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 General News-2001

Update 11/5/01: 2002 Banff Mountain Summit to Celebrate International Year of the Mountains

Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre announced today its programs for Banff Mountain Summit 2002 - Extreme Landscape: Challenge and Celebration, a special three-day event that will be held from October 27 to 29 next year.

"The Summit will explore how extreme landscapes shape people's lives and how people impact extreme landscape," says Bernadette McDonald, vice-president, Mountain Culture, The Banff Centre. The event will include respected mountain authors, scientists, dancers, musicians, anthropologists and filmmakers. "Each Summit guest has a passion for mountain places and has translated that passion into creative endeavours, environmental and scientific research, and critical thinking," McDonald notes. The event will be  also be part of Parks Canada's nation-wide initiative to mark IYM. 

Speakers at the Summit will include award-winning author Gretel Ehrlich, mountaineer, author and parliamentarian Reinhold Messner, author and ethnobotanist Wade Davis, specialist on sacred mountains Edwin Bernbaum, cultural photographer Chris Rainier, Canadian poet and singer Sid Marty, climber and founder of Patagonia Yvon Chouinard, adventurer Will Gadd, leading authority on international peace parks Jim Thorsell and conservationist George Schaller. 

Update 11/3/01: Edwardian Climbing Novel Takes Top Prize at Banff Mountain Book Festival

"Hazard's Way" by Roger Hubank is the winner of the 2001 Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize, the $2000 Phyllis and Don Munday Award sponsored by the Alberta Sections of the Alpine Club of Canada. The festival awards were presented on Thursday, November 1. A novel set around the turn of the 19th century, "Hazard's Way" tells the story of a young man's struggles to cope with strict Edwardian family values and the contradictory influences of the friends he makes in his life as a climber. At the heart of the novel is an evocative recreation of life at Wasdale Head in the Peak District in Derbyshire, England. 

Other 2001 Banff Mountain Book Festival Awards included:

"Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber", Mark Twight, The Mountaineers Books wins the Jon Whyte Award for Mountain Literature. Dawson Stelfox says Kiss or Kill "is an insight into the mind of one of the great climbers of this generation."

Best Book - is awarded to "Fifty Favorite Climbs: The Ultimate North American Tick List", Mark Kroese, The Mountaineers Books . Maria Coffey comments, "I like the way we get to know each climber, and learn about their chosen climb through both their personal experience of it and the comprehensive route description."

Best Book - Adventure Travel - goes to "Arctic Crossing: A Journey through the Northwest Passage and Inuit Culture", Jonathan Waterman, Random House of Canada Ltd. According to Maria Coffey, "Waterman gives a refreshingly honest account of Inuit life, warts and all, which I found both fascinating and highly educational."

"The High Himalaya", Art Wolfe  The Mountaineers Books, wins the award for Best Book - Mountain Image, "Visually, a superb book," says Maria Coffey. "Wolf brilliantly portrays so many facets of Himalayan culture and landscape. This is the work of an artist with a great passion for the places and people he captures on film."

"Raven's End", Ben Gadd, McClelland & Stewart (Canada, 2001) wins the Canadian Rockies Award for the best book on the local area, sponsored by Eagle Creek Travel Gear. This award is chosen by a local book festival awards committee.

Update 10/24/01: Record Number of Films Entered in 2001 Banff Mountain Film Festival

The challenge of mountain adventures, the strength of mountain peoples, and the inspiration of mountain landscapes highlight the finalists in this year's Banff Mountain Film Festival. From the 250 films representing 27 countries entered in the 2001 competition, 39 finalists will be screened at the festival in Banff. The Banff Mountain Film Festival takes place October 29-November 4. 

"The sheer volume of films entered this year was staggering - and the quality matched the volume," says Bernadette McDonald, festival director and Vice-president, Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre. "From historical documentaries on the great adventures of Shackleton and Whymper to the esoteric sports of tower jumping and unicycling, and from the grizzlies of British Columbia to the war torn border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the overall quality of this year's films is higher than at any time in the history of the festival: the cinematography, the writing, the editing, the soundtracks - and, over and over again, the incredibly well told stories!" 

An international jury will meet during festival week to select the winners in six categories and to choose a Grand Prize winner. The 2001 jury includes: George Band (U.K.), Gauthier Flauder (France), Antonio Cembran (Italy), Harish Kapadia (India) and Sharon Wood (Canada). The festival audience will vote for the People's Choice Award. Winners will be announced on Sunday, November 4, at 7:30 p.m. 

This year's finalists are: 

Beyond Gravity, Directors: Sean White/Aaron Black/Aaron Jackson, 
Desert Friction, Director: Nic Good, Producer: Brian Valentine, 
La grande cordée, Director: Gilles Chappaz, 
Lo domanderò alla montagna (I Will Ask It to the Mountain), Director:
Francesco Paladino, 
Mountain Men: The Ghosts of K2, Producer: Mick Conefrey, 
Mountain Men: The Misfit and the Matterhorn, Producer: Mick Conefrey,
Salathé - Blood, Sweat and Bagels, Director: Richard Heap, 
Stick It, Director: Ben Pritchard, Producer: Richard Heap, 
The Last Ascent, Producer: Jonathan Halperin, 

Carrying the Burden, Director/Producer: Sangita Manandhar, BBC (U.K.)
Into the Forbidden Zone, Producers: Richard MacKenzie, Charles Poe, Jody
Great North, Directors: Martin Dignard, Bill Reeves, Producer: Martin
In the Light of Reverence, Director/Producer: Christopher McLeod, 
Mustang, Director/Producer: Pavol Barabas, 
Salt - Tears of the Earth, Director: Wolfgang Thaler, 
Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, Director: George Butler, 

Africa Extreme, Producers: Robin Freeman, Michael Fay, Michael Nichols,
Gelada Baboons - The Battles of Braveheart, Director/Producer: Mark
Linfield, Green Umbrella Ltd. (U.K.)
Grizzly - Face to Face, 
Rafting Alaska's Wildest Rivers, Director/Producer: Chip Duncan, 
Torngats -- The Hidden Mountains, Director: Andrew Manske, Producer: Albert Karvonen, 
Wild Asia: At the Edge, Producer: Alan D'Arcy Erson, 
Hamburg Fernseh Allianz (New Zealand) 
Yellowstone - America's Sacred Wilderness, Directors/Producers: Hugh Miles,
Shane Moore, 

1140, Director/Producer: Randy Waldschmidt, Production Company: Resident
Films (U.S.A.)
African B.A.S.E., Director: Nic Good, Producer: Brian Valentine, 
BASE Heads, Directors: Steve Winter, Murray Wais, Scott Gaffney, Producer: Matchstick Productions, (U.S.A.)
Berserk in the Antarctic, Director: Kaare Skard, 
High Velocity, Directors: David McMahon, Lise Meloche, 
Jump!, Directors/Producers: Allen Hill/John Catto, 
Kjerag, Director: Tom Day, Producer: Mike Hatchett, Dave Barlia, 
Meloncholy Summer, Director: Conor Colwell, 
Mind the Addiction, Directors: Dirk Collins, Todd Jones, Steve Jones,
Orange Unplugged, Director: Nic Good, Producer: Brian Valentine, 
Timeless, Director/Producer: Dominique Perret, 
Will Gadd - This is Your Life, Directors: Melissa Forman, Pat Morrow,
Producer: Melissa Forman, 

A Time for Drunken Horses, Director/Producer: Bahmar Ghobadi, 
Christmas in the Clouds, Director: Kate Montgomery, Producers: Kate
Montgomery, Mitchell Stein, 
Songcatcher, Director/Producer: Maggie Greenwald, Gate Films (U.S.A.)
The Cup, Director: Khyentse Norbu, 

To order tickets for festival events, contact the Banff Centre Box Office at
403-762-6301 or 1-800-413-8368 

Update 10/8/2001: Finalists Announced for 2001 Banff Mountain Book Festival

From the high Himalaya to the frozen wastes of Antarctica, from kayaking adventures to jungle explorations, this year's finalists for the 8th annual Banff Mountain Book Festival bring mountain stories to life through their words and images. A pre-screening committee has selected 34 finalists from 122 entries representing 10 countries including Canada, the USA, the UK, Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Singapore, Slovenia, and South Africa.

"We're thrilled by the response to this year's competition. Every year the field of entries grows, a testament to the book festival's international reputation and the popularity of mountain literature," said Bernadette McDonald, vice-president, Mountain Culture, The Banff Centre.

The Banff Mountain Book Festival, presented by Canadian Mountain Holidays,
runs October 31 - November 4, 2001 in conjunction with the 26th annual Banff Mountain Film Festival (October 29 - November 4, 2001).

A number of finalist authors will be featured at the 2000 festivals including  Brenda Fowler, Ed Webster, Simon Yates, Jon Bowermaster, Julie Summers, Mark Kroese, Harish Kapadia, Ken Belford, and Rick Ridgeway. 

The book festival jury includes Maria Coffey, author of "Fragile Edge", Margaret Foster, former editor-in-chief of The Mountaineers Books, and Dawson Stelfox, the first Irishman to summit Everest. Winners of the following awards will be announced at the festival during the evening book festival presentation on November 1. 

