8000 Meter Peaks

Cho Oyu
Nanga Parbat
Broad Peak

Seven Summits

Vinson Massif
Carstensz Pyramid
Mount Kosciusko

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 March 16-31th,1999 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: 3/31/99 Report

  • Cho Oyu Spring 99: EverestNews.com first Dispatch from the American Women's Century Expedition (Cho Oyu All women expedition) lead by Supy (Amy) Bullard is here !
  • Himalayas/Everest Spring 99:  "At the moment three Finnish climbers at targeting to the Himalayas. The most reputable of them is Veikka Gustafsson. At the moment he is leading the game of all Scandinavian climbers in bagging 8000 meter peaks. Veikka has left for Manaslu and Dhaulagiri with Ed Viesturs and has had shots in Finnish TV and radio. He arrived in Kathmandu on March 24 and is already on the approach to Manaslu. Webpage http://www.veikka.com " (one of the former web sites of the week).   "Two other climbers are Antti Mankinen and Ari Piela. They belong to Borislav Dimitrov's expedition on the North Side of Everest.  However, both climbers climb individually. Mankinen has homepage in Finnish at http://www.netron.fi/antti. He will leave Helsinki on Saturday, April 3. Piela has no homepage but has described his plans in the greatest daily in Finland. He aims to climb Messner route with his Mexican partner. Piela has climbed on Lhotse on 1997 but was forced to withdraw at 7400 due to bad weather.

    That all for now",  Jukka Tarkkala LT-Consultants Ltd. (website: www.ltcon.fi)
  • I talked with Antti Mankinen yesterday, he said on Everest North side expedition: - the leader is Bulgarian Borislav Dimitrov and co-leader Russian (Viacheslav) Slava Skripko - the climbers/clients come from Bulgaria, Russia, Mexico, France and Finland - there are 18 clients -> 20 members - the team intends to meet in Kathmandu on April 6.- the summits attempts will happen between May 10.-20.  Jukka Tarkkala, LT-Consultants Ltd. (website: www.ltcon.fi)
  • Other New Titles: David F. Breashears  New Book : High Exposure : An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places 
  • The Climb Updated will soon be available: The Climb; Tragic Ambitions on Everest   by Anatoli Boukreev, G. Weston Dewalt 
  • The Bookstore site has an Everest Book page, two Mountaineering book pages, a K2 book page , an ice climbing page, a Mountaineers book page, and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat. For Amazon UK, see our Sponsor page.

Daily News: 3/30/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99:  HKE Jagged Globe: HKE will be sharing a permit with Henry Todd's group on the South Side of Everest along with several others sharing this permit. News from Steve Bell, " We are sharing a permit with Henry and also some of the expedition infrastructure.  But the team will be fairly self-contained, with its own base camp, Sherpas and leader.  We only have a small team this year, hence the need to link up with another team to make it viable.  The team is: David Hamilton (Leader, UK), Joby Ogwyn (USA), Jaime Vinals  (Guatamala), Karl Flynn (Ireland), Marcella Dunne (Ireland), And that's it !  Simon Lowe is the Operations Director and he will be overseeing the expedition from here.  We will keep you updated."

    All the best, Steve Bell

    HKE Jagged Globe new web site is http://www.hkexpeds.demon.co.uk/index.html. If you has not seen it, they have done a very nice job. Steve Bell and HKE Jagged Globe are known as one of the most successful guiding companies on Everest and other peaks. More later...

  • Alan Hinkes, England's famous mountaineer who has already  climbed ten 8000 meter peaks has arrived in Kathmandu for his eleventh 8000 meter climb to Mt. Makalu.

    Alan Hinkes plans to finish all the Himalaya & Karakoram Range fourteen 8000 meter peaks by the end of this century.

    Alan Hinkes is the first British climber who has climbed all five 8000 meter peaks in Pakistan. He is also the first British climber who has successfully climbed ten 8000 meter peaks. Now the remaining 8000 meter peaks he still has to climb are all in Nepal: Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Annapurna & Dhaulagiri. 

    Challenge 8000 is Alan Hinkes attempting to be the first British climber to climb all 14 peaks over 8000 meter. Climbing these ten 8000ers has been a long and arduous task, involving more than 20 expeditions over 11 years. Surviving is success and the summit is only a bonus - no mountain is worth a life. In fact, Alan’s motto is "no mountain is worth even a finger or a toe to frostbite".

