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Dominik Mueller: “There will be more climbers on Everest”

North side of Everest in the last daylight

It could be a record season on Mount Everest. After the successful 2016 season, experts are expecting a run on the highest mountain on earth – especially since many climbers want to use their extended permits from 2014 (valid until 2019) and from 2015 (which will run out this year). In 2014, the season in Nepal had been finished prematurely after an avalanche accident in the Khumbu Icefall with 16 deaths. In 2015, there had been no ascents on both sides of the mountain due to the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

Dominik Mueller, head of the German expedition operator Amical alpin, will set off to Everest with a “small but strong team” on 8 April. Three clients, four Climbing Sherpas and he himself will try to reach the 8,850-meter-high summit via the normal route on the Tibetan north side. “I will use bottled oxygen because I believe that I can only support other people as best as possible when using a breathing mask,” says the 46-year-old. “Anyone who climbs Everest without supplemental oxygen is so preoccupied with himself that he probably has no resources left to look after others.” I talked to him about the upcoming season.

Dominik, with what expectations do you set off to the Himalayas?

Date

18. March 2017 | 15:44

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China fuels the price spiral – and invests

Tibetan North side of Mount Everest

Tibetan North side of Mount Everest

Climbing on an eight-thousander in Tibet is getting more expensive, not only on Mount Everest. According to documents available to me, the Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) has significantly increased the prices for the climbing permits on Everest, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma, on average by more than 30 percent. Since the beginning of the year, the CMA claims 9,950 US dollars per mountaineer for the climb of the highest mountain on earth in case of four or more team members. So far the Everest Permit cost about 7,000 dollars per head. 7,400 dollars are now due for Cho Oyu, 7,150 dollar for climbing Shishapangma from the north side and 7,650 dollars for an ascent from the south side of the mountain. For smaller teams of up to three, the permit costs are even in a five-digit range: 19,500 dollars per person on Everest, 12,600 dollars each on Cho Oyu and Shishapangma.

Date

13. January 2017 | 14:51

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Everest season “very smoothly”

North side of Everest in the last daylight

North side of Everest in the last daylight

“It was a good season,” Nishma Khadgi writes to me. She is responsible for marketing at Asian Trekking, the leading expedition operator in Nepal. “Things are largely normalized and morale of climbers and sherpas are positive which make us optimistic for the future seasons.” According to the Nepalese Tourism Ministry, this spring 456 climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest from the south side of the mountain, 199 were climbers from abroad. The official figures from the north side are still not available.

Nepalese Mingma Gyalje Sherpa and Swiss Kari Kobler are two other expedition leaders who have responded to my request to tell me their personal record of this spring’s Everest season. Mingma was on the south side, Kari on the north side. Both are now staying in Pakistan, where they lead expeditions to K 2, the second highest mountain on Earth. And they have another thing in common: Both expedition leaders scaled themselves Mount Everest in May.

Date

21. June 2016 | 11:59

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