Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Video: How to Filter Water in the Backcountry

Staying hydrated is vitally important when in the backcountry, but you can't always trust the water that you find there, even if it looks clean. That's why knowing how to filter water while hiking and backpacking is such an important skill to have. In this video, the experts at REI show us exactly how we can make clean drinking water no matter where we go.

Video: HBO's Real Sports Investigates Climbing Everest

A few weeks back, HBO's Real Sports television program aired a segment on what it takes to climb Everest. The aim of this 20-minute piece was to inform teach those who don't know much about the mountain what it takes to reach the summit. But many in the climbing community found that the story missed the mark in many ways. Alan Arnette even shared his thoughts on the segment, and I tend to agree with him. Still, there are some decent aspect to Real Sports' covering the highest mountain on the planet, even if there were some missed opportunities and fear mongering going on. Now, the entire show can be viewed below. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think. Did HBO miss the mark?

Himalaya Fall 2018: Avalanche on Dhaulagiri Leaves Sherpa Missing

I've been off the grid in Colorado over the past few days, so I haven't had a chance to post many updates. We'll start to get back on schedule today however, with an update from the Himalaya. Unfortunately, the first story is a sad one.

The Himalayan Times is reporting that an avalanche hit Dhaulagiri earlier today just as a team of Sherpas was installing ropes above Camp 2. The avalanche swept down the slope, injuring several members of the team while sweeping away Dawa Geljen Sherpa, who remains missing at this time.

Search and rescue operations are underway, including a long-line helicopter which is helping to evacuate climbers. The helicopters that have been on the scene are also combing the mountain looking for the missing Sherpa. So far, there efforts have come up empty.

There are two teams climbing on Dhaulagiri this fall, including one squad that includes 79-year old Carlos Soria. None of the foreign climbers were involved in the avalanche apparently, and all are safe back in Base Camp at the moment.

Meanwhile, over on Manaslu –– the busiest 8000-er this fall –– things seem to be going according to plan. There have been few updates from the mountain, but we do know that ropes have been installed up to Camp 4 and that the climbers are in the midst of their acclimatization rotations. No word on if the food/supplies shortage had ended, but presumably the commercial teams have found ways to shuttle gear up to BC.

Cho Oyu is also seeing its fair share of climbers this season too. The teams that are there, including the Adventure Consultants, have started that acclimatization rotations as well. Most are now in Camp 1 or Camp 2, allowing their bodies to become accustomed to the thinner air ahead of their summit bids, which are still a few weeks off.

So far, the autumn season is proceeding about as well as can be expected. There are some major, non-commercial expeditions, that are just starting to ramp up that will be worth following soon. But for now, we have business as usual in the Himalaya.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Video: Efforts to Clean Up The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Now Underway

We've all heard tales about the massive Great Pacific Garbage Patch and how it continues to take over the ocean. Now, an ambitious effort is underway to begin cleaning up this massive floating island of plastic and other debris, with an organization called The Ocean Clean Up launching a high-tech approach to collecting and removing all of that trash. This past weekend, a ship set out for the GPGP in an effort to begin this long and difficult process. Find out more about those efforts in the video clip below.

Video: Get Your Mountain Biking Fix with Rachel Atherton's Winning Run at UCI Lenzerheide 2018

Lets face it, some of us like to ride mountain bikes while others can really shred it on the hill. Such is the case for pro rider Rachel Atherton, who is amongst the best mountain bikers in the world. In this clip, we get to go along for the ride as Rachel takes us down a wild and challenge course at this year's UCI Lenzerheide World Championship race. Most of us will never get the chance to ride like this, so the video is a lot of fun.

Attend Outdoor Blogger Summit on a Discount!

Are you an aspiring outdoor writer, blogger, or podcaster? Do you want to break into the travel writing market? Maybe you're a marketing professional working in the outdoor space? If you said yes to any of those questions, you probably should consider attending Outdoor Blogger Summit this year. And if you do, I can help save you some money on the registration.

What's Outdoor Blogger Summit you ask? It is an annual conference aimed at media and marketing professional in the outdoor industry. This year, the event will be held in Roanoke, Virginia and will feature a good mix of educational sessions, opportunities to get to know some top outdoor brands, fun activities, and networking with others who are working in this fun, but often challenging field.

