Update: 4/3/2008: We understand some are
claiming there are not Restrictions on climbers activities and restrictions on
sat phones on Everest. Our reply, "some people need to check the facts before
publishing things." The climbers have been given restrictions.
This is a developing situation, but don't be
surprised if the rules continue to change... For now, Gorak shep might become
a popular place...
Update 3/31/2008: Today Everest permits were
issued in Nepal with major restrictions.
1.) Real permits! [depends on how one
defines the word "REAL"]
2.) Main disappointments are: No climbing
above C2 until after Chinese are finished. [What if the Chinese finish late or
don't finish at all? Yikes!!!]
3.) Major restrictions on electronics,
details to be better understood after the briefing scheduled for today. Anyone
know how to use a ham radio? [You think we are joking!]
4.) Sounds like hand-held walkie talkies for
use on the mountain will be allowed, but that is about it. [Hey you got
a walkie tallkie!!! ]
5.) Pre-sat phone, Pre-internet era,
for those without sat phone permits is possible....
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
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:
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.
No Documentary filming permits will be issued
for the spring of 2008 on Mount Everest and Lhotse.
Climbing Rules and Regulations:
All foreign and Nepali Climbers are permitted
to climb from base camp to Camp 1, Camp 2 and Camp 3 until May 10th.
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.
Any rope fixing above camp 3 before May 10th
is strictly restricted.
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
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.
No climbing will be permitted on the mountain
after 6 pm. This will not apply to rescue efforts.
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.
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
communication sets will be permitted for use for the duration of the
expedition at the frequency set by the Government of Nepal
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.
All foreign nationals will not display any
flags, banners or stickers that may harm the diplomatic relations between
Nepal and its neighboring countries.
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.
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:
Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee
Sagarmatha National Park
Nepal Army or Police force
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.
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:
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.
The Government of Nepal has the right to
inspect all footage for censorship reasons.
No helicopters flights will be allowed to
land at base camp until May 10th except for mountain rescue.
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
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
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
Everest from the South Side
Base Camp - 17,500 feet (5350
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).
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.
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 -
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.
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 -
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.
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.
29,028 feet (8848 meters)
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.
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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