was and not listening to a word I had to say about it, so he clearly didn’t care anyway). After this unpleasant interaction, I was told that he treats his base camp staff the same way and that this behavior was very typical of him. Most climbers have left for Camp I today and will be climbing to Camp II tomorrow. I plan on climbing from Base Camp to Camp II tomorrow if the weather remains stable. We received word this evening that our Camp I tent has been damaged and that the contents inside are wet. I am very grateful that the deposit I left inside the Camp I tent is still there, as this contains my down pants, stove, and other vital equipment. Were it to have blown away, my expedition would have been over. We also received word that some of the Camp II tents have blown away or been destroyed. I hope to learn before leaving tomorrow if my Camp II tent is still there. Currently, my goal is to attempt the summit of K2 on the 26th of July. But of course, this plan is dependent on the weather remaining somewhat stable and on my own physical condition. I have not yet slept in Camp III, so attempting to summit during this window is a stretch. I intend to listen to my body and turn around if I feel unwell at any point along the way.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Nanga Parbat 8125-M Winter Summit 2016

3:37pm.SUMMIT! Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara and Simone Moro have reached the top of NANGA PARBAT (8.126m) FOR THE FIRST TIME IN WINTER. Tamara Lunger stopped some meters below. Will spend night in C4 (7.200m) and tomorrow will be back in BC. Then they’ll have completed THE FIRST WINTER ASCENT OF NANGA PARBAT. Congratulations for such an excellent job!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

May this Year be more promising than the year before! Spread the happiness all around you! It’s Christmas! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

Team Saltoro Summits

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

How K2 Had One of Its Luckiest Seasons Ever

With 45 successful summits, this season on K2 seems too serendipitous to be true. But safely conquering the mountain took grueling amounts of work and skill, too.

