Text by Tetsuhiko Endo
The Himalaya were bustling this week with climbers of all nationalities moving out of base camps in order to establish their high camps. On Everest, this mean crossing the imposing Khumbu Icefall, which is always done with a series of wobbling ladders employed as makeshift bridges over worryingly deep crevasses. You can see just how fun it is by taking a look at the First Ascent team’s video updates.
The few climbers who stuck to their guns and waited for permits to climb the north side of Everest have finally been rewarded for their patience. As their friends struggle through the icefall, climbers like Lee Farmer and Nobukazu Kuriki are more focused on the trains, planes, and automobiles that will get them into base camp. As a measure of good faith, the Chinese government is fixing the ropes—hey it’s the least they could do (theadventureblog.blogspot.com).
Over on Kangchenjunga, Edurne Pasabán told Explorersweb that the weather varies between scorching sun and pouring rain. Their porters are exhausted and she has been running a fever for three days. At least there aren’t any wobbly ladders involved (mounteverest.net).
The weather might be bad on Kangchenjunga, but misery loves company and Edurne has plenty of that. The same cannot be said for the indomitable Joao García, who is currently in the process of lugging goods from Camp 2 to Camp 3 on Manaslu. According to Explorersweb, his two partners have been forced to go home due to work obligations.
The North Pole is generally considered a pretty lonely place, but that has not been the case for John Huston and Tyler Fish, who actually managed to bump into the team of Keith Heger and Sebastian Copeland…So…you guys come here often? Aside from impromptu meetings on the ice, Huston and Fish have passed the week with good weather, a bit of sewing, trivia games, their first successful swim, and, of course, 7,600 calories a day of pemmican stew, ramen noodles, truffles, and freeze-dried cheddar cheese (forwardexpeditions.com/blog.html).
One man who could probably use a good friend and a bit of freeze dried cheese at the moment is Pen Hadow, whose Caitlin Ice Survey team have permanently lost the use of a radar device used to measure ice thickness and a satellite communications unit that is supposed to relay the data they are collecting. The BBC reports that cold temperatures at the start of the expedition were to blame. However, if history has taught the world anything, it’s that you can’t keep a good Scot down. Hadow and co. have decided to help compensate for their loss in technology by rolling up their sleeves and doing thins the old fashioned way: manually drilling more holes in the ice in order to take measurement.
Anyone who treks in northen latitudes can tell you that tenacity and will are a big part of success. It cannot be doubted that Ben Thackwray and Ian Couch have plenty of both. Unfortunately, they were still forced to abandon their Greenland speed attempt due to inclement weather and frostbite (thepoles.com).
- Nat Geo Expeditions