As illustrated here, the route basically weaves a line up the middle of the West face.
It was the visionary alpinists Tomaž Humar in Janez Jeglič who made the first ascent (and still, to this day, the only ascent ) in 1997. They climbed in alpine style, simul soloing all of it minus the labyrinth of an ice fall at the bottom of the route. With three bivies on the face they managed to find a way to the ridge. Tomaz graded the route at 2500m 90° IV-V (50-70°, V).
Tragically Jeglič was blown off the summit by very strong winds, forcing Humar to descend alone. It is one thing to attempt the wall – or any climb - alone; It is entirely another to have experienced such an intense climb with a partner, experience such tragedy at the summit and and have to find a way down without them, entirely alone.
Delving briefly into climbing history book of achievements in Patagonia and Slovenia you will quickly come to understand just what an amazing alpinist Jeglič was. He managed to author some of the greatest routes there. Here is a selected Biography from his wikipedia page:
1983 : Fitz Roy '83 - / The Devil's Dihedral (VI +, A2, 850 m) column at SV
1985 : Jalung Kang '85 - to m
1986 : Torre Egger '86 - southeastern wall (VII +, A3, 90 st., 950 m)
1986: Cerro Torre '86 - primarily through the east wall (
1988 : Cerro Torre '88 - with Silvom Karom diretisima Clockwork / The Hell's Direttissima (VIII + / VII-, A3-4, 70-95 st., 1200 m) through the south wall
1990 : Bagirati III '90 -
1990: the international Alps-Adriatic '90 Everest Expedition
1993 : USA '93 - the Jolly Roger Yosemite
1994 : Cerro Torre 94 - (VIII-, A4, 90 st., 800 m) in the South wall of the Cerro Torre
1996 : USA '96 - repeat Sea of Dreams (VI, 5.9, A5) El Cap
Tomaž was an international star and much has been written about his tremendous achievements and contribution to mountaineering. Sadly, he died while soloing Langtang Lirang in November of 2009. More information can be found about him on www.humar.comThe Slovenians have of course led the way in terms of what Himalayan alpinism (perhaps global) should be like while the Polish took the prize for who could suffer the most.
My absolute greatest hero remains Slavkom Svetičičem another Slovenian. He was really the first one to take the idea of fast and light and solo to the biggest walls in the world. He unfortunately died with soloing the west face of Gasherbrum IV in 1995. For more information about him please see http://www.slavko-sveticic.com/
Ok Enough history for now....time to start training and looking forward to planning some additional guiding projects, skiing, ice and mixed climbing this winter..!
Topo photo is By Fabrizio Zangrilli
Jeglic photo is from hi wikipedia page
Humar photo is form his website
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sorry it has been a while since I have updated here, it seems to be easier to update my Facebook athlete page (fabrizio zangrilli climbing) while away in the mountains.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
To learn more about Khumbu Alpinist courses please check out my website and/or like my facebook athlete page.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Kathmandu! The airport was crazy, many many people! It is the start of a major festival here, it is also very monsoon like, hot in the morning and then raining at night Beni from Cho Oyu Trekking tells me. Great to be back in the office! Lots to do, pack all climbing equipment, buy more food - already brought alot from Europe.Beni has already booked and bought plane tickets, booked porters, lodges, permits and everything else that needs to be done.
I hear that Fire and Ice is open again too, everything is going great!
The past month has been fantastic, but I am happy to be heading back to Nepal for some nice technical climbing. I am teaching an intermediate Khumbu Alpinist Course, lots of moderate technical climbing and even more skills training. I enjoy these trips, I get to do some fun climbing but more importantly get to introduce people to some real world helpful tactics for alpine climbing.
Kyazo Ri and Pharilapcha are in the Gokyo area of the Khumbu, beautiful trekking to get there and then views from the summits of all the things you would want to see up close in the Khumbu.
Might have something fun to report on at the end of October as well....I will keep posting.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Check out an interview with me on Exweb...
Off to Nepal this week, very excited!!!
Packing again, it never stops.
Interesting reading list for this trip through:
Norman Davies, Heart of Europe: The Past in Poland's Present
John Irving, Last night in twisted river
Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Soccer War
I hope to get a copy of Bernadette McDonald's Freedom Climbers and Murakami's IQ84
Yes, it is alot to read, but that is what I like to do on rest days and evenings in lodges when trekking to Kyazo Ri and Pharilapcha base camp. I am guiding for October, then will have some fun personal climbing to talk about, more on that later.....