If you're interested in knowing what will be happening there, check out the full schedule here. Things get started on Sunday, October 14 with registration and a "speed dating" event between attendees and brands. Then on Monday and Tuesday of that week the sessions and speakers will get underway with a full slate of topics, including how to manage social media outlets, learning how to work with a busy editor, and how to maximize your time as a freelancer. Yours truly will even be sharing some insights on how to get on more press trips, which can open up a whole host of opportunities.

Registration for the 2018 OBS is now open and if you're interested in attending, I have a discount code that you can use to get $100 off of your rate. Typically, the cost of attendance is $399, which includes two nights stay at Hotel Roanoke, an all access pass for the conference, several meals, happy hours, and a swag bag. That pice comes down to just $299 if you enter the code FRIEND-OF-KRAIG at the checkout process. That's a pretty great deal for anyone looking to meet folks working in the outdoor industry and network with others too.

You can find out a lot more by visiting the Outdoor Blogger Summit website. Hope to see you there!

More Than 800 New Tombs Discovered in Egypt

For archaeologists and historians, Egypt is the place that just keeps on giving. Earlier in the week it was revealed that more than 800 new tombs have been discovered near the village of Lisht, located in the central part of the country south of Cairo. Those tombs are said to date back more than 4000 years to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, making them potentially one of the biggest finds in recent memory.

The discovery was made through a joint effort between a team of researchers from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. In just a single season in the field, the group was able to uncover and document 802 separate tombs, with the potential for more to follow.

The tombs, which have sat beneath layers of sand and dust for thousands of years, were first spotted by archaeologists on satellite images. Researchers looking at photos of the area could identify looting pits throughout the region, but weren't exactly sure where they went. As they examined photos taken between 2009 and 2013, more of the pits appeared in the photos. This prompted an on-the-ground search to discover what exactly was happening there in Lisht.

Once physically in the village however, it quickly became apparent what they were dealing with. Dozens of exposed tombs led to the discover of hundreds more, most of which have already been looted –– possibly multiple times over the years. Still, the research teams believe there is a lot that can be learned from the tombs, which were probably created between 2030 and 1650 BC.

As I've mentioned before, these types of stories are fascinating. Egypt, a place I've visited on a couple of occasions, is already a treasure trove of historical sites and monuments. Yet, there still seems to be plenty of other things to discover there. Using technology like satellite images, ground-penetrating radar, and LiDar, I won't be surprised if archaeologists don't come across more significant finds in the future. There seem to be plenty of interesting sites like this one just waiting to be rediscovered.

Find out more here or checkout the video below.

Himalaya Fall 2018: Ropes Fixed to Camp 3 on Manaslu as Teams Continue to Wait for Supplies

There isn't a lot of news to report from the Himalaya today, where the fall season continues to ramp up but isn't really in full swing just yet. Still, the teams are making their way into Base Camps across the region, and things are progressing on schedule, particularly on Manaslu.

The eighth highest peak in the world will be a busy place this autumn with more than 250 foreign climbers expected on its slopes. Many of those teams are already in place and are preparing to up the hill. To that end, the Sherpa support teams continue to prepare the way for the climb ahead and according to Seven Summit Treks' Dawa Sherpa, the ropes have now been fixed all the way up to Camp 3, meaning much of the work in installing the lines is already finished.

The mountaineers gathering on Manaslu are probably 3+ weeks away from a summit push at a minimum, but the rope fixing team is proceeding at a solid place. That will allow the climbers to start their rotations up the mountain, first going up to Camp 1, possibly spending the night there, then returning to BC for a rest before going back up to Camp 2. This is the traditional method for acclimatizing to the altitude as they prepare for their eventual summit bids.

One of the stories we've been following closely is the lack of food and supplies for the Manaslu teams so far this year. As reported a few days back, the Nepali government has restricted several helicopter operators for flying in the Manaslu region and as a result there aren't enough aircraft to safely transport the teams' gear and supplies to Base Camp. This has left many of the squads dangerously low on food and without their proper climbing gear, meaning they can't start their acclimation process until this situation is resolved.

There isn't much new to report on this topic either. The Nepali government says that it is working to resolve this crisis and get the backlog of supplies shipped to BC. But for now, most of the teams can only wait for the helicopters to start flying again.

We'll keep an eye on the emerging climbing season and continue to post updates in the days ahead. Hopefully there will be good news to report soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Video: Safe Haven - The Story of Building a Climbing Gym in Urban Memphis

Climbing can be an escape for many of us, both literally and figuratively. No more is that evident than in this video, which tells the story of an urban climbing gym located in Memphis, Tennessee. No one thought building a climbing gym in this setting was a good idea, and yet the team behind it went ahead anyway. Now, it is having an impact on the lives of those in the neighborhood, possibly showing those young people that they can escape too.

