Everest Climbing Season Ends

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
The climbing season on Everest, and most of the Himalayan Peaks comes to an end today. MountEverest.net has some very good articles go close the season on. First, there is this story that recaps the season in general. It notes that there were a record number of summits this season, perhaps as many as 500, in no small part due to the good weather on the mountain. The downside is that unofficial numbers put the total number of fatalties this season at around 15.

The second article is entitled "A Message From the Death Zone" and is an interesting read about what it's like to live above 8000 meters and what you can expect in that climate. The article also gives insights into who these people are who challenge themselves on these high altitude peaks, and why they push themselves with all the dangers involved.

It's always sad for me to watch a season on Everest come to close. I enjoy reading the articles about the challenges of the climbs, hearing about how people have pushed themselves to reach the summit, and the lifestyles the lead while on the mountain and in base camp. These climbers are truely a different breed, and I respect them greatly. But as this season closes, another opens, as the weather window on Denali opens. Hopefully we'll have some great stories of adventure from Alaska soon.

Sandstorms in the Gobi

Today's update on the Gobi March says that the scheduled 80km stage was shortened by 20km due to high winds and sandstorms. It sounds like conditions are pretty rough out there. South Korean Ahn Byeung Sik continues to lead the way through this stage. You can get the full Daily Update here.

Gobi March Update!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
As reported last week, the Gobi March is well underway, with high winds reported out on the course, and competitors struggling through the first stages of the ultramarathon. You can get daily updates from the Racing The Planet website. At this moment, 32 year old South Korean Byeung Sik Ahn leads the race, with four stages still to go.

For a more personal account of the race, be sure to read Terri Schneider's blog over at MountainZone.com.

Gear for Gobi!

Friday, May 26, 2006
As I mentioned earlier, the Gobi March kicks off in two days, and Terri Schneider has updated her blog with insight and information on the gear she'll be using for the race. Amongst the various items she'll be taking with her, are a Gregory hydration pack, Montbell sleeping bag, and various other items such as a head lamp, space blanket, signaling mirror, and other essential items found on these types of races. If you're planning a stage ultra like Gobi, or an adventure race, this may give you an idea on what to take. Oh, and don't forget to check out her previous post on preparing for the Gobi March.

Unprecedented Rescue on Everest!

An unprecedented rescue attempt on Everest this morning is all the buzz in the climbing community today. It seems that climbers going after the summit this morning came across Austrailian climber Lincoln Hall, alone and alive, on the mountain, after spending the night at 8700 meters! A joint rescue was mounted by all the remaining teams on the mountain's North Face, in an effort to get the stranded climber down to base camp. You ca read all about this extraordinary story at MountEverest.net.

200th Post!

Woo hoo! I've reached another milestone here at the Adventure Blog, logging my 200th post. Hopefully I'll continue to do so for a long time to come. I'm still having fun digging up little nuggets of information, passing them on, and maybe commenting on the stories from time to time as well. I'd like to mix in some of my own adventures a little more, but it seems like lately I haven't had the chance to really get out and do the things I'd like. Hopefully that wil change, and I can spring in some stories from the trail, either on foot or bike, and maybe a little time in my kayak as well. Are there any events/activities you'd like to see me comment or post more on? Drop me a note to let me know!

Gobi March Set to Begin

The stage race, ultramarathon known as the Gobi March is set to begin on Sunday, and the official site claims that all the competitors and volunteers are in place at the start of the race. It's 77 degrees F there today, which means it's comfortable, but very dry. The website will be making live updates throughout the week as the race winds it's way across the 140 mile course. I'll keep you posted on any major news from the event, and who the eventual winners are. Good luck to everyone. Race safe!

South Pole Expedition: Following in Scott's Footsteps

Thursday, May 25, 2006
A team of Polar Explorers will attempt to complete an epic journey at the South Pole, starting in October, by following in the footsteps of Robert Falcon Scott, a British explorer, who, along with his entire team, died there in 1912. The new expedition, will travel by foot, unsupported, the same way that Scott and his team did, pulling 400 pound sleds behind them. The entire trip is expected to take four months. You can read all about it at the team's website, as well as sponsor a mile of the trip.

