Saturday, August 29, 2009

Steve House Book Reading in Boulder Sept 03

Time: Thursday, September 3, 2009 7:30 p.m.
Location: Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302
Title of Event: STEVE HOUSE

Steve House will speak about and sign his book, BEYOND THE MOUNTAIN.Steve will also do a book reading at the Patagonia Store on Pearl Street on Friday - call the store for details.

Beyond the Mountain
by House, Steve
Format: Hardcover (Cloth)
Price: $29.95
Published: Patagonia Inc, 2009
Inventory Status: Coming Soon -- Available for Pre-Order Now

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What does it take to be one of the world's best high-altitude mountain climbers? It takes raising funds for an expedition, negotiating some of the world's most dangerous countries, suffering freezing-cold bivouacs and enduring the discomforts of high altitude. It also means learning the hard lessons the mountains teach. This book explores those lessons. Dubbed by Reinhold Messner, "The best high-altitude climber in the world today." Steve House's story chronicles his experiences in the worlds highest mountains, each chapter revealing a different aspect of mountaineering.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

K2/Broad Peak Double Header: final post from Islamabad

The end of a trip is very melancholy for me, all of the months of work prior to the trip and then the duration of time in base camp and it all seems to pass like a flash when the last member of the trip goes to the airport to fly home, which Dave did early this morning.

This was an amazing season, with strong and fun clients, most of them able to reach the high camps on their chosen mountain or in some cases going above 7000m on both! I managed, in a three week stretch, to climb above the high camp on Broad Peak during the first week and descend directly back to K2 Base Camp, the second week go to the Shoulder on K2 during 4 days of terrible weather and then descend directly back to Base Camp, rest for a few days and do it all over again the following week. The trek out over the Gondogoro La was a massive adventure itself, in a snowstorm and then one night of rest in Skardu saw me involved in a rescue attempt on Latok II for over a week.

Chris and I are the last of the Field Touring teams remaining in Islamambad - last night, with Dave, we joined the Spanish guys from the rescue and the Broad Peak Iranian team for a very fun and amazing dinner at Luna Caprese where we cleaned them out of all the pizza, beer and wine! There was much to celebrate, and we did a good job of it.

Alot of the Field Touring K2/Broad Peak Double header team pushed very hard and should be congratulated for having such success. In a tough season that saw nobody summit either mountain, they did a great job with an absolute majority of clients reaching the high camp on Broad Peak and also Camp 3 on K2 - and two clients reaching the Shoulder on K2. Amazing!

I had alot of fun and I hope that Field Touring lines up another group of great clients for Makalu and Nanga Parbat for me next year!!

Tomorrow I fly back to Colorado to enjoy some fun rock climbing in the sun, perhaps a few road trips to California and Sante Fe as well before flying to Nepal for the Autumn season!

I will post photos and video from the season by the end of the week.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

K2/Broad Peak double header: Islamabad

It is hard to believe but we are back in Islamabad!

After a lot of struggles on ATP's part they managed to get Chris, Dave and finally myself on a flight today. Jordi C. and Simon and the Iranian Broad Peak Expedition that did a great job putting up a new route to join the normal route at 7100m will fly tomorrow, hopefully.

Now we tackle the problem of flying home. Wish us luck!

Friday, August 21, 2009

K2, Broad Peak & Latok II Rescue : Summer 2009 Wrap Up

Sorry That I was unable to update the blog this summer but I felt enough clients were blogging and the Field Touring website was posting updates almost daily that I could updating here.
I am in Skardu now trying to figure out how I am getting home as I missed my international flight during the rescue efforts on Latok II. I had to time to jot down some thoughts so here we go....
It certainly was a long summer, hard at times but very enjoyable at others - the majority of time in fact! The lowest points were obviously the 2nd day in K2 base camp when Michele Fiat fell to his death while attempting to ski down from below camp 2 with partner Frederick Erickson; the body recovery was difficult emotionally for everybody involved. Christina Castagna's death during our Broad Peak summit push was very hard for me - the image of her sharing warm tea with me at 4:00am at 7400m while all of us were freezing on the way up lingers and I finding it hard to come to terms with her death. The eight days flying around Latok II and attempting to climb up to Oscar Perez was emotionally and physically very fatiguing. It was extremely hard to end the rescue, all of our hearts said keep trying even when our minds said it was too dangerous with the change in weather and the prolonged time. I never met Oscar, nor Alvaro before I flew into Latok BC, but he was one of us, I understood without meeting him what motivated him, what drove him to the mountains. I was compelled to help because I would hope someday when I need help someone will try as hard as we did for me. I wish that circumstances played out better for us with the rescue, my thoughts are with the friends and families of Michele, Christina and Oscar.
I am very proud of the work I did on K2, 2 clients joined me to the shoulder while most others from the team managed to climb above C3 (7200m). Fixing rope and managing the movement of 10 people up and down K2 is a stressful and difficult task. I think we did very well as a team!
I managed to join and assist the Field Touring Broad Peak summit push, again most of the team members reached C3 (7100m), the high camp, and a few of us pushed above for a summit attempt. Unfortunately, neither K2 or Broad Peak were climbed to the summit this season, if it were possible, Field Touring would have placed members on both summits.
I would like to thank a few people. Chris Szymiec, my co-guide from Field Touring this summer (Leader of the Broad Peak Expedition) for his support and great friendship. He didn't get much recognition for his efforts on Latok II, but he put a lot of work into the effort as well. Stu Remmensnyder from the Field Touring USA office for incredible support, not only with daily weather updates and phone calls, but complete support when I said I wanted to join the rescue effort - these types of endeavors are far from single handed, they require huge financial and emotional support. Dave Ohlson from Ursus Films,, for the continued friendship - this is the third project we have worked on - and for filming from day one of the K2 trip through the Latok II efforts. Pena Guera, they must be the greatest climbing club in the world, I have never seen such an effort to rescue and support climbers ever - how do I become a member? Thanks you so much for doing everything you could during the rescue effort! Jordi C, Jordi T, Simone, Jonathan, and Dani for the effort and support during the rescue, they really embody the spirit of alpinism. Sebastian Alvaro - who gave up so much to stay in Skardu to coordinate the efforts of Pena Guera, the Spanish Embassy, the Pakistani Army's Fifth Air Squadron ("The Fearless Five") and us in Latok II base camp. Without the tireless efforts of Sebas a lot of what we attempted was not possible. The people that have received the least thanks are the HAPs that came with us to Latok II. Thanks boys, you guys worked so hard as usual, sorry for the 10 hour, 23 mile walk from BC down the Biafo to Askoli, without food on the last day of the rescue(at least we ate a whole goat at the end of it!), but we all had fun laughing about it, really it is only another hour!
Finally ATP (Adventure Tours Pakistan) and Exweb should be thanked for putting out the call for help and ATP it must be said worked so hard during the rescue efforts to provide everything they could. To all of the people that wrote into the Field Touring website with words of thanks and encouragement and to my personal email, thank you.  
Time to try and fly back to Colorado, go rock climbing in the sun, and prepare for the season in Nepal starting October, Pumori and Island Peak!