Alan Arnette has been reporting on his own mountain climbs and others since 1999. Now he's adding a podcast, The Podcast on alanarnette.com.
Arnette is the oldest American to summit K2 on his 58th birthday and has summited Everest and seven of the eight seven summits.
Everest 2021: Interview with Everest Climber Eric Gran from Dingboche
I caught up with Everest Climber Eric Gran from Dingboche. This is Eric's first trip to Nepal and he describes the journey thus far for #Everest2021.
Everest 2021: First Steps in the Icefall
The first few climbers have made rotations to Camp 1 while the rest of the teams at Everest Base camp are preparing to enter the Khumbu Icefall for the first time this season. The permits for Everest continue to grow, now 321 on 34 teams approaching the 219 record of 382. Lhotse has an astounding 83 on 9 teams. Look for over 700 people on the routes this spring.
The weather continues to be a concern, not current but previous with a dry winter of little snowfall making the Lhotse Face rock hard blue ice. We are seeing this on Annapurna with a summit bid underway. Unexpected hard ice above Camp 4 caused the Sherpas to use more rope than they carried and they ran out. More was helicoptered in from Kathmandu, a first to my knowledge.
The climb times for the trip from EBC to Camp 1 were about 8 hours for some of the first climbers, about normal for the first rotation. However, this does suggest the Icefall is fixed pretty much the same as in previous years, in other words, not straighter, flatter, or faster. In any event, the first trip through the Icefall is always eye-opening, even if it's only halfway up
Everest 2021: Climbers to Watch
The number of permits continues to rise for Everest. Now at 290 spread across 30 teams, it appears Everest will be crowded again for this spring of 2021. Reports are coming in of low snow amounts this past winter so rockfall may be an issue, especially with so many people climbing together. We saw this same objective danger on K2 this past winter.
Base Camp is filling up as more teams continue to end their trek. They are taking a few days to rest and brush up on skills before making their first rotation to Camps 1 and 2 in the Western Cwm. Internet service at EBC appears to be spotty according to many reports I'm getting. Climbers are having to do "walkabouts" to find a signal. This happens all the time with Ncell, the mobile phone provider, but for EverestLink, it's usually more reliable and available. I'm sure they will improve it.
There appears the be the usual profiles on the peak Many who had permits for last year, jumped at the chance to go this year. Also, there are the "repeat" customers who have tried before and not made it for a variety of reasons and, also, as usual, there are those who are seeking to make a name by a "first." Let's drill down on a few.
Everest 2021:Weekend Update April 11
The Everest 2021 season is right on track with teams pouring into base camp. However, this year remains different with few trekking teams on the trails resulting in almost empty teahouses and some closed, perhaps forever. Remember that the Tibet side is closed to foreigners and I don't expect updates from the Chinese team or two that might climb this spring.
Everest 2021: Trekking to Tengboche Monastery and Using a Jumar
The number of climbing permits granted keeps increasing. 222 permits are now in Everest aspirants' hands and 389 for all Nepal peaks for all teams this spring. With hundreds of climbers and trekkers on the trails, the Khumbu is busy, but reports are coming in saying overall it feels quiet compared to previous years. The main difference is the absence of so many trekking teams. Some teams will arrive at base camp this weekend or early next week. Look for the first trips through the Icefall around April 15, a bit earlier than usual. I've also added a new short feature in the video the Gear Corner where I briefly talk about the gear used on Everest.
Everest 2021: Interview with Garrett Madison from Namche Bazaar in Nepal
I caught up with Garrett Madison, founder of Madison Mountaineering from Namche Bazaar on his way to climb Everest.. He describes the journey thus far for #Everest2021. Also, his parents are with him on this trek, a real treat!