World's Highest Weather Station Erected at 6,500 Metres on Everest's Dongrongbu Glacier


China News reports a weather station has erected on Dongrongbu Glacier at 6,500 meters on Mount Everest (Qomolangma) and it will be monitored until October. The station will continue to collect data which will be retrieved when climbing season resumes in April. A weather station was erected on the same spot in 2001 but has since disappeared.
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Elephant Kills Off Trail Hiker at Murchison Falls National Park


Xinhuanet reports that an elephant with a calf attacked off trail hikers at Murchison Falls National Park,some 350 km northwest of Kampala.
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Afghanistan Promotes Virgin 6,000 Metres Peaks to Tourist Mountaineers

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush
The Sunday Herald says Afghanistan is trying to promote mountaineering tourism by publicizing its virgin 6,000 metre peaks in the Hindu Kush and is training 12 former guerrilla fighters to become alpine guides and the country has a special landmine bureau to warn you where not to go (don’t go to the old smuggler trails).
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Russian Trekkers Injured by Car Bomb in Nepal

The climbing community was taken aback by early reports that two Russian Everest climbers had been injured by a Maoist car bomb in Nepal. Although the Russians were indeed injured they were identified later as just trekkers. They are being looked after by Asian Trekking Organization. The government has banned travel on major roads without an armed escort during the Maoist blockade.


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Proposed Kilimanjaro Fee Increase for $30 to $100

The Guardian reports the Tanzania National Parks Authority is proposing to increase the entrance fees to Serengeti and Kilimanjaro National Parks from $30 US to $100 US.


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Corruption Charges About Overcrowding on Kilimanjaro's Marangu Trail

AllAfrica tells a story of corruption regarding Kilimanjaro permits causing overcrowding on the mountain. More than 25,000 tourists climb Kilimanjaro each year, often paying thousands of dollars for the privilege, and each of the three routes up the mountain is supposed to have a set limit of climbers each day. But the Marangu trail in particular, which has a daily limit of 67 people, often had double that number in this February. The result has been overcrowding in the huts, long waits for food and worst of all, porters being forced to sleep outside in freezing temperatures, which sometimes drop to as low as minus 12 centigrade. But the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) Director General, Gerald Bigurube said he has received no such complaints. The complaints note that guides are not sharing tips with the porters who often carry more than the legal limit of 110 pounds (50 kg) One Western company, Exodus, has stopped using the Marangu route because of these problems, describing it as the “Coca-Cola route.” The Marangu trail is particularly popular as it is quicker and the only one with huts for sleeping in.


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Savage Summit: The Fatal Lifes of the First 5 Women to Summit K2

The New York Times in reviewing Jennifer Jordan’s book about the first five women who climbed K2 (and had unhappy ends) notes the women also had unhappy lifes. The book is entitled “Savage Summit : The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, the World’s Most Feared Mountain.” For instance there’s Wanda Rutkiewicz who climbed 8 of the world’s 14 peak over 8,00 meters. She had three husbands, few friends and fellow climbers stole her sleeping bag on Everest and her fellow male climbers claimed she never summited Annapurna until she produced the pictures to prove it. Chantal Mauduit was derided for using sherpas –which most climbers use. There was Alison Hargreaves who is believed to have perished on K2 as an attempt to safe her flagging fortunes. There other woman are Julie Tullis and Liliane Barrard .
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Kilimanjaro Porters Protest Working Conditions

The London Times reports porters who carry bags up Mount Kilimanjaro to alert the world to horrible conditions including as many as ten porters being forced to sleep in tents designed for four, no sleeping bags or mats and not providing adequate cold weather clothes (usually what they have is provided by tourists). The group is supported by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG) started work on a new medical post and shelter at Machermo in Nepal. Previously porters were forced to sleep in caves there.

Websites:
www.kilimanjaro-union.com
www.ippg.net
www.tourismconcern.org.uk


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Cops on Top Kilimanjaro Audio Blog Wows 'Em At Slashdot

Cops on Top Expedition has gotten notice of the ultimate geek site slashdot.org because of its use of its audio blog via satellite phone (you can listen via mp3) of its expedition up Kilimanjaro. There’s an interesting debate there on the use of blogs for outdoor events. The technolgy interest may be underscored because of San Francisco involvement.

Links:
Our earlier article on the Cops Corporate Sponsorship of the 7 summit bid.
Slashdot Article
Cops on top summit report
Their audilog:


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Snopes Deams 2 Tsunami Photo Galleries on Internet Urban Legends


Snopes has deamed that two sets of tsunami photos circulating on the net are Urban Legends.

Snopes write up basically notes the city is probably not Phuket and adds the recorded waves were 4m high.
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