The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Oct 2010

Fall 2010 Himalaya Climbing Update

Shishapangma_2007_1726-225x169 We are most of the way through the Fall 2010 climbing season in the Himalaya. So far, not so good with one exception.

Arguably Cho Oyu at 26907′ is the most climbed Himalayan mountain in the Fall. It is the 6th highest mountain and climbed from Tibet. Poor weather and dangerous snow conditions thwarted almost every team this year.

Multiple avalanches prevented the fixed lines from reaching much higher than Camp 3 and one slide hurt multiple Tibetans from the Chinese Tibetan Mountaineering Association (CTMA), including two severely. As a result, the entire CTMA support team left the mountain early leaving it up to the remaining teams to fix the ropes. more

However, another avalanche soon hit the standard route and veteran guides said this was not the year and pulled their teams from the mountain. A few remained hoping for an improved forecast and better snow conditions and in fact there were three summits as of today: Austrian Rupert Hauer, German Alix Von Melle and Danish climber Jakob Urt. more

Sadly there was a death when respected Italian Alpinist Walter Nones reportedly fell on a new route from the Southwest Face. more

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National Kite Surfing Speed Record Set at 51mph

Kite surfer Gavin Broadbent set New Zealand's national speed record at Lüderitz, Namibia on Oct. 8.

After three runs, Broadbent's average speed over 500 meters was 44.51 knots, or just over 51 miles per hour. The previous record was 40.68 knots. French kite surfer, Alex Caizergues, set the world record in Lüderitz in 2008 at 50.57 knots.

Broadbent wasn't the only speed demon to set a national record on Oct. 8. Anders Bringdal broke the Swedish national windsurfing record, hitting 42.9 knots, and Tim Pumpa set Australia's national record at 40.72 knots.

This is the fourth year the Lüderitz Speed Challenge has been held. The event runs from Oct. 4 to Oct. 31and is about a 10-hour drive from Cape Town, South Africa. According to the event website, located at Lüderitz's coast "is a natural speed strip, with a great angle that provides conditions perfect for breaking the outright WSSRC [World Speed Sailing Record Council] 500m record."

--Erin Beresini

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The Gear Junkie: Petzl ULTRA BELT ACCU4 Headlamp

Petzl-Ultra-Headlamp
By Stephen Regenold

For virtually any outdoors adventure, the right gear can give you an edge. But in few product categories does this ring as true as it does with lighting. For activities at night, an ill-performing headlamp, flashlight, or other source of illumination can literally leave you in danger and adrift in the dark.

I have been there. On Wyoming's Grand Teton, climbing with a friend a few years ago, we got stranded high on a cliff at night. Our ultra-light headlamps were too dim to reveal how far our rope reached as we rappelled off an edge and into the night.

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Video: Kelly Slater Goes Streaking

The king of surfing took it all off for ESPN's 2010 Body Issue, on newsstands now. A number of professional athletes, from basketball star Amare Stoudamire to skier Julia Mancuso, got naked for the magazine. Watch a behind the scenes video of the shoot above, or check out an online gallery at espn.com.

To see behind the scenes videos for our October Issue, check out our XX Factor page.

--Joe Spring
@joespring

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Got Big Air Skills? Win a Trip to Sweden

On November 20, the world's best big-air skiers will meet in Stockholm, Sweden, to compete for the King of Style award--and you could be one of them.

Peak Performance, Scandanavia's "biggest clothing label in the functional sportswear sector," sponsors the event that draws 25,000 spectators, TV crews and 24 of the world's top aeralists. Four KoS wannabes (like Gus Kenworthy, above) can win a trip to compete for the crown by submitting a 60-second-or-less ski video on YouTube between now and Oct. 24. Of the 20 highest-rated videos, a jury will chose four winners.

The King of Style contest is part of Sweden's Stadium Winter Jam, a one-day snowboarding, skiing and winter sports extravaganza taking place at Stockholm Olympic Stadium. Learn more about the KoS contest here.

Want to win a pair of custom skis? Enter Outside's twitter contest now.

--Erin Beresini

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