For those that don't know, Robert Falcon Scott set off to become the first man to reach the South Pole. His team set off on November 1st, 1911 and arrived at the South Pole on January 18th, 1912, only to find that Norwegian Roald Amundsen had arrived two weeks earlier. A dejected Scott, and his team, set off to return to their waiting ships, but along the way, most of his crew succumbed to exhaustion and extreme cold. They pressed on, but were dangerously low on supplies, but in the end, Scott and his remain team members, died in their tents, in the middle of a massive blizzard, just 11 miles from their major supply depot. The Scott expedition has gone down as one of the most ambitious, and ultimately disastrous, polar excursions of all time. Editor's Note: "Falcon" may just be the coolest middle name in history!

Olympic Torch In The Himalayas

According to this story at Outdoor News Wire, a team of Italians have reached the summit of Makalu, and brought the Olympic Torch from Torino along with them. The "Torch of Peace", as it is also known, was blessed by the Dalai Lama as well. I'm assuming the torch will continue on to China in time for the 2008 games, but I'm not positive about that.

Everest Climbing Season Draws To A Close

June is approaching quickly, and that means one thing if you're in the Himalayas. Climbing season is swiftly coming to an end. May 31st is the mandated cut-off date on the mountain, as soon there after the monsoon season will set in. OutsideOnline has posted a nice summary of the season thus far if you need a quick refresher. Also, over at MountEverest.net comes word that two more climbers have disappeared on the slopes of Everest, bringing the current total to 15 deaths on the mountain this season, which is odd considering how good the weather has been.

The climbing season seems to close so quickly, but with the great weather on Everest this year, a lot of people made it to the top. However, it's disconcerting that so many people died in their attempts, despite the great weather. It just underscores once more how dangerous high altitude climbing can be, especially when you get above 8000 meters.

Hillary Questions Ethics on Everest

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Sir Edmund Hillary, who along with Tenzing Norgay, was the first man to reach the summit of Everest, is questioning the ethics of climbers on Everest, and in particular, the decision to leave someone to die on the mountain. According to this article, Hillary has taken shots at climbers, saying that "We would never just leave him to die", referring to British climber David Sharp, who died due to a lack of oxygen, while in the "death zone" on Everest. Hillary even calls out Mark Inglis, the double amputee who recently found the summit, for not helping the man. He goes on to say that the attitude of climbing Everest has become one in which the climbers want to make it to the top at any cost, and it's causing too many people to die there.

I respect Hillary. He's a great man, and has done a lot of good things, aside from being the first man to reach the top, but I have to disagree with him on the aspect of helping others while in the Death Zone. Above 8000 meters, you're basically dying slowly over time. You have a limited window to reach the summit and get back down, and it's hard enough just to keep yourself alive. Helping someone else, may result in two (or more!) deaths. I do agree with him that things have gotten a little crowded and crazy on the mountain. The commercialization of Everest has made it a dangerous place, but climbers also need to be aware of the risks they are taking by being there. It's a tough situation. Everyone wants to help others, but they know that it may be the death of themselves or their team. As long as people continue to climb above 8000 meters, this will continue to be an issue.

Everest From The North Side, A Warning!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I found this article over at MountEverest.net to be especially interesting. It details what climbing the world highest mountain from the Chinese side is like, and it doesn't sound pretty. It seems the Chinese are in the business of charging for permits, and leaving that side of the mountain alone, which has turned it into a lawless, and very dangerous, place. The article discusses a bar and mobile brothel which are set up in Base Camp, and has reports of climbers being robbed at the higher camps. Even worse, the Chinese have no helicopters available for rescue operations. If you're going to climb Everest, looks like you may want to do it from the South Face.

Gobi March Begins in Five Days!

We're just five days from the start of the Gobi March, a 150 mile, stage race which is run over 7 days in China's Gobi Desert. The race is known for it's demanding conditions, and grueling courses. Of course, I'll be updating on the race once it is underway, but you can find out more about it, as well as it's companion races, at RacingThePlanet.com

Oh, and if you want to know more about what kind of person runs this type of race, and how they prepare, you may find Terri Schneider's Blog interesting.

Kayak Buying Guide

Canoe and Kayak Magazine has a simple, but nice Guide To Buying a Kayak posted on their site. It explains the differences in kayaks, and makes some suggestions based on the type of water you want to use them on. It's a good read if you're in the market for a kayak, and especially for a first time buyer.

Hiking Hawaii's Na Pali Coast

Monday, May 22, 2006
MountainZone.com has another one of their wonderful articles posted today. This time, it's a photo essay of hiking the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii. The article is sparse on text, but what is offered is interesting, but if a photo is worth a thousand words, than the incredible images more than make up for it. Stunning photos to be sure, and I think I just added another trail to my ever growing list of hikes to complete before I die.