    Alan Hinkes was last in Nepal in 1997 when he climbed Lhotse 8511 meters, the worlds 4th highest mountain. Last year (1998), he climbed Nanga Parbat (8125 meters) in Pakistan. This is the most westerly 8000 meter peak in the Himalaya. It has been dubbed the ‘Killer Mountain" due to its tragic and dangerous reputation. Along with K2, it is a major prize in extreme altitude mountaineering.

    Alan Hinkes expects Makalu to be a serious and demanding climb more challenging than it’s mighty near neighbor Everest, which he summitted in 1996. He has tried Makalu twice before. So he feels it is like returning to an old friend.

    His expedition to Makalu is being organized by his old friend Mr. Bikrum Pandey, a tourism professional of Nepal.

    Source: Himalaya Centre, Kathmandu  NEPAL

  • Other New Titles: David F. Breashears  New Book : High Exposure : An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places
  • The Climb Updated will soon be available: The Climb; Tragic Ambitions on Everest   by Anatoli Boukreev, G. Weston Dewalt 
  • The Bookstore site has an Everest Book page, two Mountaineering book pages, a K2 book page , an ice climbing page, a Mountaineers book page, and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat. For Amazon UK, see our Sponsor page.

Daily News: 3/29/99 Report

  • Cho Oyu Spring 99: EverestNews.com will be receiving reports from the American Women's Century Expedition (Cho Oyu All women expedition) led by Supy (Amy) Bullard. Look for a new page for these women climbers attempting Cho Oyu without Sherpa support and without the aid of bottled oxygen. More Soon !
  • Everest Spring 99: We continue to receive questions on Heidi Howkins  Last word, EverestNews.com heard was that Heidi is planning Everest and then K2 in 1999. Guta will again be reporting for EverestNews.com on K2. However, Guta will be at K2 base camp this year. If you know of other expedition heading to K2 in 1999, please let us know (everestnews2004@adelphia.net), as Guta is attempting to contact everyone. Right now, K2 1999, appears to be just a few expeditions.
  • Pokhara Sagarmatha Climbing Campaign: Arbin Timilsina is the 15 years boy who is going to attempt to Summit  Everest this Spring. The three climbing sherpas who will support him during his climbing are Ang Gyalgen Sherpa (Three Summits of Everest), Ang Mingma Sherpa (One Summit) and Phurba Sherpa All Sherpa work for Asian-Trekking, who is handling this expedition.

Daily News: 3/27-28/99 Report

Change of plans for Enrique Guallart. He will walk the 150 Km. (93 miles) from Jiri to Everest base camp, repeating the course of the 1953 British expedition. *

This month of March, the weather is becoming quite problematic in Nepal. Already in the acclimatization phase, Enrique has experienced a constant and, in some cases, very strong wind, very unusual for this time of the year in the Himalayas of Nepal. 

Airplanes of all sizes are having problems flying, including taking off   and landing in Kathmandu. Specifically, yesterday there was a 767 from the Thai airline which was trying to land, but gave up seconds before touching down, regained altitude, and flew to Dacca (Bangladesh), waiting for conditions to change. Also yesterday, 4 flights to Lukla were cancelled, and today no airplanes are taking off. There is a mixture of fog, pollution, and strong intermittent gusts of wind. Consequently, the expedition "1999 Everest, Valencia Terra i Mar" cannot stay idle...waiting, waiting, waiting, (like they say here in Nepal), and so tomorrow it is taking off to Jiri by bus.

Enrique and his Sherpas took a bus at sunrise to reach this small village located in the foothills close to Kathmandu. It will be a "gentle" ride of 6 hours to cover the 200 Km. (125 miles) of winding and very narrow Nepalese roads.

Jiri had been the starting point of expeditions in the 50's, when the Tibetan government closed access to the Himalayas from the north and at the same time, the Nepalese government opened its borders to foreigners, thus beginning the history of many expeditions that explored, and eventually conquered, the highest peaks of the Himalayas and of the planet.

This route was walked by such climbers as Shipton, Hunt, and Hillary in the 50's. *

This access to Everest consists of a long walk of 120 Km. (75 miles), which, when added to the journey of 130 Km. (82 miles) that Enrique already went through a few days ago by the high valleys of Gokyo and Solu Khumbu, will make for great training and will allow him to arrive to Everest in excellent shape.

