Himalaya Spring 2017: Summit Rope Fixing Stalls on Everest and Another Climber Perishes.

It is now crunch-time in the Himalaya. We’re now a week into May and more than a few teams on

Everest are eyeing the weather to determine the best time to launch their summit bids. Those should come very soon now, but thanks to high winds on both sides of the mountain, things have been delayed slightly.

Last week I wrote that the plan was to install the ropes to the summit by this past weekend, clearing the way for teams to begin their final push to the top. Unfortunately, high winds have kept that from happening, forcing the Sherpas in charge of that job to retreat to Camp 4 and wait for better conditions. Reportedly they will make another attempt at reaching the summit today and tomorrow, with the hopes of getting the lines in place before descending back to Base Camp for a much needed and deserved rest.

The weather reports indicate that high winds will continue over the next few days however, so it is possible that the team won’t be able to complete their work as expected. If that happens, it could cause all of the commercial squads to adjust their plans, as none of them will go up the mountain until the route has been completed. The result would be a delayed summit push, although at the moment things appear to be still on track. We’ll no more in the next day or two.

Meanwhile, a South African climber has been detained by Nepali authorities for climbing Everest without the proper permit. Ryan Sean Davy was taken into custody over the weekend when it was discovered that he had been living at Camp 1 for several weeks, as he acclimatized for an eventual summit push. Davy’s passport has been seized, and according to The Himalayan Times, he is en route back to Kathmandu, where he will face charges. The usual fee for climbing Everest is $11,000.

Alan Arnette checked in with the EverestER team, where he learned that the medical staff is dealing with a lot of sick climbers this season. In fact, so far they have dealt with more than 365 patients so far, which is a high number than all of last season. In addition to the normal conditions that are found at altitude, the team has seen a flu bug sweeping through Base Camp as well.

Finally, there was another death on Everest this past weekend as well. On Saturday it was announced that 86-year old Min Bahadur Sherchan died in BC on the South Side of Everest. Sherchan was on the mountain in an attempt to win back the title of oldest person to summit the highest peak on the planet, which he did a decade ago at the age of 76.

The cause of death has yet to be revealed, but teammates say that he was moving comfortably and acclimatizing well prior to his passing. This is the second official death on Everest this season, after the shocking loss of Ueli Steck a week ago.

That’s all for now. More updates throughout the week as we get closer to summit season.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Himalaya Spring 2017: Summit Rope Fixing Stalls on Everest and Another Climber Perishes

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Reinhold Messner on the Future of Climbing Everest.

Italian climbing legend Reinhold Messner has weighed in on the current state of affairs on Everest, and where mountaineering on the world’s highest peak is headed, and as usual his thoughts are quite fascinating. Messner recently spoke with The Diplomat about these subjects and more, bringing his years of vast experience and knowledge to the table. In his typical style, the iconic climber doesn’t mince too many words.

In the interview, Messner talks about the crowded conditions on Everest, and the guided climbs to the summit that are now very different than when he made his famous ascents on the mountain. In describing what it is like there, the Italian says that it is not alpinism but is instead tourism. A very different game than previous generations. He also says that with the path more well prepared and set out for the climbers to follow, the sense of adventure and exploration is gone. It is simply a guided trip to the top of the world.

The Italian also discusses the growing sense of resentment amongst Sherpas and how that has led to more locally owned trekking and climbing companies in Nepal. Those companies are able to offer less expensive trips into the mountain, and as a result they are slowly but surely eroding the business of foreign operators. That will have a dramatic impact on the future of climbing on Everest. Those same Sherpa are also now very experienced and talented mountaineers in their own right, and no longer need to follow the foreign climbers up the slopes.

Messner goes on to touch on the dangers of climbing the mountain, the fact that no one listens to the danger signs until it is too late, and the fact that so man inexperienced climbers are traveling to the Himalaya. He also talks about his relationship to Buddhism and his hopes for a free and autonomous Tibet, amongst other topics.

