Talus athlete, Hari Mix, and his crew headed to Everest Basecamp #3 for the final climatization climb. Hari and team are searching how everyday activities are affected in extreme environments. Hari left a phonecast on his last blog dated April 24th, 2013 saying that he was looking forward to the climb and would be back in five to seven days. To listen to the entire phonecast click here. We would like to say good luck to Hari and his team on his climbs and research on Everest!
Archive for the ‘mountain climbing’ Category
It’s getting to be that time of year again and we couldn’t be more stoked about it. The leaves are turning, the days are getting shorter and every day we are getting that much closer to winter.
ColdAvenger athletes are getting their gear ready and buttoning up for their winter adventures. We decided to play a little catch up and see what our athletes have been up to this summer and see what their upcoming plans are for winter.
Felicity Aston has been busy as a bee writing her book about her last expedition. She spent the summer in Iceland to focus on her writing and is beginning her UK-wide speaking tour this Autumn to talk about her experiences in Antarctica. You can check out her speaking schedule here.
Marek Klonowski will be going back to Nanga Parbat for a third and hopeful final attempt to become the first team to climb the mountain in winter.
Stay tuned to the blog to keep up with Talus athletes and their upcoming expeditions. We will be posting updates as quickly as we receive them from each and every one of our athletes.
“Himalaya weather can be exciting. Base camp getting kicked by wind, a kilometre plume blowing from the top, tent cities wiped out on the slopes. You’ll be hard pressed to laugh, though, if the weather catches you in the death zone. It happened to the climbers in 1996 and many times since.”
Very good advice from Explorers Web! Predicting the weather in the Himalaya is tricky business, but they also list some good resources to help keep would-be expeditioneers on top of the weather for big climbs. No surprise – it’s technical stuff.
Read Explorer’s Web full piece about it here.
ColdAvenger extreme climber Marek Klonowski has just returned from Pakistan as part of the latest effort to summit Nanga Parbat. Fate and the weather gods were not with the team this time, but they booked some serious climb time and sent in A-MAZ-ING photos of their trek.
The crew held at basecamp for nearly 45 days, waiting for a weather break that never came. Crew leaders Simone Moro and Denis Urubko made the painful decision to call off the summit attempt. However, the drive to see the peak never fades, and Merek will be back next year.
Looks like it was cold up there…. Please visit this Picasa page to see more absolutely stunning photos of the expedition.
Marek Klanowski is a badass. Among many things, he bicycled his way through the Russian Caucuses, culminating in a climb of Mt Elbrus (by number of deaths, Elbrus is one of the World’s deadliest mountains.) Marek Klonowski is a man of action and of many talents. Traveling, taking still images and shooting films is his passion, and climbing mountains, hitchhiking, cycling long distances and sailing is his way of traveling. Marek climbed in the Tatra Mountains, in the Dolomites in Italy, in the Kackar Mountains in Turkey, in the Caucasus Mountains, and in Alaska (first solo Denali traverse in history – from Wonder Lade to Base Camp). He traveled solo by bicycle from Poland to the Adriatic Sea (3000 km), around the Black Sea by bicycle (6700 km), and around the Baltic Sea with a 45 kg dog on his trailer (5600 km). He raced in the Olympic class 470, sailed to Svalbard twice, and has worked on the biggest sailing ship in the world. Last year he spent in Ireland working as an engineer…
So, yeah, Marek is ColdAvenger material. This year Talus is sponsoring Marek on his attempt at a winter ascent of Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. ColdAvenger will give him the edge as he attempts this never before completed feat. Check out the video from his attempt last year.
You can visit his website. It’s in Polish, but the amazing films require no translation…
We are sponsoring the Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop in Whitefish, Montana. Join us this Saturday, October 1st, 2011 for a day of informational seminars by leading experts in the avalanche safety industry. This event will benefit any winter outdoor enthusiast. Whether you are a backcountry skier, snowboarder, snowmobiler, hiker, or any lover of wintertime adventures in the mountains, this workshop will provide you with necessary information about avalanche safety.