The days it takes to cover this route, as well as the vertical gain, varies considerably when compared to other accesses: instead of walking the 8 to 9 days from Lukla to Base camp, starting at 2.480 meters (8.136 ft.), this route will take approximately 15 to 16 days, and it will start at a mere 1.000 meters (3.280 ft.), thus making the vertical gain to the summit of Everest consist of almost 8.000 meters ! (26.250 ft.) !!!!.

See EverestNews.com page for Enrique (which we hope to update soon) and his web site in Spanish http://ww2.encis.es/avent/ever/ever.htm

* The very early Everest expeditions started walking not far out of Kathmandu. Jiri primarily became the walk starting point about 15 years ago when the road was extended. Some of the earliest trips even went up the Barun Valley and crossed over, not the present route. Flying into Lukla for people actually climbing Everest is a comparatively recent phenomenon. The walk from Jiri was always considered necessary for proper acclimatisation. Enrique is doing the same route but starting at Jiri, after his 17 days trek when he went to Gokyo Peak, he crossed Cho-La, and did the traverse to Lobuche and then climbed Kala Pattar and back Kathmandu.

  • The Royal Nepal Airlines strike is over.
  • The Staff is taking Sunday off, see You on Monday !

Daily News: 3/26/99 Report

  • Risk tells us that they will be updating their site soon with information on their climbers Spring 1999 Himalayan expeditions. They also mentioned that on the Russian expedition will be a climber that is 64 years old, who would be the oldest to summit if successful. Check them out for one the best sites on the web,  Risk
  • Jamie Clarke: "Some of your visitors who followed Jamie Clarke's trek through your previous postings that Jamie and his wife Barbara will trek through Nepal, visiting base camp, next month. Teammate Bruce Kirkby will travel to Tibet."  Sarah Hobbs

    EXPLORER JAMIE CLARKE COMPLETES RECORD-BREAKING, HISTORIC FOOT JOURNEY  ACROSS THE EMPTY QUARTER DESERT OF ARABIA Six-Week Trek, First Foot Crossing in More than 50 Years, Beats Less than 50/50 Odds of Completion  Sheik Sayed’s Famous Camel Guard to Escort Team to Abu Dhabi Reception ABU DHABI: – Defying the odds, Jamie Clarke, explorer and Mt. Everest summiter, successfully completed his 6-week crossing of the Empty Quarter of Arabia, a desert environment so harsh that no human can survive there year-round and into which few people venture on foot. The completion makes him the first Westerner in more than 50 years to cross this treacherous desert on foot. The 620-mile long NEC Technologies Empty Quarter Expedition began on February 2, on the coast of Oman, continued into the world’s largest sand desert (the Empty Quarter) through Saudi Arabia, and ended today on the coast near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Expedition leader Jamie Clarke -- also an author, filmmaker and professional speaker -- says some of the challenges they faced during this grueling journey included towering,  600-foot sand dunes, quicksand, scorching temperatures (sometimes 120 degrees Fahrenheit), blinding sandstorms, long stretches with limited access to water and a painful, non-fatal scorpion bite. With no permanent roads and few signs of civilization, even the native Bedu people rarely enter the Empty Quarter on foot. "During our six-week trek, we saw stunning beauty in this awesome desert that took our breath away," said Jamie Clarke. "The team experienced a rain shower in arid terrain that had not seen rain in 10 years, slid down sand dunes as if we were children playing, and other once-in-a-lifetime experiences. My teammates and I know we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to make this historic journey and we thank all those who helped us make it happen."  In celebration of completion of this historic adventure, the president of the UAE,  Sheik Sayed, will greeted the team with a formal diplomatic reception. The team was escorted to the meeting with the Sheik by his famous camel guard.

