(Tina Sjogren/edit Apr 03, And it’s up! The 2012 list of Himalaya expeditions kicks off in a brand new shape at ExplorersWeb.
Expeditions are filed as they arrive, for the entire year, and all areas. You can personalize a world of projects to your keen, see what has been going on, and get a preview of upcoming events. Gray means the expedition is over, light green it’s brewing, green it’s on!
Click members for details and find individual websites for each (when available). The system connects to a database making updates/changes much easier than before, and you’ve already noticed expedition dispatches coming up in the feeds – more about that in a later story for now it’s time for a closer look at Himalaya where a pretty cool spring season is unfolding.
Everest – New Route attempt by Russia
At least 3 expeditions are going for new or rarely climbed routes on Everest this season.
A Russian team led by Alexander Abramov will try a new route/variation from Tibet. The start goes up Changtze north Ridge, down to North Col and then follow the standard North Col route to the summit (see map). The line might be the route with highest average altitude on Everest so far.
Everest – American History
On May 1st 1963 John F Kennedy was president and Jim Whittaker became the first American to reach the summit of Everest.
Granted the peak had already been summited – by a Nepali Sherpa, a sheep herder* from New Zealand and a couple of Chinese outfits – but this game was different.
(*Ed correction: bee keeper, not a sheep herder.)
The Russians had beat America to Space (this was still another 6 years to the Moon) but they hadn’t topped out big E so the National Geographic expedition was lots more important than it seems today.
Whittaker summited through the South Col route with an Indian climber. Three weeks later Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld summited through a new route over the West Ridge and onto the North Face (Hornbein Coloir). Hours later Barry Bishop and Lute Jerstad summited as well, like Whittaker before them over the traditional South Col route.
49 years later National Geographic is sponsoring Conrad Anker and Cory Richard for an alpine style ascent of the West Ridge, not summited in over 20 years.
On his previous Everest history expedition, recent Poulet d’Or nominee Conrad Anker was involved in a controversy here and here, while Cory Richard recently became known to ExWeb readers as the first Americanto climb an 8000er during winter.
Meanwhile Eddie Bauer and North Face are supporting a team that will try the West Ridge and the South Col simultaneously as the original American expedition did. Barry Bishop’s son Brent will climb from South Col and Jim Whittaker’s son will hopefully summit over the West Ridge.
Everest – Speed and no Oxygen
Also on Everest, American Chad Kellogg is back for a new speed attempt BC – summit – BC w/o supplementary oz.
63 years old Californian Bill Burke will try a double Everest summit: from South and then from North in one season.
Loveraj Dharmashaktu will try to become the first Indian to summit Everest without supplementary oxygen.
Action is building on other peaks as well. Some highlights:
Following 46 Himalayan expeditions Spanish iron-man senior Carlos Soria, 73, is practically Nepali citizen. Currently on Annapurna, after 10 main 8000ers summited (plus Shisha Central), “I don’t care about my records,” Soria says, “but I do care to set up an example for young people.” The message? “Work hard, live healthy, and you’ll be able to do what you want.”
Bowie and Steck are attempting Annapurna North Face and plan a major double on Everest after that. Other great climbers on the feared peak: Waldemar Niclevicz and Tunc Fidik.
Nives and Romano are back in Himalaya at last (interview coming up) teaming up on Kangchenjunga with Peter Hamor and Horia Colibasanu.
Allie Pepper will try Manaslu with Dawa Sherpa; Lucille de Beaudrap is there as well.
Go discover the list for yourself and revisit it often. It will be updated by more expeditions in the following week and throughout the year.
Again, the new system allows early previews of upcoming seasons. Such as Sandy Allan, Rick Allen and Cathy O’Dowd who will attempt the 10 km Mazeno Ridge ridge on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. It includes eight 7000 metre peaks, and has never been climbed in its entirety.