During the event there will be time to mingle with other backcountry enthusiasts and take a look at the vendor booths, one of which will be hosted by ColdAvenger! After the day is done the fun continues over at the Great Northern Brewing Company where prizes will be raffled and good times will be had. Registration is almost sold out. Click here to sign up!
As we move up the mountain we slowly draw closer and closer to the climbers ahead … As the temperature continues to drop I become more worried about keeping my toes from freezing. It’s a constant battle, and every time I stop to catch my breath I have to bash my right boot into the snow and wiggle my toes, trying get some life back into those numb little stumps.
It’s a scary place — to catch a crampon or lose your balance here would mean a long fall (more than1km) and certain death. It’s around this time that the morning’s exertions catch up with me and I start to feel tired. The constant effort to keep the toes of my right foot warm is physically draining. Dawa and I sit down on a rock to take a break … I finally get a chance to look back at where we have just come from, and I am lost for words at what I see. The valleys below are covered in low-level clouds. The moon is full and the sky crystal clear. One mountain stands defiant above all the others, poking through the clouds below. It is a truly majestic sight … It is during moments like these that I understand why I climb.
It’s one last step and a scramble across the rocks before I am on snow again. This last exertion leaves me out of breath, and I am hunched over trying to get it back. When I recover I look up and see it – the flat walk to the summit, a mere 30m away.
A couple of my team members have already reached the top, and it finally hits me. I am actually going to do this. This is really going to happen. I walk the last section and scream, “Summit!”
So many emotions hit me. We have just climbed the world’s third highest mountain, the toughest of them all. It’s just past 8:30 a.m., which means it took us more than 12 hours to get to the summit. Everest only took me eight hours … that gives you an indication of just how hard my night had been.
I pull out my satellite phone, which I have carried all the way to the summit. First I call my dad. I always try to call him from the summit, weather permitting. He picks up the phone and I yell into it: “Summit, summit, summit!” He is just as happy as I am, sharing in the excitement and pride of my achievement.
ExplorersWeb.com’s put together a news roundup from the 2011 expedition spring season. The roundup includes updates from the Himalayas, the North Pole, and beyond, including the World Record of Altitude in Paragliding.
From the top of Everest to over the sea: World Record of Altitude in Paragliding One couldn’t fly, the other didn’t climb – together on Everest they broke the World Record of Altitude in Paragliding. Read More…
It also included this statement about Cold Avenger.
K2 rescuer about the Cold Avenger: “Should be part of an altitude prescription” The face mask not only unlocked ExWeb stories this Everest season but could also help you summit with proper use. “I believe use of the mask is in fact most important during the early acclimatization stages for high altitude climbing,” said Eric F. Meyer, M.D (K2, 2008). Read More…
“Summit, summit, summit…” was the subject line of ColdAvenger athlete Blair Falahey’s latest e-mail. He did it! After all of the planning and preparation, Blair succeeded in his attempt to summit Kanchenjunga on May 20, 2011. At 8586 meters, it’s the world’s third highest mountain. He took some time to e-mail us with an update from base camp before continuing on to Kathmandu.
From Blair Falahey:
It is with great pleasure and enormous pride that I am happy to report that on May 20, 2011 at 8:36am I summited Kanchenjunga. I won’t go into too much detail and promise to write a dispatch in full detail once I am back in Kathmandu and the feeling returns to my numb fingers!
I will say this. It is without a doubt not only the hardest climb I have ever done in my life, but also the hardest thing I have ever attempted. Only after a 12+ hour summit push in freezing conditions did I finally set foot on Kanch’s amazingly beautiful summit. I can’t even begin to describe the views and I promise to send photos soon. Everest was fantastic, but does not even come close to Kanch in every way.
He signed off by mentioning that he is “very depleted (physically) and looking forward to a banana lassi and tandoori chicken pizza in Kathmandu.” Safe travels and congratulations Blair!
