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Sep 172019
Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Summits Soon!

We may see the first autumn client summits this week, especially on Cho Oyu and perhaps Manaslu. Meanwhile most teams have arrived at all the other 8000ers on the schedule this season in mixed weather conditions. The permit numbers continue to increase as the Nepal Tourism Department issued this update:   Everest The weather is tough at Everest Base Camp creating some delays. Hopefully it will clear out as the last traces of the summer monsoon fade away. Madison Mountaineering Autumn Everest Garrett Madison of Madison Mountaineering and his Mountain Hardwear team have arrived at Everest Base Camp and are doing continue reading

Sep 132019
Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Early Progress

Teams are making excellent progress early in this autumn season across the Himalaya. Everest Prices to increase and more record breaking attempts are underway. A busy time on the world’s highest peaks! Everest First off, a small bit of news on permit prices on the Tibet side. It is being reported that the Tibet Mountaineering Association has recommended a $5,000 increase for the permit fee. source. It is currently $11,500. Nepal is at $11,000 but has proposed a minimum expedition costs of $35,000 per person, including the permit fee. Seems like both countries will use price to address some of continue reading

Sep 092019
Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Manaslu Crowds!

The Himalaya climbing activity is picking up with climbers trekking to Everest Base Camp and others already there on Manaslu. The Nepal Ministry of Tourism posted these stats for the autumn 2019 season and as expected when factoring in Sherpa support, there are well over 400 people on Manaslu the season:   Of note, the permit fees for climbing in autumn are significantly lower than in spring: Everest Madison Mountaineering Autumn Everest Garrett Madison of Madison Mountaineering gave an update from a quiet Khumbu: It’s surprisingly quiet here in the Khumbu.  We have the lodge all to ourselves and we didn’t continue reading

Sep 032019
Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Rare Everest Attempts

Climbers are on their way to Kathmandu for a rare Everest autumn attempt that includes some famous personalities. Plus there will be potentially record setting action on Dhaulagiri. There could be some interesting storylines this season. Mountain Hardwear Revival with Madison Mountaineering I spoke today with Garrett Madison of Madison Mountaineering. He was on a layover in Paris on his way to Nepal. They hope to arrive in Lukla in a few days to begin the trek to Everest Base Camp. Garrett has a team of four climbing Everest this season including the CEO of Mountain Hardwear, Joe Vernachio. Joe continue reading

Aug 262019
New Everest Rules: A Deeper Look

Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism announced proposed changes for guiding and climbing on Mt. Everest at a press conference held in Kathmandu on August 14, 2019. The new rules need to be approved by Parliament before going into effect but are targeted for the 2020 spring season. I received a copy of the press release and the 59-page report and have been digging into them to evaluate any changes that would radically impact foreign climbers. Context: It’s Nepal’s Decision Before I go on, let me be clear and obvious. Half of Mt. Everest is located and controlled by the Nepal government, continue reading

Aug 142019
New Everest Climber and Guide Requirements

Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism announced proposed changes for guiding and climbing Everest at a press conference held in Kathmandu today, August 14, 2019. They still must be approved by the Parliament before going into effect according to ChannelNewsAsia‘s website but are targeted for the 2020 spring season.   Highlights from the 59 page report included: Expedition companies must have a minimum of three years experience organizing high altitude climbs before guiding on Everest. Climbers will have to submit proof of summiting at least one 6,500 meter peak. Guide companies must charge a minimum of $35,000 per client. (My understanding is that this continue reading

Aug 132019
Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Coverage Begins - Updated

With the Himalayan spring and summer season completed, the autumn season is about to begin with more climbs in the Nepal, Tibet, perhaps Pakistan and around the world. For a change Everest and Lhotse will see a lot of activity this autumn but there are rumors that China may make it difficult to climb in Tibet this autumn. This post is an introduction on what to expect and follow. 2019 Thus Far Thus far, the 2019 climbing season has been a mixed bag of summits, records and deaths. The Everest season was well chronicled but perhaps the larger story were continue reading

Jul 262019
K2 2019 Summer Season Coverage -  Successful End to K2 Season

The K2 season started out doubtful, got worse but ended on a happy note … for those who stayed. Thanks to an unusual spate of good weather, it appears that over 30 people made the summit, including at least seven not using supplemental oxygen. While impressive total summits, this is about a 30% summit rate given at least 100 climbers had K2 permits for the summer of 2019. Historically, 30 summits is becoming about average for K2. It appears there were no deaths on K2 this season. Route Opens on July 24 Of course, Nirmal Purja‘s set the tone by continue reading

Jul 242019
K2 2019 Summer Season Coverage -  Successful Summits!

Against many unfavorable conditions, Nirmal Purja‘s Project Possible team plus two Sherpas from Seven Summits treks successfully summited K2 at local time 7:50 am Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Also Adrian Ballinger  and Carla Perez summited a few hours later at 11:45 am not using supplemental oxygen. Both climbers have now summited both Everest and K2 with no supplemental O’s. There were a few additional people to summit including one from Iran. Sorry no names available yet. Dawa Sherpa posted this update: A huge congratulations the Fixing team for their successful ascent of Mt. K2 (8611m). The team of Seven Summit Treks and “Project continue reading

Jul 232019
K2 2019 Summer Season Coverage -  Summit Push Underway Update 2

I’ll use this page to track the current 2019 summit push on K2. Latest Headlines 05:30 July 24 K2 Time Update 2 Dawa Sherpa posted that the SST rope fixer are 200 meter below K2’s summit meaning they are past the avalanche prone area/ Update 1 Dawa Sherpa told me that their Sherpa team reached C4 2:30pm on Tuesday, July 23, 2019.  They hope to reach to summit Wednesday morning safely and return base camp. This suggest the SST Sherpas are working with Nims as expected. Update 0 Adrian Ballinger reports to me that it is only his team and Nirmal Purja‘s at camp 4. They continue reading