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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

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: Team Locations and Headlines

LATEST HEADLINE May 31: Season Over 11 Everest Deaths, 900 estimated total summits  Welcome to the 2019 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. Click for the complete Everest 2019 coverage Current Headlines Read continue reading

Everest 2019: Interview with Garrett Madison – A Leader on Everest

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Mar 282019
Everest 2019: Interview with Garrett Madison - A Leader on Everest

What attributes would you look for in an Everest guide? Number of summits, zero climber deaths, years in the business, experience? Well, if these are on your list, Garrett Madison, founder and owner of Madison Mountaineering might be your person. Up front, full disclosure, I summited K2 with Garrett in 2014 and was with him on Everest at Camp 2 when the earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, so I kind of like this guy! On K2, my first time climbing with Garrett, he personified the characteristics of a professional mountain guide – calm, in-control, thoughtful and never had a hair continue reading

Mar 252019
Everest 2019: Stories to Watch This Season

Even though its late March and most teams don’t start climbing Everest until mid-May, there are multiple story lines developing for this 2019 spring season. Let’s review a few that I’ll be following closely and reporting on often. Climbers to Watch I already did a post of a few climbs that are out of the ordinary for this season. They include a new route attempt on the Tibet side, Kami Rita going for another record number of summits, Nirmal Purja trying to summit all fourteen of the 8000ers in seven months, Nima Doma Sherpa, and Furdiki Sherpa attempting to summit continue reading

Mar 132019
Everest 2019: Climbers to Watch

Everest has become what I call a formula climb these days with almost all the expeditions following the same route, same acclimatization formula and using the same ropes. However there are always a few climbers each season that seek to break this mold and do something unique. 2019 is no different. This season we have few interesting characters that I’ll be following closely and reporting on. I’ve already made contact with some of them. Cory Richards and Topo Mena – New Route Attempt While there are about 17 named routes on Everest, it’s rare for a new route to be continue reading

Everest 2019: Be Aware of Significant Problems Flying from Kathmandu to Lukla

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Mar 012019
Everest 2019: Be Aware of Significant Problems Flying from Kathmandu to Lukla

The Nepal aviation authority announced last December that the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) would be closed daily from 22:00 (local time) to 08:00 starting April 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019, – smack in the middle of the pre-monsoon trekking and climbing season. Due to a limited construction season with winter conditions and summer monsoons, they had few good choices. For most flights, this will be an inconvenience but for flyers to Lukla with it’s notorious weather delays, especially in late morning, it’s a show stopper. In fact authorities have cancelled all direct flight from TIA to LUK suggesting that continue reading