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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1996 Everest Disaster Documentaries on YouTube

There are a few 1996 Everest Disaster documentaries on YouTube like Frontline’s Storm Over Everest, National Geographic’s The Dark Side of Everest, ABC’s Mountain without Mercy: The Everest Story and more. There are also some rentable motion pictures from $1.99-$5.99. Watch them here or on YouTube.

The 1996 Everest Disaster has gone down in history as one of the worst mountaineering disasters to ever have occurred on the mountain, killing eight climbers.

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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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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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Editor’s Note: Get to Know the Editor of BCM

In this Editor’s Note, we will be giving you a glimpse into the life of what we like to call our “fearless editor,” Cass Légér; an editor who is always on-call, never sleeps and puts everything into this publication, making sure our bases are covered.

We sat down with the editor and asked a few of the following personal and business related questions that came from the staff and readers over the course of 5 months.

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Remembering Alberto Zerain

Beloved Spanish alpinist Alberto Zerain died in a tragic avalanche on Nanga Parbat this week. Though he was not able to return from the mountain in this life, his memory has found a new home in the hearts among those who appreciated his attitude toward the dare of a summit and those who admired his accomplishments. 

Zerain was climbing Nanga Parbat as part of the 2x14x8000 project, which aimed to see 14 of the world’s 8,000 m. peaks climbed twice. While on the Mazeno Ridge, Zerain gave his last update to the Base Camp team on 24, June. Shortly after, his team lost contact with him and would announce on 27, June, that they believed he and Mariano Galvan had lost power on their radio communicators. 

On 01, July 2x14x8000 announced that a helicopter search of the Mazeno Ridge revealed signs of a massive avalanche and they did not believe there was a possibility of survivors. On this day, the search for Zerain and Galvan was ended and the mountaineering world began to mourn, finally letting go of the hope they had so desperately tried to cling to in belief that he would be found alive.

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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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Get to Know Climber Fredrik Sträng

Fredrik Sträng is our K2 2017 Watch Pick, and we will be following his expedition on K2 this year through his Dispatches from the mountain. But who is Fredrik Sträng and why does it matter? I felt that in order to really give readers a sense of what Fredrik Sträng is like as a climber and person, we needed some input from Cass Légér, the editor of BCM and Sträng’s point of contact for Dispatches. During my latest meeting with Cass, I lobbied for the quote bits below.

Here’s a glimpse into the life of this incredible climber, with some quotes from Cass Légér, with whom I spoke with this week while trying to get to know Sträng a bit better for this piece. 

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4 Incredible Sherpa Climbers (Still Alive)

While western climbers are famed for their great feats, Sherpa climbers are some of the best, with a natural ability to weather high-altitude oxygen levels and an almost unnatural ability to climb relatively effortlessly compared to western climbers. These are 4 of the world’s greatest Sherpa climbers who are still alive.

Pemba Gyalje, Purba Tashi Sherpa, Ang Dorje, Lakpa Gelu

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Fredrik Sträng Heads Out for K2 2017

Mountaineer Fredrik Sträng heads out to K2 on June 12, 2017, after nearly ten years of absence from the mountain since the 2008 K2 Tragedy that killed 11 mountaineers. 

On 3, June, Sträng was ready, packing his gear for his K2 expedition and gave everyone a glimpse of 60% of his gear, which he laid out and gave a tour of. His gear included the Swedish flag, two Petzl ice axes, Olympus Mons La Sportiva high-altitude boots, a Primus Lite XL stove pot and Out Meals dehydrated ready-to-eat meals.

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The Hillary Step Didn’t Disappear. Or Did It? Why Nepal Won’t Accept This.

In the case of the missing Hillary Step, we still are no closer to knowing whether or not the landmark is intact. So far, we have seen that various western mountaineers, including Kenton Cool and Tim Mosedale, claim that the rocky outcrop near the summit of Mount Everest is either completely gone or altered in some way.

But officially, the Hillary Step didn’t disappear, collapse or crumble.

Let’s take a closer look at why there is so much confusion.

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Everest2017 Marks 21st Anniversary of the 1996 Everest Disaster

Everest2017 marks the 21st anniversary of the 1996 Everest Disaster that killed 8 climbers including Adventure Consultants leader Rob Hall and Mountain Madness leader Scott Fisher on May 10, 1996. This day remains with everyone in the mountaineering community as a tragic unfolding of events that began on the 10th with an epic storm and would not end until the 12th. In its path, the storm left 8 climbers dead and one clinging to life, left for dead and only being saved by a tenacious wife who would not give up on him.

