Arkistot ajalle maaliskuu, 2014

lauantai 29. maaliskuu 2014 16:48

Kangchenjunga preparations underway

First of all, thank you very much for following my website and blog you all! I appreciate it and hope you are finding my writings interesting to you! Recently I’ve seen a noticeable increase in the number of visits and also increasingly so from abroad.
For quite some time I thought of the language and whether the content should be in English or in Finnish? For the first time, we’ve this month come to a point when most entries were from the US and not from Finland which in a way justifies my choice of language. Most Finns can read English fluently anyway.
Climbing and mountaineering are international matters and I’ve never considered myself a mountaineer of any nation. Makes me happy if I can reach mountain-lovers from everywhere in the World.

I’m starting my Kangchenjunga trip on Sunday 6th by flying through Delhi to Kathmandu where I’ll be arriving on morning of 7th. It’ll be busy two days packing at our storage before I and our BC crew leave on the trek on 9th.
For many years this is the first time I am not doing any guiding prior to my personal big peak climb. That is simply due to vast remoteness of my objective and the long approach it takes and the time it demands. According to our April 9th departure we should make it to Kangch Basecamp (5500m.) no earlier than April 20th to 21st. I’m exited to experience a completely new part of Nepal to me and who knows, maybe we get to see the elusive snow leopard?

By now I’ve been busy pulling everything together for the trip. I get all the necessary Basecamp gear and nutritional etc. support in BC through my Nepali operator. I therefore only need to take care of all my personal belongings in BC as well as everything needed above BC.
It is crucial to make one’s self comfortable at BC so although my high-mountain-gear is collected of the lightest pieces of equipment in the market, I seem to end up having noticeable pile of gear. The amount of electronics alone is ridiculous! But hey, that’s the modern World! Motion action cameras, still cameras, satellite phones, laptops, solar panels, battery-packs, walkie talkies.. It would of course be possible to cope without all these but first of all, some of them are crucial safety measures and secondly, they make me feel home if the weather makes us stay at BC for long time periods.
Reinhold Messner just recently commented on modern climbing expeditions and all the media involved. I love his idea of pure, ascetic, no comms, lightweight approach but as I spend 200+ days a year on the mountains, can’t quite relate to his ideal of being isolated from outside World to that extend.
Modern climbing expeditions also greatly benefit of modern weather forecasting which again I think justifies the developed satellite comms.
Anyway, in total it is around 70kg of gear I will be bringing with me on the mountain and back. That’s all my climbing gear, high camps, sleeping bags, cookers, food above BC, clothing, BC comfort items, all that electronics… For a stay of 8 weeks outdoors I do consider it fairly lightweight after all.

Another thing about the preparations is getting familiar with the objective and the route. I am grateful to my friend Tunc Findik for giving me his take on the mountain as well as detailed instructions of how their summit-day was? Please see Tunc’s Kangchenjunga video from three years ago on Vimeo here!

Talking about video clips, please see also the documentary on Finnish actor Matti Ristinen’s trip to Cordillera Blanca, Peru last summer. Matti joined Altitude Junkies for Huascaran and extended his trip with us to other objectives. Well filmed and narrated (in Finnish though)!

It is not long until the beginning of my trip! Please follow me on Twitter and Instagram to get the latest updates! I blog occasionally but through the first mentioned medias you’ll get the news in near real-time!

Altitude Junkies have already started having their Everest and Lhotse members in Kathmandu so look forward to Phil’s dispatches! I assume Lhotse team member Mark Horrell will also be active on his blog throughout the whole trip.

The next newsletter might in fact be written in Kathmandu! Looking forward to having you along following my moves! All the enquiries, media, questions, feedback are very welcomed through samuli@samulimansikka.com !

Best wishes,
Samuli

tiistai 18. maaliskuu 2014 16:59

Chamonix to Kangchenjunga! (Newsletter Mar 18th)

Phew, what busy and action-packed spring it is! I just got back from Chamonix on Monday and am now furiously finalizing all the necessary preparations for my departure to Nepal!
Amazingly good skiing we got into at Chamonix! Went there climbing but as the conditions were not favorable, we jumped on skis! Find a couple photos at my Instagram.

It is now confirmed that I am arriving to Kathmandu on April 7th and starting the long trek to Kangchenjunga BC on 8th or 9th. This way I will be reaching the base of the mountain at around April 20 to start the rotations.
Kangchenjunga (8586m.) is huge and it will be taking quite some time to get the route in. Furthermore, I am expecting the weather to be windy, snowy and in all less favorable until mid-May and thus expecting summit-pushes no earlier than May 15 through 30.

For now it’s mostly about pulling all the gear together! I am very grateful for Rab, Valandre and LaSportiva for their support and for making the best products in their fields!
Another huge thing is getting all the satellite communications functioning properly. Thank you Pentti Kotiaho at Savantum for helping me out with things I have no understanding of!

I hope you find it interesting to follow my trip through occasional blog-posts here at samulimansikka.com and on daily-basis at Twitter. I am also active on Instagram!

Altitude Junkies are already in Kathmandu and gearing up for Mount Everest and Lhotse! We are expecting the dispatches to start soon here.

You might not be able to sign-up for Everest 2014 anymore, but check on our upcoming trips here to see what we are up to later this year! Please take note on our Peru Huascaran program as well as Manaslu and Cholatse in Nepal in autumn! Do not hesitate to email me on requests on all the upcoming trips!

Take care, all of you!

Samuli