More Updates from Everest

The Out Door News Wire has a slew of reports today, including this one that indicates 29 climbers found the summit on Saturday. Next comes two reports that are on the sad side. First, the body of Tomas Olsson the man who fell while attempting to ski down the mountain, was found at 6700 feet and finally there's this story about the first Brazilian to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen, but unfortunately he wasn't able to return to base camp in time, and died due to lack of oxygen.

Mountain Biking Arkansas' Syllamo Trails

Friday, May 19, 2006
MountainZone.com is always a great source of info for any kind of outdoor activity, and they've come through again with another intresting article for places to go mountain biking. This time they spotlight the Syllamo Trails in Arkansas. The 51-miles of mountain-bike-only trails are the longest such system in the country, and have already been deemed "epic" by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Sounds like I found a new place to go on vacation this Summer! :)

Update: Everest Peace Project!

Remember weeks ago when I told you about The Everest Peace Project? They were the group of climbers that consisted of men and women from all over the world, of different races, colors, and religions, who came together to climb Everest, and show the world that they could work together as a team. Well, they summited yesterday! Woo hoo! Good for them. It seems that 10 team members reached their goal. You can read the update on their frontpage by clicking on the think above. Congrats to all the members of the Everest Peace Project. Well done!

Denali Climbing Season Approaches

Thursday, May 18, 2006
For much of the past two months I've made mention of a number of things happening on Everest, and in the Himalayas in general, while the climbing window there as been open. Now that everyone and their grandfather are finding the summit to Everest, it's time to turn elsewhere.

The climbing season on Denali, also known as Mt. McKinley, will be starting soon, and over 1000 permits have already been issued. In fact, four teams are already in place to make their attempt. Last year, more than 1300 made the attempt, with only 101 reaching the top of North America by mid-June. Denali remains bitterly cold, even in the height of summer, and it is always a challenging climb. Good luck to everyone who is giving it a go this season.

Himalayan Climbing Update

MountEverest.net has posted a general updated for the Himalayan climbing season. They report on current summit bids on Annapurna, Lhotse, and Dhaulagiri, amongst others. It's a good general read if you're interested in a variety of climbs and how the summit attempts in the area, other than Everest, are going.

Skier Missing on Everest

A few days ago, I posted about Tomas Olsson and Tormod Granheim, who had intended to summit Everest, and then ski back down. At the time, I mentioned that I thought that it was "crazy". Well, guess what? MountEverest.net has posted an update and it isn't good. It seems that Olsson went missing after he went over the edge of a rock outcrop. It's been two days, and still no trace of him, which on Everest generally means bad news. It should be noted that he didn't fall while skiing, but the two were actually rapelling down a rockface at the time. When Granheim reached the bottom, all he found was his friends ice axe. My thoughts go out to Olsson's family in this time.

Silly Rabbits Blog

Hot on the heels of The Dog Pound comes The Rabbit Cage, a new adventure racing blog for the highly successful Team Silly Rabbits. Much like The Dog Pound, this blog is also hosted by Check Point Zero, and will follow the teams preperation for Primal Quest, as well as other thoughts on the sport as a whole.

Inglis Summits!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Mark Inglis, the 47 year old double amputee from New Zealand, has summited Everest! The BBC has picked up his story, and has got the low down on this historic climb. Inglis lost his legs after getting caught on Mt. Cook in bad weather, and being forced to take shelter in an ice cave. For two weeks! Despite that, he has continued his climbing expeditions, and has even been a guide. I salute his perseverance. He should be an inspiration to us all.

Everest: It's Summit Day!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The weather window on Everest has made it possible for a number of teams to make a push for the summit today from either side of the mountain. You can read about a number of expeditions at Outside Online or at the always reliable MountEverest.net, who also has this story about Tomas Olsson and Tormod Granheim, who not only summited Everest, but then skied back down! Now that's crazy!

Team Might Dog Opens The Dog Pound Blog

Team Might Dog, an experienced and successful adventure racing team from the southeast, have opened up an interesting blog, entitled appropriately enough The Dog Pound. The team has won a number of short races, sprints, and 24-hour or weekend events, but they are preparing for their first foray into the world of expedition racing, by entering the Primal Quest next month. In their blog, they intend to keep us informed of how their preperation is going, how they are approaching the race, and report in on other races they are taking part in. It should prove to be an interest read as we lead up to PQ, and even more so afterwards to get their impressions of the race. The Dog Pound is hosted by Check Point Zero, my personal favorite adventure racing site on the net.

