Climbers Arrive in Nepal, Quarantined, Khumbu Closes now Reopens

Ama Dablam

In a whirlwind of contradicting events, Nepal closed the Khumbu region on Thursday, then reopened it on Sunday. Climbers are now headed to Ama Dablam. The list of Winter 2020/21 K2 aspirants made public.

Nepal COVID-Free

Last spring, Prime Minister declared Nepal a “Covid-19 free-zone,” and allowed Nepalis working overseas to return on a limited basis.  The lack of effective quarantine and the testing processes started a steady increase of new cases and deaths, that now, sets a new record daily. Today, the death toll reached 829; with the national total at 153,008 and 4,499 new infections.

Nepal Closed to Foreigners

In the summer, they closed the borders to foreigners, including climber and trekkers with the exception of a Qatar Prince who somehow used his position, and no doubt wealth, to climb Lobuche and Manaslu.

Nepal Opens

However, on October 17, foreigners were allowed in as long as they met certain testing and quarantine requirements.

Khumbu Region Closes After New Case

Then on October 22, one Sherpa who visited Kathmandu and returned to Namche Bazzar tested positive for the virus. He was immediately helicoptered to Kathamndu for treatment and a team of doctors sent to the Himalayan village for extensive testing.

Khumbu Reopens for Climbers

Now, only three days later, October 25, 2020, apparently, the Government has lifted the ban on travel to the Khumbu. Garrett Madison, Madison Mountaineering, wrapping up a seven-day quarantine at the 5 Star Yak and Yeti hotel in Kathmandu for his seven-person team posted today, Sunday, October 25, 2020:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ama Dablam team dispatch and the Gokyo trek team dispatch.  It’s Sunday evening here in Kathmandu and things are looking good!

We just finished our last dinner here before we’re heading up to the mountains tomorrow.  The Khumbu is re-opened and we got permission to fly up to Lukla tomorrow and start our trek to base camp!  We’re excited, we’re all packed up, and we’re looking forward to, hopefully, being up in the mountains tomorrow.

It’s been a wonderful stay here in Kathmandu.  We’ve actually really had a good time quarantining here at the Yak & Yeti hotel, enjoying some nice meals, and some good quality time here hanging out.

So, fingers crossed, tomorrow we’ll be up in the Khumbu and on our way to base camp!

Another small team is there lead by UK’s Kenton Cool. They are also after Ama Dablam. Plus another high-powered Middle East climber, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani from Qatar’s royal family. Finally, there is a team lead by Seven Summits Treks with Swiss climber Sophie Lavaud, and Russian Sergey Baranov.

Winter K2

As has become the norm in recent years, several teams announced a winter K2 attempt. Of course, this is the remaining crown jewel in mountaineering – a no O’s winter summit of K2.

The Russian outfit 7 Summits Club with Alex Abramov said he would go. He and his life partner Lucy Korobeshko are returning from Pakistan for training. Alex says the effort will be by 32 climbers from four countries (Ukraine, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan) on two routes.

Seven Summits Treks confirmed their Winter K2 attempt with a list of members.

Seven Summit Treks, K2 Winter confirmed, 10+ experienced climbing members and 15 Climbing Sherpa. We would to inform you that this winter, except for a major cause due to the situation we are experiencing due to the global pandemic, we will operate an expedition to K2, the only 8000m peak which has never climbed in Winter. Some names of International climbers is yet to publish. Who are with us:
1. Mr.Chhang Dawa Sherpa (Expedition Leader) Nepal
2. Mr.Antonios Sykaris Greece
3. Mr.Sergio Moreno Mingote (Assisting Climbing Leader) Spain
4. Mr.Bob Bhania British
5. Mr.Peter Moerman Belgium
6. Mr.Tomaz Rotar Slovenia
7. Mr.Bernhard Lippert Deutsch
8. Mis.J. Valloton Switzerland
9. Mr.Luis Carlos Spain
10. Mis.Tamara Lunger Italy
11. Mr.Juan Pablo Mohr Prieto Chile
12. Mr.Ngima Dorchi Sherpa Nepal
13. Mr.Lakpa Temba Sherpa Nepal
14. Mr.Mingma Tenjen Sherpa Nepal
15. Mr.Pasang Dukpa Sherpa Nepal
16. Mr. Chhangba Sherpa Nepal
17. Mr.Dawa Finjhok Sherpa Nepal
18. Mr.Pechhumbe Sherpa Nepal(Fixing Member)
19. Mr.Lakpa Dendi Sherpa Nepal
20. Mr. Temba Bhote Nepal(Fixing and Leading)
21. Mr.Mingtemba Sherpa Nepal
22. Mr.Gelje Sherpa (Fixing member)Nepal
23. Mr.Gesman Tamang Nepal
24. Mr.Sona Sherpa Nepal
25. Mr. Sanu Sherpa Nepal
26. Mr.Atanas Georgiev Skatov Bulgaria

Climb On!
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