8000 Meter Peaks

Everest
K2
Kangchenjunga
Lhotse
Makalu
Cho Oyu
Dhaulagiri
Manaslu
Nanga Parbat
Annapurna
Gasherbrum
Broad Peak
Shishapangma
Pakistan

Seven Summits

Everest
Aconcagua
Denali
Kilimanjaro
Elbrus
Vinson Massif
Carstensz Pyramid
Mount Kosciusko

Without our sponsors, you wouldn't see this site, please visit our sponsors. 

imax.gif (11898 bytes)  

 November 15-30th, 1998 Daily Reports

For Latest News. For earlier reports: See the Site Index for a list of all the Daily Reports plus many other stories. If you are new to the site you will want to visit the Site Index... along with the homepage... Please visit EverestNews.com Sponsor page !

Daily News: 11/30/98 Report

  • Nepal Ministry of Tourism current Peaks opened for foreign expedition.  Note, many request heights of peaks, these are the NMA heights ! These are also their spelling of the peaks !
Name of the peaks Height in Meters
   
1. Ama Dablam 6812
2. Annapurna 1 8091
3. Annapurna 2 7937
3. Annapurna 3 7555
4. Annapurna 4 7525
5. Annapurna South 7219
7. Api 7132
8. Api West 7100
9. Barun Tse 7129
10. Baudha 6672
11. Chamlang 7319
12. Cheo Himal 6820
13. Chobuje 6685
14. Cholatse 6440
15. Cho-o-You 8201
16. Cho Polu 6711
17. Churen 7371
18. Dhampus 6012
19. Dhaulagiri I 8167
20. Dhaulagiri II 7751
21. Dhaulagiri III 7715
22. Dhaulagiri IV 7661
23. Dhaulagiri V 7618
24. Dhaulagiri VI 7268
25. Drangnag Ri 6801
26. Fimkof 6697
27. Fimkof West 6645
28. Ganesh II 7111
29. Ganesh III ( Salasungo) 7110
30. Ganesh IV (Pabil) 7052
31. Ganesh V 6986
32. Gangapurna 7455
33. Gauri Shanker 7134
34. Gimigela Chuli 7350
35. Gyajikang 7038
36. Himalchuli E. 7893
37. Himalchuli N. 7371
38. Himchuli West 7540
39. Himlung Himal 7126
40. Hongde 6556
41. Jagdula Peak 5764
42. Kumbhakarna (Jannu) 7710
43. Kangbachen 7903
44. Kagmara 5960
45. Kande Hiuchuli 6627
46. Kanchenjunga (Main) 8586
47. Kanchenjunga 8476
48. Kanchenjunga ( South) 8476
49. Kangguru 6981
50. Kangtega (Kantega) 6779
51. Kanjeralwa 6612
52. Kanijiroba (Main peak) 6883
53. Khatang 6782
54. Lamjung Himal 6983
55. Langsisa Ri 6427
56. Langtang Lirung 7234
57. Lhotse 8516
58. Lhotse Shar 8400
59. Lobuje West 6145
60. Lemgpo Peak 6954
61. Makalu I 8463
62. Maklu II (Kangchugtse) 7678
63. Manapathi 6380
64. Manaslu 8163
65. Manaslu North 7157
66. Nampa 6755
67. Ngojumbakang 7743
68. Nilgiri Central 6940
69. Nilgiri North 7061
70. Nilgiri South 6839
71. Numbur 6957
72. Nuptse 7855
73. Ngadi Chuli (Peak 29 Dakura) 7871
74. Nampa, South 6580
75. Patrasi 6450
76. Pumori 7161
77. Putha Hiuchuli 7246
78. Pathivara Chuli 7125
79. Pasang Lhamu Chuli (Jasamba) 7351
80. Rakshs Urai 6593
81. Saipal 7031
82. Shantishikhar 7591
83. Shartse 7459
84. Sisne 5849
85. Sita Chuchura 6611
86. Saipal East 6882
87. Surma-Sarovar, North 6523
88. Sagarmatha 8848
89. Shey Shikhar 6139
90. Tawoche 6501
91. Thamserku 6623
92. Tilicho Peak 7134
93. Tukuche Peak 6920
94. Tripura Hiuchuli (Haging Glacier Peak ) 6563
95. Tso Karpo 6518
96. Tarke Kang 7193
97. Varaha Shikhar (Fang) 7647
98. Yalung Kang 8505

Source: Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation Mountaineering Section

Daily News: 11/29/98 Report

  • The All Aboriginal Everest Expedition: This expedition has been the subject of many questions in the last few weeks, with internet chat. EverestNews.com has attempted to contact some of those we have been told are involved in this expedition. They have not talked to EverestNews.com, yet. What we believed we have learned to date is:

1.) They plan on going to Everest in 2000, not 1999;

2.) No bottled oxygen;

3.) Expedition will not be "All Aboriginal"; but primarily "Aboriginal".

4.) We understand this expedition is being organized by people in Canada;

5.) EverestNews.com assumes, they are raising money for this expedition.

Daily News: 11/28/98 Report

  • The Staff at EverestNews.com took a couple days off for the Holiday. The e-mail is piled high ! Therefore, we will post some of the answers for multiple questions we received as we have in the past. We also think others might find some of this information interesting.

1.) Yes, we still believe EverestNews.com will receive answers to the questions You, our readers of EverestNews.com, submitted to Mark Pfetzer (Within Reach : My Everest Story  Mark Pfetzer, Jack Galvin / Hardcover / Published 1998). Many of the questions were wide ranging and far reaching (i.e. Everest 96). Therefore, with Mark's busy schedule these might take him some time to answer (assuming he has a reply !).

2.) We have received several e-mails saying David Lim, the leader of the Singapore expedition to Everest in Spring 96, is out of the hospital and improving. All of our best to David !

3.) Yes, Sumiyo Tsuzuki, from Japan is the only "client" we know that reached the Summit of Everest via the North Side in 1998 !

4.) Everest 96: Yes, the climbers were very slow on May 10th,1996. Very slow. You can even add back time, that some believe was "lost", but still they were very slow on that day. For those that followed the climbers in 98, compare the turn-around time of the first climbers to attempt the summit in 98, and the other climbers times in 98. Interesting to even compare Carlos' time this Autumn, who broke trail by himself and went without fixed ropes, including the Hillary Step, as we understand it !

  • Look for major news next week from Nepal !!!
  • To repeat, in case you missed it ! Ang Rita Sherpa and Appa Sherpa will be in Seattle on Dec 5th ! Ang Rita Sherpa, who has reached the summit of Everest 10 times without oxygen and Appa Sherpa who has nine times, are coming to Seattle to share their life experiences according to ACSherpa. To attend this, you are asked to contact Mr. Ang Tsering Sherpa at (206)547-3507 or (206)633-2100 E-mail ACSherpa@aol.com   (tickets are for sale). Source Ang Chhiri Sherpa, EverestNews.com called Ang Chhiri Sherpa, his English is a little weak, but he tells us both Ang Rita Sherpa and Appa Sherpa will be in Seattle on Dec 5th at a new restaurant (?). They say are trying to raise money for Ang Rita Sherpa's Everest climb in 2000. Other details sound like they are being worked out. However, we thought You would like to know about this !
  • The 99 Everest Expeditions links has been updated !!!
  • Audrey Salkeld and Chris Bonington were winners at the Banff Mountain Book Festival last week with  World Mountaineering : The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers -- Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington; Hardcover

Some other titles from them include:

Daily News: 11/27/98 Report

El climber and adventurer Enrique Guallart-Furio come back Everest next spring. If he reach the summit will finish the "Seven Summits". The new web page have several special entries, please, look it carefully. http://ww2.encis.es/avent/ever/ever.htm Valencia is a nice place (east coast of Spain) to spend a lovely holidays. The beaches and mountains have a lot of sun. Come to Valencia! His main sponsor is the trade mark who make the promotion of Valencia.

