Showing posts with label Denali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denali. Show all posts

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Video: The Ridge - Beautiful Mountain Images From Denali

Shot in Denali National Park, this short film captures some of the best footage of an alpine setting that you could ever ask for. The black and white images only enhance the dramatic nature of the shot, which comes without cuts or edits, from our friends over at Camp 4 Collective. Truly beautiful, and moving stuff.

Thanks to the Adventure Journal for sharing!

THE RIDGE from Camp 4 Collective on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Kilian Jornet Talks Denali Speed Record with National Geographic Adventure

Courtesy National Geographic
While we're on the subject of National Geographic stories this morning, I have another one to share. Nat Geo Adventure has scored an interview with ultra-runner/mountaineer Kilian Jornet following his amazing performance on Denali a few weeks back, during which he set a new speed record on the mountain. At 6168 meters (20,237 ft) in height, Denali is the tallest mountain in North America, and a significant climbing challenge. But the talented Jornet made it look easy sailing from Base Camp to the summit, and back, in an astonishing 11 hours and 40 minutes. That shaved more than 5 hours off the previous record. Now, Jornet is talking in detail about his record-setting climb.

In the interview, Kilian discusses a bit of the philosophy of speed climbing, his light and fast approach on Denali, and how he didn't find the mountain to be all that technically challenging. Instead, he says that the weather is the real problem on the mountain, with high winds, deep snow, and cold temperatures creating problems. He also shares some insights on the route that he took to the summit, and why he went that particular way.

Of particular interest to me was the fact that he carried just one liter of water with him on the summit push. Kilian says that he doesn't eat or drink much while on his adventures, adding that he also only took a few small energy gels and one bar. He didn't even eat the bar, and he drank less than a liter of water. The ultra-runner's body is so conditioned to be able to run on little fuel, that he didn't even need to eat or drink much on his 11 hour journey. That's pretty amazing, and a testament to the amazing condition that he is in.

Jornet also talks about his post-climb celebration (dry food and a few chocolate bars alone in a tent), skiing under the midnight sun, and the importance of climbing with his friends. He shares the best and worst moments from the expedition, what elements of his training were of the most benefit, and his thoughts on his next projects – namely speed record attempts on Elbrus and Aconcagua.

As you can see, there is a lot to take in here. It's a good read, with some excellent insights into this amazing athlete. Check out the full interview here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Kilian Jornet Sets New Speed Record on Denali

Endurance athlete Kilian Jornet is up to his old tricks, this time in Alaska. The man who is known for moving very fast in mountain environments set a new speed record on Denali last Friday, cruising up, and down, the West Buttress in an unbelievable 11 hours and 40 minutes. That beats the old record, held by Ed Warren, by 5 hours and 6 minutes.

According to reports, Jornet spent about a month on Denali acclimatizing for the attempt, and as is typical for the mountain runner, he went as light and fast as possible, climbing with only a small daypack, crampons, and skis. According to the Alpinist article linked to above, he covered 33 miles round trip, and was back in Base Camp 30 minutes ahead of Warren's pace for simply reaching the summit.

Denali's West Buttress is the most commonly used route to the summit, which means he had to contend with other traffic on the mountain. June and July are the most popular months to climb Denali, as the weather is at its very best at that time of the year. Due to its extreme latitude, weather conditions can be unpredictable at just about anytime, and the higher air pressure makes the climb feel much higher than it actually is. Denali is the tallest mountain in North America, standing 6168 meters (20,237 ft) in height.

Next up, Jornet would like to turn his attention to Aconcagua and Elbrus, hoping to nab the speed records on both of those mountains as well. Of course, all of this is just a warm-up for the big show. He hopes to attempt the speed record on Everest eventually as well.

