Kategorian ‘Altitude Junkies’ arkistot

sunnuntai 16. marraskuu 2014 14:15

Cholatse

Greetings from Helsinki! I have just returned from my annual autumn season in Nepal! I first led Aventura Tour Operator’s trip on Annapurna Circuit which I might say is my favorite trek in Nepal. We were again blessed with excellent weather throughout the whole trip!
The circuit was followed by our trek to Annapurna South Basecamp, which being lush and green is very different from the Tibet-like landscape of the Circuit. At the beginning we were poured on by a massive rainfall caused by tropical storm ’Hudhud’. We later heard there had been terrible accidents high up on Annapurna Circuit where the amount was brought down as masses of snow. Some might say we were lucky that we did not get this on our Annapurna Circuit trek but there is more to it:

1) It is crucial to time the treks right! It has become a norm that as Bay of Bengal warms up, it brings cyclones in Nepal in mid-October. We do our Annapurna Circuit starting in late-Sep which seems to be good time for the trek weather-wise.

2) Many of the victims were independent trekkers and did not know there was weather coming in. This also is a reminder that Nepal is a poor country and they do not have established meteorological capabilities neither do these regions have a sound network to announce warnings. More so many of the trekkers apparently were not aware that if you suddenly get a meter of snow in mountainous region, it might not be favorable for safe trekking. For many groups it might have been beneficial having a professional guide leading the trip.

Anyway, our Annapurna Basecamp trek was safe and successful and we got to enjoy the Himalayas with an amazing group of people in fairly good weather.

Our big climb of the year was Altitude Junkies’ expedition on Cholatse! In fact, I first wanted to climb this peak in 2005 but after Ama Dablam decided to travel to Thailand instead! Ama Dablam has become an amazingly popular mountain since (well, it was even back then) and we were looking for a more quiet peak which would offer us similar technical climbing in stunning setting. We indeed were the only team on the mountain and thus got amazingly pristine feel on the whole trip. During our climb we were forced to receive transmissions from Ama Dablam which made us feel good about our selected peak. Ama Dablam had a bad season with several severe accidents and I think many of them were due to it being so overcrowded and the fixed ropes getting too much wear.

Cholatse proved to be quite a climb! The SW-ridge was far more exposed than anticipated and the climb a lot longer in all.
Our group did excellent on the route following what our staff (who did amazing job) had fixed. From our Camp 2 (6200m.) we climbed alpine style on some of the most exposed ridges I have ever climbed not to mention guided.
Thanks to good weather (and professional weather FX’s) we summited a full week early after which we helicoptered out direct from basecamp. Find Phil’s dispatches here!

I have just added fresh pics (with captions) on our Facebook page so please enjoy browsing through!

My next trip is on Aconcagua starting right after Christmas! That is through Finnish Aventura Tour Operator (vielä ehdit mukaan!). I will be traveling there from Australia where I will be enjoying my annual portion of tropical beaches! Please follow my travels through Instagram!

That is it for now! Best wishes to everyone!

Samuli

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torstai 9. lokakuu 2014 8:51

Nepal Season is on! (Newsletter Oct 9th 2014)

Greetings from sunny Pokhara where I am writing this at Maya Pub, one of my favorite restaurants for a snack and a drink!

Our group of 18 flew out of Jomsom earlier today after having finished Aventura’s Annapurna Circuit trek! Got stunning weather throughout the whole trip and thus amazing views over the chain of Annapurnas as well as all the other peaks such as Chulus, Putrun Himal, Kanguru Himal etc.
I do think Annapurna Circuit is the best trek in Nepal if you’re f.ex. coming here for the first time! It’s all about it being unbelievably varied and of course stunningly beautiful! Teahouses are of good quality as well! Some call it crowded but I strongly disagree!
Also we got to see a lot of wildlife such as langur-monkeys and quite a fair number of blue sheep! I would also like to especially thank Tashi R. Ghale who alongside with being an amazing teahouse-keeper is a award-winning photographer! Please visit his website!
We already have bookings for Aventura’s next year’s trip so you better sign-up soon to make sure to fit in!

