Earlier in the week, Mountain Hardwear announced a host of expeditions for the summer, with a number of climbers heading off to the Karakoram to take on some of the big peaks there. The gear company has some excellent sponsored athletes under its banner, and has always been ready to help them go after some big goals. Here's a few of the things they have planned in the weeks ahead:
Saser Kangri II: Freddie Wilkinson, along with Mark Richey and Steve Swenson, will make an attempt on the second tallest unclimbed peak in the world – Saser Kangri II. The peak, which is located in northern India, is 7513 meters (24,648 feet) in height and remains one of the last major challenges in the Himalaya. Richey and Swenson attempted to climb the mountain back in 2009, and return for another go. The team is hoping to make history.
K7 West: Climbers Pat Goodman, Will Meinen, and Matt McCormick have set out for Pakistan where they'll be attempting to make the first ascent of the 6200 meter (20,341 foot) southwest pillar of K7 West. The team will go light and fast, alpine style, up the new route, and hopefully reach the summit in just four days.
First Ascent In India: Mountaineers Janet Bergman, Emilie Drinkwater and Kirsten Kremer will attempt a first ascent of an unnamed peak along the borders of India and Pakistan. The ladies also hope to make the climb in an alpine style, making a single push to the summit.
Exploring The Russian Arctic and Climbing in Afghanistan: Moving away from the Karakoram, Mike Libecki will begin his summer with a journey to the remote island of Franz Josef Land, where he plans to climb several big walls. He'll travel to his destination by sailboat, then explore by ski and kayak to find some major climbing challenges.
When he's done in the Arctic, Mike will then travel to Afghanistan where he'll attempt to climb the Ibex Horn, a 3000-foot tall tower that he discovered while scouting the Koh-e-Baba Mountain Range in the Bamyan province last year. If successful, this will be the first ascent of that rock pillar as well.
Good luck to all of these expeditions. It seems like its going to be a very busy and adventurous summer.
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