Thursday, February 16, 2017

Video: Cape Town by Drone

Cape Town, and the surrounding area, is an incredibly beautiful place, and what better way to explore those landscapes than with a drone? This short clip takes to the skies to give us a bird's eye view of this spectacular section of South Africa. If you've never been there, it needs to be on your list and this will help you to understand why.

Video: Kayaking Along an Underground River

Kayaks can take us to some pretty amazing places that are often unreachable on foot. Case in point, in this video we actually go underground in Mexico to explore a cave with Rafa Ortiz and Leo Ibarra, who discover a waterway that is faster and more turbulent than they expected.

Cloud Walkers - A Documentary About Amputees Climbing Kilimanjaro – Seeks Funding

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is a bucket-list adventure for many people, and for good reason. The tallest mountain in Africa is both approachable and a great challenge, with many rewards along the way.

Recently, a team of climbers made up of amputees from San Antonio, Texas went to the mountain to try to scale it for themselves. Over the course of a year of training, and during their time on the mountain, they bonded as a group and found strength and inspiration from each other. The team made the trek to the Roof of Africa together and now their story is the subject of a new documentary called Cloud Walkers, which was filmed throughout their extraordinary journey.

But, if you know anything about filmmaking, you probably also know it takes funds to get a project off the ground and get the final product in the can so to speak. So, with that in mind, the filmmakers behind Cloud Walkers have launched an Indiegogo campaign to help make their project a reality. They hope to raise $50,000, which will mostly go to final editing, sound mixing, music licensing, and other expenses.

To get a sneak peek at what this documentary is all about, check out the video below. It gives us a taste of what this journey was about, as well as some of the amazing views and stories that were experienced along the way. To find out more, and contribute to the cause, visit the Cloud Walker's crowdfunding page.

ExWeb Interviews North Pole Skiers Ahead of the Start of the Season

Traditionally, the end of February brings the start of the Arctic Expedition season, although over the past couple of years conditions at the top of the world have prevented anyone from covering the full distance to the North Pole. Not since Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters completed that journey back in 2014 no one else been able to repeat it. As climate change impacts that part of the world, the Arctic ice gets thinner, more challenging, or completely nonexistent. This year, there are two teams who will be attempting that very difficult journey, and over the course of the past week or so, ExWeb has interviewed members of both squads. 

Last week, the site posted an interview with Sebastian Copeland, who along with Mark George, will be one of the teams heading to the North Pole this year. During their chat, Copeland discussed the logistics of skiing to the top of the world, how long they expect to be out on the ice (50+ days), how he and George trained for the upcoming expedition, and his thoughts on the record breaking warmth that has hit the Arctic recently and how it will impact their journey. 

Similarly, the ExWeb interview with Martin Murray discusses his partner as well, who in this case happens to be a dog named Sky. The canine explorer will help Murray pull a sled and will provide companionship on the long days out on the ice. He also talks about logistics, when he'll start (after February 27) and potentially end (first week of May), how long he's been planning this expedition, and how a major expedition works when you have a dog along with you. 

Both interviews are very interesting for anyone who is interested not only in North Pole expeditions, but the logistics of exploration in general. The two teams will set off at the end of February and will begin at either Ward Hunt Island or Cape Discovery in Canada. We'll of course be following these journeys closely once they get underway. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Off to Austin, Texas!

Just a quick note to regular readers to let them know that I'll be on the road the next couple of days, so updates may be a bit sparse. I'm on assignment in Austin, Texas where Yeti Coolers is opening its first retail store, which I'll be covering for a couple of different outlets. This is a bit of a homecoming for me, as I lived in Austin for nine years, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the city has changed since I moved away a few years ago.

That said, I should I have some free time to post a few stories while I'm away, although they may not be as numerous as usual. This is a short trip though. Just two days, so I'll be back on schedule again early next week, before heading out to Denver on another short trip.

We're in a bit of a calm period right now, with the spring climbing season in the Himalaya still more than a month away, and a couple of weeks until the start of the North Pole season as well. But, there are still some stories to keep an eye on, so if anything develops I'll be sure to post the news.

And to my friends back in Austin, I'll see you soon!

