The International Rubber Duck Team
Huey, Dewey, and Louie
Ups we almost forgot …
After the return to France of Elisabeth Revol, who was forced to retrieve and decent at 7800m just 300m below the summit of Nanga last winter, we at Valandre realized that our standard Combi suit, had never been designed to confront such brutal conditions.
We know our Combi well that has been key for many successful high altitude non ox expeditions on the 8000, but it reached it’s limit at 7800m on Nanga Parbat in the brutal winter conditions of 2015. We at Valandre was confronted by the challenge to develop the down gear solution for 2016. A simple question of showing a bit of professionalism!
So with the help of Elisabeth we started in the spring, the project of upgrading the performance of the combi, by increasing the baffle height and down load in two versions: +25% and +50%. Both versions was tested by Elisabeth on the Mt Blanc massif in the summer of 2015. Elisabeth concluded that +25% should be enough to do the trick.
Elisabeth is a MINI woman and the Small size combi used in 2015 was too big for her, so we down sized the Small into an Extra Small. And finally to maximize the head protection, we installed the “MESSERSCHMITT storm hood”, which we developed for the IG2 lightweight expedition jacket.
The C25 SUPER COMBI, was then sewed up and filled in an M size for Tomek, and an L size for Arslan. As with high altitude combi technique, the tree C25 SUPER COMBI’s were made in different colors.
Elisabeth Revol with the first C25 SUPER COMBI
A cross check was made to see if the C25 SUPER COMBI would fit into the inside volume of the SHOCKING BLUE NEO, which it did, so we produced 3 SHOCKING BLUE NEO but removed the draft collar. This bag will be used during the climb.
The team received an IG2 down jacket and a THOR NEO for BC as well.
Using the C25 SUPER COMBI eliminates the need for multiple underlayering, and the result is a super light team.
300m left…….Ok lets go!
New Year’s party is starting on Nanga Parbat 2015/16 and the first guest are arriving now.
This will be the 28th year in a row that expeditions will try to tackle the Naked Peak in winter that still stands untouched up until today. Situated in the Karakoram Mountains range in Pakistan, none has ever set foot on the top of Nanga nor K2 in winter due to several factors: Extreme cold conditions, high and strong winds and few weather windows.
This is High altitude alpinism in its purest form, nobody have ever reached these kind of altitudes in the Karakoram, and often expeditions retrieved with severe frost bites. Nobody knows if the human body can resist conditions like this……A steep into the unknown.
NANGA ON THE ROCKS
This winter 5 teams will be in Base Camp attempting to reach the summit:
1 – International Team
The International team, attempting to tackle Nanga Parbat this winter, on the Kinshofer route (classic set up with camps and fixed ropes started) started out as a strong 5 member team: Ferran Latorre and Alex Txikon from Spain, Janusz Golab from Poland, Ali Sadpara from Pakistan and finally Daniel Nardi from Italy.
Before the departure from Europe, Ferran Latorre announced that he would not join the expedition and information on the web announced the 23.12 that Janusz Golab had decides to abandon the team as well.
So The International team is now reduced to a 3 member team: Alex Txikon from Spain, Ali Sadpara from Pakistan and Daniel Nardi from Italy.
2 – Polish – Pakistani Team
A nine member team including seven climbers from Poland and two Pakistani climbers will attempt the Nanga Parbat from the Rupal Face, Schell Route in a traditional style with fixed ropes and camps.
3 – Nanga Revolution
Forth team is “Nanga Revolution” comprising Adam Bielecki (First winter ascent of Broad Peak and G1) and Jacek Czech. They will attempt Kinshofer route in alpine style.
4 – The North Face expedition team
The North Face are sending in once again, the extremely experienced Simone Moro together with Mrs Tamara Lunger who will attempt her second 8000 in winter (Manaslu 2015). The route selected is the Messner 2000, a route that has never been finished, but they plan to prepare the different camps.
5 – The rubber duck team
Mrs Elisabeth Revol (France), Tomek Mackiewicz (Poland) and Arslan Ahmed Ansari (Pakistan) will equally attempt to climb the Messner 2000 in a pure alpine style. Both Elisabeth and Tomek have several winter attempts behind them on Nanga and are extremely experienced reaching 7800m last year on Messner 2000. This is 300m below the summit and is the second highest winter height record on Nanga ever, and it is at the same time the highest point ever reached on Messner 2000. Straw hat off for the rubber duck team.
From the beginning I started mountaineering, I was strangely attracted by the art of suffering and enduring hard conditions, thus most of my expeditions have taken me to the wildest, remote parts of the world. These locations, far from the claws of human civilisation, were the places of my best adventures in which I scoured my best memories of my life. Most of these climbs or attempts have taken me to my extreme limit and I were often close to the edge. It’s just the deep nature of pushing it on hard unclimbed territory. In these remote places, big part of the challenge is managing the risk and surviving. And that’s how I feel, should be real adventure!
A freezing winter big wall climb or an unlikely alpine line when often found ourselves pushing everything to the limits, is the quintessence of climbing and mountaineering for me.
