Posts Tagged ‘Polartec Challenge’

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.

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Polartec Challenge winner lands in Namibia

May 13, 2009

namibia_big_mapMajka Burhardt, one of the 2009 Polartec Challenge Grant winners, has arrived in Namibia with her team of climbers, photographers and filmmakers. Majka is planning to scale some previously unclimbed,  1,000 ft.+ granite walls in Namibia as well as document one of the last great Southern African ancestral tribes, the Himba.

Did you know that Namibia has the most isolated desert roads on the African Continent? Or that it’s the second least populated country in the world? (Mongolia is the first) And that it has the most stable government in Africa? Neither did we.

Majka (pronounced Micah) will be blogging about her month-long adventure on her site. This is from one of her posts last week:

“I’ve been in Windhoek, Namibia’s capitol for 48-hours—just now longer than it took to get here. Departing Johannesburg, I had the choice to go to Gaborone, Antananarivo, Noola, Luanda, Bulawayo, Lusaka or Doha… I came here—at least here I know there’s granite. I arrived and got my rental car, and immediately got inside, on the wrong side (my right side) and sat down. I looked at the attendant. I had not been horizontal in 46 hours. I gave him a wave, got out of the car, and went to the other side.”

spitzThis week, Majka has been climbing and exploring Spitzkoppe, a a great granite mountain that rises out of the southern Africa desert.  In the next couple of days the team heads north to (hopefully) put in some first ascents.

We’re looking forward to following Majka’s adventures!

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.

Great interview with 2009 Polartec Challenge Grant recipient, Jordan Romero

January 29, 2009

p4050339Jordan Romero is a terrific kid with big dreams. He just won a Polartec Challenge Grant to help fund his trip to climb the Carstensz Pyramid in Papua New Guinea this summer as part of his Seven Summits quest.

Jordan’s personality really shines through in this terrific interview with Outside Magazine, especially when he interrupts the writer to go snowshoeing.

Read the interview here.

Free CASH! Polartec Challenge Expeditions Grant

October 28, 2008
Andrew McLean celebrates after skiing the Polar Star Couloir with assistance from a Polartec Challenge Grant

Andrew McLean celebrates after skiing the Polar Star Couloir with assistance from a Polartec Challenge Grant

For seventeen years, the Polartec® International Challenge Grant has supported expeditions and adventures to every corner of the Earth. Applications for the $10,000 grant are now available for 2009 expeditions.

Learn more here.

Apply here.

And more from TetonAT: Free CASH!!! Polartec Challenge Expeditions Grant