Spring 2016 | A Slow Start to the Season, Bad Weather on Annapurna

Annapurna summit push remains on hold due to uncertain weather conditions. All teams are restricted to Base Camp due to a thunderstorm, for now. Elsewhere, the climbing season is onto a slow start. Few climbers have started trekking to Base Camps. Others are acclimatizing on nearby peaks or yet sorting out usual matters in Kathmandu. The action is expected to pace up in coming days.
Everest Base Camp; Photo: The Himalayan Times

Everest Southside and Lhotse
Everest Southside BC is ready to host Everest and Lhotse climbers. As per reports from the region, Icefall doctors have fixed the route till C1 and are expected to proceed to C2 now. Climbing conditions on the mountain are still ambiguous. Nima Gyalzen Sherpa wrote from EBC yesterday, “Since, I arrived in Everest Base camp, two avalanche occurred on Mt. Pumori and Mt. Nuptse respectively. I felt the windy blow of avalanche at EBC. Seems like the range (Mahalangur Himal) is still not that much safe as we thought.”

Lower down, in Deboche, Altitude Junkies expedition leader Phil Crampton also notices an unusual silence, “We are hearing from various reports that there will be 250 foreign climbers on Everest this season but it's hard to believe as the trails are completely deserted and we have seen very few trekkers indeed. Hopefully the number of trekkers will increase as the season progresses.”

Apparently, majority of trekkers still haven’t returned to Nepal after earthquake. Although, number of mountaineers on Everest and other peaks is expected to be more or less near ‘normal year’ figure.

SW Face Expedition
Slovak climbers Vladimír Štrba and Zoltán Pál are currently acclimatizing on Mera Peak for an attempt on Everest’s Southwest Face. They will be following the line completed by Dougal Haston and Doug Scott in 1975. The duo will go alpine style above C2 on normal route; bivouacking twice at 7800m and 8300m respectively.
Planned route of Slovak Team.

Everest Northside
Everest Northside and other Tibetan eight-thounsader climbers are facing some delays in permit issuance, as often happens. Mick Allen, who intends to climb Everest without bottled oxygen from Northside arrived in Kathmandu on April 4th. His plan for a quick flight to Lhasa changed due to delay in permit. Mick is currently acclimatizing in Manang and is scheduled to fly to Tibetan capital on 11th.

Apparently Nepal-Tibet road hasn’t been opened for the season, as well and climber will have to take the aerial route. American climber John Quillen tweeted on March 22nd, “Road to Cho Oyu is closed from Kathmandu.  Looks like we are flying to Lhasa.  More money out of climbers pockets, I predict uncrowded mountain.”

Shisha Pangma climbers Ueli Steck and David Gottler are currently acclimatizing in Chuckung (Khumbu Valley). They will stay in the region till April 12th.

Annapurna teams are receiving conflicting weather forecasts, and are unable to foresee a summit window. A thunderstorm struck the region yesterday.
Annapurna BC; Source

British Services Medical Research Expedition left Kathmandu few days ago, and are starting trek to the mountain today. They spent a rest day in Marpha, yesterday. Spaniards Juanito Oiarzabal and Alberto Zerain have meanwhile arrived in Nepalese capital. An Indian group of climbers (Giripremi Team) is also in Kathmandu. The team will split in two expeditions – Cho Oyu and Dhaulagiri. Dhaulagiri team's departure from Kathmandu is scheduled on April 8th.

Horia Colibasanu and Peter Hamor acclimatized till 5400m in Jomsom and are expected to fly to Pokhara today. A Dutch team is currently packing/organizing gear in Kathmandu and will be leaving for Manaslu soon. As per news reports, a large Japanese team will also attempt Manaslu to celebrate 60 years of first ascent achieved by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu.
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