Monday, January 26, 2015

Video: Chasing the Inca on Mountain Bikes in Peru

A few weeks back I shared the trailer for a mountain biking documentary entitled Chasing the Inca. At the time, the full video was available online, but it couldn't be embedded on other websites. That has now changed, and you can watch the full 18+ minute film below. It follows riders Darren Berrecloth, Garrett Buehler, and Chris Van Dine as they explore remote regions of Peru in search of a lost Incan road through the Andes that was once used to escape invading Spaniards. This is a film of that combines both exploration and adventure on the back of a mountain bike, and it is definitely intriguing to watch.

Antarctica 2014: A Race Against Time at the Bottom of the World

The 2014 Antarctic season is scheduled to come to a close this Wednesday, January 28. That's the day that the last plane is scheduled to fly out of Union Glacier on its way back to Punta Arenas, Chile, carrying the remaining climbers, explorers, and South Pole skiers – as well as the support team for their efforts – home at last. While most of those teams are comfortably waiting in camp, another remains in a desperate race against time to get back to Hercules Inlet in time for their flight. And while it looks like they are going to make it, it is going to be close. 

Stéphanie and Jérémie Gicquel, along with guide Are Johnson, have now been out on the ice for 73 days. They started their journey way back in November, and were able to ski to the South Pole in time for the holidays. Since then, they've been attempting to complete the return trip to Hercules Inlet, where they'll end their epic excursion at long last. The journey back to the coast has not been an easy one however, as they have had to maintain a steady pace the entire time, even as poor weather has hindered their progress, particularly in these final days. 

After spending much of the end of last week in complete whiteout conditions, the trio had better visibility over the weekend, although high winds still made it challenging to proceed. They were able to catch a glimpse of some mountains on the horizon however, which broke up the endless plane of white that they have been staring at for days on end. Deep snow has made it difficult to pick up any speed however, but they still struggled forwards, as they really don't have any choice at this point. 

Yesterday the managed to knock of an impressive 44.8 km (27.8 miles), which leaves them with just 43.9 km (27.3 miles) to go tomorrow. That is a sizable distance to cover on the final day, particularly when the team is reportedly very tired, weak, and hungry. They are starting to run low on supplies, and have been conserving rations for a few days now, which has taken its toll some on their spirits too. 

Despite these challenges, it seems that Stéphanie, Jérémie, and Are should arrive at the finish line tomorrow on schedule. It will be a long day, but considering their current pace, they should be able to wrap things up provided unexpectedly bad weather doesn't arrive on the scene. The forecast does indicate that conditions could take a turn for the worse, but at this point that is likely to hinder their return flight more than their final push to the coast. 

I'll keep an eye on the team's progress over the next few days and post updates. Hopefully they'll reach Hercules tomorrow and will be able to get picked-up for a flight to Union Glacier where they can enjoy some good food and warm accommodations. From there, it is just a matter of time before they head back to Chile, and eventually home. 

Polish Explorer Planning Trans-South American Expedition via The Amazon

Polish explorer Marcin Gienieczko has announced a bold new expedition that will get underway on May 1 of this year. The adventurous photographer and journalist intends to cross South America by bike, canoe, and on foot, with his route that will take him to the very heart of the Amazon Rainforest and along the mightiest river on the planet.

Marcin is calling his expedition the Solo Amazon (site in Polish and Spanish), and he will begin the journey with a 750 km (466 mile) bike ride from Lima, Peru to the small town of San Francisco. From there, he'll begin an epic canoe journey that will eventually cover more than 6130 km (3809 miles) beginning at the Apurimac River and the very headwaters of the Amazon itself. He'll then proceed downstream to the Enge, Tambo, and Ucayali before paddling out onto the Amazon. He'll follow the river until he reaches Belem in Brazil, at which time he'll complete his journey to the Atlantic Ocean on foot, running all the way while carrying the Polish flag.

Passionate about photography and exploration, Marcin is no stranger to long distance adventures. His previous expeditions have taken him down the Yukon River in Alaska and the Lena River in Siberian Russia, as well as several other long distance floats in those locations, as well as Canada. In 2009 he even crossed Siberia on foot in temperatures that routinely plummeted to -50ºC/-58ºF. Crossing South America will be an entirely different challenge however, as the unique environments of the Amazon will create obstacles that he hasn't seen on his previous journeys.

