Home > General > ExplorersWeb Week in Review The Pioneers Checkpoint

ExplorersWeb Week in Review The Pioneers Checkpoint

Except for a single Spanish summit, K2 remained unclimbed this year. Too much snow, too dangerous conditions – the peak pushed climbers back until all chances were out. Other Pakistan peaks showed little success as well.
The season’s biggest sad event hit last Saturday, when a call went out for Oscar Perez seriously injured on Latok II. That black weekend, one by one reports trickled in from around the world about perished climbers.

At least good news arrived this Sunday about jailed Iranian K2 summiteer Kazem Faridian; and out on the Indian Ocean – Sarah Outen made it against the odds.

Latok rescue attempt called off For 10 days, Pakistani Army Air Corps helicopters and American, Pakistan and Spanish mountain climbers tried in vain to rescue Spanish climber Oscar Perez, stuck at approximately 6,200 m of altitude with a broken leg and an arm immobilized after suffering an accident when he tried to scale Latok II in alpine style with Alvaro Novellón. The rescue became a fight against the clock, with the uncertainty of knowing if Oscar Perez remained alive, since he did not have means to communicate with the outside world. The attempt was finally called off today Sunday, due to the elapsed time, failure to locate Oscar, and difficulty of the route in combination with bad weather posing danger to the rescuers.

Newsflash: K2 summiteer Kazem Faridian released Kazem Faridian was arrested on 25 June in Tehran, and held in the notorious Evin prison for almost 50 days. Kazem’s friends got in touch with ExWeb last week, worried about the silence since his arrest. He has now been released, and is reportedly doing all right.

American Climbing editor killed Climbing Mag Editor Craig Luebben, 49, was killed by falling ice on Mount Torment in Washington’s Cascades when climbing with Willie Benegas in preps for an Alpine Guide certification.

Andrzej Marciniak found dead in Tatras Polish climber Andrzej Marciniak was reportedly found dead in Tatras on Friday, August 7. Andrzej summited Everest in 1989 (May 24) as member in the expedition that killed five fellow Polish climbers.

Riccardo Cassin – died at age 100 Italian legend Riccardo Cassin died near Lecco on August 6. Part of Ragni di Lecco (the Lecco Spiders), Cassin made many legendary climbs in the Dolomites and around the world, fought in WWII and set up shop with his own climbing gear. In 1961 at age 52, Riccardo became the first to summit Denali via the Cassin Ridge, and he continued to climb well into his 80s.

Eun-sun summits GI, her 13th 8000er South Korean Oh Eun-sun topped out GI, her 13th 8000er, on August 3. The South Korean lady climber has now just Annapurna left to complete the 14x8000ers list. GI (Hidden Peak) is Miss Oh’s fourth 8000er summited only this year – after Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri and Nanga Parbat. The South Korean climber is now on top of the female 14x8000ers rank.

Carlos Soria summits G1 Also Soria’s team summited G1 with the Koreans. Carlos may have become the oldest GI summiteer by topping out at 70. He has previously summited eight other 8000ers.

Gasherbrum II: Daniela Teixeira’s debrief, details about Luis and summits, and a good word for Altitude Junkies In her debrief, Portuguese Daniela Teixeira (teaming up with Paulo Roxo) reported that the duos’ GII’s French Spur attempt was aborted due to bad conditions. She sounded off on friend Luis Maria Barbero, a member in Soria’s team who was killed on the normal route, “we found it strange that until we asked, nobody said a word about his dissapereance,” Daniela wrote. She finally congratulated Altitude Junkies for fetching Iranian garbage from a crevasse. In response, the Iranian climbers said they removed most their trash except for some which they paid HAPs to remove.

Gasherbrum II Bulgarian Boyan Petrov reportedly summited Gasherbrum II in an individual push. Boyan’s was the first 8000er double-header achieved in Pakistan’s 8000ers this season. He is also an insulin-dependent diabetic.

Spantik Iranian lady climbers Leila Ebrahimi, Parastou Abrishami, Shiva Farsi, Fereshteh Khademi-talab, Masoumeh Maleki and Mahsa Moti-ei summited Spantik, along with Mahmoud Hashemi, Hadi Saberi and Abbaas Ranjbari.