At the end of July, during a rare instance of good weather, an estimated 45 people reached the summit of Pakistan’s K2. This is an unusually high number on a mountain where one in four people who attempt the climb die. A Spanish climber descending from the summit was this season’s sole casualty.
Though this year seemed like a summit free-for-all, climbers are quick to caution those who might think K2 is the next Everest. The combination of a great forecast, skilled climbers, and a bit of luck is to thank for the season’s successes.
This year a favorable 10-day forecast rolled in around July 22nd and triggered a wave of summits over the weekend of the 25th.
“The weather this season was excellent for this part of Pakistan,” said Garrett Madison of Madison Mountaineering. “We got lucky with the weather and the route conditions. Sometimes there is too much snow and it is too arduous to break trail.”
K2, 785 feet shorter than Everest, may be the world’s second-tallest mountain, but it’s regarded as more deadly. The weather is volatile and severe, and the climbing more technical. Only some 376 people have ever reached the summit of K2 and 84 have died trying. The number of Everest summits is 18 times that, at more than 6,000. 
The hazards of K2 are many, and end up reading like a plan to beat the last level of a video game: Avoid falling rocks and soft snow avalanches on the way up, scale the Black Pyramid to refuel at Camp 3, traverse the notorious Bottleneck above Camp 4, don’t fall off the side of the mountain and you’ll reach the magical summit.
From base camp late last month, Madison confirmed that his team had reached the mountain’s 28,205-foot summit, and more importantly, made it back down.
Other successful groups included the first ever Pakistani team expedition and athree-woman team from Nepal climbing to raise awareness for climate change and to promote tourism in their home country.
This is good news both for the climbing community and for Nepal, a country shaken by a recent landslide and the April avalanche on Everest that killed 16 Sherpas, many from a string of towns in one small area, the Thame Valley. The three Sherpas that climbed with Madison—Kami Rita, Kami Tshering, and Fur Kancha—are all from that valley.
“The whole climb was extremely difficult. You have to be on your game 100% and can’t make any mistakes,” said Madison, noting that climbers also need to be totally self-sufficient. “On Everest a helicopter can rescue you anytime up to 7,800 meters. On K2 there are really no helis, except from base camp, and they’re very complicated and expensive.”
According to climber Alan Arnette, it’s best to acknowledge the danger of the mountain, but avoid fixating on it. During the traverse of the Bottleneck just below the summit, the front two inches of Arnette’s crampons were his only point of contact with the mountain—the rest of his boots were hanging off the edge as he gripped a rope. “That was the point during the climb that I thought, ‘How am I going to climb down?'”
Madison’s team included two other American climbers, Matthew Du Puy, and Arnette. On July 27th at 8:00 a.m. local time they became the 16th, 17th, and 18th Americans to stand on top of K2, and Arnette, at 58, became the oldest American to summit. Arnette had also been climbing to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer's research, the disease that claimed his mother, Ida, in 2009.
“We pretty much climbed as a little pod the entire time,” said Arnette from his home in Fort Collins, Colorado. “There was not one moment where we had to wait on the way up or down. In Everest terms that’s unheard of.”
He summarized the feat that the team had just conquered succinctly: “K2 starts steep and ends steep. It’s unrelenting.” 
And the trek just to get to K2 doesn’t offer climbers a break either. Teams fly from around the globe to Islamabad, Pakistan and cross their fingers for a flight to Skardu. If they can’t get on one, then it’s a two-day bus ride to travel the 395 miles. From Skardu, it’s on to the “end of the road” in Askole to hire porters.
Madison hired more than 70 porters to haul gear and supplies for the 75-mile, 5-day trek over the rock and ice of the Baltoro Glacier.
“The trek to K2 is about twice as long as the Everest trek, and there are no villages or lodges like in Nepal,” said Madison, “It's tough trekking.”
And each porter needs their own porter to carry a personal food supply and gear. It took nearly 150 people to equip a six-man expedition. Since everything needs to be carried into base camp you just can’t afford to run out of supplies, said Madison.
Dawa Yangzum, part of the Nepali expedition, said that the trip across the glacier and the Karakoram highway was arduous. It took a week to reach base camp.
“It was very tiring, and it’s a very dangerous road,” said the 24-year-old. “And we drove through Taliban areas. It was scary.” 
The long journey makes getting to camp even more of a relief. And while base camp may not be the party that it is on Everest, the Madison Mountaineering camp was comfortable enough.
“We are definitely the 'high end' camp here,” said Madison. “And I don't mind other climbers stopping by to surf our wifi, or watch a movie on our big screen.”
The movie of choice? Ironically, Vertical Limit (a drama, yes, but one where everything goes wrong on K2).
Expeditions plan to spend around 45 days at base camp acclimating, setting up their high camps, plotting their route, and waiting for a good weather window to make a summit bid.
Roughly 32 climbers went for the summit the night of July 25 in order to reach the top the following afternoon. Since they were the first groups to go all the way up, a fair amount of lines still needed to be fixed, which made for a very long summit day. 
The Nepali expedition—Yangzum, Maya Sherpa, and Pasang Lhamu—reached the top at 2:30 p.m. on the 26th, hanging around for half an hour to take pictures and wait for friends. According to Yangzum, the group chose K2 precisely because of the challenge it posed.
“We call it the ‘mountain of all mountains’,” said Yangzum, whose previous summits include Everest and Ama Dablam. “It’s the most challenging 8,000-meter peak in the world.”
Madison’s group waited until that evening around 10:30 p.m. to head to the top, and as a result, had very little route fixing to do, making for a speedier ascent. 
The team was joined by just one other climber at the top, and otherwise had the summit all to themselves, spending about 45 minutes soaking it in.
“It’s a glorious morning, hardly any wind, views in every direction for 360 degrees,” Madison wrote on his blog. “Some clouds building on the horizon, but just a spectacular day.”
After losing three Sherpas in the Everest avalanche and two friends on Rainier in May, Madison had something to smile about. 
“We had a good time up there,” said Madison, who was en route to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro.
And after that?
“Maybe Cho Oyu.”

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Briefing/De-briefing at Alpine Club of Pakistan Islamabad (and faces rewind)

(Newsdesk/Karrar Haidri) ExWeb's correspondent in Islamabad has a short, official announcement to make for all climbers arriving Pakistan. On the occasion, have a look at his shots of great mountaineers visiting the ACP over the years. Click images for full view.

Here's from Karrar:

The mandatory Briefing/Debriefing Session , as provided under Mountaineering Rules & Regulations 1999, with the Foreign Mountaineering Expeditions / Trekking Parties, which visit Gilgit Baltistan region, will continue to be held by Alpine Club of Pakistan as already communicated via Government of Pakistan office order No.3(7)/2005-OP dated 27 August 2005. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Samina Baig and Mirza Ali has summit Mount Vinson 4,892 m Antarctica.

