The word from Kathmandu is that the streets are teeming with visitors as climbers, trekkers, and other tourist pour into the area with the start of the spring season. Journalist Billi Bierling reports that the city has come alive in the past week. She is busy tracking down many of the expeditions who are currently in town so she can report back to Miss Hawley on their intentions. Of course, she’s also busily preparing for her own expedition to the mountain, as she’ll be tackling the South Side of Everest as part of the HiMex team.
Meanwhile, ExWeb has more news from the Himalaya for us today. They are reporting that Joao Garcia has arrived in base camp on Manaslu and is now settling in on the mountain. His team is the first to get there so far, and Joao reports that a major snow storm is hitting the area at the moment.
Valeri Babanov and Victor Afanasief are en route to Annapurna, but have run into a snag of their own. It seems that about 20 of their 30 porters abandoned ship and returned to Kathmandu, refusing to carry their gear higher than 3600m. The weather has not been great on Annapurna either, with snow and rain falling in the region, at the team believes that the porters didn’t expect to work so hard for their pay. With few porters in the area, it seems that Valeri and Victor will have to hire some porters from a Korean team that is also on its way to the mountain. It could be another three days or so before they arrive however.
Finally, Edurne Pasaban is making her way to Kangchenjunga, where she’ll make an attempt on one of the three remaining 8000m mountains she has yet to climb. She’s locked in a competition between herself, Nives Meroi, and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner to become the first woman to accomplish that feat. Nives is currently headed for Annapurna while Gerlinde has her sights set on Lhotse this spring. Yesterday ExWeb published a solid interview with Edurne on her expectations Kangchenjunga and going after the goal of grabbing all 14 of the big mountains.
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