At some point I'll stop being amazed at the things Jornet does in the mountains, and simply just start taking it for granted. This is not that time. The guy is an amazing athlete, and he continues to amaze me with his abilities.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Winter Climbs 2014: News From Nanga Pabat

The winter climbing season is now in full swing with most of the attention this year being focused on Nanga Parbat. As previously noted, there will be three teams attempting to make the first winter ascent of that 8126 meters (26,660 ft) peak, with all of them now on the mountain and taking a long look at the challenges that await them.

The Polish Justice For All Team, which has been in Pakistan the longest, is reporting that they have gone as high as 5500 meters (18,044 ft), where they have stored gear in anticipation of eventually shuttling it up to Camp 1. But poor weather, including high winds and heavy snows, have kept them in Base Camp for now. The forecast indicates that things should be improving over the next few days, which will allow them to push ahead with their acclimatization and scout their intended route up the mountain.

The North Face Team consisting of Simone Moro, David Gottler and Emilio Previtali are also in BC where they are awaiting improved weather as well. They arrived after Christmas but have quickly set up camp but have been stymied by hurricane force winds thus far. With the weather set to take a turn for the better, they'll hopefully be able to start their acclimatization as well.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Video: Conrad Anker in Denali: National Parks Epic Challenge

Last week I shared an excellent video that featured Alex Honnold climbing in Yosemite that came our way courtesy of the National Park Foundation. It turns out it was just the first of a series of videos that will feature some well known outdoor personalities doing the things that they – and we – love. You'll find the latest of those videos below. This time we get to travel to Denali National Park in Alaska to go climbing with mountaineering legend Conrad Anker. If you need any other reason beyond that to press the play button, I can't help you. Enjoy!


Conrad Anker in Denali: National Parks Epic Challenge from National Park Foundation on Vimeo.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Denali Is 83 Feet Shorter Than Previously Thought

The tallest mountain in North America isn't quite as tall as previously thought. The U.S. Geological Survey recently resurveyed Denali – aka Mt. McKinley – and discovered that it is actually 83 feet shorter than when it was last officially measured in 1952. That means that it now stands at 20,237 ft (6168 meters) in height, down from 20,320 ft (6193 meters).

The surveyors used high tech Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar to make precise measurements of Denali and numerous other Alaskan peaks. The survey was done last year but is only just now being released on new topographic maps.

It isn't exactly clear why there is such a discrepancy between previous surveys and this most recent one. The team who completed the 2012 measurements speculate that it may be due to improved technology or a result of climate change taking some of the snow and ice from the summit. It is most likely a combination of both of those reasons however and while it is not uncommon for the official height of a mountain to change, it is rare for it to be off by such a substantial amount

For the mountaineering community the new height doesn't really make that much difference. While it does shave 83 feet (25.3 meters) from the actual height of the climb, Denali remains one of the toughest mountains around. Its notoriously fickle weather adds a level of challenge that isn't found on many other peaks of comparable height while its latitude, combined with total altitude gain, make it feel like a peak that rises much higher than its official height would seem to indicate. It is because of those factors that Denali is often used as a training ground for Everest.

The change in height has no effect on Denali's status as the tallest mountain in North America.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Expedition Denali Update: Bad Weather Keeps Team From The Summit

There have been few updates from the Expedition Denali team this past week, although we did know that they were hoping to summit sometime in the past few days. On Monday they were at Advanced Base Camp, located at 14,200 ft (4328 meters) and were headed up to High Camp at 17,200 ft (5242 meters). After that, the team went radio silent while we waited for word on their progress.

Late yesterday we received an update at last and after 19 days on the mountain, the group is coming home without a summit. On Wednesday they made a bid for the top amidst good weather but as they approached 19,600 ft (5852 meters) storm clouds rapidly moved in and closed off any hope of topping out. Their latest dispatch indicates that there were 60+ climbers going for the summit at the same time and all of them turned back as thunder and lightning rolled into the summit.