Mountain Literature Finalists:

"American Rock: Region, Rock, and Culture in American Climbing", Don Mellor,
Countryman Press (USA, 2001) 

"Below Another Sky: A Mountain Adventure in Search of a Lost Father", Rick
Ridgeway, Henry Holt and Company, Inc. (USA, 2001)

"A Brief History of British Mountaineering", Colin Wells for the Mountain Heritage Trust, British Mountaineering Council and Mountain Heritage Trust (UK, 2001) 

"Denali: A Literary Anthology", edited by Bill Sherwonit, The Mountaineers Books (USA, 2000) 

"Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy Irvine", Julie Summers, The Mountaineers Books (USA, 2001) 

"The Flame of Adventure", Simon Yates, Random House UK (UK, 2001) 

"Hazard's Way", Roger Hubank, The Ernest Press (Scotland, 2001) 

"History of the Great Mountaineering Adventures", Stefano Ardito, White Star (Italy, 2000) 

"Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of Prehistoric Man Found in an Alpine Glacier", Brenda Fowler, Random House Inc. (USA, 2000)

"Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber", Mark Twight, The Mountaineers Books (USA, 2001)

"Pathways into the Mountains", Ken Belford, Caitlin Press Inc. (Canada,2000) 

"Raven's End", Ben Gadd, McClelland & Stewart (Canada, 2001) 

"Snow in the Kingdom - My Storm Years on Everest", Ed Webster, Mountain Imagery (USA, 2000)

"Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See", Erik Weihenmayer, Dutton (USA, 2001)

"Touching My Father's Soul: A Sherpa's Journey to the Top of Everest", Jamling Tenzing Norgay et al., Harper San Francisco (USA, 2001) 

Update 10/1/2001: Mountain Author and Historian Wins 2001 Bill March Summit of Excellence Award

Bob Sandford, well known Banff historian, author and interpreter, is this
year's recipient of the Bill March Summit of Excellence Award sponsored by One Step Beyond WorldWide. Sandford will be honoured during an awards ceremony at the 2001 Banff Mountain Film Festival on Sunday evening, November 4, 2001.

"Bob Sandford is a unique character," says Bernadette McDonald, Director of Mountain Culture programming at The Banff Centre. "His passion for mountain places and his talent for communicating with people have made him an irresistible force for positive change in the mountain community. " Originally from Calgary, Bob Sandford made his first professional foray into the Rocky Mountains in 1970 when he worked as a seasonal park naturalist in Banff National Park. That year Bob had an adventure that changed his life - for good. It's a well-known, often disbelieved, but true story: Bob, in his smooth-soled cowboy boots, slipped into a crevasse on the Saskatchewan Glacier, travelled for approximately half a kilometre throughout the sub-glacial drainage pipes, only to emerge relatively unscathed at the toe of the glacier. Bob's glacial rebirth has informed his life's work, his passion for story-telling and, probably, his sense of humour for which he is also famous! 

Bob's work has always been about communicating a sense of mountain place and that has taken him into many areas in which he has excelled. His early audio-visual programs were well ahead of their time, he has authored 15 books on the natural and human heritage of Western Canada, he has been involved in several films, and has curated exhibitions on themes as diverse as "The Faces of Field" to "A Terrible Beauty: The Great Bear in Jasper". He helped create the Heritage Tourism concept which aims to connect every visitor to the National Parks with the area's unique mountain heritage. This successful program has been embraced by businesses, Parks Canada and the public. His vision of re-aligning the direction of tourism with National Park goals has resulted in programs that have connected mountain communities from Golden, British Columbia to the Japanese Alpine Club of Tokyo, Japan. Bob is Vice-President of Publications for the Alpine Club of Canada, is Historian-in-Residence for Fairmont Hotels and is on the International Advisory Committee for Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre. Past recipients of the award include: Chic Scott (2000), Guy Lacelle (1999), John Martin (1998), Sharon Wood (1997), Tim Auger (1996), Brian Greenwood (1995), Kiwi Gallagher (1994), Roger Vernon (1993), Jon Whyte (1992), Don Forest (1991), Pat Morrow (1990), Hans Gmoser (1989), Jim Davies (1988) and Bruno Engler (1987). 

Update 9/23/2001: Mountain Projects from Nepal to Banff Receive Grants

From a Sherpa museum in Namche Bazar, Nepal, to a book celebrating the legacy of Canadian mountain photographer Bruno Engler, the projects receiving funding through this year's Banff Centre for Mountain Culture grant program reflect the rich diversity of the world's mountain cultures. The Centre annually awards grant money  - a total of $23,000 (CAD) this year -- to projects that creatively communicate the special nature and culture of the mountain places.

"We are happy to be able to support these grass-roots projects that reflect the commitment of people around the world to preserving and celebrating the world's mountain areas,"  said Leslie Taylor, associate director of the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture. 

This year's selection committee reviewed 31 grant applications from 10 countries. The 2001 grant recipients are: Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa of Nepal - $5000 - for the purchase of 40 copper prayer wheels for and sundry structural improvements to a museum of Sherpa Culture
in Namche Bazar, Nepal.

Ed Douglas and Ray Wood of the United Kingdom - $5000 - for the creation of an AV presentation, photo exhibition, articles, and research for a book on the Cairngorm range in Scotland.

Serena Rix of Australia - $2500 - to support the making and distribution of two videos on sustainable trekking, intended for viewing by trekkers and porters in Nepal.

Trevor McFadyen of Canada and Taiwan - $4000 - to support the creation of a curriculum-based, Internet-distributed edukit on the Snow Leopard.  This edukit will be aimed at Canadian students in Grades 7 - 9. 

Vera Matrasova-Engler and Susan Engler Potts of Canada - $3500 - to support research and photo compilation for the publication of a book of the photography of Bruno Engler.

Guy Clarkson of Canada - $3000 - to support the film project "The Shining Mountains" which will introduce the natural and cultural history of the Canadian Rockies to Banff visitors. 

The Banff Centre for Mountain Culture grants are awarded annually. 

Update 9/11/2001: Dan Mazur plans to attempt Kangchenjunga in Spring 2002. For his others climbs planned see the classified ads.

Update 8/28/2001: Chris Bonington is back ! He is headed to "Ladakh in Northwest India. The team (UK and America) is expected to attempt several 6000 meter peaks in the area. For more see his web site

Update 8/21/2001: On 3 August the Italia Emilio Previtali snowboarded off the summit of Pik Lenin 7134 m, via a new line directly down the North Face. Just a day previously, team member Luca Dalla Palma (who, together with Elena Spalenza formed this three-man expedition) descended via the Normal route from 6500m using telemark skies.

The trio had left Italy on 17 July for Kirghizistan and reached Base Camp at Achik-Tash, 3700 m on 19 July. They established their "true home", Camp 1 at 4200m one day later, before pushing up to Camp 2 at 5200m on 23 July and Camp 3 at 6100m at Pik Razdelnaya. From here the Normal route continues via the western crest to the summit of Pik Lenin.

Bad weather forced the trio to postpone their summit bid, but on 1 August Luca Dalla Palma and Elena Spalenza left directly for Camp 3. The next day Luca reached the summit and teklemarked from 6500m. Elena's attempt stopped at 6500m, where she too descended.

On 3 August Emilo Previtali's dream came true as he reached the summit and snowboarded down the immense 8km wide North Face to Camp 1 - a height difference of 2900m! Emilio had the following to say about his extraordinary (and demanding) 35°- 50° descent 

"Can you imagine my joy when I finally reached the bottom of the face and turned around to see my tiny traces in that immense sea of white? It's a great and rare privilege, the mountain let me pass and I slid down its slopes, feeling her cold breath. I'm sure that she noticed me, but she let me go. Like an elephant and an ant."

Further information http://www.freeridespirit.com/ 

Update 8/12/2001: Summit of Pik Lenin 7134 m & Snowboard descent through the North Face for Emilio Previtali the 3rd of August! Summit & telemark ski descent from 6500 m belong the normal route for Luca dalla Palma the 2nd of August. Telemark ski descent from 6500 m belong the normal route for Elena Spalenza the 2nd of August. More on www.freeridespirit.com

Update 8/3/2001: A High Profile death on Rainier


Update 8/1/2001: Nepal Airlines cancels LEASE AGREEMENT WITH CHINA SOUTHWEST AIRLINES 

RNAC stopping its regular Europe flights from 2nd September 2001. Royal Nepal Airlines has decided to withdraw its regular Europe flights with effect from 2nd Sept, after they decided to cancel the agreement with China South West Airlines on Tuesday. The feud came over after Royal Nepal Airlines failed to pay the aircraft lease money overdue since January 2001. It is likely that if RNAC is unable to pay the lease dues in time governed by the agreement, China South West may put up this matter in the International Court for justice. The Nepalese airlines on the other hand are having emergency meeting to release the Chinese aircraft 757 as early as possible. 

In a meeting held at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, a notice has been issued to RNAC to settle the matter within 7 days time. RNAC has to pay US$ fifty hundred thousand (US$ 50,00000) for leasing the China South West aircraft for the duration of last six months.

After the breakup of  aircraft lease agreement with Lauda Air recently , RNAC was running its services with three Boeings only on its fleet for International flights which included the China South West aircraft.  Only
two Boeings will now continue operating its flight after the returning of CSWA aircraft. 

