Everest 2013: Climbers Arriving In Kathmandu As New Season Begins

phortse snow ajKathmandu is bracing itself for the onslaught of climbers and trekkers that will be arriving this over the next few days as the spring Himalayan climbing season is about to get underway. Over the next few days, the streets of the city will no doubt begin to swell with traffic as mountaineers from across the globe gather to connect with teammates, grab last minute gear purchases and put the finishing touches on their plans for the season ahead. It is a busy time in Nepal’s capital where the energy and excitement of the adventures ahead is almost palpable.

Over the course of the next two months I’ll be following a number of high profile teams and expeditions as they take on Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and other high profile Himalayan peaks. As always, it’ll be a season filled with highs and lows, with spectacular successes and inevitable failures. There will almost certainly be some tragedies along the way as it seems to come with the territory, but hopefully this will be a safe season in the mountains with fewer deaths than we had last year.

Amongst the first teams to arrive in Kathmandu are the IMG squad which is already preparing to begin the trek to Base Camp. They met with officials from Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism on Sunday and received their permits to climb both Everest and Lhotse. Over the next couple of days, the mountaineer will go through a series of briefings, spend some time getting to know one another and rest up from the long flights. They should depart KTM on Thursday, weather permitting.

Speaking of weather, one of the IMG Sherpas also shared a photo of the snow that continues to fall in heavy amounts this year. Colder weather and plenty of snow is a good thing for the climbers and will hopefully help them to avoid some of the issues that arose last spring when the warm, dry conditions made for a lot of falling rocks and loose scree on the mountain. Hopefully the harsher winter will make for a safer climbing environment in the weeks ahead.

The RMI team is also gathering in Kathmandu, where most had arrived by yesterday but they were still waiting for their fearless leader, Dave Hahn, to get into town. His flight was delayed, causing some issues, but nearly everyone else is there and preparing to depart on the trek. For Dave, this will be another full season on Everest and if successful, he’ll have 15 total ascents of the peak. That would extend his record for the most by a non-Sherpa.

Finally, the Adventure Consultants are busy sorting gear and getting ready for the arrival of their team at the end of the week. They have squads heading to both Everest and Lhotse, so at the moment they are sorting gear and prepping for departure to BC early next week. They have a large group of Sherpas already on site at Base Camp and they have been busy preparing their site for the arrival of the climbers. By the time they get there, a small tent-city will have been erected to welcome them and make them comfortable. Those tents will serve as their home for the next two months.

That’s all for now. Expect coverage to continue to expand over the next week or so. Things are about to get very busy in the Himalaya.

Kraig Becker