With this summit bid over the team is now descending and preparing to head home. They fell 720 feet (219 meters) short of the summit, which has to be crushing, but after three weeks on the mountain it is time to come home. As I've mentioned before with this team, summiting Denali was a big goal, but they have aspirations well beyond that. They hope to inspire young people – especially minorities – to get active and become more connected with the outdoors. That work will continue long after they've left the mountain.

Congratulations to the team on a valiant effort. This story only underscores how challenging a Denali climb can be. The weather is incredibly unpredictable there and even though they were setting out under the best conditions possible, the window was slammed shut by sudden and unexpected storms. I'm sure there is a sense of disappointment amongst the climbers, but they did a fine job and their work with minority kids is only just beginning.

Everyone get down safe and come home soon.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Expedition Denali Update: Team On Summit Push?

It has been a couple of days since we last heard from the Expedition Denali team, who should be getting close to making their final summit push. The climbers have now been on the mountain for 17 days and as of Saturday, everything was ready for them start moving up one last time. In their last dispatch they were waiting at 14,200 ft (4328 meters) and if the weather was good they were planning to climb up to 17,200 ft (5242 meters) on Sunday. That would have put them into position to summit yesterday and yet no word has come. We can only assume that they are currently in a holding pattern as they watch for a weather window to open.

You'll no doubt recall that the Expedition Denali team is the group of African American climbers who have set the goal of summiting Denali in an effort to inspire young people – and especially minority kids – to become more engaged with the outdoors. The climbers hope that their adventure will encourage others to seek their own. With that in mind, their expedition is being filmed and will eventually be turned into a documentary to help spread the word of their accomplishments and show youth of color that they too can chase their dreams.

Their efforts have already started to pay off around the country. Youth groups who have been following the climb have begun launching their own "10,000 Steps to Denali" activities to show support for the team. That is the number of steps they estimate it will take to climb from High Camp to the Summit, and while the kids they are inspiring won't be carrying heavy packs through snow and ice and in thin air, they are still seeking their own adventures none the less.

For now, we'll all have to wait to see if and when the team can top out. They've put in all the work and they are ready to go, but until the mountain cooperates, they'll just have to sit tight. Lets hope they get their opportunity soon.

Watch for updates at the Expedition Denali website and on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Max Lowe Sets Sights On Denali Summit

While we're on the subject of Denali, I wanted to point out this excellent article that was posted to the National Geographic Adventure Blog a few days back. It was written by Max Lowe, the sun of legendary climber Alex Lowe and stepson of Conrad Anker. Max and some friends are currently in Alaska and are attempting to climb Denali this spring, but the article reads like a young man who is charting his own course and not necessarily following in the footsteps of his two famous fathers.

For those who don't know, Max's father Alex is considered one of the greatest alpinists of all time. He put up first ascents all over the world and was known not only for his great skill and precision in the mountains but also as a great person as well. Hi nickname was the "the Lung with Legs,"which is an indication of how strong he could climb even at high altitude. Sadly, Alex was killed on Shishapangma in 1999 when he and teammates – Anker and David Bridges – were struck by a massive avalanche.

Alex and Conrad had been great friends and climbing partners for some time, and when Anker returned home he found himself grieving for the loss with Alex's wife Jennifer. Over time, they two fell in love and got married. Conrad then became the step father for Alex's sons Max, Sam and Isaac. This has obviously given Max two very strong role models to follow on his own alpine adventures.

But as I mentioned, Max seems to be plotting his own course on Denali and beyond. He is an accomplished photographer and writer, and seems inspired to chronicle his own adventures. The piece that he has written for Nat Geo is thoughtful and honest, with some great insights into his team's effort to climb the tallest mountain in North America, then make a ski descent. The article also lists some of his favorite gear that he'll be taking along on the trip.

The story was posted on June 15 and Max and his team were set to depart for Denali on June 8. That means that if everything is going well, they should soon be approaching their summit bid as well. After reading this story, I'd certainly welcome a follow-up with his thoughts on the climb.

