On May 13th, 2010 a group of climbers and doctors will embark on a two-week expedition to climb four peaks in Bolivia. But it’s not the climbing that is noteworthy. The team is returning to the town of Chuñavi to start the process of building a medical clinic that will save lives and provide much needed medical access to people who never had it.
New Hampshire based mountain guide, Paul Cormier, founded the Chuñavi Fund. The goal is to raise approximately $45,000 to build the clinic — this year Paul raised nearly $10,000 toward that goal. It’s a daunting task considering the state of the economy and the scope of the operation. Building a clinic in Bolivia requires more than brick and mortar. For a clinic to truly succeed on its own requires ownership and responsibility among the community leadership and its members.
The groundwork for developing formal agreements with elected officials, community leaders, and the Bolivian Health Ministry requires experience and leadership and this is why Mano a Mano International is teaming with the Chuñavi Fund.
This year’s itinerary concentrates on four peaks — three of which lie in the Condoriri Group located in the central Cordillera Real. What makes this group of mountains so special is that over 13 peaks can be approached from a single base camp providing a continuous assortment of climbs for days or even weeks without moving basecamp.
On October 14th our team of three Chinese and two American climbers will meet in the city of Chengdu where preparations will be finalized for our departure to climb Yangmolong in the far western part of the Sichuan Province.
We will travel by jeep from Chengdu through the town of Kangding and continue west across the Sichuan-Tibet Highway passing through the Tibetan frontier town of Litang before arriving at the head of the Sangchu Valley. We’ll be hiring a local villager and horses to move gear down the valley to our basecamp, which at this time is not known.
In the truest sense of the word adventure, we’ll be embarking into an area that has seen very few foreigners, which in itself is why this trip is just as much about reconnoitering the area as it is about climbing. To date several teams have attempted to climb Yangmolong, but none have been successful. We hope to be the first.
With the excitement of the Olympics winding down, we’re once again returning to China in partnership with BlueSheep Adventures. For the next two months we’ll be traveling throughout China in search of the ideal adventure travel excursion while filming the unique encounters we experience along the way.
In the midst of our travels around China, we’ll be taking a 12-day detour to head back into the earthquake zone of the Sichuan Province and to a mountain called Abi. This will be a journey to reconnect with remote villagers who have been affected by the earthquake but also an expedition to climb a technically challenging peak that nobody has ever scaled before.
We’ll be sending back updates from our travels and you can follow along as we attempt the first ascent of Abi.
In July, Tim Boelter embarked on his latest adventure — a climb of China’s Mustagata. Tim and the team posted live updates from their climb on this website. All the details of the expedition are captured below.
In May of 2006 filmmaker Tim Boelter and writer Mike Chrisp launched a remarkable journey into China’s wild Western frontier. They traveled over 6,000 miles along China's ancient Silk Road. Their odyssey explored a remote corner of the most populous country on Earth — and the most dangerous desert in the world. Along the way they posted colorful updates and photos from their adventure. Revisit their journey.
In October 2003 Tim Boelter and climbing partner Jon Otto attempted the 20,505-foot Mt. Siguniang in the Sichuan province of southwest China. The mountain is one of the “Four Maidens” — four striking peaks that stand side by side like sisters.
The attempt of this stylish alpine pyramid was cut short because of unrelenting and dangerous rock falls. This vertical technical rock and ice climb lived up to its reputation.
Tim and Jon then returned to this beautiful, diverse region known as the Asian Alps in 2004 for another attempt and to continue the film. During their 2004 climb, they logged their progress to this website. This 2004 climb is featured in our award-winning film Higher Ambitions.
In March of 2001 the British American Lightweight Everest Expedition departed for Mount Everest. This small team of four climbers attempted to climb the North Col to Northeast Ridge route. Without the support of Sherpas this team climbed from Advanced Base Camp on the East Rongbuk Glacier up the mountain, establishing camps.
The expedition used a satellite link to send photos and dispatches back to this Web site. In addition to taking the audience along on this climb, this Web site gave historical, geographical, and cultural information about Mount Everest and — most importantly — what it was like for this team of four to test their capacity to reach the highest point on earth.