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ExplorersWeb Week in Review The Pioneers Checkpoint

November 22, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Parallel universes create the Himalaya expedition scene where species live by their own rules within their own reality in a nature that appears the same but treats each sort differently. And they seldom mix.

There are the adventure trekkers, the Everest baggers, the big-summit collectors, the alpinists tackling unclimbed faces on lower peaks and the mountaineers attempting 8000ers via new routes and/or during difficult seasons.

This week at ExplorersWeb, focus was on the world of Himalayan sport climbers; bagging several firsts this fall. As for the 8000er mountaineers; word arrived that Urubko and Dedeshko won the Asian Piolet d’Or.

Newsflash: Urubko and Dedeshko win Asian Piolet d’Or ExplorersWeb’s Korea correspondent Kyu Dam Lee reported from the Seoul Garden Hotel Friday that Kazakh Denis Urubko and Boris Dedeshko won the 4th Piolet d’Or Asia for their climb of Cho Oyu’s SE face in Alpine style. Japanese climber Yuji Hirayama got the ‘Golden Climbing Shoes’ award, while further honors went to Young-Seung Park and Oh Eun-Sun for their contribution in mountaineering.

Young guns aiming high: Anthamatten brothers’ first on Jasemba Simon Anthamatten, 26, shot up from nowhere as climbing partner to Ueli Steck in relation to Ochoa’s rescue attempt on Annapurna. Latest, Simon, his brother Samuel and friend Michael Lerjen – all in their twenties – bagged a summit near Nangpa-la, in one of the year’s coolest 7000er climbs: a first ascent in pure alpine style on the 2,200 m south face of Jasemba.

Another alpine-style Himalayan first: Graziani & Trommsdorff climb Nemjung’s south face Skipping their original plan on Manaslu; Yannick Graziani and Christian Trommsdorff instead climbed Nemjung’s 2,400 meters-long south face in alpine style.

The north wall of Chang Himal: check On Alpinist’s to-do-list as one of the great unclimbed faces, last week Chang Himal’s 1,500m north wall was reportedly sent by Andy Houseman and fellow Brit Nick Bullock.

StatCrunch, take 2: 8000er national ranking How many (and which) countries have at least one climber with all 14x8000ers summited? And who’s next up? ExWeb’s regular contributor Rodrigo Granzotto Peron ran the stats.

Summiteers’ Summit in Copenhagen Reinhold Messner and Al Gore are some of the celebs invited to join a global warming march in Copenhagen next month. Launched by Nepal’s Maoist Government, the so-called “Summiteers’ Summit” will take place on December 11th, appointed as International Mountain Day and also coinciding with the 15th Conference of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change.

ExWeb interview with Meagan McGrath This Antarctic season several Everest summiteers will be challenging themselves on the biggest ice cap in the world; Meagan McGrath is one of them. This Canadian woman will ski the 1130 km from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole solo, unsupported and unassisted. She spoke to ExWeb’s Correne Coetzer about how and why she decided to ski to the SP.

ExWeb interview with Felicity Aston, “My greatest challenge as the leader is the people management side” Felicity will be leading a team of 7 women from Commonwealth countries, Brunei Darussalam, Cyprus, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK to ski from the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf to the South Pole. ExWeb’s Correne Coetzer caught up with Felicity while she and the team were busy with the last minute preparations in London and ready to leave for Punta Arenas.

Southern Patagonia Ice Cap update: the windy Windy Pass “I have never experienced such wind yet. It is not even the storm force, it’s its gusts.” Georg and Olaf suffered (see image) but finally got their reward: “Not many people get this view,” they said about Cerro Torre, Torre Eger, Punta Herron and Cerro Standhardt in all their glory before them. Olaf said the exit over Paso del Viento was more difficult than they thought it would be.

Desert wrap-up: Getting to know the Sahara camels; and finishing the Skeleton Coast Christian Bodegren, his local companion, Ibrahim, and the three camels have been out in the Sahara desert for ten days now. Meanwhile, The Skeleton Coast team finished their walk in Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Northwest Passage boats wrap-up: Staying away from Cuba and drinking vodka in Russia with no visas Ocean Watch visited Miami on the way to Puerto Rico. They explained about the primary mission of the voyage and the trade winds while staying clear of Cuba. Perithia ported in Russia with no visas. They dealt with the Russian officials and ended up drinking vodka together.

Jessica Watson update: Power, comms and schoolwork She sleeps in her harness, lifejacket and overalls, with a knife in her pocket and a headlight about her neck. Leaving the Tasman Sea behind and heading for the Equator in her around the world solo voyage, 16-year old Jessica Watson says she is having the time of her life.

Abby Sunderland’s Wild Eyes 16-year-old Abby Sunderland who is also determined to sail solo around the world has bought her boat, an Open 40 christened ‘Wild Eyes’. Abby, her father and brother Zac who was previously the youngest who sailed around the world (assisted) plan to sail the boat from Rhode Island to Fort Lauderdale from where Wild Eyes will be shipped to their homeport of Marina del Rey, California.

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