RNAC operated its daily flight since 1987 to London, Paris and Frankfort. It also operated its three times a week flight via Dubai to Europe. With this closing  of International flights already in place, RNAC has called all its staffs to return back to Kathmandu from Europe by 2nd Sept 2001. 

Reliable sources claim that RNAC is in debt of more than one million US$
from the European flights only. 

Complied by Bikrum Pandey, a Himalayan Travel Professional, for Agents, Operators and  Nepal Loving Community of the world. 01st August, 2001 

Update 7/12/2001: Himalayan Climbers Headline 2001 Banff Mountain Film Festival

Three generations of Himalayan climbers will share their stories of adventure at this year's Banff Mountain Film Festival. Mexican mountaineer Carlos Carsolio, Slovenian climber Tomaz Humar, and Himalayan veteran George Band will be featured speakers at the 26th annual festival. The festival takes place October 29 and 30, and November 2 to 4 in Banff, Alberta. 

"Mountains inspire stories of courage and adventure. Through this festival we offer audiences an opportunity to experience that adventure through films, speakers and seminars," says Bernadette McDonald, director of mountain culture programming and vice president, The Banff Centre, which hosts the festival. The festival is presented by Eagle Creek Travel Gear and National Geographic Society.

At the heart of the festival are the world's best mountain films and videos, entered annually in the festival's internationally-juried competition. Between 30 and 40 of the best films entered into competition are selected for screening throughout the festival week. 

This year's program highlights include: 

Carlos Carsolio   Friday, November 2, 8 p.m. 

Carlos Carsolio has reached the summit of all 14 of the world's 8000 meter peaks - all without supplemental oxygen - yet his name is virtually unknown outside his native Mexico. He is known for fast, light climbs including solo ascents of Makalu, Kangchenjunga, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II. From their home on a mountainside outside Mexico City, Carlos and his wife, Elsa, regularly travel to the world's highest places in the Himalayas, the Karakoram, Patagonia, the Andes, and Baffin Island. Carlos will talk about his life as a mountaineer at the Friday film festival presentation. 

Tomaz Humar    Saturday, November 3, 8 p.m.

Slovenian climber Tomaz Humar conquers the impossible. Humar's notable ascents include the South Face of Dhaulagiri, the West Face of Nuptse, "Reticent Wall" on El Capitan, and a new route on Ama Dablam. In the past decade he has made over 1200 ascents, of which more than 50 were new routes. Tomaz Humar will explain how he is changing the definition of extreme climbing at his Saturday evening presentation.

Retro Reels: George Band   Saturday, November 3, 8 p.m.

George Band's love for the Himalayas stretches over fifty years. In 1953, he was the youngest member of the expedition team that supported Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's first ascent of Mount Everest. Two years later, Band and Joe Brown made the first ascent of Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest peak. Using slides and footage from the 1955 BBC film "Ascent of Kangchenjunga", produced by David Attenborough, Band will tell the story of that first ascent at the Saturday evening Retro Reels program. 

Sunday Evening Awards Program   Sunday, November 4, 7:30 p.m.

The festival reaches a peak on Sunday night when the film festival's international jury announces the Best of the Festival award winners. Winning films are re-screened, and the One Step Beyond Summit of Excellence Award is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the mountain world.

New this year This year, for the first time, the film festival will offer events on Monday and Tuesday nights, as well as the traditional Friday-through-Sunday schedule. The Monday night presentation is Radical Reels - a collection of adrenaline-packed mountain films including the world's wildest skiing, boarding, mountain biking, and kayaking films. On Tuesday night the festival presents Mountain Films, Mountain Friends a themed selection of mountain films, followed by an informal reception for festival-goers. 

Update 6/28/2001: Chinese plan to blaze Olympic trail to Everest

"Beijing Olympic officials are planning for two climbers, one from Tibet and the other from elsewhere in China, to climb to the top of Mount Everest with the Olympic flame where the Tibetan climber will hand it over to his Chinese partner in a symbolic act of friendship before the flame is taken on a tour of the country." See here.

Update 6/23/2001: This week, the advice not to visit Nepal has been lifted by the Foreign & Commonwealth office which is a great relief to all those who are planning to trek or climb there this autumn.

Update 6/7/2001: The curfew is off and on. However, most of the Everest climbers are getting out with Simonson, Warner, and most home. A few are still in Kathmandu, but almost all are now out.

see the Mountain Experience Everest Expedition dispatches for more.

Update 6/6/2001: Meteora is indeed one of the most magical and most historic places in all of Europe. The rock climbing there is also among the best and most unusual in Europe and it would be a terrible loss if there was any ban on climbing on Meteora's cliffs.

Rockclimbing at Meteora - one of the areas of Greece that has gained an international reputation for its outstanding rock climbing routes in a magnificent setting - is now under threat. The national archaeological service, with the support of the church, is pushing for a law banning climbing in the area.

Thousands of climbers, both Greek and foreign visit the area every year. Aware that the area, with monasteries dating back to the Byzantine period, constitutes a crucial part of the cultural heritage of Greece, the approach of climbers is one of respect both for religious significance of the area and also for the sensitive local ecosystem.

Having heard that a presidential decree is being discussed which would lead to the partial or total banning of climbing in Meteora, we, the climbing community, want to make it clear that we will not accept any attempt to impose such a ban.

Not only is this the desire of climbers here in Greece but it is also the wish of the majority of interested parties in the local town of Kalabaka and in the area of Meteora generally, not least because the influx of climbers plays an important part in the local economy.

For these reasons we insist that rock climbing be allowed to continue as it has done up till now. The rocks that don't lead up to monasteries in use should remain open for the sort of respectful climbing that has taken place there since the first routes were put up.

We call upon climbers both in Greece and internationally to help in the opposition to the ban by sending e-mails of protest to the following addresses:

1. Prefecturer of Trikala Mr. Stefanos Patramanis  - anent@triknet.gr
2. Greek Association of Mountaineering and Climbing: Press@climbing.org.gr
3. Mountaineering Club of Kalambaka: snic@in.gr

Aris Theodoropoulos

Update 6/5/2001: The curfew is back on at noon today in Kathmandu due to at least three deaths in Kathmandu and more riots...

see the Mountain Experience Everest Expedition dispatch for more.

NEWSFLASH 6/4/2001 9:30PM US time: Tuesday morning 6/5/2001 in Nepal, EverestNews.com just got off the phone with Bikrum Pandey in Nepal. Bikrum, tells EverestNews.com. "things are better today, the curfew is over this morning". The airport should be open today."

NEWSFLASH 6/4/2001: Riots and tear gas in the streets of Kathmandu has caused a tense day in Kathmandu today. Some climbers had their plans to leave Nepal canceled due to the airlines canceling. One of our most trusted sources in Nepal reports "You may have heard the Royal Massacre in Nepal. We have 2 new Kings in 3 days." I am locked in within my house, and I have your Tel number in office. Can you e-mail me your Tel number, so that I can call you from my home confinement. Thanks for your understanding."

Expect things to settle down in a few days...

NEWSFLASH 6/1/2001: Several members (9 or more) of the Nepal Royal family have been killed, including the king and queen. According to reports in Nepal, the Crown Prince killed his family because of a dispute about his marriage.

Update 5/29/2001: Everest Golden Jubilee CELEBRATION!

We wish to bring to your kind attention that Nepal will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the "First Conquest of Mount Everest" by late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary on 29th of May 1953.To commemorate that Historic Day Nepal has constituted a Mount Everest Golden Jubilee Celebration Committee, and are  pleased to inform you that Sir Edmund Hillary has consented to be the Honorary President of the said committee. 

The committee has decided to celebrate this mometous occasion for one calendar year starting from June 2002 to May 2003 by holding various programmes and events as stated below:

1.Everest Marathon from Everest Base Camp to Namchhe Bazaar. - end October 2002
2.Mountain Biking on the foothills of Everest. It will take you up to Kalapathar.
 - beginning September 2002
3.White Water Rafting along with Kayaking at the Bhote Koshi River.-end September 2002
4.Paragliding at the scenic city of Pokhara. - March 2003
5.Himalayan Hot Air Ballooning at Kathmandu - April 2003
6.Rock Climbing at the Langtang National Park and on the laps of Langtang peaks. -February 2003
7.Ten Pin Bowling at Kathmandu. - July 2002
8.International Golf Festival.- end November 2002
9.Exhibition of Films/Documentaries on Mountains, Mountaineering,
  Adventure Sports etc etc - August 2002
10.Mountaineering Philetelic / Photograph Exhibition - May 2003
11.Inter Collegiate Athletic Meet - June 2002
12.Invitational Football Tournament - May 2003
13.Classic Car Rally from London to Kathmandu - September 2002
14.Elephant Polo - December 2002
15.Masters' Cricket Extravaganza - April 2003
16.Gathering of Mount Everest Summiteers - end May 2003

For further details on the events mentioned above please visit our web site www.mteverestgolden50.com. With regard to the gathering we are attaching herewith the proposed programme for your information. For further details please contact us or visit the website. We are pleased to inform you that Sir Edmund Hillary will be in Nepal during the period of the gathering.

