A month from now the already bustling streets of Kathmandu will become even more hectic, as teams of climbers from around the world descend on the city in preparation for their various climbs throughout the Himalaya. Most will be headed to Everest, where they’ll be spending several weeks acclimatizing and eventually, if all goes according to plan, making an attempt on the summit.
As is typical for this time of year, Explorers Web has released their definitive list of Everest Expeditions for the Spring of 2009, as well as other peaks in the region that will be seeing some traffic as well. All told, there are more than 40 expeditions on the South Side of the mountain alone, while on the North, 8 optimistic teams hold out hope for access to the mountain from that side. Those plans all hinge on what happens in Tibet this month.
Some of the more interesting stories include David Liaño’s attempt at a South-North-South double traverse, as well as American Bill Burke’s attempt at a South to North traverse at the age of 67. Of course we also have the Sherpas attempting to stay on the summit for 24 hours straight, as well as a variety of attempts sans supplemental oxygen, and the news that I reported earlier today that Ed Viesturs will be returning for another go, climbing with Dave Hahn and Peter Whittaker.
Everest is never short on stories or drama. The mountain just attracts attention of course, but it isn’t the only game in town when it comes to spring climbing in the Himalaya. The expedition list also has the scoop on the teams headed to Kangchenjunga, Annapurna, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Lhotse, Shisha Pangma, and Cho Oyu. I also personally have a friend headed to Island Peak for a climb of his own, which I’m looking forward to following as well.
Only a few more weeks before things get really interesting. Looks to be another wild year in the Himalaya.
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