April 2018 is the third anniversary of the 2015 Earthquake. Remembering all our friends lost on that day. A small chorten at Khanjin Gompa
Sometimes when everything seems to run smoothly, or at least when nothing untoward seems to be happening, the news is slow. We often get the drift of when there is a shortage of newsworthy stories when the big media organisations pad out their broadcasting slot with items that raise the question – ‘Why broadcast that?’ Rather like this opening paragraph!
Well things are slow here in Nepal at the moment, it’s really too early for anything to have taken place during the spring expedition season, politics are ‘settled’ and the exchange rate has bounced back to a US dollar at 104.59 NRs and the £1 is 150.04 NRs, the highest it’s been for nearly 3 years.
In a bye-gone era trekkers would expect, on a visit to Nepal, to experience pristine nature, crystal glittering mountains, and medieval Nepali villages, rich cultural, customs and festivals and be more than happy.
Back then within the trekking and mountaineering sect, foreign visitors were generally mountain lovers. They had trekking or mountain walking/climbing experience and had acquired the large armoury of skills and experience required to undertake a safe passage through a possibly hostile and technical mountain environment, they were adventure seekers with possibly a higher tolerance for the ‘less luxurious life style’ and possibly had more time to undertake their expeditions, flexibility up to a point was the name of the game. The ‘adventure’ being the unsure outcome and to a certain extent was also based on a lack of good risk assessment and/or weak planning as a result of a lack of detailed information. This was because there was none and out of ignorance of issues like altitude sickness which was also a major unknown factor at the time.
It is reported that the route up the Western Cwm from the Ice-fall towards Camp 2 has become more hazardous with more and larger crevasses opening up. The question is already being raised in some quarters as to how long this route will continue to be feasible. Where could an alternative route go from the Nepal side? This is a question with serious implications, not only for the safety of future potential summiteers but also for the financial coffers of Nepal. Many of the trekking peaks, those below 6500m are now technically more difficult and dangerous as a result of glacial melt resulting in risky approach routes and rock fall due to the ice not forming lower down the mountain and gluing the newly exposed moraines together. It was reported on the 25th April that there had been a serac collapse during which two Sherpas were injured, one was evacuated to hospital in Kathmandu. The route was reopened by the ice-fall doctors within a few hours. Additionally there are three Nepali females working as guides on Everest this season.
Dream Wanderlust and Andrian Ballinger, Horia Colibasabu, Kenton Cool, David Liano, Kuntal Joisher, Marco Confortola and Carlos Soria for their images in the 'up-dates' section.