Himalayan fall season is on and is as humid as ever. Intense monsoon rains this year are making things difficult to trekkers and climbers approaching their targeted goals. Landslides on the road to Tibet are causing massive traffic jams; loads of snow is falling on Everest’s north side, numerous Khumbu-bound teams are stuck in Kathmandu, and Manaslu climbers are trying to approach the mountain by chopper, as the approaching trail is flooded.
Everest’s north side
Alberto Zerain reached slightly over 7,000 meters on Changtse peak last week. “We stopped 300 meters shy from the summit due to the high slab-avalanche risk on both sides of the summit ridge,” he reported. Alberto has also reported on very unstable weather, with almost daily snow showers and sudden changes in conditions.
Done with the acclimatization, the team is moving their camp to the base of Everest’s north face.
The Italian Hornbein team landed in Lhasa yesterday. Member Edmond, who had visited the town back in 2000, could barely recognize it. “It’s larger, cleaner, with better services, but most of its 700,000 inhabitants are Chinese. Tibetans are now a minority,” he said. “We had internet connection in our hotel, but were unable to enter the expedition blog; most foreign websites are blocked,” he said. The team also had their tourist guide-books confiscated at the airport customs, since their headlines read “China & Tibet,” as if they were two different countries.
Everest’s south side
Eric Larsen has been waiting out a rainy spell in Namche Bazaar for three days already. “Catching a flight to Lukla last Thursday seems nothing short of a small miracle,” he explained. “The weather has been so poor that there has not been another flight since. The positive aspect of the weather is the fact that there are not a lot of tourists around right now. Actually, none. Everyone is stuck in Kathmandu.”
Otherwise, Eric is amazed at the “beauty and grandeur” of the place. “This is such a far cry from the landscape of ice and snow of the poles,” he wrote.
Bad weather is also causing trouble to the Spanish climbers on their way to Manaslu: As the trekking trail is swamped Carlos Pauner, Javi Pérez, Xavi Arias and Unai hoped to catch a chopper to Samagaon. Rains, however, forced the helicopter to land at Loh–one day away. The party reached Samagaon on foot yesterday–they’ll stay there three days acclimatizing before proceeding to Manaslu BC.
Dream Guides team members (Kenton Cool guiding five climbers) have just arrived in Samagaon as well.
Adventure Consultants team members reached Valley camp (interim camp) yesterday. They are trekking further up to ABC tomorrow. Jagged Globe members shall be around as well, although they previously reported on serious traffic jams on the road to the Tibetan border, due to landslides.
South Koreans Bo-Sung Hong, Chang-Ho Kim and Sung-Ho Suh are in Kathmandu, preparing to move to Shisha Pangma. The originally planned route is Doug Scott’s, but Kim told ExWeb Korea correspondent Kyu Bam Lee, that Suh and him may attempt a new route. Hong will remain in BC.
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