I might although add that Manaslu Circuit might come close or even better when it comes to pure authenticity! We still have spots available for Aventura’s upcoming Manaslu Circuit starting on Nov 15th so email info@aventura.fi or me at samuli@samulimansikka.com!!
Manaslu Circuit you start at Arughat which at 500 meters of altitude is a tropic! Here you have good changes of seeing a lot of wildlife and an amazing number of birds. I’ve f.ex. heard of red panda sightings! At Larkya La pass (5200m) you are in high mountains which adds to this trek being amazingly varied. Sign-up quickly to join us in November! Details here!

My next trip up is Aventura’s Annapurna Basecamp which takes you to mountain’s South basecamp. This is a very good trek if you are interested in both culture of the Nepali mountain people as well as beautiful nature! This also is an excellent trek for birders me being one!
Follow the trip on my Instagram as I aim to update on daily basis!

Our climb of the season is Altitude Junkies’ expedition to Cholatse which I am assisting to lead alongside with Phil Crampton! You still have time to sign-up for this so email me at samuli@samulimansikka.com or info@altitudejunkies.com for details! Find the program here!

Aventura’s Aconcagua trip starting on December 26th is on for bookings! Join me for this trip to get the best possible time of the year for a successful and fun climb on the ”World’s highest trek”!

So that much for my Nepal season so far! Follow on Twitter and Instagram.

Best wishes,
Samuli

Ps. Pictured is a Tibetan lama named Kongma at Milarepa cave near Manang

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keskiviikko 24. syyskuu 2014 10:30

Nepalin syyskausi alkaa!

Terveisiä kaikille seuraajille! Altitude Junkies on parhaillaan Manaslun huippuyrityksessä! Seuraa uutisia kotisivuilla täällä!

Oma Nepalin trekkikauteni on aluillaan ja lähtö ensimmäiselle patikalle torstaina 25.9.! Aloitan kauden Aventuran Annapurna Circuitilla, mikä lienee suosikkini Nepalin vaellusten joukossa. Helpot, lyhyet päivämatkat hyvillä poluilla, erinomaiset majatalot ja tietenkin huikeat ja monipuoliset maisemat! Ajankohta on vaellukselle ehdottomasti paras sekä maisemien, sääolojen, että kulttuurin puolesta. Syys-lokakuun vaihteessa on viljankoruuaika ja pääsemme tapaamaan paikallisia peltotöissään.

Annapurna Circuitin jälkeen patikoidaan Annapurnan eteläiseen perusleiriin massiivin vehreällä puolella. Gurung- ja Magar-kylistä ja viljelysmailta erämaiseen Annapurnan laakson kanjoniin… Kulttuuria ja luontoa sopivassa suhteessa! Paikkoja on jäljellä ja ehdit vielä hyvin mukaan 11 – 24.10. matkalle! Meilaa samuli@samulimansikka.com tai suoraan toimistolle info@aventura.fi! Matkaohjelma täällä!

Aventuran Annapurna-trekkien jälkeen johdan Altitude Junkiesin kiipeilymatkan Everestin kansallispuistossa sijaitsevalle Cholatselle! 6440-metrinen vuori on erinomainen vaihtoehto laakson toisella puolella sijaitsevalle ruuhkaisemmalle Ama Dablamille! Teknistä kiipeilyä, halutessasi kädestä pitäen opastettuna yhdelle Nepalin hienoimmista vuorista! Sopivasti korkeutta ja haastetta, mutta opastettuna erinomaiset mahdolisuudet onnistuneeseen ja turvalliseen nousuun. Soveltuu esim. Alpeilla kiivenneille ensimmäiseksi matkaksi Himalajalle! Lisätiedot samuli@samulimansikka.com tai info@altitudejunkies.com ja matkaohjelma!

Nepalin tämän hetken ehdottomasti ”kuumin” vaellus on maailman 8. korkeimman vuoren ympäri vievä Manaslu Circuit, jonne matkaamme 15.11. alkaen!
Alue on pysynyt hyvin autenttisena huonojen tieyhteyksien ja hankalan saavutettavuuden vuoksi. Nyt polunalkuun on parannetun tien ansiosta helpompi päästä ja siis edelleen syvemmälle Manaslun erityissuojelualueelle.
Patikka alkaa Arughatista vain 500 metrin korkeudesta ja vie sakeiden sademetsin halki pikkuhiljaa ylävuoristomaisemiin ja lopulta Larkya La -solan (5200m.) yli. Rauhallisuudesta johtuen eläimistö on runsasta ja alueella on langur-apinoiden ja runsaan linnuston ohella mahdollista bongata mm. pikkupanda.
Matka soveltuu ennen kaikkea aiemmin Nepalissa trekanneelle, joka haluaa pitkän, rauhallisen ja autenttisen kokemuksen maan kauneimmassa osassa.
Tutustu ohjelmaan Aventuran sivuilla ja ilmoittaudu pian info@aventura.fi!

