Wednesday, December 10, 2008
KIMFF from December 11-15, 2008
Kathmandu City, the cosmopolitan heart of the Himalayan region, is hosting the sixth edition of Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival from December 11-15, 2008. The festival will screen some of the most recent and exciting films about mountains, mountain environment, mountain cultures and communities from various corners of the world. KIMFF is dedicated to exploring the diverse and complex ways in which human beings relate to mountains; the festival seeks to foster a better understanding of human experiences as well as of the social and cultural realities in the highlands of the world.
Kathmandu City, the cosmopolitan heart of the Himalayan region, is hosting the sixth edition of Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival from December 11-15, 2008. The festival will screen some of the most recent and exciting films about mountains, mountain environment, mountain cultures and communities from various corners of the world. KIMFF is dedicated to exploring the diverse and complex ways in which human beings relate to mountains; the festival seeks to foster a better understanding of human experiences as well as of the social and cultural realities in the highlands of the world.About 50 films will be selected for KIMFF 2008. Filmmakers can choose whether or not to submit their films for competition. Around 15-20 films will be shortlisted to be viewed by the jury. Accepted films not shortlisted will be screened and still be eligible for the Audience Award.In the domestic arena, given the post-conflict, reconstruction-minded context of Nepal, the organizers will include films that capture this country’s social transition. Nepali filmmakers will have the opportunity to participate in ‘Nepal Panorama’, a separate showcase of Nepali entries. The Film Development Board of Nepal will award the best film in ‘Nepal Panorama’ with the objective of promoting Nepali films.The festival will also include discussion forums, on-demand screenings, guest lectures, exhibitions of books and photographs celebrating mountains, and workshops for aspiring filmmakers in the presence of filmmakers, film enthusiasts, critics, scholars, journalists, activists, and veteran mountaineers.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Khumbu Ice Climbing: Losar and other classic ice climbs
March 08 - April 08:
Nireka Peak, Khumbu Nepal
April 10 - June 10:
Makalu Expedition, Nepal
June 20 - July 18:
Nanga Parbat Expedition Support Trek
August 02 - Ausgust 20:
Nanga Parbat Expedition Support Trek
October 05 - November 05:
Pumori, Khumbu Nepal
November 10 - Dec 10:
Barun Valley, Sherpani Col, West Col and Amphu Lapcha, Khumbu Trek
Individual Trip decscriptions available on fabriziozangrilliguiding.blogspot.com, or please email firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing, itineraries or with any other questions.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
7:00am Corrine wakes up not feeling so well, so her and I decide to descend and John decides to stay in camp 1 until noon or so to dry sleeping bags and do other camp stuff.
8:30am Corrine and I start thew descent along the traverse out of C1 and then down the fixed ropes. Corrine is tired so I decide to thread her descender for her at all the anchors to ensure there is no avoidable accident.
9:15am A huge chunk of ice detaches from the wall above and falls 150m hitting Corrine, then just misses me - as I am only 10m below her on the fixed lines. I call Lakpa in BC to come up to ABC (5300m) to Assist with carrying Corrine down the scree.
9:45am I start the descent with Corrine's full weight hanging from my harness.
Approx 12:15am John catches up to us on the ropes and assists with the lowering/rappelling.
1:45pm We reach the Scree. John Descends to BC with a Radio so we could ask for more assistance from Porters arriving in BC, and then can come back up with medical kit and sat phone. Lakpa and I start the scary descent down the scree piggybacking Corrine.
3:45pm I call Karnali Excursions - our KTM agent - to order the helicopter for that day if possible in BC or in Gorak Shep for the next morning.
4:40pm arrive with John, Lakpa, 1 porter and a French Friend of Corrine's named Christof who had arrived in BC that day to visit.
5:00pm I depart to Gorak Shep to hire more porters help carry Corrine down.
6:45pm Corrine is in Gorak Shep.
