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May 062015
Everest 2015: Season Summary - Summits Don't Matter

Over 9, 000 people died in April 2015 from a 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Kathmandu. And no one summited Everest – from either side, from any camp. Summits don’t matter. As has been my custom since 2002, I will summarize the season but this time from my first hand experience as I was climbing Lhotse which shares 80% of the route with Everest. I was between Camps 1 and 2 when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake reached the Western Cwm. This summary, while about the Everest season, is also about a human tragedy where thousands lost their lives, multiples of that continue reading

May 052015
Everest 2015: Team Locations

Welcome to Alan Arnette’s Everest 2015 coverage My 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.  I will be climbing Lhotse thus will be reporting from Everest Base Camp this year with all the regular features plus videos and interviews directly from the mountain as it happens. Latest Everest News – Sunday, May 3, 2015 – Nepal time EVEREST CLOSED FROM BOTH NORTH AND NO ONE CLIMBING FROM THE SOUTH Everest has continue reading

Everest 2015: Earthquake Devastation Spreading

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May 042015
Everest 2015: Earthquake Devastation Spreading

I spent this evening speaking with helicopter pilots and people who have just returned from the earthquake epicenter regions. They say there are villages flattened, order with landslides and down trees seemingly obligating entire villages off the trail systems – these are areas trekkers never touch, nor apparently relief agencies at the moment. Many of my readers think of Nepal as the Khumbu and the trek to Everest Base Camp or the Annapurna Circuit, but these areas did not take the brunt of the earthquake. There are many many small, individual efforts to reach these villages in addition to the continue reading

Everest 2015: Kathmandu and Everest, a Small Part of Nepal

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May 022015
Everest 2015: Kathmandu and Everest, a Small Part of Nepal

My flight from Lukla to Kathmandu was uneventful, in fact more on time than many of my last trips. My gratitude of being met by US Special Forces and a dedicated team from Global Rescue services has quelled any concerns of personal impact. I know someone in the United States is looking after her citizens. All I can think about is the carnage at Everest Base Camp, the loss of Eve and the impact on the almost 8000 throughout Nepal, the unseen damage and the fact that the world’s attention and media will soon turn to the latest “man bites continue reading

Apr 302015
Everest 2015: Icefall Doctors and Helicopter Rescues - Justified or a Crutch?

The scope of the Nepal earthquake tragedy is a huge human disaster yet the climbing community is consumed with Icefall Doctors and helicopter rescues on Everest. I believe it is good to question and understand major life events yet I am sometimes dismayed how the climbing industry seems to literally consume itself with criticism that lacks information, prescription indictments without evidence and a vision that is sometimes based on past achievements that, while admirable, is exclusive and unwelcoming to the next generation. All this seems to be occasionally fueled by organizations, media and personalities that make a living off the continue reading

Apr 292015
Everest 2015: North Closed, South Res - a full recap

First, I want to say that this earthquake is a Nepal tragedy, not a mountaineering event. My deep, deep condolences to all of Nepal, victims, injured and homeless. No country deserves this, much less the gentle people of Nepal. I am now at the Panorama Lodge in Namche Bazaar, safe, with most of the Madison Mountaineering team. In recap, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal at 11:56 AM on Saturday April 25. The epicenter of the quake was at Lamjung, which is 30 miles northwest of Kathmandu and approximately 62 miles west of Everest Base Camp. To keep this in continue reading

Apr 272015

A very terse update due to intermittent Internet. Everyone is very tired, mentally spent. Sincere and deep condolences to everyone in Nepal impacted by this tragedy. Ice serac releases off Pumori caused by 7.9 earthquake near Kathmandu on Saturday The casualty count at EBC is 22+, s site many, many injuries ~ 40+++ as of this post – 7PM April 27 Most of the injuries and casualty were from wind blast off Pumori and associated impact with rocks EverestER and Doctors with others teams doing amazing work Alan was between C1 and C2 when earthquake hit causing major avalanches off Nuptse continue reading

Apr 222015
Everest 2015: First Steps in the Icefall

Long Expeditions are often filled with a lot of down time, sometimes by design to let your body adjust to the altitude and other times due to unforeseen events. Well we have had a bit of both thus far. I have been gone from home for 3 weeks so I’m ready to do some climbing. A combination of poor weather and the new route through the Khumbu Icefall has put everyone on the South side about a week behind schedule. But we have about 6 weeks to go, so there is no need for great concern at this point. Wednesday, continue reading

Apr 192015
Everest 2015: Weekend Update - April 19

I will try to do a weekend update each Sunday while on Everest/Lhotse. This update is all about the weather. We arrived at Everest Base Camp on Monday, store April 13 to heavy snow, and overcast skies – and that is the story of the week. Each day brought cold temps and culminated with a very gusty night last night, April 18th. But today, Sunday, the 19th, we are enjoying mild temps, a gentle breeze and clear blue skies. The impact of all this weather is that no teams have been able to establish camps in the Western Cwm – continue reading

Everest 2015: April 18, A Black Day with Lessons for all

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Apr 172015
Everest 2015: April 18, A Black Day with Lessons for all

It was one year ago today that a hanging wall of ice fell onto the Khumbu Icefall, the gateway to the south side of Mt. Everest, killing 16 mountain workers waiting for a ladder to be repaired that crossed a deep crevasse. Today, I’m at Everest Base Camp attempting to use almost the same route to climb Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak. After several days of harsh cold and snow, today is warm and sunny. Throughout today, there will be small memorial services at each camp to honor the dead on what is called a Black Day, April 18th, continue reading