After days of uncertainty and unrest at Everest base camp, the Himalayan Ascent team can finally officially announcement that they’re going home. Our guides had already decided to quit the expedition following the loss of our friends and teammates last Friday, but due to the growing movement to demand more protection and rights from the government, we waited it out to support our fellow guides.
This morning a party of government officials and various association members met at base camp to discuss the demands raised by the guides last Sunday. They have unofficially announced to waiver permit fees for climbers who want to return within 5 years to attempt Everest again, but they haven’t officially closed the mountain to expeditions. However, this now does open the door for foreign climbers to exit 2014 and to return again with less financial losses to them. Perhaps opportune, this decision by the government may have been invoked after seeing an avalanche occur again directly at the same spot as last Friday. We assume this event may have realised to them the true risks involved if they continued to push the guides to press on with expeditions.
Our Everest climbers have already dispersed to climb Island Peak and Lobuche East, and Ed Marzec is returning to Kathmandu today. Tomorrow we will begin packing up and will start heading down from Saturday.
After supporting arrangements for Ankaji’s funeral, Lakpa has returned to Makalu base camp to continue the expedition on Makalu. Chris Burke and Vance Cook are acclimatising around base camp already.
Tomorrow Jangbu will return to Lukla with Allan and Sharon Cohrs, and Bobby Bajram. Bobby suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and is on a quest with EverestOne to climb Everest in the future. For now, he’s here to experience the beauty of the Khumbu and to climb Island Peak. Check out http://www.everestone.com.au for more details about this journey.