    Jamie Clarke, 31, crossed the Empty Quarter with teammates mountain climber/ photographer Bruce Kirkby, 31, and filmmaker/attorney/brother Leigh Clarke, 33, as well as three native Bedu (Bedouin) of the Bait Kathir tribe, the nomadic people of Arabia, and 12 camels. "As a team, we pushed ourselves hard, both physically and mentally. We took on added risk by cutting through a treacherous section filled with quicksand called the Umm as Samim – Mother of Poison – in order to make up time," said Jamie Clarke, 31. "This has been an exhilarating challenge in my life-long quest for adventure and exploration."  SCHOOL CHILDREN JOINED IN THE ADVENTURE Around the world, more than 23,000 school children have been following the team’s progress via classroom activities and the expedition web site  www.alwaysadventure.net , where the team posted updates throughout the trek.  Jamie Clarke, 31, is the project visionary who managed the expedition financing through his professional speaking. Jamie’s May 1997 summit of Mt. Everest continues a life of outstanding achievement and exploration. Bruce Kirkby, 31, organized the logistics of the desert expedition and secured diplomatic permissions for the team. A member of Jamie’s Everest team in 1997, Bruce is an award-winning photographer and avid adventurer. Leigh Clarke, 33, is an experienced adventure traveler who managed the legal details of both the Empty Quarter and 1997 Everest Expeditions.

Daily News: 3/25/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: Asian-Trekking has confirmed that they will have a South Side expedition (in addition to the Pokhara Sagarmatha Climbing Campaign) in Spring 99. Their South Side expedition is being headed by Benedict  Kashakashvili.  Ang Tshering Sherpa Managing Director of Asian-Trekking, tells EverestNews.com, "We have a Georgian Leader leading both of our expeditions, from North Side and South Side. The one leading the expedition on the North Side with Mr. Barth (American) is Tortladze Gia. The other one leading the expedition on the South Side is Benedict Kashakashvili. The expedition led by Benedict Kashkashvili took a flight to Lukla this morning (25th March) on its way to the Everest Base Camp. Arvin Timilsina (Pokhara Sagarmatha Climbing Campaign) is scheduled to take a flight to Lukla on 27th March on his way to Everest Base Camp. Sincerely, Ang Tshering Sherpa Managing Director Asian-Trekking"
  • Another member of the Asian-Trekking expedition is Lev Sarkisov. Lev is an ethnic Armenian from Georgia, who if successful will become the oldest person to summit Everest beating  the record of Spaniard Ramon Blanco who reached the summit when he was 60 years, 160 days old in 1993. Lev, who will be 60 years and 149 days old on May 1. Lev will be climbing with the Georgian expedition (above) led by Benedict Kashakashvili along the normal Southeast Ridge route. Source: Asian-Trekking.
  • Asian-Trekking is expected to "support" several other Everest Expeditions, also.
  • EverestNews.com will also soon be receiving reports from American Willie Benegas with OTT Expeditions. Willie left America last week. More on Willie Soon.
  • On OTT Expeditions,  Katja Staartjes is with the OTT Expedition this spring on Everest . She climbed Cho Oyu last spring in an all Dutch expedition, led by Rene de Bos. If she succeeds she will be the first Dutch woman to Summit Everest. Her web site in Dutch is  http://www.peijnenburg.nl/right/expeditie.htm.
  • As you can see the News is rolling in, and we have not hit April Yet !
  • The Bookstore site has an Everest Book page, two Mountaineering book pages, a K2 book page , an ice climbing page, a Mountaineers book page, a Nepal and a Dhaulagiri, Aconcagua, Nanga Parbat. For Amazon UK, see our Sponsor page.

Daily News: 3/24/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: Bernard Voyer will be one of the several other expeditions sending EverestNews.com reports this year from Everest. Bernard's wife will be at BC during the climb. His web site details some of his other climbs: Bernard Voyer Everest Expedition. It is unclear to EverestNews.com if he plans on updating his web site during the climb or not. Bernard Voyer is attempting to complete the Seven Summits. His web site is in French and English.
  • Reports continue that Everest received a much smaller amount of snow than normal, as reported earlier by Enrique Guallart-Furio. The pyramid can be seen as black rock in his pictures, which Enrique considers good. We will try to get a picture on the site later in the week.
  • EverestNews.com welcomes the many New visitors coming to our site in last few days as the news of the Everest climbs begins. We suggest you visit our home page and site index to learn about other News and Features.
  • Look for many more changes in EverestNews.com in the next few weeks. As always, your feedback is welcome and appreciated: everestnews2004@adelphia.net . Please understand that as we get closer to May, EverestNews.com simply does not have the staff to reply to every e-mail (which we hate), but we ask for your understanding during this period as the News rolls in.
  • The Royal Nepal Airlines strike continues.
  • BLOCKBUSTER reportedly is being releasing on March 30, Everest (IMAX). Everest (IMAX) can be purchased from Amazon for shipping on March 30   Everest (IMAX) (1998) -- Everest; VHS  !

