Antarctica and Cold Environment Expeditions Season Starts on BCM

Now, we’re moving into our Antarctica and Cold-Environment Expedition Season. This is where we feature climbers, explorers and expeditions traveling to Antarctica and other environments that are naturally cold year-round. 

We have a lot planned for this long season that will stretch into the end of winter 2017. Included in our publication calendar is our well-awaited coverage of Second Lieutenant Scott Sears’ solo expedition to the South Pole and a feature on Dr. Ash Routen’s expedition to Lake Baikal in Siberia where he will be leading a team of 3 Brits across one of the world’s most interesting bodies of water. 

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Wendy Ong Shares How She Overcame Her Spinal Cord Injury and Climbed On

This month, the star of the end of our September month is Wendy Ong, a Spinal Cord Injury survivor who has defeated the odds and continued to pursue her passions of climbing and skiing some of the most difficult passes.

“Certain that Bob had me, I unclipped from the anchors, leaned back – and then free-fell nearly 200 feet to the ground.” I kept telling myself, “Don’t close your eyes Wendy, don’t close your eyes.”

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First Successful Summits on K2 Since 2014

There hasn’t been a successful summit on the King of Mountains, K2, since 2014. However, this changed today when one expedition, led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, made it to the summit and reported their successful assault through social media. 

Roughly six hours ago, Mingma G., head of Dreamers Destination, reported on his Facebook page that he and 11 other climbers had successfully made it to the summit. He wrote:

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Remembering Alberto Zerain

Beloved Spanish alpinist Alberto Zerain died in a tragic avalanche on Nanga Parbat this week. Though he was not able to return from the mountain in this life, his memory has found a new home in the hearts among those who appreciated his attitude toward the dare of a summit and those who admired his accomplishments. 

Zerain was climbing Nanga Parbat as part of the 2x14x8000 project, which aimed to see 14 of the world’s 8,000 m. peaks climbed twice. While on the Mazeno Ridge, Zerain gave his last update to the Base Camp team on 24, June. Shortly after, his team lost contact with him and would announce on 27, June, that they believed he and Mariano Galvan had lost power on their radio communicators. 

On 01, July 2x14x8000 announced that a helicopter search of the Mazeno Ridge revealed signs of a massive avalanche and they did not believe there was a possibility of survivors. On this day, the search for Zerain and Galvan was ended and the mountaineering world began to mourn, finally letting go of the hope they had so desperately tried to cling to in belief that he would be found alive.

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Editor’s Note: K22017

Everest2017 is over, but there’s another season on the horizon. K22017 is just around the corner, and with it, comes a lot of preparation and thoughts, both good and bad. In this Editor’s Note, Base Camp Magazine’s Editor talks a bit about what to expect for K2’s upcoming climbing season and who BCM is watching closely on the mountain.

For every mountaineering season, I have a pick of mountaineers, expedition companies, guides… that I seem more interested in watching as they complete journeys; each season the picks are different, but some are constant favorites. This year, for the K2 season, I am watching Fredrik Sträng closely.

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Crew of 180 to Depart to Antarctica on Scientific Expedition

The mission of the 59th Antarctic Expedition is to study ice cores of exceptional age; the crew hopes to reach depths of ice that are older than previously recorded as having been studied. In 2007, a Japanese mission took samples from ice cores that aged around 720,000-years-old; the team studied them in their Dome Fuji Station located in inland Antarctica. These cores were located at a depth of 3,035 meters. 

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Coming Up: Wendy Ong on Surviving a SCI and Climbing

Wendy Ong is the only person to have fallen nearly 200 feet (70m), survive, go on to rock climb, ice-climb, and ski at high levels with a T-10 Spinal Cord Injury; survive sepsis and climb her hardest trad route as a paraplegic (5.12- Cloud Tower, Red Rocks, Nevada) a few months later; ski her way across North America; and be the only para to ski, ice-climb, and rock climb in the space of less than ten days.

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Dealing With Post-Expedition Depression

Leading up to an expedition is a stressful time, and even during the expedition you’re faced with physical rigor and unimaginable requests of endurance from your body – but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

We often run into the same problem after the expedition when we’re home planning for the next trip or just “relaxing.” But we don’t really relax. All the downtime spent on the couch is spent recounting the days on the mountain, the snow, the good times, the ice, even the weather as annoying as it may have been at times. Once your boots are firmly on the ground, you find it hard to not have crampons on. You look around and don’t know how to manage the concept of walking into a grocery store and have no one know you just climbed Everest or K2 – no one around understands mountaineering life and most don’t even know mountaineering is a “thing.” How do you cope with this? How do you cope with wanting to be back on a mountain that terrifies and beats you down at every turn?

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28/07 UPDATE: Fredrik Sträng K2 Summit 2017 | Summit Abort and Reattempt Through Cescen Route

On 28 July, Fredrik returned to Base Camp after aborting the ascent at aprox. 7,400 meters due to bad weather and dangerous conditions that included little visibility, waist-deep snow and avalanches.

On 28 July at 8:00 P.M. EST, Fredrik’s contact updated his progress by stating that Fredrik and his partner would attempt the summit again. He will now approach the summit via the Cescen Route due to “bad conditions on Abruzzi.”

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FIREPOT By Outdoorfood Review #1 | Porcini Mushroom Risotto & Orzo Pasta Bolognese

Earlier this month, we had a “FIREPOT” night and our Social Media manager, Rob, joined me for a tasting two of Outdoorfood’s dehydrated meals, their award winning Porcini Mushroom Risotto and their highest calorie meal, Orzo Pasta Bolognese.

“The beef had an abundance of flavor, each bite of it was rewarding. The meal had real bits of tomato in it that also provided real flavor.”

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The Wait is Over, Fredrik Sträng Attempts K2 Summit Today

Yesterday, he announced that today is the day for the summit bid start!

We, and all you reading this now, have been keeping our fingers crossed in hopes of good weather for the summit attempt for Fredrik Sträng’s Sigma K2017 Expedition. In our last Dispatch, we left Fredrik waiting patiently as he watched the stars and contemplated his place amongst them and measured his size against the mountain.

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Fredrik Sträng and Ali Musa Wait for a Weather Window on K2

Through Dispatches, you’ve had an inside look into the Sigma K2 2017 Expedition that is underway with climbers Fredrik Sträng from Sweden, Ali Musa from Pakistan and their third team member, Abass, their Chef Cook at K2 Base Camp.

Next week, he and Ali Musa are expecting to have a chance at a summit push on K2, but it will most likely be a shared effort between them and other expeditions on the mountain.

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