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  Everest 2007:  Mountain Madness Everest Expedition: Update


ropes course

April 27, 2007 Everest Base Camp 17,500 feet

Hello from base camp, where we are busy entertaining guests and maintaining our own health. The trekkers have arrived and caught us up on stories from the outside, and of their adventures on the way in. We are joined by: Jim Perkins from Huntington Beach, CA; Torsten Wilke from Irvine, CA; Rob Hicks from Austin, TX; Bob Kasten from Pewaukee, WI; Doug and Anne Robinson from Melbourne, Australia; and Marisa Souza from Sao Paulo, Brasil.

The team of trekkers had a successful summit yesterday of Kala Pattar, with good weather offering beautiful views of Everest. They report having rain or snow every day of their trek, which isn't surprising to us, based on our own weather at base camp. The trekkers were blessed with good luck in Thangboche, where they stayed a few nights ago. After attending the evening puja ceremony with the monks, they kept an audience with the head Lama of the monastery. He gave each of them a silk kata scarf, which he blessed and draped over their necks for safe passage into the mountains. It worked well, as everyone is safe, and all here are in good health. We are also rejoined today by Casey and Mustafa, who are both in better health after spending some good rest time in the trees and blooming flowers of below. Jaime left today for Lobuche. From there he will keep dropping down until Namche Bazar, where he is likely to spend a few days, hopefully recovering well from a lung infection. There is a fairly comprehensive medical clinic in Pheriche, a day's walk down from Lobuche, and an even bigger clinic in Namche, complete with x-ray machines and other necessary diagnostic equipment. Here at base camp we are lucky to have the two doctors with the Himalayan Rescue Association Clinic, Ola and Suzanne. They were a big help for Jaime before he left, and every day it becomes more evident that the key to a successful Himalayan climb is maintaining one's health. So we're grateful for the docs here, and wishing all the climbers good health and safety.

The next couple of days are allotted for rest in base camp. The Sherpas have been busy stocking camp III and dialing in camp II, in anticipation of the climbers' next push up the mountain. We awoke thismorning to high winds and snow in base camp, and the teams were all turned around before entering the icefall. The past two nights most of base camp was awakened by massive avalanches and serac fall. Most of it was in the icefall, some of it on the surrounding peaks, all of which are covered in massive hanging seracs. We listen to them breaking away all day and night, but last night's was particularly loud and the wind blast made it all the way to base camp. It came as no surprise that the icefall needed some maintenance this morning; many of the fixed lines and ladders were buried or moved. So the ice doctor Sherpas were at it early this morning, refixing all the lines, and the teams intending to head up will try again tomorrow.

For now we are staying as warm as we can with the storm that's hanging on. It will be a full zip, draw the cords tight, two hot water bottles in the sleeping bag kind of night. Our trekkers will leave us tomorrow and we will put together a plan for our next, and final, acclimatization push up the mountain. Good night.

Earlier: April 25, 2007- Back in basecamp: Hi everyone, the team is back in base camp for some movies, rest and competitive eating. Today Eirik, Bjorn, Eric and Willie returned from camp II with the grateful camp II cook Mila, who had been there for a week straight. We woke up in base camp to snow at 6:00am, but it cleared up by 8:00 and made for a smooth trip through the icefall for those descending. However, because of the bad early morning weather our Sherpas couldn't head up today. Most of the teams were grounded here for the day, and we heard there might be bad weather for another couple of days. So it's the perfect time for some rest at base camp, and the team plans to stay for three days while the Sherpas work up high, weather permitting, to have camp III all set up, hopefully within a week.

We have seen some friends, had some visitors, and indeed base camp is reaching a maximum population for the season. There are always new trekking groups coming in, some of them finding tent space for the night, some of them just on a day trek from Gorak Shep. But for the most part, the Mountain Madness camp is thankfully out of the flow of traffic, so we can stay pretty low-key if we choose. The boys are all watching a movie and catching up with each other, swapping stories of their descents through the icefall. We'll get some input from them in the next couple of days about the days spent up higher. For now we are all warm and comfortable and getting ready for bed. Goodnight!

