Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up: Nepal-Tibet border closed, Joao approaching Manaslu and summer plans for K2.

(MountEverest.net) Andrew Lock, heading for Shisha Pangma, found the Tibetan border closed. Everest climbers who already sent gear to the north side now struggle to get it back and switch to Nepal in a hurry.

Kathmandu is wrapped in a thick cloud of smog and people cough as water shortage has made the air dry and dusty. Joao Garcia already got out and is enjoying a magic valley enroute to Manaslu.

As for the Karakoram, FTA prepares to launch a commercial expedition on K2 this summer.

Manuel Pizarro: Everest side-switching mess

“Political problems in China have affected Manuel and Andre,” Pizarro’s home team reported. “They will not be able to climb from Tibet as planned. Forced to switch to pizarroo2-newNepal’s side, they had to modify everything in record time (food, equipment and climbing permits).” In fact, their supplies were already on their way to Tibet – the climbers have asked the loads to be returned to Nepal.

Billi Bierling: Smog in Ktm and interviews for Miss Hawley

“Kathmandu has been under a thick cloud, or rather smog cover for the last few days,” Billi Bierling reported yesterday. “Most people in Kathmandu are currently suffering from a very dry cough – me included. The water shortage is getting worse, the reservoirs are running dry, hydro power stations cannot cope with the few hours of electricity they can give us and the air in the capital is dry and dusty.”

“Regarding my Everest expedition….apart from training hard, I have just spent one hour filling in Miss Hawley’s bio forms for the 28 members of our expedition.”

Billi works with Miss Hawley’s Himalayan Database in Kathmandu, and usually sits on the other side of the paperwork. This year she is member in the huge HiMex team, attempting Everest from the south side.

Joao’s magic world

One week after departure from Kathmandu, Joao García is approaching Manaslu BC. “Following a trek through flatlands, we eventually entered a magic world: Manaslu valley,” Joao reported over sat-phone from Samagaon yesterday. The team planned to remain in the village, at 3,500m, for at least one day before heading up to 4,700m.

Andrew Lock: Nepal/Tibet border closed

“I’m sitting in a flash new coffee shop in Kathmandu, checking my emails with free Wi-Fi internet,” Australian Andrew Lock reported yesterday. “Boy has this place changed since my first visit in the ’80s!!”

”My plan to climb Mt Shishapangma is still a little uncertain as the border into Tibet is currently closed and there is no clear guidance as to when it may reopen,” Andrew stated.lock-new

Meanwhile, Andrew will take advantage of his stay in Nepal to acclimatize. “I arrived a couple of days ago and have spent the time renewing and sorting my equipment which has been in storage here for the last year since my Makalu expedition,” Lock wrote.

“In a day or so I’ll start trekking in the Khumbu region to acclimatize for a couple of weeks before returning to Kathmandu, meeting up with my climbing partner Hector Ponce de Leon, and heading for the hills. I previously summited Everest with Hector in 2004 and we climbed together again last year on Makalu.”

Karakoram summer: FTA for K2

Aussie based Field Touring Alpine will be heading back to K2 in 2009 with a 15 person attempt on the SSE spur (Cesen route).

The outfitter lost two clients in Himalaya last fall (on Cho Oyu and Ama Dablam). Although commercial, the K2 climb won’t be fully guided: “We have professional leaders running the K2 trip, but its not a situation where the guide will lead anybody to the summit. K2 just isn’t the kind of hill that you can apply Everest style techniques to,” FTA’s Pakistan manager Dave Hancock said.

“What we have is a group of likeminded climbers pooling their efforts to surmount a significant Himalayan objective – the entire team will be working to get the strongest members to the top. We are kind of harking back to the grand old days of traditional expeditions with this climb.”

FTA has climbing permits for Broad Peak and GII as well, making available double-headers or hat-tricks to clients.

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One Response

  1. hola Manuel me llamo Krystel… venistes a mi escuela.. Louis-Riel y estuve hablando con usted soy la canadiense que habla espanol 🙂 bueno le queria decir que su historia me toco mucho hasta que llore 🙂 y me gusto mucho la historia me llego 🙂 que usted sigua asi es bueno porque usted pasa un mensaje en la cabeza de la gente sin que ellos se den cuenta pero yo se me di cuenta de eso 🙂 bueno le voy a escribir pronto cuando su pajina ya no va estar en construccions 🙂 bueno bbye se cuida y felicidades por todo lo cumplo 🙂

    de Krystel Cheney Lavoie escuela Louis-Riel

    ps: esta muy bonita la foto que tomamos con mis amigos despues de la conferencia

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