More DW Blogs DW.COM

Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

The gradual end of the Everest season in Nepal

Everest basecamp

Everest basecamp

The base camp on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest is getting empty. Government officials denied that the climbing season on the highest mountain in the world was officially ended. “The ones who want to leave will leave and those who want to continue climbing would not be stopped or threatened,” said Tourism Minister Bhim Acharya after a crisis meeting at the basecamp, where he had tried to convince the teams to continue the expeditions. The Sherpas had assured him that there would be no trouble, he said.

Threats of a small group of Sherpas

Previously, there had been reports of threats of some Sherpas. “The ambience at basecamp is becoming increasingly tense. There is a small group of renegade Sherpa from peripheral teams who are threatening violence towards anyone who chooses to stay and climb”, wrote Monica Piris, expedition doctor in the team of Alpenglow, that had declared its expedition ended before the arrival of the government delegation. Similar comments were made by the German reporter Juliane Moeckinghoff in her Everest diary. She is accompanying the blind Austrian climber Andy Holzer.

Other teams cancel their expeditions 

International Mountain Guides (IMG), Adventure Consultants, RMI Expeditions, Jagged Globe and Peak Freaks also abandoned their Everest expeditions. All show their compassion with the Sherpas on the death of 16 Nepalis in the avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall last Friday. At the same time they point to the organizational difficulties that have arisen because many Sherpas have already left the basecamp or refuse to return to the mountain.

Too few Sherpas left

“The Icefall route is currently unsafe for climbing without repairs by the Icefall doctors, who will not be able to resume their work this season”, Eric Simonson wrote about the reason to end the IMG expedition. “We have explored every option and can find no way to safely continue the expedition.” David Hamilton and Tom Briggs of Jagged Globe argued the same way: “We are cancelling the expedition as there is no prospect of replacing our Sherpas and because there aren’t now sufficient Sherpas in basecamp to fix ropes on the mountain and make it safe to climb.” According to the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism the climbing permits of the teams to leave, remain valid for five years.

Update April 25: Obviously, Himalayan Experience and Altitude Junkies have meanwhile cancelled their Everest expeditions too. Asian Trekking is also going home. “We have also decided to leave base camp”, writes Dawa Steven Sherpa to me. “ We are amongst the last left in base camp.”


24. April 2014 | 17:49