Earlier: April 24,2007- Camp II and back to basecamp

True to form for the mountains, plans have been changed a bit! The climbers will return tomorrow and save the nights at camp III for the next push. The team climbed part of the way to camp III today for acclimatization, and to check out the fixed ropes on the Lhotse face, then returned to camp II for the night. The climbing route from base camp goes like this: Straight out of base camp the climbers enter the Khumbu icefall. The Mountain Madness camp is located just at the base of this, being the furthest north in camp, and one of the furthest to the east on the Khumbu glacier. The climb through the Khumbu icefall gains 2,500 feet, at the top of which is camp I, at about 20,000 feet. Moving up through the icefall can take anywhere from 3 hours (amazing Sherpas with big loads) to 14 hours (you're probably a bit too tired to be there.) Typical time without big bottlenecks is 5 to 6 hours.

Camp I is atop snow, and currently there are about 30 tents set up representing 10 to 12 different expeditions. This serves as a temporary, intermediary camp, mainly for acclimatization. >From camp I the route gains the western cwm, a relatively flat, wide, long plateau. Along the western cwm, eastward, the route follows yet more broken sections of the glacier, fixed with ladders and ropes. It flattens out for the last half of the climb to camp II, and many small crevasses are stepped over after insuring their sides are stable.

Camp II serves as an advanced base camp, on the moraine bordering the north side of the glacier. Camp II is at 21,200 feet, and carries many of the creature comforts of base camp: a cook tent, a Sherpa cook, permanent tent set-up and stocked supplies. It is also used as a depot for high-mountain supplies. Once climbers are acclimatized to camp II, camp I is usually skipped over on the way up the mountain. The tent set-up from camp I moves up to camp III, which is at 24,000 feet, but camp II continues to be utilized as an advanced base camp throughout the expedition.

The route from camp II heads to the end of the cwm, right up to the base of the Lhotse face. The Lhotse face is a prominent feature looming ahead, and climbing Lhotse or Everest will utilize the same camps up to camp III, on the Lhotse face, and sometimes up to camp IV in the south col. So naturally, Lhotse dominates the foreground for much of the climb. Today the climbers went part-way up the Lhotse face, where the fixed lines begin again, mostly on icy, steep terrain. Willie is helping to fix the lines on the Lhotse face, much of which has already been done by other teams, as well. The guides from each of the major expeditions are given a specific section of the climb to fix with ropes, and Mountain Madness's section is yet to come. So, today, Willie, Eric, Eirik and Bjorn went higher, and Jaime had to come down to rejuvinate after a rough night. Casey and Mustafa will be joining us again in a couple days, after some recovery nights spent in Namche, and Brian returned yesterday from camp II with yet more Khumbu cough. Here's what Brian has to say about the climb, and his three round-trip travels through the ice-fall, thus far.

Hello everyone from Mt Everest base camp! It was both good to get back to base camp yesterday, as well as dissapointing that I did not get up to camp III on my 3rd trip up high onto Everest. Base camp is much more comfortable than the high camps. Everyday that I have been up high it has snowed hard during the afternoon. Also the wind picks up, the tents rattle and shake, and it is cold. During the mornings up high it is nice and warm as long as you are hanging out in camp. If we are climbing in the morning, whether inside the Khumbu Icefall or Western Cwm, it is an invariable oven and feels like it is 130 degrees in the still morning air under a very intense high altitude sun. So far I have been through the Khumbu Icefall 3 times round trip. The first time through, the Khumbu was a fascinating and very spooky, unstable place. There are many double and triple extension ladders that wobble and sway as you carefully cross over seemingly bottomless crevasses. When crossing an extension ladder it is best to focus on your boots and crampons as you carefully click your front points over the front rung and your last two points over the rung behind. To change your focus past your boots and crampons looking deep into the crevasse can bring on a case of vertigo. The ice features are amazing, deep blue and towering. In the beginning I had to reign in my focus on the climb as I wanted instead to look around and soak in the beauty. Now that I have been through the icefall 3 times it is just becoming hard work at high altitude. I hardly notice the ladders anymore as they have become routine. My night at camp II never seemed to end. It was cold and the air thin. Having a case of the Khumbu cough going did not allow for any deep rest, as a deep violent coughing fit was never far away, and always left me breathless and exhausted. In the morning everything inside the tent was covered in frost. My -40 sleeping bag had a thick layer of ice covering it. Unless we are moving up to the next camp, we generally wait until the sun hits the tents to make getting out of our bags a little warmer and easier. Signing off until camp III!

