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Search Results for Tag: Expeditions

Nepal adopts new rules for Everest and Co.

Everest, Lhotse, Makalu (from l. to r.)

The time has come. According to reports of the newspapers “Kathmandu Post”  and “The Himalayan Times”, the government of Nepal has adopted some new rules for expeditions – “to improve the safety of the climbers”, as Tourism Secretary Maheswor Neupane said. The new rules apply to all mountains above 6,600 meters – these fall under the responsibility of the government – and will be in force already in the spring season 2018.

Date

30. December 2017 | 11:33

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Paul Ramsden: “Climbing style is everything”

Paul Ramsden

He is anything but a self-promoter. Paul Ramsden does not belong to the group of extreme climbers who are out to market themselves and want to be constantly in the spotlight. Though he certainly deserves it – the list of his first ascents in the Himalayas is long. In fall 2016, for example, the British, together with his compatriot Nick Bullock, succeeded to climb for the first time through the extremely demanding North Face of the 7,046 meter high Nyainqentangla South in Tibet. For this performance, they were recently awarded the Piolet d’Or. It was already the fourth time that Ramsden received the “Oscar of the Climbers”. And this is despite the fact that the 48-year-old is not a professional climber. He earns his living as a self-employed occupational hygienist who advises companies and furnishes expert reports.

Paul, you are a non-professional climber, you have a job and family. What is your motivation to set off year by year to remote mountain areas in the Himalayas to tackle unclimbed mountains, walls or ridges?

Date

14. December 2017 | 12:21

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Himalayan Database: Treasure chest open to all

Santa Claus has brought an early Christmas gift for mountain lovers from all over the world. Since today, the new version of the Himalayan Database, the electronic “Bible of Expedition Mountaineering in Nepal”, can be downloaded for free. Till now a CD ROM had to be bought to use the archive. Initially, the possibility to free download this extensive data collection should have been available already in November. However, there was a slight delay because the American Richard Salisbury, who added the data of the 2017 spring season, still had to wait for information on the Sherpas’ summit successes.

Date

5. December 2017 | 13:34

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Himalayan Database soon for free

Tobias Pantel, Billi Bierling, Jeevan Shrestha und Rodolphe Popier (from l. to r.)

The Himalayan Database is something like the electronic Bible of Expedition Mountaineering in Nepal. For those who are dealing with the highest mountains in the world, there is simply no way around this extensive collection of data. Countless times I’ve asked for Billi Bierling when I wanted to check important details of ascents. The 50-year-old German journalist and climber has been working for the Himalayan Database since 2004. In 2016 she replaced the legendary chronicler Elizabeth Hawley, who is now 93 years old, as the head of the database. In the 1960s Miss Hawley had begun to file the expeditions in Nepal. Her archive was the base of the Himalayan Database, which has been available electronically since 2004. Till now a CD ROM had to be bought. This will change soon. Then the database will be available to everyone for free.

Date

12. October 2017 | 10:32

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Mingma Gyalje Sherpa: “Low price, low safety”

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa

“Nepalese climbers have been the shadow for foreign climbers”, says Mingma Gyalje Sherpa. “It is obvious that foreign climbers pay a lot to them for this work and I do respect it but still I feel that Nepalese climbers are not given the credit they rightfully own.” The 31-year-old is the head of the expedition operator “Dreamers Destination” and belongs to a new generation of Sherpa entrepreneurs: young, well trained, reliable and successful. Mingma is also an excellent climber. He has so far scaled eight eight-thousanders, in fall 2015 he made headlines by first climbing a difficult route via the West Face of the 6,685-meter-high Chobutse solo. One of his dreams is to climb Everest without bottled oxygen after five ascents with breathing mask. These days, he is leading a commercial expedition on Dhaugaliri. For a portrait of Mingma that was just published by the German magazine “Allmountain”, I did an interview with him of which I don’t want to deprive you.

Mingma, in the past years some western operators withdraw from Everest complaining about a price war with local operators in Nepal. Is this battle going on?

Date

27. April 2017 | 12:38

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China reacts allergically to Pakistan visas

The Potala Palace in Lhasa

Nasty surprise for some climbers heading for destinations in Tibet this spring: I have been confirmed by several sides that China currently does not allow tourists to enter Tibet in case that there is a visa for Pakistan issued in the past three years in their passport. Especially professional climbers, who like to tackle the impressive mountains of the Karakoram in summer, run the risk of not obtaining a visa for Tibet. Some mountaineers are stuck in the Nepali capital Kathmandu, because they have learned too late about this new regulation. So if you want to travel to Cho Oyu, Shishapangma or the Tibetan north side of Mount Everest and do not want to experience a bad surprise, take a look at your passport!

Date

12. April 2017 | 15:13

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Himalayan chronicle 2.0

Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu (from l. to r.)

It is the old road, but due to the increased traffic the (digital) emergency lane is used too. From now on,  expedition teams heading for Nepal can register with the Himalayan Database, the high mountaineering chronicle founded by the legendary Elizabeth Hawley,  also online before setting off, for example via Facebook. “We will continue to meet as many teams in Kathmandu as we can. However, it has become almost impossible in the last few years to interview everyone personally,” Billi Bierling explains the new procedure.