While the expedition is called "Solo Amazon," Marcin will have a guide for part of the excursion. In the most dangerous section of the trip – when he'll be passing through a region mainly under the control of drug lords – he'll be joined by Gabriel "Cho" Sanchez Rivera, who accompanied Ed Stafford on his historic expedition to cross the Amazon on foot a few years back. Cho has become the "go-to" guide in the Amazon since those days, and he'll help lead Marcin through some perilous parts of the route.

Marcin says that he is looking forward to the start of the expedition, although he knows that it will be a physical and mental challenge. The journey will be a long and difficult one, but his past experience will help him survive in the wilds of South America. We'll see how he fares when he gets underway in a few months time.

Good luck Marcin!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Video: Breathtaking Landscapes in 4K

There isn't much to be said about this video other than that it is a collection of incredibly breathtaking landscapes captured in timelapse at stunning resolutions. Shot over a two-year period, it is a compilation of amazing shots from beautiful places. This is one you're going to want to sit back and enjoy, preferably at full-screen resolutions. And if you're lucky enough to have a 4K monitor, clips are available from the filmmaker in that format too. This seems like a great way to end the week and send everyone off on their weekend adventures. Enjoy!

Landscapes: Volume 4K from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

Video: North America's Fifty Classic Climbs Episode 2 - Ancient Art

The second episode of the new climbing series from EpicTV entitled North America's Fifty Classic Climbs is now available, and this time we're following Mark and Janelle Smiley as they go up Ancient Art, 4-pitch climb that is rated a 5.1 difficulty. Located near Moab, Utah, this climb has an amazing finish, which you'll see in the video. The view from the top looks amazing, and the path to get there is not for the faint of heart.

Video: A Long Hike Through Western Mongolia

In terms of remote and untamed places, they don't come any more wild than parts of Mongolia. In this video we get a good look of the landscapes there as we follow a solitary hiker on his walk across the western region of the Central Asian country. It is a remarkable place for an adventure, and a truly amazing destination.

Moving On - A Hike in Western Mongolia from Just Greg on Vimeo.

Adventure Tech: The North Face's New Virtual Reality Experience

It's no secret that fewer people are heading outdoors these days, with a particularly sharp decline amongst young people. Researchers believe that the rise of technology, including smartphones, tablets, and video games, has helped to erode interest in outdoor pursuits, as many now prefer to stay inside with their gadgets rather than go for a hike or on a camping trip. But The North Face has come up with an interesting new way to possibly spur interest in the outdoors once again, and with an ironic twist, they're using technology to do so.

At the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market convention,  currently taking place in Salt Lake City, the gear company introduced the Virtual Outdoor Project, which uses virtual reality video footage – specifically created for the Oculus Rift – that was shot by the wizards at Camp 4 Collective. Reportedly, the result is an immersive experience designed to create a sense of being outdoors in some incredibly wild and remote area.

For those not familiar with the Oculus Rift, it is a virtual reality headset that has become the talk of the tech world over the past year or so. With high resolution video screens and head-tracking technology, it creates an incredibly immersive experience that allows users to experience an environment that exists 360º around the viewer. In other words, tilt your head to the left and you'll see what is happening in that direction. Turn around completely and you'll see things that are taking place behind you.

According to the Stephen Regenold of the Gear Junkie, the video experience that The North Face was sharing at Outdoor Retailer transported viewers to Yosemite National Park to experience a difficult rock climb up a route called "Separate Reality" from the eyes of the climber himself. The VR film included amazing views of the surrounding landscape, and captured the experience of what it was like to be scaling a big wall. At one point, the climber even loses his grip, falling down the rock face momentarily until his protection arrested the drop. The experience for Stephen made his stomach drop however, as the virtual reality environment simulated the plunge a little too closely. Later, the video even followed some BASE jumpers as they plunged off a cliff, capturing their fall in in "360 and 3D" as well.

North Face intends to roll out this VR project to its retail stores sometime this year. That means if you have a store in your area (Mine just opened!), you'll be able to drop by and give it a go yourself. The hope is that by bringing a virtual outdoor experience to customers, they may inspire more people to actually get outside themselves. Int his case, virtual reality may spur interaction with actual reality.

Call me a pessimist in this regard, but my guess is that it will probably spur consumers to actually want to buy an Oculus Rift or similar product, rather than actually go spend some time int he wild, but we'll see.

Antarctica 2014: Tough Going for Final Antarctic Team

As mentioned earlier in the week, the 2014 Antarctic season is swiftly drawing to an end. One team remains out on the ice, struggling to reach the finish line before the last plane prepares to fly out. Their deadline is now January 26, which is Monday, and covering the final miles over the next three days isn't going to be easy.