Daily News: 3/23/99 Report

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See EverestNews.com page for Enrique and his web site in Spanish http://ww2.encis.es/avent/ever/ever.htm

  • Liz Hawley is the foremost keeper of records for 8000 meter peaks.
  • Pokhara Sagarmatha Climbing Campaign: Arbin Timilsina 15 years old climber. Arbin Timilsina is the 15 years boy who is going to attempt to Summit   Everest this Spring. Three climbing sherpas will support him during his climbing. Asian-Trekking is handling this expedition. Arbin Timilsina is planning to leave his home (Pokhara) on 26 March. His program:

    26 March Pokhara-Kathmandu
    27 March Kathmandu-Lukla
    28 March to 3 April Trek to base camp
    4 April-11 May Acclmatization and setting camps
    12 May-17 May Climbing period
    23 May Back to Kathmandu
  • IMAX Everest video will be available for shipping on March 30 !  Everest (IMAX) (1998) -- Everest; VHS  !

Daily News: 3/22/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: Jeff and Kelly Rhoads, has joined the American expedition (1999 American Everest Expedition leader Pete Athans), on the South Side for 1999. Jeff summitted Everest twice last Spring from the South Side, reportedly becoming the first non-nepalese climber to summit Everest two times in the same season. Last Spring Jeff was the camera man on Tom Whittaker's expedition. Jeff first summitted Everest on the May 20th and then again on May 27th with Tom.
  • Other 8000 Meter peak expedition issued for Spring 99 in Nepal that EverestNews.com has not reported on:

1.) Wilderness Annapurna 99 Expedition, Ferran Garcia Creix, leader, Route North Face, Spanish expedition with 9 climbers on the permit

2.) Basque Expedition Annapurna 99, Juan Oiarzabal Urteaga, Route: North Face, Spain, 7 climbers on permit.

3.) Swiss Dhaulagiri Expedition, Martin Fisher leader, Swiss expedition, 4 climbers on permit.

4.) Australian American Makalu Expedition. Matthew John Rolfe Leader, Route: North West Ridge.

5.) Saskatchewan Himalayan Expedition to Manaslu, Leader: Andrew McKinlay, Route: North East Face, Canada Expedition with 7 climbers on permit.

A few other expeditions are expected for Spring 99, including other we have reported on earlier. The numbers of climbers could change as we are still somewhat early in this process.

  • IMAX Everest video will be available for shipping on March 30 !  Everest (IMAX) (1998) -- Everest; VHS  ! Our Price: Only $13.99

Daily News: 3/20-21/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: Is finding some changes and problems in Nepal this year. For one, the Ministry of Tourism changed personnel 1/1/99, which is causing delays for some expeditions permits being issued.

    Two, Royal Nepal Airlines has been on strike grounding the entire fleet of the Nepal's National Flag carrier. Replacements are being hired.

    The management has also sought explanation from 12 other pilots and 18 cabin crew members, who have joined the strike protesting RNAC's latest aircraft leasing deal with China Southwest Airlines (CWSA).

    President of Pilot Association, Capt. Bijaya Giri says that their main intention behind this strike is to Save Royal Nepal Airlines from this controversial aircraft leasing contract, and the corrupt Tourism Minister & Airline Officials who have okayed the contract, paying nearly US$ 500 more per flight hour, as the allegation goes in local dailies and periodicals, than what the Airline was used to paying in the past.

    Pilot Association is demanding that Airline void the controversial leasing agreement with China Air in favor of lease-purchasing a Boeing B-767 jet.

    Kickbacks and bribes have been alleged in this new Aircraft leasing deal. The new Aircraft is to replace, if all goes well, a similar jet currently on service with the Airline leased from Russia-based Transero Company. But the trouble is neither Airline Management nor Pilot Association seems to bow down to let the Airline take off the ground even after these 3 days of paralysis.

    This has hurt the start of Nepal's spring season tourism very badly.

    Source: Bikrum Pandey & Himalaya Center of Nepal

  • If you are traveling to Nepal this Spring, pack several more books then normal !
  • Goran Kropp, and his expedition are at Everest BC according to Bikrum.
  • IMAX Everest video will be available for shipping on March 30 !  Everest (IMAX) (1998) -- Everest; VHS  ! Our Price: Only $13.99

Daily News: 3/19/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99:  The listing of Mountaineering Expeditions for Everest Spring 99 from Nepal has been released from the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal. This lists is only for permits that has been granted and paid for so far. As EverestNews.com has been reporting, a few expeditions has dropped out for Spring 99. Additional expedition(s) are expected.

