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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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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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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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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Fredrik Sträng Reaches Paju and First Sight of K2

Swedish climber Fredrik Sträng departs Skardu, Pakistan on the road to Baltoro. He arrived in Paju on 22, June at approximately 6:30 pm local time.

In our last Dispatch, Swedish climber Fredrik Sträng was in Skardu, Pakistan battling permit issues and hiking the area.

We are excited to report that the permit issues have been ironed out after 5 patient days of waiting for the LO to arrive in Skardu and meet the team. Sträng left Skardu on 20, June and commenced the ride to Askole followed by the trek to Baltoro Glacier.

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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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Editor’s Note: K22017

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.

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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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Is the Hillary Step Gone? Everest2017

A controversy has arisen during Everest2017 over whether or not the famous Hillary Step outcrop on Mount Everest has collapsed.

This week climbers, including the experienced climber Kenton Cool, stated that the rocky outcrop near the summit of Everest called the Hillary Step had collapsed and was no longer visible on the mount. Cool, who has ascended the mountain 12 times, spoke in a video interview with BBC and stated, “It didn’t look, to me, as if it was the Hillary Step of old.”

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