Continue reading “Leslie Fucsko” »
There are 14 8000 meter summits in the world, and 12 of them have been climbed in winters, only Nanga Parbat and K2 still stand unclimbed.
Mountaineers are attempting to climb Nanga Parbat since 1988, which makes 27 years to the date. More or less 27 expeditions have tested their limits on Nanga Parbat in winter, and none of them could reach the summit of Nanga Parbat. A lot of questions rise: what makes Nanga different from other 8000ers? Why is it still unclimbed in winter? When Mount Everest can be climbed in winter, why can’t be Nanga Parbat? Over the years, the mountaineers who tested themselves on Nanga in winter have answered these questions.
Nanga was attempted first time in winter 1988-1989 by Polish team. The team was lead by Maciej Berbeka himself, who had made several first ascents in Himalaya (Nepal). Maciej was astonished after looking at conditions on Nanga; he said everything is cruel on this mountain and conditions in Western Himalaya are way worst in winter, “blue ice, lower temperature, faster winds and less weather windows.” The highest altitude reached by Poles was 6800 meter.
Continue reading “Nanga Parbat: The Crown of Western Himalaya still stands untouched in winter” »
Odin NEO Outdoor-Magazin: Editors’ choice 2015
Valandré Odin NEO
Valandré has strengthened its already excellent reputation as high-end sleeping bag manufacturer by giving one of its bag a facelift. Despite being warmer, the Odin Neo is 160 grammes lighter than its predecessor. It weighs a mere 1,650 grammes. Sleeping bag expert Frank Wacker did not believe his eyes when he received the latest lab results: “A sleeping bag that keeps you warm in -30C in this weight category is unheard of!” Subsequent sleeping tests inside a cool house substantiate these results of –23/–31 °C (lower temperature limit). Valandré managed to come up with this masterpiece by building on its past experience of producing an even cover with enough space for the high-quality down to unfold. The hood also sets standards: the defined collar reminds of a guillotine and combines the best fit with top isolation. Furthermore, the outward-sloping foot part saves weight. “This is a masterpiece featuring top quality material and refined processing,” the sleeping bag expert concludes. Price: 789 Euro.
Top warmth-to-weight ratio: excellent isolation, elaborate construction, top material, meticulously manufactured.
Valandré Odin NEO
Le fabricant de sacs de couchage Valandré a confirmé sa réputation d’excellence en faisant un lifting de sa gamme expédition. En dépit de devenir plus chaud, l’Odin Neo s’allège de 160g par rapport à la version précédente. Il ne pèse que 1650g. L’expert en sacs de couchage Frank Wacker n’en croyait pas ses yeux quand il a reçu les derniers résultats du test en laboratoire : « un sac de couchage qui vous tient au chaud par -30°C dans cette catégorie de poids c’est du jamais vu ! ». Son test en chambre froide confirme les résultats du laboratoire de -21 / -31°C (température extrême). Valandré a réussi ce chef d’œuvre en reprenant ses classiques du préformé ; cela crée un volume uniforme permettant un gonflant optimal du duvet sur l’ensemble du sac. La capuche reprend les standards, elle est associée à une collerette garnie en forme de guillotine ; l’ensemble assure une isolation parfaite. De plus, la footbox inclinée permet gain de poids. « Nous avons ici un chef d’œuvre qui allie matériaux de qualité et construction raffinée » ; conclut l’expert. Prix 789€.
Meilleur ratio Chaleur/Poids ; excellente isolation thermique, construction élaborée, matériaux de premier choix, fabrication et qualité soignées.
Valandré Odin NEO
Durch das aktuelle Facelift festigt Valandré seinen Ruf als High-End-Daunenschlafsackprofi: Trotz gesteigerter Wärmeleistung ist der Odin Neo im Vergleich zum Vorgänger noch einmal 160 Gramm leichter. Er wiegt nun 1650 Gramm. Schlafsackexperte Frank Wacker traut kaum seinen Augen, als er die Messergebnisse aus dem Labor bekommt: »Ein Schlafsack dieser Gewichtsklasse, der bis minus 30 Grad warm hält … unglaublich!« Testschlafreihen im Kühlhaus untermauern das Laborergebnis von –23/–31 °C (untere Temperaturgrenze). Das Kunststück gelingt Valandré durch vorgeformte Stege: Sie schaffen eine gleichmäßige Hülle mit genügend Volumen, sodass sich die hochwertige Daune entfalten kann. Auch die Kapuze setzt Maßstäbe, der aufwendige Wärmekragen gleicht einer Guillotine und verbindet top Passform mit hoher Isolation. Außerdem spart das nach außen geneigte Fußteil Gewicht. »Ein Meisterwerk in bester Material- und Verarbeitungsqualität«, ergänzt der Schlafsack-Experte. Preis: 789 Euro.
top Wärme-Gewichts-Verhältnis hervorragende Isolation aufwendige Konstruktion top Materialien, penibel verarbeitet