Video: A Journey to the Top of Mount Olympus in Greece

When we took field trips when I was in school, it was usually to a local museum or business. But in Greece, the student who attended the 2nd High School of Voula take a hike to the summit of Mount Olympus instead. This video, which was created by the students themselves, takes us along on that journey, which features outstanding images –– some captured by drone –– of this fantastic adventure. This doesn't look anything like the student films we produced when I was a kid either. We've come a very long way.

The Adventure Podcast Episode 33: Talking eBikes with Yamaha's Drew Engelmann

After taking a week off for the Labor Day Weekend here in the U.S., The Adventure Podcast is back with an all-new episode this week. Our guest this time out is Drew Engelmann, the sales and marketing director for Yamaha Power Assist bikes. We chat with Drew about his long career in the cycling industry, his thoughts on ebikes, and where those electric-powered rides are headed in the future. If you've been curious about ebikes or considering purchasing one, you'll want to tune in and listen.

Of course, we start the show off with some adventure news, including stories about the fall climbing season in the Himalaya, a new speed record on the Appalachian Trail, and a team of researchers who used Google Earth to discover a lost world in Africa. As usual, we also wrap things up with our gear picks for the week, which include new trekking poles from MSR and an amazing new inflatable stand-up paddleboard from Red Paddle Co.

You can listen to the show in your browser by clicking on the play button in the embedded version found below. Or, you can also find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify. If you like what you hear, or have feedback, feel free to contact us on our Facebook page, Twitter account, or via email. We love getting questions, comments, and notes from our listeners. As always, thanks for checking out the show.

Outside Tells You How to Fund Your Next Adventure

Let's face it, going on a grand adventure can cost a lot of money. Often times the road blocks to pursuing after our big goals isn't motivation or preparation, but not having the funds to truly get our dream expeditions off the ground. If a lack of cash has been the one thing keeping you from launching a once-in-a-lifetime excursion –– never fear, because Outside magazine is here to help.

Outside recently posted an article to its website entitled "How to Fund Your Adventure," sharing some of the best grants that are available for those looking to raise funds to get their big idea off the ground. Each entry on the list include the amount of the grant of course, with most offering thousands of dollars, but also when the application deadline is, what the grant covers, and the level of expertise required. Some of the grants are awarded to experienced explorers, while others are aimed at helping newcomers get their first expedition up and running.

In total, there are 10 different grants to sift through on this list, although there are certainly many more out there to be discovered. Still, this is a comprehensive starting point for those looking for funding and include grants from the likes of National Geographic, the American Alpine Club, Grit & Rock, and others. The award money ranges from as little as $85 to more than $10,000, depending on the organization and the grant. Some have important stipulations to be aware of too, for instance the Nat Geo grant listed here is designed to assist those starting off their careers and thus no PhDs are allowed.

This is by no means a complete and comprehensive list of the grants that are available, and there are numerous others to be found on the web. For instance, Nat Geo has several others that aren't mentioned, but can be found on the organization's website. Still, it is a good starting point if you have a plan for an expedition and are looking for a little monetary assistance to get things started. Several of the grants listed in the Outside article also have multiple recipients, meaning they award the money to several individuals or teams, increasing the chance that you might be selected. The point of nearly all of these awards is to assist new explorers and would-be adventurers to get their project up and running, making just about any of us good candidates.

Check out the entire list here.

Inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race Pushes Cyclists to Their Limit

A new long-distance bike race, held in the remote mountains of Kyrgyzstan, not only turned a spotlight on the beautiful scenery found in that country, but also managed to push riders to their absolute limits along the way too. Dubbed the Silk Road Mountain Race, the event tasked competitors with completing a 1700 km (1056 mile) course that included 26,000 meters (85,301 ft) of climbing in under two weeks, passing through three fixed checkpoints while en route. Naturally, the event drew some of the top endurance riders in the world, but even they struggled with this remarkable new race.

According to ExWeb, less than a third of the riders who took to the starting line for the Silk Road Mountain Race actually managed to finish. Officially, just 29 of the 98 participants were able to complete the course, which runs through the Tien Shan Mountains region. The event got underway in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan and ended in the town of Chong Kemin. Along the way, riders passed through remote villages, through hidden passes topping out at more than 4000 meters (13,123 ft), and through rugged mountainous terrain.

