Text by Tesuhiko Endo
This past week, an international group of alpinists went all in on Nanga Parbat, and for many, the gamble has paid off. One of the first to summit was Portuguese climber Joao García, who, as you might recall from an earlier blog post, was at home in Lisbon a little over a month ago, sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber. It was his thirteenth of the fourteen 8000ers. Explorersweb.com reports that García and his climbing partners topped out in icy conditions with lots of snow and high wind. They are currently resting in Camp Four because the mountain is too overloaded with snow to safely descend to base camp. A day later, Ausrian Gerfried Goschl established a new route on Nanga Parbat but, his teammate, Wolfgang Koblinger, is reportedly lost on the mountain. Stay tuned for updates on his whereabouts.
Although the conditions were a bit better on Baffin Island last week, the climbing was just as daring. Climbing magazine reports that American Dave Turner has established a new, 4,750-foot route on Broad Peak (not to be confused with the also-formidable Broad Peak in the Karakorum). He climbed the line solo, in a non-stop 39-hour, alpine-style party. To date, this is only the second route established on the 8,000-foot mountain.
Scot Mark Beaumont was biking his way through the Yukon Territory this week and finding out exactly how bad the mosquitoes can get during a Canadian summer. Sometimes known as the Yukon’s state birds, mosquitoes will get especially bad after rainstorms, which there were plenty of last week. Luckily, he should be out of there by late August when the black flies show up (read more at bbc.co.uk).
Surprisingly, bugs were the last thing on Ed Stafford’s mind, as his biggest problem came in the form of a bad British economy. Stafford had been accompanied on his quest to walk the length of the Amazon river by friend Sam Dyson and translator/guide/voice of reason Gadiel Sanchez Rivera, aka, “Cho.” Unfortunately, the martial arts schools that Dyson runs back home are in a spot of financial trouble and he has abandoned the walk to try and save his source of income. With flooding season in full swing and four-foot electric eels patrolling the shallows, it’s hard to know if Dyson is happy or sad to go (read more at http://walkingtheamazon.com).
Big wave surfer Greg Long is always happy to go, on monstrous swells, that is. Last Monday, he won the Billabong International Big-Wave World Championship in fifteen foot surf at Peru’s famous Pico Alto (literally: “high peak”). Check out the thrilling footage at surfline.com.
Finally, if surfing isn’t your thing, but you are still looking for an interesting summer activity, why not sign up to be a sailor aboard the Phoenician Ship Expedition? The project seeks to recreate the first voyage around Africa, completed by Phoenician mariners in 600 B.C. Already in its second phase, the journey promises to be exciting, and full of learning experiences. The only catch is that it embarks in August, from the Gulf of Aden, known for a little one-eye, peg-legged problem. Then again, pirates will probably be less incline to raid a vessel that is built to 2,600-yea-old specifications. We hope. Read more at phoenicia.org.uk.