Everest2017 is over, but there’s another season on the horizon. K22017 is just around the corner, and with it, comes a lot of preparation and thoughts, both good and bad. In this Editor’s Note, Base Camp Magazine’s Editor talks a bit about what to expect for K2’s upcoming climbing season and who BCM is watching closely on the mountain.
For every mountaineering season, I have a pick of mountaineers, expedition companies, guides… that I seem more interested in watching as they complete journeys; each season the picks are different, but some are constant favorites. This year, for the K2 season, I am watching Fredrik Sträng closely.
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.
If you’ve just made the mad dash to the top and succeeded, or even if you didn’t, you may be looking for some relaxation. An 8-hour trek from Everest Base Camp can get you to Hotel Everest View just 30.9 km. (19.2 mi.) away; here enjoy food, relaxation and the best view any hotel boasts.
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.
More stories of violence on Everest this evening as reports come in about a South African man who was nearly killed on Everest by climbers for allegedly purposefully avoiding payment for a necessary $11,000 (€10,104) permit that is required to climb the mountain.
Ryan Sean Davy says he was “treated like a murderer” when he was found cowering in a cave hiding, all in a bid to obscure his presence and not have to pay the $11,000 climbing fee the Nepalese Government imposes on climbers to reach the world’s highest peak.
When we think of Mont Blanc, we think of excellent climbing, amazing views and incredible snow-capped peaks, but little know about the dark history of Mont Blanc and the once-thriving towns it destroyed in 1892 after the Mont Blanc Massif released a hidden lake within the Tête Rousse Glacier upon the town of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and the small hamlet of Bionnay.
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.
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.
The Seven Summits are the 7 highest mountain peaks within each of the 7 continents – Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South Americ. The variations have to do with disagreements about the placement of mountains on continents and continental shelves.
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 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 is accurately captured by something as simple as numbers.
K2 was dubbed Karakoram 2 in 1856 by T.G. Montgomerie, the name stuck.
The Seven Summits are the 7 highest mountain peaks on each of the 7 continents – Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. The Seven Summits were first completed in 1986 by Patrick Morrow. However, the definition of the Seven Summits differs on how you view the borders of the world map, particularly with the difference being held within Europe and Australia since some don’t view the location of mount Elbrus in Russia as part of Europe or view Indonesia as part of Australia. This difference results in 4 possibilities for the Seven Summits:
If you’re over 50, you might want to cross “climbing Everest” off your bucket list of things to do. The governments of Nepal and Bengal have proposed new rules that will limit access to the mountain from climbers over 50 and novice climbers, however, new talks say the age limit has been increased to 75. While most understand the Nepalese and Bengalese Governments’ reasons for wanting to limit the amount of climbers on Everest, most mountaineers and alpine experts doubt the restrictions will pass for a few reasons. According to their proposal:
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.
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.
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. This analysis recounts the official accounts of occurrences between May 10, 1996 – May 12, 1996 and the telling of the events from two sides of the same tragedy written into two books: “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer and “The Climb” by Anatoli Boukreev – accounts that have remained controversial and conflicting in their beliefs of what and who was to blame for the tragedy.
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.