Text by Tetsuhiko Endo
After a cyclone slammed Mount Everest, we wondered if the spring climbing action had all but finished. Not the case. While most people did evacuate Everest like a house on fire, mounteverest.net reports that five people are left, including Canadian Gabriel Filippi, who is leading the four loneliest people in the Himalaya on the last summit push of the season on the north face. No word on their progress, but even the Sherpa reportedly refused to go. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, a crew of 8,000-meter-freaks has hopped across the boarder into the embattled Karakoram of Pakistan. For the next couple of weeks they will be dodging Taliban insurgents (check out our article about the situation in “Three Cups of Trouble” in the June/July issue of ADVENTURE) and acclimatizing for summit attempts on mountains, like Faichan Kangri (Broad Peak), the Gasherbrums, Nanga Parbat, and a little lump called K2.
The French are the first in, with Eli Revol, Ludo Giambasi, and Antoine Giraud already acclimatizing at Faichan Kangri base camp (mounteverest.net).
Meanwhile Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is in flying to Pakistan this week to attempt K2, where she will be joined on the mountain by Fabrizio Zangrilli, who is leading the first commercial K2 expedition of its kind. No word on their preparation just yet, but you can check out the team on their website and follow their live dispatches starting June 10th.
Of course, not everyone goes straight to Pakistan from Nepal. Portuguese climber João Garcia elected to spend a couple of weeks in his native Lisbon before heading back to the mountains, but is worried about his blood thinning out at lower altitudes.The solution? He is sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber he had installed in his home.
Finally, the dark horse in the race to become the first woman atop all 8000ers, South Korean Oh Eun-sun is heading to Pakistan to attempt Gasherbrum I and Nanga Parbat. If she summits both, she will snatch the title away from Kaltenbrunner and Spaniard Edurne Pasabán. The only problem…there are murmurs in the climbing world that she is being a wee bit liberal with her peak counting. Stay tuned for more info as the women strive for all 14.
As people were running around the highest parts of the world on May 31st, a robot called Nereus reached the deepest part of the world at a lesser known but equally intimidating chasm called the Challenger Deep, part of the Marianas trench near Japan. The BBC reports that during its dive, the Nereus recorded a depth of 10,911 meters, which is 2,063 meters deeper then Mount Everest is tall (bbc.co.uk).
Some six miles higher than the Marianas trench in the Indian Ocean, Sarah Outen spent the week sweating it out over her oars in the Indian Ocean. According to her blog, she’s getting a bit fed up with all the bagged food and could really used a bit of parmesan cheese. On the up side, the weather has been great this week and she is moving right along. Just last Wednesday, she celebrated with a bottle of bubbly.
Keeping up with the indomitable British obsession to cross big expanses of water, Jonathan Bradshaw of Bristol, England, announced this week that he will attempt to swim across the Atlantic next summer, reports thisisbristol.co.uk. The feat (from New York to London) has only been accomplished by one other person–Frenchman Benoit Lecomte in 1998.