Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nepalese Hindu Women Festival

Teej in Nepal
by Wikipedia

The first day of Teej is called Dar Khane Din. On this day the women, both married and unmarried, mainly of Khas ethnicity, assemble at one place, in their finest attire and start dancing and singing devotional songs. Amidst all this, the grand feast takes place. The jollity often goes on till midnight, after which the 24-hour fast starts.

The second day is the fasting day. Some women live without a morsel of food and drops of water while others take liquid and fruit. On this day, they gaily dress and visit a nearbyShiva temple singing and dancing on the way. The Pashupatinath Temple gets the highest number of devotees. At the Shiva temple, women circumambulate the Shiva Linga, the symbol of the lord, offering flowers, sweets and coins. The main puja (religious ceremony) takes place with offerings of flowers, fruits, etc., made to Shiva and Parbati, beseeching them to grant their blessing upon the husband and family. The important part of the puja is the oil lamp which should be alight throughout the night.

The third day of the festival is Rishi Panchami. After the completion of the previous day's puja, women pay homage to various deities and bathe with red mud found on the roots of the sacred datiwan bush, along with its leaves. This act of purification is the final ritual of Teej, after which women are considered absolved from all their sins. The recent years have witnessed an alteration in the rituals, especially concerning the severity, but its essence remains the same.

Teej is celebrated just before the first day of Ganesh Chaturthi. Women do 24-hour nirjala fasting (without water or fruit) for the wellness of their spouse and their married life and unmarried would be praying to get a nice husband.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Conference at NUST - Pakistan

Thank you to NUST Adventure Club, The Adventure Club, and PFAN for inviting me as keynote speaker and for their heartwarming welcome.
I had great pleasure talking to such interested, enthousiatic and involved audience.

* NUST: National University of Sciences and Technology
* PFAN : Pak-France Alumni Network

Official website:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Excellent News & Bad News

Excellent News : The 2 days chock treatment worked. I'm healthy again. I am very happy!!!! (I will not eat yogurt anymore that I buy from a deli, I promise .... what a stupid mistake ....)

My doctor gave me some food/vitamins supplement to speed up my recovery. I need too rest and eat up.

Bad News : I should I have left Kathmandu September 1st to Tibet to climb Shishapagma, which is leaving me less than 10 days to build up strength and to gain weight. The doctor told me that it is too early to be back in mountain and asked me to cancel my Shisha climb.

It is with regret that I will cancel my Shishapagma expedition. It is the wise decision and I am comfortable with it.   

Friday, August 19, 2011

Body Fat Drama #2

I am suffering from a food positioning for the last few days. I went to the hospital and doctors are running some tests. They gave me a 2 days very porwerful medecine. I will go back to the hospital on Monday to check on my status and thay will decide if I should get hospitalized to treat me and help me to recover.  My body is unfortunately very weak now and crushed down every day little bite more my body fat ratio. It is a terrible timing for being sick as it might jeopardize my Shisha climb. 
I have always put safety first. So if my doctor ask me to cancel my expedition, I will do it.

PS: Please do not worry. I am in excellent hands. I am followed by one of the best hospital in Nepal

Me yesterday - my current weight : 124lbs

The issue is I am in a down trend, whereas I should be gaining weight.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Alpine Challenge Itinerary - 9 Months Away Day by Day

Click on the link/title to access to the photos of the day

Everest Base Camp Trek
    • 04/10/11 - Kathmandhu Rest Day
Cho Oyu Climb
    • 05/09/11 - Rest day Kathmandu
Lhotse Climb
    • 05/10/11 - Kathmandu to Namche
    • 05/11/11 - Namche to Dugla
    • 05/12/11 - Dugla to Base Camp
    • 05/13/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 05/14/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 05/15/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 05/16/11 - Base Camp to Camp 2
    • 05/17/11 - Camp 2 to Camp 3
    • 05/18/11 - Camp 3 to Camp 4
    • 05/20/11 - Camp 3 to Camp 2
    • 05/21/11 - Camp 2 to Base Camp
    • 05/22/11 - Base Camp (last day day - sorting stuff)
    • 05/23/11 - Base Camp to Pheriche
    • 05/24/11 - Pheriche to Namche
    • 05/25/11 - Namche to Luckla
    • 05/26/11 - Luckla to Kathmandu

