Monday, September 22, 2008

More Photos

Sadhu smoking chillum.

Renan approaching advanced basecamp.

Renan highball bouldering above basecamp.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Some Photos By Jimmy Chin

Topavan Basecamp under Shivling

Evening prayer in Gongotri.

Bouldering above basecamp.

Renan painting a signature panoramic in the field.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Video #7 Base-Camp

Topovan Basecamp - 09.14.08

The somber and powerful eastern and northern aspects of Shivling loom large
on the southern horizon. Twenty five years since being cognizant of this
range and one peak in particular, Meru, I look back on the years that
brought me to this place and what the next two weeks will bring.

In 1988, I ventured to Kalidaha peak in the Kishtwar Himal. It was my first
expedition to the Himalaya and prior to departing, our young green team met
up with Mugs Stump and Steve Quinlin, who were on their way to Meru.

Rambo, the epitome of 80's masculinity and aggression had swept a film mad
India. Mugs, with his set jaw and long curling black hair, more than
resembled Rambo. His character effused confidence to the point that the
petty cab drivers were sure this man was Rambo. It was all good humor and
after a meal, we were off to our separate objectives. A late monsoon, or
early winter storm enveloped the Himalaya, and Mugs and Steve never made the
summit of the East Face of Meru's Shark's Fin.

First given international prominence on the cover of Mountain Magazine, the
sweeping granite face alluded to the possibility and high standard that
difficult alpine climbing could take. This image launched more than one
expedition, mine included.

In 1993, an English team, of Paul Pritchard and Jonny Dawes had a serios
attempt on the peak. At their high point, the team dropped a boot. Setback
by a minor misha with major consequences, the guys retreated. The Shark's
Fin remained elusive. The East Wall called multiple teams to define
themselves on it's cold and forbidding vertical and complex landscape.

Mugs died in 1992, on the South Buttress of Denali. With him, the dreams he
had for adventurous climbs in the greater ranges. As his understudy, I felt
a pull to this peak. More teams tried the wall, some diverting onto the
massive snow slope to the north. The direct East Face remained untouched.

In 2003, Bruce Miller, Doug Chabot and I tried the wall, retreating at 2/3's
height. We retreated due to deep unconsolidated snow and no big wall gear
for the upper wall.

In returning this year, I have a strong team of close friends and the
knowledge gained from five years ago. If we are fortunate, we will have
passage through one of the great unclimbed features of the Himalayas.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Video #3 Road Trip- India Style

Jimmy, Conrad and I are now all in one place and moving toward the objective in a little mini-van on some wild exposed curvy roads. Conrad can hardly contain his psyche for the climb, Jimmy is still recovering from burning man + 72 hours of travel and I am super car-sick trying to edit video on the fly.. Best to all, ~REO

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sweating In Delhi & the "DUFFLE SHUFFLE"

Brief Update--

Took the short 2hr flight from Kathmandu, Nepal to New Delhi, India this morning. It is a step up in heat, humidity and pollution from K-DU: 100 degrees F, 100% humidity, 100% smog...

Aside from trying not inhale the fumes and drip sweat on my ipod this part of the journey is all about the "duffle shuffle". This funny expedition dance ritual involves the shifting of heavy gear between bags to fulfill the specific packaging requirements for the different legs of travel necessary to reach the high himalaya. Usually the sequence goes: 2-3 days of planes--> 2 days of 4x4 jeeps--> 7 days of horses/porters/yaks--> then BASE-CAMP. Each stage might require a re-shuffle and its key to conserve your energy during the process.

This leg of the trip my "shuffle" was an attempt to avoid the ever increasing excess baggage charges that have become a large consideration when trying to pull off involved international expeditions. Entering the plane today I was able the carry on about 100lbs of gear including the "New Dome 8", the largest tent The North Face makes. In the near future I could see climbers having to pre-cargo ship gear like the old days because of such rising cost. Many someday we could even pull off a petroleum free expedition!

So. I sit here sweating and waiting for Jimmy and Conrad's to arrive........... Just as lassitude strikes, I get a surprise visit from expedition veteran and TNF climber Kevin Thaw!!! He is a great mentor when it comes to all these logistics and is also mid-shuffle on his way to meet up with Peter Croft and Mark Synott. Small world when you run into a friend half-way around the world like this. Their team is aiming for a wild new line on Kishtwar Shivling in the Jammu Kashmir which is a very remote region of the massive mtn range that is the Himalaya. They should have a blog going as well through the north face site.. Wishing them the best!

Thanks for reading, more soon.. ~REO

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Video #2 The Crazy World of Remote Dispatches

Still in KTM here getting the solar system dialed with fellow TNF athlete Kris Erikson. This is a peak into the part of the system we are using to share our adventure! thanks for checking it. ~REO

Monday, September 1, 2008