Himalaya 2010 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up /31/ – Week in Review.

A pay service made ExplorersWeb create headlines all on its own in the past two weeks. Wire- and breaking news are still free but a subscription is needed for specials such as the other big news last week: about Miss Oh losing her summit status at Adventure Stats.

In other news: a huge review of 2011 expedition phones including word from TeliaSonera about the 3G on Everest. Also, Karakoram winter action is heating up, watch for ExWeb’s special coverage next month, and finally – get set for the 2010 ExplorersWeb Awards!

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Interview with Tina about subscriptions at ExplorersWeb: “All the speculations don’t matter for we have no choice” The big hoo-ha among readers and media colleagues about ExplorersWeb’s subscription model is starting to mellow, but questions remain. Why? Will it work? And, what’s next? ExWeb’s Mikael Strandberg caught up with founder Tina Sjogren with some hardball questions picked up from the net.

HumanEdgeTech Review: Everest and expedition phones 2011, mobile vs. satellite IsatPhone Pro, 3G service on Everest, Terrastar’s smartphone/satellite hybrid: never have the choices been so many to communicate from remote places. In a huge review, HumanEdgeTech helped sort hype from the real in 2011.

HumanEdgeTech follow up, word from Ncell/TeliaSonera: “Rates are good for all but bring your sat phone on the climb” The review also covered TeliaSonera’s 3G mobile service on Everest. The next day, the company returned with details.

ExWeb special report, part 1: Oh Eun-Sun loses summit status at AdventureStats As late as of September 1, ExplorersWeb stood by Oh Eun-Sun in her claim of the first female fourteen 8000ers. Later this fall we set out to make a final investigation. In the process we found new facts that force a change at AdventureStatistics — in favor of Spanish Edurne Pasaban.

ExWeb Oh Eun-Sun special report, part 2: the Scoop Photoshopped images, a team Sherpa retracting the original summit claim, contradictory statements, shady climbing details and general lack of evidence. Language problems could not explain why even Miss Oh’s fellow Korean climbers began to doubt her claims. The fatal cut to the story came however from no other than Miss Oh herself.

ExWeb Oh Eun-Sun report, final: Edurne Pasaban takes the throne Once again, we must turn to the late Inaki Ochoa’s words describing a summit as “where everything goes down in any and every other direction.” With that definition, the world has got its true first female 14, 8000ers mountaineer: Edurne Pasaban.

New Poll at ExWeb Messner figured that reaching only the ground around the summit, say 30 to 50 ft, is enough for success. At ExWeb’s new poll however, 69% of around 500 voters state that 0 ft is what should count and another 20% allow no more than 1-10 ft away.

ExWeb interview with Edurne Pasaban: “The fight is over” In an interview with Angela Benavides, Edurne talks about what happened this spring, her view of Miss Oh and summit rules, the cost of the battle, media’s role vs. lack of interest from her own climbing federation, and finally – the future.

Karakoram winter action piling up: Dark horses for Nanga Parbat Besides the confirmed teams currently preparing for winter GI, GII and Broad Peak, two Polish young guns are eyeing another Karakoram 8000er: Nanga Parbat. Artur Hajzer confirmed the facts to ExplorersWeb.

“Perfect stranger” Sergey Nikolayevich aiming for winter Nanga Parbat – solo Rumors of a Russian climber going for winter Nanga Parbat were confirmed by Asghar Ali Purik of Jasmine Tours: This dark horse is Sergey Tsygankov Nikolayevich, already in Pakistan and reportedly aiming for – a solo ascent. No one seems to know of this mountaineer or his previous climbs though.

One more for winter Gasherbrum II: Cory Richards to join Moro & Urubko Simone Moro and Denis Urubko have a new addition to their winter GI upcoming expedition: photographer Corey Richards — a seasoned Himalayan winter climber.

Join the Everest Summit Quackwatch! Forget the SPOT – a single quack could be enough to prove your summit on Everest.The bar-headed goose is one of the only known birds that migrates over Everest and Jessica Meir wants to know how it adapts to life at high altitudes. You can help her with her studies.

Valery Rozov: Antarctic BASE jump – like an astronaut in outer space The famous Russian BASE jumper did it again; this time in minus 30 degree Celsius on Antarctica. Valery Rozov became the first person to climb the 2931 meter high Mount Ulvetanna and BASE jump off. He said he felt like an astronaut in outer space.

