Spring 2018 Kick-off: The Himalayan Climbing Season Begins

Teams are already in Nepal. Some are finalizing details in Kathmandu, others are already trekking towards Base Camps. Here’s a brief review of some expeditions to kick off the season’s proceedings.

Shisha Pangma
Slovenian-German duo Ines Papert and Luka Lindic intends to climb Shisha Pangma from Southside. They will search for an opportunity to climb a new line or a variant. Luka has climbed several technical routes in Himalayas over past decade – latest being G-IV. The duo made first ascent of SE Face of Kyzyl Asker (5842m) together in 2016.

Additionally, a few strong climbers are heading towards Shisha Pangma this season. Bulgarian Boyan Petrov intends to climb Shisha Pangma followed by Everest from Tibet side. He will be accompanied by Italians Mario Vielmo and Sebastiano Valentini, and Hungarian David Klein on Shisha Pangma. The climbers arrived in Kathmandu few days back.

Cho Oyu
Spring as usual; there will be a couple of commercial teams on the mountain. Felix Berg will be leading Summit Climb expedition with four Germans and one Italian member. The team is currently awaiting visa to resume journey from Kathmandu to Tibet.

Bulgarian Atanas Skatov is also in Nepal. He aims to attempt Cho Oyu and Everest this year.

Carlos Soria missed Dhaulagiri summit by a few hundred meters last year, and is back for another attempt on the mountain. This is his eighth expedition to Dhaulagiri. The 79 year old Spaniard will be accompanied by his fellows Sito Carcavilla, Luis Miguel Soriano and doctor Carlos Martínez. Only Dhaulagiri and Shisha Pangma are missing from Soria’s 14x8000 list. The team has been acclimatizing in Khumbu region lately.

Another teams on the mountain this season include the duo Alex Gavan and Pawel Michalski, a four member Spanish team, a group of American climber and the Mexican couple Badia Bonilla and Mauricio Lopez. They are all still trekking towards the BC.

"In the old growth forests of Myagdi Khola, just got the first sight of the lower slopes of Dhaulagiri. It's not just a gigantic lump of rock and ice but rather something out of this world. Still a few days in uber wilderness till reaching the base camp at 4750m. Ayee!" - Alex Gavan

Thomas Lammle launched four summit attempts on Makalu in Spring 2017, but couldn’t reach the top. He returns to the mountain. The German mountain-guide aims to climb Lhotse after Makalu this year. He is currently in Kathmandu.

A Chinese team of three climbers, Swedish lady Carina Ahlqvist and Peruvian Richard Hidalgo will also be on the mountain this season.

Several climbers reached above 8000m on Kangchenjunga when Sherpa ran out of ropes to fix route to the summit, last year. Several of them return to the mountain. Lakpa Sherpa will lead team of NZ, US and Swiss climbers. Nepalese female climber Maya Sherpa will also be on the mountain. Sophie Lavaud, Zdravko Dejanovic, David Liano and Csaba Varga are other climbers. Reportedly, an Indian Army expedition will also be heading to Kangchenjunga this year.

Along with usual hustle and bustle on standard routes of Everest and its neighbour Lhotse, Romanian Horia Colibasanu and Slovak Peter Hamor aim to open a new route up the mountains. They duo has already been together in several expeditions. They want to connect Everest-Lhotse summits this year.

“[They] plan to ascend Mount Everest from the North-West, and then descend to the South Col [on directly to the Lhotse?]. Peter and Horia are planning to ascend the first two mountains of the “Himalayan horseshoe” by light style without supplemental oxygen or alpine carriers.” reads the brief description on Hamor’s website.

Repacking for Everest journey. - Peter Hamor
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