Understanding Avalanche Conditions During Winter Mountaineering

Understanding avalanche conditions during winter mountaineering is an important part of safe climbing.

Learn about conducting snow pit tests, pregame research and avalanche survival practices. 

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Signs of High-Altitude Sickness, Treatment and Prevention

Here’s a list of the most common high altitude sicknesses, their treatment and prevention: Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), Hypoxia, Hypothermia and Snow Blindness.

Being aware of high altitude sicknesses and expedition illnesses can mean the difference between life and death on the mountain.

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The Search for Tom Ballard & Daniele Nardi Officially Over. Bodies Found

On 09 March, the search for Tom Ballard and his climbing partner, Daniele Nardi, was officially called off. The previous sightings of “silhouettes” during the reconnaissance operation were confirmed to be the bodies of the two climbers.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the search and rescue operation of Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi was officially called off on 09 March 2019.

The rescue operation had been ongoing since the climbers’ last communication on 24 February. Both climbers were on an expedition attempting to climb the notorious Mummery Spur on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. Since the route’s creation, it has remained unclimbed.

On 06 March, the Nardi team revealed that Alex Txikon had identified two “silhouettes” through a high powered telescope. The team was prepared to confirm the sightings using the assistance of a helicopter flyby. On the scheduled day, Pakistan recalled the helicopter for military operations. It would be another two days before the identification could be completed.

On 09 March, Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo announced on Twitter that the “silhouettes” previously identified were, in fact, those of Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi.

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Tom Ballard & Daniele Nardi Rescue Update: Two Silhouettes Identified. Search is Not Over

In a surprising update to the Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard Rescue operation, Alex Txikon identifies two Silhouettes on Nanga Parbat from Base Camp. The search is continuing.

According to reports, the identification was made at dawn; and helicopters are scheduled to arrive soon to continue the exploration of the mountain. The report stated that the search would continue along the Mummery Spur route. The team hopes to get closer observations of images they witnessed through a telescope.

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Tom Ballard, Son of Alison Hargreaves, Disappears on Nanga Parbat

The acclaimed son of Alison Hargreaves has disappeared on Nanga Parbat while on an expedition in late February with Daniele Nardi.

The last time the pair were heard from was on Sunday, 24 February 2019.

Tom Ballard is the son of Alison Hargreaves, first woman to summit Mount Everest during a solo climb without supplemental oxygen. She died 3 months later on K2 at the age of 33. Ballard is 30.

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The 2008 K2 Disaster

The 2008 K2 Disaster was a highly publicized climbing disaster that resulted in the deaths of 11 climbers on 01 August of that year. The tragedy also heightened scrutiny of safety precautions and climber responsibility during expeditions.

The 2008 K2 Disaster was brought on by a series of events, some preventable, some not. but what it had in common with many mountaineering disasters, including the 1996 Everest Disaster, was the continuation of a summit push past the safe turnaround time.

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Wendy Ong Shares How She Overcame Her Spinal Cord Injury and Climbed On

This month, the star of the end of our September month is Wendy Ong, a Spinal Cord Injury survivor who has defeated the odds and continued to pursue her passions of climbing and skiing some of the most difficult passes.

“Certain that Bob had me, I unclipped from the anchors, leaned back – and then free-fell nearly 200 feet to the ground.” I kept telling myself, “Don’t close your eyes Wendy, don’t close your eyes.”

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First Successful Summits on K2 Since 2014

There hasn’t been a successful summit on the King of Mountains, K2, since 2014. However, this changed today when one expedition, led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, made it to the summit and reported their successful assault through social media. 

Roughly six hours ago, Mingma G., head of Dreamers Destination, reported on his Facebook page that he and 11 other climbers had successfully made it to the summit. He wrote:

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28/07 UPDATE: Fredrik Sträng K2 Summit 2017 | Summit Abort and Reattempt Through Cecen Route

On 28 July, Fredrik returned to Base Camp after aborting the ascent at aprox. 7,400 meters due to bad weather and dangerous conditions that included little visibility, waist-deep snow and avalanches.

On 28 July at 8:00 P.M. EST, Fredrik’s contact updated his progress by stating that Fredrik and his partner would attempt the summit again. He will now approach the summit via the Cescen Route due to “bad conditions on Abruzzi.”

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FIREPOT By Outdoorfood Review #1 | Porcini Mushroom Risotto & Orzo Pasta Bolognese

Earlier this month, we had a “FIREPOT” night and our Social Media manager, Rob, joined me for a tasting two of Outdoorfood’s dehydrated meals, their award winning Porcini Mushroom Risotto and their highest calorie meal, Orzo Pasta Bolognese.

“The beef had an abundance of flavor, each bite of it was rewarding. The meal had real bits of tomato in it that also provided real flavor.”

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The Wait is Over, Fredrik Sträng Attempts K2 Summit Today

Yesterday, he announced that today is the day for the summit bid start!

We, and all you reading this now, have been keeping our fingers crossed in hopes of good weather for the summit attempt for Fredrik Sträng’s Sigma K2017 Expedition. In our last Dispatch, we left Fredrik waiting patiently as he watched the stars and contemplated his place amongst them and measured his size against the mountain.

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Fredrik Sträng and Ali Musa Wait for a Weather Window on K2

Through Dispatches, you’ve had an inside look into the Sigma K2 2017 Expedition that is underway with climbers Fredrik Sträng from Sweden, Ali Musa from Pakistan and their third team member, Abass, their Chef Cook at K2 Base Camp.

Next week, he and Ali Musa are expecting to have a chance at a summit push on K2, but it will most likely be a shared effort between them and other expeditions on the mountain.

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