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Feb 012016
Everest 2016: Team Locations

Welcome to Alan Arnette’s Everest 2016 coverage My annual coverage is based on my own summit and climb experiences, research, sources, and public information. I try to provide insight and interpretation of the activities ranging from routes to weather to the challenge of climbing Everest. A sincere and deep thank you to everyone who joins the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry or makes a donation to one of the Alzheimer’s non-profits. Manage email notifications of new posts using the form in the lower right corner of this page. Latest Everest News – Sunday May 1, 2016 Problems with Lhotse Face route overstated, all continue reading

Apr 262016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: A Mid-Season Update

Everest 2016 is developing into a ‘normal’ season. As we enter the last week of April, climbers are working hard to get their acclimatization programs in before the traditional poor early May weather but based on this year current weather, that may or may not happen. I’m starting to sound like a professional meteorologists! 🙂 There are 32 teams at Everest Base Camp with 287 Everest permits issued and some number of Lhotse and Nuptse permits as well. The non-Everest permits are a bit misleading as anyone who wants to enter the Icefall or just go to Camp 2 needs continue reading

Apr 242016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Into the Cwm for First Rotation

Time has come to leave Everest Base Camp for our team’s acclimatization rotation to Camp 1 and Camp 2 in the Western Cwm. The purpose for this is to naturally change our blood chemistry to better deal with the lower level of oxygen molecules available at the higher altitudes. The available oxygen at base camp is half that of sea level and on the summit of Everest it drops to one -third. Using supplemental oxygen reduces the effective altitude felt by the body by about 1,000 meters so acclimatizing is key to climbing any large mountain. We will leave tonight at continue reading

Apr 222016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Gear Ferried into Western Cwm as Safety Move

A bit of Everest history happening right now, 10:00 am April 23, 2016 Nepal time. Summit rope fixing gear (rope, anchors, oxygen for the Sherpas above the South Col) is being long-lined to Camp 1 by helicopters – all approved by the Government.  It has taken six trips by the helicopter plus a spotter in a separate helicopter to deliver the gear. No climbers or Sherpas were transported. This will save 87 Sherpa loads and potentially lives if there is another serac release or other natural disaster in the Icefall. As my regular readers know from this season, the temperatures at Everest continue reading

Apr 222016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Everest ER to the Aid of All

For the past 13 seasons a team of volunteers from across the globe have come to Everest Base Camp on the Nepal side to give aid to anyone in need. All they ask is for each climber with a permit to pay $100 and not only are their medical needs met but also entire team is covered from Sherpas to cooks to porters. Quite a deal! For 2016 the team includes: Tatiana Havryliuk (New York) Tash Burley (Aviemore, Scotland) Yogesh Subedi (Kathmandu) I caught up with them at their camp for an update: Dr. Luanne Freer founded the clinic in 2003 it runs primarily off donations. You can continue reading

Apr 212016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Nepal Approves Major Safety Change for Everest

The Nepal Ministry of Tourism who manages Everest and other Nepali peaks often makes announcements that seemingly have no foundation in reality, for example putting a ladder on the Hillary Step or stopping climbers with disabilities from climbing from Nepal so it’s curious that one of the most significant changes since Everest was first summited in 1953 has been approved with no fanfare. As I reported last week, through the work by the Expedition Operators Association (EAO), the Ministry has approved using helicopters to ferry gear to Camp 1 in the Western Cwm this Spring 2016 climbing season. No climbers continue reading

Apr 202016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Sacred Birds and Kala Patar

Trying climb an 8000 meter mountain is like building a house while living in it and waiting for the roof to be installed. Today, we awoke to another perfect Himalayan morning with clear skies and unseasonably warm temperatures. While other teams race to get to Camp 1 for their acclimatization rotations, we are comfortable taking a slow and patient approach before leaving for a 5 day rotation to Camps 1 and 2.  But to be clear, we are not just sitting around. You must work your body at base camp before leaving for a rotation. In that spirit, Kami and continue reading

Apr 192016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Sherpa Training for Saftey and Longetivity

A common question about Everest is how to make it safer. With over 30 deaths just in the past two years, climbers, Sherpas and families of both often ponder what can be done. Most deaths can be prevented in the big mountains by having appropriate experience, making good decisions or climbing with experienced partners. But the big picture is having the proper skills can prevent many accidents. This is where the Khumbu Climbing Center (KCC), founded by the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation (ALCF) comes into play. Founded in 2003, their mission statement reads: to increase the safety margin of Nepali continue reading

Apr 182016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Tears Right Below the Surface

April 18, 2014 at 6:35 am, a small section of a long standing feature on the West Shoulder of Everest, aka an objective hazard, released onto the Khumbu Icefall. 16 Sherpas were killed in a moment as tons of ice and snow fell, leaving the mountain workers with few options and nowhere to hide. For today, two years later, there is no climbing on Mt. Everest. No Sherpas, no foreigners – everyone is in solemn unity remembering where they were that day, and who they lost. “The tears are right below the surface.” Russell Brice, Himex, told me this morning continue reading

Apr 162016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: First Trip into the Khumbu Icefall

Today our Altitude Junkies team, along with a few other teams, made the first sortie into the Khumbu Icefall. We got up at 4:30 am and left our base camp at 6:00 am passing by the puja alter with smoldering juniper boughs sending smoke into the air. I paused for a moment to take it all in and to acknowledge where I was and what I was doing. It took us about 20 minutes to reach Crampon Point but we kept going higher before we actually put our crampons and harnesses on. The sun was lighting up the terrain and continue reading