Video: Sliding Fire - Skiing and Snowboarding on an Active Volcano in the South Pacific

We've seen a lot of skiing and snowboarding films over the years, but none like this one. In this short documentary we travel to Vanuatu in the South Pacific where we join freeriders Xavier de le Rue, Victor De Le Rue, and Sam Smoothy as they test their skills on the side of an active volcano in a place where there is no snow. As you would expect, it turns out to be quite an adventure in a place that looks like paradise on Earth.

Gear Closet: Yaktrax Run Provides Traction on Snow and Ice

As an almost daily runner, I look forward to heading outside to get a workout in, no matter what the season is. In fact, while it is always nice to hit the road or trail in the warmer months, I also relish getting out in the winter, particularly because I know that most of my runner friends have retreated to the treadmill at the gym or in their homes. Heading out into the cold isn't all that difficult, you simply layer up and get moving, and before you know it you're plenty warm. But, the snow and ice can present an entirely different challenge, making an ordinary workout into a challenge just to stay on your feet. Thankfully, their are some lightweight, effective, and easy to use products that can help us overcome this issue as well, with the Yaktrax Run being one of the best I've personally used.

For those not familiar with Yaxtrax, the company makes a variety of product designed to help us stay on our feet in slick conditions. Their traction devices slip over your shoes, and secure themselves into place, providing a much better grip on a variety of wet and slick surfaces. Think of them as performing the same function as a set of crampons, without the long spikes.

As the name implies, the Run model was designed specifically with runners in mind. Made from high quality, durable rubber, the Yaktrax slide over your running shoes and lock into place using Velcro straps. Once properly installed, they stay in place and don't slide around or come loose, even after putting some serious miles on them. But when you no longer need them, they are also very easy to remove until the weather turns nasty again.

The Yaktrax Run provide improved grip on snow and ice thanks to the company's tried and true design. The back half of the product applies steel coils along the sole of the shoe that helps to keep runners from sliding as they plant their foot. But the front section of the Run have a more substantial rubber sole that includes tiny carbide spikes that can really dig into the ground for added stability. With these in place, you can set out on a run with confidence.

Peakery.com Relaunches with New Design, Mobile Support

Way back in 2011 I posted about a new website called Peakery.com that aimed to become an online community for climbers to share their outdoor adventures, gain information about various mountains, and plan their expeditions to summits great and small. Since that time, the site has continued to grow, and now boasts more than 11,000 members, 336,000 peaks climbed, and 117,000 summit posts. But, as is common with websites that are more than six years old, the owners knew it was time for a fresh coat of paint. They got that recently in the form of a site redesign, which brought some much needed new features, including support for mobile devices.

In a blog post announcing the new Peakery, ten of the new features are shared with members of the community, with things like now having the ability to add GPS tracks of your climbs, sharing summit routes, and getting updates on climbing news from your specific region. The site also boasts improved summit logs with more information, as well as better pages for sharing photos. You can even set challenges for yourself, and then check them off as you complete them, while also earning virtual awards for your accomplishments along the way.

But, easily the most important update to the site is that it now features responsive design that makes it accessible on more devices. Site designers say that Peakery 2.0 now has three independent designs, one for computers, another for tablets, and a third for use on a phone. The site also allows you to upload photos directly from your mobile device, get turn-by-turn directions to the trailhead, and more.

If you've been a member of Peakery.com for awhile now, these updates will probably be very welcome indeed. If you're a member that hasn't dropped by the site for some time, perhaps this will lure you back. But most of all, if you're not already a member, go ahead and sign up. You'll find a lot to love on the website, as it is a great resource for climbers everywhere.

Winter Climbs 2017: Txikon Not Done With Everest Yet!

Yesterday I reported that Spanish climber Alex Txikon and his climbing partners Nurbu and Chhepal Sherpa, had abandoned their summit bid on Everest after encountering high winds at Camp 4. At the time, the team was descending back to Base Camp, and it was unclear whether or not they would stay on the mountain or head home, as previously Txikon had said this would be the only attempt at the summit. But now, they're all safely back in BC and it is clear that the expedition is not over just yet.

Once back in Base Camp, Alex sent a Twitter message in which he says that he has not yet given up on the climb, and that he'll wait and see what the days ahead bring before leaving Everest. He also posted a detailed report of the team's summit bid, which includes insights into what they faced while above Camp 3. You may recall that the Spaniard was part of the team that made the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat last year, and he said that was much easier than what they faced on Everest. At times, he and his Sherpa companions couldn't even stand due to the high winds, and with temperatures dropping to -45ºC/-45ºF conditions were brutal. Fortunately, they all made it back down safely, although another member of the team is now going home due to injury.

