Himalaya Update: News From All Over!

Things on Everest have finally calmed down, although we’re not quite done with the summit attempts just yet. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things to report, as there is still plenty of action on other Himalayan peaks.

MountEverest.net has posted another update from Everest which indicates that most teams have now left the mountain, but that there are a few still waiting to go up. The weather conditions are not great, with high winds buffeting the summit, but long range forcasts say that another weather window may open around June 4, which would allow Project Himalaya and Conrad Anker’s Altitude Everest teams to make a summit bid.

They’ll be cutting it awfully close however, as the beginning of June generally marks there return of the Monsoon season. I’ll be watching Anker’s team in particular, as you’ll recall that he and his team will be climbing in vintage Everest gear, circa the 1920’s, as they film a re-enactment of George Mallory’s climb.

Alan Arnette is reporting on his Everest 2007 page that Tim Medvez, the big lovable “biker dude” from Discovery Channel’s Everest: Beyond The Limit series broke his hand on the way to the summit last week. Apparently he tripped and fell, and knew he had injured it quite badly, but was afarid to mention it to Team Leader Russell Brice, as he feared being pulled off the mountain before he could top out. This should make for compelling television on Beyond The Limit: Season 2 or what ever the hell they are going to call it.

Staying on Everest, The Adventurist has a post on the mainstream media catching wind of the story of Usha Bista the female Nepalese climber who was left behind by her team at 27,500 feet, and was found and rescued by another team. As many of us feared, the mainstream press decided to run with the story about an “abandoned climber” and not so much about the valient rescue mission to bring her down, which Candian climber Meagan McGrath has been honored for.

As I mentioned earlier, not everything going on in the Himalaya is happening on Everest. Over on Annapurna, word is that Ueli Steck was hit in the head by falling rocks, and was forced off the South Face. He has now returned to BC, under his own power, and being examined. Sad news from Kangchenjunga as well, where we have received word that Spaniard Iñigo de Pineda has fallen to his death not far below the summit.

Good news for Hans Kammerlander and Karl Unterkircher, who topped out on Jasemba a 7350m peak in Nepal. The pair have attempted the mountain each of the last three years, and this is their first summit. The pair had to climb for 20 hours straight on a 2000m vertical wall to reach the top. Well done boys!

Meanwhile, as the Himalayan season winds down, The Karakorum season is just getting started. Teams are now arriving in Pakistan and preparing for their climbs, with K2 being the biggest prize of them all. The American Team led by Chris Warner has already arrived, organized and packed their supplies, and should be on their way to the mountain as you read this.

The Chinese Team for Gasherbrum I has also arrived in Pakistan, and amongst their 10 member team is Bianba Zaxi, whose primary role is to film the expedition, but says that if he feels good at BC, he may go for the summit himself. It would be his 13th 8000m peak.

As you can tell, there are plenty of other climbing adventures to report on, now that the Everest season is nearly over. A little closer to home, June means attempts on Denali as well, and we’ll be following one of those attempts quite closely.

Alan Arnette has announed his return to Everest next season, and will be climbing to raise funds and awareness to fight Alzheimer’s. His quest begins with a climb on Denali that will be used as one of his tune-ups. Good luck Alan! We’ll be following your adventure over the course of the next year!

Kraig Becker

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