Antarctic wrap-up: Skiers crossed 84 degrees South; Polar insurance stopped; Mr. Park back for a crossing Solo, return skier Chris Foot was the first to cross 84 degrees where he dropped his second cache. A major insurance company is no more covering expeditions in polar areas. A new motorized crossing with Korean high altitude mountaineers Mr. Koo and Mr. Park is about to start. A Slovak team guided by Peter Valusiak skied the Last Degree SP from Novo. Adventure Consultants with ANI guide and chef, Ronnie Finaas and leader Guy Cotter completed the LD from UG. Christian Eide and Alex Abramov are on the plateau with LD teams. News about the resupply for Hannah and Devon’s teams.

Mount Vinson wrap-up: First summits High winds kept the Vinson teams on Antarctica tent bounded, some for up to six days. Team Latitude from Norway was the first to summit this season. Though the wind was much less the summit temperature was reported as minus 30 degrees Celsius. The ALE DC-3 keeps shuttling more climbers to Vinson.

Antarctic science wrap-up: ANSMET hunting for meteorites again ANSMET has two field teams hunting for meteorites; a team exploring previously unvisited meteorite sites from the SP, and a larger team again based at the Davis Nunataks and Mt Ward. The Fuchs Science teachers are back at UG. The respective vehicle teams are heading towards the coast. The Moon-Regan vehicles crossed Antarctica and Arctic Trucks KNGS drove 2300 km to the SP in only 4.5 days.

Bursary funded places available for North East and Channel Island gap-year students on BSES Svalbard Expedition North East and Channel Island adventurous gappers with a passion for environmental science are urged to apply for the last few places on the BSES expedition to Svalbard this spring. £2,500 towards the cost of the expedition is available for NE and Channel Island residents; first-come, first-served.

ExWeb interview with Christoph Höbenreich: South Georgia, a place for experienced ice and snow climbers and skiers A crossing of South Georgia is definitely no place for beginners, says Austrian polar adventurer and mountaineer, Christoph Höbenreich. In October he guided a crossing along the historic Shackleton route from King Haakon Bay to Stromness Bay across crevassed glaciers and steep and avalanche prone slopes.

One breath and a 100 meter dive New Zealander William Trubridge (30) dove 100 meters into Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island with a single breath of air, and only his hands and feet to send him down and up. This is Trubridge 13th freediving record, and he had to do this dive twice to make it to the books.

The hard way for solo sailor The Velux 5 Oceans Race competitors are held back in Cape Town to let a storm blow out. The storm gives Belgian solo sailor Christophe Bullen’s a few extra hours to prepare for the next leg in the round the world sprint. Bullens finished 3 weeks after the winner.

Kayaker killed by crocodile South African kayaker Hendrik Coetzee was on an expedition in Congo when he was pulled out of his kayak by a crocodile, and he is presumed dead. His two fellow kayakers Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic where evacuated after the tragic incident.

Madsen to skipper record attempt Angela Madsen (50) will start 2011 with her eyes set for yet another record attempt in the ocean rowing world. The paraplegic ocean rower will skipper a team of 16 that will try to establish a new world record row from Morocco to Barbados. The time to beat is 33 days.

Kate and Melissa Cycling the Silk Road Over the course of a year, Melissa and Kate will cycle 15,000 km through the shattered mountains and scorched deserts that span the Silk Road from Istanbul to India. The bike trip is a field research Expedition that aims to explore and advocate for conservation and connectivity across borders.

Connecting Cultures, a Global Debate Mark Evans in Oman wants everyone to join the global debate about, what is culture? He has, since 2004, run Connecting Cultures which is recognised by the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations as one of the world’s leading and most innovative civil society projects.

ExWeb interview: The Real Long Walk, Karl Bushby´s back The story of a man who walked the world for the last 13 years offers an interesting perspective to The Long Walk to Freedom, done by either Slavomir Rawicz or Witold Glinski (or neither of them perhaps). ExWeb’s long walker Mikael Strandberg reached long walker Karl Bushby in New York for a very personal interview. What the two wanderers talked about? The toll on money, women and fatherhood.

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