According to the report, there was an avalanche on the descent that nearly wiped them off the mountain. While Alex came away mostly unscathed, Chhepal suffered a head injury and will depart for Kathmandu today. The team is now down to just five members as this war of attrition with the mountain wears on.

For now, the team will sit and wait, and watch the weather once again. Alex seems determined to give it another go despite his earlier predictions of a single summit push. Despite having to abandon the attempt on the summit, the team did climb back up to C4 and spend another night at C3, which should help their overall acclimatization. If the weather cooperates, they'll make another go of it once they are rested.

Like Alex and his team, all we do is wait for more news too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Video: Iceland Under a Full Moon

Just when you thought Iceland couldn't get any more beautiful, we catch a glimpse of it illuminated by a big, bright, full moon. Join a group of friends as they go surfing and kayaking in an environment that has to be seen to be believed. Along the way, you'll also get a sense of everything that Iceland has to offer. And chances are, you're going to want to go there yourself.

Iceland under Full Moon from O Z Z O Photography on Vimeo.

Video: Rock Climbing Norway with Magnus Midtbo (Oh! And Alex Honnold Too! Sort of!)

In this video we head to Norway to take on some of that country's big walls with talented rock climber Magnus Midtbo. As you can imagine, the scenery is pretty epic, and Magnus gets a chance to show off his skills on some amazing rock faces. But, the headline for the video also implies that Alex Honnold is along for the ride, which really isn't the case. Sure, he shows up briefly, but then is quickly gone, so don't expect to see these two men doing too much together. Still, it is a nice look at some of the challenges that Norway has to offer.

Just in Time for Valentine's Day Nat Geo Lists the 17 Most Romantic Destinations in the World

World travelers listen up! If you're looking for a place to visit with your significant other, National Geographic is here to help. Just in time for Valentine's Day (Yes, that's today fellas'!) the experts at Nat Geo have given us a list of the 17 most romantic destinations on Earth

As you can imagine, the places that made the cut for this list are all pretty spectacular for a number of reasons. Most offer amazing views, some have a fantastic mix of history and culture, and pretty much all of them have an ambience about the setting that makes them special in very unique ways. You'll recognize some of the usual suspects, but others are a bit more off the beaten path and lesser known, which gives them an allure all their own.

So which destinations earned a spot on this list? As usual, I won't spoil the fun of finding out for yourself, but some of the highlights include the French Riviera, Bruges, Belgium, and Hamilton Island in Australia. Of course, the images that accompany the description of the places are all outstanding and will only increase your desire to visit these places even more. And as usual with any far-flung destination, there should be plenty of adventure to be had along the way too.

The 17 romantic destinations were paired down from a much longer list that is part of National Geographic book The World's Most Romantic Destinations, which is filled with even more suggestions of where to go and what to see with your Valentine. Speaking for myself, quite frankly I can't think of anyone I'd rather explore the world with. 

View the entire list here

Woman Sets Record for Fastest Person to Visit Every Country on Earth

An American woman named Cassie De Pecol has set a new world record for visiting every country on Earth in the fastest time ever, completing her whirlwind adventure in just 18 months and 26 days. Over the course of that time, she managed to see 196 different nations, averaging about one new destination every three days or so.

Cassie's round-the-world journey began back in July of 2015, and while she of course wanted to sample every culture on Earth, she had other plans in mind as well. De Pecol began traveling as an ambassador for the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism, and often met with dignitaries to discuss sustainable tourism as well. She remains committed to that goal even after her recent return home, and says that she'll plant trees to help offset some of the carbon footprint from her journey. "If you say, fly from Bangalore, India, to Colombo, Sri Lanka, you end up killing one tree during that flight, the goal is to plant two trees, for regenerative tourism, not just sustainable tourism," De Pecol told CNN.

While undertaking this goal of seeing the world, Cassie flew more than 255 times, which causes some to call her a hypocrite. She recognizes that criticism however and says that she has plans to plant trees in over 50 countries as part of her sustainable tourism efforts.

