Climber Selfishness Causes China to Close Autumn Climbs

Cho Oyu route

Without thinking of anyone else but himself, Polish climber Janusz Adam Adamski, 49, made an illegal traverse from China to Nepal this Everest 2017 season.

Now, not only will he will be punished by Nepal and China, but his action have costs others their opportunity to climb in Tibet this autumn.

Follow No Rules

Adamski made an illegal traverse from China to Nepal, knowing he needed a permit.  He said that he believes there is no border on mountains and thus ignored the rules apparently feeling they didn’t apply to him. Amazingly his total disregard for rules was flaunted in this quote to the Himalayan Times:

“I am ready to face any legal challenge in Nepal to safeguard the greatest achievement of my life, I’ll never regret what I did. As there is no provision of issuing traverse permit in both countries, I had to traverse illegally for fulfilment of my lifetime dream,”

Adamski faces a $22,000 fine and 10 year ban from climbing in Nepal. It’s not clear what China will do.

A Bigger Cost

The China Tibet Mountaineering Association sent out notices today to those teams hoping to climb Cho Oyu this autumn. Simply put, due to Adamski’s actions, they are closing all of Tibet to climbing this autumn. Previously they said they were limiting permits to only 50 for Cho Oyu only.

CTMA Autumn 2017 Closure

Perhaps this is a convenient excuse for China to do what it really wanted to anyway – close all of Tibet to foreigners due to a “meeting” being held in the region, but to name Adamski directly is quite strong. I think it is safe to say, someone in Beijing is not happy.

With this, if you are looking to climb an 8000er in Tibet: Cho Oyu, Shishapangma or Everest, it will have to wait for 2018.

Climb On!


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20 thoughts on “Climber Selfishness Causes China to Close Autumn Climbs

  1. I think the headline is misleading, whatever you think of China or Adamski.
    China was on a path to close or severely limit climbing in Tibet well before Adamski’s traverse and given the tensions over their occupation of Tibet this is usually (always?) for political reasons. Alan has done a great job reporting on this in the past, and it certainly has influenced decisions on where to climb.
    It is pretty clear that the China Tibet Mountaineering Association isn’t calling the shots in this closure– it is a political decision made at much higher levels! But citing Adamski’s actions as the reason makes it appear that the TCMA is in charge and is made this decision motivated by something that happened on the mountain.
    Adamski provided a very convenient scapegoat that helps the TCMA save face. After all, the TCMA is interested in how this could affect longer term climbing business but that is of trivial interest to Beijing these days.
    From the TCMA’s point of view blaming it on a climber’s transgression sounds better than “We are issuing no permits” (sub-text: because Beijing told us to issue no permits).
    Does anyone seriously think that there is actually a causal link here?

    1. As I said in the post Dina:

      “Perhaps this is a convenient excuse for China to do what it really wanted to anyway – close all of Tibet to foreigners due to a “meeting” being held in the region, but to name Adamski directly is quite strong. I think it is safe to say, someone in Beijing is not happy.”

      But as a scapegoat or political reasons for China to name him explicitly as the reason the final decision now prohibits 50 people from climbing Cho Oyu – and he has to be held to some account for that decision thus the headline.

      1. Interesting article in the Himalayan Times…do you think that climbers posting photos on Facebook and other social media of their summits holding Tibetan flags and photos of the Dalai Lama have anything to do with the now-total closure?

        Rather interesting that they didn’t mention these specific “malicious” activities but only mentioned Adamski. Of course Adamski made his act political with his claim that there are no borders on mountains (sure to irk the Chinese for obvious reasons!). According to Stefan Nestler’s blog, Moro explained his traverse without permit as a mistake and subsequent urgent need to get down the mountain… and thus he avoided making this a political act and challenge to the Chinese.

        1. China is always concerned about any protests on their soil. They basically closed their side of Everest in 2008 fearing protests while they televised bringing the Olympic torch to the summit.

    2. I think Nepal is in the process of cooking the golden goose that comes from climbing fees. If they were serious about safety for 1500 climbers iun 2017, they would give a climbing window on a certain day and restrict the number of climbers ascending each day. Such a system woul have to be administered at base camp and if your particular day was stormy, you would miss out. China is putt ing restrictions on ascending from their side because if that opened up Tibet would be flooded with climbing parties…something China does not want to do. Through contacts I have also learned that China is seriously claiming a big section of the north faces of peaks in the Tibet border will be restricted to low impact expeditions such as just trekking.

  2. Arrogant t**t. Why should an individual spoil the chances of others for personal gratification?

  3. All but the mountain is an illusion and irrelevant. Adamski should be congratulated for his brave actions.

  4. Alan, Hi. How did Phurba Tashi and David Tait Traverse in 2006 or 8; I believe. By that, I mean; what logistics and systems- permits etc. did they or Himex set up before they could do that.Was that a legal traverse; was it illegal or was that just ignored.Cheers.

    1. Hi Dave, all legal. They had permits from both China and Nepal. The same season three women also made the traverse. I believe this was the last time for a legal traverse. The Chinese government then stopped issuing traverse permits, with no explanation other than no- usual for them. That is why I was surprised when a traverse was done this year, and not surprised it was illegal.

  5. JAA should have been banned for next 10 years but why take it on other Climbers? Big Bully tactics..

  6. Can someone please explain the rules? The climber is claiming that there is no way to get permission to do the triggers. So as an uninformed reader, I was wondering what actual rule he has broken?

    1. The climbing permit is for a single summit from the side of the mountain you started. Both Nepal and China prohibit starting on one side and ending on the other without a specific permit to traverse the mountain. Think of it as crossing the country border illegally or entering the country without proper paperwork.

  7. Looks like Nepal has a new economy
    Fining those without permits, $44,000 USD this year so far
    All to be paid by those knowing the risks.
    Hopefully China use this to improve the rules, not make them worse.

  8. He was wrong and he knew the consequences, but it is unfortunate that it gave China a very good reason to shut the rest of the year down. I feel bad for those who worked so hard to achieve their goals and now have to wait till 2018.

  9. > Perhaps this is a convenient excuse for China to fo what it really wanted to anyway

    This is what I was going to write, but then I got to the end of this article and saw that you had mentioned it yourself as a possibility.

    I’d bet $10 that there is another reason for China closing Everest for climbing from Tibet in the Autumn.

  10. Such a shame that all of our world’s highest mountains happen to be located in such corrupt and unpredictable countries (Nepal, China, Pakistan).

  11. Well it’s an expensive dream for him and avoiding the rules. He clearly didn’t not think it through and he does not appeared to be bothered by it. Must be rich then.

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