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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

Jun 212019
 
Everest: Nepal Looking at Huge Permit Fee Increase

Its been rumored for the past two years that Nepal will increase the permit fee to climb Everest from the current $11,000 to $15,000 but now, according to conversations I had this week with both major foreign and Nepali operators, there is talk of increasing the Everest permit fees to as much as $25,000 per person. To my knowledge, no final decision has been made. Ministry Under Pressure With global pressure for Nepal to “fix” Everest after the 11 deaths just this past spring, the Government appears to be struggling with various options while protecting their cash cow. There are continue reading

Jun 102019
 
Everest 2019: Indians Fake their Summit Claim

Three Indian climbers came home to celebrations and fanfare for summiting Mt. Everest last month but there was only one problem – they never got above Camp 3 at 23,000-feet, much less on the summit at 29,035 feet. Vikas Rana, Shobha Banwala, and Ankush Kasana all from villages in Northern India, were climbing with the Nepali guide company, Prestige Adventures, along with six others members. They claimed to have summited on May 26 when there were no other climbers on the summit. When asked the names of their four sherpas, they could’t recall their names according to a report in continue reading

Jun 072019
 
Everest 2019: Season Summary The Year Everest Broke

Everest 2019 will go down as the year Everest finally broke. It was one of those seasons where a lot of things went wrong, more things went right and many trends took center stage with new and old lessons for members, support, guide companies and governments. The only remaining question is, is anyone listening? One Person’s Story There are many stories to tell this year but this one perhaps encapsulates the entire season of risks, support, drive, judgment and motivation.  Los Angles resident Mark Parella was climbing with Seven Summit Treks. A he was headed to the summit he developed snow-blindnesss continue reading

May 302019
 
Everest 2019: Season Over?

One of the last teams known to still be on Everest made a gamble that they could catch the last available window, but as usual this year, the weather had the last word. Scott Woolums with his single client, John, along with three Sherpas: Migma,, Karma, and Namgyl spent much of April trekking in Nepal to acclimatize hoping they could then go hop over to the Tibet side and catch an early window. But Scott, a seasoned mountain guide and Everest summiteer knew it may take patience. I’m not sure he new it would take another month of waiting but they continue reading