De Pecol faced more than a few challenges in visiting every country on Earth. Not the least off which was her American passport. U.S. citizens are not welcome in every country – including North Korea, Syria, and Turkmenistan. But, she found creative was to gain legal entry into all of those places, adding their stamps to her passport as she went.

Her other big challenge was funding the project. When she first started planning, she estimated that it would take $198,000. She managed to save $10,000 of her own, and raised the rest of the cash she needed by gathering sponsors. In the end, she was able to complete the trip, and in record time.

While reading this story, a couple of things came to mind. First, I'm pretty sure I could travel around the world for a lot less than $198,000, so I'd like to see how she came up with that budget. The other things is that my style of travel isn't one where I'd want to knock off a country every three days. I know she had other goals in mind, and that it wasn't about going on a leisurely trip, but I certainly would have liked to have spent more time in each of those places, speed record be damned.

That said, it is pretty amazing that she managed to get into all of these places, and I'm impressed with her persistence and dedication.

Winter Climbs 2017: Is It Over on Everest?

Yesterday, I posted an update on the progress of Alex Txikon and his team, who have been attempting a rare summit of Everest during the winter months, and without supplemental oxygen no less. When last we checked in, the team's summit bid had stalled out due to high winds, and they were forced to retreat to Camp 3 to seek shelter. Now, comes word that they are descending back to Base Camp, and that the expedition may be over.

As reported in that previous story, Alex, along with Nurbu and Chhepal Sherpa had reached C4 at 7950 meters (26,082 ft). But when they got there, the discovered that the winds were so strong that they couldn't even pitch their tents, so they elected to turn around and head back down to C3 to rest. At the time, the plan had been to wait for better weather to make the final push to the top. The winds were expected to remain strong through today, but good weather was in the forecast for later in the week. But now, the forecast may have shifted and the team seems to be heading back to BC.

According to ExWeb, Alex and his companions started back down the mountain this morning with the intent of going all the way back to Base Camp. Once there, they'll weigh their options and decide what to do next. There is a good chance however that they will elect to call off any future summit bids, as when they set off on this attempt the Spanish climber indicated that this would be their final push. If that's the case, it may be just a matter of a few days before they pick up their gear and start the trek home. On the other hand, they may decide that they have enough stamina, determination, and supplies to give it another go, provided the forecast looks promising.

For now, we'll have to wait to see how things proceed. We should know more in another day or two. It has been a long winter in the Himalaya for Txikon and his team, but they have also been climbing very strong and things have looked promising. Perhaps they're not quite done yet.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Video: The Wonders of Yosemite in Winter

There is no question that Yosemite National Park is amongst the most naturally beautiful places on Earth. That's why millions of people visit it every year to take in some of the sights to be seen there. But in the winter, as temperatures drop and a blanket of snow covers the area, few people make the pilgrimage to see this incredible place. That's a shame, as it is probably even more breathtaking during this time of year. In this video, we'll go to Yosemite and see just what it is like during those winter months. I think you'll agree, it is worth the trip.

YOSEMITE WINTER WONDERS from Rudy Wilms on Vimeo.

Video: How to Make GoPro Footage Look Cinematic

I know there are a lot of Adventure Blog readers who own and use GoPro cameras to capture footage of their adventures. So when I came across this video, I thought that it was definitely worth sharing. It is a handy "how to" on ways to make the footage that you shoot look much more epic and cinematic. The GoPro cameras do a good job of shooting the action and the landscapes we visit, but there are some ways we can make those clips look a lot better. And even if you've been shooting on a GoPro for awhile, chances are you can pick up a tip or two from the video. I hope it helps!

Winter Climbs 2017: Waiting Out the Weather on Everest

A summit push is underway on Everest, where Alex Txikon and his team are attempting a winter ascent of the highest mountain on the planet. But the current ascent hasn't been an easy one, and although a weather window is still expected to open later this week, the team is currently in Camp 3 at 7400 meters (24,278 ft) waiting for an opportunity to climb higher.

Posting on Twitter, Txikon says that the team actually made it all the way up to Camp 4 at 7950 meters (26,082 ft), but because the winds were so high he, along with Nurbu Sherpa and Chhepal Sherpa, were forced to retreat. Winds in excess of 70 km/h (43 mph) made it impossible to build their tents and take shelter there, so they have dropped back down to C3 to rest and wait out the current storm. That may take another day or two, as conditions are expected to remain the same through Tuesday, meaning they could move back up to C4 by Wednesday, with a final push to the top coming on Thursday.