The winner of the race was Jay Petervary, who managed to ride the entire route in 8 days, 8 hours, and 15 minutes. That was fast enough to beat second place finisher Bagoly Levente by 20 hours. The third place rider was Alex Jacobson, who crossed the finish line another 12 hours back. Canadian Jenny Tough took home the win in the women's division, as she was the only female to finish in the solo category.

If the grueling cycling route wasn't enough of a challenge, the riders had to be completely self-sufficient out on the trail. This is an unsupported race, requiring participants to carry all of their gear and supplies with them while racing. For Petervary that was not much of a road block, as he has ridden the legendary Tour Divide race on six separate occasions. Still, the Silk Road wasn't without its difficulties too, including rugged terrain, hot weather, and a remote setting that was far off the beaten path.

It looks like the Silk Road Mountain Race will be an annual event moving forward. If you'd like to know more and possibly sign up for the next edition, visit the race's official website.

Silk Road Mountain Race No. 1 // Teaser from Silk Road Mountain Race on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Video: The Ride of a Thousand Cols

We all have our own goals and challenges that we've set for ourselves, some more difficult than others. But when cyclist Phil Deeker sets a goal, he really aims high. In 2017, the 60-year old Deeker vowed to ride 1000 mountain cols in 100 days, which is the equivalent of climbing Everest 50 times over. This video takes us out onto the road with him to see what this challenge was all about, and why he would undertake it to begin with. Beautiful and inspiring, this is a wonderful clip that will certainly help you examine the things you are doing in your own life.

The Ride Of A Thousand Cols from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Video: Kayaking Tenaya Creek in Yosemite with Dane Jackson

It's been awhile since we shared an awesome kayaking video, but this one was definitely worth the wait. In it, we join pro paddler Dane Jackson as he makes a wild descent down Tenaya Creek in Yosemite, reaching speeds in excess of 35 mph (56 km/h). Don't try this at home folks, as this is one crazy-fast kayak run.

Researchers Create Most Detailed Map of Antarctica Ever

Even in the 21st century, much of Antarctica remains unvisited by man, with the frozen continent largely unexplored. Sure, there are expeditions to the South Pole every austral summer, but most stick to the same trident and true routes, rarely varying their approach to 90ºS. Because of this, much of what we know about the Antarctic comes from satellite photography and mapping. Even those high-tech methods haven't always offered the most detailed representation of what the place actually looks like. To remedy this, a team of scientists at Ohio State University has created what it describes as the most detailed map of Antarctica ever assembled.

The project to build these new maps was spearheaded by OSU professor Ian Howat, who found that all of the maps of Antarctica that he looked at simply lacked details. In order to change that, Howat launched the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) project, which uses high resolution satellite photos to give explorers, scientists, climatologists, and cartographers their clearest and most detailed look at the continent ever.

In a statement announcing the new mapping project, Howat said “Up until now, we’ve had a better map of Mars than we’ve had of Antarctica. Now it is the best-mapped continent.”

To create this new, highly-detailed map of the Antarctic, Howat and his team built a computerized tool that automatically collected and examined the photos that were being gathered by various satellites tasked with flying over the continent. That tool has the ability to properly place the photos in their correct locations, even overlaying boundaries with one another to piece together an incredibly accurate depiction of the terrain found there. When the photos overlapped with others, the system could properly match them up with one another and align the images as neatly and accurately as possible. 

When the process was completed, the map ended up including more than 150 terabytes of data. That is a file size that is difficult to imagine, and most computers would crash just trying to quantify that much information, let alone store it. But the end result is a map that is allowing those interested to view the Antarctic like never before. 

“At this resolution, you can see almost everything,” Howat says. “We can actually see variations in the snow in some places. We will be able to measure changes in the surface of the continent over time. We will see changes in snow cover, changes in the motion of ice, we will be able to monitor river discharge, flooding and volcanoes. We will be able to see the thinning of glaciers.”

That information should make this map a boon for climatologists and those measuring climate change. But it should also give those of us fascinated with Antarctica an interesting new map to pour over as we armchair explorers eye it from afar. Amundsen, Scott, and Shackleton never had it so easy. 

Research Spotlight: Ian Howat discusses the ArcticDEM and REMA Projects from Byrd Polar and Climate Center on Vimeo.