Thanks Brian, and we will write again tomorrow when the team returns to camp

Earlier: April 21, 2007 Khumbu Trekkers Farewell Dispatch

Hello from Namche!

This is Casey reporting in with Mustafa, Erin and John. We walked for 2 days from B.C. and felt stronger with every step down hill. Trond stopped in Tengboche to hang out in the forest and at the famous monastery there. He felt a special connection with the place and we will pick him up in a few days. Tomorrow I will walk with Erin and John to Lukla. Hopefully they will fly out the next day and continue home after a day in Kathmandu. Mustafa will stay in Namche and I will pick him up and we will start back to B.C. Mustafa is already feeling better and another day will hopefully continue to clear the lungs.

Both Erin and John have mentioned how much they love Nepal and hope to return. They feel th Nepali people are some of the nicest people they have ever met. The combination of these special people and the himalayas is unbeatable. Congrats to them for their fine efforts in getting to C2 and more importantly for being great people to hang out with!

We wish everyone back home and at basecamp well. Talk to you soon!

Cheers, Casey

April 21, 2007 Camp I: The team has made it to camp I in good form! These are exciting times as the push up the mountain starts to take form. Three of the Sherpas are at camp II getting it all dialed in, and the team will join them tomorrow, making a big jump in acclimatization to above 21,000 feet, where they will spend 2 or 3 nights. The weather got rough on us early today, clouds moving in from the lower valley and light snow falling all afternoon, on into the evening. But they called in early, by 4:00pm, reporting that they had all gained two pounds from eating dinner, and were turning in for a night of well-deserved sleep. Just what we would wish for them, so we're happy for the report!

We'll have more news tomorrow as they move up to camp II, and perhaps a story or two to tell. For now, all is right in the Khumbu under the shadow of Mt. Everest.

 

April 20, 2007: The whole camp is a-bustle with preparations for a big move up the mountain tomorrow. Scheduled departure time is around 7:00am, with Willie leading Eirik, Bjorn, Eric and Brian, and Jaime leading our final Khumbu climber, Henry. The entire team will stay at camp I tomorrow night, and will move to camp II the next day, where all but Jaime and Henry will be staying the night. They will stay again at camp I and return to Base Camp soon thereafter. The others will brave their first nights spent above 21,000 feet. The intention will be to take a rest day at camp II and climb to camp III the next day, but not spend the night up there just yet. So they are geared up for 4 or 5 days up high on the hill. We wish them warmth and safety from the relative comforts of base camp, and the far-away comforts of home.

We said goodbye to many of our friends today, some for good, and some for a week or so. Hopefully Casey and Mustafa will come back gangbusters to charge up the hill. Jaime and Willie got in some quality ice bouldering in a cave of the glacier this morning, while the rest of us enjoyed the typical sunny, warm morning on our own little deck. We didn't get the recent trend of afternoon snow flurries today, but the night chilled up on us so we're all huddled around the heater in the main tent watching movies. Last night's special feature was Top Gun, and Jaime will henceforth be finding inspiration through the icefall with the immortal wisdom of the Kenny Loggins band, a constant reel of Highway to the Danger Zone playing in his mind and pulsing through his veins. A big thanks to Maverick and Goose for giving these guys some extra motivation.

The rest of the guys are touching on their more sensitive side tonight with a group viewing of Broken Flowers. I haven't quite convinced anyone to dip into what they claim are the unknown waters of some super quality chick flicks, but for sure they will cave by the end of the month. So, for now, Mountain Madness base camp is about to quiet way down, and we will be well-informed by radio of their every move. Wish them well! We wish you all well at home.