Daily News: 11/26/98 Report

  • Happy Thanksgiving from EverestNews.com !!!

  • Let's us remember those that we are thankful to have and those that we have lost this year. Let us remember the families of Fran, Sergi, Roger, Mark and those who have been lost before in our prayers.
  • We shall return on Friday with the News, if you are looking for more today, suggest you review the Daily Reports, and the News index below. Enjoy .

Daily News: 11/25/98 Report

  • Become an EverestNews.com Sponsor Today ! or recommend to your company to become an EverestNews.com Sponsor ! or recommend to the Company you purchase your outside supplies from to become an EverestNews.com sponsor today ! You can help EverestNews.com in many ways, including making your purchases of Books, music, art, GPS, and soon other items through the links on EverestNews.com !

EverestNews.com first planned to become an pay for service internet site. EverestNews.com will NOT be a pay for service site. We enjoy the thousands of visitors we have daily and yes the millions of visitors we have had in the past year. We want to keep you all !!!

We are now planning for 500,000 visitors plus per day in Spring 1999. Yes, we do have to pay the bills for this service. We have many ideas and possible plans which we will share with you in the coming weeks. But don't worry, we are NOT going to become a pay for service internet site. We want to remain the "back-to-basics, minimally commercial web-site" that our new friend Peter Green called us. The Staff at EverestNews.com

Back to the News !

  • EverestNews.com interview with Peter Green Continues !

    Please check out The Peter Green page and the Peter Green Q&A Page One and Peter Green Q&A Page Two to date. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum have also been posted on the forum. Peter's interview is about over, but we know from past experience that late questions come weeks after the request. Therefore, in a few weeks we will try to submit "late" follow-ups to Peter.

    Q.) Tell us about acclimatization, these seems to be more ways than ice cream !

    A.) It does vary, so you have to know your self.  I have climbed above 14,000' for 20 years in a row (since the middle of high school) and that gives me a frequent refamiliarization.  Of course, from trip to trip, or day to day, I still never know.  If things feel wrong, descend fast and far.  Remember, my worst Mountain Sickness occurred at about 12,000' -- I was going too fast, and maybe dehydrated as well.

    Q.) Can you compare Fisher to Ed Viesturs in climbing strength ? Compare them the best Sherpa climber you have seen.

    A.) I haven't seen many sherpas, but imagine that Ang Rita would seem beyond any non-Sherpa.  Scott and Ed topped K2 together (with Charley) so must be well-matched.  Strength on a given outing, or day, isn't necessarily what counts -- either in assessing greatness, or choosing companions. If Pakistan ever lets Sherpas back to the Karakoram, then we'll see.

    Q.) Viesturs seems to be made into an American hero with IMAX. But other numerous non-American climbers has far greater resumes? Do you agree?

    A.) Movies need heroes (and heroines) and Ed is both photogenic and a really nice guy.  Others may go down in history with bigger resumes -- Ed isn't much of a technical, new-route type of climber.  (Neither am I, really.) Americans need an American hero, I suppose.  He is certainly qualified!

    Q.) This fixing rope issue. Much was made about this on K2 this year. Krakauer put much of the blame on "One Sherpa" in Everest 96, for not fixing the rope on the Hillary step. I know you have commented on this. But could you go into this issue in more detail.

    A.) As I recall, the problem started even lower down -- where the relatively inexperienced clients depended on a fixed line.  Regardless of where, if you are going to need the ropes in place, they have got to be on time. Leaders and sherpas all need to make things work, and there is little to be gained blaming the deceased.   The lesson of turn-around time (as well as turning around to see if the clouds are bringing bad weather behind you) remains paramount.  Being late, especially if your oxygen is going
    to run out, can be deadly.  If the evening's storm didn't pause at midnight for Neal to guide most of the survivors in the right direction, several more would have died.   On my outings, the whole group is involved in leading, so the dependence on one person doesn't weaken us.

    Q.) On Denali via West Buttress, how difficult of climb is this ? How steep is it?

    A.) Mostly gentle, but sometimes narrow (either on a ridge or between crevasses). The upper bowl at 16,000' reaches 45 degrees, and if icy (often in early season) with a heavy pack, high wind and low visibility, you will find it very challenging.  The approach to the mountain is long, requiring patience and endurance, but also providing time for acclimatization.  The crevasses are very big and scary -- soloists are crazy.  And I recommend not mixing skiers and snowshoers.

    Q.) Can you tell us more detail about the Denali climb ?

    A.) The regular route is a very nice one: fairly safe from avalanches and ice-falls, but plenty tough and long.  Mostly, the mountain is incredibly cold with vicious storms.  A friend described it as 'getting kicked in the teeth by mother nature.'  A bit harsh, perhaps, but then a slow companion prevented him and his partner from seeing the find view from the top.

    Peter

  • Ed Douglas, author of the new Book "Chomolungma Sings the Blues", has agreed to an interview with EverestNews.com ! We received his book late Monday night and of course one of the webmasters was finished by the early morning of Tuesday. The rest of the staff are presently sharing it. EverestNews.com has have found Chomolungma Sings the Blues an excellent book which covers a wide range of subjects from environmental issues in the Everest area to his views on Everest 96. Ed is an refreshing and skillful writer. More soon on this exciting new book and its author ! Chomolungma Sings the Blues is not yet available or published in the United States ! However, this was one of the reasons for adding Amazon UK to our sponsor list, along with requests from our UK readers of EverestNews.com !
  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998. Both are available for shipping within 24 hours !   The bookstore site has an Everest Book page, two Mountaineering book pages, a K2 book page , an ice climbing page, a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat. For Amazon UK, see our Sponsor page !

Daily News: 11/24/98 Report

  • Ang Rita Sherpa and Appa Sherpa will be in Seattle on Dec 5th ! Ang Rita Sherpa, who has reached the summit of Everest 10 times without oxygen and Appa Sherpa who has nine times, are coming to Seattle to share their life experiences according to ACSherpa. To attend this, you are asked to contact Mr. Ang Tsering Sherpa at (206)547-3507 or (206)633-2100 E-mail ACSherpa@aol.com    (tickets are for sale). Source Ang Chhiri Sherpa, EverestNews.com called Ang Chhiri Sherpa, his English is a little weak, but he tells us both Ang Rita Sherpa and Appa Sherpa will be in Seattle on Dec 5th at a new restaurant (?). They say are trying to raise money for Ang Rita Sherpa's Everest climb in 2000. Other details sound like they are being worked out. However, we thought You would like to know about this !
  • Our web site of the week is : http://www.womenclimbers.com/ . In the spring of 1999, seven women climbers will attempt to be the first all American Women's team to summit an 8,000 meter peak without the use of supplemental oxygen or Sherpa climbing support. Check them out !
  • The Czech expeditions site is http://HIMALAYA.softex.cz. Yes it is in Czech ! Enjoy !
  • EverestNews.com feature books are: Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998. Both are available for shipping within 24 hours !   The bookstore site has an Everest Book page, two Mountaineering book pages, a K2 book page , an ice climbing page, a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat

Daily News: 11/23/98 Report

  • Editorial Comment: EverestNews.com offers few editorial comments. However, there seems to be a reoccurring idea that climbers on Everest are guided. The fact is, guiding on Everest is the exception, not the rule. For example on the North Side this year, one climber that was guided reached the summit out of 80 plus climbers who reached the summit. Somewhere around 7 to 10 climbers out of the "hundreds" on the North Side of Everest this year were guided. It could also be argued if they (the 7 to 10) were to be guided to the summit or to a certain level on Everest. We discussed this months back, but this questions of climbers being guided on Everest just does not seem to go away. Most teams on Everest are National Teams. Guided climbs are offered, but are not the norm on Everest , but the exception. Cheers EverestNews.com

 

  • Some News on Hans Kammerlander, a climber in a different league, one of the truly great climbers of our time. http://w3.rother.de/ (in German).   He attempted to summit  Kanchenjunga, Manaslu and K2 this year.  He was going to try Kanchenjunga with camps, then he was going to try to summit Manaslu without setting any camps -- no base camp or fixed camps along the way. After that, an attempt at K2 alone.  He made it to the summit of Kanchenjunga on the second attempt.  He then realized after getting back to base camp that he had frostbite on his right foot. He went to the hospital in Kathmandu and then was shipped directly back to Innsbruck, Austria.  He then called off the rest of expeditions at this time. 