Manaslu Climbing Season Off to Rough Start as Climbers Stranded without Food and Supplies

As the fall climbing season continues to ramp up in Nepal and Tibet, a disturbing story has come out of Kathmandu. Apparently, the Nepali government has banned several helicopter companies from flying in the Manaslu region, preventing them from delivering supplies to Base Camp, where more than 250 foreign climbers are now running low on food, clothing, and other gear.

According to The Himalayan Times, officials from the Nepali Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation barred helicopter operators Heli Everest, Manang Air and Air Dynasty from flying in the Manaslu region, and as a result the gear, food, and other supplies that belong to the mountaineering teams operating on Manaslu this season are stuck in the town of Arughat. That village serves as a staging ground for expedition logistics in the area, where helicopters have delivered supplies to Base Camp for years.

The situation has apparently gotten so severe that several of the teams have now run out of food and climbers have been wearing the same clothes for a week now. Expedition operators tell The Times that much of the food that they had purchased for the team has already started to rot while it waits for transportation to BC. They also indicate that things have already reached crisis level and that if something isn't done soon, there could be serious problems for the teams, who can't begin their rotations up the mountain until their gear arrives.

In addition to facing long delays when seeking permission to fly, the helicopter operators who are working in the area report that short weather windows is deepening the crisis. They may be told by officials in Kathmandu that they can make a supply run to BC, only to find that the fast changing weather has grounded their aircraft. This is taking an already bad situation and making it worse, as foreign climbers sit and wait not only for their personal gear to reach Base Camp, but also the food that will sustain them throughout the expedition.

Ministry officials say they are working to resolve the issues that are preventing the helicopter operators from flying as quickly as possible. In the meantime, they have a serious public relations fiasco on their hands. The country is gearing up for its "Year of Tourism" in 2020, and yet it continues to have these kinds of troubling issues when dealing with visitors. It is also extremely frustrating for the mountaineering companies, many of which have been operating in Nepal for years. Hopefully they'll get this resolved soon, as I know I wouldn't want to be stranded in the Himalaya without food and all of my gear for very long.

Himalaya Fall 2018: Autumn Cho Oyu Teams Gathering in Base Camp

As noted last week, the bulk of the fall climbing season in the Himalaya seems to be focused on Manaslu this year where more than 250 foreign climbers are gathering. But, that isn't the only mountain drawing quite a bit of attention this autumn, as Cho Oyu is also going to be a busy place for commercial teams. In fact, some of the squads have already started their climbs, while others are now en route to Base Camp.

The Adventure Consultants arrived at Advanced Base Camp on Cho Oyu yesterday and are now getting settled in place. As is usual with the trek to BC, the team first stopped at an intermediate camp located at 5500 meters (18,044 feet) before moving up to ABC at 5700 meters (18,700 ft). They'll now take a few days to set up their home base for the next month before starting their acclimatization treks and first rotations up the mountain.

The IMG team is on a similar schedule, having arrived at the intermediate camp yesterday. They made an acclimatization hike to stretch the legs and test the lungs some, but report that all is well and the group is feeling great. They'll likely move up to ABC tomorrow and started getting settled at this point as well. So far, the weather is said to be very good, with the entire team eager to start their climb.

Next up is the 7 Summits Club, who left Lhasa a few days ago to start their journey to Cho Oyu Base Camp. They arrived in the town of Sigatse where they purchased some last minute supplies, but are now en route to Chinese Base Camp, before moving up to the IC, then on to Advanced Base Camp. They should be joining the other climbers at that point sometime in the next couple of days.

Finally, the Alpenglow squad has also arrived in BC and are preparing to head up to ABC too. The group of six climbers are part of the company's "rapid ascent team," having preacclimated back home using oxygen tents before they ever arrived in Tibet. The group is reportedly feeling well and were taking a couple of days to rest in BC before moving further up the hill. They should be settled into Advanced Base Camp soon and will start their ascent with the teams that are already in place.

Expect to hear regular updates on these teams moving forward. With the climbers now in ABC, it won't be long before they start their rotations and the fall climbing season will be officially underway indeed.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Video: All or Nothing - The Official Documentary of the 2018 Volvo Ocean Race

We followed the Volvo Ocean Race closely as it unfolded earlier in the year, finding plenty of drama, excitement, and agony in the round-the-world sailing competition. If you followed along too, you probably are aware of just how epic this event is, testing competitors at every turn for weeks on end. Now, we get an amazing official documentary that takes us inside the race to get a sense of how it unfolded and the physical and mental toll it takes on the sailors. This is a grand adventure on the high seas that is unlike anything else. Check out the film below to see why it is such a grueling event.

