Everest 2009: Equipment Stranded in Tibet

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ExWeb has posted another one of their Himalayan Updates today, which will no doubt become a staple in the weeks ahead. This particular one tells of a calm before the storm in Kathmandu, as climbers prepare to head to the Himalaya next week, hailing the start of the climbing season.

There are a number of interesting nuggets in this update, not the least of which is that Manuel Pizarro and André S. Rossin-Arthiat, two climbers slated for the North Side, have now switched their plans and will climb from the South instead. The political climate in Tibet has just made the prospect of a climb there seem to unsure. The problem is, much of their gear has already been sent to the North Side, and they’ve had to request that it be brought back to Nepal, and in a hurry. The climbers are hurriedly working on getting permits and setting up their plans for a climb from the South now. They’re keeping their fingers crossed that all their gear will get back to them before the crowds start to arrive.

Meanwhile, Andrew Lock is in Kathmandu, and hopes to climb both Shisha Pangma and Everest this year. His latest updates says that the border between Nepal and Tibet remains firmly closed at the moment, and his expedition to Shisha remains in doubt. It is the only remaining 8000m peak for Andrew to summit, and he’s hoping he’ll get a crack at it. While he waits to see what happens around April 1st, when China has indicated they might reopen the border, he’ll go to the Khumbu Valley for an acclimatization trek.

ExWeb is also reporting that Billi Bierling, a writer and journalist in Nepal, will be climbing from the South Side with Himex this year. In her latest blog post she notes that Kathmandu is smogged in at the moment, with no rain in sight, making it even dryer than ever. The city is in the midst of a water shortage and it sounds like things are beginning to get desperate. Billi also shares some details on her work with Miss Hawley, the famous archiver of all things Himalaya. Quite an interesting read.

In the broader Himalaya and Karakorum, ExWeb reports that Field Touring Alpine is not only putting together climbs on Everest this year, but have an expedition planned for K2 this summer, as well as permits for Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II as well. Busy year for the FTA gang!

Finally, Alan Arnette has brought us yet another good interview on his Everest 2009 page, this time with Paul and Fiona Adler, a husband and wife team who have both summitted Everest, Fiona in 2006 and Paul in 2007. They discuss what life’s been like since their successful climbs, the use of technology while on an expedition, and a lot more. Good stuff.

Kraig Becker

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