Himalaya Spring 2009 Update: Teams in Kathmandu, Some Still Heading North

Sunrise, Manaslu
It is now safe to say that the 2009 Spring Himalaya season is in full swing, as many climbers are now arriving in Kathmandu and making the final preparations for their impending expeditions into the Himalaya.

Alan Arnette added some information to his Everest 2009 page today, with updates straight from the teams themselves, who are already in Nepal. As of this writing, the border to Tibet is still closed, although rumors continue to circulate that it’ll reopen on or around April 1st. To that end, several teams are still planning to make attempts on Everest from the North Col route, including a team from Summit Climb, who will not only be going up Everest this year, but also plan a Cho Oyu expedition as well. They’ll be joined in Tibet by a Canadian team known as the Canadian Mad Frogs, who also have their eyes on the summit from the north. The 7 Summits Club is not so optimistic however, and they made the jump to the South Side earlier this week.

Another note of interest is that the CTMA (China-Tibet Mountaineering Association) has announced that they will personally over see the fixing of the ropes on the North Side this spring. There has been some concern over who would handle those duties, since Russell Brice and his Himex team have moved to the South as well. In the past, Himex has usually taken care of the ropes themselves, charging the other teams a nominal fee to use them. But with few teams on the mountain, it looked like it could possibly be an issue, but that concern now seems to be over.

ExWeb has some good updates from the region as well, starting with the news that the unrest amongst the Maoist rebels in the Kangchenjunga area has now ended. As I noted a few days back, it seems that unrest, and general strikes, flare up on an annual basis about this time, only to die down again as the climbers start appearing.

ExWeb is also reporting that Manaslu seems to be the popular mountain this spring, with more expected traffic than anywhere else, save the Everest South Side. The mountain stands 8163 meters (26,758 feet) in height as is located along the Nepal/Tibet border, to the east of Annapurna. It is the 8th highest mountain in the world, and is often used as a good climb for gaining experience for the other 8000 meter peaks, which may help to explain the traffic there this spring.

Finally, look way ahead to the next Winter Season in the Karakorum, ExWeb says that Russian climbers Victor Kozlov and Nickolay Totmjanin are currently in Pakistan, and on the Baltoro Glacier, scouting K2 for an attempt by the Russian national climbing team to that mountain next winter. That’ll be a huge expedition to watch down the line for sure.

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