The team of Are Johnson and Stéphanie and Jérémie Gicquel have been out on the ice for 70 days now, and have long since reached the South Pole and began their return trip to Hercules Inlet along the coast. At this point, fatigue has set in and they are doing their best to cover the remaining distance as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the weather isn't being all that cooperative however, and yesterday they skied in white out conditions. In fact, in their most recent update, it was revealed that they couldn't see more than 3 metes in any direction at all. As a result, they struggled to cover their required distance, reaching 35 km (21.7 miles) over 11.5 hours, while battling sastrugi along the way too. 

Today doesn't look like it will be much better either. The trio expects to be skiing in a whiteout once again, and have prepared themselves for another tough go. Conditions are expected to improve however, so there is a literal light at the end of the tunnel.

Still, even with better weather, the last stretch is going to be a tough one. As of now, they have to average 43.5 km (27 miles) over the next four days to arrive back at Hercules in time. That isn't impossible, but it is going to be very difficult. To make matters worse, they are also starting to get low on food too, which will have an impact on the final stage of the journey as well. 

By the time they are finished, the team will have covered approximately 2300 km (1430 miles) and will have become one of only a handful of squad to make the journey to the South Pole and back under their own power. With any luck, the next time I post an update on their progress, they'll have finished. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Video: Official Trailer for Meru - Climbing the Shark Fin

If you only watch one video today, make it this one. It is the official trailer for the film Meru, the film that documents the 2008 ascent of Meru Peak along the Shark's Fin that was completed by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk. The trio spent days moving up the 6660 meter (21,850 ft) peak located in Himalaya of India. Their expedition has become the stuff of legends, and now the full story will be told. The trailer looks fantastic, with some images that are both incredibly beautiful and tension-inducing all at the same time. This was one of the most difficult climbs attempted, and the film will bring us all of the details directly from the men who did it themselves. I can't wait to see this.

MERU Official Trailer from Jimmy Chin on Vimeo.

Video: Downhill Urban Mountain Biking in Colombia

I always love a good mountain biking video, especially ones that show a rider zipping through some unbelievable setting. But I also have a soft spot for videos like this one, where some of the world's top riders take on an urban course lined with fans as they ride down stairs, across cobblestone streets, in and around buildings, and other unusual obstacles. In this case, we follow World Cup rider Marcelo Gutierrez as he bombs his way through the streets of his hometown of Manizales, Colombia. As you'll see, the ride is a wild one, even though it goes directly through the heart of the city.

Video: GoPro Captures Cyclist's Collision with Kangaroo

For every jaw-dropping video that we see captured on an action camera, we also get others like this one, which are simply downright painful. A cyclist in Australia was wearing her GoPro when she ran head-on into a kangaroo. The animal comes out of nowhere at about the 20-second mark of the clip, sending the rider down hard. Apparently she suffered nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises, although one cut required eight stitches to close. The "roo" wasn't so lucky. After surviving the accident with the cyclist, it apparently was hit by a car on another nearby road. They really are like deer in Australia.

Gear Junkie Takes A First-Look At The Gear of Winter Outdoor Retailer

Right now, the world's top gear companies have all descended on Salt Lake City where they are showing off their latest creations. The 2015 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market got underway a few days back, and as usual there will is a dizzying array of new products being unveiled. Unfortunately some personal commitments have kept me from attending in person, but thankfully the Gear Junkie is on hand, and he has given us a "first-look" at some of the best new gear on display.
Amongst the items that have caught the eye of the Gear Junkie crew is the new Longhor jacket from Ternua. The product is setting new standards in terms of creating sustainable gear in the fact that is uses recycled down as its insulation. The down is apparently re-claimed from the "bedding products" industry, and is cleaned and sanitized before being reused in these jackets. This is an interesting trend that I'm sure will gain traction with other manufacturers as well.

Also earning a spot on the GJ list is a new ice axe design from Black Diamond that incorporates adjustable grips, who also have a new crampon built to quickly and easily transition across a variety of terrains. Columbia gets a nod for their new Heatzone 1000 TurboDown Jacket, which is described as possibly the "world's warmest jacket," while Vasque received kudos for a redesign of their classic Sundowner GTX boot. Other gear of interest include a protective vest that could save you from an avalanche, as well as a new lightweight running vest that incorporates a 150-lumen lamp right into the chest strap.

