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Mar 122020
Everest 2020: Was it Correct to Close Everest?

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020 Now that word is spreading that both Nepal and China have closed the 2020 Spring Everest (and other mountains) season let’s talk about if this was the correct decision. For me, the answer is clearly yes. Climbing is a sport, it’s optional and it’s supposed to be fun. It’s also an industry, the Everest Industrial Complex has many layers and supports many families and livelihoods. For a small country like Nepal, trekking and climbing are the backbones of their tourism economy. But sometimes, the case is just too strong 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 092020
Everest 2020: A Month Go Checklist

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   Early March is an awkward time for aspiring Everest climbers. It is too late to make serious advancements in physical training and too early to eat what you want, assuming you will lose weight during the climb. Making serious gear changes is not advised nor is changing guide services. But there is still work to do! Other than persistent rumors, and maybe a last-minute rule change from Nepal or China, Not much will happen for the next few weeks as climbers are en route. Once they arrive continue reading

Mar 072020
Three Questions for Jost Kobuschh's Winter Everest West Ridge Attempt

I caught up with Jost Kobuschh and congratulated him on a fine effort. In review, he was attempting a winter, solo Everest climb on the rarely attempted West Ridge without supplemental oxygen and no Sherpa support. This exact style and the route had never been attempted or accomplished. The German alpinist tagged his high point at 7,329-meters/23,750-feet. He said before starting the expedition, he would be pleased to tag 8,000-meters so he got close. Well done by any measure. I asked him three questions and he generously replied: 1. Overall, how are you feeling – physically and emotionally? Emotionally its this time 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

Feb 252020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Teams on the Move

One is going for the summit and one is doing laps on Everest. We will know at the end of this week if Everest will see a winter summit this season. Everest Jost on West Ridge – Broke 7200m, Time running out German alpinist, Jost Kobuschh’s is back down to his Camp 1 at 6,100-meters/20,000-feet after establishing Camp 2 a couple of days ago at 6,760-meters according to his tracker. His high point for this expedition is 7,329-meters/23,750-feet. There have been high winds, so he may be satisfied to have touched the West Ridge and is returning base camp. He told reporters continue reading

Feb 242020
Everest 2020: Welcome to Everest 2020 Coverage

Welcome to the kick-off for my Everest 2020 coverage! I have already posted a few articles on 2020 and am actively covering the current winter Everest attempts so let me officially welcome you. This will be my 19th season of all-things Everest: 13 times providing coverage, another 4 seasons of actually climbing on Everest and two years attempting Lhotse. I did similar coverage for the 2004,  2005,  2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2020 seasons. I summited Everest on May 21, 2011, and have attempted Everest three other times – 2002, 2003, 2008 and Lhotse in 2015 and 2016. If you are one of my 2 continue reading