Alex is attempting to summit the mountain without the use of supplemental oxygen, which is hard enough during the prime climbing season in the spring, let alone in the winter. This feat has only been accomplished once in the past, so we could potentially see history in the works. Of course, there is a lot of climbing to be done yet and the weather has to cooperate, but the team is reportedly fit, in good spirits, and ready to go. They have said however, that this will be there one and only summit bid, so hopefully everything comes together to give them a legitimate chance of topping out.

We'll continue to keep an eye on Alex's progress. If the weather forecasts are true, it seems likely that he'll hold in place tomorrow as well, although if the winds do subside, the team could move up to C4 and be ready to take advantage of the anticipated weather window that is coming later in the week. I'll post more news as it comes, but for now, take a look at the video below to get an idea of what Everest is like during the winter.


Belgian Explorer wins European Adventurer of the Year

Last week, the award for European Adventurer of the Year was announced and I'm happy to say it went to someone whose expeditions we have covered many times here at The Adventure Blog. The award, which was handed out at the ISPO sports show in Munich, was given to our friend Louis-Philippe Loncke for his solo treks across some of the most challenging deserts in the world.

The award has been given out every year since 2009, and past winners have included the likes of mountaineer Simone Moro, Amazon walker Ed Stafford, high-altitude skydiver Felix Baumgartner, and mountain runner Kilian Jornet, amongst others. The awards is given to "a person for outstanding performance in the concept of adventure. The purpose of this award is to clarify the adventure as a phenomenon and highlight the human desire and motivation to implement and achieve their dreams."

Loncke embodied this concept by taking on his Three Deserts Challenge, which involved trekking solo and unassisted across the Simpson Desert in Australia, Death Valley in the U.S., and the Salt Flats of Bolivia. To do this, he carries an extremely heavy pack filled with all of the water and supplies that he needs to trek for days in environments that are hostile to life. After years of perfecting his strategies for surviving in these desert places, he has now been able to accomplish multiple long distance treks that have never been done before.

According to a press release announcing the awards, Lou-Phi has plenty of plans on where to go next. He is reportedly contemplating solo crossings of the Namib and Atacama Deserts, as well as trekking across Iceland and Antarctica too.

Congrats to Louis-Philippe on receiving this honor. It is well deserved my friend.

Antarctica 2016: Mike Horn Scheduled to Depart Antarctica Today

The long 2016 Antarctic season may finally come to an end today, as Swiss explorer Mike Horn is expected to finally regroup with his crew aboard his ship the Pangaea and leave the frozen continent at last. Weather permitting, horn and his crew will sail for the city of Hobart, Tasmania, a voyage that is expected to take about six days to complete.

As you may recall, Mike reached the Antarctic coast early last week, having completed his 5100 km (3168 mile) traverse of the continent – via the South Pole – by kite ski. That journey took 57 days to complete and except for enjoying a few meals at the Pole with some of the researchers there, he was solo the entire time.

The original plan was for the Pangaea to pick him and proceed towards Australia. But the ship suffered some issues while waiting for him to arrive, so it had to sail to Tasmania to get repairs. Now, those repairs are apparently finished, and the crew has returned to pick up Horn and his gear and move on to the next phase of his expedition, which will eventually involve sailing north to the Arctic, where he'll traverse the ice cap there, once again kite skiing to the North Pole.

Over the past week, Mike has been staying at French research station while he awaited pick-up. He admits that it has been nice to have the company of others and have plenty of food and shelter, but at times he says that he misses the solitude and challenge that comes with living in his own tent as well. The past few days have seen massive storms with 200 km/h (124 mph) winds, and those conditions actually made him wistful to be back out in the elements. Such is the make-up of an explorer who thrives on adventure and pushing himself to the limit.