Expedition Denali Update: Eyeing The Summit

The climbing season on Denali is in full swing with numerous teams already moving up and down the mountain this summer. In fact, there have been a steady stream of summits dating back to late-May, with good weather contributing to early success. The season will continue for a few more weeks before wrapping up in early July, which should allow for quite a few more climbers to top out before the summit is closed for another year.

One of the more high profile teams on the mountain this year is of course the Expedition Denali crew. This is the team that is made up of all African American climbers who are not only looking to reach the summit, but they're also hoping to use their adventure as a catalyst for inspiring minority youth to engage more fully with the outdoors and spark some adventures of their own. With that in mind, the team is making a documentary of their climb, which should help in that endeavor. 

Right now, the climbers have been on 20,320-foot (6194 meter) mountain for approximately 12 days. According to their most recent dispatch, they seem to be making great progress as well. Two days ago they were in Advanced Base Camp at 14,200 feet (4328 meters) but were planning on heading up to 16,000 feet (4876 meters) yesterday to fix ropes and drop a gear cache. With that out of the way, they feel like their acclimatization should be just about over. They intend to take a day or two of rest, before heading up to High Camp (17,200 ft/5242 meters) tomorrow or Saturday, at which time they'll be waiting on a weather window to make their summit bids. 

So far, things have been going quite well for the team, who have been receiving lots of media attention for their climb. It seems their efforts to inspire minority youth are already paying off as well, as their "10,000 Steps to Denali" program are already encouraging kids all across the U.S. to be more active outside. 

The weather on Denali has been more cooperative so far this season as compared to last year. Hopefully that trend will continue and the Expedition Denali team can get up and down the mountain safely very soon. 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Video: Why Climb? - In Celebration Of 100 Years On Denali

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the first summit of Denali, the tallest peak in North America at 6194 meters (20,320 ft). A century after that first ascent the mountain remains a challenging and difficult climb, but one that is sought after by mountaineers from across the globe. The video below, which comes are way from the National Park Service, not only celebrates this occasion but also serves as a great reminder of why we climb. As if we need to be reminded! Excellent video for an important anniversary. Enjoy!


Thursday, June 06, 2013

Expedition Denali Heads To Alaska

One of the more prominent teams that has received media attention so far this year has been Expedition Denali, which I've written about on several occasions already. This is the squad of climbers that consists entirely of African-Americans who have set a goal to climb the tallest peak in North America in an effort to inspire young people of all ethnicities to connect with the outdoors and seek their own adventures. After months of planning and weeks of preparation, the climbers are about to kick off their climb at last as they make their way to Alaska before setting out for the mountain.

As the expedition name implies, the team has set its sights on the 6194 meter (20,320 ft) Denali (aka Mt. McKinley) in Alaska. The 2013 climbing season is already in full swing there with a number of climbers already topping out. After a nasty season last year, during which the weather prevented most teams from summiting, things have been much better so far this spring. Whether or not that continues to be true remains to be seen.

The Expedition Denali crew is now starting to gather in Palmer, Alaska, which will serve as their proving ground before heading to the mountain itself. It will be a few days before they actually reach Base Camp, but you can follow their progress on their blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Prior to setting out the team was happy to announce that their Kickstarter campaign was fully-funded. They were looking to raise $107,000 to create a documentary film about their adventure and when the clock wound down on their fund-raising efforts, they actually exceeded their goal by bringing in $111,125. That means that we should see an excellent film about this project in the future.

Expect to hear a lot more about this team in the days ahead. As I mentioned, their efforts to increase diversity in the outdoors is making this a high profile climb for sure. That means we shouldn't have too much difficult following along with their progress on the mountain and getting updates throughout the Denali season.

Good luck to the entire team!