Rest Days
    • 05/27/11 - Kathmandhu Rest Day
    • 06/10/11 - Flight to Islamabad
Broad Peak Climb
    • 06/11/11 - Fly to Islamabad
    • 06/12/11 - Drive to Chilas
    • 06/13/11 - Drive to Skardu
    • 06/14/11 - Rest Day at Skardu
    • 06/15/11 - Drive to Askole (3000m)
    • 06/16/11 - Trek to Jhola
    • 06/17/11 - Trek to Paiyu
    • 06/18/11 - Day free at Paiyu for acclimatization (3600m)
    • 06/19/11 - Trek to Urduka
    • 06/20/11 - Trek to Goro II (4500m)
    • 06/21/11 - Trek to Base Camp (4800m)
    • 06/22/11 - Rest Day at Base Camp
    • 06/23/11 - Climb from Base Camp to Camp 2 (6200m) 
    • 06/24/11 - Climb from Camp 2 to Low Camp 3 (7000m)
    • 06/25/11 - First Summit Attemp (turn back due to high wind >60km), go down to Base Camp
    • 06/26/11 - Rest Day at Base Camp
    • 06/27/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 06/28/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 06/29/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 06/30/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 07/01/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 07/02/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 07/03/11 - Climb from Base Camp to Camp 2 (6200m)
    • 07/04/11 - Climb from Camp 2 to Low Camp 3 (7000m) but an Avalanche ravaged our tent, we lost everything, we have to turn back. Back to Camp 2
    • 07/05/11 - Go Down Camp 2 to Base Camp
    • 07/06/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 07/07/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 07/08/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 07/09/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 07/10/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 07/11/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (wait for weather window)
    • 07/12/11 - Climb from Base Camp to Camp 2 (6200m)
    • 07/13/11 - Climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 (7200m)
    • 07/14/11 - Summit Attempt - Go up to the col - Got frosbite - Go down to Base Camp
    • 07/15/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (recover from frosbite)
    • 07/16/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (recover from frosbite)
    • 07/17/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (recover from frosbite)
    • 07/18/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (recover from frosbite)
    • 07/19/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (recover from frosbite)
    • 07/20/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (recover from frosbite)
    • 07/21/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (recover from frosbite)
    • 07/22/11 - Base Camp Rest Day (recover from frosbite)
    • 07/23/11 - Climb from Base Camp to Camp 2 (6200m)
    • 07/24/11 - Climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 (7200m)
    • 07/25/11 - Summit (8047m) - Go Down Camp 3
    • 07/26/11 - Go Down Camp 3 to Base Camp
    • 07/27/11 - Trek to K2 Base Camp (5100m) 
K2 Climb
    • 07/28/11 - Rest Day at K2 Base Camp (need to recover from Broad Peak Summit)
    • 07/29/11 - Rest Day at K2 Base Camp (need to recover from Broad Peak Summit)
    • 07/30/11 - Rest Day at K2 Base Camp (need to recover from Broad Peak Summit)
    • 07/31/11 - Rest Day at K2 Base Camp (need to recover from Broad Peak Summit)
    • 08/01/11 - Get ready for the summit push
    • 08/02/11 - Climb from Base Camp to Camp 2 (6100m)
    • 08/03/11 - Climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 (7350m)
    • 08/04/11 - Climb from Camp 3 to Low Camp 4 (7600m)
    • 08/05/11 - Climb from Low Camp 4 to Camp 4 (8000m) 
    • 08/06/11 - Too windy - Summit Attempt Cancel - Go Down Camp 2
    • 08/07/11 - Go Down Camp 2 to Base Camp 
Trek Back from K2
    •  08/08/11 - Pack at K2 base Camp and get ready to leave
    • 08/09/11 - Trek down to Goro II
    • 08/10/11 - Trek down to Jhola
    • 08/11/11 - Trek down to Askole
    • 08/12/11 - Drive to Skardu
    • 08/13/11 - Rest day at Skardu (waiting for a flight)
    • 08/14/11 - Fly to Islamabad
    • 08/15/11 - Rest in Islamabad

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sophie has spent more than 80days above 4800m in the last 3 months

How to qualify my Broad Peak climb in one word : Resilience
Broad Peak

Attempt #1 (summit scheduled June 26th) : We were climbing alpine style. During our summit push we got cut in a wind storm. We when down to Base Camp the same day

Attempt #2 (summit scheduled July 6th): After going through a wind storm, we finally reached Camp 3. But no tent as waiting for us. Our tent got covered up y an avalanche. We had to go down

Attempt #3 (summit scheduled on July 14th): Starting at 9:30pm, we climbed for about 13h and reached only 7900m. Snow was deep, and fixing rope took the team a long time, long enough to freeze my toes. I had a small frostbite at big toe, we had to go down. We when down to Base Camp (4800m) from 7900m

Attempt #4 : SUMMIT. I summit on july 25th !