    1.) OTT Everest Expeditions with lead climber Jon Tinker has two full permits.

    2.) 1999 Everest Expedition: Enrique Guallart-Furio

    3.) 1999 American Everest Expedition, leader Pete Athans, 5 members.

    4.) Swedish Mt. Everest Cleaning Expedition, leader Goran Kropp, 5 members.

    5.) 1999 International Everest Spring Expedition, Swedish expedition (detailed reported earlier)

    6.) Pokhara Sagarmatha Climbing Campaign: Arbin Timilsina 15 years old climber.

    7.) 1999 Expedition Everest: Bernard Voyer.

  • More detailed news soon on these expeditions, as everything becomes set for Everest Spring 99. EverestNews.com is planning on receiving News reports from 5 of these 7 expeditions in one form or another.

Daily News: 3/18/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: News from our friend Enrique Guallart-Furio, who is one of several expeditions who will be sending EverestNews.com updates from Everest this season: " I enclosed photo taken in Gokyo Peak with EverestNews.com looking Everest.

    My acclimation trek was very good. I did not have any headaches and I feel very well. I went alone with my friend Ang Dorjee, Tenzing Sherpa (cook), two kitchen boys and two yaks. During 17 days we went to Gokyo Peak, we cross Cho-La, we traverse to Lobuche and climb Kala Pattar and back Kathmandu.

    The trip was a little windy. Ang Dorjee checked with binoculars the Hillary Step and there is not much snow in the rock left below the wall, so this is very  good. But at the same time, we checked from Kala Pattar with binoculars and we did not see few meters snow going down from South Summit, but like the people walk up the ridge and maybe there is snow up the ridge but we cannot check from Kala Pattar.

    Ang Dorjee is from Pangboche. He said it did not snow during the winter. The mountain is very dry. Good from one side but bad for other, so much ice. Best wishes" Enrique

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  • Enrique Guallart-Furio web site is http://ww2.encis.es/avent/ever/ever.htm. His EverestNews.com web page is Enrique Guallart-Furio. Much, much more from our friend Enrique soon.
  • EverestNews.com received feedback on Erik Weihenmayer comments on Aconcagua's sanitation problem from Willie Benegas (OTT Expedition guide for South American treks and member of OTT's Expedition to Everest in 99) and others. Willie and the others thought Erik's comments were too strong.  There are about 3000 climbers during this 90 day climbing season on Aconcagua and yes there are issues, but that conditions in 98-98 were pretty good. The park service has a pretty large group of people who work on these issues to keep the mountain in good shape. The comments also included that they thought climbers themselves should do more of the clean-up. We will follow up with Erik... more later on the conditions and comments.
  • The Climb Updated will soon be available: The Climb; Tragic Ambitions on Everest  by Anatoli Boukreev, G. Weston Dewalt  Hardcover - 272 pages (May 1999)   St Martins. This new account continues the debate among both mountaineers and those who have followed the story through the media and Krakauer's book. Readers can decide for themselves.

Daily News: 3/17/99 Report

  • Erik Weihenmayer Q&A Part 4:

    Part 4:

    Q. Have the gear sponsors supported you climbs ?

    A. I have some great gear sponsors. Mountain Hard Wear has been very supportive. During my mountaineering trips, I always wear Mountain Hard Wear fleece, gortex, and long underwear.  The quality of their gear is outstanding. Osprey packs also supported our Aconcagua climb; I found their Zenith Pro pack to be the best I've  ever worn. Salomon gave us wonderful trekking boots which we wore on the 38 miles to base camp. They have the best ankle support of any boot I've ever worn. I also couldn't get by in the mountains without my Leki Nordic poles.

    My upcoming Polar Circus climb is being supported by Boreal. I have always worn their climbing shoes, but recently they've come out with an insulated leather boot for ice climbing and winter mountaineering. I'm going to use these on our Polar Circus climb. Trango is also supporting Polar Circus with the donation of Captain Hook ice tools, harnesses,  and crampons. I've found the climbing companies to be very supportive, perhaps because of the unusualness of a blind climber. Usually, the word, "blind," and the word, "climber," don't appear in the same sentence.