Shiva P Shah
Executive Member
Mount Everest Golden Jubilee Celebration Committee

Please visit us at www.MtEverestGolden50.com

Nepal is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ascent of Mount Everest by the late Mr. Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary in 2003 (the original ascent was on May 29, 1953).  To commemorate the Golden Jubilee of that historic day, events and programs will be held for one calendar year starting from June 1, 2002 to May 31, 2003. The final event of the Golden jubilee will be the gathering of the Mount Everest climbers and expedition members, with Sir Edmund Hillary as honorary president. Other activities include: A cricket tournament, mountain bike race, classic car rally (London to Kathmandu), and even elephant polo (this is not a misprint!).

To get more information or if you would like to participate in one of the activities please visit the web site at www.mteverestgolden50.com

Update 5/15/2001: His Majesty's Government of Nepal has opened 9 new Peaks for Mountaineering Expeditions to be effective with this Spring Season 2001.

Interestingly this is the first time that Government of Nepal has announced opening of new peaks coinciding with the on going spring season. [Maybe because two expeditions were planning on attempting Lhotse Middle !]

The Newly Opened Peaks are 6 in Solu-Khumbu, one in Annapurna, one Dhaulagiri and one Manaslu region.

Solu Khumbu Region

Lhotse Middle 8,413 m
Peak 38   7,590 m
Hunchi   7,360 m
Numri  6,677 m
Teng Kangpoche 6,500 m
Nhe Serku  5,927m

Manaslu Region P2   6,251 m
Dhaulagiri Region Thapa Peak  6,012 m 
Annapurna Region Thorang Peak 5,7 51 m
Reported by: HIMALAYA Center / Kathmandu      15 May 2001

A COUPLE OF PRESS RELEASES: from Mountain Madness


Seattle, WA. March 25, 2001.  As chronicled in John Krakauer’s book “Into Thin Air”, the 1996 Everest climbing season was marred with tragedy.  An unfortunate chain of events would lead to five deaths in the story told by Krakauer. The fifth anniversary of this tragic season is May 10, 2001.  No formal ceremony is planned, but the many touched by the lives of those who died will observe this important date.

Scott Fischer of Seattle was the expedition leader for his company Mountain Madness. Scott was a founder of Mountain Madness, a company offering mountaineering and climbing schools and guided climbs all over the world.  Scott was guiding clients on Everest when he lost his life in an unexpected storm. As Krakauer wrote "Everest deals with trespassers harshly: The dead vanish beneath the snows, while the living struggle to explain what happened, and why."

Christine Boskoff, the world's foremost woman alpinist, subsequently purchased Mountain Madness.  Christine has climbed six of the world's 8,000-meter peaks, including Everest.  Although Mountain Madness will not be on Everest in 2001, Boskoff will lead an expedition there in 2002 before making an attempt on Pakistan’s K2, the second highest and perhaps most difficult 8,000 meter peak.

Mountain Madness continues the tradition started by Fischer of offering premier mountaineering and climbing schools in the U.S., Bolivia, and Ecuador.  Domestic and international guided climbing trips are also available, along with special programs such as the Seven Summits and Live Your Dreams. 

Mountain Madness and Christine Boskoff continue to honor Scott Fischer’s dream by emulating his enthusiasm for the outdoor world, upholding the commitment of helping clients meet their own personal challenges and continuing to support educational and environmental programs in the countries in which they operate.


Seattle, WA. The glaciers of the North Cascades, along with rugged approaches and sheer beauty make it the premier training ground for climbers in North America.  Mountain Madness guides assist students in developing the leadership skills and alpine climbing techniques necessary for safe mountaineering.  The combination of highly qualified guides and diverse mountain terrain creates the perfect setting for developing climbing skills and gaining the experience necessary to ascend the great peaks of the world.

Since 1984 Mountain Madness has trained climbers in the Cascades of Washington, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Alaska for ascents of the world's highest, most challenging peaks.  Mountain Madness continues to lead high profile trips such as Mount Everest and the Seven Summits, but the Live Your Dreams program provides the foundation and logical progression for reaching these summits, beginning with the Alpine Mountaineering Schools.


Their Northwest Program takes place in the Cascades of Washington State, the countries best training ground for mountaineers of all levels- from beginners with no experience to advanced climbers with expedition experience.  In this region glaciated peaks, alpine rock, old growth forests, and alpine lakes and meadows predominate.  Programs include the Alpine Climbing Course, Introduction to Mountaineering, Alpine Rock Climbing Course,  Alpine Ice Climbing, Glacier Mountaineering Course and Expedition Training in Alaska and the Cascades. Many of these courses are available in South America as well.

Three & four day introductory summit climbs, technical rock and ice climbs, big-wall seminars, and rock climbing classes are also available.  These programs take place in a variety of venues in Washington, Oregon, and Nevada.

Mountain Madness has a mission to provide the highest quality experience for beginner and advanced mountaineers and trekkers.  Every Mountain Madness trip offers the best food, opportunity for cultural exchange, wilderness skills development, self-discovery, and highly qualified guides- experts in the specific destination.

Information about Mountain Madness is available on their website

at www.mountainmadness.com

News 4/2/2001: We inform you that we finished the construction of our quality lodge in Lobuche ("village"), the last stop before Everest Base Camp. The lodge has 12 double rooms and a dormitory of 12 separated beds. In- and outside toilets, restaurant. All the materials have been brought by helicopter and porters from Kathmandu. Not one tree has been cut and the whole construction is made from local hand cut stone, aluminum beams, block wood, ply wood and double insulation. We are sure that this will be appreciated by all Everest climbers. Greetings from Nepal. Ang Tshering Sherpa Asian Trekking (P) Ltd http://www.asian-trekking.com 

News 3/15/2001: Simone Moro

I'm Simone Moro from Italy and now I'm writing to you from Almaty (Kazakstan). I have been here 2 weeks during which I realized [completed] the winter climb of Mramornayestina (or Marble Wall) 6400 meters in Thien Shan. It had been a very nice and cold climb but we did it! We were 2 teams of CSKA (Central Sport Club of Army) with different routes attempting to reach the top of Marble Wall. One team lead by Rinat Khaibullin (famous climber who climbed also the south face of Lhotse) realized [completed; Summitted] the Karlytau 5460 Marble Wall Traverse. And another team included myself, Denis Urubko and Maksut Jumayev; We climbed the south ridge directly to the top. We had good weather but very, very cold (winter in Thien Shan is very serious.....) On the 5th of March, the Rinat Khaibullin team was on the top. We arrived the day after from our route and both in alpine style. Today I will fly back to Italy and after 13 days I will go to Nepal to try my Lhotse-Everest traverse. Denis Urubko will come with me and we will climb Lhotse together and we then will try to go down to the south col via the unclimbed north ridge of Lhotse. Then I will continue alone to Everest. Ciao Simone 

News 3/8/2001: A garbage levy for all mountains is under consideration right now. Sadly, it is a necessary measure to control the unnecessary littering the mountains. It is not decided yet. Like opening Machapuchare for climbing, still under consideration. We will let you know first when these issues are decided and announced.

Source: HIMALAYA Center, Kathmandu

News: 2/15/2001 Unauthorized Satellite phones not welcome!

EverestNews.com is told unauthorized satellite phones are being impounded by Nepal. Sources tell EverestNews.com, that in the last few years we are seeing a "higher level of watch on Expeditions". Expeditions, that we shall not name here, have been caught with unauthorized satellite phones in the last year. Beware ! Expeditions using unauthorized satellite phones may face prosecution which is never a good thing in a foreign country, bring unauthorized satellite phones into China is "just plain stupid!". 

News 3/5/2001: The following is a PRESS RELEASE that was forwarded to EverestNews.com

Mountain Climbers Who Have Had LASIK Should Be Aware of Possible Changes In Vision

     Lack of oxygen, often experienced by climbers at high altitudes, causes a temporary change in vision in people who have undergone the LASIK refractive surgery procedure.  This is the conclusion of a study in the March 2001 issue of Ophthalmology, the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Eye M.D. Association. 

    The lead author of the study, Major Mark L. Nelson, Chief of the Refractive Eye Surgery Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, points out that the effect of lack of oxygen at high altitudes on people who have had LASIK is the opposite from the effect on people who have had radial keratotomy (RK), an earlier type of refractive surgery.  "RK patients have a shift towards farsightedness, which makes their near vision poor, as happened in the 1996 Mount Everest mountain-climbing disaster.  Our study results indicate that LASIK patients may develop a shift that would cause their distance vision to become blurry.  If distant vision becomes blurred at high altitudes, it may make it difficult to navigate over long distances." 

    However, climbers needn't choose between climbing and vision correction surgery.  Another significant finding is the difference in the degree of vision change, which is very small in those who have had LASIK compared to those who have had RK.  "I expect people could climb Everest after LASIK," says Lawrence J. White, MD, a coauthor of the study and author of previous studies about RK and lack of oxygen at high altitudes, "but they might carry some glasses to help with any significant nearsightedness encountered." The authors also cite a previous study that shows no change in vision from lack of oxygen in people who have had PRK, another type of laser vision correction that does not require incisions in the cornea.

    The current study used an airtight goggle system over a two-hour period to create a lack of oxygen in one eye and a normal oxygen environment in the other eye of 20 people who had had LASIK for nearsightedness and 20 people who had not had previous eye surgery.  This amount of exposure to an oxygen-free environment did not correspond to a specific altitude, but it did cause a significant increase in corneal thickness.

