The Everest Ice Doctors are already in place, building the route through the Khumbu Icefall and up to Camp 2. The support staff is now en route to Base Camp to begin preparation for the arrival of the climbers. All that is missing now is an influx of eager mountaineers looking to test themselves on the world’s highest peak, and with April quickly closing in they’ll start to arrive on the mountain soon enough. If early indications are anything to go by, we could be looking at another record setting year in the Himalaya, as the number of applications for climbing permits has already climbed above 300.
The Himalayan Times posted an article today sharing some details of the 2019 spring climbing season not just on Everest, but across Nepal in general. In preparation for that story, the Times took a survey of the most prominent teams leading expeditions to the Big Hill this year. It found that there are at least 300 foreign climbers currently planning on attempting the mountain in the weeks ahead, with plenty of other mountains seeing their fair share of visitors too.
Seven Summit Treks, one of the biggest operators on Everest these days, say that they’ll be brining a minimum of 60 clients to Everest –– spread out across five separate teams –– alone. The company will also take an additional 65 climbers up Lhotse, Makalu, and Annapurna this spring too. They aren’t alone in seeing impressive numbers either, as Himalayan Guides will bring 34 foreign climbers to Everest from the South Side and another 15 to the North Side in Tibet. The boom won’t stop there either, as Asian Trekking is leading at least 27 more climbers and Beyul Adventures another 22.
This is just the tip of proverbial iceberg however, as there are numerous other teams coming to Everest with smaller teams too, and of course the leading western guide services will have their usual compliment of clients as well. When you factor in all of the guides, Sherpas, and foreign mountaineers it appears that things will be very busy on the South Side of Everest once again this year.
Lhotse, the nearby neighbor of Everest, will see its share of attention to. According to The Times at least 100 climbers have already applied for permits to scale that peak as well. A handful of them will no doubt be attempting both peaks, as a traverse between the two is now a regular occurrence with top climbers attempting the double-header each spring.
In the article linked to above there are a number of prominent Everest attempts that are mentioned as well. For instance, 49-year old Kami Rita Sherpa will attempt to summit the mountain for his 23rd time, breaking his own record in the process. British climber Kenton Cool will have a go at his 14th time standing on the summit as well as he inches towards the record for a non-Sherpa, currently held by Dave Hahn at 15 summits.
Other climbers to keep an eye on include American Kristie Ennis, who is attempting to become the first woman to reach the top with a leg amputated above the knee, and Viridiana Alvarez, the first latin woman to summit K2, is attempting a no-O’s summit too. An Ethiopian electrical engineer by the name Sirak Seyoum is hoping to become the first person from his country to stand on the summit of Everest, while UK Royal Marine Lieutenant Colonel Joe Winch will also have a go at the top after being diagnosed with acute complex post-traumatic stress disorder following an accident in Afghanistan in 2006, according to expedition organisers.
As you can tell, there will be plenty of stories and drama to follow on Everest once again this year. Right now, things are just starting to ramp up, so stay tuned for more updates soon.
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