This week we will probably get a decision if our Everest climb will take place. The situation for the north side has deteriorated with the violence in Lhasa and neighboring provinces. My thoughts are with the Tibetan people. As of today, Tibet is closed to all foreigners.
While very difficult, it would not be impossible to still make a summit bid arriving at the North Base Camp after May 10th as shown by the Altitude Everest team last year. They arrived at BC around May 10th and summited on June 14th but they were very lucky with good weather in 2007. They were also very, very strong climbers and leveraged the logistics of Himex and their ropes. So while not impossible, it would be very hard for “normal” climbers like me.
As I posted last week, it is not clear if teams on the South will be allowed above Base Camp before May 10th. A decision will be made this week. The normal acclimatization schedule calls for at least one night at 7000m or Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. While there are other mountains we could acclimatization on, it makes the logistics more complex.
Pumori, (23494 ft /7161 m) is next to the South Base Camp but is very avalanche prone and would not be my choice. Ama Dablam (22467 ft /6848 m), down valley from BC would be another option.
What is also unknown is how crowded the mountain will be. I hear of many cancellations.
I am deeply saddened by what has happened this year. I hope we get the opportunity to climb not only for our goals but more to show support to the many hard working and gentle people in the area. The average Nepali makes only $1100 a year and depends heavily on the climbers and trekkers to make ends meet. Tibetans have it worse.
Ours and other expedition leaders continue to work with the authorities to reach a compromise. Sports and politics have been intermingled since the Roman games. Sadly it is often not the athlete that gets eaten by the lion but the bystander.
I continue to train but have not packed.