Click for site home
The Blog on
Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Mar 012019
Everest 2019: Team Locations and Headlines

LATEST HEADLINE May 31: Season Over 11 Everest Deaths, 923 estimated total summits  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. Click for the complete Everest 2019 coverage Current Headlines The continue reading

Jun 102019
Everest 2019: Indians Fake their Summit Claim

Three Indian climbers came home to celebrations and fanfare for summiting Mt. Everest last month but there was only one problem – they never got above Camp 3 at 23,000-feet, much less on the summit at 29,035 feet. Vikas Rana, Shobha Banwala, and Ankush Kasana all from villages in Northern India, were climbing with the Nepali guide company, Prestige Adventures, along with six others members. They claimed to have summited on May 26 when there were no other climbers on the summit. When asked the names of their four sherpas, they could’t recall their names according to a report in continue reading

Jun 072019
Everest 2019: Season Summary The Year Everest Broke

Everest 2019 will go down as the year Everest finally broke. It was one of those seasons where a lot of things went wrong, more things went right and many trends took center stage with new and old lessons for members, support, guide companies and governments. The only remaining question is, is anyone listening? One Person’s Story There are many stories to tell this year but this one perhaps encapsulates the entire season of risks, support, drive, judgment and motivation.  Los Angles resident Mark Parella was climbing with Seven Summit Treks. A he was headed to the summit he developed snow-blindnesss continue reading

Mar 282019
Everest 2019: Interview with Garrett Madison - A Leader on Everest

What attributes would you look for in an Everest guide? Number of summits, zero climber deaths, years in the business, experience? Well, if these are on your list, Garrett Madison, founder and owner of Madison Mountaineering might be your person. Up front, full disclosure, I summited K2 with Garrett in 2014 and was with him on Everest at Camp 2 when the earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, so I kind of like this guy! On K2, my first time climbing with Garrett, he personified the characteristics of a professional mountain guide – calm, in-control, thoughtful and never had a hair continue reading

Mar 252019
Everest 2019: Stories to Watch This Season

Even though its late March and most teams don’t start climbing Everest until mid-May, there are multiple story lines developing for this 2019 spring season. Let’s review a few that I’ll be following closely and reporting on often. Climbers to Watch I already did a post of a few climbs that are out of the ordinary for this season. They include a new route attempt on the Tibet side, Kami Rita going for another record number of summits, Nirmal Purja trying to summit all fourteen of the 8000ers in seven months, Nima Doma Sherpa, and Furdiki Sherpa attempting to summit 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

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

 Comments Off on Everest 2019: Be Aware of Significant Problems Flying from Kathmandu to Lukla
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 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