There were 40 expeditions planned to climb Everest from the Nepalese side of the mountain before the April 18 avalanche which killed 16 Sherpas.

kala patthar summit panorama showing everest, lhotse, and the khumbu glacierLast week we reported that two climbers rented a helicopter and flew to camp two, which is also called the Valley of Silence.

Born in Brazil, the American Cleo Weidlich is a 51-year-old veteran of the mountains. It is reported she is attempting Lhotse which shares camps with Everest to camp three.

Chinese Wang Jing has climbed four eight-thousanders, including Everest in 2010. She is attempting to climb the seven summits and reach the two poles in record time.

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It is illegal to use a helicopter on Everest without permission, with the exception of rescue operations from the Nepalese government.  It seems that the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has lost control over what happens on Everest. There are rumours of others hoping to rent a helicopter to camp two. The mountain is not closed, but as of now all climbers must climb through the Khumbu Icefall, air access is forbidden.

Weidlich wrote on her Facebook profile: I wanted to inform you that my climbing Everest massif will continue with or without ladders. I climbed up on one of the most dangerous mountains without them, and this peak is relatively safe, when you compare it with, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna and Kangchenjunga. I do not want to give in to pressure from the mob on Everest. I will decide when I reach my limits. Thanks to all for your positive energy, I feel it.”

Wang’s helicopter flight has put Russell Brice and his company Himalayan Experience aka Himex at huge risk per this newsletter:

“Many of you know that I have been dealing with the logistics for Jing Wang to climb the seven summits and two poles in record time. Of course this project came to an abrupt end when I was forced to cancel my Everest and Lhotse trips. I suggested to Jing that she go to the North side of Everest and obtain a climbing permit from the CMA or CTMA, but this was not forthcoming. Although Jing asked if I could arrange for her trip to continue on the South side, I refused and so did all my Sherpa staff.

In the event it appears that Jing has arranged to continue to climb with another agency and has without permission flown by helicopter to Camp two, despite me warning her not to.”

This has caused me considerable problems with the Ministry, who say that I am still responsible for Jing, despite me not knowing who the other operator actually is. Well in fact I do know who this operator is, but he continues to tell me lies, saying that he has not organised the seven Sherpa’s that are currently with Jing, although they all come from his company. Even after repeated phone calls he still does not come to the Ministry to take on the responsibility of the Sherpa’s insurance and other such matters. In the meanwhile the Ministry says that they will punish my company, quite a large fine and probably banned from coming to Nepal for five years. It is only in the past few hours that I have now been cleared of the responsibility for Jing and her phantom operator.”

So for members who might think that I have carried on with my expedition, please know that this is the exact opposite, these actions of others has caused me considerable pain and hard work to clear my company name in the past few days.”

Tashi Sherpa, whose expedition lost three guides said, “We decided not to climb out of respect for our friends who lost their lives at the mountain. It is not good that they are climbing. It does not reflect well on them or the mountaineering community here,” Sherpa told AFP news agency.

President of the Expedition Operators Association, Dambar Parajuli, said the government should investigate “how the two women chartered a helicopter and went off without informing anyone.”

It is clear that some climbers are willing to attempt Everest at any cost.

More on the Everest avalanche:

Everest Documentary 
Sherpa Fund
The Avalanche
An Industry in Peril
The Circus Won’t Go On


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