Everest 2008: And So It Begins!

Kathmandu city sceen
Tomorrow is April 1st, often seen as the unofficial start of the Spring Season on Everest and other Himalayan peaks. Many climbers are already in Kathmandu, including our friend Alan Arnette who has already made a dispatch from Nepal. Alan says that the atmosphere in Kathmandu is relaxed all things considered and even a little quiet. Perhaps the calm before the storm?

Meanwhile, Peak Freaks have updated their website today with the phrase “Permit In Hand” saying it all. They’re a go on the South Side. However, as noted last week, the permit comes with rules. They are as follows:

1. Climbers can only go as high as Camp 2 until after May 10. The day the Chinese have set to have completed their Olympic torch relay.

2. No communications till after May 10. That means no sat phones, laptops, or PDA’s. I forgot to ask about the on mountain radios. That is a pretty mandatory piece of equipment for emergencies so I sure hope so. I suppose though if they military is there they can be the channel for an emergency. No cameras, videos or other. Everything will be locked in a container guarded by the military till after May 10.

3. Their will be policing on the mountain at base camp till after May 10.

The “no communications” rule until after May 10th is a bit disturbing. It means we may get few updates from the mountain before May 10th. Of course, that date may get pushed back even further depending on whether or not the Chinese actually summit as planned.

Obviously the situation is rather fluid at the moment, and I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more about this over the next few days. Be sure to check out The Adventurist for regular updates as well as Everest Is Ours which is back from the dead just in time for all the festivities. 😉

Kraig Becker