The Ten Essentials of Back Country Travel

Monday, May 15, 2006
I found this excellent little article over at Trailspace.com. It's entitled The 10 Essentials of Back Country Travel, and it's a list of things that everyone should have in their pack when they head out to the back country. The list includes some obvious ones, such as a map and compass, as well as some not so obvious things, such as a signaling device. Now that the warm days of spring are upon us, and we're planning those back country excursions, it's not a bad idea to go through this list, and make sure you have your pack adequately supplied. By the way, the most important item on the list, in my opinion, is number 10, Common Sense. ;)

New Look for Primal Quest Website!

With a little more than a month to go until the start of the race, the Primal Quest Website has gotten a bit of a facelift. The 2006 race is set to get underway June 25th, as nearly 100 teams of four will attempt to complete an 800 km course, in Utah this year, in under 10 days. The website will provide online, up to the minute GPS tracking, as it has in years past, which will help those of us staying at home to follow the action. You'll also find team profiles, news, and course information.

If you are not familiar with the Primal Quest, you're in for a treat. It's the premiere adventure race in the Northern Hemisphere, boasting a $250,000 purse, and reknowned for it's grueling course and challenging legs. So far, all three Primal Quests have been won by Team Nike, who shared the win with their arch-rivals Team Seagate in 2004. The race underwent some reorganization last year, following the death of Nigel Aylott in the 2004 race. Those of us who follow adventure racing are happy to see it back, and look forward to an awesome race this year.

Adventure Journey: Top 7 Adventures on Water

Friday, May 12, 2006
Sticking with Adventure Journey today, they've also updated their "Top 7 Adventures" secion as well. This time it's The Top 7 Adventures on Water. The list includes rafting the Grand Canyon, diving the Great Barrier Reef, and my personal favorite, Canoeing up the inside passage in Alaska. Although I'd prefer to do that one by kayak, thank you very much.

Tyler Dewall: The Trans-America Runner

Adventure Journey Magazine has updated their "Rowan Talks" section with an interesting interview with Tyler Dewall, the man who ran half-way across America. Starting in San Francisco, Dewall ran all the way to Colby, Kansas in order to raise awareness for "less fortunate people around the world." While I salute him for that cause, I would have thought that he would have been a little more specific about it. Regardless, the interview is interesting to read, and Tyler hopes to complete his run all the way across the country eventually.

7 Dead, 4 Missing on Elbrus

Thursday, May 11, 2006
MountEverst.net has posted this tragic story about seven climbers who died on Mount Elbrus when they lost contact with expedition organizers, and were caught out in the cold. Four other climbers are missing, while one managed to survive and make his way down the mountain, suffering from severe hypothermia. Elbrus is located in Russia, and is the tallest mountain in Europe, making it one of the Seven Summits. The climbers, who were Russian and Ukranian, hoped to reach the summit in celebration of the 61st anniversary of the Russian victory over Nazi Germany.

Everest: Ten Years Later

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
As I mentioned in an earlier post, today is ten years to the day since the tragedy on Everest that claimed the lives of eight people. In remembrance of that sad day, Mountainzone.com has created a index of stories from their previous coverage of the events. You'll find an article from Jon Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air as well as an interview with Beck Weathers, one of the survivors, amongst a host of other articles. Never forget that the Mountain can still be a deadly place.

Climbing Notes

A couple of interesting stories from the Climbing world today. First up, is this story and MountEverest.net about a Czech climber who fell of the Lhotse face while attempting to summit Everest. He was found hours later by some Sherpa guides, still alive, but later died as they were attempting to bring him down off the mountain. His death comes 10 years to the day after the 1996 tragedy on Everest made famous by the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

Next comes this story about Dean Potter, a professional climber sponsored by Patagonia, who solo free climbed Delecate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah over the weekend. The climb caused a bit of a stir however due to the...uh... delicate nature of this arch. Climbers and Park Officials were worried that climbing it would casue damage, but in a free climb, the climber doesn't use any equipment, such as ropes or bolts.

Finally, Outdoor News Wire is reporting that Silvio Mondinelli and his team of italians, have reached the summit of Shisha Pangma, a 26,289 foot peak located in Tibet, and the 14th tallest mountain in the world.

