Spring 2017 | Teams Reaching Base Camps, Political Drama Continues

Political decisions continue to affect the climbing activities this spring. After cancellation of Lhotse South Face expedition and news about limited Chinese permits for post monsoon season, here comes visa restrictions by China. It’s reported that China is denying visas to those climbers who have visited and stayed in Pakistan for over a month in past three years. This means a significant number of climbers are unable to go to Shisha Pangma, Cho Oyu and Everest Northside.

Cho Oyu North Face team is amongst those who are at the receiving end of Chinese visa policy. Two members of team, Adam Bielecki and Felix Berg, had visited Pakistan in recent years (to attempt Nanga Parbat in winter and Muztagh Tower in summer 2016, respectively). The team has, thus, been forced to forego the Cho Oyu new route plan and opt for a less climbed route on Annapurna.

Louis Rousseau, Rick Allen, Adam Bielecki and Felix Berg, left Kathmandu this morning. They will acclimatize on Tilicho Peak and attempt Annapurna NW Face in light style.

Already at Annapurna Base Camp are around half a dozen climbers - including Alberto Zerain and Jonatan García and Italian couple Nives Meroi and Romano Benet. They are on normal route.
Annapurna North Face; Source

Shisha Pangma
David Göttler and Hervé Barmasse have spent around a week in Khumbu valley for acclimatization. They spent a couple of nights at around 6000m on Island Peak. They will be heading to Tibet in a few days.

Kangchenjunga teams have started reaching Base Camp. Kangchenjunga Skyline (traverse) team - Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger - are already at BC. Matthew Du Puy and his fellow international climbers made to BC couple of days ago. International seven summits team and a group of Korean and Japanese climbers are expected to reach BC any time soon.

“80mph wind gusts have us scrambling to secure camp amidst a constant thunder of avalanche.” Matt Du Puy tweeted yesterday. Later he wrote in another message, “Definitely riding the jet stream now. Lost a few tents & Italian puja. Packing gear to ride out the night. My tent is solid.”

Multiple teams including those of Carlos Soria and Santiago Quintero have reached Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Peter Hamor, Parvaneh Kazemi and Adele Pennington should also be at BC by now. Climbing action is expected to begin soon. Around 50 climbers will attempt Dhaulagiri this season.
Dhaulagiri; Source

The Polish team established C2 (at 6700m) on April 12th, climbed to 7000m next day and returned to BC. Ongoing strong winds in Himalayas have restricted Makalu teams in tents at the moment.
Meanwhile, other teams are still on the way to mountain. Thomas Lammle is trekking to Base Camp. Altitude Junkies team is currently acclimatizing around Namche Bazar. They will ride a helicopter to BC soon.

Everest/Lhotse season is progressing well, as hundreds of climbers fill in Everest South and North BCs. Rope-fixing continues on both sides, although clients are yet to reach higher camps. Climbers are reporting strong wind from BC.

Of other climbers, Ueli Steck has arrived at (South) BC. Nobukazu Kuriki will reach Chinese BC tomorrow, while Kilian Jornet is still training in his home town.
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