    This goes to show us all, that these 8000 meter peaks can humble the greatest climbers in the world. We wish Hans all the best and understand he is doing better, but has some frostbite injuries to remember. If you don't know much about Hans Kammerlander, he has an extremely interesting career. Check it out !

  • Audrey Salkeld and Chris Bonington were winners at the Banff Mountain Book Festival last week with  World Mountaineering : The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers -- Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington; Hardcover

Daily News: 11/22/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com interview with Peter Green Continues !

Please check out The Peter Green page and the Peter Green Q&A Page One and Peter Green Q&A Page Two to date. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum have also been posted on the forum. Peter has agreed to take a few more questions next week !!!!  

Q.) Do Sherpa speak much English ?

A.) Yeah, though usually poorly.  (The world's most universal language --bad English.)

Q.) How do you communication to these Sherpa ? Is it a problem?

A.) I've never had high altitude porters, so all I know is from the trek and base camp with our non-Sherpa (Lama) crew.  Their English is poor, and they may not be literate in any language, but they are smart and adaptable.  We often can't figure out how, but things get taken care of. Once in a while, we step in realizing we need to correct something that got confused, but rarely.  How's this for being capable: when we got to Kathmandu, our sirdar only needed to know two things: how many days in base camp for the climb, and did we wish extra porters to put up our tents for us each night on the approach trek?  Everything else, he knew what to do, and brought it in under budget.  These guys are superb organizers. (And no, we put up our own tents!)

Q.) What are the skills of high altitude mountain leadership ?

A.) The same as at low altitude, with the great complication of thinner air. Even leaders become weakened -- physically and in terms of judgment.   Having relative novices dependent on a single leader is even more dangerous.

When I take less experienced friends or family members on an outing, I try to increase the margin of safety and make sure I have the ability to do a lot of extra things as necessary (judge the weather, route find, break trail, encourage them, camp chores, even carry their pack,...)

Q.) What does it take to be an effective leader in high altitude ?

A.) I suppose knowing the difference between the summit and safety is first and foremost.  Beyond that, it comes to experience.  Since I mostly climb with family and friends, we all bring all our skills to the outing, and everyone is involved in decisions -- no one is dependent on a leader. I find this the safest and most enjoyable way to pass time in the mountains.

Q.) Do you enjoy reading books about past mountaineering adventures and disasters?

A.) Yes, I used to buy one every month (maximum budget as a student).  Now that I have kids, I have little time to read for myself -- just to them. (So, I bought a children's book about a cartoon character trying to climb Mount Everest -- seriously!)

Q.) Do you learn anything practical from them?  If so can you tell us some specific things or ideas you learned from one of these books?

A.) Certainly the writings about the 1986 season on K2 made some things clear (that I mentioned a couple days ago): don't be over-optimistic about time, don't skimp on tent space, don't linger up high, turn-around early, and mark (wand) your ascent route so you can find it later even if stormy and/or dark.

Everest 1996 is similar: turn-around, watch the weather behind you, get the route ready on time, and if using it, don't run out of supplemental oxygen. I keep a collection of favorite quotes -- several pages now.  Perhaps the all-time best is John Muir, solo explorer, naturalist and scrambler: "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees, the winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energies, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

Comment:  Thank you for all of your answers so far and to EverestNews.com for enabling  us to ask questions to such fine mountaineers as you and Heather and all the others who so graciously answered all of our questions.

Peter: You're very welcome.  The popular media tends to spread misconceptions, so it is nice to be able to provide a more realistic perspective.

Q.) On Everest we have found from EverestNews.com that these teams are from all over the world. How do they communicate with each other ?

A.) With difficulty or not at all.  I startled a Ukrainian woman at 20,000' Dhaulagiri by saying 'Good Morning' to her in Russian.  (I had learned a  few words on K2 two years before.)  She responded with a long inquiry about me -- none of which I understood!  And in howling winds, even sharing a common language isn't enough -- you have to know what each other is trying to indicate with vague hand and arm gestures.  That is why each team, and person, must be as independent as possible.  The real trouble happens with sharing fixed ropes and small campsites.

Q.) Hi! You said that your wife got a job as base camp manager for a particular climb of yours. How does one obtain such a job and what credentials do you need?

A.) Not much of a job, really.  She had to pay all her expenses and only  received fun as compensation!  And the requirements are comparably   negligible -- you just have to want to go and hang out somewhere.  I have a great picture of her knitting with avalanches crashing down in the distant background.   (And some people vacation at the beach,...)

In truth, she is friendly, self-sufficient, an experienced traveler, and has enough mountaineering and altitude experience (camped on top of Whitney at 14,5k' in comfort) -- and owned a warm enough sleeping bag and down jacket.  Those are the 'job requirements'.

-Peter

  • For the entire interview with Heather Macdonald and all the updates from this year's expedition see  The IMG/Expedition 8000 Cho Oyu team page.
  • Between now and Spring 99 EverestNews.com has many plans including re-designing the web site, adding sponsors, organizing all the information during the last year, interviews and more interviews (we hope), and yes finishing some 98 Everest stories ! We would like your feedback very much. Please tell us what you would like to see from EverestNews.com in the future. Submit to everestnews2004@adelphia.net .

Daily News: 11/21/98 Report

  • Everest Spring 99 ! News from Alpine Ascents International : "We've got a Everest 2000 confirmed already and 99 is 50/50 depending on the levels of clientele. Prior to Everest we have 2 trips in Ecuador, 6 trips on Aconcagua and one trip on Vinson and we'll take a few groups to Base Camp. We have also increased our Denali program and will be running 6 trips. Pete Athans, Wally Berg and Vernon Tejas will be doing much of the guiding... thanks for keeping up - much appreciated !"  Gordon Janow Director of Programs Alpine Ascents International
  • Everest Spring 99 ! More details on the Czech Expedition:

HIMALAYA 8000

Everest & Lhotse EXPEDITION 99

Let me introduce one of the greatest project in the history of the Czech mountaineering "EVEREST - Lhotse Spring 99" .

HIMALAYA 8000 was established as a mountaineering team to climb all of the highest peaks in the world. We have organized to this time 8 expeditions on the highest peaks in the world.

The main goal of EVEREST - Lhotse Spring 99 expedition is to climb two of the highest peaks in the world - the first one and the fourth one - by one expedition team without oxygen. Expedition time is March 31st to June 2nd, 1999. We expect to start climbing on the mountain about April 15th. We are going to set up about four high camps and the final climb to the top between May 15th to 20th. The ascent will be made without oxygen by light expedition style.

Team members of EVEREST & Lhotse Expedition 99:

Mr. Josef SIMUNEK expedition leader, Mr. Zdenek HRUBY deputy leader, Mr. Ludek ONDREJ deputy leader, Mr. Vladislav Drda member, Mr. Ivan FOLTYN member, Mr. Vladimir MILATA member, Mr. Stanislav SILHAN member, Mrs. Sona VOMACKOVA member

Achievements of the summits higher than 8.000 meters by team members:

Josef SIMUNEK: MAKALU /8.463m/ & SHISHA PANGMA /8.046m/

Zdenek HRUBY: CHO OYU /8.201m/, HIDDEN PEAK /8.068m/ & GASHERBRUM 2 /8.035m/

Vladislav DRDA: CHO OYU /8.201m/ & GASHERBRUM 2 /8.035m/

Stanislav SILHAN: CHO OYU /8.201m/, DHAULAGIRI /8.167m/, HIDDEN PEAK /8.068m/ & SHISHA PANGMA /8.046m/

Sona VOMACKOVA: MAKALU /8.463m/

All above summits were reached without oxygen. Mrs. Sona Vomackova was the first woman in the world on the MAKALU top without oxygen and she is owner of the Czech woman altitude record. Mr. Simunek and Mr. Hruby led several successful Himalayan expeditions including Everest.