April 19, 2007: Hello from Everest base camp, again. We've been very domestic, staying cozy and comfortable and each taking care of our own little jobs. Today the big task was to designate foods for higher camps, as the boys are planning to head up the mountain in a couple of days. They will spend four or five days up high, and this will be an important step in preparing high camps for future pushes to even higher camps, and for acclimatization. So we're getting all that sorted out now.

The local staff stay busy taking care of our most important need- eating good food. Our head cook at base camp is Kumar Gurung, and we are served every meal by his smiling assistant Raju Rai. Behind the scenes are the kitchen helpers Dambar Rai and Gopal Rai. These guys stay busy most of the day keeping the kitchen running, and they also know how to put on some music and have a good laugh. We also have tons of help with logisitics from these guys, especially as we start to stock the higher camps and arrange for porters to go down.

And that is also keeping us busy these days, as we have a lot of people heading down tomorrow. Erin has finished her adventure here on the Khumbu glacier and will spend three days hiking down to Lukla, beginning tomorrow. Joining her are Casey and Mustafa, both of whom have been feeling pretty sick. Casey will accompany Erin to Lukla, and Mustafa hopes that some time spent in Namche will restore him to good health. We hope so, too, and Namche is such a lovely town that it might just do the trick. Trond and John will also descend tomorrow. After much deliberation John is also on the homestretch, and we will miss his kind spirit and good nature. We're sure he'll enjoy the luxuries of the lower climes, slowly moving back down through life zones more lush and tropic in character. Trond will probably be resting in Namche as well, and with any luck, in a week or so we will have Casey, Trond and Mustafa all back with us in good health!

In the meantime we will entertain ourselves with the little things- minor misfortunes along the lines of Eric's busted fake-tooth-retainer. Fear not, faithful readers, for all has been made right again with the wonders of super glue. There is no substitute for the savvy nature of a 23 year old, though some of us will miss the opportunity for gentle mockery. But, alas, he is back in the (slender) company of we-of-full-sets again. Welcome back, Eric.

Further enlivening our expedition is the exiciting discovery that fate has brought two South Medford High School, Oregon graduates together on the same expedition- Teddy and Brian. It took us a month to figure this out. Perhaps this is a reflection of the caliber of student passed through those gates, but suffice it to say, Panther pride lives on!

Our final excitement of the evening, then, is the scrabble game being played on a stolen board, right here in the confined environs of the very tent from which I write. A note to the Brits, should you read this page: it was Erin. But rest assured- in your honor we are allowing only British spellings of certain suspect words, ie: colour, flavour, and favour. With that, we sign off for another cozy evening of tent life, and warm thoughts to our homies from the block.

Earlier: April 15, 2007 Everest Base Camp

Hello again folks! This is Casey reporting from B.C. The 13th and 14th were rest days for most. This usually consists of doing laundry, taking showers, visiting other teams, watching movies, playing cards and just laying around. Unfortunately these days seem to go by fairly fast! I ended up taking one of our icefall folks, Henry, into the ice-fall for his first foray. He did great and is doing various medical studies during his stay here at the mountain.

Today, the 15th, was another climbing day. We rose early for breakfast and left for the ice-fall. Most folks were headed to C1 for the next 2 nights and a short trip up to C2. Congrats to the Khumbu Extension folks for making it up there! The rest of us turned around at the top of the ice-fall and descended for another rest day. Many people are dealing with the "khumbu cough" at the moment and climbing is just making things worse. Teddy should be joining us in the next couple days and the dispatches should then improve dramatically! Thanks for tuning in and we all send our love back home to those near and dear to us.

Cheers, Casey

April 12, 2007 Everest Base Camp - Climber's Dispatch

Howdy folks!

Today has been a really long day for most of the group as they headed through the icefall all the way to Camp 1 and back. Many of you know this already but the route through the ice-fall is a winding path of fixed ropes over, around and through seracs and crevasses. It includes many ladder climbs and crossings that add to the excitement! While travelling through the steep Khumbu glacier you can hear it creaking, cracking and settling...quite unnerving for most!

