With the lockdown now squarely in place, we can expect little word from Everest BC for the next few week, although there are some teams considering ways to circumvent the system.
No matter. There is plenty of action elsewhere in the Himalaya to keep us busy while we wait for the Big Hill to open up once again. For instance, Brian Oestrike continues his trek up the Khumbu Valley, and has already reached Namche Bazaare according to his second dispatch. Brian’s on his way to Lhotse however, which means that once he reaches BC he’ll fall under the communications blackout as well. He hopes to make one more dispatch before then, but will likely be in Base Camp by Friday.
Brian is not the only climber in Namche however, as the latest update from Ueli Steck posted to the Hardwear Sessions Blog indicates that he and his climbing partner Simon Anthamatten have also returned to the village following an unsuccessful attempt on Tengkamopche. Ueli claims the pair are exhausted after expending a lot of energy on the 6500m peak after they were turned back due to bad weather. The pair were using the mountain as an acclimatization climb before heading over to Annapurna in a few weeks time.
Other teams are now in place on Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Lhotse. Most are either busy establishing their base camps or working on acclimatization efforts. All of these are 8000m peaks and each has their own unique challenges that will keep them busy and I’m sure provide plenty of stories in the days ahead. We might even forget about Everest until communications are restored.
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