Daily News: 11/20/98 Report

  • If you missed the NEWSFLASH yesterday on The 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition check below.
  • EverestNews.com interview with Peter Green Continues !

    Please check out The Peter Green page and the Peter Green Q&A to date. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum have also been posted on the forum. Peter has agreed to take a few more questions next week !!!!  

    Q) Peter- Great Interview so far!!  Have you ever climbed any North Side Routes on Mt Shasta?

    A.) I tried taking some relatively inexperienced friends up via Shastina once.  We turned around when it proved too technical for them and for the hardware we had brought.  One guy said his instinct was to keep trying until disaster actually occurred!  That's what experience  successfully helped prevent.

    Q.) Have you done any climbs in Colorado meaning any 14er's?

    A.) No.  I was driven up Mount Evans at age 7, but don't think that counts.

    Q.) What is the route like to Aconcagua?

    A.) Easy until the loose gully for the last 1000' -- where crampons on snow may be preferable.  (Some folks don't even bring them!)  Vicious winds and  cold are the main obstacle -- especially in the 1997-98 El Nino, apparently. Also, going up too fast.

    Q.) On Aconcagua a person doesn't hike all the way in do they?

    A.) Or ride a horse.  The walk is nice if a burro has your pack.

    Q.) How technical is the climbing on Aconcagua and on the Mexican Volcanos?

    A.) Minimal, assuming snow not ice is on your slope.

    Q.) What is your opinion on novices attempting Denali and Everest?

    A.) Mighty dangerous.  But, I concede free will on the part of humans -- and hey, some of them make it.  Those I've seen, however, don't seem to be having much fun at the time.  Experienced folks can enjoy big climbs a lot more.   

    To avoid being around them, I like going to less popular places or popular ones off-season.

    Q.)  Don't you feel $$ shouldn't be the overriding factor on selection of clients, but a clients abilities and experience.

    A.) Yes, but the nature of business is that $$ count for a lot.   That's why I prefer (and count myself lucky) to only climb with friends and family.

    Q.) On my previous climbs on some 14er's I noticed that one has to hydrate quite a bit, how much fluids did you carry on your Himalayan climbs from camp to camp?

    A.) 2 liters, usually one as Gatorade.  Then a liter at breakfast and another at dinner makes 4.  Also a warm one in the sleeping bag at night for comfort and sipping.  (Don't confuse it with your pee bottle!)

    Q.) Where do you believe a person with less experience on high altitude climbs would begin to need bottled oxygen? Does it depend on that person's past experience or a certain elevation?

    A.) I don't know that it depends on experience level, or past experience.  Some folks seem to respond consistently (like a ski buddy who always gets sluggish above 11k') but I think it depends.

    No one should start oxygen until they are going to stay on it until returning, with certainty, to that elevation.  (Regardless of experience -- it is a matter of acclimatization physiology.)

    High altitudes always feel pretty weird, but experience helps one deal with it, and not panic. 

    To give an example of how unpredictable Acute Mountain Sickness can be, consider this: my worst bout occurred a little below 12,000'!  Seriously, during my second year of college I got quite out of shape, tried to keep up with my brother and two strong friends of his, made the top of an easy scramble but felt terribly nauseous on the descent.  One's breathing naturally slows on the way down -- I recommend adding some voluntary deep breaths. I could still walk, but couldn't imagine eating anything or sleeping that night.  By the 10,000' trailhead, I felt much better, and down in the 7000' town I ate a big dinner and slept well at 9000' that night.  Rapid recovery thanks to a rapid descent.

    Q.) Where do climbers that attempt K2 commonly start to use oxygen?   Peter Thanks again for you time

    A.) We breathe as hard as we can even before base camp.  (Just kidding, a favorite tease of mine.)  We lugged bottles but never used them.  I could either get them to the high camp, or myself with energy left to still do something.   Most K2 ascents have been done without extra O's, I think.  If Sherpas were allowed back to the Karakoram, that might change.

    Those using oxygen probably follow what was our original plan -- some for sleeping at high camp, then the rest for the summit day.  So, starting about 8100m = 26,500'.  (We camped quite high.)

    You're welcome!

    -Peter

  • Audrey Salkeld and Chris Bonington were winners at the Banff Mountain Book Festival last week with  World Mountaineering : The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers -- Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington; Hardcover

    Some other titles from them include:

NEWSFLASH 11/19/98 1:12PM EST US

  • American Climber Tom McMillan led the 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition. This expedition attempted the South Face of 8091 meter high Annapurna I during the autumn of 1998. Rising to a summit elevation of 26,545feet, this face is approximately 3,000 feet higher in vertical relief than the famous Southwest Face of Mt. Everest. They hoped to establish a direct finish to the Bonington Route. During the last stages of the monsoon, in September and early October, they planned to work from an advanced base camp on the Annapurna South Glacier to place camps at 6100, 7000, and 7600 meters.

    Tom planned that approximately 4000 meters of 6 to 8 mm diameter rope would be fixed up to an altitude of 7700 meters. This would put the team in a position to reach the summit and return safely to base camp when the jet stream lifts during mid to late October. Weather permitting, the team planned to attempt a direct line through the rock band, up the large corner that meets the ridge at 7700 meters. 

    Annapurna is significant in that it was the first 8000-meter peak ever climbed. The 1950 first ascent via the North Face was immortalized in Maurice Herzog's book Annapurna,  the sine qua non of mountaineering literature. It took 20 years for another team to succeed on the mountain. The 1970 ascent of the South Face of Annapurna by Chris Bonington's team was a landmark in the history of mountaineering. This is a mountain that is among the most familiar of mountains, yet one that is very rarely climbed.

    Only three Americans have climbed Annapurna. Two American women, Irene Miller and Vira Komarkova, reached the summit via the North Face in October of 1978, making the first ascent by Americans, and the first female ascent of an 8000 meter peak. In May of 1988, Steve Boyer reached the summit, repeating the Bonington route on the South Face with a large French expedition. Since then, no other Americans have reached the summit by any route. The South Face has never been successfully climbed by an American or a Canadian team, and no Canadian has reached the summit.

    The South Face of Annapurna is one of the largest and steepest faces in the world. The face is awesome in size and difficulty. The South Face is 3000 feet higher than the southwest face of Mt. Everest. Due to appalling avalanche hazards, fatality rates on Annapurna are nearly three times greater than for expeditions to other 8000-meter peaks, including Mt. Everest and K2. Annapurna claimed the lives of two women during the 1978 American Women's Annapurna Expedition. Anatoli Boukreev, whose participation in the heroic rescues on Mt. Everest in May of 1996, was documented in the popular books The Climb and Into Thin Air, was tragically killed by an avalanche on a satellite peak of Annapurna last Christmas day. The South Face is relatively free of the terrible avalanche hazards that plague the standard routes on the North Face of the mountain, despite the great difficulty, the South Face is a logical route to the summit. The 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition are an American-Canadian team of non-professional, but skilled climbers who have the goal of climbing this 12,000-foot face by a new route. This new route is a direct finish to the Bonington route, through a 700 meter-high sheer rock face situated at an altitude of more than 7,000-meters. Charlotte Fox who reached the summit of Everest in 1996 is a member of this expedition.

  • EverestNews.com has been in contact with Tom McMillan, leader of the American Annapurna Expedition.  He has provided us with the following report which outlines the  expedition.  EverestNews.com congratulates Tom and his team for making a great attempt  at summiting Annapurna, one of the world's hardest mountains to climb.

    The report follows:

    1998 Annapurna South Face Expedition Report:

    Expedition members were: Tom McMillan (leader), Keith Banning, Craig Clarence, West Coghlan, Charlotte Fox, Tim Madsen, Reese Martin, Stephen J. Parker, Gordy Smith, and Allan Treadwell.