Friday, May 31, 2013

With The Spring Himalaya Season Over, All Eyes Turn To Denali

Now that the spring climbing season in the Himalaya is officially over, the attention of the mountaineering world turns to Alaska and the challenging slopes of Denali. Standing 6194 meters (20,320 ft) in height, Denali is the tallest mountain in North America and a formidable climb in its own right. In fact, the mountain has a relatively narrow climbing window that begins in May and runs into early July, during which time the bulk of the mountaineers who wish to summit will attempt it.

One of the hallmarks of Denali is its ferocious weather which can be felt at nearly any time of the year, but is a bit more predictable during the warmer summer months. While it doesn't match the stature of the big Himalayan peaks, or even some of the mountains in the Andes, it's particularly high latitude presents its own issues. For one, high winds and cold weather temperatures are common and the barometric pressures make Denali seem like a mountain that is much taller than its 6194 meters would imply.

Denali also happens to have the greatest vertical gain of any mountain on the planet, rising some 5181 meters (17,000 ft) above the surrounding countryside. In comparison, Everest rises to a higher overall altitude, but it is a mere 3962 meters (13,000 ft) above the area around it. These interesting characteristics of Denali help to make it a popular climb, particularly with those who have aspirations of taking on an 8000-meter peak at some point.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Expedition Denali: Inspiring Diversity In The Outdoors

Way back in May of last year I shared a story about an upcoming expedition to Denali that had some much bigger goals than simply reaching the summit of the highest peak in North America. The climb, which is being organized by NOLS, will feature a team that is entirely made up of African American mountaineers who hope to use their adventure as a platform to inspire young people from minority groups to engage with the outdoors. We all know that the young people of today are increasingly turning away from outdoor activities, and this is especially true amongst minority groups, but the team behind this climb – dubbed Expedition Denali – hope to serve as role models who can inspire kids of all ethnicities to reconnect with nature and discover their own adventures.

The expedition will take place in June of this year and will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first ascent of Denali. The 6194-meter (20,320 ft) mountain located in the Alaska Range is always a challenge, even under the best of conditions. The weather on Denali is notriously fickle even during the summer months, and while its altitude doesn't compare with the high peaks in the Himalaya, it is every bit as cold and foreboding as those mountains, and often just as deadly.

But the team behind Expedition Denali is well aware of the challenges they face and they have been training and planning for this journey for a long time. For each of the dedicated men and women on the team, the bigger challenge is finding ways to connect with the children that they are hoping to inspire. One of the ways that they intend to do that is through a documentary of their climb. Organizers of the expedition hope to film every stage of their adventure and then produce a great film that will inspire the next generation of climbers to follow in their footsteps.

To that end, the team has launched a Kickstarter page to help fund this documentary. They're hoping to raise $107,500 to help with production costs. That is a lofty number to be sure, but the Expedition Denali team is confident that they can reach that goal and create a film that is worthy of their high expectations.

The video below will give you more information on Expedition Denali and their plans. This is an important expedition for a number of reasons and certainly one worthy of supporting through Kickstarter or other means. I'm looking forward to following along with the team once they start their adventure in a few months time.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Winter Climbs 2013: Stalled On Nanga Parbat

The winter climbing season continued this past weekend with teams on various mountains finding different levels of success. As we move to the heart of winter, the weather continues to dictate the pace and ultimately the chances of successfully summiting. But with a month and a half still to go in the season, it is still too early to tell if any of the climbers will actually achieve their goals.

On Nanga Parbat, bad weather has been slamming the mountain for the past few days, bringing plenty of new snowfall with it. Reports indicate that more than a meter of fresh powder has been deposited on its slopes and as a result, most of the teams have elected to stay huddled in Base Camp or move down the mountain for the relative comfort of one of the nearby villages.

One such team is the Hungarian-American squad, which is now down a man thanks to the departure of Zoltan Acs. Zoli was forced to abandon his attempt at a winter summit of Nanga after frostbite from a previous expedition flared up in his feet. The condition was making the climb painful and slow, so he wisely decided to call it quits and head home to see a doctor. His mates David Klein and Ian Overton will continue on without him, returning to BC mid-week to resume their efforts.

