Everest 2009: North Side Update

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It has been a relatively quiet week in Tibet by most accounts, despite the fact that Tuesday marked the 50th anniversary of the uprising against Chinese rule that resulted in the Dalai Lama going into exile. For his part, his Holiness urged his followers to maintain peaceful protests and remain non-violent in their approach to seeking freedom from China. That, coupled with a reportedly sizable military presence by the Chinese, helped to keep things calm.

That is, of course, good news for those hoping to go to Tibet this spring to climb Everest from the North Side. The borders to the country remain closed, as they have since the end of February, but as long as things continue to remain calm, there is a sense of optimism that the travel ban will be lifted on April 1st as scheduled.

This is good news for at least five teams that are still hoping to climb from the Tibetan side. Alan Arnette once again updated his Everest 2009 page yesterday with the news that two teams from Canada, an Indian team, and a large contingent from the Czech Republic are still planning on giving it a go from what is shaping up to be the quiet side of the mountain. Logistics seem to be of concern though, as without Himex fixing the lines, and such a small number of teams, it’ll definitely take a group effort.

Alan also has another good interview in place, this time with Phil Crampton from the Altitude Junkies. Phil talks about his motivations to start his own guiding company, after years of experience in the mountains, his work with the climbing school in Lhasa, his philosophy on running his base camp and a lot more. It’s a good read and offers some nice insight on the mountain as well.

Not long now Everest Junkies! Things will really pick up in the next few weeks. Hopefully the North Side will be open as planned, and things can start to get back to some semblance of normalcy on Everest. What ever “normalcy” is defined as at 17,000 feet.

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