K2 - we reached and sleep at Camp IV
K2's Attempt #1 (summit scheduled on august 6th): We should have start at 1am. Waking up at midnight, we'd checked on the weather every 30 minutes. But the wind did not slow down. At 5am we could see very high winds at the top, and at 7am it was a white out. Weather tuning sour, and the weather forecast predicating bad weather for the next day, we 've decided to go down. 


Sunday, August 14, 2011

National Day of Pakistan

August 14th 2011 is the 71st National Day of Pakistan

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back to Islamabad

I am back in Islamabad, Happy and Healthy

I have 2 weeks to rest and eat up before my next adventure : Climbing Shishapgma (8,013 m/26,289 ft) in Tibet, and Manaslu ( 8,156 m/26,759 ft) in Nepal

Pakistan : Baltoro Glacier view Broad Peak Camp 2

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sophie - chosen by FRANCE AMERIQUE magazine to be in the top 50 French people who have an influence in the USA.


For France-Amerique Magazine special summer issue, I have been chosen by France Amerique magazine to be in the top 50 French people who have an influence in the USA.


France-Amérique, also known as Le Journal Francais des États-Unis, is America’s largest and only nationwide French-language publication, serving an audience of French expatriates, Francophones and French-speaking Americans

Here is the digital version of that July/August issue:

** I just remind you that the numbers don't correspond to a ranking.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back in Skardu

We walked more than 10h every day for 3 days to trek out from K2 Base Camp to Askole. It was really tough for our feet which had been devastated with blisters .... Today Lakpa and I are in Skardu, happy!

Tomorrrow we will fly to Islamabad if the weather is good.
Toutes les Nouvelles de Versailles (France)10 août 2011
Clic = zoOM

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Appel de Sophie du K2 camp 2

Appel de Sophie à Yves Denis (Paris samedi 06/08/2011 à 15h45)

Vendredi, nous avons atteint le camp 4. Ce matin, de 00h00 à 03h00, nous nous sommes réveillés Lakpa, Louis et moi toutes les 30 minutes pour surveiller la météo. A 05h00, il y avait trop de vent et surtout un voile blanc de tempête qui ne permet pas de prendre des repères au risque de se perdre. D'autre part le camp de base nous annonce que la pression tombe et que le temps va se dégrader. Nous avons décidé de redescendre, l'équipe étant trop réduite, la montée devenait trop dangereuse, c'est dommage car physiquement et moralement, le sommet était à notre portée.
Pour moi la montée du K2 s'est faite en 4 jours, dans des conditions météo formidables, car nous n'avions de la neige que jusqu'aux genoux, le paysage était magnifique et j'étais très émue. Ce sera une expérience inoubliable.
Je referai une tentative, mais avec une équipe solide car nous montons près de 1000 mètres par jour.
Après de nombreux soucis avec les porteurs, pourtant payés et qui au C2 nous disent "on est malade, on ne peut pas monter" ou "c'est trop lourd", nous nous sommes chargés nous même d'aller rechercher du matériel, portant l'oxygène et 200m de corde, soit 6 kg en plus.
Samedi 6 nous avons donc fait la descente et nous sommes au camp 2. Demain nous allons du C2 au camp de base.
Le 8 nous aurons redescendu le matériel. Puis il y aura 12 heures de marche pour atteindre Skardou et enfin 6 heures pour atteindre Kachgar d'où je prendrai un avion pour Islamabad où je doit être reçue à l'Ambassade de France pour une conférence de presse.
Au programme 15 jours de repos, (je dors actuellement sur mes cotes !)
Encore 2 sommets et je rentre en France vers le 18 novembre, peut-être le 11.

Friday, August 5, 2011

News from the explorersweb: Summit day postponed

Here is the link of the article
and hereunder an extract

Posted: Aug 05, 2011 02:52 am EDT
(Angela Benavides) Tough conditions prevented most K2 summit climbers from reaching C4 as planned. Only the ABC team members Gerfried Göschl, Alex Txikon and Kilian Volken managed to reach the camp's location at 7,900m, while all other teams were forced to stop for the night between C3 and C4.
"The delayed climbers are carrying ropes and essential gear to fix some of the mountain's upper sections," Alex home team explained. "Thus, Gerfried, Alex and Kilian have spent all night waiting for the rest and evaluating their options: to remain over 24 hours at nearly 8,000 meters, or to abandon the attempt. Finally, this morning they decided to go on."
"I am feeling strong - and I've worked so hard on this attempt," Alex said on the sat-phone. "It's worth to wait one day and try to top-out all together tomorrow."
Noone has summited K2 since the dramatic push of 2008. Alex, on the contrary, has already managed a GI+G2 double header and now aims to make a triplet of it with K2.
Meanwhile in BC, FTA's Chris confirmed the news and reported on today's plans: the climbers will fix the Bottleneck. FTA's team has been reduced to Sophie Denis, Lakpa and two HAPS's, after rob Pringer turned back yesterday.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chris' phone call: Camp 3 in spite of high wind (and on the way to camp 4)

