The age debate on Everest reared its ugly head again this week when 12-year old Tyler Armstrong of California was denied a permit to climb the mountain. Tyler had hoped to attempt the North Side of Everest in Tibet, but the Chinese government turned down his application that would have allowed him to try to become the youngest person to scale the world’s highest peak.
China has recently imposed age limits on Everest, requiring mountaineers to be older than 18 and younger than 75 to attempt the climb. Tyler had hoped to get an exception to the rule based on his climbing experience. The young man has already summited Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Elbrus. Of course, none of them compares to Everest, which is thousands of feet higher than even Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalaya.
Tyler continues to focus on bagging each of the Seven Summits however, and says that he’ll travel to Australia in August to climb Kosciusko, shortest and easiest of those mountains. For now, he’ll continue to bide his time and wait for an opportunity to attempt Everest. Whether or not that will happen before his 18th birthday remains to be seen, but considering the current climate there, he may have to wait a few years to get his chance.
Meanwhile, teams have been filing into Base Camp on the South Side of Everest all week long. Mountaineering blogger Alan Arnette arrived a few days back as he prepares to summit Lhotse, as did the Adventure Consultant who were joined by Ed Viesturs for a visit. The Altitude Junkies are also in BC and held their Puja Ceremony today in preparation for the start of the climb.
By most reports, BC is quiet so far this year. More teams are arriving, so I’m sure it’ll start to pick-up a bit over the next week or so. But since the number of climbers is down over previous years, it’ll probably remain somewhat sedate throughout the season.
Over on Annapurna, the ropes are fixed and the teams are in place for a weekend summit push. The weather looks like it’ll hold off for another day or two, so the time is right for an early season attempt on the top. I’ll be keeping a close eye on those attempts, and hopefully we’ll have news of successful summits over the next few days.
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