Back to the top (of the world): Himalaya heads up

Back to the top (of the world): Himalaya heads up

Posted: Sep 12, 2012 10:38 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) Perhaps it's the financial doldrums: climbers are not exactly crowding Himalaya this season. One's pain another's gain - the few in place will get a 101 with the top of the world.

Changes to the list of expeditions: forced by Chinese visa restrictions Cho Oyu teams have rerouted to Manaslu. Kid climber Arjun Vajpai, who hopes to rouse India to mountaineering, was awarded by CNN last week (Sept 7) as emerging leader in the country. Sophie Denis (originally for Shisha) has not yet recovered.

Most action is on Makalu (with latest addition of Alpenglow expeditions) and Manaslu.

Makalu's special couple

Mexican surgeon orthopedist, entrepreneur and motivational speaker Yuri Contreras climbed Everest four times (1996 -97, 2009-10) and summitted Cho Oyu, Manaslu, and Lhotse (he also has Shisha central).

Climbing with him is Laura Gonzales del Castillo, widowed with two young children before she met Yuri. Laura was the first female Latin American to climb Everest twice (2009 and 2010), by two different routes - and only the eighth woman in mountaineering history to do so. She was also the first Latin American woman to climb Manaslu (2008).

When not climbing, the couple goes riding motorcycles around their troubled homeland, hoping to show that by teamwork, dreams and intelligence Mexico can have success again. "Our view of life is simple," they say: "If others can do it why can't we; and if we can do it why can't you?"

Billi Berling's group made an update from ABC at 5400 meters 2 days back.

Russell Brice's (HiMex) lead guide for the past few years, Adrian Ballinger and Alpenglow expeditions are an exciting startup offering 8000 meter peak expeditions beginning this fall with Makalu.

The crew will be focusing on small teams and stellar service but also opportunities for unique projects such as ski descents and ascents without supplementary oxygen. The team will be posting from both Makalu (September/October) and Ama Dablam (October/November) at Alpenglow expeditions, in addition to FB and Twitter feeds.


IMG are working the mountain, up to C2 today and fixing the route. Climbing leader Ang Jangbu Sherpa reports porter shortage in Arughat, so some teams were delayed getting to Base Camp.

"Successfully made it to base camp (4800m)," dispatched Inspiring adventures today. "Made outstanding time (4 hrs) for the steep 1300m ascent, negotiating yaks and porters all the way." Check in on their website for a unique fly-in 3D view of the route (click fly-in in menu top left).

Low key MountainProfessionals leader American Ryan Waters (champion mountaineer and polar explorer) has the same Contact fly-in map on his homepage. The clients went sightseeing to an old temple in the forest while Ryan, Lama Babu, Pema, Gopal, and Lhakpa worked hard in BC to get it in shape for their arrival:

"It will be busy around here before the group arrives; setting up the solar panels, lights and communications, as well as the little bits of good style for comfort at Base. The group has begun to refer to the services as 'business class,' so we want to keep the style points high!"


It's the saffron and the bullfights. Record senior climber Carlos Soria, 73, has summited 11 of the fourteen 8000ers and just today, with the team established in BC, the expedition uploaded a video showing the Spaniard approaching his next peak as perky as ever.


Himalaya fall climbing kick-off.

List of expeditions
#Mountaineering #topstory

View from Manaslu BC.
Image by Robert Kay courtesy IMG, SOURCE
American climbing guide and polar explorer Ryan Waters is guiding MtnProfessionals on Manaslu.
Image by Eric Larsen
Another one holding all the aces: Carlos Soria during a 2007 Himalaya expedition, currently climbing his next giant at age 73.
Dr Contreras has treated many climbers in Himalaya for free. When not climbing, the couple rides motorcycles around Mexico, giving motivational speeches in hopes to inspire their troubled homeland.
courtesy, SOURCE
At only age 17, Arjun put India in mountaineering record books.
Image by CNN-IBN courtesy Priya Vajpai