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.
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.
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:
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.
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) Nepal2. Mr.Antonios Sykaris Greece3. Mr.Sergio Moreno Mingote (Assisting Climbing Leader) Spain4. Mr.Bob Bhania British5. Mr.Peter Moerman Belgium6. Mr.Tomaz Rotar Slovenia7. Mr.Bernhard Lippert Deutsch8. Mis.J. Valloton Switzerland9. Mr.Luis Carlos Spain10. Mis.Tamara Lunger Italy11. Mr.Juan Pablo Mohr Prieto Chile12. Mr.Ngima Dorchi Sherpa Nepal13. Mr.Lakpa Temba Sherpa Nepal14. Mr.Mingma Tenjen Sherpa Nepal15. Mr.Pasang Dukpa Sherpa Nepal16. Mr. Chhangba Sherpa Nepal17. Mr.Dawa Finjhok Sherpa Nepal18. Mr.Pechhumbe Sherpa Nepal(Fixing Member)19. Mr.Lakpa Dendi Sherpa Nepal20. Mr. Temba Bhote Nepal(Fixing and Leading)21. Mr.Mingtemba Sherpa Nepal22. Mr.Gelje Sherpa (Fixing member)Nepal23. Mr.Gesman Tamang Nepal24. Mr.Sona Sherpa Nepal25. Mr. Sanu Sherpa Nepal26. Mr.Atanas Georgiev Skatov Bulgaria
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