Posts Tagged ‘Bernice Notenboom’

Bernice Notenboom, Polartec Challenge winner, summits Everest!

May 26, 2009

Bernice2Polartec sends a hearty congratulations to Bernice Notenboom, one of the recipients of a 2009 Polartec Challenge Grant, who just summitted Everest yesterday! Bernice posted a gripping satellite dispatch from Everest, complete with the story of a rescue, a white-out storm, a dead body and a 17-year sherpa’s first summit.  From Bernice’s satellite phone dispatch:

“Yesterday morning May 24th, at 7.30 AM I reached the summit of Everest. Only two of our team made it up and two sherpas, one who was only 17 years old and now the youngest sherpa to summit. The climb did not come easy. At 10 pm, it was extremely windy at 8000 m, at the souh col and in our tent and the sherpas refuse to go. Except two of our sherpas who were eager to get their summit bonus. So in 60 km/hr winds at 10 pm we set off, the first party to go for the night. Around 11 pm in the triangle, the wind suddenly stopped. Just before the balcony we found a half-dead American who had run out of oxygen, rapped off and fell. He did not know how long he had been there but he had taken off his gloves and down jacket, a sure sign of hypothermia. His frozen hands and feet were unusable. We radioed for a sherpa to get him down, gave him heat packs, food and hot drinks before we continued up to the summit.

On the way to the South Summit the weather changed, clouds moved in and the wind picked up. Are we losing our one day window already? For the next days bad weather was forecasted with 100 km/hr and worse conditions, perhaps the monsoon has arrived. At the south summit at 8700 m my oxygen mask froze up, the intake for fresh air did not work. Panic. I had less air in my mask then when I took my mask off at this elevation. The ice inside was so thick, it had to get hacked out with a ice axe and this I did not know till we were back at the balcony. I summited Everest in gasping for thin air, in a snow storm and wind. It was not a good day for summit photos! The descend was painful due to low visibility and tiredness; in one day from camp 3 to camp 4, rest a few hours and continue. After 30 hours, I collapsed and somewhere in the middle of the night my oxygen run out because I woke up empty at 8000m. Descending down in vicious wind, the weather changed and we got lucky. Sagarmatha gave us an opportunity and maybe Lhapka kept an eye on us! Despite the challenges, I am super stoked that I did it, perserve the challenges. We are in camp 2 now, one more time through the icefall and then safe in basecamp. I will update this tomorrow with some images.”

The South Col and South Summit of Everest

The South Col and South Summit of Everest

Read more here.

Polartec Challenge Winners Converge Upon Everest

April 28, 2009

Unbeknownst to them, it appears as if two of this year’s Polartec Challenge Grant winners have converged upon Mt. Everest at the same time.  Paul Romero and Karen Lundgren, parents of young Jordan Romero, are currently making their way up Nuptse, a 25,000 ft. peak just 2 km west of Everest. Paul and Karen are in the Everest region as part of a scouting/reconnaissance mission. Their hope is to return with Jordan in the next year or two and help him complete his quest to become the youngest person to climb the 7 Summits.

Paul and Karen are using a Spot Satellite to update their progress on Nupste. Check it here.  Later this summer, Paul, Karen and Jordan are planning to summit the Carstenz Pyramid in Indonesia, leaving only the Vinson Massif and Mount Everest on 12-year-old Jordan’s list.

In the same zip code, but on a totally different mission is Bernice Notenboon. Bernice is in the Himalaya to research the effects of climate change in the Everest ecosystem. Check out the below video where she and her team are finding climbing artifacts unearthed by the rapidly melting glaciers.

Bernice is posting daily updates to her Himalaya-Alert blog, so check back for more news and interesting vids.

2009 Polartec Challenge Grant Recipients Announced

January 21, 2009

The annual Polartec® Challenge Grant award recipients have been announced. A total of $14,000 will be granted to three separate expeditions in 2009: a climbing and cultural expedition to Namibia, a trip to Everest to focus attention on the impact of climate change on Sherpa culture, and a climb up the Carstensz Pyramid as part of 12-year-old Jordan Romero’s quest for the Seven Summits.

The first grant recipient is climber and writer Majka Burhardt. This spring, Burhardt will lead a small team of climbers into Namibia in the heart of Africa where they will attempt a first ascent on Van Zyl, a sheer, 2,000-foot granite face. Along the way, Burhardt’s team will document and interact with the Himba, an indigenous pastoral tribe whose way of life if threatened by western influence.

Majka Burhardt

Majka Burhardt

The second grant is awarded to Himalya Alert, an expedition to Everest led by renowned Dutch adventurer and freelance writer, Bernice Notenboom. The objective of the expedition will be to report on climate change in the Himalaya and its profound impact on the Sherpa culture.

Bernice Notenboom

Bernice Notenboom

The final grant recipient is Jordan Romero from Big Bear, California who, at the age of 12, has already climbed the highest peak on five different continents. This summer, Romero intends to climb the Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia, leaving only Mt. Vinson in Antarctica and Mt. Everest on his list. In his attempt to become the youngest person to climb the Seven Summits, Romero has become a role model for and mentor for other children, speaking at schools about climbing, exercise and the outdoors.

Jordan Romero

Jordan Romero

“The Polartec Challenge celebrates the cultural and environmental aspects of adventure,” states Director of Marketing, Nate Simmons. “We believe Majka will draw mainstream attention to climbing in Africa; Bernice will use her trip as a powerful vignette on the impacts of climate change; and Jordan Romero will inspire a whole new generation of mountaineers.”

In addition to the grant money, all of this year’s Polartec® Challenge winners will be fully outfitted with Polartec® garments, designed to keep them warm, comfortable and dry in the harshest of climates.

About the Polartec® Challenge Grant
The annual Polartec® Challenge Grant seeks to assist frugal, low impact teams who respect the local culture and environment and serve as role models to outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. Applications are evaluated on the basis of their vision, commitment and credibility. Past recipients of the Polartec® Challenge Grant include outdoor pioneers and adventurers such as Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, Steve House, Marko Prezelj, Andrew McLean and John Shipton.