7:00pm Doctors are found from Switzerland. Oxygen and then drugs are administered by , Dave, Christof, John and myself all night.
9:15 am Heli arrives in Gorak Shep.
1:00pm Corrine arrives in B & B Hospital Kathmandu with the assistance of Karnali Excursions and Dr. Pierre Soete from the French Embassy. Dave, John, Christof, Lakp and I arrive back in BC.
5:00pm I depart BC with insurance papers.
7:20pm I arrive in Pheriche, stay at White Yak Lodge for night.
9:00am I depart Pheriche
5:00pm I arrive Lukla
Wait in Lukla due to no fly weather
Pay to fly in MI17 heli back to Kathmnadu.
I would like very much to thank Dave Ohlson, John Miller, Christof, Lakpa, all the porters that were hired to carry, the guy who appeared out of nowhere in Gorak Shep to sell Oxygen, the lodge owners in Gorak Shep who offered support. Matt Fiorretti for being a great friend and asking people in Paradise Lodge during dinner to give up a seat for me on any plane the next day. The Czech couple who did offer to give up their seats. The Dutch trekkers who were very kind in Lukla. I would most like to thank Corrine Goyer, Vice Consul French Embassy Kathmandu, and Dennis Mallet, head of security French Embassy, and Dr. Pierre Soete, French Embassy, for everything they have done to ensure as swift of a recovery as for Corrine - and trust me it has been a remarkable display of understanding and compassion; Hira and Thanka from Karnali Excursions for doing way more than what was expected of them. Jessed - Corrine's boyfriend, for arriving in Kathmandu and giving alot of moral support, took alot of stress off of me, sorry my Spanish is so poor. If I have forgotten your name now I will remember, and give you the due thanks. Thanks again everybody!
Many people are asking about my plans. Thanks for asking by the way. When Corrine gets on the air ambulance back to France this weekend I will chill out for a day and then fly back to the Khumbu to personally thank many of the Sherpa community who helped with the rescue and provided me moral support. I just might solo something as well, who knows.
Everybody please wish Corrine the best of recoveries. I have recieved many emails from people I do not know congratulating me and saying thanks for the rescue, it is strange to get the emails, as I feel I did nothing out of the ordinary and only what a capable alpinist would have done. Thanks though, they are nice to receive.
Some Pumori photos to come soon.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
An American expedition leader has described the dramatic 24-hour rescue of a French climber who suffered multiple fractures after being hit by a massive block of ice during a Himalayan climb in Nepal.
Corinne Favre, a specialist high-altitude skier and runner, was attempting to climb Pumori, a 7,161 metre (23,600 foot) peak close to Mount Everest when the accident occurred last Sunday morning.
"She got hit by a very large chunk of ice the size of an armchair. It must have been around 200 kilograms (440 pounds) and it hit her square in the chest," said expedition leader Fabrizio Zangrilli.
"I saw the ice when it was falling around 50 metres above us, I yelled but we were on a fixed rope so we couldn't get out of the way," the 36-year-old professional mountaineer told AFP.
According to Mounteverest.net, Favre was found at 5,700 metres (18,700 foot).
The impact of the ice block knocked Favre unconscious initially, but as Zangrilli was carrying her down the mountain, she came to, but she was in a bad way.
"At this point she is screaming and moaning. She can speak, she is saying, 'I am going to die, just let me sleep here,'" described Zangrilli.
"She protested because she was in a lot of pain. She wasn't really coherent but she could protest," he said, adding the impact of the ice slamming into the 37-year-old Favre had been "massive."
Zangrilli absailed and carried the badly injured and bleeding Frenchwoman for around four-and-a-half hours, before Sherpas and other team members came to his assistance.
"It was very hard physically having 60 kilograms hanging from your harness and having to haul a person across traverses that go uphill and then put them on your back," said Zangrilli, who arrived back in Kathmandu Thursday.