There have been some extremely intense, dangerous and exciting moments for ColdAvenger athlete, Blair Falahey, in the Himalayas. He is traveling with an expedition led by Mingma Sherpa up the south face of Kanchenjunga.
Here’s a goosebump-inducing update from Falahey on 5/9/11: “Back at Base Camp and waiting for a Summit Window.”
Quite a few of the team were planning on heading up the mountain for a few days to build camps and acclimatise higher on the mountain. I went to bed the night before still unsure of my actions. But seeing as I wake up around 5.30am everyday anyway I had plenty of chance to access the weather conditions in the morning and then decide what I wanted to do. In the end I decided to go up the mountain. And it almost turned out to be a really bad decision….
No sooner had I climbed 5-10m but I heard “AVALANCHE”. This time much louder. Again I was unroped, except this time I could hear the panic in the other climbers voices. There was nothing I could do. And I could hear it thundering down to me from the rock cliffs above. I dove into the snow in front of me and started digging myself as far down as I could. Then once I hit hard terrain I tried to anchor myself as best as I could to the side of the mountain and wait for the inevitable approaching wall of snow.
It seemed to take forever before it hit me. And fortunately with it coming from high above me and off a rocky cliff, it hit me more from on top than above. This was probably the one thing that saved me. Instead of sweeping me down the mountain. Instead I was pushed into the mountain face.
Fortunately I had not been buried deep at all. I dug myself out and pulled myself up. Shook my head and all the snow off myself. I then saw my friends anxiously looking on. I flapped my arms up and down and gave them the “crow crow” sounds that has become a running joke in our base camp. I had survived and was unscathed. But it was no time to count my blessings. I was out of there…
The weather is improving as we move into May. We need probably 3-4 days of decent weather to try make it to the summit and back safely. Right now a team of Sherpas are up on the mountain establishing camp 3 and the route to camp 4. Once they come down and rest a few days, and mother nature cooperates with some nice weather, we can give it our best shot. Until then our days are filled with eating,reading,sleeping,making fun of each other and basically killing time.
And earlier in his expedition,back on April 28th, here’s what Blair writes about the toughest climb to Camp 1 ever:
Back down in Base Camp right now after climbing to Camp 1 (6200m) yesterday. It is without a doubt the toughest climb to any Camp 1 I have ever had to do.
The problem yesterday was the wind. My god!! It blew all night. Then all morning. And then all day too. Foolishly I thought it would be a good idea to go lightweight. This would mean climbing with smaller, lighter, but less warm boots. Which would have been OK had there been no wind.
For the first two hours of the climb I had to constantly stop and shake warmth into my numb toes. Constantly I had to keep wiggling and moving my toes to keep them warm.It was a really stupid thing to do on my part. Several times I thought about turning around and calling it a day, but still I continued on. And in hindsight had I got frostbite my expedition could have been over before it even begun.
The problem was the wind. It was ferocious. It just blew and blew and blew. Sometimes when it would drop a little bit so it was actually quite warm and comfortable. But the rest of the time it was really quite unpleasant.The climbing for the first half of the climb it was moderately easy. Good snow at an angle of 30-45 degree max. The second half of the climb was a different story. Mixed rock traverses then on to loose and soft snow. Finally for the last hour or so it was blue ice.
An hour or so later I was back in Base Camp. Changed into warm dry clothes and was eating a late lunch. I am always a little nervous when I take my boots after days like yesterday. I worry about discolored toes. The first sign of frostbite. This day I was lucky.
Another awesome note: If expedition sirdar, Mingma Sherpa, successfully summits Kanchenjunga, he will be the first Sherpa to summit 14 8,000 meter peaks.
The team includes team leader Cleo Weidlich from the US and other experienced climbers from across the globe, including Falahey. Falahey climbs with his ColdAvenger mask to protect his face from frostbite and warm the air he breathes. A few years back he suffered severe frost bite to his face and now only climbs with his ColdAvenger at these altitudes to protect his sensitive skin and lungs.
Good luck team! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story….