/ NEWS: Bullock and Helliker and Benson - Round II on Annapurna III

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UKC News - on 30 Sep 2010
Alpinist 4 - from the Annapurna Expedition Blog, 4 kbPete Benson, Nick Bullock and Matt Helliker are set to try again on the infamous unclimbed southeast ridge of Annapurna III (7555m).

"The more I think about taking a helicopter to base camp, the more I think it is the correct decision..."

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=58087

ShinyDiscoBalls on 30 Sep 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Good luck guys that ridge looks amazing!

Maybe I donít understand is the helicopter being used due to a difficult/dangerous route into base camp?

Is that maybe why no one else has climbed it yet rather than the route is too difficult?

I think climbing is/has become reality TV it ticks all the right boxes. Plenty of opportunities for people to have tantrums and a good blend of failure capped with success. That makes good TV viewing. Good for entertainment, good for the sponsors and more money for he climbers a win, win situation.

SDB
HamishD - on 30 Sep 2010
In reply to UKC News:

> "I actually hate all of the blogging thing before and during a trip... it's too much like reality TV, and mountaineering aint no reality TV...

> Personally it adds too much pressure for me, I would rather just go and quietly get on with my thing, then when I get back report it if it's been a success, or quietly get on with the next thing if it has not.


I wish you the best of luck guys. I hope the weather is kind to you and that you find the route in climbable condition.

One odd thing about this article is that the above quote conflicts with the fact that you have an expedition blog which is updated every few days. Maybe add something to say that you have decided to blog despite your reservations in order to satisfy your sponsors.
Will Sim - on 30 Sep 2010
In reply to UKC News: I don't think its possible to get it right. You always wanna ridicule those who go down the publicity route, until you find yourself there and seeing the obvious benefits. I guess the thing to remember, and the thing that makes it justifiable, is whether the team matches the calibre of the objective. And the required ability and mileage to send the thing. This then makes it a genuine, realistic project that deserves to be supported. In this case the team and objective blatantly meet those requirements.
Good luck Matt, Pete and Nick and take care.
Will
snoop6060 - on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News:

What I don't get about this is that its clearly an epic approach, so that would sorta be half the challenge. Is this not one of the main contributing factors to the fact that it's unclimbed?





tony on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to snoop6060:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> What I don't get about this is that its clearly an epic approach, so that would sorta be half the challenge. Is this not one of the main contributing factors to the fact that it's unclimbed?

I think one of the main issues in mind is the risk to which the porters would be exposed. It's one thing to put yourself at risk, it's another to ask others to take the same risks for (relatively) little reward.
snoop6060 - on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to tony:

I agree with that, but I'm not sure I agree with swapping the porters for a helicopter. But I'm not exactly qualified to cast judgment, given I never have done anything like this in my life.
Jon Bracey - on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News:
Good luck to Matt, Nick and Pete!
This objective is really out there and I know a huge amount of effort and energy has already gone in to get this expedition off the ground, after failing to even make it to basecamp in the spring. All of the sponsors of this expedition have to extremely generous to make this possible.
Hope you get stable weather, climb hard and stay safe!
Tyler - on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to snoop6060:

> I agree with that, but I'm not sure I agree with swapping the porters for a helicopter.

Do you walk to every crag you visit from your house or do you sometimes take mechanised transport?
tony on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to snoop6060:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> I agree with that, but I'm not sure I agree with swapping the porters for a helicopter.

I'm not sure what the other options would be?

What I find interesting is that the use of helicopters is seen as such an issue. There are other places in the world - Alaska, for example - where air travel is the norm.
In reply to Tyler: It is actually a very interesting question though isn't it, because at first i thought "sounds sensible" and "everyone flies into Denali basecamp". But you think, "but how high can the helicopter take you before it is cheating?" On Everest could people be flown over the icefall to avoid that? (Probably not because of the service ceiling of the choppers, but you get my point.)
In reply to Tyler:

> Do you walk to every crag you visit from your house or do you sometimes take mechanised transport?

A bike is mechanised, so I guess that makes Tim McCartney Snape the only guy who has really climbed Everest, because the Swedish guy was cheating with his cycle assisted ascent from Stockholm. ;-)
tony on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Tyler) It is actually a very interesting question though isn't it, because at first i thought "sounds sensible" and "everyone flies into Denali basecamp". But you think, "but how high can the helicopter take you before it is cheating?" On Everest could people be flown over the icefall to avoid that? (Probably not because of the service ceiling of the choppers, but you get my point.)

Beck Weathers and Makalu Gau were helicoptered out from above the Ice Fall in 1996, and I'm sure helicopters have gone higher since then, so it's not impossible. I guess one difference is that Everest has an established Base Camp and the whole Base Camp thing is part of the acclimatisation thing, but it wouldn't surprise me if some guiding companies offer a helicopter to Camp 2 as an option.

But I guess that in itself is one of the differences - helicopters on Everest would just be another part of the overall commercialisation of Everest. Annapurna 4 is never going to suffer from the same onslaught of paying customers, so I'm not sure how far you can push the comparison.

I think it's good that Nick Bullock has taken such efforts to come to his decision. It demonstrates he cares a lot about the way he does things and that the way things are done does in fact matter. I wish him and the team every success.
ejected on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News: Hmmm, it does look nice, but it does not look very hard. Why all the fuss? Who cares?
snoop6060 - on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to Tyler:

Well no, i drive, but I'm not going there to claim first accents of dangerous inaccessible peaks.

My point was that maybe this is unclimbed due to the approach being so terrible. Maybe it would already have had an ascent is everyone was fortunate enough to get Samsung to lend them a helicopter.



TRip - on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to ejected:
> but it does not look very hard.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7491393@N03/4507353236/

Are you sure?

Good luck guys...
Henry Iddon - on 01 Oct 2010
In reply to UKC News:

Good luck guys, play safe. Hope to see y'all in the autumn.
whispering nic - on 02 Oct 2010
In reply to tony:

One issue is the income the local porters would have received from this exped. - it is now going to a big helicopter company rather than the people who need it most in the villages. I kno there is an argument about the objective dangers to porters but there have been alot of forays into the area before which I presume used porters?
Blinder - on 03 Oct 2010
In reply to whispering nic: the only reason heicoptors has became an issue is because the members felt uncounfatble with it. The first extp was stopped due to the risk to the porters, rather than a wish for an easy life. Ok they will not employ any prorters this time, but they will not kill any either. The thought of an exed that I was member which a porter died would not be a happy one. I wish them all the best.
Mark Crampton

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