Unfortunately, a few folks were still feeling tired and sick so they needed to turn around part way up. The effects of the "khumbu cough" are starting to take affect on a few people too. The very dry air and the hard breathing you do while performing even the most meaningless tasks create an irritation that starts in your throat and eventually moves to your chest. If it continues to get worse it can become quite debilitating. The worry of contracting "the cough" has people wearing bandanas and balaclavas while sleeping (not fun when you already cannot breathe) and walking. There are "Banditos" everywhere in this high-altitude wild west scene! Another preventative measure is to always be sucking on a hard candy or chewing gum. Let's hope we keep working hard at fighting the cough.

Our incredible sherpa team continues to travel up and down the mountain at incredible speeds. They are in the process of stocking Camps 1 and 2. They leave early in morning and get back for lunch. Yeesh!

The next couple days will be rest days before moving up to sleep at Camp 1. That's it for today! I know everyone will sleep well tonight. Cheers, Casey


April 12, 2007 - Trekkers Final Dispatch

The trekkers have landed safely in Kathmandu, the satisfaction of a completed trip, and of the comforts of town. Our final night on the trail was spent in Monjo, in what turned out to be one of the more upscale tea houses. It felt tropical back down so low, below the 10,000 foot mark. We have all enjoyed the rich, warm air in our lungs and good nights of sleep.

The next day's trek was a short one back to Lukla. We had our last lunch just an hour short of our destination, with one final hill to climb on the home stretch. Lukla sits higher than many of the towns upriver to which we travelled, making it a conducive location for an airstrip. With enough time in town to look around, buy some souvenirs, and clean up, we were all feeling refreshed by dinner time.

Dinner was a most memorable one, as we brought in all of our local staff one by one, from porters to kitchen staff to Sherpa guides, and gave them each tokens of our thanks. The people of the Khumbu are so friendly and giving of themselves, we are lucky to have shared this small part of our lives with so many wonderful new friends. So we were able to thank them and celebrate with toasts around the house.

Some of the more daring trekkers went out on the town in Lukla following dinner, but reports are everyone made their 7:00 am flights this morning. They are warm and clean in Kathmandu, with plenty of memories running the spectrum from being exhausted, to laughing over games of cards. It is now time for my return to Base Camp over the next few days, to settle in for the weeks to come. All for now, Teddy.

April 10 Namche Bazar- trekking group

The trekkers are reunited in Namche Bazar and everyone is feeling well back in the thick air at 11,300 feet. We dodged base camp just in time for a storm cycle to move in, but not depriving ourselves of at least one morning of brushing the snow off the tent. The trekkers left base camp and made a big push to an area just above Pheriche, where they camped for the night in and around some rock wall structures.

The next day put some miles on the feet, as well, taking them all the way to Teshinga Losasa, a very small village of little more than a couple of tea houses. They camped again for the night and awoke early thismorning for the short trek to Namche Bazar, where we now all find ourselves together again! Everyone is milling about town enjoying its attendant luxuries: bakeries, outdoor equipment, souvenirs, and something close to modern plumbing! We leave shortly for our trek down many a steep hill, and along several suspension bridges over the now familiar Dudh Khosi river. A reverse wind-up of our journey in, it is somehow so much easier on the way out! We have had a grand time and will do a final check-in when we reach Lukla tomorrow evening. Everyone sends love back home, and best wishes to our friends on the mountain, gearing up for some amazing climbing. All is well here
.
 

April 9, 2007: Today was a big day for the Mountain Madness team. This morning was our Puja thus allowing the team to enter the Ice Fall. Several days of preparation went into the ceremony. All of the climbers and the climbing staff sat in the morning air around an altar constructed of stone. Adorning the altar were pictures of high lamas, katas, and food and drink of all sorts. Incense and burning juniper filled the air as a Buddhist Monk chanted, periodically throwing rice towards the altar. After a large amount of tea was consumed a pole was erected at the center of the altar with prayer flags radiating outward like the spokes of a wheel to the far ends of the Madness camp. The Puja concluded with each of the climbers and climbing staff being blessed by the monk and with song and dance. It was a ceremony to be remembered.

