Himalaya 2009 climbing season, Karakoram and Himalaya wrap-up: Edurne Pasaban and Magic Line leader sharing mountain, Joao under cover in Manaslu BC, porters deserting Babanov en route to Annapurna.

(MountEverest.net) It’s raining in Nepal and KTM, while early bird Joao García reports a snow storm blanketing Manaslu BC.

As for yesterday’s ExWeb cover girl Edurne Pasaban; K2 Magic Line expedition leader Oscar Cadiach is about to join her mountain although in a different expedition.

Babanov’s porters jumped ship enroute to Annapurna’s west face; Libor Uher’s climbing plans are pending Chinese rules, Billie Bierling speaks on Nepal’s uncertain politics, and the Singaporean girls walk Kathmandu’s streets wearing surgical masks.

Joao & Co – first in Manaslu BC

First to reach Manaslu BC and after solving some comms problems, Joao Garcia reports a heavy snow-storm currently wrapping the mountain.

Oscar Cadiach back to Kangchenjunga – Edurne and Juanito gearing up

Leader of the 2004 K2 Magic Line expedition, Spanish Oscar Cadiach is returning to Kangchenjunga two years edurne_newafter his climbing mate Iñigo Pineda was killed in their attempt on the mountain. Oscar is back with Julen Requeta, Kobe Lasa, Patxi Goñi and Alberto Zerain. If all goes well on Kanchen, Zerain – with 6x8000ers summited (incl K2 last summer) – might attempt Yalung Kang as well.

Also headed for Kangchenjunga in a separate expedition; Edurne Pasaban and Juanito Oiarzabal are cautious about the climb. “It’s gonna be tough,” Juanito told Spanish paper El Correo Digital. “It’s a complex, unknown mountain, which takes everything out of you.”

Oiarzabal should know; on descent from its summit in 1996 Kangchenjunga almost took his life. He also had to abandon an attempt there in 2007 due to problems with his feet (severely frostbitten on K2 in 2004).

As for Edurne, don’t miss the interview published on MountEverest.net .

Nives and Romano: Annapurna will decide the route

Nives and Romano are in rainy Chhomrong, waiting for their gear to arrive before proceeding to BC. The guys will decide route after checking mountain conditions in BC, their home team reported.

Libor Uher: Anna+Everest expedition’s details

Libor Uher is headed for Annapurna’s East ridge which he hopes to climb in preps for an even tougher goal: Everest’s Hornbein Couloir, Czech journalist Zdenek Strnadel told ExplorersWeb.

Libor’s plans are pending the Chinese authorities though, who now are supposed to open the Nepal-Tibetan border by April 30th. In fact, Uher had originally planned to acclimatize on Cho Oyu, but had to switch to Annapurna due to the border closure.

Libor and his team will climb light, without supplementary O2 or high-altitude porters.

Valery Babanov: porters jumping ship

“Last night 20 out of 30 porters left all their equipment and went back to Kathmandu,” reported Valery valery-newyesterday. “After getting up to the ridge (at about 3600 m), they refused to go any further.”

“The porters had been hired by the agency, but were obviously not prepared for that kind of work,” Babanov added. Leaving their gear on the ridge, guarded by two porters and the kitchen boy, Valery, Victor and the remaining men returned to Lete village in unstable weather and rain-showers.

“Most likely Valery and Victor have to wait and hire the porters of a Korean Expedition, currently on their way to BC – that will take about three more days,” Babanov’s home team said.

Everest: Singaporean women’s showers of blessings

“It rained the day we arrived (in Kathmandu) and that was a great thing because it washed away the city’s layers of dust,” the Singaporean female Everest team reported. “Showers of blessings indeed! In order to prevent catching a cough from the dust, we resorted to walking around the city with surgical masks on. Yes we look ridiculous, but it’s worth it to keep the cough at bay!”

”We were also hosted for dinner by the Nepal Tourism Board and the All Nepali Women’s Team, which summited Everest last year,” they added. “We had a great time – It’s a rare chance to meet another all-women’s team.”

Billi Bierling about the reality in Nepal’s peace process

“According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Nepal ranks eighth in the list of countries where journalists are murdered on a recurring basis,” Billi Bierling reported.

“Another stumbling block to the peace process is the current procedure of turning the Himalayan country into federal states,” she said.

“Due to the fact that some of the 101 different ethnic groups feel treated unjustly by how the groups are being divided, the Terai region in western Nepal has seen increasing violence that has left several people dead.”

“During an interview I conducted with the editor of the Nepali Times, Kunda Dixit, he said that if the these federal units kept on being defined by ethnicity the conflict could explode and a war could break out that would be ‘Bosnia times ten’.”

“The country is also still crippled by strikes that are usually called by different ethnic groups,” Billie wrapped up her report. “According to the Nepali Times, the month of February saw a strike every single day in the whole of Nepal. So, it is all very well that we are supposed to be having a peace process, however, the reality on the ground looks very different.”

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** Read these stories – and more! – at ExplorersWeb.com

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