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Ueli Steck Cremated and Ashes Split Between Switzerland and Nepal

Ueli Steck, one of the most revered mountaineers of his time, died on 30, April 2017 while on a Himalayan expedition on Mount Nuptse. He was 40 years old.

On 04, May 2017, Ueli Steck was given a ceremonious burial service in Khumjung, Nepal. The mountaineer was cremated, and in attendance were only close family and friends who mourned his death for over three hours. The ceremony took place in Tengboche Monastery in true Nepalese tradition. It was reported that some of his ashes were spread in Nepal, and the rest, taken to Switzerland to be dispersed by his family.

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Ueli Steck Dies on Nuptse at Age 40

Ueli Steck’s life ended as the first casualty of the 2017 Everest Season. Steck died near the base of Nuptse at Camp 1 after falling 3,280 ft. (1000 m.). He had climbed the sister mountain of Everest to acclimate himself to the altitude before traversing Everest and Lhotse in May along with the rest of the mountaineering teams who make their summit assaults around 10 May.

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Royal Robbins Dies at 82

Royal Robbins, a legendary rock climber who helped define the rules of engagement for the sport, dies on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at the age of 82.

Born in 1935, Robbins grew up in Southern California much like most other working-class children spending segmented years between trailer parks before learning how to climb in the early 1950s. His first tackle was Tahquitz, a granite crag that includes nearly featureless sections across its routes and is notorious for loose rock on its North Side. His daring first run would be a testament to his audacious achievements in the future, which struck awe in his followers.

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Are Critics Wrong About Alex Honnold?

Alex Honnold, arguably the world’s greatest free climber and center of a climbing controversy, has been featured in a series of television specials profiling his epic achievements. In the February issue of Rock and Ice magazine, he’s featured in an interview spread covering his feelings about death, which seems to have become the hanging topic over Honnold’s head – “Does he know he will most likely die doing what he’s doing?”

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K2: The King of Mountains

Everest may be on every mountaineer’s bucket list, but true mountaineers know the prize lies on the summit of K2, or Karakoram 2, the savage mountain, the brutal mountain, the “King of Mountains.” At just 800 ft. shorter than Everest, K2 is the world’s second highest mountain; and while Everest is the tallest, it does not compare in any measure to the brutality that is an expedition on K2.

By measure of ratio, the death count on K2 is much higher than that of Everest, with well-documented mountaineering disasters in 1986, 1995 and the most recent in 2008; the 2008 disaster has been known as the most controversial of all. For every 100 mountaineers that attempt a summit on K2, 29 will die. Only 306 climbers have succeeded, 80+ have perished. Compared to Everest’s 5600+ summits and around 300 deaths, K2’s reputation, which is all but impossible to describe in words, is accurately captured by something as simple as numbers.

K2 was dubbed “Karakoram 2” in 1856 by T.G. Montgomerie, the name stuck.

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Denali or Mount McKinley?

Denali, the highest peak in North America and also a highly controversial mountain – its name has been the source of much debate over the past four decades. Denali was first ascended in 1913; back then it was called Mount McKinley, but today, we know this majestic peak by its native name, Denali, but that did not come without much fight, in fact, the state of Alaska, where Denali is located, began proceedings with the Unites States Federal Government to get the name changed to Denali in 1975, but before we go there, let’s rewind to 1896 when the mountain was first unofficially named by a gold prospector as Mount McKinley. After forty years of non-stop appeals, the mountain was officially renamed “Denali” on August 30, 2015, by Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell.

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The 1996 Everest Disaster – The Whole Story

On May 10, 1996, four groups of climbers set out to summit Mount Everest – one group led by Rob Hall of Adventure Consultants, another led by Scott Fischer of Mountain Madness, an expedition organized by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and a Taiwanese expedition. The day would turn out to be the single most disastrous event in the mountain’s history, killing 8 and injuring others after an unexpected blizzard ravaged the climbers, trapping them high on the mountain.

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No One Summits Mount Everest in 2015

Everest, the highest peak in the world and a hugely commercialized climbing destination; standing at 29, 029 ft. tall, the mountain has seen over 8,000 climbers reach it’s summit since the first successful attempt by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953, however, in 2015 no one summited Mount Everest, and the entire climbing season was canceled. Here’s why:

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Book Analysis: “The Climb” by Anatoli Boukreev

The 1996 Everest Disaster unfolded on May 10; after the events, Anatoli Bookreev wrote The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Mount Everest. This analysis covers the events as written in Bookreev’s book. Another analysis of Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster” by Jon Krakauer, which is a rival to Bookreev’s version of events was of the same tragedy also written.

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