It was a busy weekend in Kathmandu, as the major teams are now arriving on the scene. Alan Arnette is reporting that the IMG Team has landed, while Billi Bierling reports that Himex is in Nepal as well. Billi will be climbing with Himex on the South Side of Everest this spring, and quite naturally, she was happy to see her team. Billi says that there are 28 clients on the climbing permit, along with 7 guides, 30 Sherpas, 10 base camp staff, a doctor, and two cooks. They’re not staying long in the capital however, as they’re leaving tomorrow for Lukla, where they’ll begin the ten day trek to BC. Billi, being a native to Nepal, will follow them on the 8th of April.
In other news, Alan also reports on his Everest 2009 page that a Kazakh team has set off for Nepal with the intention of completing a Lhotse-Everest traverse. The plan will be to climb Lhotse, then proceed down the connecting ridge between it and Everest, cross over to the South Col route, summit the Big Hill, then go back down from there. It’s never been done before, and who is leading the team? Well, none other than Maxut Zhumayev, and Vassily Pivtsov, two names well known in the HImalaya for their bold, and fast climbing. They’ll be joined by Serguey Samoilv and Eugeny Shutov, two very strong and accomplished climbers in their own right.
Also, word has begun to leak out that China is preparing to re-open the borders of Tibet, allowing foreigners in once again. I’ve heard the date ranging from anywhere from the 1st of April to the 5th (Alan reports the 4th), but no matter what the date, it’s good news for the teams that have been hoping to go to the North Side. It’s still going to be pretty quiet up there, but it’s good to see their patience possibly rewarded. It seems that March was quiet, as far as we can tell, in Tibet, which is helping to speed up the lifting of the travel bans.
More soon from the HImalaya I’m sure.
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