    In a previous case report published in Ophthalmology (December 2000), Dr. White and Thomas H. Mader, MD, a coauthor of this study, described the case of a mountain climber in Peru who had had LASIK in both eyes who experienced noticeable nearsightedness after spending two nights at 18,000 feet.  His vision cleared when he returned to 10,000 feet.  Dr. Nelson explains that this and similar reports indicate that significant changes in vision among climbers who have had LASIK seem to occur only over an extended period of time at very high altitudes.  "It's a metabolic effect," he said, "the eye gets starved for oxygen even if the climber is breathing oxygen from a tank.  The cornea gets part of its oxygen from the external environment." 

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of Eye M.D.s -- eye physicians and surgeons -- with more than 27,000 members. For more information on eye health and safety, visit http://www.medem.com, an Academy partner Web site.  Information about the Academy is available on the Academy's Web site, http://www.eyenet.org. SOURCE The American Academy of Ophthalmology Web Site: http://www.eyenet.org 


Guy Cotter (New Zealand), mountain guide and director of Wanaka based Adventure Consultants Ltd., reached the summit of Aconcagua (6962m) in Argentina on February 12th this week, along with clients of the company, Arnold Witzig (Switzerland) and Ellis Stewart (UK). This was Cotter's first expedition to the mountain, which is the highest summit in South America and one of the 'Seven Summits'. The expedition planned to attempt the Polish Glacier route on the eastern flanks of the mountain. Reporting by satellite phone from Plaza Argentina, the Base Camp for the routes on the eastern side of the mountain, he stated they had 'had a good trip, good weather, it's a really big pile of rubble, but a perfect summit day, departing at 4.00am and arriving at the summit at 1.30pm'. Due to the condition of the team members they ascended via a variation onto the Normal route and not via the more difficult Polish Glacier Direct route. 

Cotter's next expedition is to Makalu (8463m) in Nepal, which is the fifth highest mountain on earth, during the northern spring of 2001. He will depart from New Zealand in late March and will be leading a group of six climbers on the expedition. Adventure Consultants Ltd

Update 1/12/2001

Greetings- Yes, this is the latest. No question in my mind that the lower dose of Diamox works. However, it is true that we still need to absolutely prove it. 2 studies will be undertaken shortly - one at Everest, one on Rainier. stay tuned for further details. 

Regards, Peter Hackett 

The Article:  http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/322/7277/48 

Update: 12/12/2000

Nearby on-coming X-mas and New Year brings cheers and smiles on Tour Operators and Holidaying Clients in Nepal.  All Hotels, which went closed from 11th of December, is starting to re-open & fully operate again from 12th of December. 

This has been possible after Prime Minister of Nepal gave assurance to Hotel businessman to reserve the dispute over Hotel Workers Union's 10% service charge demand for their welfare amicably in the near future. 

The closure had created quite a big havoc for staying-on tourists in Kathmandu, Pokhara & Chitwan. They had to be transferred to small privately run guest houses or camping site facilities. So much so Lauda Air crew had to take shelter on their own Aircraft for the night after they were thrown out of Hotel Yak & Yeti. 

All Hotels are open from today onwards. So no problem for the X-mas & New
Year season. Merry X-mas and very very Happy New Year. Reported by Himalaya Center, Kathmandu / Nepal 12th December 

Update: 12/6/2000

I will try again the Everest-Lhotse traverse in 2001. Denis Urubko will come with me but he will climb "only" Lhotse because I have no money to cover his expenses for Everest. So I will continue alone after Lhotse climb... I am looking for more sponsors to fund the expedition. Cheers Simone Moro

Update: 11/29/2000: Looking for something to do this weekend ? Check out the 

Kendal Mountain Film Festival 1st - 3rd December 2000

Update 11/20/2000

Bradford Washburn: Mountain Photography is the winner of the 2000 Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize, the $2000 Phyllis and Don Munday Award sponsored by the Alberta Sections of the Alpine Club of Canada. 

The book reflects the eight decades that Bradford Washburn has spent documenting mountain landscapes from the Grand Canyon to Mount Everest. Edited and compiled by Antony Decaneas, the book includes one hundred large format mountain photographs selected from the over 10,000 images in the Washburn portfolio.  "We considered a number of books for the Grand Prize - smart and provocative books, books that told exciting stories - but we were won over by the timelessness and beauty of the images that Brad Washburn has made over the course of his remarkable career and that are collected in this book," says Chris Dafoe, a member of the 2000 book jury. "Many of these photographs may have been shot for scientific purposes, but clearly there's an artist's eye at work here. The book captures both the grandeur of the great mountains and the subtle delights that can be found in the mountain world."

Order it today !

Bradford Washburn: Mountain Photography
by Antony Decaneas (Editor), Bradford Washburn, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Clifford S. Ackley

The other big winner:

Peter Gillman's new Mallory Book:  The Wildest Dream : The Biography of George Mallory Hardcover - 320 pages (September 2000)

Update: 11/18/2000 Editorial comment: The Body found on Everest

During Autumn Everest 2000, Slovenian climber Davo Karnicar reported seeing a body on Everest as he skied down the mountain. News reports continue that the body was that of Scott Fisher and that "this is the first time the body has been seen or found since he died in 1996." The reports are false in that Scott Fisher's body has been seen by numerous climbers since he died on Everest including Ang Dorjee Sherpa in Spring Everest 2000 while he was with other climbers. Ang Dorjee Sherpa has been reported to have identified the body as Scott Fischer. Ang Dorjee Sherpa, of course, would know.

There are numerous bodies on Everest. There are bodies that families are still "looking for". We believe the news media needs to be very careful and sensitive in this area. As one climber said, tell them "don't make a big deal out of it...many people have seen this body". 

Update: 11/17/2000

EverestNews.com plan to complete the Everest Summit list on the net is almost complete. The start :The Early Years and Everest Summits 1979-1989 (almost complete). 

The next step will be to complete a PAGE for every climber who has reached the Summit of Everest. If you can help with your page or with pages for others, let us know everestnews2004@adelphia.net 

Update: 11/16/2000

Vertical Limit, the new film about climbing K2 (no it was not filmed on K2), is expected to be released in the US on December 8th. Guy Cotter and Ed Viesturs both worked on the film... The link to the Vertical Limit site is here.

Update: 11/14/2000

Namche Bazaar, Nepal

Adrian Ballinger solos the South West Ridge of Ama Dablam in 6 Hours and 50 minutes!!!

Adrian Ballinger, the Mountaineering Director of Earth Treks, a leading American guide service (www.earthtreksclimbing.com) has just emailed us from Namche Bazaar, the capital of the Sherpa Kingdom. He was a bit excited, having just soloed the SW Ridge of Ama Dablam (22,685 ft.) in a blazing fast 6 hours and 50 minutes from Camp 1 (19,400 ft.).

The South West Ridge is a long, technical and very complex ridge line. While most of the route is fixed, the airy jumaring and fragile ice formations make this route quite exciting. Most teams use a series of three camps, above base camp, in their attempt to tag the top.

Prior to the Ama Dablam ascent, Adrian guided a very successful group of Earth Treks climbers on a trip that including the summits of Island and Mera Peaks. Everyone in the team summited all of the peaks and reports were incredible. Great weather, fantastic climbing, a wonderful team of Sherpas and lots of dark coffee propelled this team up Mera Peak, over the Amphu Lapsa pass and then to the summit of Island Peak.

The team was made up of Adrian, Mike Vesper, Rich Chaffin, Josh Lubiner and Joe Ferrer. Ram Chandra Sunuuwar and many past trips: Ram also spent the summer with us in the U.S.) was the expedition sirdar and guide. Also joining them was Dawa, who worked with us on Everest this past Spring.

Congratulations to all of these climbers.

Update: 11/13/2000

Messner speaks out

Update: 11/9/2000

Numerous sources have reported that Thomas Homar has been hurt when he fell in a hole in his yard. Thomas earned fame for his solo climb of the south face of Dhaulagiri. However, he did not Summit Dhaulagiri on that attempt as seem to be implied in some news reports. Thomas turned around high on Dhaulagiri after climbing much of the face.

Thomas received well deserved fame for a great climb ! One does not have to Summit to have a great climb !

Update: 11/8/2000

Bradford Washburn Mountain Photography
Takes Grand Prize at the 2000 Banff Mountain Book Festival

Bradford Washburn: Mountain Photography is the winner of the 2000 Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize, the $2000 Phyllis and Don Munday Award sponsored by the Alberta Sections of the Alpine Club of Canada. The festival awards were presented on Thursday evening, November 2.

The book reflects the eight decades that Bradford Washburn has spent documenting mountain landscapes from the Grand Canyon to Mount Everest. Edited and compiled by Antony Decaneas, the book includes one hundred large format mountain photographs selected from the over 10,000 images in the Washburn portfolio.

"We considered a number of books for the Grand Prize — smart and provocative books, books that told exciting stories — but we were won over by the timelessness and beauty of the images that Brad Washburn has made over the course of his remarkable career and that are collected in this book," says Chris Dafoe, a member of the 2000 book jury. "Many of these photographs may have been shot for scientific purposes, but clearly there's an artist's eye at work here. The book captures both the grandeur of the great mountains and the subtle delights that can be found in the mountain world."

