Alan Arnette Interviews Dave Hahn on the State of Everest in 2016

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The fall climbing season in the Himalaya may be all but over, but the crown jewel of that mountain chain – Mt. Everest – seems to constantly be in the spotlight these days. At the moment, we’re about five months away from the start of the 2017 spring climbing season on the world’s highest peak, and while that may seem like a long way off, for those planning to climb it next year, it is closer than you think.

In preparation for the season ahead, Alan Arnette sat down with mountaineering guide Dave Hahn to talk about the current state climbing on the Big Hill. For those who don’t know, Dave has been a guide with RMI for more than 30 years, and has 15 successful summits of Everest on his resume. That’s more than any other foreign climber. Additionally, Alan points out that Hahn has also climbed Rainier more than 275 times, has 35 successful summits of Vinson, 22 on Denali, and has also led teams up Aconcagua and Cho Oyu, amongst numerous other mountains.

In the interview, which can be found here, Dave talks about the mainstream media’s approach to covering climbing expeditions on Everest, the current level of safety for climbing on the mountain and the Himalaya in general, as well as steps that the Nepali government could take to improve the level of safety overall. He also shares his thoughts on the rising number of low-cost, Nepali-owned, operators on Everest and what that means for the future of guided climbing in the Himalaya.

The extensive interview also touches on the challenges of climbing from the north side of the mountain versus the south, the growing crowds on summit days, whether or not Nepal should limit the number of permits issued to climbers, and a whole lot more. Dave goes on to discuss his personal future on Everest (private guiding), the clients that he likes to guide, and whether or not he’ll be on the mountain next spring.

If you follow the Everest climbing scene closely, or would like to know more about the current state of affairs on the world’s highest peak, this is a good interview to read. Dave has always been a forthright guy in terms of answering questions and sharing his thoughts, and that certainly is the case here too. Check out the entire blog post by clicking here.

Kraig Becker