Everest 2015: Heavy Snow in the Khumbu

Flight to Lukla
Welcome Aboard!

As climbers and trekkers make their way towards Everest Base Camp (EBC), doctor they are being challenged in many ways. Unusually heavy snowfall is delaying putting the route in the Khumbu Icefall and rain, fog and low clouds are delaying many from reaching Lukla.

The Kathmandu Shuffle

Team after team are leaving their hotel early hoping to get a flight to Lukla only to wait for hours at the airport, then told the flight is canceled due to low clouds. The Lukla airport has a deadly and dangerous reputation. It has no radar so pilots must use visual flight rules. If there are low clouds, the airport is effectively closed.

Some teams are using helicopters but even then delays ensue.

Jim Davidson made this comment on his Facebook page:

Pilots in Nepal say: “We do not fly in cloudy weather, because in Nepal the clouds have rocks in them!” After a long wait at the Kathmandu airport today for the clouds to lift, all flights to Lukla are canceled. We reed to a different hotel for the night, then we’ll return to the airport and try again tomorrow. Or, the next day. We must be calm and , like Buddha.

Icefall Route

The Himalayan Times‘ Rajan Pokhrel reports that David Breashears arrived in Nepal a few days ago and is consulting with the Icefall Doctors on the safest route through the Icefall. Through his work, GlacierWorks, he has an amazing collection of high definition pictures and videos, some as recent as last year after the serac release. Using these images, they can evaluate a potentially safer route.

Pete Athens went to Nepal last month to also work with the Doctors on alternative routes.

The article quotes the leader of the Icefall Doctors:

According to Ang Kami Sherpa, who leads a team of eight icefall doctors, heavy but unusual snowfall has been affecting their work. The team has planned to complete a route that passes from the middle of the icefall section in the next 10 to 12 days, he added. “Two-third section of the route has been constructed, but Breashears’ facilitation will be important to complete the remaining part of the treacherous route,” he added.

So, the season gets started, albeit a bit slowly, but there is plenty of time.

As for me, I’m currently stuck in Istanbul after my flight to Kathmandu was delayed by 3 hours, so far. I’m hoping to get there tomorrow.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Please consider joining ?#?Alzheimer?’s Prevention Registry. Joining does not obligate you, just provides you the opportunity. Many trails are questions and surveys. Open to anyone over 18 worldwide. 80% of all al trails fail due to lack of volunteers http://bit.ly/1HONXgl

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6 thoughts on “Everest 2015: Heavy Snow in the Khumbu

  1. Thanks Alan for the update and especially for the link to Glacierworks! It is a fabulous website for all us “desk Everest trekkers!” Everyone should check it out…especially the interactive trek from Lukla to EBC!! So cool and informative!!

  2. Alan, I presume its a very long road trip to the South Nepal side? Can it also be done by road on the North side?

    1. Jacqueline, it is a week trek from flying into Lukla from Kathmandu to reach Everest Base Camp. There are no roads. On the North (Tibet) side you can drive all the way to Base Camp.

  3. Read about the blackouts over much of Turkey today. Hope the Istanbul airport didn’t lose power. Here’s hoping the rest of the trip to Kathmandu moves along at a better, uneventful clip.

  4. Joined the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry, thank you for bringing it to my attention. Hopefully I can make a meaningful contribution to the cause.
    When I first came across your website some years ago I was amazed at how interesting and entertaining your Everest blogs are, even to me (being a rock climber with no particular interest in ever going up the likes of Mt Everest). Since then I’ve been back each year reading your coverage of the climbing season – so thank you for keeping it up, and best of luck on Lhotse!

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