Peak Freaks Everest 2014' is cancelled due to safety concerns, firstly the route in my professional opinion is NOT safe and providing guidance through our expertise in safety is what we are paid for. We've cancelled expeditions before to save lives, this is not new to us. Nothing in mountaineering is absolute, we have to be flexible and move with the mountains, there are no guarantees. As I give this dispatch I hear an avalanche. Earlier today I listened to another coming from the same direction off the western shoulder that killed 16 Sherpas on April 17th.
What I am seeing here is exactly why we no longer climb on adjacent Ama Dablam 6856m and later Mount Pumori at 7145. We no longer climb those mountains due to global warming, the ice is melting, the glue that holds them together.
Secondly there is too much riff to consider safely moving forward as the political environment here is getting more complex and anger is developing. There is talk of retaliation on Sherpas who want to continue and I'm not about to be part of this or put any of my staff or clients in danger. There seems to be two tribes forming and this makes for a dangerous situation in an already unstable mountainous environment. If we care about our Sherpa families as so many say they do, then we must give peace a chance.
Tomorrow the Nepalese army and police are expected at base camp to try to talk to the Sherpas who do not want to climb into doing it for a few select operators that are putting pressure on them. This is not how we climb mountains!!
The ice-fall doctors who put the ladders and routes in through the ice-fall have made their decision that the glacier is not safe. Why wouldn't we listen to them? In addition 300+ Sherpas have put their names on an organized protest to not climb in respect of the recent deaths, why wouldn't we listen to them?
It's gotten too messy, we hung in here to see if we could learn from all of this and be of assistance in anyway through this crisis, but now that we have an army, police and angry Sherpas staging at base camp, it's time to go home.
We have 32 loads of equipment up at Camp 2. We are organizing jointly with Alpine Ascents and Adventure Consultants a helicopter to take up 3 Sherpas, one from each team, to organize the loads to be flown down to base camp avoiding the glacier all together.
Some of our clients have organized helicopter lifts to Kathmandu while others are walking out effective tomorrow morning.
We've been in the Sherpa community for 24 years as partners in tourism and have seen so much good come from it to a country that was once the 5th poorest in the world. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been generated here from mountaineering.
We will continue to climb on smaller mountains in Nepal and do what we can to keep the industry alive in Nepal, but we will tread softly on future plans with Everest.
Over and out