    Base Camp was established on 6 September, at 4240 meters on the Annapurna South Glacier. Like the Italian expedition this spring, we chose a site on the glacier, close to the ice fall that leads to CI, rather than on the grassy slopes on the side of the glacier. The grass slopes offer very comfortable base camps, but add at least one hour to the approach to CI. 

    Our Liason Officer, Mr. Uhhave Prasad Phuyal, was two weeks late arriving in base camp, and thus was not present to assist us when a porter strike occurred in which the life of the sirdar, Pasang Sherpa, was threatened by our 90 porters at Machhapuchhare Base Camp.

    Several of us visited the beautiful site of Bonington's 1970 base camp, where we found the memorials to Ian Clough (killed May 30 1970) and Alex MacIntyre (killed 1982). The MacIntyre memorial has been damaged (only the middle third of the plaque could be found) and it would be a nice project to replace that stone plaque. Would anyone have the address of John Porter?

    CI (ABC-4900 meters) was established on 11 September at the traditional spot near the top of the Rognon. The site is grass and dirt, and has running water. Due to a landslide this spring, it no longer possible to reach the site from the right side, which was mostly hiking on grass. We were forced to make a route through the Annapurna South ice fall to gain the Rognon. This presented constant problems as the ice screws anchoring the fixed ropes would melt out after about two days. The route required continual maintenance and melting of the seracs transformed the route from an easy one in September into a very dangerous one by the middle of October.

    CII was established at 5490 meters on 16 September. The site was not the site used by Bonington (protected by an overhang, beneath the rock buttress on the glacier's left side) but was located against my advice centrally on the glacier in the run out path below the central, large serac on the face (left of the Lafaille/Beghin route).

    CIII was established at 6035 meters on 24 September at the traditional site in the col at the top of the gully. The gully leading to CIII was mostly down-sloping loose rock and dirt, very ugly climbing. 

    On 4 October a serac avalanche threatened CII, but did not reach CII. On 8 October a tremendous avalanche buried CII. The runout of the avalanche was nearly 1 km square by 20 meters deep. From base camp, it appeared that the avalanche would also bury CI, but CI was unaffected. In subsequent days, all that was found of CII was a shovel handle. Keith Banning was scheduled to move to CII that day, but fortunately he did not go there, so the camp was empty at the time of the avalanche and all members were safe. After the avalanche, several members either refused to go beyond CI again, or suddenly remembered important work commitments that required a rapid departure from base camp.

    However, I convinced three members to continue the effort, and on 13 October, Gordy Smith reached the site of our CIV, at 6650 meters. We took a route that avoided the "ice ridge" by climbing a gully to the left. CIV was on an ice hump directly below the ice cliffs and about 300 vertical meters below the bergschrund that is the traditional site for CV.

    On 14 October, Gordy and Stephen Parker were moving up to establish CIV and were hit by rock fall coming from a side gully. Gordy suffered a fractured foot, and Stephen received a hard knock on the helmet. That night it began to snow, and the following day Gordy, Stephen, Craig, and I descended. 

    From the 15 to 18 October we had the only significant snow fall of the entire expedition, although the weather was generally cloudy after 9:00 am up to that point. After 19 October, the weather was very fine, with many days that were completely cloudless on the face. For a few hours on the morning of 6 November I did see high winds at the summit but they slackened by mid-day.

    On 25 October, with the rest of the expedition preparing to depart base camp on the 27th, I began to climb solo to CIII, intending to see how high I could get alone. However, the crevasses had become so dangerous in the vicinity of the former CII, that I became worried about the possibility of becoming stranded if I remained much longer above 5500 meters. Upon reaching CIII, I decided to abandon the climb, and descended towards CII with two large loads of equipment. I bivouacked in the gully below CIII that night and reached CI on the 26th. I reached base camp for the final time on the evening of the 27th.

    I remained in base camp with a trekking member of the expedition, Tim Roberts, and cooks Lakpa and Dendi Sherpa. On 29-30 October, Tim, Lakpa, and I climbed Tharpu Chuli (5663 meters). On the morning of 5 November we closed the base camp and left the spectacular Annapurna Sanctuary, a little sad, but already planning to return some day.

    Tom McMillan, leader, member American Alpine Club.

  • The 1998 International Annapurna I South Face Expedition web page can be found on EverestNews.com climbers links page.

Daily News: 11/19/98 Report

  • Everest Spring 99 : The Colombians will back on Everest in 1999 ! Here are two web sites for the Colombians.  First Colombian Everest expedition (1997 North Side)  http://www.granahorrar.com.co/granhome.htm . This same team's attempt to Manaslu '98 http://www.granahorrar.com.co/manaslu.htm Source: Luis Alberto Camargo
  • Babu Chhiri Sherpa, the great Sherpa climber, and without a doubt one of the best climbers in the world: There is this confusion on his name. His current name is Babu Chhiri Sherpa. Many refer to him as Ang Babu Sherpa. The reason for this is he changed his name ! So when you see Krakauer in ITA refer to Ang Babu or Ang Babu on the OTT expedition site on our 99 links page, this is Babu Chhiri Sherpa ! The only confusion now is how to spell Chhiri. Some people seems to spell it with an "e", as Chhire. His people tell us it is (now) Babu Chhiri Sherpa ! We understand Babu (as he is commonly referred to) will be on Jon Tinker's OTT Everest South Side expedition in 1999.

    Now if you have that figured out ! Then anyone notice how many different spelling of Kazi Sherpa there are !

  • For the entire interview with Heather Macdonald and all the updates from this year's expedition see  The IMG/Expedition 8000 Cho Oyu team page.

Daily News: 11/18/98 Report

  • Everest Spring 98: EverestNews.com has now established direct contact with the CMA (Chinese Mountaineering Association) which seems willing to work with us. Based on their information, we have corrected the spelling of one Chinese climber: , who reached the Summit from the North Side. The other Chinese climbers names, who we are still missing, were handled by the CTMA (Chinese Tibetan Mountaineering Association ). EverestNews.com has not established direct contact with the CTMA.

    "Mr.Ci Luo , Chinese climber, reached the summit of qomolangma at 12:30h on May 24th, 1998. Best regards",  Ying Daoshui vice secretary general of CMA

  • EverestNews.com interview with Peter Green Continues !

Please check out The Peter Green page and the Peter Green Q&A to date. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum have also been posted on the forum. Peter will be with us for a couple of days this week again and then will answer follow-ups in a few weeks, as we have found many of You have questions several days after the interviews are posted.

Q.) How do you handle sweat?  Seems like no matter how carefully you dress with all the exertion sweat will happen.  Then when you get to camp cold sets in.  If you change into dry underwear is it in a tent or before a tent is put up? Thank you, Ed Tawas,MI

A.) I sweat like crazy so I dress pretty light and un-zip a lot during the day.  I wear waterproof socks to keep the sweat in, then air out inside the tent.  Yup, smelly.  The weather is rarely pleasant enough to change outside.  On the other hand, returning to an existing camp means getting out of the wind and cold immediately.  Folks who tend to sweat less are lucky.

Q.) How do you combat the anxiety that always seems to come at night, in the tent, on a big mountain.  I  seem to spend half my time at night worrying about edema, avalanches etc.--the imagination seems to be so much more vivid at night.  Any thoughts?

A.) May I recommend to you the land of the midnight sun?  On 5 trips to Alaska and the Yukon (all in June), I have yet to bring or need a flashlight!   Of course, the avalanches up there are immense and common, so that doesn't help. But it is a real treat to always wake up and be able to see.

For any sleeplessness, I bring lots of reading material, a short wave radio to listen to the BBC World Service, and plenty of spare batteries.

Q.) Okay.......tell us about food.  Do you carry food from home or buy it all when you get to where you are going?  Also, what exactly does one eat while climbing in the Mountains?