CNN special with Christiane Amanpour, about Central Asia Institute’s work in Afghanistan “This has been our best year ever to set up about twenty new (mostly) girls schools in Afghanistan. With the help of local shura elders, we’ve been able to start efforts in volatile areas like Urozgan, Kunar, Patika, and Wardak province,” wrote Greg Mortenson from Afghanistan. Last week, CNN ran a special two hour feature called “Generation Islam” with Christiane Amanpour, with 20 minutes dedicated to Central Asia Institute’s work in Afghanistan.

Ripley Davenport’s 2010 walk across Mongolia During the past three years Briton Ripley Davenport has been preparing for his attempt to walk approximately 1700 miles/2750 km across Mongolia, starting April 2010. He will be pulling his provisions in a specifically designed wheeled trailer during his planned 90-day walk.

Steppe by Steppe update: From Kazakhstan into Uzbekistan During their last days in Kazakhstan Roger Chao and Megan Kerr were heading as fast as possible for the Uzbekistan border because the time on their Uzbekistan visas was running out. The border crossing didn’t go as easily as they thought it would, but eventually they got to meet the Uzbeks.

Kite buggies across the Sahara sands Two Australians, Geoff Wilson and Garth Freeman and two New Zealanders, Steve Gurney and Craig Hansen, departed on a 2,500 km kite buggy journey through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal in West Africa.

ExWeb interview with Peter Gostelow, “The freedom to explore” Briton Peter Gostelow is about to start his 18–24 month cycling journey through Africa. He is no stranger on a bicycle after cycling three years from Japan to the UK. ExWeb’s Correne Coetzer caught up with Peter in his rush to get everything ready for departure.

Northwest Passage wrap-up: Boats blocked by ice in Gulf of Amundsen Three sailing boats Baloum Gwen, Ocean Watch and Silent Sound, are attempting the Northwest Passage from west to east but were blocked by ice in the Gulf of Amundsen. Sailing from east to west through the Passage the yacht Fiona is blocked by sea ice at Resolute with reported “considerable drifting ice, some pieces 8 ft above the water.”

The quest for the first female solo row across the Indian Ocean over – Sarah Outen has done it! 24-year old Sarah Outen reached Mauritius during the early evening of 3 August, 124 days after leaving Australia. With that she became the first woman to row single handed, unsupported across the Indian Ocean from Australia to Mauritius. ““In short, I was rolled, at least three times, by some huge breakers as I approached the entrance to the bay, meaning that instead of coming through the channel in the reef to walk up onto the beach, I came to rest on the reef itself,” Sarah reported about her arrival. “I said I was determined to hit Mauritius, and I did!”

The Indian Ocean has been rowed single-handed/unsupported only twice, first in 1971 by Anders Svedlund, in 64 days aboard Roslagena. In 2003 Brit Simon Chalk completed the solo/unsupported row in 107 days. Simon organized a first race across the ocean this year, which was completed early August.

Mike Perham update: Panama problem, possible pirate waters and busy shipping lanes 17-year old Mike Perham made it through the Panama Canal, but not as smoothly as he thought he would. Eventually he headed north, around the west of Cuba and then caught the Gulf Stream. When passing Cuba on to the Florida Straights Mike’s home team suspended his online tracking system in case possible pirates in the area were following him.

Mars Ocean Odyssey update: The son, Darshen, taking his first boat ride Out for 850 days now, Reid Stowe has never seen his first child, a son born on day 457 of the 1000 Day Ocean Odyssey, after his mother, Soanya Ahmad left the schooner on day 306 with “seasickness.” Recently Soanya and one-year old Darshen visited Reid’s family in North Carolina during a family reunion. She wrote, “Darshen had his first experience of the beach there, his first boat ride, and even got hands on with some of Reid’s beautiful figurative paintings created over thirty years ago.” On his return to New York in 2010, Reid will have spent nearly three years without stopping or resupplying, surpassing the current continuous solo sailing record of 657 days held by the Australian Jon Sanders.

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