PHIL CRAMPTON

THE ART OF ALPINISM

WHATS GOING ON

2019 - A NEW YEAR, A NEW CLIMB

I'm making some changes to my schedule for 2019. I'm excited about some new climbs for the Altitude Junkies crew and some personal climbing projects, that unfortunately have been put on hold for way too long.

I decided that Everest in Tibet for the spring could be way too problematic in regards to some new rules and regulations announced by the CTMA late in December. There are some more additional fees, a Tibet rescue team with a no cap rescue fee, even if a rescue is needed or not, and I don't even want to get started about which nationalities will be refused visas for Tibet this spring season based on recent political developments. Anyway, I'm hoping to switch to Makalu if possible, as I last climbed her in 2017 and it's truly a beautiful mountain. Details can be found on the Altitude Junkies website.

THE GUNKS

The Gunks Mountain Cabin is finally nearly finished and should be open for the spring season in the Gunks. Those folks who know me, know that I'm not one for self-promotion and I'm not always seeking publicity on social media and the like, but if I do say so myself, this place is frigging awesome.

It's an alpine museum, climbing gym and mountain hut all in one and it's just a stones throw away from the world famous climbing mecca, "The Gunks".

I'm now going to get some young Nepali hotshot web techie in Kathmandu to buld a website, so we can show you folks what we have been up to during our off climbing season time.

MAKALU

We last climbed Makalu in the spring of 2017, which was an amazing climb on an uncrowded mountain. Even though we missed the actual summit by 14 vertical meters or so, due to a dodgy looking cornice on the final ridge, that none of us and none of the other climbers following us (we were fixing ropes on the entire route) decided to try to cross.

Dhaulagiri, Makalu and Annapurna are all uncrowded peaks in the spring and fall and we had hoped to form teams on these peaks over the next few years, but the draw of Everest is still the major peak for most aspiring Himalayan climbers. To this day the three most requested peaks I get contacted about are Everest, Cho Oyu and Ama Dablam respectively.

CORDILLERA BLANCA, PERU

I'm heading back to the amazing Cordillera Blanca this summer with the Junkies and then for some personal climbs.

We will be back in the Ishinca Valley with a Junkies team, hoping to reach three summits in seven days and then I will be doing some personal climbs throughout the summer. One of these personal climbs will be an epic traverse, which has been on my radar for many years.

Unfortunately my regular alpine climbing partner and great friend, the legendary Finn, Sammy Mansikka, died descending from the summit of Annapurna in 2015, so I'm looking for new regular partners for the Cordillera Blanca and the Alps. If anyone is interested in climbing with me in the future, especially this summer in Peru, shoot me an email to altitudejunkies@gmail.com

CHOLATSE, NEPAL

I'm looking forward to returning once again to Cholatse, hoping to make my sixth summit, on this super technical and beautiful peak. It's my favorite peak in all of the Himalayas, and although it's not the highest, the most famous, the most historical, it's one of the best Nepal has to offer.

AMA DABLAM, NEPAL

Ama Dablam is a beautiful peak, although it's overcrowded in October and November. The last time I climbed her, last November and December it was so quiet. I'm going back this year with a Junkies team, and yes, I will use helicopters to fly into Namche and out of base camp. Don't hate me, I'm getting old.

MOUNTAINEERING, ALPINISM, KATHMANDU & LIFE