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 Everest 2008 : Soldiers to Stand Guard


©EverestNews.com

Update 3/28/2008: Soldiers (police) are expected to stand guard at Everest Base camp and Camp 2 (seems a bit hard) on Everest this year. Video cameras? Might want to leave them home... Sat phones/PDA's etc: better have a real permit this year ...

Update 3/28/2008: EverestNews.com is told , "The Govt has given some sort of go ahead for Everest, but final authorization is yet to come." Meaning it is not a done deal yet, but people believe it is close, with that said below are the DRAFT rules. Climbers note PROPOSED details...

NOTE THESE ARE DRAFT RULES: The government is still discussing and needs to approve. When this will happen is still up in the air.

These Temporary Rules will only apply for the climbing period   1 April-10 May

Issuing of permit and the route for spring 2008 for Everest and Lhotse:

  1. The Government of Nepal and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation will only issue permits for the South East Ridge Route on Mount Everest for the Spring of 2008. Similarly, for Lhotse, permits will only be granted for the normal route. No other routes will be granted by the ministry such as the West Ridge, Southwest Face and the South Pillar.
  2. No Documentary filming permits will be issued for the spring of 2008 on Mount Everest and Lhotse.

Climbing Rules and Regulations:

  1. All foreign and Nepali Climbers are permitted to climb from base camp to Camp 1, Camp 2 and Camp 3 until May 10th.
  2. To Proceed to Camp 4 (South Col) and the Summit will only be allowed after May 10th onwards with the permission from the ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation. Until then Camp 4 and the Summit climbs will be restricted.
  3. Any rope fixing above camp 3 before May 10th is strictly restricted.
  4. All foreign and Nepali climbers will only be allowed to climb from base camp to camp1 and camp 2 (through the Khumbu Icefall) from 4 am onwards until 6 pm. This will not apply to any rescue efforts.
  5. From Camp 2 to Camp 3 the permitted climbing time will be from 6 am to 6 pm only. This will not apply to rescue efforts.
  6. No climbing will be permitted on the mountain after 6 pm. This will not apply to rescue efforts.
  7. There will be a climbing liaison officer based at camp 2 and camp 3 who will monitor and enforce the temporary rules and regulations. Liaison officers will report to the government of Nepal after the expedition.

Communication:

A.  Satellite phones, computers/laptops and mobile phones will be under the supervision of liaison officers. Satellite phones will be available for the use of emergency and rescue. Climbers will be allowed to communicate with their own respective satellite phone to their agents and their families at regular base, under the supervision of the liaison officer till May 10th. Weather reports can also be obtained by satellite phone under the supervision of the liaison officer.

B.  VHF communication sets will be permitted for use for the duration of the expedition at the frequency set by the Government of Nepal

Photography:

  1. No Personal video Camera will be allowed to be used at base camp and above until May 10th. These items will also be under the supervision of the Liaison officer.
  2. All foreign nationals will not display any flags, banners or stickers that may harm the diplomatic relations between Nepal and its neighboring countries.
  3. All Expedition handling agents in Nepal will sign a written agreement with the government of Nepal that they will take full responsibility for any behavior or activities aimed at discrediting Nepalís neighboring countries.
  4. There will be a checkpoint established by the Government of Nepal at Gorakshep (5200m). This checkpoint will be monitored and managed by 3 associations and institutions of Nepal:
    1. Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee
    2. Sagarmatha National Park
    3. Nepal Army or Police force
  5. The above expenses for the checkpoint at Gorakshep will be covered by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee or the Government of Nepal from the Funds that they have raised from the Royalty from the Ice fall and the peak Permit.
  6. This will apply to all group visitors who wish to trek to Base Camp for a day visit or a night halt. Please note that all the trekking guides who are escorting the group must carry an identity card issued by their company. Failure to show the identity card will result in the Group not being permitted to travel to Base Camp.

Media and Press:

  1. Press and Media will only be allowed to visit base camp with permission from the Government of Nepal. Liaison officers will have the right to inspect filming permits.
  2. The Government of Nepal has the right to inspect all footage for censorship reasons.

Helicopter flights:

  1. No helicopters flights will be allowed to land at base camp until May 10th except for mountain rescue.

These flight will have to be authorized by the Himalayan Rescue Association.

Update 3/25/2008 America: Permits are not yet issued for Nepal Everest expeditions... The question is when , and to some IF, they will be issued.... The Nepal Tourism Board need to answer some serious questions.

Permit applications are being taking, which is a step in the right direction....

Sat Phones, PDA's, laptop, etc... ways to sending messages home from Everest require permits. We are being told you better get a permit this year... Can you GET a permit? Is another question...

Update 3/20/2008 America: South side update: Permits were not issued today for Everest... Friday is a holiday in Nepal and Saturday is the office is closed.

Ice Fall work has not been started yet. We understand the ice fall is most years is "done" the first week of April, last year (2007) it was not open until April 7.

Stay tuned... Messages/Questions in the the Nepal Tourism Board

Earlier Update

 

Everest from the South Side in Nepal

sbrr2.jpg (46375 bytes)

Full size picture

Base Camp - 17,500 feet (5350 meters)

This is a picture of the popular South Col Route up Mt. Everest.  Base camp is located at 17,500 feet.   This is where climbers begin their true trip up the mountain.  This is also where support staff often remain to monitor the expeditions and provide medical assistance when necessary.  Many organizations offer hiking trips which just go to base camp as the trip is not technically challenging (though you must be very fit). 