A.) The last part first: eat anything you want!  I mostly bring food from home, though a new store at the entrance to the Thamel district in Kathmandu carries an amazing amount -- far more in 1997 than 1994.  I avoid the specialized freeze-dried meals and performance/power/type chewable bars. The former are expensive, don't cook well at altitude (where water boils quite a bit less hot than sea level) and taste so-so; the latter can be rock hard when cold.  Go to a regular supermarket and get all your favorite instant and snack foods.  It is easy to find affordable variety in cookies, crackers, candy, dry fruit... for one pound per day.  Add Pop-tarts, cocoa and hot cereal for breakfast, dinners of soups/noodles/potato flakes with leftover crackers and sweets for dessert and you're all set.  Avoid caffeine (also a diuretic), especially at bedtime.  Coffee itself is a laxative, best saved for base camp rest days.

Tea bags are the only 'food' that is a heavier trash item to carry down after use -- I had a pound of them to lug off my first Alaskan climb!

Instant powder drinks are best, and for goodness sake don't bring diet versions -- the goal is to maintain weight. 

On K2, people offered me huge trades for my Pop-Tarts -- no deal!

Q.) Have you read Kaufman's book on the 1939 K2 tragedy?    The author, himself a very famous mountaineer, says that in the 1930s climbers were far more cautious about going for the top than they are today and that is a main cause of so many of the deaths these days.  Have you found it to be true?

A. ) I read it, but lent my copy to someone a few years ago and haven't been able to find it.  I think he is generally right, though 1939 had a preventable series of fatalities.  Part of the deaths these days are simply the numbers -- a certain percentage die, perhaps a decreasing fraction but an increasing total.  In the 1930s, gear was far more primitive and the routes more unknown -- those folks were remarkable, and perhaps bolder than they realize -- or than they feel in the face of modern  commercialization/dramatization.  Nowadays, anyone who takes big mountains lightly, goes innumerable times, or is trying to establish new and harder route, is certainly at increased risk.

Q.) It seems that many of the other mistakes made in 1939 continue to be made today.  Do you find that mountaineers continue to make the same mistakes over and over?

A.) Yes, since the hazards keep coming back, and certain risks must be taken repeatedly.  Mis-communication is inevitable; staying too high too long shouldn't happen any more, but it will.  I keep regretting not bringing a warmer down jacket and bigger strolling boots for hanging around in base camp.

The key mistake on Everest is 1996 is a modern but recurring one.   Having folks on oxygen from camp III all the way up means that if it runs out   high on the mountain their acclimatization is even more terribly inadequate. The lower you start O's, the more rigid must be your schedule.

Q.) How far do you usually space your camp sites on a Himalayan mountain and how long does it take to climb from one to another?

A.) 2000' to 3000' -- a long day the first times, easier as you acclimatize.  Also, one uses the best sites (flat, safe, etc...).  In the old days, some camps were only 500' apart, which just means too much stuff to carry up, and later down.  Better to go light and quickly.

Q.) In the 1930s they were afraid that descending the mountain would cause them to lose their acclimatization.  How long do you spend at each camp before descending?  and then what do you do on summit day?

A.) Nowadays most folks agree there is little gained after one night at a new height -- better to go back down, regain strength and conserve precious supplies up high.  On the summit and all days, keep a steady pace and stay on or ahead of schedule.  Don't be late.  Up or down, but don't sit around.

And we usually take a minimum of 2 days in base camp between trips 'up the hill' to be thoroughly rested.  And some folks even go walk down the valley to enjoy thicker air for a night or two -- helps get rid of coughs and build strength, if the hike isn't too harsh.

Q.) In 1986 several of the finest climbers in the world died in their tents while caught in a storm high on K2.  Is it possible to descend in a storm to avoid the hypoxia  and hypothermia that caused their deaths?

A.) They did not have the route adequately wanded and/or roped, and the conditions may have been too fierce to move -- that terrain is very steep and treacherous.  Regardless, they should have tried harder and sooner to descend -- later is far worse.  They also spent too much time high before the summit, and had inadequate tent space -- all due to over-optimism. One had diverted from attempting a difficult new route, thinking that a repeat of the normal one was barely worth doing.   His body is still there.

Q.) How do you keep from going crazy when you are stuck in a tent for days at a time high on a mountain?  Greg Child tells how one climber passes the time but it is a method that I would not find exciting.

A.) Books and (in base camp) a radio.  Some carry personal audio above base camp, but I've not done so yet.  I try to pop out during lulls, especially sunrise and sunset, to take pictures.  Compared to the hectic pace of life and work at home, some boring days are welcome, I find.  I try to keep a diary, but never manage to write much.  

And my favorite diversion is playing cards -- even above 7km!   (That high, carry the small-sized decks).  Only trouble is, some folks don't play, and fitting four in a tent for Bridge is crowded -- warm, though!

-Peter

Daily News: 11/17/98 Report

  • Everest Spring 99 ! Asian Trekking (P) Ltd., the Sherpa led trekking company that had a huge amount of success on Everest Spring 99 has announced plans for an 62-day Expedition to Mt. Everest, Normal Route, Tibet Side, Entry / Exit Zangmu  http://www.asian-trekking.com/TIEVERTORLADZE/tieversp99.htm . This expedition appears to be jointly led by  Mr. Tortladze Gia, President of Georgian Mountaineers' Federation and Mr. Fred Barth - USA.

    We also assume Asian Trekking will support SEVERAL other expeditions on Everest ! Asian Trekking web site can be found on our 99 Everest links page. Asian along with Mr. Tortladze Gia are presently on Manaslu !

  • Please check out The Peter Green page and the Peter Green Q&A to date. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum have also been posted on the forum. Peter will be with us for a couple of days this week again and then will answer follow-ups in a few weeks, as we have found many of You have questions several days after the interviews are posted.

Also, we have one corrected answer: " Last week was great fun.   Busy enough that I now notice I omitted part of one answer." Thanks Peter

Q.) How does your wife handle this climbing ? Does she ever go with you?

A.) We met when I was packing for K2, so she must simply think of me as someone who climbs big mountains sometimes.  We climb and ski a lot together, and she considers me very experienced and careful.  She rock-climbed and downhill skied for many years before we met.  She came on one Alaska trip, though only for the scenic lower elevations, not the cold and difficult climbing, and she cleverly managed to be between jobs when we went to Dhaulagiri so she could be base camp manager.  On that trip we couldn't find any other spouses/women/family/friend to tag along and provide company and/or do side-treks.  The same was true for Makalu, so she stayed home with our toddler.  Everyone is too busy in this
world.

Daily News: 11/16/98 Report

  • On the lighter side ? Everest Spring 96 ! Spring 96 ? Yes, Spring 96, The New Yorker has a November article about Pemba Sherpa, who was according to the report on Rob Hall/Jon Krakauer Everest 96 expedition. Pemba came over from Nepal to run the New York City Marathon. It is worth a read !

    EverestNews.com, figured we would look into Pemba Sherpa and this story. We contacted Enrique Guallart-Furio, the climber who will be on Everest Spring 99 as we earlier reported. You see, Enrique's sirdar and good friend is Ang Dorje. Yes the same Ang Dorje, from Everest 96 that was Rob Hall's sirdar. Enrique has climbed a lot with Ang Dorje and uses his company for Sherpa support on his expeditions in the past. Simple enough !

    Enrique, tells us : " The Sherpa who went to New York was not Rob's Sherpa. He worked with Sandy Pittman (American lady). We don't know more about him." Enrique Guallart-Furio

    When we pressed this issue, Enrique again contacted Nepal and was told again that Pemba Sherpa did not work for Rob Hall in 1996, but for Sandy Hill Pittman. Interesting. Another loose end on Everest Spring 96.

    Enrique Guallart-Furio will be attempting Everest in Spring 99. He will be attempting to complete the Seven Summits. His web page can be found on our 99 Everest links page. We have also created an Enrique Guallart-Furio Page, in that we expect to see much more of him !