Once they got to a village at the foot of the mountain, a French doctor who was trekking in the region assisted with emergency treatment and Favre was evacuated by helicopter to Kathmandu on Monday.
Favre suffered multiple fractures and serious chest injures and is currently recovering from her ordeal in a hospital in Kathmandu.
"She is out of intensive care and is improving but we need to stabilise her more," said one of her doctors, Anip Joshi.
Lady Luck also played her part in saving Favre, said Zangrilli, from Boulder, Colorado.
"We were very lucky because the weather allowed us to get a chopper in on Monday. The day after the weather changed and no flights would have been possible," he said.
October and November offer prime conditions for mountaineers and trekkers in the stunning Himalayan range that forms Nepal's northern border with Tibet.
However, accidents and high-altitude sickness claim lives annually, and so far this autumn season six foreign trekkers and mountaineers -- including five French nationals -- have been killed in Nepal's mountains.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
In the Fall of 2007 Matt, Dave and I traveled to Nepal to document the remarkable recovery of Matt Fioretti from AplasticAnemia. A Himalayan climber and guide, he nearly died before he was able to undergo a bone marrow transplant in 2005. more here
While in Nepal we hiked into areas around Mt. Everest to see how Matt's new bone marrow handled adapting to the altitude. He felt great and he and I reached over 18,000 ft. on Dawa Peak. This October we will return to the Himalayas to climb Pumori (7,161 m.)Dave Ohlon (www.daveohlson.com to see the trailer) has been filming Matt's story for over a year now and hopes to follow it all the way to the summit of Pumori.
Please follow our progress as we will post every so often. Photos courtesy of www.daveohlson.com
Wish us luck!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Disappointment and frustration sum up the way I am feeling.
It sounds crazy but in only 16 climbing days out of the 34 total days we spent at Nanga Parbat we logged 14,200m of scree, snow, ice and rock climbing - and as Dave puts it "we only almost made 6000m". Crazy was all that could be said once we had done the math. We tried is all that can be said about our attempt. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for alpine climbing is the feeling of smallness and insignificance one gets compared to the mountain and the forces of nature - especially those experienced on a mountain the scale of Nanga Parbat. Nanga is huge.
What could we have done differently is a question that all teams that fail have to ask themselves. I am still thinking of things that for sure I will do differently next year. But the real answer is we were just plain unlucky with the weather. We were on target to be done acclimatizing by the 1st - 5th of September if we had just had 3 more days of good weather in August. Only 4 perfect days in 5 weeks is hard to be successful with. We made the most of marginal days, most of the time working from early in the morning (4:30am starts) and finishing in the afternoon in snowstorms. We just got unlucky.
BREAKDOWN OF DAYS ON THE MOUNTAIN:
1. AUG 4th - Trip up Glacier to find way to Messner - 400m
2. AUG 7th - Trip to Korean ABC from 2nd Basecamp and return - 600m
3. AUG 8th - Trip to C1 (4700m) and return - 1200m
4. AUG 9th - Trip to C1 and return - 1200m
5. AUG 13th - Trip to C1 and stay - 1200m
6. AUG 14th - Trip to 5150m and return to C1 - 450m
7. AUG 17th - Trip to C1 and stay - 1200m
8. AUG 18th - Trip to 5300m and return C1 - 600m
9. AUG 19th- Trip to 5450m and return to C1 - 750m
10. AUG 20th - Trip to 5500m and return to C1 - 800m
11. AUG 24th - Trip to C1 and stay - 1200m
12. AUG 25th - Trip to Snowcave at 5650m and stay - 950m
13. AUG 26th - Trip to 5700m (C2, Snowcave) and stay - 50m
14. SEPT 2nd - Trip to C1 and stay - 1200m
15. SEPT 3rd - Trip to C2 and return to C1 - 1000m
16. Sept 6th - Trip to C1 and return Basecamp - 1200m
My first impressions of the wall were that of a train wreck, so many thousands of pounds of ice hanging over your head for so long - how could Anderson and House justify it were my initial thoughts. Tomaz was lucky to live, was all I could think. Sitting and watching the wall I started to to get a sense (as much is really possible with seracs) of the rhythms, the distances, the intricacies and the scale. It was just plain ugly to me for the first few days, then everything changed when we got a clear view of it all and the route we thought might go from studying photos and talking it over with Tomaz in Slovenia last winter. Looking at it in person we thought the wall was actually climbable by another new route.
