Did they fudge on Everest? Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod were celebrated in their home country for being the first Indian couple who, on 23 May, had summited Mount Everest. Now there is considerable doubt that the two 30-year-olds really reached the highest point. The summit picture of Tarakeshwari Rathod that the two Indians submitted to the Nepalese Tourism Ministry to receive their Everest certificated, obviously turned out to be a forgery. Apparently by using an image editing software, the face of the Indian woman was copied to the summit picture of her compatriot Satyarup Siddhanta.
Date30. June 2016 | 14:59
TagsDinesh Rathod, Fälschung, Forgery, Himalayan Times, Mount Everest, Nepal, Nepalese Tourism Ministry, Satyarup Siddhanta, Summit picture, Tarakeshwari Rathod
The seven-thousander Gasherbrum VI in the Karakoram in Pakistan remains unclimbed. 54-year-old Ralf Dujmovits, Germany’s most successful high-altitude climber, and 47-year-old Canadian Nancy Hansen abandoned their attempt to first climb the 6,973-meter-high mountain (other elevation: 7,004 meters) in the Karakoram. They turned around at an altitude of 6,400 meters. “We did our best,” Ralf tells me via satellite phone. “Nancy fought in the slabs like a bear. It just was not meant to be. Finally we don’t want to commit suicide.”
Date29. June 2016 | 17:13
You have a visa for Pakistan, a climbing permit for an eight-thousander, you have organized everything. You travel to Islamabad and at the airport you learn that you are a persona non grata and have to leave the country. That’s exactly what happened to the Australian-New Zealand climber Chris Jensen Burke (she has both citizenships) and the Nepalese Sherpa Lakpa Sherpa. “The reasons why are stranger than fiction and I won’t put the detail here,” Chris wrote in her blog. Obviously she fears to risk alienating the Pakistani authorities if she is quite clear.
Date29. June 2016 | 8:59
TagsAlpine Club of Pakistan, Broad Peak, Chris Jensen Burke, Deportation, K 2, Lakpa Sherpa, Mike Horn, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan, Permit, Visa
“It was a good season,” Nishma Khadgi writes to me. She is responsible for marketing at Asian Trekking, the leading expedition operator in Nepal. “Things are largely normalized and morale of climbers and sherpas are positive which make us optimistic for the future seasons.” According to the Nepalese Tourism Ministry, this spring 456 climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest from the south side of the mountain, 199 were climbers from abroad. The official figures from the north side are still not available.
Nepalese Mingma Gyalje Sherpa and Swiss Kari Kobler are two other expedition leaders who have responded to my request to tell me their personal record of this spring’s Everest season. Mingma was on the south side, Kari on the north side. Both are now staying in Pakistan, where they lead expeditions to K 2, the second highest mountain on Earth. And they have another thing in common: Both expedition leaders scaled themselves Mount Everest in May.
Date21. June 2016 | 11:59
TagsDreamers Destination, Kari Kobler, Kobler & Partner, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Mount Everest, Nepal, Spring season, Tibet
“Really annoying that this happened to me at the very beginning!” Ralf Dujmovits, Germany’s most successful high altitude climber, is upset that he has first suffered from diarrhea and then from a bad cold while trekking on the Baltoro Glacier. “Meanwhile I feel better, but I realize that I still lack power,” Ralf tells me, when I reach him on satellite phone during an exploration trip. The 54-year-old and his girlfriend, the 47-year-old Canadian climber Nancy Hansen, traveled to the Karakoram in order to try first ascents of two still unclimbed mountains: first Gasherbrum VI (the reported altitude varies between 6,973 and 7,004 meters), then, not far away, Praqpa Ri (different elevation data too: 7,134 or 7,152 meters). The two climbers have pitched up their Base Camp at the foot of Gasherbrum VI.
Ralf, how have you experienced Pakistan so far? The country is still said to be a risk area.
Date17. June 2016 | 14:49
TagsBaltoro Glacier, Gasherbrum VI, K 2, Karakoram, Karakorum, Nancy Hansen, Pakistan, Parqpa Ri, Ralf Dujmovits
If I were a road planner, I would say: This smells like traffic jam. More than 100 climbers from eight expeditions have signed this summer for K 2, with a height of 8,611 meters the second highest mountain on earth. The Base Camp at the foot of the “King of the Eight-thousanders” could become crowded, as well as the normal route on the mountain. Even the team of the Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks consists of 44 (!) climbers.
Date16. June 2016 | 17:02
TagsAccident in 2008, Chogori, Expeditions, K 2, Karakoram, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, record, Traffic jam
The summer season in the Karakorum has not even really kicked off, but the first death is already reported. Italian Leonardo Comelli lost his life on Thursday while making a ski descent from the 6,096-meter-high Laila Peak, said Karrar Haideri, spokesman of the Alpine Club of Pakistan. At his first attempt to ski down Laila Peak, Comelli crossed his skis, lost his balance and fell 400 meters down rugged terrain to his death. According to Haideri’s words, the other three team members were able to retrieve the body. Comelli came from the small town of Muggia located in the province of Trieste. With 16 years he started rock climbing. Later he made his mark as an ice climber, mountain skier and alpine photographer.
Date12. June 2016 | 13:10
Before the season, actually all agreed: Commercial climbing on Everest would hardly cope with another year with accidents and without summit successes. It turned out differently. More than 400 ascents via the Nepalese south side of Everest, more than 100 on the north side, five deaths in the summit area. Everything back to normal? Any problems to point out? I’ve asked some expedition operators, who were on Everest this spring. The first three have already replied: Phil Crampton, Adrian Ballinger and Russell Brice. There are some coincidences. But read for yourself!
Date10. June 2016 | 13:56
TagsAdrian Ballinger, Alpenglow, Altitude Junkies, commercial expeditions, Himalayan Experience, Local operators, Mount Everest, Phil Crampton, Russell Brice
Happiness can not be planned, but to a certain extent the presuppositions. “I reached the summit, and I and my Sherpa Son Dorjee had it for us,” Andreas Friedrich, who, on 13 May, was the first German this spring season on the top of Mount Everest, tells me. “It was an incredible luxury to stand alone up there. I was very lucky.” He owes it to the foresight of his experienced expedition leader Russell Brice, says Andreas. The old stager from New Zealand, head of the operator Himalayan Experience, had stayed with his group at Base Camp, when almost all of the teams who planned their summit attempt for the days around 20 May had flown by helicopter to lower regions to recover in “thicker” air. “So we had an advantage of a few days and reached the summit as the first team of a commercial operator,” says Friedrich.
Date7. June 2016 | 10:14
TagsAndreas Friedrich, Emergency oxygen, Fatalities, Mount Everest, Russell Brice, Seven Summit Treks
He has a written proof. The China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) certificated that Thomas Laemmle reached the summit of Mount Everest without bottled oxygen on 23 May. As reported before, the German was among a handful of climbers who made it to the highest point at 8,850 meters without breathing mask this spring. “Finally, I took four breaths per step,” Thomas writes to me from Kathmandu, where he is waiting for the flight home. “But I was not at my limit. I was able to enjoy the climb, because it was almost windless and relatively warm. Unfortunately, the summit was wrapped in a cloud.”
Date1. June 2016 | 15:33
TagsBottled oxygen, Charly Gabl, Cho Oyu, Kilimanjaro, Mount Everest, Second Step, Thomas Laemmle, Tibet, Traffic jam