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Mar 012019
 
Everest 2019: Team Locations and Headlines

UPDATED: March 23 Welcome to the 2019 edition of Alan Arnette’s annual coverage of the Everest climbing season. I try to provide insight and interpretation of the activities ranging from routes to weather to the challenge and reward of climbing Everest. It’s based on my own three Everest attempts and my 2011 summit plus my climbing experiences of a K2 summit in 2014, Manaslu in 2013 and 30+ more peaks around the world. My reporting uses my own research, sources, and public information. LATEST HEADLINE: Icefall Doctors putting in route on Nepal side See all the Everest 2019 posts here Latest News: 22 continue reading

Mar 132019
 
Everest 2019: Climbers to Watch

Everest has become what I call a formula climb these days with almost all the expeditions following the same route, same acclimatization formula and using the same ropes. However there are always a few climbers each season that seek to break this mold and do something unique. 2019 is no different. This season we have few interesting characters that I’ll be following closely and reporting on. I’ve already made contact with some of them. Cory Richards and Topo Mena – New Route Attempt While there are about 17 named routes on Everest, it’s rare for a new route to be continue reading

Mar 042019
 
Everest 2019: New Route Attempt on Everest

This spring Everest season, something rare will take place – an attempt on a new route. According to Everest historian, Jochen Hemmleb, the last time a new route was successfully completed was the Korean line on the left side of the Southwest Face (Southwest Face to West Ridge) in 2009, 10 years ago. And for the statistics, the following year Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner was the first to climb the North Col from the West and continue all the way to the summit. Two well known and seasoned climbers, Cory Richards and Esteban “Topo” Mena, will join forces to attempt a natural line continue reading

Mar 012019
 
Everest 2019: Be Aware of Significant Problems Flying from Kathmandu to Lukla

The Nepal aviation authority announced last December that the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) would be closed daily from 22:00 (local time) to 08:00 starting April 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019, – smack in the middle of the pre-monsoon trekking and climbing season. Due to a limited construction season with winter conditions and summer monsoons, they had few good choices. For most flights, this will be an inconvenience but for flyers to Lukla with it’s notorious weather delays, especially in late morning, it’s a show stopper. In fact authorities have cancelled all direct flight from TIA to LUK suggesting that continue reading

Mar 012019
 
Everest 2019: Welcome to Everest 2019 Coverage

Welcome to the kick-off for my Everest 2019 coverage! I have already posted a few articles on 2019 and am actively covering the current K2 winter attempts so let me officially welcome you. This will be my 18th season of all-things Everest: 12 times providing coverage, another 4 seasons of actually climbing on Everest and two years attempting Lhotse. I did similar coverage for the 2004,  2005,  2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons. I summited Everest on May 21, 2011, and have attempted Everest three other times – 2002, 2003, 2008 and Lhotse in 2015 and 2016. If you are one of my 3 million regular continue reading

Feb 252019
 
Everest 2019: Interview with Adrian Ballinger on China's New Rules

With lots of buzz about the new rules from China and banning tourists from going Everest Base Camp on the Tibet side, I reached out to Adrian Ballinger, founder of Alpenglow, for his thoughts. Adrian has been running Everest expeditions only from the Tibet side for several years now. He left the Nepal side after the 2014 serac crash that killed 16 Sherpa in the Khumbu Icefall. He strongly believes it is immoral and unethical to put his staff and clients at risk by climbing on the Nepal side and has become a strong advocate of only climbing from the continue reading

Feb 112019
 
Everest 2019: Update on Everest Rescue Scams and China "New" Rules

With the spring Everest climbing season only six weeks away, the well-publicized insurance fraud in Nepal heats back up while China seems intent on taking more control of their side of the Big E. Insurance Fraud and Insurance Threats I covered in great depth last August in this post but the gist of it was mostly trekking guides, helicopter companies and even hospitals were accused of scamming the companies that provide rescue coverage with unnecessary, false and/or duplicate claims plus unnecessary medical practices. The lid was blown off when a thorough investigative report by AFP reporter Annabel Symington found systematic cooperation continue reading

Feb 072019
 
Does Ecuador Replace Nepal for Best 20,000-foot Climbs?

I just returned from a rewarding trip to Ecuador to climb three of their volcanoes. I went with US-based, Mountain Madness. While this was my seventh trip to South America, it was my first to Ecuador and now I see what I’ve been missing! I’ve been climbing and going to Nepal 13 times since 1997. As anyone who has read my blogs knows, Nepal is close to my heart for many reasons. However, Ecuador was so impressive, Nepal may have to share the top spot. In evaluating the two countries for trekking and climbing, both have pros and cons and continue reading

Jan 062019
 
2018/19 Winter Climbs: K2 Climbers en route, Nanga Climbers Climbing, New Everest Route?

The winter 8000-meter teams are well on their way to their respective peaks. On Nanga Parbat, the climbing has begun. K2: In Skardu K2: Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan Team – Arrival Pakistan  The seven member team from Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan are in Skardu after taking a bus on Karakoram Highway for 30 hours. It seems there was some construction and repairs along the way that delayed their progress but all is well now. Next up is the 8 to 10 hour drive in Toyota 4Runners to the end of the road in Askole where they will being the trek to K2 continue reading

Dec 172018
 
How Much Does it Cost to Climb Mount Everest? - 2019 Edition

This is my sixth year to blog “How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?” and I firmly believe we are about to see the biggest changes in Everest, inc. that we have seen since Nepal went from one team permit per year to anything goes back in the early 1990s. The key drivers for changes include: China’s concern about reputation but more importantly to making as much money as possible with their side of Mt. Everest. Then Nepal’s Merry-go-Round of Ministers and lack of consistency in providing an understandable and predictable regulatory environment. Then there is the domination continue reading

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