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Category: Climbing (Page 1 of 3)

Mark Horrell has 10 facts about Everest summits and death rates

The excellent Mark Horrell looks at recent scientific research on success and death rates on the world’s highest mountain »

Once a year (except this year, obviously), there is an Everest feeding frenzy as traditional and social media sink their teeth into the latest Everest season, producing an avalanche of opinion about how overcrowded and easy Everest is to climb these days.

Barring a few lone voices, such as the excellent Alan Arnette whose annual Everest coverage has become the unrivalled source of contemporary Everest history and commentary, rarely does anyone delve into the data to try to connect opinion with reality.

Which is why I was very excited to see a paper entitled Mountaineers on Mount Everest: Effects of age, sex, experience, and crowding on rates of success and death published on the open-access scientific journal PLOS ONE last week. …

Here are some of the things we now understand better »

  1. Summit success is becoming more likely
  2. Women are more likely to summit and less likely to die
  3. Success rates plummet after age 40
  4. Previous experience at high altitude counts
  5. Experience matters less now than it used to
  6. Everest is becoming safer

Climb higher into the Mark Horrel’s post.

Video » Were Sandy Irvine and George Mallory the first to summit Everest in 1924? » 12 year old Archie Price Siddiqui looks at the evidence

This short video was produced and presented by Archie Price Siddiqui for a school project.

Officially speaking, the first successful Everest climbers were Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

Archie had a some help from Terry Abraham, the Mountain Heritage Trust, the BMC, the Alpine Club, Leo Houlding, Julie Summers and Dave Hahn (US Mountain Guide, journalist & Lecturer).

Filmed by Terry Abraham.

Film » On The Verge in British Columbia

As the last stands of old-growth trees come under threat of logging, climbers in Powell River, British Columbia face an uncertain future of the place that has come to define their lives and legacies.

Presented by Arc’teryx, June 2020

Confronted with the decision to fight for these last ancient trees and potentially lose access or look away as the valley is stripped for timber, On The Verge is a snapshot of outdoors culture in British Columbia. The way we reconcile industries that give us access to the wilderness with the destruction they cause. The desire to protect our backyard but keep it for ourselves at the same time. The importance of these places to the people who have shaped them and been shaped by them in return.

Film » Frozen Mind

Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival »

Together with his old friend Pierre Hourticq, snowboarder Victor de le Rue tries to write a new story in the iconic mountains near Chamonix. Frozen Mind is not just a freeride lm, it is a story of friendship and a journey of discovery as the two men take unique paths in order to conquer the same objectives.

(France, 2018, 33 min)
Directors: Antoine Frioux, Maxime Moulin
Producers: Antoine Frioux, Victor De Le Rue
Production Company: Ivresse Films

Red Bull via YouTube »

In Frozen Mind, the pro snowboarder Victor de Le Rue is testing the limits of what is possible and challenges himself against unforgiving, ice-covered slopes in Chamonix, France.

Chamonix is one of the most prestigious places for mountaineers in the world. Now these dramatic mountains lure more and more skiers and snowboarders to ride the steep, unforgiving faces and it is in Chamonix that we will discover the adventures and evolution of Victor de Le Rue.

It is being together with his old friend Pierre Hourticq, mountain guide that Victor will try to write a new story in the iconic mountains of the Mont Blanc Massif, riding extreme slopes of more than 45° that also have extreme consequences. Frozen Mind is not just a film based on snowboard/ski performance. It is above all a story of friendship and a journey of discovery as the two men take unique paths in order to conquer the same objectives.

Video » Breathtaking – K2 – The World’s Most Dangerous Mountain

American alpinist Adrian Ballinger climbed K2, the “Savage Mountain” in 2019, reaching the summit of the second tallest mountain in the world without supplemental oxygen.

Via YouTube »

“K2 is a savage mountain that tries to kill you.” That is how climber George Bell described the infamous peak after the first American expedition in 1953–forever giving the mountain its nickname–The Savage Mountain. Sixty-six years later, Eddie Bauer mountain guides Adrian Ballinger and Carla Perez aim to summit the 8611-meter peak and join a community of explorers fewer in number than those who have been to outer space. Even more incredible, they both will attempt the feat without the use of supplemental oxygen. Every step of the way the team faces hazardous conditions, terrifying setbacks, and crushing misfortunes. But as Ballinger puts it, “I’ll go until the mountain tells me I can’t go anymore.”

The commercialization of Mount Everest

The crowds climbing Everest are spoiling one another’s views and polluting the region. Less than one-third will summit. 4% will die trying.

However the economies of Nepal and Tibet depend on these climbers, contributing some 10% of Nepal’s GDP.

A typical Everest package costs US$66,000 per climber — including $11,000 for government permits, US$14,000 for guides, US$5,000 for sherpas, US$4,000 for oxygen, plus US$1,000 for yaks and porters.

It’s an additional US$70,000 to retrieve your body should you fail trying.

Zachary Crockett, The Hustle »

When Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary first reached the summit of Everest in 1953, mountaineering was a sport reserved for alpine clubs, national expeditions, and scientific pursuits.

For decades, the governments of Nepal and Tibet (which share access to Everest) denied access to most foreign climbers. Throughout the 1980s, access was limited to one Everest permit per season.

But in the early 1990s, everything changed.

Realizing that there was a business opportunity in leading Western adventure seekers up Everest, climbers like Rob Hall (Adventure Consultants) and Scott Fischer (Mountain Madness) convinced Nepalese officials to expand foreign access. John Krakauer’s 1997 bestseller Into Thin Air, which chronicled the death of 8 climbers (including Hall and Fischer) on one of these early expeditions, only further stoked demand.

More » NYTimes (paywall) » After Deadly Jam on Everest, Nepal Delays New Safety Rules

 

Nirmal Purja climbs world’s 14 highest peaks in just 189 days – smashing the previous record by some seven years

Nirmal “Nims” Purja

Nirmal “Nims” Purja, a 36-year-old Nepali, became the fastest climber to summit the world’s 14 highest mountains on Tuesday, scaling all the mountains in just over six months. It’s a feat other climbers have taken several years to complete.

Peter Beaumont, writing in The Guardian »

His extraordinary series of ascents makes him one of the most successful climbers at the highest altitudes, joining only a handful of other mountaineers who have climbed all of the 8,000-metre peaks in the Himalayas. Notably he climbed Everest, Lhotse and Makalu (the fourth and fifth highest peaks in the world) consecutively in just 48 hours.

The previous record was held by Kim Chang-ho, of South Korea, who took seven years, 11 months and 14 days.

“I am overwhelmed and incredibly proud to have completed this final summit and achieved my goal of climbing the world’s 14 tallest mountains in record time,” said Purja after his final ascent.

Read more »

More » Reuters, BBC, CNN, CBC, NPR

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