The Italian-French team of Daniele Nardi and Elisabeth Revol have also descended from Base Camp to enjoy some relaxation at lower altitudes. After warming up on nearby Ganalo, they're now acclimatized and ready to take on Nanga. But the fresh snow is preventing that at the moment, so they're taking advantage of the time to rest and get ready for the next phase of their expedition. The forecast says the weather should improve on February 6, so they should be returning to BC shortly in order to take advantage of the improved conditions.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Winter Climbs 2013: Poor Weather, Poor Health And Poor Gear

It has been another couple of eventful days for the climbers attempting winter ascents in Pakistan. For some, it progress has come in slow, measured movements, while for others the challenges of the season are making things difficult. As always, it is the weather that dictates progress this time of year and the next few days don't look particularly promising, especially on Nanga Parbat.

We'll start today on that 8125 meter (26,657 foot) giant, where the Hungarian-American team continues to have their struggles. Since arriving in Base Camp nearly a month ago, the team has had to deal with a generator that has been less than cooperative. A few days back they had thought that they had  managed to fix it, but it has gone out again. In their 28 days on the mountain, they've actually only had power for five of them, which is making things uncomfortable in BC to say the least. To add to their challenge, the weather forecast says that they'll have bad weather for the next five or six days, so the team has elected to move down to the village of Chilas to rest and wait. So far they haven't been able to climb above Camp 1, which has been frustrating.

The team is also losing one of its members as Zoltan Acs won't be returning to Base Camp after their brief respite. The Hungarian climber has frostbite in his feet, exasperated from past bouts with the affliction, and now he'll head home to have a doctor take a look at if for him. Losing a teammate won't help the morale of the squad, but they aren't giving up just yet.

Over on the Rupal Face, Joel Wischnewski is having equipment issues of his own. The pump has gone out on his kerosine stove and while he has been able to come up with a makeshift solution, he can barely keep a flame going. He says that he is able to melt snow for water, but otherwise it isn't much good for cooking. He is currently in ABC, where his food supplies are beginning to run low and most of his gas canisters are cached at Camp 2. Joel's health has also taken a turn for the worse and he reports a nasty bout of diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding from his nose, all at the same time. The French snowboarder believes that he has Crohn's disease, something that has afflicted other members of his family, but he seems determined to say on the mountain and continue his climb, even if the situation seems rather dire at the moment.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Climbs 2013: Poles Reach Camp 2 On Broad Peak

It may only be Wednesday but it has already been an active week on most of the major winter climbs that are currently underway. With things winding down on Denali, our attention is turning to Pakistan, where the teams are just getting started on their ambitious climbs. With six weeks left in winter, there is still a lot of work to be done, but so far there has been solid progress by a number of squads.

Today we'll start on Broad Peak, where the Polish team is going about their expedition in a systematic and methodical fashion. After establishing Camp 1 last weekend, most of the squad has already completed at least one acclimatization round and have started their next rotation. For the past few days they have been fixing ropes up to Camp 2, located at 6200 meters (20,341 feet), successfully reaching that point yesterday. The climbers who shuttled the first gear to C2 will now return to Base Camp for a rest, while their compatriots bring up the next loads and start the task of fixing the ropes to C3. It is a very professional and efficient approach to the climb, which will hopefully pay dividends in a few weeks time. For now, the weather is holding steady and they are making good progress.

Over on Nanga Parbat things are starting to pick-up as well. The Hungarian-American team still isn't sharing a ton of updates, but we do know that they have been working their way to Camp 2 as well. They did get some good news a few days back in the form of a working generator which one of the Sherpas was able to repair. That should make things more comfortable in BC at least, even if it hasn't facilitated more dispatches just yet.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter Climbs 2013: Dupre Descends On Denali, Progress In Pakistan

It was another busy and active weekend in the mountains for our winter mountaineers. As usual, weather dictates when they can move and patience is the name of the game. Over the past few days, one of the winter expeditions came to and end, while the others have started the process of strategically placing themselves for the challenges ahead.

