First up, in the Himalaya, teams are spreading out to their respective mountains, and ExWeb says that “Juniper burns bright all over Nepal’s 8000ers and China’s Cho Oyu”, indicating that the Puja ceremonies are in full swing, granting the teams permission to begin their climb and wishing them a safe journey on the mountain. Some of the climbers went straight to work after the Puja as well, as ExWeb reports that at least one team has already climbed to 5000m on Annapurna to establish camp and begin the acclimatization process.
Meanwhile, extreme skier Fredrick Eriksson has reached Kathmandu and is now en route to Kangchenjunga where he, along with partner Jörgen Aamot, will attempt the first complete ski descent of that mountain. They intend to climb in alpine style over the course of a few days before putting the planks on their feet. Frederick has already skied three other 8000m peaks, but has the ambitious plan of knocking off the three highest mountains in the world in succession. He’ll begin now with Kangchenjunga, then move to K2 next summer, and finally it’ll be Everest in the Fall of 2010.
Over on Manaslu, there has been the rekindling of a friendship. Edurne Pasaban is there, pursuing her quest of becoming the first woman to finish the 8000m peaks, and she bumped into Juanito Oiarzabal, with whom she was once a close friend and climbing partner. There had been a bit of a falling out, especially after Juanito was left off a climbing team that Edurne led, but it seems the two have patched things up, and have buried the hatchet. ExWeb has more details on the story, but it’s good to see the two resuming their friendship. The climbing community on these big mountains is quite small, and soured relationships can make for tense base camps.
Also on Manslu, the Serbian team there has expressed concerns with overcrowding in C1 which could lead to problems when summit bids begin in a few weeks time. Cho Oyu may have crowds of their own it seems, as it is now reported that a team of Italians has arrived in ABC, where an American and Korean team was already at work. They’ll all be joined soon by Spanish team as well.
Finally, back to the Karakorum and Trango Towers, where the Free Dream Team has managed to reach the Shoulder on Nameless Tower. Unfortunately, they’ve had to turn back at that point, as poor weather has once again hit the region, and it’ll be at least three days before they can make another go at the top. They now have camp established at the Sun Terrace, on the Shoulder, and hope to resume climbing from that point soon. Good luck team!
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