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with Stefan Nestler

No decision yet on “new” 8000ers

Two Broad Peak 8000ers?

Nepal has to be patient for about one more year. At its general assembly in Pontresina in Switzerland the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) has not yet decided whether it will recognize additional 8000-meter-peaks or not. According to the Nepal Mountaineering Association a UIAA commission had named six side peaks that could be accepted as prominent peaks with a unique identification: Kanchenjunga West-Peak (alias Yalung Kang, 8505 m), Central-Peak (8473 m) and South-Peak (8476 m), Lhotse Central-Peak (8410 m) and Shar (8382 m), Broad Peak Central (8011 m). “Both Nepal and China Mountaineering Association delegates welcome and fully support the UIAA initiation”, Nepalese Ang Tshering Sherpa, Honorary member of UIAA, wrote to me after his return from Switzerland. “Also Pakistan Alpine Club and Indian Mountaineering Foundation delegates were very positive but need more time to get approval from their association’s annual general meeting which will be held end of Dec 2013 or January 2014.”

Nepal hopes for a larger number of expeditions

Ang Tshering says that the question of new 8000ers will be discussed again at the meeting of the UIAA Management Committee in May 2014 in Istanbul in Turkey and afterwards at the next general assembly in Flagstaff in the USA. In Pontresina Ang Tshering had campaigned for the recognition of the additional 8000ers. “It is our duty to make mountaineering exiting for the next generation and make them feel that they are able to also achieve new successes”, the 59-year-old Nepalese said to the delegates. “Recognizing new peaks will also mean that a larger number of expeditions will be going to our mountains for climbing.”

Brawl on Everest a “single incident”

Ang Tshering Sherpa

In another speech at the UIAA general assembly Ang Tshering reviewed current discussions about Mount Everest. The Sherpa attack against Ueli Steck, Simone Moro and Jonathan Griffith at the end of April was a very unfortunate incident, he said: “We hope that this single incident will not ruin and tarnish the image of the country and century long reputation of all Sherpa’s hard work, dedication, deliberation, honesty, courage and sacrifices for the sake of putting so many climbers on the top of Mt. Everest and other Himalayan peaks.”

Ladder at Hillary Step only one of many suggestions

Ang Tshering also referred to improvements in spring 2013 to manage the great number of climbers, e.g. by fixing double ropes at bottle necks. These measures had “led to a safer and more secure climbing season with no reports of traffic jams”, he said. Ang Tshering denied that Nepal had made any decision to fix a ladder at the Hillary Step. The delegates of his country  were “very upset”, that during the conference in Pontresina there had been rumors and criticsm concerning this point without giving the Nepalese the opportunity to express their view on it. In his words the ladder was only one of many suggestions and ideas the Nepalese authorities had received: “It is our intention to protect our mountains and that does mean that we have listen to new ideas, deliberate on their consequence and make informed and democratic decisions.”


12. October 2013 | 18:52