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.”
Date30. April 2015 | 16:34
First of all: Compared to the suffering in Nepal after the earthquake of last Saturday – now more than 5,000 deaths and 10,000 injuries have been counted – it seems almost insignificant what is happening on the Tibetan north side of Mount Everest. But I also give reports on the consequences of the terrible tragedy in Nepal for the climbers in the region – and there are still several hundred mountaineers in Tibet, including many Sherpas from Nepal. All will go home now. Whether they like it or not, they have to. “It’s official: Everest is closed for this season”, expedition leader Dominik Mueller, head of the German operator Amical alpin, writes from “Chinese Base Camp” on the north side of Mount Everest. Yesterday Mueller had abandoned his expedition, one day before the decisive meeting of the expedition leaders with representatives of the China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) in Base Camp at 5,150 meters.
Date29. April 2015 | 16:33
TagsAlois Fuchs, China, Dominik Mueller, Earthquake, Hospital, Matthias Baumann, Mount Everest, Nepal, Russell Brice, Tibet
Breaking news: Season on Everest north side is over
“It’s official: Tibetan north side of Everest is closed for this spring season”, reports expedition leader Dominik Mueller, head of the German operator Amical alpin, from Chinese Basecamp. There was a last decisive meeting between the expedition leaders and Chinese officials this morning. Other climbers confirm the end of the season. More details later.
Date29. April 2015 | 13:33
He cannot just carry on as if nothing had happened, says Dominik Mueller. The head of the German expedition operator Amical alpin today abandoned his expedition on the Tibetan north side of Mount Everest – after consultation with his clients, who according to Dominik also did not want to continue. “When I look in the faces of our cook, the kitchen boys and all the other Sherpas here, I cannot climb on in good conscience”, Dominik tells me by phone from the “Chinese Base Camp” at 5,150 meters, where according to his estimate are still 250 to 300 climbers and staff. The team’s cook has lost his house in Kathmandu, many others have not even been able to contact their families. “We can not sit here on a beautiful island and make for love, peace and harmony while there are thousands of deaths around us.”
Date28. April 2015 | 18:58
TagsAmical Alpin, CTMA, Dominik Mueller, Earthquake, Mount Everest, Nepal, Ralf Dujmovits, Sherpa, Tibet
All climbers from the high camps on Mount Everest are safe. In the morning the last 17 climbers, who had been stranded at Camp 1 at 6,100 meters, nine Sherpas and eight foreigners, were flown down to the valley by helicopter. An official of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry said, more than 200 climbers had been rescued on Everest. It was the most extensive rescue operation in the history of high altitude mountaineering. According to department reports, at least 19 climbers, including five foreign nationals, have been confirmed dead in two avalanches. It seems that this figure also includes three Sherpas who reportedly died in the Khumbu Icefall during an aftershock on Sunday.
Date28. April 2015 | 10:21
TagsAmical, Avalanche, Earthquake, Helicopter, Messner, Mount Everest, Nepal, North side, Rescue, Tibet
Many question marks after the earthquake
Day three after the devastating earthquake in Nepal: The death toll in the country has risen to almost 4,000, and it is continuously increasing. An end of the bad news is not in sight. Still information focusses on the most heavily hit capital Kathmandu and the region around Mount Everest. From the other regions of the country, messages are barely trickling in. German trekkers report that debris flows also occured on the Annapurna Circuit on Saturday. Many trekkers are reportedly waiting on their way around the eight-thousander Manaslu for being evacuated by helicopter. The base camp at the foot of Annapurna was hit by an avalanche on Saturday. “It just about buried us in our tents, we had to use our knives to cut our way out. After that, myself and two sherpas had to do a rescue of a teammate”, Canadian mountaineer Al Hancock said.
At Mount Everest, the rescue of the climbers, who were stranded at Camp 1 above 6,000 meters, is standing just before the end. Only 15 mountaineers are still waiting to be flown to the valley by helicopter. All Monday long, there was an airlift to Camp 1, where initially about 150 climbers had been cut off from descent. Continously the helicopters started and landed. The “Icefall Doctors” have stopped their work on the route through the Khumbu Icefall for fear of aftershocks. Reportedly, three Sherpas died in the ice labyrinth during an aftershock on Sunday. It is still not clear how many climbers were killed in Everest Basecamp by the huge avalanche from Pumori, that was triggered by the earthquake on Saturday. Figures currently vary from 16 to 19. German climber Jost Kobusch survived. The 22-year-old took this video of the avalanche:
Stop on the Tibetan north side of Everest?
The situation on the Tibetan north side of Mount Everest is unclear too. The official news agency Xinhua reports that China has cancelled all expeditions this spring. Xinhua relies on a high-ranking official who said that more aftershocks were expected next month. Today, Chinese officials discussed with the expedition leaders in “Chinese Base Camp”. According to my information, there will be another meeting on Tuesday morning. The German couple Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger has abandoned their Everest expedition on the north side on their own accord. “We cannot turn a blind eye to the suffering thas happened (in Nepal)”, Alix and Luis write on their homepage. “Moreover, we do not want to be the reason why Nepalese helpers, cooks and Climbing Sherpas have to stay here and cannot go home to their families to see if everything is alright.”
Date27. April 2015 | 18:36
TagsAl Hancock, Alix von Melle, Annapurna, Avalanche, China, Earthquake, Jost Kobusch, Luis Stitzinger, Manaslu, Mount Everest, Nepal
China reportedly (!) cancels all spring climbs on 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.
