Aconcagua season cancelled due to corona pandemic


The 6,962-meter-high Aconcagua is not allowed to be climbed for the time being. Due to the corona pandemic, the authorities of the Argentinean province of Mendoza canceled the climbing season on the highest mountain in South America, which normally lasts from mid-November to the end of February. The Aconcagua National Park is only open to local trekkers, overnight stays are not allowed.

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No flights into the Everest region for the time being

Namche Bazaar depends on tourism

Nepal has hardly been officially reopened for mountain tourists when the first restrictions are imposed. Today, the Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality banned all flights into the region around Mount Everest until further notice. Mountaineers and trekking tourists are not supposed to arrive for the time being. The reason is a corona case in Namche Bazaar, the main village of the Khumbu region. The newspaper “The Himalayan Times” reports that parts of Namche have been sealed because of the confirmed COVID-19 infection.

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Nepal: Expedition yes, but probably only with quarantine

Kyajo Ri
The six-thousander Kyajo Ri in the Khumbu region

Back and forth and forth and back. The information policy of the Nepalese government in times of Corona is one big hullabaloo. Therefore it is really difficult to distinguish between what is fact and what is rumor. Officially, the country is – despite continued high corona infection rates – open for mountaineers and trekking tourists since last Saturday. Before that there had been reports that the date would be postponed by one month to mid-November. Apparently, however, this only applies to tourists who do not want to come to Nepal for trekking or mountaineering.

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Summit success reported from Manaslu

Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world

The first summit success of the year on an eight-thousander in Nepal is perfect. The Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks let it be known via Facebook that the team of the Royal Guard from Bahrain reached the 8,163-meter-high summit of Manaslu this morning at 6:10 a.m. local time.  Media reports citing the Ministry of Tourism in Kathmandu said that three Nepalese mountain guides had been on the summit with 14 climbers from the Bahrain team.

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Fight against the fire on Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro Fire
Fire on Kilimanjaro

Also on the fourth day in a row the fire blazes on the southern flank of Kilimanjaro. About 1,000 people – firefighters and volunteers – are still trying to contain the fire. According to the authorities, in the first three days the vegetation in an area of 28 square kilometers was robbed by the flames. This corresponds to the size of almost 4,000 soccer fields.

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Priti and Jeff Wright: On two of three K6 peaks

K 6 – West, Central and Main Summit (in clouds), from r. to l.

One usually imagines vagabonds something different than a software developer and an aeronautical engineer from the USA. Priti and Jeff Wright, a climbing couple in their early 30s from Seattle, call themselves “Alpine Vagabonds“. They have now realized a real coup in the Karakoram in Pakistan.

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Ngawang Tenzin Jangpo Rinpoche is dead

Ngawang Tenzin Jangpo Rinpoche
Ngawang Tenzin Jangpo Rinpoche (1935-2020)

He was the spiritual voice of the Khumbu. Generations of mountaineers and trekking tourists have met him at Tengboche Monastery and have received his blessing for their adventures. Ngawang Tenzin Jangpo Rinpoche died at the age of 85 years. Since 1956, for 64 years, he had been abbot of the Buddhist monastery Tengboche in the Khumbu region, within sight of Mount Everest. 

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Probably not a one-week mandatory quarantine for mountain tourists in Nepal

In the Khumbu region

The countdown is running. On 17 October, eight days from now, the first mountain tourists are to be allowed to enter Nepal. The most controversial regulation of the corona protocol for visitors from abroad is now supposed to be dropped: the obligatory one-week quarantine in hotels in Kathmandu.

The usually well-informed newspaper “The Himalayan Times” (THT) reports, citing sources in the Ministry of Tourism, that a round of ministers has approved a corresponding proposal. Instead of a quarantine of at least seven days with another corona test on the fifth day, mountaineers and trekking tourists should now have an instant PCR test or an antigen test directly at the airport. The presentation of a negative test taken in the tourist’s home country, which must not be older than 72 hours, remains mandatory.

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Nine-time Everest summiteer George Dijmarescu is dead

George Dijmarescu
George Dijmarescu (1961-2020)

Some news of climbers’ deaths spread like wildfire. Others do not. For example, I learned rather by chance – through a Facebook post of his ex-wife Lhakpa Sherpa – that the nine-time Everest summiteer George Dijmarescu died of cancer at the age of 59 in the USA at the end of September. Only some media in his native Romania had reported about it – as I subsequently found out. Perhaps it is also because Dijmarescu’s reputation in the mountaineering scene was, to put it mildly, ambivalent due to his character.

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Manaslu expedition so far according to plan

Manaslu Base Camp for climbers from Bahrain
Manaslu Base Camp for the mountaineers from Bahrain

Everything is arranged on the eight-thousander Manaslu for the mountaineers from Bahrain. The base camp is ready for occupancy – and the Sherpa team of the Nepalese operator Seven Summit Treks (SST) has already prepared most of the way up the mountain. According to SST expedition manager Chhang Dawa Sherpa, the route to Camp 3 at 6800 meters is prepared. The mountaineers from Bahrain have acclimatized on Lobuche East not far from Mount Everest. According to SST, they reached the summit of the six-thousander last Saturday. As reported, the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world, located in Nepal, will be only the overture for the mountaineers of the Royal Guard of Bahrain – for Everest next spring.

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Chinese summit success on Cho Oyu

Tibetan side of Cho Oyu

The first eight-thousander summit success of the fall season is reported from Tibet. Twelve clients and eleven climbers working for the operator Tibet Himalayan Expeditions reached the summit of Cho Oyu today, confirms Mingma Sherpa. The head of the Nepalese operator Climbalaya has good contacts to China. The Chinese expedition team had set off for Cho Oyu on 14 September.

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Nepal’s government announces corona regulations for mountain tourists

The 6000er Ama Dablam in the Everest region

“Nonsense!” – “Rubbish!” – “What the hell?” This or similar is how representatives of the battered Nepalese trekking industry react in the social media to the regulations for mountain tourists, which have now been published by the Ministry of Tourism in Kathmandu and are thus binding for the fall season.

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“Snow Leopard” Ang Rita Sherpa is dead

Ang Rita Sherpa (1948-2020)

The “Snow Leopard” from Mount Everest is no longer among us. The legendary Ang Rita Sherpa died today at the age of 72 years in Kathmandu. Three years ago he had suffered a stroke, from which he continued to suffer. Ang Rita also had problems with his liver.

The Nepalese reverently called him “Snow Leopard”. No other climber has scaled the highest mountain on earth as often without bottled oxygen as Ang Rita did in the 1980s and 90s. “His record of nine will probably stand for a long time since current climbing Sherpas are required to use O2 by their companies,” Richard Salisbury from the “Himalayan Database” wrote to me some time ago.

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Nepal announces opening from mid-October

Everest (l.) and Lhotse

From 17 October, foreign mountaineers and trekking tourists are to be allowed to enter Nepal again. This was announced by the government in Kathmandu. Those entering must present a negative corona test, which must not be older than 72 hours. After arrival in Kathmandu a quarantine of at least one week in the hotel is mandatory. Because of the corona pandemic, foreigners are currently not allowed to enter Nepal – unless they are diplomats or work for UN aid organizations.

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