I love this Khumbu Alpinist course, we do some very fun, challenging and seldom visited ridges with amazing views. I get to teach skills and pass along tips on alpine efficiency. The climbing is fun for me as well.
OK, back to packing.....
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
They did it, fingers crossed for a safe trip down!!!!!!! They are AMAZING!
Gerlinde has reached the summit ridge together with Vassiliy. Maxut and Darek come afterwards."
This was on Gerlinde's website, they are doing it!!!!!! Not long now I am sure Amazing, I wish them the safest return to base camp as possible!!!!!!!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Well, I am not sure, I dont have direct contact with them, but Explorersweb.com and National Geographic's websites say that Max, Vasily, Darek and Gerlinde are all in camp 4 at 8000 meters on the north side of K2 as of this afternoon, so they just might be up and cooking as I write this - it is just about midnight Kathmandu time, (they are about an hour behind). I really hope they get the conditions and are up to the summit tomorrow, and back down safely. I want it so much for them.
Funny to be sitting here reading about it all and not be up there. Now I know how all my friends feel, time and time again each year.
Good luck up there, I wish you all the best!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
We made it down to base camp late on the 6th – around 8pm, directly
from the shoulder. Another trip to the shoulder, many for me now. I
cannot say I did not see it coming. We really should have tried for
the summit on the 4th, both Kinga and Christian's forecast – both from
Meteoexploration.com which has been very very accurate this season
suggested it as the best summit day, a bit of rough seas at c2 and c3
the previous days, but would have been worth it as winds below 10km at
the summit here are hard to find. There was alot of discussion the
last days of July and the teams climbing with oxygen were just not
ready for the 4th, and thought that 30km winds were acceptable. We did
not take a bold enough step and leave with the intention of the 4th.
August 02 say all 14 people leave for C2, we loligaged a bit on the
way up as it was decided I had broken enough trail and should take it
easy. We arrived in sunny conditions and all was well.
August 03 others set off first again and finially we caught up with
the main group at the edge of the snowfield above the towers, and then
I sped up to pick up 200m of rope deposited last trip just below low
C3, to fix into C3, arriving just before 2:30pm in the real C3. I
again took another 200m rope, which another member carried from just
below low C3, and fixed another 100m of rope across the 100 meters of
steep ground above C3 while everyone else nestled into their sleeping
bags, returning to camp at 6:30pm. Enough work for one day for one
person – especially given we were now 14 people moving up.
August 04 Again others took off first and immediately after the steep
ground I had fixed the day before found very deep snow. In an amazing
display of tenacity and strength Luis Stizsinger – with skis on his
back and TLT5s on his feet – led a long traverse in very deep snow to
put us onto a better course. At this point we reached old rope fixed
last year by a Russian member of the Polish team. A quick rotation
started and Kinga and I deemed it too slow going – regardless of how
hard everyone was trying and trust me everyone was trying. Reaching
the shoulder after 6pm, with 30km winds forecasted seemed a bad idea
to us. A bit of radio time with some attemps to convince some to
return to C3 and continue the next day to C4 yielded nothing so we
descended. Some made it to the Shoulder, but just after 6pm. Others
slept at an very creative bivy 200m below and others at the low C4 –
75 m below the Shoulder.
August 05 We rebroke 75% of the trail to the shoulder, arriving at
6:05pm. Luckily those that had arrived on the shoulder had found our
tent from last year in a deposit, and very very very kindly set it up
for us. The winds had picked up considerably around 4:30pm, so we just
ducked into the tent. A bit of radio comms again and we decided to
start at 2:30am for the Bottleneck. At 1:30am we heard no talk, just
wind, wait another hour. At 3am people started talking about the wind.
Luis and I decided it was too windy, wait til 5am, at 5am it was just
too windy. Everybody went to sleep, By 7am people were leaving the
Shoulder for lower camps or BC. Around 8am – after depositing stuff
for another attempt we said Have Fun to Luis who put on his skis and
started to make turns. Amazingly he skied to close to C3 and then the
Lower half of the Kukuczka route – super effort and great fun to watch
someone who is a master at their sport! We arrived into BC around 9pm,
to the best chips and a most warm welcome from our two cooks MR. Ali
August 6th we slept, and slept and slept. In the afternoon Chris,
Sammi, Luis and Alix came over for coffee and cakes and we all chatted
away in a our dining tent while outside it snowed. It was nice to be
with close friends and warm and safe.
August 7th FTA and Christian and Bruno depart BC, sad to see friends
go, only one other team left in BC, they leave tomorrow. First in last
out. We will give it another go if the weather will give us a chance
in the next 10 days. K2 is a tough nut to crack.
