Mount Everest: Sheikh and Sheikha

Sheikha Asma Al Thani in Everest Base Camp (in 2019)
Sheikha Asma Al Thani in Everest Base Camp (in 2019)

This much is certain: finances will not be the issue for these Everest aspirants. The Gulf’s moneyed aristocracy will meet on Mount Everest this spring. In addition to Sheikh Mohamed Hamad Mohamed Al Khalifa from the royal family of Bahrain, another member of a filthy rich ruling family from the Middle East is among the almost 250 foreign mountaineers so far with a permit for Mount Everest: Sheikha Asma Al Thani from Qatar. The 31-year-old wants to become the first woman from the Gulf emirate to scale Mount Everest.

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Mountaineering and trekking season in Nepal slowly picking up speed

Mount Everest (l.) and Lhotse

At least a small glimmer of hope for Nepal in times of pandemic: In March, Nepalese authorities counted around 15,000 tourists entering the Himalayan state from abroad. That was almost twice as many as in February. In the first three months of the year, a total of about 33,000 tourists arrived. That’s about a quarter of the number of foreign vacationers who entered Nepal in the first quarter of pre-corona 2019 (about 127,000).

The mountaineering season is also picking up steam following the easing of entry restrictions. The Ministry of Tourism announced yesterday that it had so far issued 343 climbing permits for a total of nine mountains, including 192 alone, distributed among 20 expedition teams, for Mount Everest. By comparison, in the record year of 2019, the ministry had issued 381 permits for the highest mountain on earth.

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Happy Easter!

I wish you all and your loved ones Happy Easter – despite corona restrictions. And the “Picasso from the river Rhine” 😉  is confronting you with another easter riddle: Which mountain have I conjured onto the egg?

US singer Mike Posner wants to climb Mount Everest

Mike Posner at Concordia in Pakistan (K2 and Broad Peak in the background)

Will his next hit be called “I took a pill on Everest”? US singer Mike Posner has announced in a video (see below) that he wants to climb Mount Everest this spring. The 33-year-old let it be known that he had been preparing for his project for 18 months. The idea came to him when he crossed the USA on foot in 2019. After the death of his father, he “felt trapped under the weight of my own life,” Mike says. “I wanted to find out who I was when I wasn’t a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter.” His song “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” had made it to number one on the charts in several European countries and was nominated for Best Song of the Year at the 2017 Grammy Awards.

For six months and three days, Posner trekked 2,851 kilometers across the U.S., from the East Coast to the West Coast. Along the way, he was also bitten by a rattlesnake. “When I crossed the Rocky Mountains, I had a good idea what I wanted to do next,” says the singer: to climb Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth. A PR stunt? No, says Jon Kedrowski, who has been training the musician and wants to accompany him to the 8,849-meter-high summit.

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Marc Batard: Annapurna as the next stage before Mount Everest

Marc Batard and Pasang Nuru Sherpa
Marc Batard (l.) and Pasang Nuru Sherpa (r.)

More than 20 years after his last summit success on an eight-thousander, Marc Batard is going to give it another try. For this spring, the 69-year-old has set his sights on climbing Annapurna – via the so called “Dutch Rib” in the North Face, without bottled oxygen. Batard and his team reached the village of Tatopani yesterday on their way to the 8,091-meter Annapurna I in western Nepal.

“I am very happy to be back in an area I know well and to have the chance to present myself in good shape despite my age,” Marc writes me. Twice he tried unsuccessfully to scale Annapurna in the 1980s. Both times bad weather stopped him: in 1986 on the East Ridge at 7,100 meters, in 1989 in the South Face at 5,800 meters.

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