Goliath Expedition Update: Karl On The Move Again!

The Official Website for The Goliath Expedition has been updated with great news. Karl will be allowed to continue on his walk around the world. :) You'll recall that The Goliath Expedition is Karl Busby's attempt to walk around the world. He started at the southern most tip of South America, and over the course of ten years has walked to Alaska, then crossed the Bearing Sea, only to be arrested for illegally entering Russia. He was then ordered to leave the country, which looked like it might be the end of his dream. After appealing the decision, his deportation order has been overturned, and he can now continue on his way. The plan will be for Karl to eventually return to his home in Great Britain. For now, he'll have to be content with walking across the great, and desolate, expanse of Siberia. I'm sure he couldn't be happier about it. :)

Update:Gaddling.com has more information on this story, including the fact that Karl's case was aided by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who happens to be the governor in the province he wandered into.

New Adventure Racing Portal Hits the Web!

Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Yesterday I had the chance to explore the Adventure Racing Portal over at Zimbio.com. For anyone who isn't familiar with Zimbio, it's a combination blog and wiki site that has information and discussions on hundreds of different topics. The Adventure Racing Portal is an excellent source of news, information, and race results from the world of AR. Plus, there are some great links to other sites, including a number of top team webpages, and some cool images to peruse as well. Add it to your bookmarks for news and results on some of the upcoming big races, like Primal Quest and The Raid.

Mountain Zone Interviews Ivan Greene

Monday, May 8, 2006
Mountain Zone has posted this interview with Ivan Green, a Renaissance-man, cum rock climber. Amongst his many coals in the fire, he's working on his first rock album, launching a line of active clothing, and touring with Red Bull College Tour, giving demonstrations on rock climbing. Interesting article about an interesting guy. Well worth a read.

Updates on Himalayan Expeditions

MountEverest.net has some excellent, and interesting updates from the Himalayas. First up, is this update about the Kazakh climbing team of Denis Urubko and Serguey Samoilov, who have summited Manaslu via a new route, which is always an exciting goal for any climber. Manaslu is a 26,758 foot peak located in Nepal. It's located in the Gurkha Massif, and is the eigth highest mountain in the world.

Next comes this weather update from Everest itself, which seems to indicate that a "weather window" is opening on the Big Mountain, which means teams that are in position, and have gone through acclimatization, will be making their bid for the summit this week. Good luck to everyone. Climb safe!

24-Hour Kayak Distance Record Broken

Outside Online is reporting that the 24-hour endurance kayaking distance record has been broken. 34 year old Brandon Nelson of Washington state set a new record of 146 miles in a just 24 hours, breaking the old record of 137 miles set by South African Marinda Hartzenberg in 1991. Nelson paddled around a two mile long course on Washington's Lake Whatcom.

Arctic Swimming with Lewis Gordon Pugh

We've all seen those fat, old Russian guys who like to cut a hole in the ice and jump into the water in the middle of Winter, or the "Polar Bear Club", which does the same. Well, National Geographic Adventure wants to introduce you to Lewis Gordon Pugh, an "extreme swimmer" who takes the concept even further. In their interview, Pugh talks about swimming in the waters surrounding Antarctica wearing nothing but a Speedo, avoiding leopard seals, and preparing for long distance swimming in frigid waters. Definitely not my cup of tea, but interesting none the less.

Nike Wins the Might MO!

Team Nike has won the Might MO Adventure Race held over the weekend, finishing early Saturday morning about four hours ahead of the next team, the Silly Rabbits. You can read the race reports over at Check Point Zero and see the final leaderboard here. The race was 240 miles in length, and Nike managed to complete it, despite some mistakes in navigation and forgetting madatory gear, in roughly two and a half days. Not bad at all. Lets hope Nike, who is one of my favorite adventure racing teams, gets their team clicking before Primal Quest in June, which, by the way, they won free entry into by posting a win at the Might MO.

Hiking the Chilkoot Trail

Thursday, May 4, 2006
Mountain Zone is always a great source for news, information, and ideas for all kinds of outdoor fun. Today they posted an article on hiking the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska. While the trail itself is only 33 miles long, relatively short compared to some of the epic trails, it winds it's way through some historic sections taken by pioneers during the gold rush. The scenic trail passes hanging glaciers, snowfields, and rocky terrain in what sounds like a short, but very sweet adventure. Who wants to hike this with me? :)

Double Amputee Hampered on Everest

Outdoor News Wire is reporting that Mark Inglis, a double amputee and climber from New Zealand, is attempting to become the first double amputee to summit Everest. Unfortunately, Mark has run into some trouble as one of his artificial legs has snapped. Currently it has been repaired, and he is continuing his attempt, so lets hope everything works out well for him and he can achive his goal. I'll post more on his efforts as they become available.