Sorry for not updating more, hope you are having a great summer and
thanks for following along!!!!!
Monday, August 01, 2011
have opened the route from the bottom to the start of the snowfield
below camp 3. The 400 meters of trailbreaking from the bottom of the
snowfield to C3 was done by 3 others. I again fixed the last two
hundred meters of rope to C3. The division of labor has been set for
the rest of the route during our push – I will fix the first 300
meters above C3 through the steep ground and then onto the right path
that leads to the Shoulder. I am slated to lead the Bottle Neck and
Traverse as well. Kinga and I would like to say thanks to Christian,
Gerfried and Bruno for the support and work on the last push carrying
rope and trailbreaking on the snowslope below C3.
Tonight, 2am K2 BC time we will all start for the summit from base
camp, hoping to summit on Friday – what will you do this week while we
work up and up on K2?. I have been through this night many times
before, I love the feeling of starting a summit push!
We will be a total of about 15 starting tonight that have joined in
the last few days.Wish us all luck, in the end all that matters is we
all come down safe and sound, but let's hope for a summit this time,
the snow might be too deep, but we will give it our best try.....stay
Fabrizio from base camp
Saturday, July 02, 2011
A super fast trip to base camp (5 days from Askoli) has led to not much activity. Strong winds, clouds and snow has meant a lot of reading and not much else. We did wake up this morning at 4 am to try and go up to camp 1 or 2, but returned to bed as clouds and snow were obviously on their way.
The mountains look very dry, rock fall is my biggest concern for this season. A stroll along the glacier towards the base of the Basque Spur (often incorrectly called the Cesen Spur) a day or two ago was a somber reminder of all the incidents over the years here. Much detritus was to be found; some relocated off the safest route to the start of the spur.
The weather paterns seem to be following exactly what 15 years of elapsed weather journals state. We wait for the expected change of weather. Luckily we are staffed by the best cook and assistant I have had in many years, so yummy food and some fun conversation about the state of Pakistan help pass the time. Please enjoy the photos, and have a happy 4th of July if you are following along in the US!!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I am flying from Kathmandu to Islamabad today for what seems like a very quiet season in the Karakoram. Nice. From what I gather from the team listings on Explorersweb it might only be a handful of teams total in the Karakoram and those that are heading to K2 might be a little bit behind us as they are heading to either Broad Peak or the Gasherbrums first. Christian and Alex are on the SW face and will have a base camp a little closer to BP BC I think than where traditional bc is.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
"The news seems confirmed by Fabrizio Zangrilli in a broken voice dispatch over satellite. On his website today, Martin Ramos issued a statement along with Jorge Egocheaga saying that Joëlle Brupbacher died on Makalu La at 7,400 m on May 22 at 11.30 pm.
Slovak Peter Hamor, Romanian Horia Colibasanu and the two Spaniards Jorge Egocheaga and Martin Ramos summited Makalu on Saturday, May 21, at 1 pm.
The climbers shared permit with Joëlle Brupbacher, Oscar Fernández, Peter Hámor, Gia Totladze, Kinga Baranowska, Oxana Morneva and Fabrizio Zangrilli.
In place were also a number of Slovenian climbers, American Steve House, and commercial expeditions Jagged Globe (and Kobler according to ExWeb's list of expeditions).
Martin Ramos says that after their summit he and Jorge met Joelle in the French corridor at 8,200 meters around 2.30 pm and advised her to turn around due to the late hour. She pushed on with her Sherpa Pasang and the climbers met up again in C4 about 10.30 pm that night.
Checking with Pasang that Joelle was OK, Martin and Jorge continued descent to BC the next morning. Joelle became unable to move in camp 3. Pasang was with her, along with Peter and Horia, radioing down the mountain for help.
Unacclimatized and unfamiliar with the route, Jorge's and Martin's cook Migma (a close friend to Jorge) climbed up with the bottle and left it between C2 and C3 (at about 7,200) until asked at 10 pm by Jorge to turn back .
Jorge then turned to Fabrizio, Steve House and Marco (Prezelj) who left for C3 after midnight and reached 7,100 meters at 6 am. Unfortunately, the climbers descended with Horia and Peter, after Joëlle had died of exhaustion in camp 3 at 11.30 pm. "
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Sunday, May 08, 2011
Saturday, May 07, 2011
Friday, May 06, 2011
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
We finished our acclimatization in the Khumbu very successfully. We climbed Island Peak with our friend Justin and had a fun time all around. Luckily we got to spend an evening with another friend Brian who is headed to Everest, and met a few other very nice people. The most interesting group has been a school group from New Zealand, visiting nurseries and schools all part of the Hillary Trust - some of which like the Khumjung School celebrates its 50th anniversary this May. Impressive. The kids are all between the ages of 15 and 19 and seem to be very amazed by the huge differences between their home lives and that of rural Nepal (however rich the Khumbu is by comparison to the rest of the country).
