Narrow gauge fall season in Nepal

The 6000er Ama Dablam in the Everest region

“Exceptionally quiet and beautiful this time” – that’s how the experienced US expedition leader Garrett Madison described the trekking through the Khumbu region to the 6,814-meter-high Ama Dablam a week ago. And Swiss mountaineer Sophie Lavaud agreed: “Beautiful weather and no one around.” How calm it is currently in the region around Mount Everest can be guessed by looking at the short list of expeditions published yesterday, to which the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism has granted permits this fall season. On this list there are only seven expeditions with a total of 58 members for the whole season and all of Nepal.

Only two expedition teams in Khumbu

Two of these ventures – the expedition of the Royal Guard from Bahrain to Manaslu (8,163 meters) and the expedition of Nepalese mountaineers to Baruntse (7,129 meters) – have already been successfully completed. Himlung Himal (7,126 meters), for which two expeditions have been approved, is located in the Manaslu region and Gyalzen Peak (6,151 meters), the destination of a small group, is in the Jugal Massif northeast of Kathmandu. If one subtracts these two expeditions as well, only the two teams tackling Ama Dablam remain for the Khumbu region – with a total of 20 team members.

No wonder that the mountaineers experience the Everest region as empty as rarely before. The number of trekking tourists is also likely to be low – given the continuing high number of corona infections in Nepal and the obligatory one-week hotel quarantine at the beginning of the stay. In the Himalayan state, more than 185,000 corona cases have been registered so far, more than 1,000 people died of COVID-19. And the number of unreported cases is likely to be high.

P.S.: On Ama Dablam, the route to Camp 3 at 6,200 meters has been secured with fixed ropes.

Update 6 November: The Austrian Lukas Furtenbach informed me that three small expedition teams from Furtenbach Adventures arrived in Kathmandu today and entered the obligatory hotel quarantine. Afterwards the teams want to try their hand at the six-thousanders Ama Dablam, Mera Peak and Nirekha.