It should be noted that most of what is shown off at Outdoor Retailer won't hit the store shelves until next fall. So while you may see something on the list that catches your eye, start saving your pennies now. Meanwhile, all of the gear that debuted at last summer's OR show will be arriving in your favorite gear shop sometime this spring.

There is plenty more to check out in the Gear Junkie story, so take a peek at what's coming by clicking here.

Winter Climbs 2014-2015: ExWeb Has Details on Nanga Parbat Summit Push

Last week, climbed Tomek Mankiewicz and Elisabeth Revol caused a bit of a stir on Nanga Parbat when they went up the mountain and were out of contact for ten days. There was concern for their safety, since they were only carrying a satellite phone and hadn't bothered to call in to update anyone on their progress. Now, we know that both of them returned safely to Base Camp, although Tomek suffered a fall on the descent that has ended his expedition early. The duo have also shared information about their time up high on the mountain, including some details about their aborted summit attempt that were shared at ExWeb.

Tomek and Elisabeth were able to climb up to 7000 meters (22,965 ft) with little difficulty. It was there that they established Camp 4, and prepared to make a final push towards the top. At the time, they were feeling very strong, and the weather conditions were good. So, they set off with a high degree of optimism thinking that they could be the first team to climb Nanga Parbet in winter. Unfortunately, they underestimated the distance to the summit, and were forced to turn back to C4 to rest, eat, and rehydrate.

Still feeling strong, they elected to have another go at the summit on the following day. They left their tent at 3:00 AM local time and started heading up. By 11:00 AM they had reached 7800 meters (25,590 ft), but the weather conditions had taken a turn for the worse. By that point, high winds were buffeting the summit, making it impossible to go any higher. With the weather deteriorating rapidly, they decided to turn back and head down to Base Camp. It was then that the accent occurred.

As mentioned previously, the climbers had to cross a snow bridge on their descent. Elisabeth, being the lighter of the two, managed to cross without problems, but Tomek's heavier weight caused the bridge to collapse, sending him 40 meters (131 ft) down into a crevasse. His partner was able to help pull him out, but he suffered broken ribs and hurt his leg in the fall, bringing an end to his expedition. The duo were able to slowly ascend back to BC, but it was a painful experience for the Polish climber, who now reports that he also has six frozen toes that he hopes won't need to be amputated.

As of yesterday, Tomek was on his way from Base Camp to the town of Gilgit where he can receive medical attention. According to Daniele Nardi, he is in a lot of pain, but in good spirits. Daniele also reports that Elisabeth has already left BC without saying goodbye, but it is unclear whether or not he means that she is going back up the mountain for another summit attempt, or if she is heading for home. We'll have to watch for further updates to on her status.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Video: Archival Footage From the 1970 Ascent of the Dawn Wall

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson's ascent of the Dawn Wall is by far the biggest climbing story in years, captivating audiences across the globe and garnering attention from the mainstream media. But the first ascent of that massive rock face took place back in 1970, when Warren Harding and Dean Caldwell climbed it for the first time. The video below features some amazing archival footage from that expedition, which was incredibly difficult in its own right.

How did the two climbs differ? Tommy and Kevin free climbed the Wall, which means they went up using just their own physical skills and considerable climbing talents. The ropes and other protection were in place to prevent them from falling, but didn't aid their ascent in any way. This is a much more difficult way to climb, and many thought it was simply impossible to go up the Dawn Wall in that fashion.

For a look back on the climbing scene from 45 years ago, check out this amazing clip. And big thanks to the Adventure Journal for sharing it with us.

Video: Twenty-14 in Review

This short film is a highlight reel from last year that was shot by adventure film company Twelve Productions. It includes numerous impressive shots of some amazing outdoor adventures that were filmed in drop dead locations. While there isn't a single driving narrative to these clips, the images that are shown will certainly evoke a sense of adventure that can carry you into 2015 as you go seeking a few adventures of your own. This is beautiful and powerful stuff.

Twenty 14 from Twelve Productions on Vimeo.

Video: Pull - A Short Dogsledding Documentary

This video seems appropriate for this time of year, especially since we're just a few weeks away from the start of the Yukon Quest and a month and a half until the Iditarod, both of which are epic 1000-mile (1600 km) long sled dog races. In this two and a half minute video you'll get to see these dogs doing what they do best, running through the snow and pulling a sled. The scenery is incredibly beautiful, and these amazing dogs love to explore as much as the many who is guiding them.

PULL. from GOH on Vimeo.

