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Apr 172018
Everest 2018: April 18, A Day to Remember

On April 18, 2014, at 6:35 am, a small section of an ice serac released onto the Khumbu Icefall. 16 Sherpas were killed in a moment as tons of ice fell, leaving the mountain workers with few options and nowhere to hide. Today, four years later 2018, 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 a few years ago while standing on the trail that defines main street of continue reading

Apr 172018
Everest 2018: Into the Icefall

The #Everest2018 season continues in an orderly manner. Teams are at base camps on both sides adjusting to their new homes, and the thinner air. The first teams have entered the Icefall on the Nepal side. Soon the Tibet side teams will make the move to Intermediate and then Advanced Base Camp. Training at Base Camp It may seem strange to conduct training at Base Camp, and in many ways it is however better safe than run the risk of an accident. While most, with exceptions, Everest climbers have traveled on fixed ropes (Denali), used crampons (Rainer, Mont Blanc), used continue reading

Apr 162018
Everest 2018: Base Camp Progress and Pujas

The base camps are coming together on both sides as the teams continue to arrive. Climbers are doing some skills review while the Sherpas build the high camps. A few teams have already entered the Khumbu Icefall. It looks like clients will begin to climb to Camp 1 in a couple of days. So far, so good. Chinese Base Camp (CBC) On the Tibet side, base camp is usually called the Chinese Base Camp aka CBC. It is tightly run by a member of the Chinese Mountaineering Association, or the Chinese Tibet Mountaineering Association, CMA/CTMA respectively. There is a person continue reading

Apr 152018
Everest 2018: Active Rest at Base Camp

We begin week three with climbers adjusting to life at base camp. As a reminder that Nepal is one of the most susceptible countries on earth for earthquakes, a minor 3.2 magnitude earthquake was felt in Kathmandu on Saturday night. Active Rest A key to being successful on Everest is to stay active – even on rest days. It’s often labeled with the oxymoron “active rest day.” While it’s tempting to lie in the tent, on a comfy pad, perhaps an interesting book on the Kindle or listening to music, it’s much better to have a good breakfast, brush your continue reading

Apr 142018
Everest 2018: Weekend Update April 15

Mid April is always a milestone for the spring Everest climbers. One by one they are arriving at base camp on both sides of the mountain. It looks like the first client rotations will start in about a week on the Nepal side, perhaps earlier. The Sherpas are already making carries into the Western Cwm. Base Camp is quickly coming together on the Tibet side. The weather seems to have calmed a bit with less rain than 10 days ago but still weather is weather. As Brian Palmer said on his Facebook feed, “My home for the next 4-6 weeks. continue reading

Apr 132018
Everest 2018: EBC Filling Up

Activity is increasing as we approach mid April. Several teams have crossed the border with China heading for Chinese Base Camp (CBC) and many others are already at Everest Base Camp (EBC) on the Nepal side. There have been the normal annoyances but nothing major. One of the Icefall Doctors was hurt in the Icefall but not seriously. Tibet, South, China, Nepal, North??? Terminology can be a bit confusing so let me lay out how I talk about both sides of Everest. As you know, Everest is climbed the vast majority of the time from the North side aka Tibet continue reading

Apr 112018
Everest 2018: First Teams at Base Camp with new Rules

The flood of climbers continues to arrive in Kathmandu, trekking to base camp or crossing the border into China. The weather is decent and no serious issues have been reported thus far. 2018 like 2017 Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism has released a few numbers: Everest teams: 29 Everest foreign permits: 275 (thus far) Everest Sherpas: 275 (thus far) They expect to issue a similar number of permits as in 2017 which was 366 foreign climbers on 43 teams. According to Nepal Government numbers, 190 foreigners summited along with 32 fee-paying Nepalis and 223 Sherpas made the summit from the Nepal continue reading

Apr 102018
Everest 2018: The Critics Corner

I’ve been covering Everest since 2002 and each year about this time in my coverage I get the usual comments decrying the commercialism, the tourism, the lack of skills by the climbers, the lack of challenge and more. Usually I ignore the comments and in rash cases delete them when they become personal or simply irrational, of course in my humble opinion. 🙂 After all, this blog is about celebrating the challenge of mountaineering, not a platform for those with agendas to put down others by their artificial definitions of what is a “good” climb.  I fully accept and respect continue reading

Apr 092018
Everest 2018: Week Two Begins

This week starts like last week – teams trekking or driving to base camp. So far, the season has no big surprises, just what we like this early. There has been a bit more precipitation than normal, but that could be, um, well it could just be the weather  🙂 Lobuche As the #Everest2018 season continues, some teams are doing a first round of acclimatization on nearby Lobuche East. This is known as a “trekking peak” but is still 6,119 m/20,075 ft. A few teams will actually camp out on the small area at the east summit. Almost no one will make continue reading

Apr 072018
Everest 2018: Weekend Update April 7

The first Sherpa team arrived at the Chinese Base Camp (CBC) on Tibet side for #Everest2018. Meanwhile more teams are arriving at Everest Base Camp (EBC) on the Nepal side. Everything seems to be on schedule thus far for the season. The Big Picture This past week on Everest has been busy with no surprises, just like it should be in early April. The weather is bit cloudy with rain down low and snow up high. In fact there are reports of heavy snowfall at EBC – but again this is fairly normal for early May. The Himalayan Times reported continue reading