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Avalanche on K 2

K 2 Base Camp

With this monarch is not to be joked. K 2, the “king of the eight-thousanders”, is moody and therefore dangerous. “This morning at 8:12 am, we saw (a) big avalanche coming from (the) Abruzzi route,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the Nepalese expedition operator Dreamers Destination, writes on Facebook. The Abruzzi route, following the path of the Italian first ascenders in 1954, leads via the Southeast Ridge of the mountain (look at the picture below, route F). “We feel all (that) Camp 3 (at about 7,300 m) is swept away again. I am sure we have all our deposit near Camp 4 because our Sherpa team made it on (a) ice cliff, but it is likely sure that all the fixed ropes are washed away.” Tomorrow his Sherpa team will go up again to assess the situation.

Date

14. July 2017 | 14:41

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With garbage bag on Everest

Collecting garbage on Everest

Such big garbage bags have guaranteed not yet been brought down from Mount Everest. The Expedition Operator’s Association Nepal (EOA) has delivered canvas bags, capable of holding 80 kilograms, to Everest Base Camp. They are to be used in particular for transporting old tents and garbage, which have accumulated in Camp 2 at 6,400 meters due to the premature end of the climbing seasons in 2014 and 2015, down to the valley. 80-kg bags are, of course, too heavy to be shouldered by porters and carried through the Khumbu Icefall to Everest Base Camp.

Date

29. March 2017 | 16:02

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Everest season “as normal as it could have been”

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

Before the season, actually all agreed: Commercial climbing on Everest would hardly cope with another year with accidents and without summit successes. It turned out differently. More than 400 ascents via the Nepalese south side of Everest, more than 100 on the north side, five deaths in the summit area. Everything back to normal? Any problems to point out? I’ve asked some expedition operators, who were on Everest this spring. The first three have already replied: Phil Crampton, Adrian Ballinger and Russell Brice. There are some coincidences. But read for yourself!

Date

10. June 2016 | 13:56

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“The Everest record means nothing to me”

Phurba Tashi in front of his lodge

Phurba Tashi in front of his lodge

Phurba Tashi is a man of few words. The 45-year-old replies friendly but shortly. “This year, I will definitely not climb Mount Everest”, Phurba tells me when we sit down for a few minutes on a bench in front of his “Tashi Friendship Lodge” in the village of Khumjung. Actually, he has no time to talk to me because his family has gathered for a religious ceremony to commemorate Phurba’s parents who both died in the past six months. Some Buddhist monks have come to his Lodge. “The death of my parents is also the reason why I renounce the ascent this time,” says Phurba.

Date

18. March 2016 | 15:00

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Brice: “Easy to make statements and then do nothing”

Russell Brice

Russell Brice

He is the doyen of the western expedition operators. The New Zealander Russell Brice has been leading expeditions to the Himalayas since 1974. Hardly any of his colleagues has so much experience as the 63-year-old head of Himalayan Experience, not only in organizing trips to the eight-thousanders but also in dealing with the authorities. It is something that has almost been forgotten, that Russell at an earlier age was an excellent high altitude climber – and an Everest pioneer: Along with the Briton Harry Taylor he first climbed the Three Pinnacles on the Northeast Ridge in 1988.
I wanted to know what Brice thinks about the current situation in Nepal:

Russ, for this spring Himalayan Experience is offering expeditions in Nepal to Mount Everest and Lhotse. How great is the demand?

Very small numbers compared to past years.

Do you notice an impact of the events in 2014 (avalanche in Khumbu Icefall) and 2015 (earthquake and avalanche that hit Everest BC) on your client’s attitude?

Date

18. January 2016 | 12:43

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15 climbers on top of Manaslu

Manaslu (l.) and Pinnacle East (r.)

Manaslu (l.) and Pinnacle East (r.)

This year’s first summit successes on Manaslu are reported: Chhang Dawa Sherpa, head of the Nepalese operator Seven Summit Treks, said that nine foreign mountaineers and six Climbing Sherpas summited the eighth highest mountain on earth this morning. More teams are on the way up and plan to reach the highest point at 8,156 meters on Thursday or Friday. Dan Mazur from Summit Climb tweeted from Camp 4 at 7,450 meters announcing to climb towards the summit tonight. Rainer Pircher from Amical alpin is in Camp 4 too. Dominik Mueller, head of Amical, and his clients are spending the night at Camp 3 at 6,800 meters and want to climb up to Camp 4 on Thursday.

Date

30. September 2015 | 18:37

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Nepal hopes for comeback in fall

Manaslu, "Mountain of the Spirit"

Manaslu, “Mountain of the Spirit”

“Come back! So that Nepal can make a comeback.” So you could overwrite the appeals of those who are living from tourism in Nepal or have to do with it. The trekking and expedition operators from abroad send a signal that they want to realize most of their trips that they had planned for the post-monsoon season before the earthquake hit the country on 25 April. “The devastating earthquake has shaken the life in Nepal, but slowly life is returning to normality”, Dominik Mueller, head of German operator Amical alpin, wrote.

Date

3. June 2015 | 19:25

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Brice: “Detrimental to Nepalese tourism”

Russell Brice

Russell Brice

The decision of the Nepalese Government to extend last year’s Everest permits until 2019 came late, very late. “The Everest season starts in a few days, my staff are already on their way to Base Camp, so our planning has been going on for months”, Russell Brice, head of the New Zealand expedition operator Himalayan Experience, writes to me. “Food, oxygen and equipment are already in the Khumbu and members will be arriving in Kathmandu as from Monday next week.” He has some members that were at Everest last year coming back this year, says Russ. There is no sign of euphoria in his words about the decision to prolong the permits.

Date

21. March 2015 | 17:10

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Russell Brice points the finger

Russell Brice

Russell Brice

He kept silent for weeks, but now he has found very clear words. “This is my 20th year of operations for Himalayan Experience but never before have I experienced such a variety of emotions as I did this year” writes Russell Brice at the beginning of a five-part series of reports about what happened on and around Mount Everest this spring. At this point I can only sum up the content but you should really take time to read Russell’s first hand reports in its full length. The owner and expedition operator from New Zealand was at Everest Base Camp when the devastating avalanche went down over the Khumbu Icefall and killed 16 Nepalese climbers on 18 April. “It appears that there was already a traffic jam in this area at the time of the avalanche, so it is not surprising that there were so many killed and injured.”

Date

4. June 2014 | 15:38

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Brice: „Of course I will return this year“

Russell Brice

In spring 2012 Russell Brice put the brakes on. The probably most experienced operator of commercial expeditions to Mount Everest cancelled his expedition, because he considered the conditions in the Khumbu icefall and on the Lhotse face as too hazardous. „The danger is certainly past my parameters“, Brice said. Russell has been leading expeditions to the Himalayas since 1974. For this spring his agency Himalayan Experience offers Everest South Side again. I asked the 60 years old New Zealander per email: 

Date

1. February 2013 | 16:30

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