Hopefully now the weather has improved enough for Horn to rejoin the crew of the Pangaea and begin sailing north. As difficult as this expedition has been at times, he's only halfway to his goal.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Video: (To)Day Dream - REI Reminds Us to Spend Some Time Outdoors

This video seems highly appropriate as we head into the weekend. It is a a short, but sweet, reminder to get outside and enjoy nature. It comes our way courtesy of REI – who obviously has a vested interest in getting us outdoors – but it is a great message nonetheless. Yes, we're all busy and have very complicated lives. But some time outdoors can help us sort through all of that. So, as the video says find an empty spot on your calendar and find an empty spot on the map. It is as simple as that.

(To)day Dream from REI on Vimeo.

Video: Mountain Biker Sets New Downhill Speed Record

Mountain biker Max Stöckl has just set a new speed record for the fastest speed downhill, breaking his own mark set back in 2011. At that time, he managed to hit 164.95 km/h (102.4 mph), but with some new science and technology, he was able to eek out just a bit more, hitting 167.6 km/h (104.14 mph) this time out. To achieve these speeds, Max flies down the side of Cerro Negro, a volcano in Nicaragua on a specially designed bike and wearing some specially designed clothing. As you'll see in the clip below, it's all rather crazy. I can't imagine going that fast on a bike. What a ride!

Video: Riding the King Kong Mountain Bike Trail in Utah

Don't have time or the weather isn't right for a mountain bike ride today? Than why not join pro rider Andreu Lacondeguy as he takes on the King Kong trail in Utah, courtesy of GoPro. Andreu recently took on this amazing trail while wearing a Hero action camera on his chest. The result is a first person view of his ride that is amazing to watch. Check it out below.

Backpacker Gives Us the Best Comfort Thru-Hiking Gear

A few days back I shared a post from Backpacker magazine that offered readers their picks for the best budget gear for making a long-distance thru-hike. Each of the items on that list were selected primarily because they are affordable, with performance being the second characteristic. Now, the editors are back with some more gear recommendations, but this time their offering options that fall into a different category – comfort.

Backpacker's picks for the best comfort thru-hiking gear includes a fantastic sleeping bag from Western Mountaineering, an incredibly comfy sleeping pad from Thermarest, and a large, quite possibly the most comfortable backpack on the market today courtesy of Osprey. You'll also find selections for the best tent, jacket, trekking poles, and even an umbrella, all of which are aimed at the hiker who doesn't mind carrying a bit of extra weight if it means he or she has some luxuries that help them to stay at home out on the trail.

Obviously this list is not for those of us who count every ounce when we're heading out on a hike. Instead, it is all about keeping your body as strong and comfortable as possible, even when hiking for miles on end day after day. If you're someone who is okay with knowing you don't have the lightest gear around, but that you'll probably enjoy your hike more as a result, this list is definitely for you.

Check out all of the items that made the cut by clicking here.

Winter Climbs 2017: Alex Txikon Launches Summit Bid on Everest Tomorrow

It has been a very busy month and a half in the Himalaya for Spanish climber Alex Txikon. He has worked extremely hard since his arrival in Everest Base Camp in early January, and now all of that hard work is about to come to a head. According to reports, Txikon will set off on his summit bid tomorrow, with an eye on topping out sometime next week.

At the moment, the weather on Everest is still a bit dicey, but that is expected to change early next week when a period of relative calm is expected to settle in across the area. To take advantage of this rare winter weather window, Alex, along with Nurbu and Cheppal Sherpa, will leave Base Camp on Saturday, Feb. 11. The following day, the trio will be joined Nuri, Pemba, and Furba Sherpa, and the entire team will progress up the mountain together.

If they are able to stick to a typical Everest schedule, they should be in Camp 4 by next Tuesday,  just as the weather window is set to appear. That would give them the opportunity to summit on Wednesday and get back down the following day. However, the current conditions may not allow them to reach C4 at 7950 meters (26,082 ft), so that schedule may be a bit too optimistic. That said, good weather conditions are expected to arrive early in the week and extend until next Saturday.

A winter summit of Everest is rare enough these days, but Alex is making an even rarer attempt by going to the top without the use of bottled oxygen. That has only been accomplished one time in the past, when Ang Rita Sherpa did it back in 1987. That summit was made on the first full day of winter however, and not in the heart of the season.

It appears that this may be the one and only summit bid however. In the article linked to above, Alex is quoted as saying, "The die is thrown, there will only be one attack on the summit." If that is accurate, than this truly is it. We'll all know how it turns out in a few short days.

Good luck to Alex and the entire team.