Video: Ripping it at the Surf Ranch

Last week I shared a video I created after a visit to the Surf Ranch in California earlier this year. Now, we have a new clip that actually takes us out onto the water of this amazing place to give us a better sense of how these manmade waves ride. This is glimpse of the future of the sport, which is about to undergo a revolution thanks to the technology that is used at the Ranch. Here, you'll get a better understanding of why it is so revolutionary and what it means for surfers.

Relik Rips The Surf Ranch from Surf Relik on Vimeo.

Video: How the Pursuit of FKTs Have Changed Our Outdoor Pursuits

There once was a time when even elite athletes headed out to the backcountry just to enjoy the adventure of being in the outdoors. Today however, it seems like everyone is always chasing a new speed record or a "fastest known time" to use the parlance of the day. This excellent video takes a look at how this has impacted our approach to running, hiking, and climbing in the mountains, which has been irrevocably changed by the pursuit of going faster than ever in these alpine settings.

Outside Selects 12 Outdoor Education Classes Worth Taking

Looking to sharpen your outdoor skills? Then Outside magazine is here to help. They've assembled a list of 12 outdoor education classes that are worth taking, offering some suggestions on the best courses to help us pick up valuable experience and become better all around adventurers too.

Each of the entires on the list come with a brief description, a price, and a link to the instructor's website for more information and to enroll in the course. There are options for just about every kind of outdoor activity, including paddling, mountain biking, surfing, and more. But, there are also options to pick up some good skills that you may not have considered before. Those include a course on learning to barbecue and build tiny houses too.

The list is likely to hold intriguing options for just about anyone who loves the outdoors, but the ones that stood out the most to me included a mountaineering and pack rafting class offered by the Alaska Mountain School and a sailing course taught in the British Virgin Islands. There is also a wilderness photography course held in Jackson, Wyoming that would be wonderful, not to mention a surf camp in El Salvador.

These courses aren't just for beginners either. Many of them offer advanced techniques that will help veterans polish their existing skills or pick up some new ones too. So no matter what your outdoor passion might be, chances are you'll find a course that will appeal to you too. Besides, learning new things shouldn't end when you graduate from schools, but should instead continue throughout your life.

Check out the entire list here.

Himalaya Fall 2018: Polish Team to Attempt Seldom Climbed Manaslu East

The fall climbing season in the Himalaya is starting to ramp up, with teams now arriving in Kathmandu ahead of their departure for the mountains. As previously noted, much of the activity this autumn will take place on Manaslu, although there are some big plans for other other peaks across the region too. But one of the most interesting expeditions to follow in the weeks ahead will no doubt be an attempt by a Polish team to summit that mountain along a very difficult, and seldom used, route that hasn't been successfully completed in more than 30 years.

According to ExWeb, the Polish team is led by veteran climber Rafal Fronia, who is joined by seven of his countrymen. The squad will be attempting a route that has been completed just once, when legionary alpinists Jerzy Kukuczka and Artur Hajzer did it back in 1986. The line goes up the 7992 meter (26,220 ft) Manaslu East, which is challenging enough in its own right. But from there, the team will traverse over to the main summit of Manaslu in a single push.

This expedition is meant to be a training climb of sorts, preparing the Polish mountaineers for future projects that will take place in the Himalaya during the winter. We all know that the Poles intend to return to K2 during the winter in 2020 and this could be a way for them to get ready for that attempt. Fronia was on that mountain this past winter with the Polish squad, but had to be evacuated after a falling rock struck and broke his arm.

The eight-person team arrived in Nepal last week and are already en route to Manaslu. They expect to summit sometime in early October provided everything goes as planned.

This isn't the only team of Poles looking to make history in the Himalaya this fall however. The two-person team of Monika Witkowska and Joanna Kozanecka have also set their sights on Manaslu this fall as well. The two ladies will be climbing along the regular route, but what sets their endeavor apart is that they are attempting the expedition independently. They'll climb completely on their own without Sherpa assistance or as part of a larger commercial squad. If they manage to summit, they'll be the first female climbers to finish such a small, lightweight, alpine style ascent. They too arrived in Kathmandu last week and are now trekking to the mountain.

The autumn climbing season is just now getting ready to commence, so there will be plenty of updates and news to follow soon. It should be an interesting fall.