The big news coming out of the weekend is that Lonnie Dupre had abandoned his third attempt at a January ascent of Denali. A few days ago he was able to climb up to High Camp at 17,200 feet (5242 meters) and he had the summit squarely in his sights. At that point it looked like he might actually have a chance of ending three years of frustration, but the weather forecast predicted that winds would pick-up, so Lonnie took a cautious "wait and see" approach. That proved to be a wise decision as the winds did indeed increase in speed, making a summit bid a very dangerous proposition.

With the winds keeping the summit out of reach, Dupre descended to his camp at 14,200 feet (4328 meters) to rest and weigh his options. The forecast in the days ahead didn't look favorable however, so he decided to pull the plug and head home. He will be descending the mountain today and if conditions allow, a plane will fly in to retrieve him.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Climbs 2013: Resting On Denali And Broad Peak

We have a few brief updates today from the ongoing winter climbs that are taking place in Alaska and Pakistan. After what seems like a slow start, the climbers are finding their strides at last and we'll soon know if they have a legitimate chance of topping out on their respective mountains this year.

On Denali, Lonnie Dupre took the opportunity to rest today as he acclimatizes to the higher altitudes. He's built himself a secure camp at 14, 200 feet (4328 meters) and has remained safe and sound inside his snow cave. Clear skies have allowed him to charge his electronic devices as well, as he gets ready for the next stage of the climb. Weather permitting, he'll start to move up to 16,000 feet (4876 meters) as early as tomorrow, as he watches the forecasts and the clock to see if he can complete the expedition before the end of the month.

The Italian-French team that is planning an ascent of Nanga Parbat continues their acclimatization on Ganalo. They're hoping to take one more rotation on that mountain, and possibly for the summit, before heading over to their ultimate prize. They report dicey weather in the region at the moment, although they have stashed gear higher up the peak and they have planned another push beginning today, when conditions were expected to improve.

There has been no updates on the progress of the Hungarian-American squad on NP. Last we heard they had retreated back to Base Camp after lousy weather turned them around on an acclimatization rotation. They are also still waiting for their generator to arrive, which will hopefully improve communication and make for a more comfortable time in BC.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter Climbs 2013: Slow Progress For Everyone

Over the past few days it has been slow going on nearly every major winter climb. That is to be expected at this time of the year of course, as patience is perhaps the most important attribute for those who want to be successful in the coldest and harshest of seasons. With two months of winter left on the calendar however, there is still plenty of time for most to be successful on their respective peaks.

One climber who doesn't have the luxury of time however is Lonnie Dupre. That is because he has set a goal to climb Denali in January, which leaves him with just ten days to go before his deadline falls for another year. 

When we last checked in, he was stuck at 9700 feet (2956 meters) waiting out another snow storm, although he did report that temperatures were warmer than they have been in the past. Fortunately, conditions have improved on the mountain and as of this morning, the skies are clear. That has allowed Dupre to move up the slope and stash some gear at higher altitudes. According to his latest report, Lonnie has now climbed up to 13,600 ft (4145 meters) after 11 long hours yesterday. Today he hopes to proceed up to 14,200 ft (4328 meters) where he'll rest, assess his health and the weather forecast, and decide where to go next. While weather conditions overall are improved, he is still battling deep snow along his route.

Jumping over to the Himalaya, the Polish team that has its sights set on Broad Peak is still making its way into Base Camp. After a long journey overland to Skardu, they've made their way to Askole, where they've begun trekking to the Godwin-Austen Glacier, which they hope to reach tomorrow. From there, it shouldn't be long before they've established camp and begin their acclimatization rotations. At the moment, they report cold, but improving conditions across the region.