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Kinga and I had our Makalu Puja in Khumjung, it was great, 15 monks playing horns, drums and chanting. If you have never been to a puja in a historic monastery then you are missing out. It is honestly a very grounding experience. The whole puja lasted about half an hour, but it does serve as a great way to focus on the task at hand, regardless of your religious beliefs.
The weather is perfect right now, the Khumbu seems very quiet, everybody I speak to says the same.
We are very sad to see the group go, they were great fun!!
More to follow.....
Friday, April 15, 2011
As the title of the blog goes, this is not my usual start to an expedition. After 2 nights without much legroom, an the usual fun of getting a visa on arrival here, thanks to Citroen Motors Kinga Baranowska - my climbing parnter for Makalu ( www.kingabaranowska.com) and I stayed at the Dwarika - the best hotel in town, with all antique woodwork collected over 50 years from derelict buildings, it has so much charm. We have been busy running around getting all of our cargo for Makalu packed up and Cho Oyu Trekking has done an amazing job helping us with everything! We had a presentation for the president of both Citroen Motors and the president of Citroen Bank - along with a few of the best dealers. They are here to fly into the Khumbu with us and spend a night, then continue on to the Maldives for a bit of relaxation. What a contrast to us. What would I rather be doing, sitting on a beautiful beach letting the water lap onto my feet as I run sand through my fingers or don a pair of heavy boots and walk up hill? It is close, but the boots win every time.
I will be phone casting very regularly from the Makalu expedition, please follow along here!
Dwarika's 8 course welcome dinner, we ate with Sangita who is the owner, and her son and really enjoyed ourselves. We traded stories of one very famous mountaineer who regularly stays here for a good portion of the night.
The usual fun of getting your visa on arrival in Kathmandu airpoprt.
Our presentation at the Garden of Dreams, a little oasis in Thamel. A beautiful dinner for 50 was organized, amazing food and some fun as well.
I went to see Miss Hawley, she asked me to come back to work and help her with the rounding up of climbers at the end of the season again, I helped her out last October and really enjoyed it. Miss Hawley was as sharp as ever, I love to sit in her office and listen to stories from the golden age of Himalayan climbing.
Handing over our life savings, in my case this is not a joke.
The Reception area of the Dwarika in Kathmandu.
Statue in the Dwarika Garden.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
It should all be easy once you have checked in, kick back, relax, read, watch a few movies and sleep your way around the world. But sometimes it is not so easy, nobody is sure why, but I cannot check my bags all the way through to Kathmandu, if I get to Singapore and have to pay excess baggage charges again then I will be leaving most of the bags in Singapore and will be making the first ascent of Makalu in a pair of Scarpa Blitz, jeans, Vars Hoody and a Centaur 38 liter pack. Light is right? Well I don't want to be that light.
The past few days have been hectic, I spent alot of time with the Crew at Ripstop adjusting some stuff for filming, Jesse and Glen at CAMP/Cassin figuring out ways to lighten up my bags or hardware - which we did very successfully! - Chris spent some time with me molding boot liners at SCARPA in the 65 degree heat in Boulder on Friday, the Fed Ex man and I got to know each other quite well as he repeatedly showed up with the latest and greatest from Andy at Marmot. Both locations (Estes and Boulder) of the House for Wayward climbers were as good to me as usual as my bags repeatedly exploded for repacking sessions late into the night.
Spring skiing is amazing in Colorado right now, I was very sad to say goodbye to my new fat skis, luckily the snow will be around for a long time and again next season.
Friday, April 08, 2011
|Think you are fit? I thought I was as well, then I started hanging out with Rando Race People. RRP are the most amazing endurance athletes on the planet hands down. So these three French guys thought that gaining 8350 meters and skiing 7750 meters - yes those were meters - over 110 km in just under 19 hours was a good day of fun while skiing the Haute route from Chamonix to Zermatt. For those out for a cruise it usually takes a week. |
I learned so much from RRP this past winter regarding breathing, pacing, and pushing hard. I wonder how much faster this will go? Skimo or Rando is without a doubt the best endurance training, races are popping up all around North America, check some out here: http://www.ussma.org/cosmic/
For more on the story check out:
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
It seems like such a short time ago when last year at this time I was packing up for a trip to Makalu - not much passed in the last year just trips to Broad Peak, K2, Cho Oyu, Island Peak, Ama Dablam, Poland, UK, Germany, ISPO, Italy, Austria and a ton of skiing in RMNP (slightly sarcastic that not much happened) and again I am leaving.