Most of what Messner talks about isn’t especially new, and anyone who follows the climbing scene on Everest probably is aware of the things that are going on there. Still, it is always interesting to hear a man of his prominence and stature share his opinion on where mountaineering was, where its at now, and where it is heading. Check out the full text of the interview here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –Reinhold Messner on the Future of Climbing Everest

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/travel/

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Himalaya Spring 2017: First Summits of the Season, Fixing Ropes on Everest, and Ueli Laid to Rest.

It continues to be a busy time in the Himalaya, where teams are now squarely focused on finishing up their acclimatization efforts and planning summit bids. While it will likely be another week or so before the push gets underway on Everest, elsewhere in Nepal the first 8000 meter summits of the year have been recorded, even as plans are in place to finish fixing ropes on the highest mountain on the planet.

Last Sunday, five climbers managed to top out on Dhaulagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world at 8167 meters (26,794 ft.). That team consisted of Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Nga Tashi Sherpa, Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa, Liu Yong Zhong and Dong Hong Juan, all of whom stood on top at 12:20 PM local time on April 30. The weather was reportedly good, and other teams on that mountain are now preparing to follow suit, including Spaniard Carlos Soria, who is looking to bag his 13th 8000-meter peak.

On Everest, the rope fixing team has headed back up the mountain and now plans to complete its work tomorrow, May 6. That means that the route will be complete all the way to the summit, allowing the commercial teams to finally launch their summit bids. Ultimately, it will be the weather that decides when that happens, with the earliest window looking like it could come sometime next week. Meanwhile, another rope fixing team is looking to complete its work on Lhotse on May 8 or 9 as well, clearing the way for teams heading up that mountain too. Once this job is done, we’ll definitely be in the calm before the storm, as once the weather clears for a long enough period, the rush to the top will truly be under way.

Finally, The Himalayan Times is reporting that Ueli Steck was laid to rest in the Khumbu Region of Nepal yesterday. The remains of the climber, who perished in a tragic accident earlier in the week, were taken to Tengboche monastery where they were cremated. At least nine Buddhist monks oversaw the proceedings, which included a sermon that lasted for three hours prior to completing the ceremony.

In addition to the monks, Ueli’s wife Nicole was present, as were his parents, and several close friends. Only those who were part of this close circle were allowed to participate and visit the scene where he was finally laid to rest. A second ceremony will be held in Switzerland for friends and family, as well as the general public, as well.

That’s all for today. Next week should be an interesting one for the teams. It looks like the summit season should be upon us at long last.

Autor : Kraig Becker

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Himalaya Spring 2017: Sherpas Hold Protest in Everest BC to Demand Summit Certificates.

While the mountaineering world continues to mourn the loss of Ueli Steck on Nuptse, life continues on the big mountains in the Himalaya. Over the past few days, teams have continued their acclimatization rotations on Everest, with most now returning to BC to rest up, most likely for one more rotation before summit bids begin sometime around the middle of May. Despite this calm before the storm however, it appears that things are not business as usual on Everest.

On Tuesday of this week, the Sherpas working on the mountain staged a protest demanding that they receive summit certificates for successfully reaching the top of the peaks they climb in the Himalaya, including Everest and the other 8000 meter mountains. According to The Himalayan Times, the lead Sherpas sent a five-page memorandum to the Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, as well as the Nepal Mountaineering Association and the Expedition Operators’ Association in Nepal, laying out their requirements and the reasons why this is important to them. Apparently, local climbers in Nepal have not been receiving those certificates since last year, and possibly even earlier.

For the Sherpas, the certificates are a badge of honor, and one that they feel that they have earned as part of a climbing expedition that they have taken part in. But, the Nepali government points to a rule in the 2002 regulations governing mountaineering that states that only paying members of an expedition team will receive such certificates.
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Video: Life at Camp 2 on Everest.

