Everest 2009: Liaño’s Double Traverse Off For 2009

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David Liaño’s plans for making an attempt at a double traverse of Everest are finished for 2009 thanks to unsettled conditions on the north side of the mountain. This is the second year in a row that he’s had to give up on his project, after the Chinese closed the Tibetan side last year for the Olympic Torch expedition. According to this story at ExWeb, Liaño will now abandon his plans to go to the HImalaya this spring, and will shift his focus to 2010 when he hopes to make another attempt on the double traverse.

The original plan was for the Mexican climber to begin his ascent on Everest from the South Side. Once he reached the summit, he would then proceed down the North Side, rest for a week or so there before heading back up once again, and then descending via the South Col once again. Liaño is been frustrated with his inability to get a climbing permit for the North Side, as the Chinese currently have Tibet closed off to the outside world altogether and are not expected to re-open the mountain until April 1st at the earliest. Because of this, most of the Everest expeditions for this spring have shifted to the Nepali side of the mountain, which posed another problem for David, namely descending the North Face without fixed ropes or pre-established camps.

Last year, Liaño made the most of his situation by climbing Everest, then descending, resting up, and going to the summit of Lhotse. With that climb already accomplished, he no-doubt sees little to be gained by spending his time and money on Everest again this year. He’ll reportedly begin training again in October for another go at the double traverse next year.

It’s too bad that David’s attempt at this milestone has been delayed once again by things completely out of his control. He has demonstrated that he is one of the stronger climbers in the world, and I was hoping he’d get the opportunity to go after his goal. Of course with the current situation in Tibet, it’s difficult to fault him for not wanting to take the chance.

Meanwhile, I’ve begun to hear various reports from climbers that they are in the process of packing their gear, shipping supplies to Kathmandu, and in the final stages of their preparation. In less than 10 days climbers will be setting off for the HImalaya, and the season will be upon us once again.

Updated: And now Alan Arnette has updated his Everest 2009 page with the news that ALL traverse attempts on Everest this year have been cancelled. That means not only is David’s double traverse done until 2010, but Bill Burke also says that he has scrubbed his plans as well, citing the permitting issues on the North Side too. He does say that he may still make a go at it, if something changes rather quickly, but for now, he thinks it’s best to cancel as well.

Kraig Becker

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