Adventure in 60 Seconds: This Week in Exploration

Text by Tetsuhiko Endo

MOUNTAINS

Headache, heartache, and triumph in the Himalaya this week with lots of acclimatization, bad weather, and even a couple of summits. Edurne Pasabán is sitting in camp 3 on Kangchenjunga, which she says on her blog is “Bonito, pero duro” (pretty, but hard), as she gets over the headaches and shortness of breath that are par for the course (edurnepasaban.com).

The same can be said for just about everyone doing the acclimatizing rounds on Everest. The First Ascent team members who aren’t super human (the minority in a group that includes Ed Viesturs, Peter Whittaker, and Dave Hahn) are taking advantage of the down time to practice hiking with their supplemental oxygen (watch video dispatches). In between headaches and oxygen masks, they took a few moments to remember expedition member Pete Whittaker’s uncle Jim Whittaker who on this day in 1963 became the first American to summit Everest. On the newly opened north side, a lot of teams are regretting that they used the new road (built for the Beijing Olympics) to get to base camp. According to the Adventure Blog, it has allowed them to arrive so quickly that at least one team has had to descend due to theinability to acclimatize.

Over on Manaslu, bad weather forced Spaniard Carlos Pauner to turn back just 60 meters from the summit, while the Portuguese man o’war Joao Garcia pushed on and topped out a day later, along with Koreans Hong Bo-Seong, Kim Chang-Ho, and Seo Sung-Ho. Summitting later in the week was Czech Radek Jaros (mounteverest.net).

OCEANS

Things were just as difficult at the bottom of the world as they were at the top this week with three boats, Hoppipolla, Dream It Do It, and What Ever It Takes, being knocked out of the Indian Ocean Rowing Race due to wear and tear (theoceans.net). Another boat, Old Mutual Endurance and its single crew member, one gritty brit named Simon Prior, were capsized in high seas, but quickly righted themselves and remain in the race (indianoceanrowingrace09.com).

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In the South Pacific, Enric Sala and Mike Faye attended a black-tie affair with sharks (ocean.nationalgeographic.com/blog), which might sound a little dicey, but is really a walk in the park compared to getting stranded on a guano island, as they did earlier this month (ocean.nationalgeographic.com/blog).

POLES

With everyone’s favorite Midwesterners John Huston and Tyler Fish off the Arctic ice, that leaves the long-suffering Caitlin Ice Survey hunkered down in their tent awaiting a food re-supply. They are currently rationing their calories to 1,000 a day, so let’s hope those planes come soon. On the up-side, all this sitting and waiting has made for some good conversation in the tent, according to teammate Ann Daniels (news.bbc.co.uk). The optimistic navigator is currently giving some of her own rations to the guys because they spend much of the day on the ice manually drilling for ice samples to compensate for the death of the radar machine that was supposed to electronically measure the thickness of the ice.

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