  • Iceland : Land of the Sagas : Jon Krakauer, David Roberts / Paperback / Published 1998 

    Book Description : "We raised our fists and cheered. . . . With the sagas in our heads, with Iceland at its wildest beneath our boots, it would not have been impossible to see Bαrdr clumping along the summit ridge, prodding the glacier with his staff, ready to show us the way down." : "We raised our fists and cheered. . . . With the sagas in our heads, with Iceland at its wildest beneath our boots, it would not have been impossible to see Bαrdr clumping along the summit ridge, prodding the glacier with his staff, ready to show us the way down." : "We raised our fists and cheered. . . . With the sagas in our heads, with Iceland at its wildest beneath our boots, it would not have been impossible to see Bαrdr clumping along the summit ridge, prodding the glacier with his staff, ready to show us the way down."

    Iceland is a pictorial classic on one of the last "undiscovered" countries in Europe--reissued for the first time in paperback.

            Iceland is often thought to be covered by ice, but in fact it is gloriously green. Lush meadows, wildflower fields, and miles of rich tundra cover a landscape of remarkable variety: deep lakes, bubbling hot springs, tumbling waterfalls, snow-capped mountains. It's also a landscape amazingly alive with massive lava flows and enormous glaciers. The human story of Iceland goes back more than eleven thousand years, and its heritage is told here in a treasury of riveting sagas of real-life heroes and all manner of supernatural beings.

            Both the land and the people of one of Europe's most gorgeous countries come to life in this colorful account of the authors' adventures as they walk, climb, and photograph their way through Iceland and connect to the bone-chilling sagas and the unfamiliar terrain. With breathtaking photographs from critically acclaimed writer and journalist Jon Krakauer, author of the international bestsellers Into Thin Air and Into the Wild, and a penetrating narrative from Outside contributing editor and travel writer David Roberts, Iceland splendidly captures the spirit of this enigmatic country.

            Circumnavigating Iceland in summer and winter, Krakauer and Roberts encounter tales of monks and Vikings, outlaws and adventurers, trolls and witches. While touring and photographing, they discover the myths and legends of Iceland's stirring history. Numerous other feats--including a hazardous winter climb to the summit of one of Iceland's tallest mountains--round out a fascinating introduction to this unique and beautiful land.

    Customer Comments : grcanyon@ix.netcom.com from St. Louis, Missouri , October 19, 1998  An excellent well written overview of the land of the Sagas : grcanyon@ix.netcom.com from St. Louis, Missouri , October 19, 1998  An excellent well written overview of the land of the Sagas : grcanyon@ix.netcom.com from St. Louis, Missouri , October 19, 1998  An excellent well written overview of the land of the Sagas

    As a native Icelander I have been feeling very nostalgic for my homeplace and for my history of more than 1100 years since I read Krakauer's and Roberts's book: Iceland, Land of the Sagas. My memories were rekindled by seeing the excellent photographs by Krakauer and the well researched and presented narrative by Roberts. I like in particular the way Roberts weaves the sagas to the lacal of the Saga in present day Iceland and his telling the story of Iceland through the eyes of earlier foreign travelers who wrote about the country. I was especially enthralled by Roberts excellent retelling of the Sagas and was brought back repeatedly to my Icelandic study days. The sensitivity and fairness that the authors handle their presentation is examplary. Krakauer's photographs give a vivid and true picture of the varied and harsh beauty of Iceland as I know it. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in history or those who might contemplate traveling to Iceland. It's also a good book for those who are interested in the Viking Age and its history.

  • Czech Spring 99 Everest Expedition ! The Czech team continues to climb with success. For spring 99 they plan: Everest and Lhotse - both summits South side, after being successful on the North Side in 1999 without oxygen. No oxygen planned for 99 either. By all reports these guys are as tough as nails !
    • Josef Simunek (Makalu, Shisha Pangma) - leader
    • Zdenek Hruby - (Gasherbrums I and II, Cho Oyu, Everest 98 leader) - deputy leader (climbing)
    • Ludek Ondrej ((Shisha Pangma) - deputy leader (organization)
    • Mrs. Sona Vomackova (Makalu)
    • Stanislav Silhan (Dhaulagiri, Cho Oyu, Shisha Pangma, Gasherbrum I)  

    Source:  Zdenek Hruby, Czech Spring 98 Expedition Leader

  • Christmas is coming, and please support EverestNews.com by purchasing your Books, Music and Videos from through our links to Amazon. EverestNews.com feature books are: Postcards from the Ledge : Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child Greg Child, Joe Simpson / Hardcover / Published 1998 and Into Thin Air; The Illustrated Edition  Jon Krakauer / Hardcover / Published 1998. The bookstore site has added a Favorites book page containing books that, You our readers of EverestNews.com have requested.

Daily News: 11/15/98 Report

  • EverestNews.com Interview with Peter Green Continues !

    Please check out The Peter Green page and the Peter Green Q&A to date. Submit questions to Peter at everestnews2004@adelphia.net. Peter's comments on the K2 page on the discussion forum have also been posted on the forum. Peter will be with us for a couple of days next week again and then will answer follow-ups in a few weeks, as we have found many of You have questions several days after the interviews are posted.

    Q.) When you go on Makalu type climb what do you think the chances of dying are?   One percent? ten percent?  Ed Viesturs has said that he feels that he only has about a one percent chance of dying on each 8K  peak.  Raw statistics suggest the risk is far greater.  What do you think the risk is and for you at what point is   the risk too great? 

    A.) Be careful about statistics.  Folks often divide fatality totals by summit numbers, when it should really be divided by the total attempting. Messner tallied all 8km peaks in 1986 and came up with a 3-4% death rate. K2 is about 5%, but half the deaths are after summiting.

    Ed and I are hopefully more careful than average, so the risk is closer to 1%, depending on the peak.  Several 8km peaks are unavoidably more dangerous.  Makalu is pretty straight-forward, which is why my friends and I chose it.  Low success rate, but very few deaths have ever happened on the normal route.  There was a heart attack in Camp I last year, which I wouldn't even count.  The risk of living in a city and not getting out into the mountains (small and big) is too great!

    On a creaking icefall below a huge avalanche face in Alaska, I started to think my desired percentage of dying had been exceeded.  My partner agreed shortly thereafter -- we had reached an impassable section, and the weather was too warm.

    I quote: from Feeding the Rat, by A. Alvarez... "...But to snuff it without really knowing who you are, what you can do, I can't imagine anything sadder than that." -Mo Anthoine

    Q.) I don't think anyone reached the summit of Makalu this autumn. Not sure about the Spring. It appears to me as a "armchair climber" that the Sherpa support on Everest is making the difference in the number of summits on Everest vs these other mountains. Do you agree?

    Definitely.  A big, strong team of sherpas is a huge asset.  Though this fall and last only a very small number are topping Everest, so the season's weather can stop nearly everyone on all peaks in a region.  (Makalu and Everest are only about 12 miles apart, though the approach is in a different world.)  I prefer climbing for myself, and not hiring anyone to take risks for me, and I fully accept a smaller chance of reaching the top.  I still have great fun.

    Q.) Tell us more about Ed Viesturs. Tell us about some riskier times he has had.

    A.) He climbed Kangchenjunga in 1990 (or so) and I bet that was scary at times. He still has Annapurna, Nanga Parbat and Manaslu left on 'the list', so there is risk ahead.  Ed is an exceptionally strong and nice guy -- may he forever avoid close calls!

  • Q.) Didn't Viesturs almost die on K2? What did he say after he came down?

    A.) I had already traveled home; he and some others stayed late for one more try.  They went for the summit with deteriorating weather at their heels -- the classic K2 situation that my brother and I carefully avoided. His comments in 'In The Zone' are minimal.  I bet he was happy to have made the top, very relieved to be down alive (especially with rescuing Gary Ball), and not planning to try the peak again.  (Remember, only one person has been to the top of K2 twice.)  

