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Feb 132018
Lama Geshe Dies

Today I learned that much revered Lama Geshe, 87, of Pangboche passed away. For almost anyone who has climbed in the Khumbu Region of Nepal, and many trekkers, you know this wonderful man. He lived in the Himalayan Sherpa village of Pangaboch, 13,074’/3,985 m, with his wife. Their home is about three days walk from Everest Base Camp and two days from Lukla. They raised their son and daughter in their simple home that had a perfect view of Ama Dablam Lama Geshe received his Buddhist doctorate in Tibet as a young man. He was living the simple life of a continue reading

Jan 152018
Everest 2018: Welcome to Everest 2018 Coverage

Welcome to the kick-off for my Everest 2018 coverage! I have already posted a few articles on 2018 and am actively covering both the Everest and K2 winter attempts so let me officially welcome you. This will be my 17th season of all-things Everest: 11 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 and 2017 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 continue reading

Dec 282017
Comparing the Routes of Everest - 2018 edition

For 98% of all Everest climbers, the choice of routes comes down between the Northeast (Tibet) and Southeast (Nepal) Ridges. For most everyone, all other routes are too dangerous, too difficult and not commercially guided. This post will take a look at the various routes and go deep into the most popular commercial ones. It may be an exaggeration to say that almost all the routes that can be climbed on Everest, have been climbed because a new generation of climbers always finds a way to blaze new trails. However, it does appear that Everest has been well scouted now continue reading

Dec 172017
Everest by the Numbers: 2018 Edition

For those who follow Everest closely, the arrival of the official summit numbers is always a milestone. The Himalayan Database (HDB) updated the latest summit statistics on December 4, 2017. I’ve been digging into the stats the last few weeks and found some interesting trends and trivia. This post is a nice complement to my recent post on “How Much Does it Cost to Climb Mt. Everest-2018 edition“.   The Himalayan Database The HDB, which is now a free download from their site and contains the climbing records for almost all of the Nepal and Tibetan Himalayan peaks from 1905 to present day. continue reading

Dec 082017
How Much Does it Cost to Climb Mount Everest? - 2018 Edition

“How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?” The short answer is a car or at least $30,000 but most people pay about $45,000 and the price is going up. This 2018 update looks at the current prices, trends and how 2017 turned out what 2018 might bring. This annual update since 2013 has become one of my most popular posts. If you see a mistake or want to add something, please let me know. See the Everest 2018 Season Coverage! If you dream of climbing mountains but are not sure how to start or reach your next level from continue reading

Dec 062017
Nepal to Ban All Solo Climbers and those with Disabilities - a Political Move

I was hoping we could go into the Everest 2018 season without Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation announcing another plan to “make Everest safer” thru Byzantine rules that are not grounded in merit or even common sense. But alas they have once again met my low expectations. This time they are repeating a previous proposal with a full-on ban of “… people with complete blindness and double amputation, as well as those proven medically unfit for climbing, will be restricted from attempting to scale mountains.” according to a Himalayan newspaper. Before we go on, this is a proposal that continue reading

Nov 182017
Avoiding Death on Everest

94 paying members have died on Everest between 1996 and 2016. Who were they, why did they die, who were they climbing with? How can you safely climb Everest, but not risk everything? I finally took the time required to analyze all the deaths over the past 20 years and found some startling conclusions. The good news, you can climb Everest and minimize the risks, the bad news is you can’t do it on the cheap or to honor your country without increasing your chances of dying, significantly. To be clear, there is zero way to climb any mountain, much continue reading

Everest: 4 Weeks, Unlimited Oxygen, $117,000

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Oct 172017
Everest: 4 Weeks, Unlimited Oxygen, $117,000

For several years, I have been writing about the bifurcation of the Everest guiding business. In other words, the separation between the low-end operators and the high-end is growing larger each season. Now as we began to think about 2018, it is clear that Nepali operators like Seven Summits Treks are making huge inroads into the guiding business based primarily on catering to the Chinese and Indian middle classes with prices under $30K,  lower than their direct competition. At the other end are Western companies like Alpenglow and Furtenbach around $100K price tags and long time operators like Alpine Ascents, continue reading

Dec 302016
Everest by the Numbers: 2017 Edition

For those who follow Everest closely, the arrival of the official summit numbers is always a milestone. The Himalayan Database was updated with the latest summit statistics on December 6, 2016. This post is a nice complement to my recent updated post on “How Much Does it Cost to Climb Mt. Everest“. The Database contains the summit records for almost all of the Himalayan peaks located in Nepal from 1905 to present day and is maintained by a small team of devotees lead by the legendary Ms. Elizabeth Hawley out of Kathmandu and published by the American Alpine Club. See this wonderful continue reading

Jun 162016
A Personal Letter to Everest 2016, and 2017, Summiteers

“I want to climb Everest, but there is so much negative press about it. I don’t want to add to the problems.”, she added with genuine concern as I was having coffee this week with two 20 something aspiring climbers. Her statement got my attention. On one hand, I admired her ethics, on the other, damn it, she shouldn’t let anyone stop her dreams. With the 2016 season now over and people making plans for 2017 and beyond, I want to, in private 🙂 , have a few words with those of you who summited this year and make a few suggestions for those thinking about 2017. continue reading