Outside Online Gets A Redesign

Outside Online the website for Outside Magazine has gotten an nice new update to it's website. The front page has been redesigned and is cleaner and a little more slick. It actually reminds me of the website for National Geographic Adventure now. It'll probably take a little while to get use to the new design and find the things I'm looking for, but overall, I approve. :)

Mighty MO Adventure Race Underway!

The Mighty MO Adventure Race is underway in, of all places, Missouri, hence the MO! :) Teams will be racing from May 4-7 over a 240 mile course. You can follow all the action over at CheckPointTracker.com As of this moment, with the race barely underway, Team Nike holds a slim lead over Team Silly Rabbits. I'll keep an eye on this on over the next few days.

Made-For-TV Adventure

Tuesday, May 2, 2006
While we're pimping out MountainZone.com today, I might as well point out this article about the Nevada Passage, a made-for-tv adventure/reality show that pits teams of two in all kinds of different "extreme" events. The show is set to go into syndication later this Summer, and may be worth a look. You can also learn more over at the official website of the Nevada Passage.

National Trails Day - June 3, 2006

June 3rd is National Trails Day, and while that's still a month away, it's never to early to start planning. The good folks over at MountainZone.com offer some great suggestions. In their "Ten Ways To Experience The Outdoors" article they give such hints as entering a trail run, go geocaching, or experiencing a trail on horseback. Start planning now. In a month, I'll expect you to post your plan for the day! ;)

Adventures Close To Home

National Geographic Adventure is a great magazine. It differs quite a bit from it's parent publicaiton in that it's taylor made for people like us who are always looking for a new, great adventure. Their website has been updated with a short, but sweet, article on Weekend Adventures that you can find close to where you live.

Some of the ones that sound great to me are "Explore A Lost Canyon" in Utah and "Paddle A Pirate Lair" in Georgia. Something here for everyone.

Utah's Other Mountain Biking Mecca.

Monday, May 1, 2006
Anyone who follows mountain biking knows that Moab, Utah is probably the Mecca of mountain biking here in the United States. It's well known for offering some challenging, fast, and furious trails. Well now MountainZone.com brings us another hidden gem in Utah. They recommend riders check out the Color Country, in Southwest Utah at the Dixie National Forest for rides that rival the famed Moab, without the same crowds.

I finally had a chance to get my bike out on a real trail over the weekend, and while it was hard work, it was a lot of fun. The trail I chose, not far from where I live here in Texas, was very rocky, and muddy following some weekend rains, which made for a challenging day on the bike. But, then again, that's what we look for when we head out to these locations, right??

Seven Summits Speed Ascent Attempt

According to this post over at 7 Summits.com a Danish man named Søren Gudmann will attempt the 7 Summits +1 in record time. If successful, the Dane will complete his task in just seven months. An impressive record indeed.

The Seven Summits in climbing circles, represents the seven hightest peaks on each continent. A number of climbers have managed to achieve the goal of climbing all seven, with the toughest being Everest in Asia (or course) and Vinson in Antarctica, with logistics and extreme cold being the toughest part of that trip. The "+1" in this case, I assume is Carstensz Pyramid, which is located in Irian Jaya, an Indonesian Island considered to not be in Asia, but "Oceania", and in recent years it has supplanted Kosciuszko/Mt Cook in Australia as the highest peak in that area. My guess is that Mr. Gudmann is doing both, just to cover his bases. Mt. Cook is essentially a walk up anyway.

Everest: First Summit of the Season!

MountEverest.net (where else?) is reporting that the first summit of Everest of the season is confirmed! According to the article, a team of Sherpa's reached the Summit yesterday (April 30th), and returned to Advanced Base Camp in just under 6 hours, which in and of itself is pretty amazing. This is a fairly early ascent, and from the North Face no less, as most of the other teams won't be making their bids for a few weeks yet.

Meanwhile, The Outdoor News Wire is reporting that weather conditions on Everest remain unusual. It continues to snow, and temperatures are on the cooler side, which makes the progress slower for all the teams.