Himalaya Fall 2009: Gearing Up On Pumori and Ama Dablam

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There was lots of activity in the Himalaya again this weekend, as weather forecasts are predicting better weather ahead. A number of teams have seized the opportunity to rest up and to move into position to make summit bids in the next few days. Meanwhile, back in Kathmandu, some climbers prepare to go home, while others are just now arriving.

First up, we have news from Apa Sherpa, who I wrote about a few weeks back when it was announced that he would be climbing an unnamed, previously unclimbed peak in Nepal. Fall is an unusual time for Apa to be in the Himalaya, as he makes his home in Salt Lake City these days, but the 19-time Everest summitteer has joined Swiss climber Stephane Schaffter, as well as Pakistani mountaineer Adbul Karim, on this expedition none the less. The latest update from the team says that they have experienced heavy snow fall, like everyone else in the region lately, but they are expecting to launch their summit bid sometime in the next ten days. Stay tuned for more updates soon.

Meanwhile, Andrew Lock has once again updated his blog with the news that he is back in Kathmandu and preparing to go home to Australia. Andrew, who successfully climbed Shisha Pangma, claiming his final 8000 meter peak, discusses the return to the “real world”, and says that he is still quite exhausted, but happy to be getting regular warm meals again. He also touches on the end of his quest to climb the world’s biggest peaks and thanks his sponsors for helping achieve his goals. What’s next for Andrew? He says he has his next climb planned for the spring, but for now we’ll have to wait for details.

Things are starting to heat up on Pumori, where the Peak Freaks Team has now had their first blessing from Lama Geshi, which clears the way for the Sherpas to go to work on the mountain. They’ll have their Puja Ceremony in BC soon as well, and the climbers will also be allowed to begin their acclimatization process. Follow along with the team through their SPOT Messenger tracking system as they go all the way to the summit.

The Climb With Us Team is also making their way to Pumori and Sara Lingafelter, AKA Rock Climber Girl, is along for the journey and helping report back from the Himalaya. In her latest dispatch, she reports that the team has left Kathmandu and are presently trekking in the Khumbu region, which has definitely left an impression on her, thanks in no small part to the stunning beauty of the mountains.

Finally, the Field Touring Alpine Team began to gather in Kathmandu yesterday, and will be proceeding out to Ama Dablam soon. Several of the climbers are already in the Himalaya and are on one of the numerous trekking routes, already working on their acclimatization no doubt. The rest should depart Kathmandu in the next few days.

That’s it for now. We should be hearing more about summit bids in the next few days, with the weather likely being the deciding factor for many teams. Some have been out on their respective mountains for weeks now, and will be forced to give up their climbs should the poor conditions continue.

Kraig Becker

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