    Conditions getting down after the summit were bad, but not as bad as other years where some people did die.  I bet everyone getting down from K2 feels like they nearly died!

    Q.) You seem to put Hall and Fisher is the same class. Krakauer pictured them as much different. Help us understand more.

    A.) I haven't read Krakauer's book, and his article that I borrowed was a couple years ago.  They were both full-time big mountain guides using sherpas and oxygen dependence to get relative novices up Everest.  They were both nice guys who I met on K2.  They were both guys I had gotten back in touch with by email in the spring of 1996.  I know they have many differences; everyone is unique.  I guess they are far more similar to each other than the assortment of friends I climb with, so that may be why I sort of put them in the same 'class'.  I am sure from Krakauer's perspective in 1996, their styles contrasted quite strikingly.  I never saw either one guiding -- that whole business is quite foreign to me.

    Q.) Where do I begin ? What is your favorite climb of all you have done?

    A.) Hard to say.  K2, even without the top, was very special.  Putting a new route on the 4th highest peak in the US and coming down to ask a woman to marry me was great -- I figured if she would say yes when I hadn't had a shower in 3 weeks we had a good margin for tolerance in the years ahead! Leading her up the east face of Whitney to camp on top while we were engaged. My first trip to Alaska, climbing Denali with my brother and two friends was very special, though the relative (or complete) solitude on the other peaks up there may be more so.  Oh, did we have great weather and skiing on Logan (highest in Canada) in June 1996.!  With El Nino, several of my best backcountry ski outings were last spring, and none were more than 24 hours long!  And just last week, with winter storms (on their way to hammer the mid-west) threatening, I got to re-visit Yosemite with a friend to help us actually climb while alternately watching the kids: sometimes solid granite feels like the best substance imaginable.

    I hope my favorite climb is yet to come: when my son (about to turn 3) is able to carry a heavier pack than me, and my daughter (9 months yesterday) leads the hardest pitch!

    Q.) Was Rob the planner that Krakauer made him out to be? Did Hall and Fischer have a fixed turn around time on K2?

    A.) Anyone guiding Everest repeatedly and successfully must be a great planner.  (But then, even the best laid plans...)

    I imagine all the guys had turn-around times on K2, who wouldn't?  Hall and Ball turned back due to Gary's illness, and according to In the Zone,  Ed and Scott planned to start for the summit at 1:30am, and actually did get going not much later, and topped out at 1050am, well before their agreed turn-around time of 2pm.  

    Everyone fudges when that time comes.  I am grateful that I usually find myself ahead of schedule, or so far behind (or in such bad weather) that there is no hesitation turning back.  With novices a turn-around time is all the more important, but with big money, all the more painful.  And the conditions can be even more important.  One of the worst US climbing disasters was a bunch of guided high-schoolers on Mt. Hood in Oregon.  The weather turned real bad, but they kept going because there was time and they thought they could dig a snow cave.  They were too wet and tired when they finally began to dig in, and didn't have nearly enough shovels either.

    Q.) Tell us more about the rescue on K2 by Hall and Fisher of Chantal Mauduit ! Did they just find her, or did they have radios, and she call?

    A.) Sorry I don't know the story, probably should read the book. But you was there, so this is better. I was in base camp having just come down from our best attempt, and recall a variety of radio contacts -- hourly instead of twice a day.  It was chaos, and even with radio help they were lucky to find her, and also lucky not to be avalanched.  And the rescue was by Ed and Scott (not Rob Hall).  Thor and Alexei were coming down at the same time and sounded so exhausted over the radio.  My brother and I were pretty fried, too, but were ready to un-pack (we were planning to start the trek out the next day -- to keep on schedule for flights to get back to our jobs on time) and go back up if they asked us to come up and help.  Vladimir was packed, rested, and seemed un-inclined to consider helping.  He was pretty hard-nosed.  A couple others in our group were rested and in camps 1 and 2 (or moving thereabouts) so there was strong help.

    Now the really tough ones !!!

    Q.) How does your wife handle this climbing ? Does she ever go with you?

    A.) We met when I was packing for K2, so she

    Q.) We heard stories of women of these treks, seems like there is always affairs. Tell us more !

    A.) Blecch.  I've heard stories, too, and can't care much about it.  Lorraine and I are happy, and count ourselves lucky to have a double sleeping bag and keep each other warm -- at least the sweaty smell is a familiar one.

    Q.) Drinking. I can't believe that people drink at 6000 or 7000 feet. Do these guys have a mind ?

    A.) Do you mean meters?  (Most North American ski areas have full bars at 6-7k' or much higher.)  And I assume you mean alcohol, not water.

    Does anyone have a mind at 6-7km?  A little splash is ok -- Vladimir even snack some into (dry) Pakistan, though I assume it went no higher than 5200m base camp.  I would think smoking would be far worse yet the guidebook author chain-puffs all the way on Aconcagua and some Sherpas brag about lighting up on top of Everest.  Crazy what culture, nicotine addiction,  etc... makes people do.

    Human nature, not a simple thing is it?

    No one has asked me about acclimatization or food -- next week!

    -Peter

  • In case you missed it, we posted last week's web of the week late:

    Our web site of the week is : Bernard Voyer,  www.bernard-voyer.com

    "After Antarctica, Greenland, Ellesmere, Sahara...  Now Everest.  First attempt Fall 97, bad weather.  Second attempt, Spring 99."  Bernard Voyer

    Submit your favorites web site to : everestnews2004@adelphia.net

The Mountaineering Must Haves

Books: 

Video:  DVD: 

wpe2.jpg (2012 bytes)

Daily News and Notes, what made this site famous among Everest climbers

Updated Everyday !

 

     

Send Mail to everestnews2004@adelphia.net.   Copyright©1998, 1999, 2000, 2001. EverestNews.com  All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes. Read it.

 

    

Where to get the News and Expedition reports !

 

 

 The Best Source for Gear On-line

• Backcountry Gear
• Backpacks
• Bags & Luggage
• Bindings
• Binoculars
• Blankets & Pillows
• Boot & Fabric Care
• Cameras
• Camp Furniture
• Camping Accessories
• Car Racks
• Carabiners
• Cards
• Child Carriers
• Climbing Bags
• Compasses
• Cooking Supplies
• Cycling Components
• Cycling Repair
• Dry Bags
• Dry Boxes
• Electronics
• First Aid
• Fishing Accessories
• Fleece
• Float Tubes
• Fly Boxes
• Fly Line
• Fly Rods
• Fly Tying
• Fly Vests & Packs
• Food
• Footwear
• Gaiters
• Gifts & Games
• Gloves & Mittens
• Goggles
• Harnesses
• Hats
• Helmets
• Hydration Packs
• Indoor Climbing Gear
• Infant Apparel
• Jackets
• Kayaks
• Kid's Cycling Gear
• Kid's Paddling Gear
• Knives & Tools
• Leaders & Tippets
• Lifejackets/ PFDs
• Lights
• Locks
• Long Underwear
• Maps
• Messenger & Bike Bags
• Mountaineering Gear
• Neckwear
• Neoprene
• Nets
• Paddles & Oars
• Paddlewear
• Pants
• Pet Gear
• Poles
• Pontoons
• Prints & Posters
• Rafts
• Reels & Spools
• Rescue Gear
• Rock Climbing Gear
• Rod & Reel Kits
• Rod Tubes & Bags
• Ropes
• Shell Outerwear
• Shirts
• Shorts
• Showers & Toilets
• Skates & Scooters
• Ski & Board Repair
• Skirts & Dresses
• Skis
• Sleds and Tubes
• Sleeping Bags & Pads
• Snowboards
• Snowshoes
• Socks
• Sprayskirts
• Stoves
• Strollers
• Sunglasses
• Sunscreen & Repellant
• Sweaters
• Swimming
• Tents
• Travel Accessories
• Underwear
• Vests
• Videos
• Waders
• Watches & Clocks
• Water Bottles & Bags
• Water Filtration