There isn’t any major climbing news to report from the Himalaya today as most of the teams have either already left for home or are in a holding pattern while inclement weather continues to make things difficult. The cyclone that made landfall last weekend is still dumping snow and rain on the region and that is causing all kind of problem. But the biggest news comes from Everest, where there are four fatalities reported by a team that was camping and trekking in a restricted area and were struck by an avalanche yesterday.
Outside Online is sharing what few details of the situation are actually known about the accident. It seems that a group of ten trekkers ignored warning and defied regulations by moving into an off-limits area of Everest on the North Side of the mountain. They were there on Sunday when a large avalanche struck their campsite, killing three Tibetan guides and injuring a 60-year old from Australia. The Australian was rescued but later passed away from a combination of those injuries and altitude sickness. Outside also reports that the same avalanche has left another 154 people stranded in the area.
Meanwhile, I’m also hearing reports that a number of trekkers and guides are out of contact on the South Side of the mountain as well. Reports from Nepal indicate that as many as 20 people are missing at the moment as the bad weather continues to dominate the region. Most of those are probably safe and sound in a tea house somewhere, but lets keep our fingers crossed for them none the less.
If the bad weather continues for much longer, I’m sure we’ll see the final mountaineering teams pack it in for the year. Conditions have already been reportedly poor on a number of the big mountains, such as Lhotse where climbers haven’t even been able to establish Camp 2 yet this fall. Heavy snows are only going to make things more unstable and time is starting to run short. I’ll continue to keep an eye on the situation there and post updates as the news warrants it.
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