Date27. April 2015 | 14:14
Actually, they wanted to climb Mount Everest without bottled oxygen this spring. Actually, they were on the Tibetan north side of Everest where no one was injured by the earthquake. Nevertheless, the German couple Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger finished their Everest expedition, before they could make any attempt on the mountain. “Although there is no damage to people or property on the north side, we cannot turn a blind eye to the suffering thas has happened”, Alix and Luis write on their homepage. “Moreover, we do not want to be the reason why Nepalese helpers, cooks and Climbing Sherpas have to stay here and cannot go home to their families to see if everything is alright. Under the circumstances, we think it’s wrong to continue our expedition. Even a possible summit success would feel vapid and invalid. We couldn’t find any joy in it.”
Date27. April 2015 | 12:01
Video of the avalanche that hit Everest Base Camp
Date27. April 2015 | 8:50
The quite inconceivable really happened. A huge avalanche from Pumori, triggered by yesterday’s earthquake in Nepal, hit the Base Camp at the foot of Mount Everest at full force. The seven-thousander is located just opposite the highest mountain in the world. But hardly anyone had expected that an avalanche from Pumori would reach the edge of the Khumbu Icefall. “I ran and it just flattened me. I tried to get up and it flattened me again. I couldn’t breathe, I thought I was dead,” said George Foulsham, a mountaineer who lives in Singapore. The 38-year-old marine biologist was lucky and survived. It is not yet totally clear how many climbers lost their lives in Base Camp.
Date26. April 2015 | 19:35
TagsAirport, Annapurna, Avalanche, Earthquake, George Foulsham, Helicopter, Manaslu, Mount Everest, Pheriche, Pumori, Ralf Dujmovits, Rescue, Walther Luecker
My heart is heavy. My thoughts are with the people in Nepal – and also with the climbers on Mount Everest. After the devastating earthquake on Saturday, the death toll is rising continuously. Meanwhile, it’s more than 2,000 across the country. And also from the base camp on the Nepalese side of Everest more and more victims are reported. As reported before, yesterday’s earthquake had triggered a huge avalanche from the seven-thousander Pumori vis-a-vis Everest that had hit the Base Camp at 5,300 meters. Today, the area was shaken by strong aftershocks of magnitude 6.7 on the Richter scale.
Date26. April 2015 | 10:49
TagsAftershock, Ang Tshering Sherpa, Avalanche, Chamonix, Earthquake, Nachbeben, Nepal, Ralf Dujmovits, Rescue
The number of victims of the devastating earthquake in Nepal is increasing every hour – now over 1100. In the capital Kathmandu, but also in the nearby towns of Patan and Bhaktapur, many houses and buildings collapsed, including centuries-old temples. The tremors reached a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, the center of the quake was 80 kilometers north-west of Kathmandu. At least ten climbers were killed at the foot of Mount Everest after the quake had triggered a massive avalanche on Pumori. The seven-thousander is located vis-a-vis the highest mountain in the world. The situation is dramatic.
Date25. April 2015 | 18:23
Breaking news: Strong earthquake in Nepal, avalanche hits Everest BC
Terrible news from Nepal: A severe earthquake of magnitude 7.9 has killed several hundred people. At Mount Everest, the shocks triggered a huge avalanche. The snow masses reportedly released from the seven-thousander Pumori and met the Everest Base Camp. According to the Nepalesse government at least eight climbers were killed. The number could rise, said a representative of the Ministry of Tourism. On the Tibetan north side of Everest apparently nothing happened. “The quake was clearly felt in Everest BC, it occurred smaller landslides and debris flows. Nobody was hurt. We are doing well”, wrote German climber Luis Stitzinger.
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Date25. April 2015 | 13:06
Dead and gone. Why only are single deaths of Sherpa climbers in the Himalayas swept under the carpet so quickly? Almost as if it was just a work accident. According to the motto: It’s sad, but unfortunately it sometimes happens. The most recent example was the accident on the eight-thousander Annapurna four weeks ago. In the days that followed, many obits of the 36-year-old Finn Samuli Mansikka were published. For sure, he had deserved each of them. Samuli was not only an excellent climber – Annapurna was his tenth eight-thousander, eight of which he climbed without bottled oxygen – but, according to all reports of his mates, a cool guy, always up for fun or ready for party. However, we learned next to nothing about the other climber who died. It was 35-year-old Pemba Sherpa, was said in a few reports. Allegedly he was born near the eight-thousander Makalu and was called “Technical Pemba” due to his technical climbing skills. About what Pemba had previously done as a mountaineer, the information diverged widely. I was not content with this confusion.
Date23. April 2015 | 9:56
TagsAnnapurna, Billi Bierling, Cleo Weidlich, Himalayan Database, Oh Eun Sun, Pema Tshering Sherpa, Pemba Sherpa, Samuli Mansikka
The man took me to the North Pole six years ago. Thus I owe Thomas Ulrich a lot. At the time of our last degree expedition, the 47-year-old adventurer from Switzerland proved to be a prudent and motivating expedition leader. Also this year, Thomy led a group on skis, pulling sledges, the last almost 120 kilometers from the 89th degree of latitude to the North Pole. A week ago they reached 90 degrees north. In contrast to 2009, Ulrich did not fly with the other expedition members by helicopter back to the Russian ice station “Barneo”. Thomy wanted to ski towards Canada, solo and unsupported. His destination: Ward Hunt Island, 800 miles from the North Pole. Ulrich thought that it would take him 30 to 40 days to reach the island. Previously only his Norwegian friend and former expedition partner Borge Ousland had soloed the distance. But after a few days Ulrich turned around again.
Date21. April 2015 | 22:18