Welcome to the kick-off for my Everest 2021 coverage! I have already posted a few articles on 2021 and actively covered the 2020/21 Winter K2 season so let me officially welcome you. This season will be my 18th season of all-things Everest: 12 times providing coverage, another four seasons of climbing on Everest, and two years attempting Lhotse.
Welcome to the 2021 edition of Alan Arnette’s annual coverage of the Everest climbing season. I try to provide insight and interpretation of the activities ranging from routes to weather to the challenge and reward of climbing Everest. It’s based on my own three Everest attempts and my 2011 summit plus my climbing experiences of a K2 summit in 2014, Manaslu in 2013 and 30+ more peaks around the world. My reporting uses my own research, sources, and public information.
As I covered in a recent post, Everest 2021 is coming on soon. There are questions as to whether operators should run their programs at all. A few have canceled their Everest ’21 but many, including Asian Trekking, are moving forward with confidence. Early reports suggest Nepal could issue well over 300 foreigner permits, high but under the record 382 in 2019. Also, it appears that COVD is slowing in Nepal with over one third of the population already vaccinated.
As I covered in a recent post, Everest 2021 is coming on soon. There are questions as to whether operators should run their programs at all. Many are moving forward but a few are not. I discuss the situation with Mark Gunlogson, Mountain Madness who has canceled his expedition from the Nepal side this spring. They are running a fundraiser with partners who will provide matching funds to support vaccinations in Nepal. We also explore MM’s other trips around the world.
Many people ask, “How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?” For the past nine years, I’ve tried to answer this with a rather lengthy post outlining all the costs and options. This is the 2021 edition. With the COVID Pandemic devastating tourism across the globe, I expect ’21 to be somewhat quiet. In fact China has closed Tibet to all foreigners. There may be some Chinese nationals climbing, but I don’t expect a lot.
Seven Summits Treks is leaving K2 Base Camp, thus ending their effort for a winter summit. The strongest climbers on their team gave it their best effort but no one summited the world’s second highest peak. Tragically two died in their effort. By my approximate count, 14 of the 20 “members” made an attempt.
Latest as of 3.30 am, Monday, February 8, 2021, – K2 Time: John Snorri, Ali Sadpara, and Juan Pablo (JP) Mohr Prieto remain missing with no trace. We are learning more about what happened at the Bottleneck directly from Ali’s son, Sajid. Of note he said he and his father were climbing without supplemental oxygen but had a bottle in their pack for emergencies. Also when he left the three, they had no radio or sat phone. He felt they summited and had an accident on the descent in the Bottleneck, but he is not sure. In this post, timeline of the season and events.