Gear Review: Hillsound Armadillo LT Gaiters

For many outdoor enthusiasts, the arrival of winter doesn't bring an end to our favorite activities, it just alters them a bit. Winter hiking can still be incredibly rewarding, as often times you'll have trails completely to yourself. But snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and other seasonal pursuits can be a great deal of fun too. But if you're going to play in the snow, a good set of gaiters will make your life a lot easier and enjoyable, as they help to keep snow, ice, mud, and rocks off your boots, which can become a serious issue at anytime of the year, but especially in the winter.

Gaiters are one of those pieces of gear that you don't really realize you really need until after you have tried them. For those who aren't familiar with how they work, gaiters are like a sleeve that pulls over the top of your boot, and is fixed securely into place there. They provide protection from the vulnerable parts of your shoes, keeping moisture, dirt, rocks, and other debris out of the interior, and way from the laces too.

Recently I've had the good fortunate of testing the Armadillo LT gaiters from Hillsound, a company that specializes in making products for protecting your legs and feet. Searching their website, you'll see that they also make a line of outstanding crampons, as well as waders for fishing. The Armadillo LT is the first product of theirs that I have test however, and I came away suitably impressed.

Antarctica 2014: End in Sight for Final South Pole Team

The end of the 2014 Antarctic season is now just a week away, and the last plane is scheduled to depart the frozen continent – weather permitting – on January 28. That means the last of the explorers must be back at Union Glacier by then, which shouldn't be a problem for most of the remaining climbers and skiers. But for one team, the clock is ticking, and there is still a considerable amount of ground to cover before they are done.

The trio of Are Johnson and Stéphanie and Jérémie Gicquel continue their race against time as they speed back to Hercules Inlet from the South Pole. They are now on day 68 of their round-trip journey, which will cover 2300+ km (1430 miles) before they are through. As of today, they still have 253 km (157 miles) to go until they reach the finish line, which means they must average roughly 36 km (22 miles) per day to catch the final plane. That's a tall order, but since they've been covering 46.5 km (29 miles) in recent days, they should arrive back at the coast sometime next Tuesday.

These final legs of the journey won't be easy though. Poor weather has set in once again, it has made for tough going in recent days. Are, Stéphanie, and Jérémie are exhausted from their efforts too, which makes each day a struggle. But now that they are finally finished, they seem like they have girded themselves up for the final push.

Elsewhere, after skiing solo to the South Pole, Newall Hunter traveled to Mt. Vinson to climb the highest peak in Antarctica as well. He reached the summit on that 4892 meter (16,050 ft) peak last Friday, and is now back in Union Glacier waiting for a flight out to Punta Arenas. Bad weather has stranded him there for the past couple of days, as winds of 112 km/h (70 mph) have been howling through the camp. But Newall says he is taking advantage of this extra time on the continent to learn how to kite-ski, which he says will come in handy next year. This season isn't even over yet, and some of the explorers are already planning their next expeditions.

Thats all from Antarctica for today. I'll be watching the final ski expedition closely as they near the finish. They should wrap things up early next week and be back at Union Glacier in time for the flight out. By then, they'll be more than ready for a much deserved rest.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Video: Two Weeks in Iceland Captured in Timelapse

Captivating and mesmerizing would be two words I'd use to describe this video. It was shot over a two week period in Iceland, with the filmmaker capturing some amazing imagery from the beautiful landscapes there. The timelapse scenes allow we the viewers to watch as the land and sky shift in amazing ways, both subtly and dramatically.

Two Weeks in Iceland / Timelapse from Casey Kiernan on Vimeo.

Video: Free Soloing Table Mountain in South Africa with Matt Bush

This video takes us to South Africa to follow free soloist Matt Bush as he climbs some of the iconic rock faces of Table Mountain in Cape Town. EpicTV calls Matt the "Alex Honnold of South Africa," and it's hard to argue with that moniker. Over the past few years, Matt has been free-soloing some of the toughest routes in his home country, and he is now working on a film project to document the amazing climbing opportunities that exist there.

This video will on reaffirm South Africa's reputation for being one of the best destinations for adventure on the entire planet.

Video: GoPro Camera Accidentally Captures Great Underwater Images of Sea Life

We've seen a lot of great video captured by GoPro cameras over the years, some of it on purpose and a lot of it accidentally. You can put this clip squarely in the latter category, although the results are pretty great. The person who captured the footage was flying a radio controlled airplane over Cape Range National Park in Australia. A few minutes into the flight, he became disoriented by the sun, and lost his little aircraft. Desperately trying to find the plane, the pilot sends it spiraling into the ocean, where it soon sputters to a halt. Meanwhile, the GoPro Hero Black 3 mounted on the aircraft continues to shoot video footage, capturing images of numerous fish, sharks, a sea turtle and more. It ends up being quite a great video, although the RC airplane probably didn't survive.

