Wednesday, 02 August 2006 00:00
Published in Travel & Training blog
Wednesday-sreda 02.08.06

Today the real walking began! We took the bus into the end of the valley, and then got a cable car up the mountain to the Krugozor hotel, 2805m. Once we left in our bags and got on our plastic boots we set off. First we had to get a cable car up a little further then we began walking, first we were walking on loose stones, and just a little snow. We arrived at the Barrel huts; these are huge barrel shaped huts where some people stay. Here we had our lunch then it was into the snow! It was very deep so I hitched a lift on Ruth's back pack! We climbed to Diesel hut which is where we'll be staying for a few nights towards the end of the week. Coming back down was fun; we were sliding and running through the snow! We just caught the last cable car back down to our hotel. Then we sat out in the sun. Can you imagine sunbathing 2805m up a mountain! Russian word for today - spokoynoy nochi this means goodnight.
Tuesday, 01 August 2006 00:00
Published in Travel & Training blog
Tuesday-vtornic 01.08.06

Today we took another acclimatisation hike. We began at the Narzanov mineral springs, there was a spring of water and as I was thirsty I decided to take a drink but the water was horrible! It was fizzy and tasted really weird, it has a lot of iron in it and is meant to be very good for you, but I wouldn't fancy drinking too much of it! We set off up through a forest, which kept us nice and cool but it was very steep. I would have liked to go climbing some of the trees or to play hide and seek but we needed to get higher so we could get used to the altitude. After the forest we came to the valley of flowers. It was really beautiful. There was every type and colour of flower. It was so hot though, we took a little break on some rocks and had a much needed drink. Then we continued higher up the mountain, we had to cross a snow bridge over a river, it was really cool. We got to about 2850metres then we sat to have our lunch. I put my paws into a little stream to cool them after all the walking. When we came back to the hotel we went swimming again and had our dinner. Then we all had to sort out our gear because tomorrow we move to another hotel further up the mountain. My Russian word today is Shashlyk which means kebab.
Monday, 31 July 2006 00:00
Published in Travel & Training blog
Monday-ponedelnik 31.07.06

Yippee today we got out onto the mountain for some acclimatisation! After breakfast we took a little bus trip to the Cheget region, there were lots of people taking the easy way up on a chair lift but of course we had to walk! We set off nice and slowly, with our walking poles helping us over the rocky bits! I just thought to myself Dora The Explorer would love this but Barney wouldn't have a hope! It was very hot and as our team peeled off their layers I was wishing I had had my fur shaved before I left home! The views were amazing. There were rocky slopes with lots of ice and snow on them, yet we were walking through a lovely alpine meadow. We stopped for lunch and sat on rocks where we had a clear view of Mt Elbrus. It made my fur stand on end to think we would be walking through its snowy slopes in a few days! When we got back to the hotel we chilled out in the pool and Jacuzzi for a while then our friend Natasha took us for a little walk which turned out to be a very long walk! We took a road which followed a big river into the mountains.

The river was very strong and fast and I was glad I wasn't canoeing on it! Then it was back to the hotel for a lovely dinner and a well earned rest! My Russian word for today is naverkhu which means 'up'.
Sunday, 30 July 2006 00:00
Published in Travel & Training blog

Sunday-vaskryesyen'ye 30.07.06

Not much happened today apart from travelling a lot of miles! We got an airplane from Moscow down to Mineral Vody, which is down the south of Russia. The airplane was very old but it got us there! Then we had a long bus journey to our hotel, but at least we got to stop for ice-cream! We have a lovely hotel here in the woods. My Russian word for today is pozhaluyata, pronounced pazhalsta and it means please!

Saturday, 29 July 2006 00:00
Published in Travel & Training blog
Saturday-suhhota 29.07.06

This is the start of my journey to climb the highest mountain in Europe Mt Elbrus and training for my trip to Antarctic in November, jou can find out more about this on our web site . It’s been a while since I’ve climbed a mountain as I had to study very hard this year for my exams. Pat told me unless I get fit he won’t bring me to Antarctic. So I’m off to Russia.

Yuck, such an early start. In Dublin airport Pat introduced me to my minder for my Russian trip, her name is Ruth, she's travelling with her husband, Peter and there's two other guys, Killian and Tony with us too, all hoping to summit Mt. Elbrus. Ruth looks after children at home so some day i'll have to visit them.
We travelled most of the day to get to Moscow around 6pm. Our hotel is cool, it's really, really big. It was built for the Olympics years ago and was the biggest hotel in the world then, imagine 5000 bedrooms.

We went on the underground train into the city centre for something to eat. The underground was very dirty and noisy, my nice white fur will need washing when I go home! The buildings are all amazing and are very big compared to little me. My new Russian word for today is spasibo which means thank you. The Russian ABC has some different letters to our ABC so it’s very hard for me to read signposts.
Saturday, 12 August 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

It’s over for another season

Banjo the Russians and Polish Jacek have decide to call it a day and return to base camp. Home Base team for Banjo's team have confirmed that they have received confirmation from Banjo that the K2 summit attempt is finally over. Banjo and the team have decided to call it a day due to the amount of snow above camp 4.

A wise decision:
A wise decision on a killer mountain, We would like to congradulate the climbers on their attempt and even though they will be disappointed I would like to quote them a verse from Earnest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition when he turned within sight of the South Pole. “Better a live donkey then a dead Lion” We only live once and we can always return to the mountain, we can’t challenge the might of nature but be at one with it.

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Monday, 14 August 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

Breaking news. Avalanche!

On a summit push yesterday Sunday August 13th at around noon, a massive avalanche swept the upper slopes of K2. There were seven Russian climbers, Jacek, a Polish climber and our own Banjo Bannon from Ireland on the move upwards when the avalanche happened. From our reporting we can confirm that Banjo Bannon is free from the avalanche and moving down the mountain towards the safety of base camp. It will be an anxious 24 to 36 hours before his return. We will keep you updated as we get further information. We have been onto Natasha our Russian representative to find out more about their climbers.

Climbers changed their minds on summit attempt.

It seems that climbers changed their minds on aborting the summit attempt as reported on our news report on the 12th August and continued on summit attempt some are now reported missing.

Avalanches are the biggest fear of high altitude climbers. Photo Avalanche on one of our expeditions.

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Friday, 11 August 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

Banjo, Jacek and 2 Russian climbers will move from Camp 3 today and push for camp 4 and hopefully push for the summit tomorrow night. This will of course be pending on weather conditions, which they have received from Michael Fagin one of the best forecasters on mountain weather in the world, and he perdicts the best shot is tonight or tomorrow night, so the best of luck lads.


Tuesday, 08 August 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

We just got a text from Simon Scott on Banjo's team to let us know that Banjo, Jack and the Russians are still weathering it out at Camp 2 on K2.

They're all hoping for a good weather window to open up around Wednesday/Thursday to allow another summit attempt. This will be Banjo's last opportunity this year.

The climbers have now been at high altitude for several days; this must be weakening. Lets hope if they get a shot at the summit that they will be strong enough to pull it off or if not, to get off the mountain safely should the weather change.

Go safe and best of luck to all at camp 2 on K2.

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Saturday, 05 August 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

The following forecast has been published by Everest News for Pakistan:

Window getting close, bad weather approaching. Weather is not good today, Saturday. High winds are approaching northern parts of Pakistan from Saturday evening making weather harsh over/around all main peaks including K2/NP/BPks/GBI/GBII/Hidden Peaks.

Next 5 days will be hard due to high winds/poor visibility/snow, and likely to clear from coming Thursday.

Be Careful…….Hanif



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