    Q. As an American, what should we do about the garbage on mountains that seems to grow every year? 

    A. On Denali, the park service does a pretty good job keeping the mountain clean. Their are latrines at most camps. They have a "bag in, bag out" policy.

    On Kilimanjaro, the biggest problem is the deforestation of the mountain. Local porters and guides don't use white gas with camp stoves, but burn trees for fuel. The few trees on the mountain are quickly disappearing.

    Aconcagua has a huge sanitation problem. The normal route is the worst. Dead rotting mules lay on the side of the trail below basecamp. Few of the camps have latrines, so people are going everywhere. Most rocks have piles of crap under them. Toilet paper blows liberally in the wind. Many people get sick from viruses. My theory is that they get sick from drinking unsanitary water and from breathing in dust comprised of dried up feces. This is why we climbed the Polish Glacier side of the mountain. its more scenic.

    On Aconcagua, the park service needs to install latrines at each camp. There need to be huge fines for people who litter. The park service needs to get tough !

    Q. What advise would you give for people who want to take up climbing  today ?

    A. You can get started by taking some classes through a local mountain club. Learn the basics. Go climbing with experienced climbers or guides. Learn to function self sufficiently in the mountains. Read a book on avalanche danger. Take a wilderness First Responder course. Test yourself in the mountains in small progressions. If you live through your first five years, you'll probably make it !

    Q. What would you like Erik Weihenmayer legacy to be ?

    A.  I don't necessarily want to be known as the blind mountaineer. I'd rather be known as a competent mountaineer who happens to be blind. That's an important distinction for me. I'd like to be known as a person who broke through barriers, who shattered people’s perceptions about what is possible and what is not. When these perceptions are rebuilt, thousands and thousands of people will live their lives with more opportunity. Then perhaps, people will no longer be judged by their disability but by their ability.

    Q. What are your present objectives in climbing ? You seemed to have already climbed Everest ten times in life. I am very  happy I read your story, it moved me. Thank You. What next for you in life ?

    A. I have all sorts of climbing objectives. I have a tic list a mile long. Soon I’m heading up to Polar Circus in Canada. This climb is an 800m, mostly vertical ice climb. We hope to climb it in a day. I also have lots of general adventuring objectives: to ski in the paraolympics, to race across America on a tandem bike, to run an Iron Man. I respect Alex Lowe's philosophy to  be an "expert in mediocrity," which doesn't mean to do lot's of activities badly but to have the boldness and courage to throw ourselves into new endeavors. Some things, I'm sure, I'll find I can’t do so well or I can’t do at all, but other things, I know, I’ll be good at. I believe in being the best at the things I can do, and letting go of the things I can't do. I know I will never drive a car and I will never catch a baseball, but there are lifetimes and lifetimes of achievement awaiting me, so I have more than enough to keep me busy. If we are able to reach just a fraction of our potential as human beings, then that would be much more than we could ever possibly dream.

    For background on Erik see his page.

    For his entire Q&A see Erik's Q&A page.

    EverestNews.com hopes to see more of Erik in the mountains !

  • Check the EverestNews.com week site of the week table for many interesting former week sites of the week.

Daily News: 3/16/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 99: The number of expeditions on the South Side appears to be thinning out for Spring 99. Among those expeditions deciding against attempting the South Side in 99 will be the Czech expedition. The Czech expedition will still be attempting Lhotse in Spring 99, but has decided against Everest due to the dollars cost of the permit. Note, this Czech team attempted Everest from the North Side last year, resulting in success of two members reaching the summit without the use of bottled oxygen. All members of this Czech team has at least one 8000 meter summit with the average member having over two 8000 meter summits (All summits were reached without oxygen.). Very few expeditions has this kind of experience today. This group of climbers includes Mrs. Sona Vomackova, who has reached the summit of Makalu without oxygen. She is one of the few women alive who has summitted one of the more difficult 8000 meter peaks without oxygen.

    LHOTSE Spring 99, will include at least two other expeditions, including a group of Henry Todd climbers.

  • Look for some surprise coverage of additional 8000 meter peaks this Spring from EverestNews.com in additional to intense coverage of Everest. Yes, we have been busy !
  • David F. Breashears  New Book : High Exposure : An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places 

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