Chris called FTA office in (see this link FTA blog) to let us know that the summit push is under way and they  reached C3 on the 3rd as planned. Sophie, Lakpa, Farhad, Aziz and Said were in C3 last night and hope to push to C4 today. Rob came back down to BC after pushing towards C3 and is reconsidering his options at this time.
The winds have been very strong even at base camp so they will be watching carefully this afternoon and evening for the very latest reports before making a final call on a summit bid on the 5th. All members are safe and sound and Chris will have more later today on how the push to C4 has gone. Stay tuned!

Chris  a appelé le siège de FTA et les a informé que la route vers le sommet a commencé. Ils ont atteint le camp 3 le 3 aout comme prévu. Sophie Lakpa Farhad Aziz et Said étaient au camp 3 la nuit dernière et espèrent atteindre la camp 4 aujourd'hui  (le 4 mais nous n'avons pas confirmation pour l'instant). Rob est finalement retourné au camp de base (après avoir atteint le camp 3).
Même au camp de base, les vents ont été assez violents, à partir du camp 4 (le 4) ils devront donc être très attentifs à l'évolution des conditions météo l'après midi et en début de soirée avant de partir pour le sommet le 5 (ils doivent passer un coup de fil avant de se lancer).
Tous les membres du groupe se portent bien .
Restez en ligne, 
les choses peuvent vite évoluer dans les prochaines heures

News from the explorerweb:August 4th 2011

Link to the article: and an extract of the article hereunder

Posted: Aug 04, 2011 02:16 pm EDT
(By Dave Hancock) 
In Skardu, FTA leader Dave Hancock just submitted the following report to ExplorersWeb. FTA lost a client on Broad Peak and have a bunch pushing for the summit of K2 right now. Here goes a debrief and thoughts straight from the horse's mouth.

High hopes for K2 tonight
By Dave Hancock

"There is significant anticipation surrounding K2 tonight both amongst the asssembled returned climbers and outfitters in Skardu, and no doubt the respective BC teams at the foot of the hill. By various reports up to 17 climbers are poised at camp 4 for a summit attempt tomorrow, including FTA members Sophie Denis, Rob Springer and Lapka, and our two HAP's.
A huge high pressure system has parked itself across the top of northern Pakistan, and while some European models are predicting possibly higher winds late tomorrow, all indicators locally are fuelling hopes for a near perfect weather window. As the suns sets this evening across the Indus basin in Skardu, there is not a breath of wind and the temperature remains well into the high 20's celsius. K2 has not seen a person stand upon her summit since 2008.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sophie's phone call: K2 Camp 2 the second

Today the international group leaved Base camp (5100m) at 3h40am.
The group is composed of 14 people and due to a lot of snow, all the people have decided to follow the CESEN road (K2 roads including CESEN road).
At the beginning of the climbing day, Sophie has difficulties to feel concerned by the climbing but after 2h00 of effort, the 60° of the mountain slope make her back to business with her well known dynamism. Broad Peak was emotionally a big challenge and all the climbers need time to focus on K2.
For information, with a slope higher than 45°, every fall and slide can not be stopped by the climber itself and can be the last one (be careful do not confuse the slope in ° and %).

At 12h the second, the whole group is in camp 2 around 6000M
the third, the group will be in camp 3
the fourth, the group will be in camp 4
And the 5: Summit day

Aujourd'hui le groupe international de 14 personnes a quitté le camp de base (5100m) vers 3h40 du matin. A cause de conditions de neige et météo assez moyenne, l'ensemble des grimpeurs a décidé de parcourir la voie CESEN (K2 roads including CESEN road).
Au début de la montée Sophie a un moral bas, mais après 2h00, la pente atteignant les 60° Sophie est obligée de se concentrer, retrouve son dynamisme et oublie ses pensées négatives. A midi, le groupe est au camp 2 vers 6000 mètres. 
Les objectifs sont les suivants: 
le 3 au camp 3
le 4 au camp 4
le 5 au sommet.