I got inspired - the Rupal Face central pillar area got under my skin, as I am sure it does any body's that sits under it and stares at it long enough.
Once again, thank you so much to CAMP-USA, SCARPA North America, Marmot, CiloGear, Brian at Ames Adventure Outfitters for all the miscellaneous support, Scott at KNS Reps for the support with Jetboil Products, and all of the other individuals that make these types of trips possible - especially Ingemar from Sweden.
K2 - Remembering Friends
Sitting in an Internet cafe in Islamabad reading on Explorersweb the recap of the tragedy on K2 this season it took me four attempts to get through the whole article, with a few laps around the market to absorb the news between paragraphs. Shock is the only way to describe my mental state. We were sheltered at Nanga Parbat, we used the Slovenian phone to update the blog - by reading a hand written blog entry to a voice mail then later to be transcribed by someone I am greatly indebted to - and to keep in touch with family but only once a week. There was no time or money to recount the story and casualties.
Sitting in the Internet cafe and strolling through the market I was instantly drawn back to a day after a prolonged snowstorm on K2 in 2005 when Billy and Meherban and I sat on a rock outcropping to take a break from trail breaking up to C1 on the Abruzzi. Laughing and sharing food, Meherban made jokes about the team he was working for and shared plans about future climbs he would like - especially Nanga. Later in the season his team refused him payment for certain days claiming he made carries those days out of friendship and not employment. I went to bat for him and he received his due pay.
Rolf was so kind in 2005 - as was his whole team, especially Cecile. Bad weather days in base camp were never so fun as in there heated tent watching movies on a laptop and eating popcorn with 10 of us craning for a view of the screen. They invited me to Norway to ice climb, I eventually made it but did not see any of the team - a huge regret now.
Hugues and I last year at K2 would sit together and chat for hours in French for what he would call "my daily French lesson".He talked about an upcoming sailing holiday and his house in Chamonix - both of which sounded much better than the Baltoro at the time. He offered up his weather forecast in return for the rope we and the Czech team had fixed to the shoulder. I will remember him as a kind and intelligent man.
Gerard I never met, but via email and the phone I sent and described the Cesen to the shoulder from my photos from last summer. I sent him photos from the Bottleneck and traverse from when I went through them in 2000. He said had he summitted he would repay me with a bottle of my favorite Scotch. A bottle I will buy and drink in memory of him.
Too many other events from the summer: Karl, Pavle, the generosity of Tomaz and what can only be described as the whirlwind visit from Messner. Recover, train harder, find money again, focus and return are the only options for dealing the the loss and failure.
Pumori - The next trip: October 2008
The first week of October I will be back in Nepal, guiding on Pumori until the end of November. This week I am traveling but will update each previous Nanga Blog with corresponding photos.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
On the 3rd of September we struggled back up to C2 to find that the 2-3 ft of fresh snow we had previously been caught in was now 4-5ft.We dug for hours to find most of C2, and we decided enough was enough.
We arrived at BC almost 5 weeks ago, and so far have only had 4 bluebird days. The forecast calls for more rain and snow. There is no chance to acclimatise for the face. We have decided to pack up and go home.
Yesterday, Saturday the 6th, we retrieved all our gear from c1 in a blizzard. Billy, Dave and I are safe and sound back in BC where it has now been snowing for the last 24 hours.
