K2 Remains Unconquered in Winter

K2, the King of Mountains, is the most treacherous in the world of mountaineering. It has never been climbed in the winter, although many expeditions have tried including the 2018 Krzysztof Wielicki expedition that also rescued Elisabeth Revol on Nanga Parbat in the middle of their K2 expedition. Other expeditions attempted it in 1988, 2003, 2012 and 2015.

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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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Vanessa O’Brien Thinks the Nanga Parbat Rescue Could Have Climbed Higher to Save Tomasz Mackiewicz

In a controversial statement on Twitter, Vanessa O’Brien revealed that she felt the Nanga Parbat rescue volunteers could have climbed higher to retrieve Tomasz Mackiewicz.

On Friday, 26 January, Tomasz Mackiewicz and Elisabeth Revol made a successful assault on the summit of Nanga Parbat during their Winter Ascent Expedition. Prior to their attempt, Nanga Parbat had only been summited once in the winter in 2014.

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One Saved, One Perishes on Nanga Parbat During Winter Expedition

PAKISTAN – One climber has been rescued from Nanga Parbat and one perished during separate winter expeditions on the “Killer Mountain.”

French mountaineer Elisabeth Revol was rescued off of the mountain after an ill-fated storm trapped her and her climbing partner above 25,000 ft (7620 m).

Her climbing partner, Polish native Tomasz “Tomek” Mackiewicz had to be left behind due to his severe injuries and physical condition.

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Crew of 180 to Depart to Antarctica on Scientific Expedition

The mission of the 59th Antarctic Expedition is to study ice cores of exceptional age; the crew hopes to reach depths of ice that are older than previously recorded as having been studied. In 2007, a Japanese mission took samples from ice cores that aged around 720,000-years-old; the team studied them in their Dome Fuji Station located in inland Antarctica. These cores were located at a depth of 3,035 meters. 

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Antarctica and Cold Environment Expeditions Season Starts on BCM

Now, we’re moving into our Antarctica and Cold-Environment Expedition Season. This is where we feature climbers, explorers and expeditions traveling to Antarctica and other environments that are naturally cold year-round. 

We have a lot planned for this long season that will stretch into the end of winter 2017. Included in our publication calendar is our well-awaited coverage of Second Lieutenant Scott Sears’ solo expedition to the South Pole and a feature on Dr. Ash Routen’s expedition to Lake Baikal in Siberia where he will be leading a team of 3 Brits across one of the world’s most interesting bodies of water. 

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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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Coming Up: Wendy Ong on Surviving a SCI and Climbing

Wendy Ong is the only person to have fallen nearly 200 feet (70m), survive, go on to rock climb, ice-climb, and ski at high levels with a T-10 Spinal Cord Injury; survive sepsis and climb her hardest trad route as a paraplegic (5.12- Cloud Tower, Red Rocks, Nevada) a few months later; ski her way across North America; and be the only para to ski, ice-climb, and rock climb in the space of less than ten days.

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Dealing With Post-Expedition Depression

Leading up to an expedition is a stressful time, and even during the expedition you’re faced with physical rigor and unimaginable requests of endurance from your body – but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

We often run into the same problem after the expedition when we’re home planning for the next trip or just “relaxing.” But we don’t really relax. All the downtime spent on the couch is spent recounting the days on the mountain, the snow, the good times, the ice, even the weather as annoying as it may have been at times. Once your boots are firmly on the ground, you find it hard to not have crampons on. You look around and don’t know how to manage the concept of walking into a grocery store and have no one know you just climbed Everest or K2 – no one around understands mountaineering life and most don’t even know mountaineering is a “thing.” How do you cope with this? How do you cope with wanting to be back on a mountain that terrifies and beats you down at every turn?

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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 Cescen 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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The Climb to Camp 2 | K2 2017

Moving on from Camp 1 after breakfast in his tent this morning, Fredrik Sträng commences the climb to Camp 2 and beyond.

Still snowing each day since his arrival on K2, Fredrik Sträng has made the best of the weather and window opportunities afforded to him on the mountain, always keeping physically active and exercising his mental capacities to remain in top shape for the summit.

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Tying an Auto-Locking Munter Hitch — Northeast Alpine Start

This article was shared from Northeast Alpine Start a mountaineering tip/tutorial and product review publication.

Continuing my almost weekly Tuesday (not always Tuesday) Tech Tip series this week I’m sharing how to build the Auto-Locking Munter (ALM) hitch. In last weeks post I shared how to tie a Munter Hitch (MH) directly onto a carabiner, a skill useful for any climber. This skill is a little more specialized and its…

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A Sore Neck, Wet Snow and a Taste of Camp 1 for Fredrik Sträng | K2 2017

Getting over a sore neck, traversing unnaturally wet snow and finally getting a taste of Camp 1, Fredrik Sträng’s K2 2017 Expedition has turned out to be eventful early on, but plans are still on track for the summit.

Since arriving at K2 Base Camp on 27, June, the expedition started off with minor delays, those usually attributed to life on K2. On 29, June, Fredrik and his climbing partner, Ali Musa, attempted to reach C-1 but snowfall and heavy winds forced them to abandon their plan, so, at Base Camp, they remained, but not idle. 

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Alberto Zerain Missing on Nanga Parbat

Known Spanish climber Alberto Zerain and his climbing partner, Mariano Galvan from Argentina, have been reported as missing on Nanga Parbat. 

Zerain’s team announced on 27, June, that communication with the climber had been lost on 24, June. According to a statement on their Twitter account, the team believes that because of the number of days the climbers have spent on the Mazeno route, they believe their radio equipment has lost battery. 

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The Season of Illegal Climbs on Everest

In the case of Tibet, it has decided to close its borders to climbers as a result of the actions of one man, Polish climber Janusz Adamski. In May, Adamski ascended the Tibetan North Side of Everest and successfully reached the summit; he then proceeded to descend the mountain from the Nepalese South Side. Adamski did not have a permit from Nepal to complete this traverse and was in violation of immigration laws between the two countries.

Prior to this, we also reported that another climber, Ryan Sean Davy, had been detained for attempting to climb the world’s highest mountain without a permit. 

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Ryan Sean Davy Released from Nepal and Banned from Climbing for 10 Years After Skipping $11,000 Everest Permit

Ryan Sean Davy was released from Nepal on 04, June and given clear passage to the US.

In a recent article we covered the story of Ryan Sean Davy, the climber who ventured to Everest with the intent to summit it, only when he got there, he didn’t have enough money to purchase his permit. So, he set out to climb it anyway.

Davy faced a fine of $22,000, double what he would have paid had he just bought the permit at $11,000. He also faced the possibility of jail time, or his fine could have been converted to jail time in whatever scale the Nepalese Government deemed appropriate.

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