A pre-screening committee selected 27 finalists out of 98 entries from seven countries including Canada, the USA, the UK, Nepal, Germany, South Africa and Italy. The finalists were judged by an international jury consisting of Chris Dafoe, Canada; Susan Golomb, USA; and Bernard Amy, France.

Bernard Amy comments "The 27 entries represented a high-quality selection, often very different, but all deserving to be finalists. As often in a jury discussion, the Grand Prize emerged from the whole as an obvious choice. It appeared to be a perfect book among books, telling the story of one of the most important personalities in American mountaineering."

Other 2000 Banff Mountain Book Festival winners include:

Mountain Literature

Virtual Tibet: Searching for Shangri-La from the Himalayas to Hollywood, Orville Schell (Henry Holt and Company, Inc.), wins the Jon Whyte Award for Mountain Literature, sponsored by The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies — $1000. "This is a fascinating book about a fascinating land, offering interesting insights and reflections on the West’s relationship with Tibet," says jury member Susan Golomb.

Mountain Exposition

The prize for Best Book — Mountain Exposition, sponsored by Mountain Lights Bookstore, Lake Louise, Canada — $500 is awarded to A Hiker's Guide to the Rocky Mountain Art of Lawren Harris, Lisa Christensen (Fifth House Ltd.).

Adventure Travel

And the award for Best Book — Adventure Travel — $500 goes to Patagonia: Notes from the Field, Nora Gallagher (Chronicle Books) "This book reflects a wide range of travel experiences from the exhilaration and joy of teamwork to the quiet and spiritual contemplation of nature," comments Susan Golomb.

Mountain Image

Bradford Washburn: Mountain Photography, Antony Decaneas (The Mountaineers Books), sponsored by Spotted Dog Press, Bishop, CA, wins the award for Best Book – Mountain Image — $500

James Monroe Thorington Award, sponsored by the UIAA for the best recent work on mountaineering history goes to Pushing the Limits: The Story of Canadian Mountaineering, Chic Scott (Rocky Mountain Books) — $500

Pushing the Limits also wins the Canadian Rockies award, for the best book on the local area, sponsored by Eagle Creek Travel Gear.

Canadian Alpine Journal Award: $250 sponsored by the Canadian Himalayan Foundation for the best article in the 2000 Canadian Alpine Journal goes to Drew Brayshaw for "Fragments from a Coastal Season".

Mountain Literature finalists were:

Climbing the World's 14 Highest Mountains — The History of the 8000-meter Peaks, Richard Sale & John Cleare (The Mountaineers Books)

Creagh Dhu Climber: The Life & Times of John Cunningham, Jeff Connor (The Ernest Press)

El Capitan, Daniel Duane (Chronicle Books)

Extreme Rock & Ice, Garth Hattingh (New Holland Publishing (South Africa))

Life and Death on Mt. Everest, Sherry Ortner (Princeton University Press)

My Quest for Yeti: Confronting the Himalayas' Deepest Mystery, Reinhold Messner (St. Martin's Press)

Not Without Peril: 150 Years of Misadventure on the Presidential Range of New Hampshire, Nicholas Howe (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

Pushing the Limits: The Story of Canadian Mountaineering, Chic Scott (Rocky Mountain Books)

A Slender Thread: Escaping Disaster in the Himalaya, Stephen Venables (Random House UK)

Stone Palaces, Geof Childs (The Mountaineers Books)

True Summit: What Really Happened on the Legendary Ascent of Annapurna, David Roberts (Simon & Schuster)

Two for the Summit: My Daughter, the Mountains and Me, Geoffrey Norman (Dutton)

View from the Summit, Edmund Hillary (Transworld Publishers)

The Wildest Dream: the Biography of George Mallory, Peter & Leni Gillman (The Mountaineers Books)

Mountain Exposition finalists were:

The Complete Climber's Handbook, Jerry Cinnamon (Ragged Mountain Press)

Guide to Climbing Photography, Jeff Achey (Stackpole Books)

Mountain Image finalists were:

Chasms of Silence, Marten Berkman (Folio Gallery for Waterous & Co.)

Denali: Reflections of a Naturalist, Kennan Ward (Creative Publishing, Intl.)

Millenium 2000 #2, Betta Gobbi (Vivalda Editori SRI.)

Adventure Travel finalists were:

Along the Inca Road, Karin Muller (National Geographic Society)

Alpine Circus, Michael Finkel (Lyons Press)

National Geographic Expeditions Atlas, Tom Melham (National Geographic Society)

Sand Dance: By Camel Across Arabia's Great Southern Desert, Bruce Kirkby (McClelland & Stewart)

The Banff Mountain Book Festival is the only festival of its kind in North America. The festival, which runs in conjunction with the Banff Mountain Film Festival, is a celebration of mountain literature which brings together writers, publishers, editors, photographers and — of course — readers. Featuring guest speakers, readings, seminars, a book fair, book signings and launches, the festival offers a wide spectrum of experiences for the participants and the audience.

Update: 11/7/2000

Mysterious Mamberamo Wins Grand Prize at Banff Mountain Film Festival

Mysterious Mamberamo, a film that tells a compelling story about the difficult and dangerous journey by two travelers into unknown and sometimes hostile territory in Irian Jaya, is the Grand Prize winner of the 2000 Banff Mountain Film Festival. The announcement was made on Sunday, November 5 as the 25th anniversary festival drew to a close.

The winning Slovakian film was directed and produced by Pavol Barabas. The Grand Prize award of $4,000 was co-sponsored by the Banff Centre for Management and Eagle Creek Travel Gear.

"Mysterious Mamberamo depicts a long and desperate journey over a tropical mountain amongst people never seen before by outsiders," says jury member Gretel Ehrlich. "A bold, raw, quiet window into a closed world."

"The film captures the pure essence of adventure filmmaking," adds jury member Roger Vernon. "It’s a solidly woven documentary that successfully draws the viewer into the jungle."

Film festival international jury members included: Arlene Burns (U.S.A.), Mireille Chiocca (France), Giorgio Daidola (Italy), Gretel Ehrlich (U.S.A.), and Roger Vernon (Canada). They selected the grand prize winner from 40 finalists in six categories. A pre-screening committee chose the finalists from 213 entries representing 24 countries.

Other 2000 Banff Mountain Film Festival winners include:

Alpine Club of Canada Award for Best Film on Climbing: $2000 – sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada

Annapurna, l'histoire d'une légende (Annapurna – History of a Conquest)
(France, 1999) Director: Bernard George, Producer: Luc Martin-Gousset

On the 50th anniversary of Maurice Herzog’s first ascent of Annapurna, this film approaches the adventure from a new point of view — that of the historian.

"A strong and engaging documentary," says jury member Mireille Chiocca. "This film is a fine analysis of an exploit that afterwards became a national event in France. The filmmaker has explored the very different motivation of the Annapurna climbers with exactitude and neutrality."

Best Film on Mountain Culture: $2000 – sponsored by Petzl America

The Sahara’s Secret Garden (France, 2000) Director: Gauthier Flauder, Producer: Manuel Catteau

This film travels to northern Chad, in the heart of the Sahara Desert, where a forgotten mountain massif shelters a flora and fauna of breathtaking beauty in its secret canyons.

"A perfect cocktail of respect for history, culture, true sense of discovering and exploration," says jury member Giorgio Daidola.

Best Film on Mountain Sports: $2000 – 

Shishapangma – A Celebration of Life (USA, 1999) Producers: Michael Brown, Claude Merkel, Kara Klein, Cherie Silvera, Executive producer: John Wilcox

This celebration of life in the mountains follows a trip to climb and ski on Shishapangma in Tibet. Tragically, Dave Bridges and Alex Lowe were lost in an avalanche on this expedition.

"The film captures the expedition’s social dynamics and enables us to understand the climbers’ invigoration and celebration of expedition life," says jury member Arlene Burns.

Best Film on Mountain Environment: $2000 – sponsored by Canadian Mountain Holidays

Mountain Rivals (Netherlands, 1999) Director/Producer: Rob Harrison-White

In the mountains of South Africa, black eagles must compete with their age-old rival, the caracal, who hunts the same prey. This is the true story of their desperate struggle to survive.

"This fine example of wildlife filmmaking exhibits the great patience required to photograph such challenging species," says jury member Roger Vernon.

Best Short Mountain Film (15 minutes or less): $2000 – sponsored by the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture

Y2sKi (Switzerland, 2000) Directors: Didier Lafond, Dominique Perret, Producer: Vertical Zoo

Dominique Perret’s time-traveling ancestor takes a trip to the Film Library of planet Earth, where she relives a Y2K ski odyssey.

"This ‘futuristic’ approach reminds us of how special the fluid dance down the vertical white world is, and how much we would truly lose if all the snow melted," says jury member Arlene Burns. "Beautiful skiing footage with a unique perspective."

Best Feature-length Mountain Fiction Film: $2000 – sponsored by the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture

Premier de cordée and La grande crevasse (Switzerland, 1999) Directors: Pierre-Antoine Hiroz, Edouard Niermens, Producer: Dominique Rappaz, Production Companies: Gaumont TV, J.M. Henchoz Prod., RAI, F2, TSR

Based on the classic Roger Frison-Roche novel, La grande crevasse, these two films tell a story of bravery, tragedy, loyalty and love in the community of Chamonix at the end of the ’30s.

