Pages

April 29, 2011

Makalu Advance Base Camp


"Greetings from Makalu Advance Base Camp, 5,700 meters, Friday 29, April, 2011...

We left ABC at 7:45 am, still shivering in the shade of Makalu's summit and West Wall rising over 2,000 meters above us.

A 2-hour walk up the rocky glacier led to Crampon Point, where we trade hiking shoes for double boots and crampons. The walk up the glacier is punctuated by the occasional crevasse, slots starting with blue ice and disappearing into the black below.


At 6,250 meters, the glacier changes from gentle to steep and the fixed ropes start, clipping in with jumars and using a combination of front points and ankles rolled out to ascend the blue ice. Half way up the wind begins to fill with snow and for the last hour we have whipping spindrift and snow swirling about us, arriving into a welcome Camp I at 6,400 meters.

Tucked under a few towering ice seracs, we are protected from avalanches, but the snow and cloud continues through the night, the next day, then the next night. Hibernation is a well-honed Himalayan skill and we practice it well, brewing, eating, drinking and shoveling out tents. It is a good introduction to a mountain Adele describes quite rightly as "a big boy's mountain."


By the next morning, feeling well acclimatized if a bit tent-bound with the snow now half way up the walls, we bundle up and slide back down the ropes to the heat of the glacier and a slippery trail through the rocks to ABC. Avalanches roll down the far peaks and we settle back into a few days rest, starting with chips and eggs, followed by showers and a welcome nap.

We have spent two days in ABC, with plans to head up again tomorrow, stopping at Camp 1 before moving onto Camp 2 for 2 nights.

The team is all well and healthy, having all been up to Camp 1, and we will update by satellite phone from higher up."

Robert Anderson
Expedition Leader
Climbing the world's 5th highest mountain, via the North Face and North West Ridge.
Makalu Altitude 8,463m/27,765ft » Duration 60 Days » Grade 5E

* Robert's team outfitted with the LOWA Expedition 8000 RD GTX®. To read more of Robert's dispatches, visit Jagged Globe.

April 22, 2011

Sole Mates

Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

It's been so long since I bought my Lowa hiking shoes, I can't remember exactly when, I know it was over 10 years ago.

My shoes have been on many day hikes with my dog in Canadian winters and summers, cottage campfires and countless canoe trips in Algonquin Park. They've been soaked by heavy rains and dried by campfires over and over again and never failed me.

I was beginning to think they would never die. But unfortunately, this past week the soles finally separated and the shoes wore out.

I now start my hunt for another great pair of Lowa hiking boots!

Thank you for being my 'soul' mate for the last 10+ years.

~ Dee
Got a story?
We'd like to publish it.

April 12, 2011

Amazing Good Luck @ the Otter


I was sitting on the deck of my favorite burrito restaurant, The Lucky Otter, enjoying a few margaritas when a woman I've never met approached and asked what size shoe I wear.

Strange come-on... I thought to myself, but I humored her. And, I gave here the correct answer, too, not wanting to mislead her with the old adage about the correlation between feet and, well, you know.

Then she asked whether I do any mountaineering. I said yes and continued to be puzzled by her questions. "Perfect," she said. "I have something to give you."

She went to her car and returned with a pair of Civetta GTX Extremes in just my size. She gave them to me and said they'd belonged to her former husband who had died a few years ago.

She said it was time to turn loose of all his old 'stuff' and wanted me to have them. How fortuitous! Great story, huh? I thanked her for the gift, bought her a few margs and made a new friend.

~ Jeff

Got a story?
We'd like to publish it.

April 8, 2011

The View from Mt. Leconte

Mt. Leconte Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
I just wanted to say thanks to Lowa ~ first of all for having such an outstanding product and then to point out that they also have great integrity.

I returned a pair of hikers that had a heel defect. Even though they were well beyond any warranty, Lowa replaced them at no charge.

I can't wait to get back to the Smoky Mountains and the Appalachian Trail. To see, once again, that view from Mt. Leconte. And the ONLY way to do that is in a comfortable and secure pair of Lowa Hikers.

Thanks Lowa. You are tops in my book. God Bless!

Randy
Collierville, Tennessee

Got a story?
We'd like to publish it.