As soon as the ceremony came to a conclusion the climbing team prepared to make its first venture into the Ice Fall. The team was excited to stretch their legs and put their skills refreshed in the ropes course to use. The training paid off as the climbers crossed several crevasses with the largest being three ladders wide and over 100' deep. Everyone was pretty tired upon their return to Base Camp and excited to rest in their tents. The next venture into the Ice Fall should take the team to the top and across many more crevasses.

April 8, 2007: Happy Easter! Today we awoke to beautiful skies and warm temperatures. Breakfast was the last meal for the trekkers in Base Camp before beginning their descent back to Lukla. Most were sad to leave and begin their journey home but were excited to get thicker air in their lungs and leave the physical ailments caused by high altitude behind. After goodbyes were exchanged the climbers ventured to the ropes course to sharpen their skills. The course was complete with rappels, 20' high ladder crossings, and ascents using jumars. After several laps through the course everyone was feeling confident and refreshed. Erin added a little Easter charm to the outing by wearing ribbons with rabbits in her hair.

Tomorrow we have a puja blessing the climbers and climbing staff allowing us to begin our ascent of the mountain. After the puja the climbers will enter the lower portion of the Ice Fall for the first time. Rumor has it that Camp 1 was reached by the ice fall doctors (a group of Sherpas employed by the national park who fix all of the ropes and ladders in the Ice Fall) today and Camp 1 is now open. With any luck we should be making our way to the top of the Ice Fall in the next couple of days.

April 7, 2007: Today was the team's first full day in Base Camp. Temperatures have been cold, but not as cold as normal and the Ice Fall remains active. The route through the Ice Fall is still being fixed and all are excited to see what is in store for them. In preparation for the obstacles to come Willie, Eric, and Brian spent much of the day fixing ropes and ladders creating a practice course. The Ice Fall climbers spent the day navigating the Khumbu Glacier and practicing rappelling and ascending fixed lines. Tomorrow all of the climbers will spend the entire day perfecting their fixed rope skills on the ropes course. Everyone was excited to get crampons on their feet and scramble around the ice.

Away from the glacier the dining tent has become the social epicenter of camp. Mountaineering Monopoly and Cribbage seem to be the games of choice. The climbers have gravitated towards Monopoly, building their confidence by buying the worlds most demanding climbs. Meanwhile, Mark, Patricia, Dave, and Lisa play round after round of Cribbage flaunting their victories as if they had summitted themselves. Sadly, tomorrow the trekkers begin their journey back to Lukla while the climbers continue with their preparations. We will all miss the trekkers as they have become an integral part of the expedition. The climbers will be busy over the next few days but camp won't be the same.
 

Background

Mountain Madness will return to Everest in Spring 2007 with a commercial expedition led by Willie Benegas, The final commercial team will be announced soon... But they have several clients. They will again attempt from the South (Nepal) side of the mountain. Christine Boskoff, owner of Mountain Madness sadly passed away in 2006.

The Climber: Willie Benegas

Born and raised in the wild heart of Patagonia, Willie Benegas, along with his twin brother Damien, have pursued a long apprenticeship in the mountains.  As one of the "young bucks" of the world-class North Face team, Willie has pushed his craft on the big-walls of Yosemite, the airy summits of South America, and the loftiest peaks of the Himalaya.

The boundless duo, now hailing from Berkeley California, completed their first major new ascent with a route up Patagonia's West Face of Pilquitron (VI, 5.9, A3) which is still unrepeated.  

wil3g.jpg (12288 bytes)

© David Keaton

 At 20, they climbed Fitz Roy's impressive Supercouloir as well as routes on Guillaumet and Poincenot.  In the following years, Willie has ticked off the South Face of Aconcagua, a new route on the North Face of Pakistan's Nameless Tower (VII), record speed ascents in Yosemite valley, and attempted major new routes on the legendary North Faces of Thalay Sagar and Jannu.

But simply overcoming technical routes or highest summits is not enough for this 30 year old climber.   He gathers equal satisfaction by introducing others to the wide-world of mountain experience.  To help fulfill this goal, Willie and Damien established Patagonian Brothers Expeditions specializing in South American guided climbs and treks.  They also lead expeditions for Out There Trekking (UK, OTT) in Africa, South America,  and on Himalayan giants such as Cho Oyu.

