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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
May 082021
 
Everest 2021: Weekend Update May 8

The rope fixing team made the summit on Friday, May 7, 2021, opening the route to the over 300 climbers left at base camp. The weather remains good, for Everest, so look for many teams to jump on this window. Meanwhile, it appears that the virus spread has stalled for the moment with no new cases reported at EBC for over a week. It’s unknown if this is real or more coverups.

The Nepal government announced plans to assist climbers in leaving Nepal and another ban on any negative news saying “as it could terrorise the mountaineers as well as their family members.” I think someone climbing Everest can handle the truth.

May 022021
 
Everest 2021: Weekend Update May 2

It’s clear that there is or has been COVID at Everest Base Camp. Well, at least it clear that people who had it there were taken to Kathmandu where they tested positive and are receiving treatment. It’s also clear that Nepal is seeing a huge spike in new cases and has gone under lockdown once again. Finally, it’s clear that India has become a super-spreader country and needs global help to respond.

Nepal tourism officials continue to deny there are any problems at base camp other than one person who had pneumonia. The guides, both foreign and domestic, are posting only climbing updates with no mention of the virus. This includes those who are well-known to have multiple cases within their teams and some who have been evacuated.

Now, on to climbing. Many, many teams are doing their rotations and report no issues. Of course, there are the usual problems with a few people having altitude issues or GI problems, but this is to be expected each year. The conditions are reported as good, albeit with the Lhotse Face being a bit harder than normal due to the lack of snow. Also, the Khumbu Icefall appears to be in good shape, however, the route is taking a bit longer than in previous years but not being a major obstacle. There are a few comments on lines at the few ladders due to the record number of climbers on the mountain in the spring of 2021.

At last count, Nepal has issued a record 408 Everest permits.

Apr 252021
 
Everest 2021: Weekend Update April 25 -  COVID and Records

The headlines for last week are COVID and record permits. Four people have been evacuated either from Everest Base Camp or very close with symptoms of COVID-19. Once in Kathmandu, they tested positive for the virus. It’s a similar story for a few Sherpas. Look for the ropes to reach the summit this next week.

Without a doubt, the virus is in the Khumbu and spreading. The open question will be if it can be contained at EBC. Complicating the situation is Nepal’s limitless issuance of permits, now topping 400, blasting through the 2019 record year of 382. Meanwhile, there are 40 people on the Chinese side that include 21 climbers.

Everest 2021: Weekend Update April 18

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Apr 182021
 
Everest 2021: Weekend Update April 18

Everest Base Camp is quickly filling up. Sherpas are busy establishing and stocking Camps 1 and 2. Thus far the fixed ropes have been set to the Yellow Band around 24,000-feet. As previously noted, there are few trekkers this spring so the teahouses and trails feel empty to those I’ve spoken with. Internet at EBC is sketchy at best. There is one 40-person Chinese national team on the Tibet side, otherwise, it’s closed to foreigners. They established their base camp this past week.

Apr 112021
 
Everest 2021: Weekend Update April 11

The Everest 2021 season is right on track with teams pouring into base camp. However, this year remains different with few trekking teams on the trails resulting in almost empty teahouses and some closed, perhaps forever. Remember that the Tibet side is closed to foreigners and I don’t expect updates from the Chinese team or two that might climb this spring.

Apr 042021
 
Everest 2021: Weekend Update April 4

The Everest 2021 season is well underway with many teams on their way to Everest Base Camp expecting to arrive around April 15. As of April 3, 138 Everest permits had been issued to foreigners. Around 300 are still expected making this a busy, but not a record season like 2019.

As I’ve noted, the vast majority of the climbing will be on the Nepal side as China has closed Tibet to all foreigners and only a couple of Chinese national teams are anticipated to climb from that side in 2021. We’ll see if they open up for autumn climbs.

Mar 282021
 
Everest 2021: Weekend Update March 28 - And We're Off!

The Everest 2021 season is about to get started in earnest. Climber after climber and team after team are leaving home and in many cases, scores of Sherpas are on their way to Everest Base Camp to being the arduous process of establishing a home for over 700 people this spring season.

As I’ve noted, the vast majority of the climbing will be on the Nepal side as China has closed Tibet to all foreigners and only a couple of Chinese national teams are anticipated to climb from that side in 2021. We’ll see if they open up for autumn climbs.