Autumn 2015 | Action Begins - Annapurna South Face, Makalu Ski, Everest Reopens

China has rejected all requests for fall climbing in Tibet this year. The Chinese authorities say that they fear dangerous conditions on mountains due to April earthquake, and also want to complete rehabilitation work before allowing mountaineers to return. However, this explanation seems superficial and there appears to be a political motive for rejecting climbing permits. It’s said that Chinese President Xi Jinping will be visiting Tibet in September. Visas to foreigners and mountaineering permits have historically been rejected on such occasions.

Cancellation of expeditions to Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma is resulting in more teams on Manaslu in Nepal. Similarly, a Japanese climber who intended to climb Everest from North has switched to South side, now.

Annapurna South Face
A French expedition is on the way to Annapurna to attempt a new route/variant on Annapurna’s South Face in alpine style. Groupe Militaire de Haute Montagne (GMHM) team has previously climbed Kamet (7756m) Southwest Face in 2012 (nominated for Piolets d’Or) and Shisha Pangma South Face in 2014.

After acclimatization, the team will split in two groups. The main team of four climbers will attempt a new route along Japanese Spur in alpine style to Annapurna’s main summit, whereas second group of three young climbers will try to reach South summit.
Annapurna South Face Topo.

Ski Makalu
After denial of Cho Oyu permit, Alpenglow Expeditions switched to Makalu, instead of more common option Manaslu, to avoid overcrowding. Ballinger and four members (Emily Harrington, Hilaree O'neill, Kit Deslauriers and Jim Morrison) have already reached Base Camp. The team will be attempting a ski-descent of Makalu.
Makalu Base Camp. Source

Everest ‘Reopens’
Japanese climbers Nobukazu Kuriki returns to Everest after his 2012 attempt, when he had to be rescued from West Ridge. Strangely, Nepalese officials are hailing it as “reopening of mountain”. During spring season, after earthquake, the same officials continually insisted that Everest is open. It’s reported that Icefall doctors have been instructed to fix the route through Khumbu Icefall.

Finally, it’s expected to be a busy season on Manaslu, as many teams from Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma would be opting for this popular mountain.
Everest Permit Issuance Ceremony; Source
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