Thank you very much to Marmot, CAMP, Scarpa and Cilogear, and all the individuals that helped us. I hope we work together next year again on my next trip, and next year when we return to the face.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
The Weather has been bad i.e. snowing and raining almost non-stop for the past 7 days. To be honest since we have been here at Rupal Face BC there has only been 2 days 100% precip free.The weather is not looking good but time is running out. We must go above 7000m this week or time will run out.
A big thanks to Tomaz Humar, he sent me tools from Skardu, good to be part of the CAMP family.
Wish us luck
Saturday, August 30, 2008
The last few days have been uncomfortable to say the least. We spent 25th, 26th, and 27th in a shallow hole dug in the snow at 5750m, the site of camp 2 with a tarp thrown over it to sit out three days of constant snowfall. Three days and not much sleep later we decided to descend. Me swearing constantly, as my Marmot bivvy sac worked the best, so I got the snowiest side of the hole. Billy staring at me in silence seemingly saying 'you are saying enough for 2', and Dave continually saying 'lets all go on vacation again next year, this is so much fun' with us all bursting out in fits of laughter, as our plight finally got old.
Two feet of fresh snow put a hold on acclimatization. Somehow on the ridge leading for the serac at camp 2, one of my axes ('CAMP-Awax' if anyone would like to send one- Address: Rupal Face, Nanga Parbat base camp, via Karakoram magic mountains trekking agency, Islamabad) got knocked off as we sorted ropes in the storm and took the 2000m tumble to the valley floor. Oh well, rest a few days and back to the original plan of being done acclimatised by the 5th.
On a very tragic note, we have just been made aware of the likely death Pavle kozjek, we are deeply saddened for the loss of one of the greatest alpinists and people of all time.
Our condolences go to his family, and hope for a safe rescue of his team mates.
Avery sad day for all
Wish us luck
Saturday, August 23, 2008
This morning the 23rd whilst scanning the upper mountain through the telescope, we heard the sound of approaching helicopters coming up the valley. Within minutes tents were threatening to fly out of BC and the ever present goats and donkeys ran for their lives. Messner and his film crew had arrived. They said a quick hello and took off again to try to fly above 6000m as the clouds had parted.
Interestingly, Messner was filming with the same pilot who rescued Humar from the Rupal Face. I suppose no better pilot to film the face with. They promised to return for lunch.
A few more touch downs to reload film cameras mounted to the outside of the helicopters, and as promised we sat for lunch. I did a very short interview for the cameras, and after we all discussed the physical changes in the Rupal Face since 1970, when Messner first climbed it.
Then with a quick good luck the show left town.
Tomorrow we go up for what we hope is a weeks worth of acclimatization to reach 7000m. Then we start to watch the route for our attempt.
That's the hope anyway, wish us luck….
Friday, August 22, 2008
On the 17th, 4 days of great weather started and we took full advantage of it. Billy Dave and I, alternated leading and fixing 1150m of rope up the traversing 45-60 degree ice between C1 and C2. Finally on the 20th I led the last 300metres to the top of the couloir that leads to the serac that C2 sits on at 5500m. We finished at 5pm in a snow storm, which was the obvious end to the good weather.
For 2 Days of the good weather, a helicopter continuously circled between 4200m and 5000m.We wondered what was going on as we were aware that Musharaf had resigned as president. On the 20th the helicopter got close enough for us to see a cameraman hanging out the door filming us. When we arrived back at BC we learned that Messner himself was filming us for an upcoming film he is producing on Nanga Parbat. He landed in BC twice to interview us, but we were on the mountain. The rumour is he will be back
Billy, Dave and I are tired, but feeling good after 4 days of strong effort. It is crazy to think that we have climbed 2000m above BC, but still have so much more to go before being done with acclimatizing for the face.
We are hoping to be done with the Messner route by the 1-15th September, which will leave us 3 weeks for our planned route on the face.