From base camp, climbers typically train and acclimate (permitting the body to adjust to the decreased oxygen in the air) by traveling and bringing supplies back and forth through the often treacherous Khumbu Icefall.    This training and recuperation continues throughout the climb, with the final summit push often being the only time to climbers do not go back and forth between camps to train, bring supplies, and recuperate for the next push. 

The Icefall is in constant motion.  It contains enormous ice seracs, often larger than houses, which dangle precariously over the climbers heads, threatening to fall at any moment without warning, as the climbers cross endless crevasses and listen to continuous ice creaking below.  This often acts as a testing ground to judge if less experienced climbers will be capable of continuing.   The Icefall is located between 17,500 and 19,500 feet.

Camp I - 5900 meters

After the Icefall, the climbers arrive at Camp I, which is located at 19,500 feet.  Depending on the type of expedition, Camp I will either be stocked by the climbers as they ascend and descend the Icefall, or by Sherpas in advance.

The area between Camp I and Camp II is known as the Western Cwm.  As the climbers reach Camp II at 21,000 feet, they may be temporarily out of sight of their support at Base camp.  Nonetheless, modern communication devises permit the parties to stay in contact.

Camp II - 6500 meters

As the climbers leave Camp II, they travel towards the Lhotse face (Lhotse is a 27,920 foot mountain bordering Everest).  The Lhotse face is a steep, shiny icy wall.  Though not technically extremely difficult, one misstep or slip could mean a climber's life.  Indeed, many climbers have lost their lives through such mishaps. 

Camp III - 23,700 feet (7200 meters)

To reach Camp III, climbers must negotiate the Lhotse Face. Climbing a sheer wall of ice demands skill, strength and stamina. It is so steep and treacherous that many  Sherpas move directly from Camp II to Camp IV on the South Col, refusing to stay on the Lhotse Face.

Camp IV - 26,300 feet (8000 meters)

As youíre leaving C4Öitís a little bit of a down slope, with the uphill side to the left. There are typically snow on the ledges to walk down on, interspersed with rock, along with some fixed rope. The problem with the rope is that the anchors are bad, and thereís not much holding the rope and a fall could be serious. Fortunately itís not too steep, but there is a ton of exposure and people are usually tired when walking down from camp. The rock is a little down sloping to the right as well, and with crampons on, it can be bit tricky with any kind of wind. Thereís a little short slope on reliable snow which leads to the top of the Geneva Spur, and the wind pressure gradient across the spur can increase there as youíre getting set up for the rappel. Wearing an oxygen mask here can create some footing issues during the rappel, because itís impossible to see over the mask and down to the feet. For that reason, some people choose to leave Camp 4 without gas, as itís easier to keep moving down the Spur when itís important to see all the small rock steps and where the old feet are going. Navigating down through all of the spaghetti of fixed ropes is a bit of a challenge, especially with mush for brains at that point. One lands on some lower ledges which arenít so steep, where fixed ropes through here are solid. At this point, itís just a matter of staying upright, and usually, the wind has died significantly after dropping off the Spur. The route turns hard to the left onto the snowfield that leads to the top of the Yellow Bands.

Camp IV, which is at 26,300 on the Lhotse face, is typically the climbers' first overnight stay in the Death Zone.  The Death Zone is above 26,000 feet.  Though there is nothing magical about that altitude, it is at this altitude that most human bodies lose all ability to acclimate. Accordingly, the body slowly begins to deteriorate and die - thus, the name "Death Zone."  The longer a climber stays at this altitude, the more likely illness (HACE - high altitude cerebral edema - or HAPE - high altitude pulmonary edema) or death will occur.  Most climbers will use oxygen to climb and sleep at this altitude and above.  Generally, Sherpas refuse to sleep on the Lhotse face and will travel to either Camp II or Camp IV.

Camp IV is located at 26,300 feet. This is the final major camp for the summit push.  It is at this point that the climbers make their final preparations.  It is also a haven for worn-out climbers on their exhausting descent from summit attempts (both successful and not).  Sherpas or other climbers will often wait here with supplies and hot tea for returning climbers.

From Camp IV, climbers will push through the Balcony, at 27,500 feet, to the Hillary Step at 28,800 feet.  The Hillary Step, an over 70 foot rock step, is named after Sir. Edmond Hillary, who in 1953, along with Tenzing Norgay, became the first people to summit Everest.  The Hillary Step, which is climbed with fixed ropes, often becomes a bottleneck as only one climber can climb at a time.  Though the Hillary Step would not be difficult at sea level for experienced climbers, at Everest's altitude, it is considered the most technically challenging aspect of the climb.

Summit - 29,028 feet (8848 meters)

Once the climbers ascend the Hillary Step, they slowly and laboriously proceed to the summit at 29,028 feet.  The summit sits at the top of the world.  Though not the closest place to the sun due to the earth's curve, it is the highest peak on earth.  Due to the decreased air pressure, the summit contains less than one third the oxygen as at sea level.  If dropped off on the summit directly from sea level (impossible in reality), a person would die within minutes.  Typically, climbers achieving the great summit will take pictures, gain their composure, briefly enjoy the view, then return to Camp IV as quickly as possible.   The risk of staying at the summit and the exhaustion from achieving the summit is too great to permit climbers to fully enjoy the great accomplishment at that moment.  

As most readers of this page know, the return trip can be even more dangerous than the climb to the summit.

Pictures from Enrique Guallart-Furio web site http://ww2.encis.es/avent/

 

 
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