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Apr 052020
 
Virtual Everest 2020: Weekend Video Update April 5

During this Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Sherpas project, I’m adding a new aspect of my coverage, a video report on most Sundays. I will recap the week and preview what we can expect coming up. If you have a question or topic you want addressed, let me know. Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Sherpas is a joint project of Alan Arnette and several global guide companies. Our objective is to entertain Everest fans during the Coronavirus spring closure and raise money to help the Sherpas who are not working this spring. While there will be accurate historical continue reading

Apr 042020
 
Virtual Everest 2020: Flying at the Summit of Everest

Our Everest 2020 climbers are on their way this early April. A few teams are already trekking the Khumbu to Everest Base Camp while those climbing from the Tibet side are on the road. Zhangmu, a 6-hour drive from Kathmandu, used to be the border crossing from Nepal into Tibet, but after the 2015 earthquake, the city was so badly damaged that the crossing was moved to Gyirong, about 50 miles to the west. However, many teams today fly to Lhasa and drive to Chinese Base Camp (CBC) on a nicely paved road. Thankfully the runway repairs at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan continue reading

Apr 032020
 
Virtual Everest 2020: Leaving Home

The end of March and beginning of April is an exciting time for Everest aspirants. Their duffle bags are packed, plane reservations confirmed, and training completed. All that’s left is to get to Kathmandu or Lhasa. Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Sherpas is a joint project of Alan Arnette and several global guide companies. Our objective is to entertain Everest fans during the Coronavirus spring closure and raise money to help the Sherpas who are not working this spring. While there will be accurate historical references, this series is a work of fiction. Names, characters, and incidents either are products continue reading

Apr 022020
 
Virtual Everest 2020 - Support the Sherpas

Welcome to the kick-off of Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Sherpas. As regular readers of my blog know due to fears over the Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, Nepal closed all climbing, including Everest, for the spring 2020 season. China, through the Tibet Mountaineering Association, closed all their mountains to foreigners, Chinese nationals will be allowed on Everest and a small team is planning their expedition starting in a few weeks. After 20 years of climbing or reporting on Everest, not covering it was going to leave a hole in my, and many other’s Spring. So I thought, why not cover continue reading

Mar 182020
 
Climbers wait out the Virus - Denali now Closed

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   The COVID-19 aka Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe with close to 200,000 confirmed cases, almost 8,000 deaths and, over 80,000 cases of recovery. So a question that feels a bit academic and perhaps even insensitive is where to go climbing? That said, planning a big climb has a lead time of months, not weeks, thus now is the time to be planning climbs for the second half of 2020 or even into 2021. Before I go on, my sincere sympathies to the families of all continue reading

Mar 122020
 
Everest 2020: Nepal Joins China and Closes Everest

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   Nepal has joined China in closing the spring climbing season on all mountains, including on Everest citing Covid-19 aka the Coronavirus. Nepali officials also decided to temporarily stop issuing on-arrival tourist visas to all countries through the end of April. Previously it only applied to eight countries with a large number of virus cases. According to this article in the Kathmandu Post, the leading Nepali operator, Seven Summits Treks had 60 clients signed up but six canceled just this week. Seven Summit Treks, the largest expedition operator in continue reading

Mar 112020
 
Everest 2020: China Closes Everest

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   According to operators running Everest expeditions on the China/Tibet side of Everest, they were notified today, March 11, 2020, that the China Tibet Mountaineering Association aka CTMA that all permits for the spring season are canceled due to the Coronavirus. Operators are reacting differently: Adrian Ballinger, founder of Alpenglow told me: China officially closed Everest for spring last night (I was notified via my CTMA contacts). I agree with the decision (my partners and Dr (Monica Pérez) were leaning towards canceling based on news of the past continue reading

Mar 022020
 
Nepal Begins to Address Risky Visitors due to Coronavirus Virus

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   Nepali officials are adding visa steps for travelers from five countries experiencing the highest levels of the Coronavirus. The usual process for most visitors is to obtain a visa at the airport once they arrive. Now visitors from five countries, China, Iran, Italy, Korea, and Japan must get their visas before arriving in Nepal. Note, this does not stop visitors from coming to Nepal, only adds an additional step before leaving their home country. Also, by omission, it doesn’t impact any other country.   Confusion Conflicts with continue reading

Feb 282020
 
Update on Coronavirus Impact on 2020 Spring Everest Season

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   I’ve been speaking with foreign and Nepali operators, plus Nepali officials, about the impact of the Coronavirus on the Everest season. Bottom line is that there are already cancellations but it appears as of this writing the Tibet side will remain open. Officials tell me they expect the number of climbers to be cut in half on both sides. Nepal issued 382 permits in 2019, but for 2020 less than 250 are now expected. And only 50 on the Tibet side. This does not include support which continue reading

Feb 272020
 
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Over for All

And then there were none. Alex Txikon ended his effort as did Jost Kobuschh. Everest in winter is just too difficult this year. Everyone is back at base camp now. There were no winter summits on the four 8000ers attempted this winter: Everest, K2, Broad Peak, and Gasherbrum I/II. Now, on to the spring season! Join me as I do my annual coverage of the spring Everest season at this link. Everest – Over Jost on West Ridge – Over German alpinist, Jost Kobuschh’s is back down to base camp after tagging his high point at 7,329-meters/23,750-feet. He said before starting the continue reading