Valandre Blog

Mixed feelings from Everest BC

Generally this year was bad on the south side of Everest. Abnormally high temperatures in badging sunlight, radiated the Khumbu icefall and the Lhotse wall, increasing the risk of avalanches. The icefall, was and is unstable and with a very high risk as it was moving from day to day.

 Khumbu Icefall......this years tricky part on Everest
Khumbu Icefall……this years tricky part on Everest

Russel Brice (Himalayanexperience.com) decided to “pull the plug” and dismantled his BC, which once again triggered off a new controversy in the community. Russ has already tasted the sweet taste of “fatal controversy”, when David Sharp died on the Tibet side of Everest May 27th 2006. Read more about the reasons to pull the plug.

Russel is an experienced old timer now, and his judgment stands clear. If there are a major collaps in the Kumbu icefall, not only can this have fatal consequences in the BC, but it can also block the “bottled climbers”, descending from a summit attempt.

As of yesterday May 21, 3 climbers were reported dead on Everest, and two other were reported missing (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18142900). But the season is not over yet!

 Chilian climbers heading for the South Col May 17th.
Chilian climbers heading for the South Col May 17th.

Ralf Dujmovits did try his “topless” Everest attempt. Climbing without oxygen, solo from CIII, and carrying all his personal gear up to the South Col just the way it should be done. Suisse speed climber Uli  Steck, was in Ralf’s tracks and arrived later at the South Col. Together they would go for the summit next day (May 18th).

 A "Burned out" Ralf at the South Col of Everest
A “Burned out” Ralf at the South Col of Everest

During the night, Ralf realized that he had burned out, and with his experience of 27 8000, he knew his new heading: Down. It’s obvious that Ralf had not completely recovered from the sickness of sinusitis during the climb…..so a burn out at the South Col is not surprising. Uli Steck however, summited topless the 18th.

During the decent, Ralf crossed the organized expeditions heading for the summit. “Climbers” bottled up in CII, heading to become the first boy on the block, to climb Everest.

 Climbing Everest? No comments.
Climbing Everest? No comments.

Summit window is reported open from the 24 to 27 May. And the Khumbu Icefall is roasting in the sun…

 The size of a summit is not bigger than a postal stamp.
Pay $75.000 and get your place in the line!

Good luck!

http://www.ralf-dujmovits.de

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The day that K2 surrendered to Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

The day that K2 surrendered to Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

K2 is, as we all know, a mountain that has haunted climbers since the first expedition attempts. “The savage mountain”, has always resisted as if no man was allowed to enter it’s domain. Human tragedy is deeply rooted in it’s image, forcing climbers to take every little event into serious consideration: You just do not fool around with the BIG SCARY BROWNIE.

In the April issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 2012, a brilliant article describes the International Amical Alpin climb of this big pile of rock and ice. Rightly they based the assent from the North side (North pillar), properly offering more stable conditions.

Naturally one could look at this climb, as the last in the line of Gerlindes 14 non ox climbs. It is, but it’s also a bit more: This climb represent a human manifestation of outmost will, determination, faith and profound trust. Confronted by this, K2 opened up the closed door and offered 15min to Gerlinde alone on top. No wind, Sun down light from a clear blue sky and surrounded below by all the 8000 she had formerly climbed in the area. An alpine blessing on her final 8000.

READ THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC K2 ARTICLE HERE

Once again K2 has spoken……but this time using a sweet language.

 

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Climbing in the Val Vierge zone of the Calanques

Climbing in the Val Vierge zone of the Calanques

Val Vierge – Escalade dans les Calanques

Val Vierge – rock climbing in the Calanques in South France. Another amazing film made by Paul Régnier who shows the different aspects of climbing in this range. For decades climbers from Marseille have measured their talents on these cliffs . The GIP (The Public Interest Group) who’s aim is to prepare the future National Park of the Calanques, have decided to create a major integrated reserved zone, forbidden for climbing. Once again our space is restrained, by decisions by deciders who do not really know the Calanques. The climbers pronounced IN FAVOUR of the creation of a National Park, and they have even initiated it. But if they ARE in favor of the protection of this natural environment, they are not willing to accept displaced prohibitions, which do not serve the major interest of the Calanques.

 

Val Vierge – Escalade dans les Calanques. Un autre film intéressant de Paul Régnier qui nous nous montre différents aspects de l’escalade dans ce massif. Depuis des décennies, les grimpeurs marseillais ont mesurés leur talent sur ces falaises. Le GIP (groupement d’intérêt public) dont le but est de préparer le futur parc national des calanques, a décidé la création de vastes zones de réserves intégrales interdites à l’escalade. Une fois de plus notre espace se restreint, par la décision de décideurs qui ne connaissent pas véritablement les calanques. Les grimpeurs se sont prononcés POUR la création d’un parc national. Ils en sont même à l’initiative. Mais si ils veulent la sauvegarde de cet espace naturel, ils ne se soumettent pas à des interdictions déplacées et qui ne répondent pas aux enjeux majeurs des calanques.

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The Directissime of the Concave

The Directissime of the Concave

High altitude – no ox – in alpine style, is our passion, but in alpinism you find an ocean of different passionate directions. In the south of France (Marseille region), local climbers “train” in the Calanques. And to these climbers, the Calanques natually have it’s Eiger Nordwand, or El Cap: “La directissime de la Concave”. This unique line, offers a 35m (115ft) overhang out of 90m (295ft) with a total height of 135m (443ft). This route/line was opened in 1966 by G Livanos and M Vaucher. French cotations: L1:IV; L2: A2, L3: A2; L4: A1; L5: A1/IV+. The pitons are the original from 1966….a bit rusty….but that’s how it is!

Oktober 6th 2011 French climbers Pierre-Olivier Blanc and Paul Regnier, took an early start, and climbed this mystical route, beading in the beautiful autumn sun light of the Calanques in South France. Paul Regnier shot and mixed the video.

Continue reading “The Directissime of the Concave” »

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Billi Bierling Germany summits Manaslu. Her first without O2 and her first with Valandre!

Billi Bierling summits Manaslu. Her first without O2, and her first with Valandre

Billi Bierling - Germany

 

“Billli, where exactly are you?” Russell called me over the radio. “I am about 10 minutes away from the real summit,” I replied from the point everyone calls the “rock tower”. I had been climbing for exactly eight hours and as Russell was determined that I should make it back down to Camp II after the summit, he wanted me to hurry up. Most of my climbing mates, who had been using supplementary oxygen, had already made it back down to Camp IV, where they were re-hydrating and getting ready to descend to the safer altitudes of Camp II. “I am already on my way down to base camp,” I heard Herbert say over the radio, who probably could not wait to get some proper food after hardly having eaten for three days.

 

Continue reading “Billi Bierling Germany summits Manaslu. Her first without O2 and her first with Valandre!” »

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