The Everest updates continue at a hectic pace today, with all kinds of news coming from the Himalaya. Of course, the biggest story, which has caught the attention of the adventure press as well as mainstream media, is that 13-year old Jordan Romero has left the U.S. for Kathmandu, where he’ll go for the last mountain on his list of Seven Summits, Everest. If he is successful on the mountain, he’ll not only become the youngest ever to reach the summit, but also the youngest person to complete the Seven Summits as well.
I’ve said my piece on Jordan many times already, and regular readers already know how I feel. I think it is incredible what he has already accomplished, and I have a lot of respect for the kid, but I’m still against taking someone his age to Everest. That said, I do wish him the best of luck, and I hope he comes home, safe and sound, summit or no.
Jordan and his team are climbing from the North Side, due in large part because the Chinese don’t enforce an age limit for climbing from that side of the mountain. In Nepal, you have to be 16 years or older to make the climb. As of yesterday there were questions as to whether Tibet would be open to visitors, with ExWeb reporting that China still wasn’t handing out visas. But today, Alan Arnette tells us not to fear, as climbers are now heading across the border, with climbing permits and visas in hand. It seems that Tibet is open for business, and that should come as a relief to a number of teams heading that direction.
Also of note, the Ice Doctors have completed their work on the Khumbu Icefalls, and the route through that treacherous part of the mountain is now open. The route is said to be safer and more stable than last year, which bodes well for the climbers that will be heading through that dangerous section on the South Side. The route was completed more than a week ahead of last year’s schedule, which means that teams will begin heading up to Camp 1 very soon.
It won’t be long before most of the teams are settled in to Base Camp on both sides of the mountain, and they’ll fall into a routine of climbing up their respective faces to establish their camps and complete their acclimatization process. We’re probably about five to six weeks away from the first legitimate summit attempts, but there is a ton of work to do before then. Stay tuned!
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