Here we go folks! The Spring Season on Everest and the rest of the Himalaya is upon us. I’ve been hearing from a few climbers over the past few days that Kathmandu is getting even more hectic and busier than usual, as the climbing teams heading to the big peaks this spring start to arrive en masse. Something that is confirmed by our friend Alan Arnette today, who has posted another update to his excellent Everest 2010 Blog.
Alan actually has two great articles for us today, the first being a report on the teams arriving in Nepal and an outlook for the season ahead, which looks to be a very busy one on the highest peak on the planet. Alan says that he expects about 350 climbers total, for both the North and South sides of the mountain. Last year there was approximately 400 total summits, and in 2007 a record was set with over 500 summits.
Perhaps of even more interest is that the Sherpas have already arrived in Base Camp and are marking off the various spots that the teams will occupy while there over the course of the next 2+ months. This news demonstrates not only how vital the Sherpas are at every step of the process, but also just how much preparation and effort goes into climbing Everest. We’re in the last week of March, and there will likely be climbers on the mountain into June. That’s a long time.
Weather is still a bit of an issue in the area as well. The Sherpas are reporting heavy snow in BC at the moment, which Alan points out is not unusual at this point of the season. But some teams are having their flights to Lukla delayed due to weather right now too, which means that they haven’t begun the trek to Base Camp just yet. It won’t be long though before the tea houses are full and the trail is busy with trekkers and climbers making their way to the mountain.
The second article that Alan has for us is an excellent essay entitled “The Ones Left Behind“. In that story, he gives us insights into what is going through a climbers head as they prepare to set off for a two month long adventure away from from friends and family. Something that is playing out in a lot of homes around the world at this very moment. It is definitely a good read and will give you something to ponder while we all wait for the action in the Himalaya to begin.