"Beautifully filmed and full of beautiful heroines, these are brilliant films that weave in a variety of issues that haunt the mountain life," says jury member Arlene Burns.

Special Jury Awards

The Dizzy Heights’ Knights (Switzerland, 1999) Directors: Fulvio Mariani, Gianluigi Quarti, Producer: Krysia Binek, Rebus; TSI

The three peaks of Lavaredo, in the Dolomites, feature the largest concentration of impressive overhangs in the Alps. Here, two climbers, Hugo Weber and Albin Schelbert, recall a competition that brought together top alpinists in an exciting challenge with an unexpected twist.

"This film exhibits wonderful storytelling in a humorous way, using archival footage and modern perspective by the old characters who, urged by local pride and a fair dose of testosterone, wanted to be the first to set routes on their local cliffs," says jury member Arlene Burns.

Yosemite – Ascending Rhythm (USA, 2000) Directors/Producers: Sterling Johnson, Ron Kauk

An elegant and poetic look at the art of rock climbing filmed in Yosemite, featuring world-renowned rock climber Ron Kauk, with Lynn Hill, Steph Davis, Dean Potter, Jerry Moffat and Chris Sharma.

"A beautifully photographed film. It’s evident that the filmmakers spent many hours looking for the best places to shoot in the best conditions," says jury member Roger Vernon.

People’s Choice Award: $2000 – sponsored by The Hostel Shop, Calgary, Alberta

A Higher Calling (USA, 2000) Director/Producer: Neal Michaelis 

This film tells the story of six friends, whose goal is to fly cross-country together in western Nepal. Finding launches and landings develops into a daily routine, and the paragliders become vehicles into Nepalese culture as the group experiences instant immersion upon landing.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is an international competition featuring the world's best films and videos on mountain subjects. The annual event, organized by The Banff Centre for Mountain Culture, also features world-renowned guest speakers, seminars on current mountain issues, an adventure trade fair, mountain art and craft sales and a climbing wall.

Update: 11/5/2000

Nick Kekus and his Sherpa guides led 10 climbers to the Summit of Ana Dablam, according to the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal.

Nick might best be remembered in the future as a guide on the OTT Expedition in 1999 when Mike Matthews died. Reliable sources has informed EverestNews.com that a major film is in preparation for the case of Mike Matthews death. The film company has discussed Mike's deaths with EverestNews.com on several occasions. However, would not comment at this time on the record on the movie...

Mike, died while descending from the Summit of Everest after becoming the youngest climber from the UK to Summit Everest. The body has never been found. 

Update: 11/4/2000

Here's the scoop!

October 16, 2000 at 11:00am "all" 6 members of the PEAK FREAK EXPEDITIONS Mt. Ama Dablam 2000' team stood on the summit (6846m) together in enjoying the perfect views and calm winds.  The expedition was lead by 39 year old Canadian guide - Tim Rippel owner of Peak Freak Expeditions situated in Nelson, BC Canada.  Good health, weather and a cohesive team effort made this expedition and fun an enjoyable experience for all. 

Other members of the successful team included:

George Cutter - a 45 year old geologist from Montreal, QB  Canada.
Henning Sommerfelt- a 32 year old engineer from Norway.
Elmer Smith Jr. (Smitty) - a 58 year old Veteran support worker from Erie,
Mark Bryant- a 52 year old Postal Worker from Spokane WA, USA.
Sam Baio - a 28 year old Outdoor Equipment retail owner (Valhalla Pure) from
Nelson, BC Canada

Becky Rippel

Update: 11/2/2000

Climbing and Feature Films
Headline Record-Breaking Year at the Banff Mountain Film Festival

Awe-inspiring climbs and dramatic mountain stories highlight the finalists in this year’s Banff Mountain Film Festival competition. From the 213 films representing 24 countries entered in the 2000 competition, 41 finalists will be screened at the festival in Banff. The Banff Mountain Film Festival takes place November 3 to 5, 2000.

"This year’s film program is the strongest I've seen," says Bernadette McDonald, Director of the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture, which hosts the event. "Two new categories, short film and feature film, have definitely added to the variety. We have several young Canadian filmmakers in the short category, and the feature films screened on Sunday evening in the Margaret Greenham Theatre are powerful, moving mountain dramas. I think our audience is also going to appreciate the incredible strength and variety of the climbing category — from Dhaulagiri to Yosemite — featuring some of the most exciting climbers of our time."

An international jury will meet during festival week to select the winners in six categories and to choose a Grand Prize winner. The festival audience will vote for the People’s Choice Award. Winners will be announced on Sunday, November 5, at 5:30 p.m.

The 2000 jury includes Arlene Burns (U.S.A.), Mireille Chiocca (France), Giorgio Daidola (Italy), Stephen Venables (U.K.) and Roger Vernon (Canada). Jury biographies are attached.

This year’s finalists are:

Alpine Club of Canada Award for Best Film on Climbing — Finalists

  • Annapurna, l'histoire d'une légende (Annapurna — History of a Conquest), Director: Bernard George, Producer: Luc Martin-Gousset, Production company: Point du Jour (France)
  • Beyond Gravity, Directors/Producers: Aaron Black/Aaron Jackson/Sean White, Production company: Black & White Productions (Canada)
  • Dhaulagiri Express, Director/Producer: Stipe Bozic, Production company: Third Eye (Croatia)
  • Disaster on the North Face of the Eiger, Director/Producer: Gerhard Baur, Production company: ZDF (Germany)
  • The Dizzy Heights’ Knights, Director: Fulvio Mariani, Producer: Krysia Binek, Production company: TSI Swiss Television (Switzerland)
  • Downwalling, Directors: Lubomir Slavik/Jaromir Zid, Producer: LUJA Studio (Czech Republic)
  • El Capitan, Director/Producer: Thomas Ulrich, Production company: Visual Impact (Switzerland)
  • Lost on Everest – The Search for Mallory and Irvine, Producer: Peter Firstbrook, Production company: BBC TV (U.K.)
  • No Strings Attached, Director/Producer: Brian Goldstone, Co-producer: Chris Atkinson, Production company: Five Point Productions (Canada)
  • Reticent Wall, Director: Stipe Bozic, Producer: Gregor Garbajs, Production company: ITU (Croatia)
  • Splinter, Director: Ben Pritchard, Producer: Richard Heap, Production company: Slackjaw (U.K.)
  • Wild Climbs: Czech Republic, Director/Producer: Richard Else, Production company: Triple Echo Productions (U.K.)
  • Yosemite – Ascending Rhythm, Directors/Producers: Sterling Johnson/Ron Kauk, Production company: The SnowCreek Consort (U.S.A.)

Best Film on Mountain Culture, sponsored by Petzl America — Finalists

  • A Life of My Choice – Thesiger, Directors: Allison Chase/Gordon Brown, Producer: Allison Chase, Production company: Ventana Pictures (U.S.A.)
  • Caravan - The Making Of, Director: Debra Kellner, Producer: Jacques Perrin, Production company: Galatée Films (France)
  • The Ice Mummies, Producers: Kevin Krug/Gail MacFaraquhar, Production company: National Geographic Television (U.S.A.)
  • Millennium 2000, Director: Francesco Santullo, Producer: Grivelart, Production company: Grivel s.r.l. (Italy)
  • Mysterious Mamberamo, Director/Producer: Pavol Barabas, Production company: K2 Studio (Slovakia)
  • Tamangur, Director: Stephen Macmillan, Producer: Richard Walder, Production company: Forest Art Productions (Switzerland)
  • Treasure Seekers: Tibet’s Hidden Kingdom, Series Producer: Graham Townsley; Executive Producers: Jason Williams/William Morgan/Bob Judson, Production company: JWM Productions in association with Crawford Communications (U.S.A.)

Best Film on Mountain Environment, sponsored by Canadian Mountain Holidays — Finalists

  • Macquarie Island, Director/Producer: Wade Fairley, Production company: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Australia)
  • Mountain Rivals, Director/Producer: Rob Harrison-White, Production company: Off the Fence/Clyde Films (Netherlands)
  • Neblina — Strange Islands in the Sky, Directors: Antoine de Maximy/Henri Herre, Producer: Emmanuel Priou, Production company: Bonne Pioche (France)
  • The Sahara's Secret Garden, Director: Gauthier Flauder, Producer: Manuel Catteau, Production company: ZED — Zoo Ethnological Documentary (France)
  • Searching Patagonia…, Director/Producer: Mark Carroll, Production company: Remote Dispatch.com (U.S.A.)

