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All Back Safely at Basecamp

A short text message from the sat phone:

“All of our team are back safely at base camp. The weather was just too bad — too much snow — to attempt the summit of Quitaraju, so we have all made the descent back to base camp. We’re very pleased to have achieved the major goal: a difficult but magnificent summit of Alpamayo. Tomorrow we’ll head down valley and be back in good communication with everyone.”

-Adrian Ballinger
Alpenglow Expeditions

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Manaslu Begins!

It’s Friday morning and I’m hopped up on espresso, meeting with our office manager Emily one last time before leaving for Nepal.

I begin the 30 or so hours of flying on Sunday from San Francisco, so it is definitely crunch time in the Alpenglow office. I will be guiding 2 expeditions in the Himalaya over the next 3 months – first Manaslu and then Ama Dablam.

We’ll be posting blogs and photos as often as possible from Manaslu, the World’s eighth tallest peak. Alpenglow runs Manaslu in partnership with Russell Brice and Himalayan Experience. HimEx is the most successful…

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Summits and Rescues

Our 14th season in Peru and on Alpamayo has been both a lot of fun and very challenging. While one of our team members, Steve, along with lead guide Jaime Avila, are still in the Cordillera Blanca attempting a technical route on Peru’s tallest peak, Huascaran, I have the good fortune to take a mini-vacation. My “office” this week is in the far north of Peru on the Ecuadorian border, a little beach town called Pocitas. Pocitas is famous for great waves, perfect wind for kiteboarding, and the freshest ceviche and sushi you can possibly imagine. It’s my opinion that…

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Everest, Beyond the Limit, Season 3

Discovery Channel has finally announced the schedule for Everest- Beyond the Limit, Season 3. I promise I will not be featured, so you should be able to enjoy the show without distractions from me!

Premiere schedule in USA as follows:
Sun, Dec 27: 8-11pm EST (3 hour premiere)
Wed, Dec 30: 9-11pm EST (2 hour premiere, my summit is in show from 9-10)

Enjoy!
-Adrian Ballinger, Alpenglow Expeditions

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Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari, 2010

What better way to start 2010 than by climbing Africa’s tallest mountain, and then going game viewing in the eighth wonder of the world, the Ngorongoro Crater. I am writing this dispatch from our hotel in the Crater, looking out on the sun setting and countless animals wandering across the grasslands of the interior of the crater.

It is a bit difficult to stay focused on this dispatch with that kind of a view, but here goes.

On January 4 at 7:15 am our entire group of nine stood on the roof of Africa, at 19,341 feet on Kilimanjaro. It…

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Chamonix 2010!

It’s been another incredible season here in Chamonix, and hard to believe it is almost time already to leave for the spring Himalaya season. Time in the Alps always flies by, and this season has been no exception. Snow and coverage has been top notch in 2010 – all the famous ski routes have been in all the way down to the valley, avalanche hazard has been low, and we have even had our share of sunny days.

One of the real benefits of basing out of Chamonix for skiing is the incredible variety of terrain and options regardless of…

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Dingboche and BC Bound

 

7 days into our trek to Everest, we are taking a rest day in Dingboche, at 14,500 feet. It’s a beautiful town, completely surrounded by big peaks, including Ama Dablam, Lhotse Shar, Tawache, Cholatse, and many more. It’s a climber’s candy shop – spend 2 or 3 days here and you will have chosen a lifetime of climbing lines you want to attempt.

But when the summit of Everest is your goal, you have to practice patience and reserve. Instead of racing up the local peaks,…

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Everest Base Camp Fun!

Well, we are finally here and settling in at 17, 500 feet in Everest Basecamp. We actually arrived a week ago, on April 10, so lots has been going on. By now we feel strong and healthy again as our bodies acclimatize. We can eat, drink, and move around camp normally now, a nice change from our first days here. And so, it is actually time to leave again and go higher! Like last year, we will be doing most of our early acclimatization (to 20,000 feet) on another peak in the valley, called Lobuche. We leave this afternoon for…

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Base Camp Boredom, aka The Waiting Game

8000 meter peaks always seem to have a waiting period, and this spring on Everest has been no exception. It is one of the hardest times mentally of the entire season, and the number of helicopters coming in and out of basecamp every day represent this. Every day it seems like a different climber decides to pack up, grab a 6,000$ ride, and go home. Either they get sick, or life stuff is going on at home, or they just can’t handle the idea of another week of waiting while jetstream winds pound the upper mountain.…

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