The first three minutes of this clip features the aircraft flying around over the park. Some of the footage is quite nice, but if you want to skip ahead to the undersea imagery, jump to the three-minute mark.

A Visit to the Red Centre of Australia

One of the most interesting and adventure-packed places I've ever visited is the famous Red Centre of Australia. Perhaps best known for being the home of Ayer's Rock – aka Uluru – the Red Centre is a fascinating mix of culture, history, and exploration. This is the true Outback, rugged, untamed, and with miles upon miles of open space. It is a place that every traveler should see, with landscapes that are humbling and awe inspiring at the same time.

Recently, my friend Richard Bangs visited the Red Centre and shared his experiences in a wonderful article published at the Huffington Post. Richard went to this remote region of Australia to take in all of the amazing sites for himself, and to go on a few adventures along the way as well. His travels took him on a camel trek into the Outback, hiking along some of the local trails, and into Alice Springs, the main outpost in this very wild part of the world.

Of course, many people come to the Red Centre simply to visit Uluru and climb to its summit. When the lands surrounding that iconic rock were returned to the Anangu Aboriginal tribe back in 1985, it was a stipulation in that they continue to allow visitors to climb to the top. But for the Anangu, Uluru is scared ground, and while they don't prohibit anyone from climbing it, they do go to great lengths to discourage it. On his visit, Richard – who has just returned from a climb up Cotopaxi in Ecuador – decided to respect the wishes of the Aboriginal and stay off the Rock.

In his article, and the video below, he shares a wealth of things to do while you are there that don't involve climbing Uluru. Trust me, there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied. For instance, I'd recommend hiking the Larapinta Trail, a 223 km (138.5 mile) long path that passes through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the region. While you're there, also take a dip in the Finke River, widely considered the oldest in the world at 350-400 million years. Spend a few nights camping under the stars as well, as you'll rarely find a better night sky than in the Outback.


Winter Climbs 2014-2015: Nanga Parbet Expedition Over for Tomek Mackiewicz

Sad news from Nanga Parbet today, where it has been revealed that Tomek Mankiewicz has suffered a serious injury, and must now abandon his attempt to complete the first ascent of that mountain in winter. But as he prepares to depart, two other teams will now arrive as the busy season on that mountain continues.

When last we checked in, Tomek and his climbing partner Elisabeth Revol were descending after spending ten days at altitude on the mountain. The duo had gone as high as 7800 meters (25,590 ft), and had established several high camps. For a time, they had even flirted with launching a summit bid, but exhaustion set in, so they made the wise choice to descend back to Base Camp to regain some strength.

They were expected to arrive back in BC yesterday, but along the way an accident occurred. The two climbers encountered a snow bridge on the way down, and while Elisabeth was able to cross over without incident, the bridge collapsed under Tomek, dropping him into a crevasse. He reportedly fell 50 meters (164 ft), braking some ribs, and fracturing his leg, in the process. Elisabeth was able to help get him out of the crevasse and make his way down, but the expedition is now over for the Polish climber who is luck to be alive. It is unclear at this time whether or not Elisabeth will join another team or return home as well.

Daniele Nardi is also back in BC after making a brief climb up the Mummery Rib. He is wrapping up his acclimatization efforts and is now preparing to go higher up the mountain as well. There is no time table yet on when he'll push up the Diamir Face, but it is possible that he and Elisabeth will now join forces, as the two have climbed together in the past and know each other well.

Meanwhile, ExWeb is reporting that the Iranian team of Reza Bahadorani, Iraj Maani and Mahmoud Hashemi has sorted out their issues with Pakistani immigration and will finally receive their entry visas into that country. That will allow them to make their way to the mountain at long last, where they'll begin their attempt from the Diamir Face as well. They are expected to reach Base Camp by the end of the week.

Finally, Alex Txikon, along with climbing partners Muhammad Ali "Sadpara" and Muhammad Khan are now enrollee to Nanga Parbet Base Camp as well. They are also expected to arrive on the mountain before week's end. You may recall that Alex was scheduled to climb K2 this winter, but was forced to cancel when the Chinese revoked the team's climbing permit at the last moment. He has now decided to switch focus, and is hoping for a winter ascent on this 8000-meter peak instead.

That's it for now. More soon!