Five members team including Mirza and Samina successfully summit mount Vinson according to Pakistani time 01:00 AM today on 18th January 2014.
There are no countries, cities or villages in Antarctica since 98% of this region is covered by ice. It is the coldest region on the planet and some of the countries that are close to it are South Africa, Australia, Chile, Argentina and New Zealand.
On the 60th anniversary of Mt.Everest, since its first ascent back in 1953, where hundreds of thousands of mountaineers around the world celebrate this mega event of Mt.Everest, two Pakistani brother & sister carried  the green national flag of Pakistan and Samina Baig the first Pakistani woman and youngest Muslim to hoist it on top of the world. Mirza Ali & Samina Baig are the two Pakistanis participated in this great event and Samina Baig made history becoming first Pakistani woman to summit Mt.Everest on May 19.2013. the expedition was for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment through Adventure sports.  
While reaching the top yet the siblings are in quest to touch yet another impossible, the siblings are aiming to reach the seven summits on seven continents for Gender equality and women empowerment, this great feat in Adventure history is yet going to be remarkable, as to date no siblings have reached the summit of the Seven summits, as to date there are almost 200 people have reached the seven summits but any Pakistani and no  any siblings have attempted it from the rest of the world . This adventure is remarkable for the two siblings being Pakistani’s and making yet another history!
The expedition second aim is adventure diplomacy between the people and  connecting people through Mountains, this expedition also aims to raise awareness about Global warming and Climate change.
7 summits means the highest peak on each continent.
The Seven Summits # (Yes there are eight listed!)

Argentina, South America
Alaska, North America
Tanzania, Africa
Russia, Europe
Ellsworth Range, Antarctica
Indonesia's (t/m) is Oceania's highest mountain.

Friday, 22 November 2013

A Pakistani expedition to the top of K2. Da Polenza announces plans for the 60th anniversary of the first ascent

BERGAMO - 2014 will be an important anniversary in the history of mountaineering: July 31 will be exactly sixty years after the first ascent of K2, the second highest mountain on Earth, achieved by the Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio. In memory of the anniversary and as a sign of friendship that in the last decades has joined Italy and Pakistan, Agostino Da Polenza has announced plans to organize an expedition to K2 for next summer: this time, however, the Pakistanis will reach its top, with the support of Italy in the backstage.
 “I think it is important to keep in the memory both of Italians and Pakistanis this great sporting and mountaineering event, that is also cultural and scientific” - Da Polenza said - “The idea was born this summer on the Baltoro, after meeting a group of energetic and motivated Pakistani mountaineers who have climbed the Broad Peak. They will be the protagonists of the expedition to K2 next year”.
“We thought it would be nice, this time, that Italy would support a totally Pakistani expedition” - said Da Polenza, who talked about the project in the video interview that today you can find on our - “An expedition that would give Pakistan a chance after 60 years of having its own group at the top of K2, to celebrate a historic day as of July 31, 1954”.
Da Polenza announced this project in recent days in Skardu, at the heart of the exhibition “The Italian Science and Cooperation at the Shadow of K2”, which for two weeks has lighten up Pakistan, from Islamabad to Skardu. The event, organized by the EvK2CNR Committee within the SEED Project, in collaboration with the Karakoram International University (KIU) and the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Pakistan, recalled decades of cooperation between Italy and Pakistan, including exploration and scientific research in Karakoram, through a series of events from a scientific conference “Karakoram Resources and Climate Change: glacier, water and ecosystem” to the photographic exhibition “The Rediscovery of the Abode of the Snow” dedicated to the explorer Filippo De Filippi, to the Mountain Film Festival, organized in collaboration with the Orobie Film Festival in Skardu, to the opening of the new headquarters of the Central Karakorum National Park.
The events were a great success with the public and the work that EvK2CNR Committee is carrying out has earned the congratulations of the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino, who said “The programs of Everest K2 Committee prove the excellence of the Italian scientific research and technologies, and are an effective model of international cooperation for a more sustainable global growth”.