Everest 2022: Teams in Tibet?

There was a bit of buzz today when a Nepali operator made a post saying they were on the Tibet side. As is usual with Everest you can never say never, or can you? I’ve maintained that China closed all climbing to foreigners for the 2022 Spring season, but as we know they did allow a limited number of pure Chinese teams to climb in the previous three Spring seasons.

The Nepal operator Climbalaya made this post today:

Everest north side 21/04/22… Great weather and its a quieter side of the mountains this year again. Currently there are only two teams and the fixed ropes have already reached 8300m.. expect an early summit from the Tibetan side this time. All the very best and good luck..

I contacted Dawa Sherpa, founder and Managing Director of Climbalaya, and he told me, “Hi Alan, namaste.. we are climbing from the Nepal side. It was just an update from the north side on how things are going..” So clarifying once again, they said, “2 separate Chinese teams on the north side..” which makes perfect sense as this is what China has allowed for the last three years, Chinese only, no foreigners due to COVID.

Climbalaya was founded in 2014 focusing primarily on the Tibet side of Everest, thus their post was in solidarity with their fellow teammates on the north side. They have put around 63 climbers on the summit of Everest. This year, 2022, they have 5 clients from the US, Austria, Sweden, Japan, and Hungary.

Dawa tells that Climbaya has built a good working relationship with CTMA and its partners. That they have a strong commitment to safety measures, with a well-trained and experienced Sherpa team, plus reliable, personalized services.

Nepal 2022 Permit Update as of April 20, 2022

The permits for Everest have picked up as expected, but I’m not anticipating a significant further increase. I’m anticipating between 250 and 300 total foreign permits issued for Everest. 2021 was a record year with 408 permits issued to foreigners. There have been 833 total permits issued for 23 peaks thus far from 73 countries.

Looking at Everest only, the US has the largest representation with 63 members, followed by the UK-33, Nepal (non-Sherpas)-20, India-22, Canada-17, Russia-16, France-12, China-10, and Austria with 10. There are 37 countries represented by a single climber.

These permits have generated $3.5M in royalties for the government. Almost all of this revenue stays in Kathmandu, with some in various personal pockets and none to the Sherpas, porters, or other high-altitude workers. The Nepal Ministry of Tourism posted these foreign permit tally as of April 19, 2022:

  1. Everest: 292 on 36 teams 
  2. Ama Dablam: 97 on 9 teams
  3. Annapurna I: 26 on 4 teams 
  4. Annapurna 4: 9 on 1 team
  5. Baruntse: 20 on 3 teams
  6. Bhemdang: 8 on 1 team
  7. Dhaulagiri: 27 on 3 teams
  8. Gangapurna: 2 on 1 team
  9. Himlung: 35 on 4 teams
  10. Khangchung: 67 on 6 teams
  11. Kangchung/UIAA: 2 on 1 teams
  12. Lhotse: 103 on 11 teams
  13. Makalu: 39 on 4 teams
  14. Manaslu: 9 on 1 team 
  15. Mukot: 4 on 1 team
  16. Norbu Khang: 5 on 1 team
  17. Nuptse: 57 on 7 teams
  18. Phu Khang: 5 on 1 team
  19. Pokhar Kang: 9 on 1 team
  20. Saribung: 3 on 1 team
  21. Saula: 2 on 1 team
  22. Thapa (Dhampus): 10 on 3 teams
  23. Urknmang: 2 on 1 team

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