More to come…
Wish us luck
Friday, August 15, 2008
We have had a lot of good luck since moving base camp. We established camp 1 on the Messner (our acclimatization route), the day after arriving. It is 1300 meters above base camp, all of the climb on terrible scree. We have made 4 trips to it now and have slept 2 nights there, pushing up to 5200 meters yesterday before being held back by terrible snowfall.
We now have to wait for better weather.
Wish us luck!
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Billy, Dave and I start the long trip to Islamabad today.
Trips to the Rupal Face don't happen without alot of support from many people. The past few weeks have been so great for me; I really have felt the proverbial love from Chris, Kim and Gary at Scarpa, Andy and Jordan at Marmot, Jesse and Tommy at CAMP USA, Graham at CIlo Gear, and from great friends like Brian at Ames Adventure Outfitters, Scott at KNSReps for all the help with Jetboil stoves and Matt at Four Winds Himalayan Guiding. Everybody has gone above and beyond to help me out with last minute gear requests and logistics.
I must say that I would not have been able to train and focus as much on this trip for the past year without the support of Elizabeth and Tom who have been my Boulder base camp. Ingemar must be thanked as well as this trip would not happen without his financial support.
Thanks again everybody,
Wish us luck and check back for updates!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tent: Marmot Alpinist
Bivy Sac: Marmot Alpinist Bivy
Sleeping Bag: Marmot Helium EQ
Thermarest Inflatable and foam Z Rest
1 Pair Scarpa Phantom 8000
1 Pair Scarpa Quest
1 Pair Scarpa Vision - for bouldering in base camp
Marmot Matterhorn 42
Cilo Gear 45L Dyneema Worksack
1 Pair Camp Vector Nanotech Crampon
1 Pair Camp Awax Leashless Ice Axes
1 Camp Quartz CR Harness
1 Camp Stratech Helmet
1 Camp Pulse Helmet
1 Full Set Cams
1 Full Set Camp Carvex Hexes
1 Full Set Camp Tri Cams
1 Full Set Camp Radion Ice Screws
1 Full Set Camp Stoppers
50 Camp Nano 23 Biners
1 Sull set pins
1 Camp Alu Fix Shovel
2 Jet Boils Stoves: 1 1.5L Pot, 1 1L pot
1 Marmot Ama Dablam Down Jacket
1 Marmot Guides Down Vest
1 Marmot Exum Jacket
1 Marmot Superhoer Jacket
1 Marmot Power Strech Shirt
1 Marmot Scree Pant
1 Marmot Dryclimb Stretch Pant
Gloves: :4 pairs
Socks: 4 pair
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We leave for the Rupal Face next week, for sure a little weighed down by Karl's death.
I am busy sorting out more gear, this time from CAMP USA (www.camp-usa.com), and finishing last minute arrangements for my Pumori clients for October.
"Two Italian alpinists on Nanga Parbat, Walter Nones and Simon Kerhrer, requested a helicopter rescue after their attempt to descend again came to a standstill. Nones and Kerher are the surviving teammates of Karl Unterkircher, who was lost in a crevasse six days ago on the mountain (read the July 16, 2008 Newswire). This morning, they left their bivouac at around 7000m, but soon faced bad weather and poor visibility. From another bivouac at around 6600m, they called rescue coordinators in base camp. "We don't see anything. It is to dangerous to continue," Nones and Kerher said. "We used our skis on some parts of the descent, but the fact that we only have two ice screws and two crampons left makes it difficult to cross the crevasses."
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Much more about the expedition in the next few days!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
The pack carries much better than I expected, and the shoulder straps are surpisingly comfortable. With a bit of bungee cord I managed to strap my crampons on and I was the happiest person moving up Denali for sure. (OK, we cheated a bit by bringing no food to 14k as we knew that people would have too much there, and ended up making quesadillas for Merrick, Steve, Glen, Gren, Seth and myself for hours!)
If you need a great day pack that will not wear out I recommend the Cilo Gear 30l Dyneema pack!