This past weekend was a busy one in Kathmandu, as hundreds of climbers and trekkers have begun arriving in the capital of Nepal ahead of the start of the spring climbing season. Most of them are spending a few days in the colorful city as they collect their gear, meet with teammates, and try to shake off the jet lag before they begin their journey to their true destination – Everest Base Camp.
Those heading to the South Side face an 8-10 day trek up the Khumbu Valley. That hike serves as the first round of acclimatization as they begin to prepare themselves for living at high altitude for the next 6-8 weeks. Those traveling to the North Side must wait for the Chinese to begin issuing visas before they can cross then border into Tibet. That typically takes a few extra days, so for now they’ll stay in Kathmandu and enjoy the relative comforts of the city before they hard work truly begins.
As the spring climbing season truly gets underway, and updates from the Himalaya begin, let me once again recommend that you follow Alan Arnette’s always excellent Everest blog. Alan is the best in the business in terms of following what is happening on Everest each year, and while I post regular updates on the progress of the teams, he tracks their positions on a daily basis, and keeps us all informed of what is happening on the Big Hill. If you don’t already have his site bookmarked, I recommend you do so now.
Alan has been following the pre-season action as closely as anyone, but he official launched his Spring 2014 coverage this past weekend with a pair of insightful posts that give us a glimpse of what the climbers are going through at the moment. The first discusses what it is like in Kathmandu at the moment, as the hustle and bustle of running pre-expedition errands kicks in. The second post gives us a glimpse into the routine that climbers to through once they reach Nepal, as they hunt down SIM cards, go through briefings with the Ministry of Tourism, and generally take care of all of the logistical issues before they leave town. Like most of his posts, Alan gives us readers a true sense of what the Everest experience is all about, much of it earned first hand on his own expeditions to the Himalaya.
In the days ahead, we’ll begin to hear more stories about the individual climbers attempting Everest this spring, and the various teams who are a mainstay on the mountain at this time of year. I expect that in the next few days, we’ll start to get updates from those teams as they begin making their way up the Khumbu Valley. Those updates will no doubt include plenty of great photos from the Himalaya, which is one of the most beautiful parts of the world. While the climbers are indeed busy ahead of the start of their expeditions, things are about to get a lot more hectic as they get leave for the mountains, and truly begin their climbs.
Stay tuned for more soon.
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