Best Short Mountain Film — Finalists

  • Beyond Gravity, Directors/Producers: Aaron Black/Aaron Jackson/Sean White, Production company: Black & White Productions (Canada)
  • Columbia, Director/Producer: Mark Karlstrom, Production company: Formula Films (Canada)
  • El Capitan, Director/Producer: Thomas Ulrich, Production company: Visual Impact (Switzerland)
  • Kranked III [short], Directors: Christian Bégin/Bjorn Enga, Producer: Bjorn Enga, Production company: Radical Films (Canada)
  • No Strings Attached, Director/Producer: Brian Goldstone, Co-producer: Chris Atkinson, Production company: Five Point Productions (Canada)
  • Nurpu [short], Directors: Arden Oksanen/Dirk CollinsTodd Jones/Steve Jones, Producers: Dirk Collins/Todd Jones/Steve Jones, Production company: Teton Gravity Research (U.S.A.)
  • POW — Posse of Women, Director/Producer: Curtis Robinson, Production company: Funky Junkie Digital Productions (Canada)
  • Resident Bruise, Director/Producer: Randy Waldschmidt, Production company: Resident Films (U.S.A.)
  • Searching Patagonia…, Director/Producer: Mark Carroll, Production company: Remote Dispatch.com (U.S.A.)
  • Skilletto, Director: Alex Fostvedt, Producer: Derek Westerlund, Production company: Freeride Entertainment (Canada)
  • Splinter, Director: Ben Pritchard, Producer: Richard Heap, Production company: Slackjaw (U.K.)
  • Wheel Women, Directors: Anne Walton/Selena Lawrie, Producers: Anne Walton/Selena Lawrie/Laurie Long, Production company: Dirt Diva Productions (Canada)
  • Y2sKi, Directors: Didier Lafond/Dominique Perret, Production company: Vertical Zoo (Switzerland)

Best Film on Mountain Sports, — Finalists

  • Columbia, Director/Producer: Mark Karlstrom, Production company: Formula Films (Canada)
  • Extreme Lives: Road to Certain Death, Director: Jenny Jones, Producer: Steve Robinson, Production company: BBC Wales (U.K.)
  • A Higher Calling, Director/Producer: Neal Michaelis, Production company: Dawn Treader Productions (U.S.A.)
  • Kranked III [short], Directors: Christian Bégin/Bjorn Enga, Producer: Bjorn Enga, Production company: Radical Films (Canada)
  • The North Face Expeditions: Shishapangma — A Celebration of Life, Producers: John Wilcox/Michael Brown/Kara Klein/Claude Merkel/Cherie Silvera, Production company: American Adventure Productions (U.S.A.)
  • Nurpu [short], Directors: Arden Oksanen/Dirk CollinsTodd Jones/Steve Jones, Producers: Dirk Collins/Todd Jones/Steve Jones, Production company: Teton Gravity Research (U.S.A.)
  • POW – Posse of Women, Director/Producer: Curtis Robinson, Production company: Funky Junkie Digital Productions (Canada)
  • Resident Bruise, Director/Producer: Randy Waldschmidt, Production company: Resident Films (U.S.A.)
  • Skilletto, Director: Alex Fostvedt, Producer: Derek Westerlund, Production company: Freeride Entertainment (Canada)
  • Stikine River Fever, Producers: John Bredar/Robert Poole, Production company: National Geographic Television (U.S.A.)
  • There’s Something about McConkey, Director: Scott Gaffney, Producers: Steve Winter/Murray Wais, Production company: Matchstick Productions (U.S.A.)
  • Wheel Women, Directors: Anne Walton/Selena Lawrie, Producers: Anne Walton/Selena Lawrie/Laurie Long, Production company: Dirt Diva Productions (Canada)
  • Y2sKi, Directors: Didier Lafond/Dominique Perret, Production company: Vertical Zoo (Switzerland)

Best Mountain Fiction Film — Finalists

  • Premier de cordée, Directors: Pierre-Antoine Hiroz/Edouard Niermans, Producer: Dominique Rappaz, Production Companies: Gaumont TV/J.M. Henchoz Prod./RAI/F2/TSR (Switzerland)
  • La grande crevasse, Directors: Pierre-Antoine Hiroz/Edouard Niermans, Producer: Dominique Rappaz, Production Companies: Gaumont TV/J.M. Henchoz Prod./RAI/F2/TSR (Switzerland)

The Festival Grand Prize is sponsored by the Banff Centre for Management and Eagle Creek Travel Gear. The People’s Choice award is sponsored by The Hostel Shop, Calgary, Alberta.

The following films will be screened as part of the Saturday evening Radical Reels program.

  • New World Disorder, Director/Producer: Derek Westerlund, Co-producer: Jeff Lawrence, Production company: Freeride Entertainment (Canada)
  • Our Turn, Directors/Producers: Sky Rondenet/Tiffany Sabol, Production company: XX Productions (U.S.A.)
  • Ski Movie, Directors: Steve Winter/Murray Wais/Scott Gaffney, Production company: Matchstick Productions (U.S.A.)
  • Wicked Liquid II — 1000 Cunning Stunts, Directors/Producers: Alexander Nicks/Steve Fisher, Production company: Green Room Productions (Canada)

To order tickets for festival events, contact the Banff Centre Box Office at 403-762-6301 or 1-800-413-8368 or you can order online.

Update: 10/29/2000

Andrej Zaman, only 24 years old, died Wednesday on the west face of Dorje Lapka (6966 meters), while on a Summit attempt according to the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal. He fell according to the Ministry while on a solo bid for the Summit. The 3 Sherpa climbers, who were members of the expedition, quit the expedition. 

Update "Death On Cho Oyu" : 10/26/2000

I just came back from the meeting with members of Cho Oyu expedition. I looked at photographs, documents, video. 

Pavle Milosevic was a member of the expedition which was organized and led by Ryszard Pawlowski. There were 6 members: 3 from Poland, 2 Polish men from New York and Canada, 1 Yugoslavian from Canada. They arrived at Tibetan base camp on September 21th. Dariusz Zaluski and Ryszard Pawlowski reached the summit on Oct.4th. The next day Eugeniusz Chomczyk reached the summit. A few days later Pavle Milosevic and Ryszard Kowalewski spent two nights in camp III (7500 m). Strong wind and cold drove them down. They spent the night in  camp II (7000 m) and then went down to camp I (6400 m). Pavle began to suffer "stomach pain". The whole night Kowalewski boiled drinks for him trying to help him. Milosevic was feeling worse and worse. The next morning with the help of two American climbers, they went down. "In one moment Milosevic could not go more." They asked for help from others in base camp. The Polish members and American climbers came to them. They (16 people together) carried Milosevic 8 hours to base camp (5800 m). They arrived there at 1 o clock at night. The American doctor waited there. He was fighting for the life of Milosevic. After 2 hour in Gamov bag Pavle looked better. At 4 am they went to sleep. The doctor stayed with Pavle. After 5 am he woke up Ryszard Pawlowski and said that Milosevic died. The cause of death was cardiac arrest. It was the 11th of October 2000. Members of the Polish expedition told me that American climbers were really helpful. They helped with great devotion, dedication and generosity. Thank them so much! Climbers made the grave with the stones down near the base camp and buried Pavle Milosevic. 

Monika Rogozinska 

Death again on Cho Oyu (The older report...)

PAVLE MILOSEVIC has died on Cho Oyu. EverestNews.com received this news several days ago, but we have been holding it for several days now until the family was notified... 

Below is some of the later reports we received with some details:

1.) I just talked to Ryszard Pawlowski [3 times Everest Summitter]. He is in Kathmandu. On October 4th, he reached the summit of Cho Oyu with Dariusz Zaluski (both from Poland). The next day, Oct 5th, Eugeniusz Chomczyk, another member of his expedition from New York, reached the summit. Pavle Milosevic (Pawlowski said that Milosevic name was Pavle, surname is common in Serbia) was 50 years old. Milosevic said that he used to run in long marathons. He spent 3 weeks on Cho Oyu expedition. He spent nights in camps: I, II and III (7500 m). In camp III he spent two nights. It seemed that he had good acclimatisation. Then there was bad weather, Pavle Milosevic with other climber went down from camp III. In camp I, Milosevic started to suffer because of pain of stomach. He was feeling badly and felt badly going down. His partner with 2 American climbers helped him to go down from camp I. They had radiotelephones and were in touch with the doctor. From base camp they went with help from the Polish and Americans climbers. 16 people carried him to advanced Basecamp (5700 m) where an experienced doctor (member of 7 expeditions) started to rescue him with Gamow bag. Milosevic felt better, so about 4 o clock in the morning they went to sleep. The doctor stayed with Milosevic. One hour and half later Milosevic died. His heart stopped. He was buried in a glacier. Pawlowski tried to informed the family of Milosevic first of all.... Pawlowski had great problems with Chinese authorities who do not accepted satellite telephones and investigated his group. Ryszard Pawlowski said that he is going to send me documents and pictures from expedition. In three days Dariusz Zaluski will come back to Poland. Pawlowski stays in Nepal and will start with another group to climb Ama Dablam as a guide. Monika Rogozinska 

2.) A client of mine on Cho Oyu said, a Yugoslavian climber with a Polish team climbing Cho-Oyu died on the morning of 11 October from cardiac problem.  On 10th October he was descending to base camp from Camp III on his own. Arriving at the Camp one he experienced severe pain around the chest area and climbers at the base camp rushed to his help and carried him to the base camp. An American doctor put him in a gamow bag for two hours and he felt better. But two hours later he died.  

Ang Karma Sherpa
Windhorse Trekking (P) Ltd.
Jyatha, Kantipath - Kathmandu

Asian Trekking also helped with this story along with others. 

It is a little unclear right now if he died on the 10th or early on the 11th.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. 

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