I am actually looking forward to the cold and the big loads again, I will post more Makalu details soon, but found some images of last year that are going to be all to real for me soon enough.
Jim and the shop
It is that time of year again, I have packed everything up - and I mean everything this time, Marmot Lair 8 person tents, enough solar to charge for a big film project, over 25 kilos of camera equipment, a few heavy bags of the lightest climbing hardware available, and some modified gear. I am going to be spending alot of time filming this year and I needed a couple of special features put into my suit, Ripstop Repairs have always done an amazing job for me. I show up with crazy ideas for new products, ways to modify stuff for one off projects - they laugh at me sometimes, but they always do a great job! Bring beer and wine for speedy service - coffee is also appreciated! While you are there stop in and say high to the guys next door at Rock and Resole! Check them out at: http://www.ripstoprepairs.com/
Tools of the trade
Kyle "enjoying" working on a product with 900 fill.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Check out the video here:
All photos by Fabrizio Zangrilli, all rights reserved.
Low pressure systems everywhere, a long wait in Haynes to fly to the border.
Packing it into two 185 flights was not easy.
The start of the long ski to the SE Face of Logan.
Our BC with nobody around.
Jay getting it done.
Friday, March 25, 2011
I have been out every day this past week either ice climbing or skiing, conditions are great right now. Dragontail has been skied a bunch the past couple of days, the fresh snow on the 23rd made all of the skiing in the area great, everyday we seem to be getting a light dusting that has made everything fun. Was up at Tyndal Glacier on the 24th, very wind blown at the top, but the ski down to Emerald lake was great.
Ice climbing at Hidden Falls today, Bryan and I had it all alone until we packed up at 3:30 when two motivated nice guys showed up. The bolted mixed (now dry) climb just to the right of the falls is stellar, very techy on the face. Alot of photo and video shooting has made the 7 days on tolerable. With no end in sight, as the forecast predicts a bit of snow and colder temps the next few days, I hope to have a good video representation of why RMNP is such great and varied place to climb and ski!
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Last month I was very fortunate to make a visit to the R&D department at CAMP/Cassin in Premana Italy. I have long been interested in the development of climbing equipment and so was very lucky to spend time in 120 years of climbing history. My amazing hosts and the food made it even more memorable. Thanks very much for having me!
Arriving at the Lecco train station I was immediately reminded of the history and importance of alpinism in the area. We all know about the Lecco Spiders, but the tradition of very strong climbers lives on today.
Along with playing, tinkering and developing new toys, I was very pleased to get a full factory tour, seeing where and how some of the best and lightest gear is made. Ever wonder exactly how a crampon is made?
The history in the old part of the building is amazing and in the very modern and newly built R&D facility the future is even more amazing. I, for some reason, thought carbon fiber tools were modern and not 25 years old.
There is a wall of history leading to the main R&D facility, which every designer walks past daily. Along with pieces of climbing history that line the walls, photos of the current and recent best athletes that have worked with CAMP are on display. The news of Simone, Denis and Cory's success on Gasherbrum II had just been heard so everyone was happy! Cassin's pitons and crampons reminded me how incredible he was, to have done so much with the available technology.
The contrast between the factory and the R&D Dept is startling. Down stairs a constant pounding of machines, metal being bent, shaped and cut. Upstairs we sat at futuristic looking testing equipment, drop testing dummies - no, not me - and testing the hardness of metals. Computer programs that helped develop crampons confounded me. Everything was frankly so cool. One thing to note, everybody who worked on product was an athlete, some like Ottavio had put up numerous very hard sport routes, to Mateo who "is not a good rock climber at just 8a, won a mixed comp or two and climbed new A4 routes out of hellish caves...." OK. Important I think when gear needs to work well and keep you alive.
The fourth generation of the Codega family is taking CAMP/Cassin to new places, (yes you read that right, from great great grandfather to the current generation, it has stayed in the same family) far from what the founders could have imagined.
The problem with seeing toys that are not available is wanting them. For many reasons, in the past few years I have tried to live the Buddhist philosophy of not wanting, but that was all destroyed in a quick visit to Premana. Now I cannot wait until next winter when product ships.
Still, I am amazed that one building has created axes for the Italian military in 1920 and the curent generation of mixed climbers.