Willie has many plans for the future, but he often gets the same question; why do you climb?  When asked about the draw of high places, he says "a mountain  adventure will carry over into many facets of your life, teaching about yourself, your co-existence with nature, and respect for other people's cultures." 

Willie's Brief Resume below

FILMS:

2001 OLN "Outlaws of the Aconcagua Trail"
1991 "Swimming with whales" discovery channel

HIGHLIGHTS:

Nameless Tower "Book of Shadows" VII 5.10+ A4 WI4, 1995
Mt Kenya all massif towers in 16 hrs, 2002
Mt Cuerno 17.600ft South Face First Ascent 5.7 WI 3 4640ft in 4.36hrs R/ trip solo, 2000
Fitzroy Super Canaleta VI 5.10b A1 WI 3,1987
Atensoraju 19.328ft. new route North ridge/face "The Pandora Box of Artensoraju:" 5.9 WI 3, 1998
Oshapalca new route South face "My Message" 5.7 WI 4/5 2.400ft., 2000
Aconcagua World record ascent/descent 54miles 13500ft elevation gain, 2000
First Ascent Argentina Andes "Welcome to a Dream" V 5.11 A4+.,1999
Patagonia Exploration, first ascent "Swept by the Wind" 5.13a, 1,000ft.
Patagonia 62.5miles endurance run first place 9.35hrs., 1986
The Nose VI 5.11 A1 16 ascents, ten one day ascents.
South Seas (VI 5.10 A5)
Sea of Dreams (VI 5.10 A5)
Regular Route (VI 5.10 A1) twenty times. Fastest time was 3:30
20/20 Classics Climb's in twenty days of the 50 Classic's Climbs of North America Book. Ascended 60,080ft, traveled 137 miles on foot, 2hrs in canoe, and climbed 241 pitches. 1993

ABOUT WILLIE: Born and raised in the wild heart of Patagonia, Willie Benegas has pursued a long apprenticeship in the mountains. Willie has pushed his craft on the big walls of Yosemite, the airy summits of South America, and the loftiest peaks of the Himalayas. Willie completed his first major ascent in the winter of 1987 with a route up Patagonia's West Face of Pitriquitron (VI, 5.9 A3 W2/3), which has still not been repeated. At age 20, he climbed Aconcagua's impressive South Face, as well as Fitzroy. In the following years, Willie "ticked off" the first ascent of the North Face of Pakistan's Nameless Tower "Book of Shadows" (VII, 5.10+ A4 W14), made record speed ascents in Yosemite Valley, and attempted major new routes on the legendary North Faces of Thalay Sagar and Jannu. In 2001, he set the world record speed ascent/descent of the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere, Aconcagua (22,831 ft.), summited Everest for a second time, and ran the legendary Leadville Ultra 100-mile Race. In the spring of 2002, Willie reached the Top of the World yet a third time. However, simply overcoming technical routes and conquering summits around the world is not enough for this 34-year-old climber. He gathers equal satisfaction by introducing others to the world of mountain experiences and exploration.

Willie has many plans for the future, but he often gets the same question, why do you climb? To this he simply says, "A mountain adventure will carry over into the many facets of life, teaching yourself about yourself, your co-existence with nature, and the respect for people's cultures."

 

Millet One Sport Everest Boot Expedition and mountaineering boot for high altitude and extremely cold conditions. The Everest has conquered all 14 mountains over 8,000m and also the Seven Summits- and has now had a makeover to ensure continued peak preformance. With a newer sung, Alpine Fit, and even lighter Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

 

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 






 

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CMI

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Eureka Tents

   Exofficio

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   Featured

   FoxRiver

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Headlamps

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Helmets

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Ice Axes

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   Life is Good

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   MSR

   Nalgene

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   Nikwax

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   Outdoor Research
  
Patagonia

   Pelican

   Petzl

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   Princeton Tec

   Primus

   Rope Bags

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Sleeping Bags

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Yaktrax
  
and more here

 



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