Everest Base Camp Updates

Everest Dining Tent
It’s another long day at Base Camp. The typhoon system that was forecasted is definitely starting to arrive here. Most of the day wet, warm snowfall fell with just a few short, sunny breaks. Hopefully, this will pass over quickly in the next couple days. We’re practicing with our oxygen systems and making sure everyone is familiar with their use and troubleshooting while we wait it out.
Tomorrow will be a big day. We are planning to test the whole team again for any potential new COVID issuesEBC Tents before considering a move up the mountain.  We seem to be one of only a handful of teams that are actually testing regularly, which leads to the question – what are teams doing that are not testing? Hopefully, we’ll have all negative tests tomorrow. We’re doing our best to manage any potential spread of COVID, which is just one more thing that adds a lot of stress to an already stressful climb. All of our Sherpa guides and team members will need to test negative in order for our expedition to move higher.
The weather looks better starting on the 22nd, although there might still a surprising amount of wind. Our risk

Weather Forecast EBC

Forecast provided by Marc DeKyser, Weather 4 Expeditions

tolerance limits for wind up high are around 30 knots, and it looks like there might only be a couple of days within those tolerances before the end of the season. We are focusing on a potential summit date on the 25th or maybe even later at this point. We are also hearing that the Icefall Doctors are plan to close the route through the Khumbu Icefall on the 29th. That’s a pretty tight window for our team and I expect there will be quite a lot of climbers up right till the end.

Here’s to a safe season!
Yahoo from the Mountain Trip Base Camp – Scott Woolums

Update on Covid status…

From Bill Allen, Mountain Trip Himalaya Program Director / Guide

Since our team’s return to Base Camp after an abbreviated second rotation up to Camp 2, they’ve been aggressively isolating and have tested our entire staff several times. Our last round of tests were administered last week and unfortunately came back with four positive results within our Sherpa team. We isolated the guys and flew them back to Kathmandu by helicopter where they were each given a PCR tests, which confirmed Covid.

They are currently recovering back in Kathmandu, where they are quarantining in a hotel. Our amazing local partners at Expedition Himalaya are making sure they are well taken care of by providing them accommodations, delivering food, etc. None of these guys are very ill, but they’ll need to wait it out in quarantine and then have a negative test before being able to go home and join their families. All of the Sherpa who have had to leave our team will be paid for the expedition and we are ensuring that they are well taken care of while they recover in quarantine.

Everest Base Camp Covid Tests

Covid-19 Antigen tests at Everest Base Camp

Since our last round of tests, we’ve continued to be as careful as we can in Base Camp, taking precautions to avoid spreading coronavirus amongst the team and totally isolating from all of the other teams. We have no idea where our team was exposed to the virus. We spent the first month of the expedition Covid-free, so it didn’t come in with our team and must have been picked up on the mountain.

Nobody is showing any symptoms in our camp now, and we will do another full round of testing in the next day or so while we wait out the typhoon and see where we stand. We obviously want to be very careful not to allow anyone who might possibly have Covid to ascend any further. We respect other teams’ decisions to end their expeditions due to their concerns about Covid, but we plan to keep our options open for now as long as we can keep our team comfortable at base camp, in part because we have the ability to test again before making any plans to move up.

This continues to be a challenging season on Everest as we try to deal with Covid issues and really challenging weather issues. Our team, including our experienced guides, are doing a great job of managing these risks and additional stresses. We’re incredibly fortunate to have Jacob Schmitz leading the team and having Scott Woolums bring his decades of Himalaya experience as Base Camp Manager. We also realize that there are always a lot of folks making judgements from the comfort of home about decisions made on Everest each year, and this year perhaps more than ever. We owe it to our staff and our clients to do our best to manage all the risks involved and give them an opportunity to reach their goals if an opportunity to do so remains possible. We’re proud of the hard work that everyone on our team has put in to creating that opportunity, from the administrative staff at Expedition Himalaya, including Nabin Trital, to our Sherpa and camp staff, as well as our guides, especially given the unprecedented challenges we’re seeing this year.

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  1. Elsie, looking ravishing as usual 😜 good luck to the entire team for the summit push, wishing speedy recovery to team’s Sherpas!

  2. Great work with the frequent testing, isolating and still paying the positive Sherpas for the expedition. You should be held as an example to other teams.

    Good luck to the whole team for the next few days and we hope that the perfect opportunity arise to do a successful summit.

    Elsie, you are in our thoughts on a daily basis.

  3. Hang in there everyone! We’re pulling for all of you – especially that Daniel guy! Miss you! Michael

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