Date

2. March 2017 | 9:09

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Bad mountain management in Nepal

A mountain in Gokyo Valley

A mountain in Gokyo Valley

You can’t just set off. If you want to climb am mountain in Nepal you should check the rules beforehand, otherwise you might experience a nasty surprise. Like the three Spanish climbers, who recently opened new routes on two six-thousanders. They were under way without permits, now the authorities in Kathmandu are investigating the case. They are facing a stiff fine and a 10-year-ban from mountaineering in Nepal. My compassion for the Spaniards is limited. I find their justification (“We are not pirates, we have left our money in Nepal at all”) flimsy. If you follow this argumentation, you could bilk any national park fee worldwide. Nonetheless there have been some construction sites the Nepalese “mountain management” for a long time, which are allegedly worked on but whose status does not change.

Date

6. December 2016 | 17:22

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Heavy rush on the “King of the Eight-thousanders”

K 2, called "Chogori" by the locals

K 2, called “Chogori” by the locals

If I were a road planner, I would say: This smells like traffic jam. More than 100 climbers from eight expeditions have signed this summer for K 2, with a height of 8,611 meters the second highest mountain on earth. The Base Camp at the foot of the “King of the Eight-thousanders” could become crowded, as well as the normal route on the mountain. Even the team of the Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks consists of 44 (!) climbers.

Date

16. June 2016 | 17:02

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No. 12 for “best ager” Carlos Soria

Annapurna I (l.)

Annapurna I (l.)

That was an exceptional weekend on Annapurna. According to the Nepalese newspaper “The Himalayan Times” a total of 30 climbers reached the 8091-meter-high summit. That makes 12 percent of the about 250 summit successes on Annapurna to date. The tenth highest mountain in the world is considered the most dangerous of the 14 eight-thousanders. Already 72 mountaineers have lost their lives on this mountain.

Date

2. May 2016 | 13:11

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Ten popular Everest errors

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

The Everest spring season is gaining momentum. The Base Camp on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest is filling. According to the government in Kathmandu, 279 climbers from 38 countries have registered for the highest mountain on earth. The Icefall Doctors have meanwhile prepared the route all the way up to Camp 2 at 6,400 meters. The teams who want to climb Everest from the Tibetan north side, have also received now their permits from the Chinese authorities and are heading to Tibet. It’s going to kick off there too. Before the media Everest season begins, I would like to correct some reoccurring errors.

Date

13. April 2016 | 12:47

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Successes in a row on Manaslu

Manaslu, "Mountain of the Spirit"

Manaslu, “Mountain of the Spirit”

The success stories from the eighth highest mountain on earth are piling up. On Wednesday and Thursday at least 76 climbers reached the 8,156-meter-high summit of Manaslu, said the Himalayan Times”. The Nepalese operator Seven Summits Treks reported about 50 summit successes of their clients and Sherpas alone. On Friday Dominik Mueller, head of the German expedition operator Amical Alpin, reached the highest point of Manaslu too.

Date

2. October 2015 | 10:15

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No fall expeditions to Tibet

On Cho Oyu (8,188 m) in Tibet

On Cho Oyu (8,188 m) in Tibet

China is closing Tibet for climbers for the rest of this year. “That is correct”, Dawa Steven Sherpa from the Nepalese expedition operator Asian Trekking confirms to me by email. “The Chinese authorities have decided not to issue permits for climbing in the autumn season in fear of further seismic activity telling that the mountains may be in a dangerous condition. They will issue climbing permits from 2016.” Furthermore, says Dawa Steven, the road that connects Nepal and Tibet, is still closed as it is under repair after the earthquake. “That means that equipment and logistics for the expeditions would not be possible to be transported via Nepal.”

Date

4. August 2015 | 16:34

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Climbing Everest this spring? Please don’t!

Rescue after Saturday's avalanche triggered from Pumori

Rescue after Saturday’s avalanche triggered from Pumori

Business as usual on Mount Everest very soon after the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal? The government of Nepal seems to be determined to continue the climbing season on the highest mountain on earth despite the chaotic situation all over the country. “The ladders (on the route through the Khumbu Icefall) will be repaired in the next two to three days and climbing will continue, there is no reason for anyone to quit their expeditions,” tourism department chief Tulsi Gautam told the French news agency AFP. Gyanendra Shrestha, another official of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry confirmed: “We have not called off the expeditions. A couple of teams have told us they still want to go ahead.” If the route from Base Camp to Camp 2 is restored, teams who want to can attempt the climb, he said. “Adventure is like that”, Shrestha said. “It is full of the unknown. You have to be safe on your own. The government can’t prevent disasters.”

Date

30. April 2015 | 16:34

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China reportedly (!) cancels all spring climbs on Everest

North side of Mount Everest

North side of Mount Everest

The Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports that China has stopped all expeditions on the north side of Mount Everest because of the earthquake disaster in Nepal. Still, there was no confirmation by expedition leaders. However, there were earlier reports that officials negotiated with the expedition leaders about the consequences of the earthquake for the spring season on the north side. I got the information that there will be another meeting with the authorities in Chinese Basecamp on Tuesday morning. So I’m not sure that the Xinhua report is right.

Date

27. April 2015 | 14:14

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