In my update on Everest from earlier in the day, I mentioned that a lot of teams were heading to and from Camp 2 as part of their acclimatization efforts. So what exactly is it like at C2 on the mountain? This video gives us a glimpse of what the place looks like and what staying there for a few days is actually like. While there, climbers tend to rest a lot, but also walk around, sometimes even going higher up the mountain, as their bodies adjust to the thin air. It is all part of the process that gets them ready for an eventual summit bid, which is still a couple of weeks off at this point.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: Life at Camp 2 on Everest

** see also – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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Men’s Journal Names the 25 Most Adventurous Women of the Past 25 Years.

Here’s another list for those of you who enjoy these articles. This time, it comes our way from the good folks over at Men’s Journal, and it names the 25 most adventurous women of the past 25 years, giving us a look at a group of ladies who are tough, determined, and downright inspiring too.

Each profile of the ladies includes a few paragraphs about why they are deserving of a spot on the list, as well as a brief rundown of their noteworthy accomplishments. These women are explorers, pioneers, athletes, and activist, and in most cases they are all of those at once. I have written about the exploits of many of them right here on this very blog, with more than a few pulling off some of the most daring and impressive accomplishments we’ve seen in the outdoor world.

So who made the cut? As usual, I won’t spoil the list too much, but I will reveal a couple of the women who earned a place on MJ’s honor roll. That list includes the likes of polar explorer Sarah McNair-Landry, Nepali climber Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, and Appalachian Trail hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis. They’re joined on the round-up by filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and mountaineer Melissa Arnot Reid, just to hame a few.

To find out who else is part of this hall of fame, and to learn more about the ladies mentioned above, check out the full article by clicking here. Chances are, you’ll come away with a few new heroes to follow and a lot of respect for some of the most impressive women who are out their pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Men’s Journal Names the 25 Most Adventurous Women of the Past 25 Years

** see also:https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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Himalaya Fall 2017: Rest and Recovery, Base Camp Pups, and Acclimatization on Everest.

It has been a busy week on Everest. Reportedly, the weather has been quite good there over the past few days, allowing a number of teams to send climbers up to Camp 2 to continue their acclimatization efforts as they prepare for the challenges ahead. At this point, most of the teams have now spent at least a little time at that point on the mountain, with some now planning to even higher over the next few days. It is a lot of work, and rest and and recovery in Base Camp are much appreciated at this stage of the game, when summit bids are still a long way off and the grind can begin to take its toll.

The IMG team will be one of the first to head up to Camp 3 for their rotation. Their first squad will begin the ascent to that point on the mountain today, even as another team descends back to BC after spending a couple of days at C2. Sherpas have been steadily shuttling gear up to that point as well, and as a result there is now a wall of bottled oxygen in place there, waiting to go higher. The IMG clients have all been undergoing oxygen mask and goggle training over the past few days in anticipation of the summit push in a few weeks time. All part of the process as they get read for what is to come.

The Adventure Consultants are back in Base Camp after a few days at altitude as well. The team is recovering nicely and enjoying the fine weather after going up to Camp 2 and staying there for a few nights. Unfortunately, on the descent, one of the members of the team – New Zealander Mike Davies – slipped and fell while crossing the Khumbu Icefall. This resulted in a broken wrist and as a result he’s now on his way home. Thankfully, the injuries weren’t serious, but it was enough to keep him from continuing the climb. The team has also adopted a dog that is living in Base Camp and named him “Blizzard.” He has apparently been keeping the group company and playing off the sympathies of the ladies in the group to enjoy some food and water too.

The Mountain Professionals have checked in from C2 on Everest as well, where they report good weather all the way up the Western Cwm. In fact, according to their dispatch, it was downright hot on the ascent as the sun reflected off the ice. The group will now rest for a few days in their current position before moving up to “tag” C3 on Sunday. After that, it is back to BC for some rest. The latest dispatch from the team also indicates that Sherpas are working away on fixing ropes to the summit, and may accomplish that feat by as early as Monday of next week.

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