Nyt kannattaa myös ilmoittautua vuodenvaihteen ja alkuvuoden 2015 matkoille! Johdan Aventuran matkan Etelä-Amerikan korkeimmalle vuorelle Aconcagualle 26.12. alkaen ja voin taata, että matkassamme saat parhaat mahdolliset edellytykset saavuttaa Himalajan ulkopuolisen maailman korkeimman vuoren huippu. Paras ajankohta, paras paikallisoperaattori ja oppaat, sekä parhaat mahdolliset puitteet perusleirissä ja vuorella. Kysy lisää samuli@samulimansikka.com ja ilmoittaudu info@aventura.fi!

Tammikuun lopulla kiivetään Kilimanjarolle! Samulin matkassa voit keskittyä itse vaellukseen ja rentoutua, samalla maksimoiden huiputuksen todennäköisyyden (100 % kraaterinreunalle ja 97 % Uhuru Peakille)!
Ainutlaatuinen vuorivaellus ja maailman ehdoton trekkiklassikko! Kahden viikon kokonaismatka-ajalla saat halutessasi liitettyä myös lyhyen safarin ja Sansibarin tai vaikkapa Afrikan hienoimman luonnonpuiston, Serengetin! Kysy lisää Kilimanjaron vaelluksesta samuli@samulimansikka.com ja ilmoittaudu info@aventura.fi! Matkaohjelma!

Seuraa syksyn matkoja Instagramissa ja Twitterissä!

Terveisin,

Samuli

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lauantai 31. toukokuu 2014 13:42

Upcoming trips (Newsletter 31th May)

Apologies for long period between regular newsletters and thanks for being patient! I don’t know if you all noticed that April-May we were climbing Kangchenjunga in Nepal. At 8586-meters Kangchenjunga is World’s 3rd tallest peak and I was successful in reaching it’s summit on May 18th at 8:30am after having reached basecamp (5500m.) on April 18th. As this climb was of personal nature instead of guiding I completed it without sherpa-support above basecamp as well as without aid of oxygen bottles.
Find the details of summit-day in blog here!

Please follow me on Twitter and Instagram to be the first to hear about our climbs this summer!

My guided trips are starting again in August as I am leading Aventura’s trip to Mongolia! I am very much looking forward to this. See the program here and sign-up!

Altitude Junkies Aug-Oct Manaslu expedition is a go, as for many years now! I think Manaslu definitely is one of the most beautiful 8000-meter peaks and a good climb if you are dreaming of breaking the 8000-meter line. You still have time to sign-up for this year’s trip!

For me Nepal’s autumn trekking-season starts in late-September. First we’ll do Annapurna Circuit, my favorite followed by Annapurna Basecamp. Still spots available although act quick if you want to make sure you fit in!

What I think is probably the most interesting trip of the year is brought to you by Altitude Junkies! When I first went to Nepal in 2005 I had plans on climbing Cholatse, a beautiful 6440-meter peak in Khumbu. We did not back then eventually climb it but ever since I have wanted to. So in October-November Altitude Junkies takes you there on a trip led by both Phil and me! The expedition is operated by high Altitude Junkies’ standards. This is an outstanding opportunity if you have f.ex. thought of climbing Ama Dablam but don’t like the crowds. An absolutely outstanding peak in heart of Khumbu!
Contact info@altitudejunkies.com for enquiries and check the details here.

After Cholatse I will be continuing trekking-season on Manaslu Circuit. Check Aventura’s program here.
Manaslu Circuit is for sure ”The Hot Trek” right now. Due to improved infrastructure it is growing fast and I think it at the moment offers the most diverse trek in very authentic setting.

After Christmas I am leading Aventura’s trek to Aconcagua (6959m.), the highest peak outside Himalayas. This has already been confirmed so sign-up now and join me, if you ever thought of going there!

Find me on Instagram and Twitter to follow my trips around the World!

Enjoy summer, wherever you are!

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