Monday, August 22, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
In 1999, a new search expedition was mounted, founded by German Everest researcher Jochen Hemmleb, and led by Eric Simonson. Simonson had seen some very old oxygen bottles near the First Step during his first summit climb in 1991. One of these bottles was again found in 1999 and was one belonging to Mallory and Irvine, thus proving the two climbed at least as high as shortly below the First Step. Their location also suggests a climbing speed of approximately 275 vert-ft/hr, good time for the altitude and an indication the oxygen systems were working perfectly. The expedition also tried to reproduce Odell's position when he had seen Mallory and Irvine. The mountaineer Andy Politz later reported that they could clearly identify each of the three steps without any problems.
The most remarkable finding was the corpse of George Leigh Mallory at a height of 8,159 metres (26,768 ft). The lack of extreme injuries indicated he had not tumbled very far. His waist showed severe rope-jerk mottling, showing the two had been roped when they fell. Mallory's injuries were such that a walking descent was impossible: his right foot was nearly broken off and there was a golf ball sized puncture wound in his forehead. Even though his unbroken leg was on top of the broken one, as if to protect it, Mass. General Hospital neuro-surgen Dr. Elliot Schwamm believes it not possible that he would have been conscious after the forehead injury. There was no oxygen equipment near the body, but the oxygen bottles would have been empty by this time and discarded at a higher altitude to relinguish the heavy load. Mallory was not wearing snow goggles, although a pair was stored in his vest, which may indicate that he was on the way back by night. However, a contemporary photograph shows he had two sets of goggles when he started his summit climb. The image of his wife Ruth which he intended to put on the summit was not in his vest. He carried the picture throughout the whole expedition—a sign that he might have reached the top. Since his Kodak pocket camera was not found, there is no proof of a successful climb to the summit.
Transcript of radio exchanges when the body of George Leigh Mallory was found.
|In these early-morning radio communications, researcher Jochen Hemmleb, an expert on the disappearance of Mallory and Irvine who remains at Base Camp, talks to Dave Hahn, a member of the search party. The search group, which also includes Conrad Anker, Jake Norton, Andy Politz, and Tap Richards, is climbing from the expedition's Camp V at roughly 25,500 feet towards Camp VI. Here they will begin their search for the 1975 Chinese Camp VI, near the spot where one of the Chinese climbers reported seeing an "English dead." Expedition leader Eric Simonson, meanwhile, is at Advance Base Camp.
|ANKER: Roger, Roger. I think everyone is pretty tired. This is our fourth day in a row, and today was a 12-hour day from five to five. So it's a long day. Over.
SIMONSON: Yeah, I hear you on that for sure. And it's probably better rather than pushing it and risking a misfortune. Then you better just hole up there and sleep on the O's and come down tomorrow maybe.
ANKER: Yeah, come right down to ABC in the morning, that might be the option. I'll tune up at 6 o'clock, and Dave will probably be on the radio then too, and we'll know how far out he is. Over.
SIMONSON: Okay. Sounds great. We'll just keep standing by.
HAHN: Yeah, we got back to the ridge and the wind is blowing hard on the ridge here. I know that's the right course for me and Andy, and most likely—those other guys can pull off some miracle, but they'll probably be comfortable. Conrad, you on?
NORTON: We're not moving an inch. Over.
SIMONSON: Way to go there Jake.
NORTON: Thanks Eric. It was Conrad with the big day, but we all had a good one up there. Over.
SIMONSON: Hey, I'm really proud of you guys. Way to hang in there, and yeah, treat yourself to a nice juicy flow tonight and feel good in the morning.
NORTON: Roger that.
HEMMLEB (off radio): That's it....yes, yes, yes!
HAHN: Right Eric. Nothing more from up here really.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
- Shitidhar (5150m/17100 ft)
- Ladakhi (5345m/18200 ft)
- Manali (5640m/18900 ft)
- Friendship (5289 m/ 17348 ft)
- Hanuman Tibba (5984m/ 19633 ft)
- Remember that anywhere over 5000ft people do die. Its not a phenomenon restricted to the big ones.
- Its not always about going up, you've got to come back down as well.
- The peak will always be there, you've got to stay alive to climb it.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
During the ascent, his companion, Willy Angerer, was injured by falling rocks loosened by the warmth of the rising sun as they crossed the first ice field. As a result of Willy Angerer's worsening condition and their slow progress across the second ice field, they abandoned the attempt on the Eiger and decided to descend. A further challenge arose when Kurz and his comrades failed to retrace their route across the area now known as the Hinterstoisser Traverse and had to climb downwards. As the result of another avalanche, Hinterstoisser himself became disconnected, plummeted down the mountain, and perished. Later, Willy Angerer, now climbing below Kurz, was smashed against the wall, dying instantly. Edi Rainer, the climber who had been securing the other two, was pulled against the wall and died minutes later of asphyxiation. Kurz alone now remained, uninjured.
Later that day, amid worsening weather, a rescue team attempted to reach Kurz from below, ascending by means of the railway tunnel that ran through the mountain, the Jungfraybahn. They could not reach Kurz due to the severity of the storm and were forced to leave him dangling unprotected and exposed to the elements for the entire night. The next day, the team again attempted to effect a rescue; Kurz himself made the effort, despite a frozen hand due to losing a glove, to abseil down the face of the mountain and reach the team. To accomplish this, he first had to cut loose the dead body of his comrade hanging below him, then climb up and cut loose his other dead comrade. To increase the length of his rope, he unraveled it and tied it together again. This entire process took five grueling hours. He then lowered the rope to the waiting rescuers, who attached their own rope.
The mountain guides only had one long rope – 60 meters – with them. Hans Schlunegger just put it between his back and his rucksack (not into his rucksack) to save some time. This was not an unusual practice for them. Unfortunately when he made a sudden movement the rope dropped and fell down to the foot of the wall. As a result the team combined two shorter ropes to reach the required length; however the combined ropes still fell short. Kurz pulled up their rope, fixed it, and began his abseiling descent. He was stopped a mere couple of meters above his rescuers by the knot. To abseil any further he would have had to raise himself enough to release the pressure on the knot and let it pass though his gear. Desperately, Kurz tried to move himself past the knot, but in vain. Facing the futility of his situation, he said only "Ich kann nicht mehr" ("I can't [go on] anymore") and died.
His body was later recovered by a German team.
The movie North Face (2010) is one of the most wonderful movies about climbing I have seen. I would rate it to be better than movies like K2- the ultimate dream and Vertical limit. Toni and Hinterstoisser are really likable characters and I love the way the movie has been filmed.
The Beckoning Silence
Its a documentary which was made for TV. It is a documentary comparing one extraordinary escape by Joe Simpson after falling into a crevasse while descending Siula Grande(Peru) and the tragedy on the North Face of Eiger which involved Toni Kurz and Andreas Hinterstoisser.
Joe Simpson who talks about the whole incident and about his own fight for survival has himself made 6 unsuccessful attempts on the North Face of the Eiger which Toni and Hinterstoisser had set out to climb with equipment half as good but determination that would probably be a lot more than Joe.
I am posting the first part of the movie here. Once you are done you will get related links to watch the whole movie from there onwards.
Summit Fever is the heightened anticipation to reach the peak of a mountain. No matter if you are tired, thirsty and hungry, and know that difference between life and death is wrong step; yet still you are excited about the time when you can finally set your foot on the top. Summit fever can be blamed for the loss of more lives in mountaineering than the terrain and the weather itself