Last night we had our final team dinner at a nice restaurant in Kathmandu, where we began our expedition just over one month ago. Although this season on Everest was marked by tragedy, it felt good to be together and enjoy a nice meal among friends back from the mountain. Yesterday I went to the Ministry of Tourism to sign off on the expedition paperwork, and received notice that the SPCC had officially cancelled any plans to re fix the route from base camp through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1. We understand all teams have abandoned their climbs, both on the North and South sides of Everest, as the mountain is “closed” on both sides, by the Chinese and Nepalese governments respectively.
All of our climbers are now either on their way home or planning to leave Kathmandu in the next day or two. The damage caused to the city of Kathmandu by the earthquake is evident, but things seem very much back to normal, although the city is quiet and many businesses are still closed.
Our expedition had been going perfectly up until the earthquake occurred on April 25th. We had trekked to base camp, reviewed technical climbing skills for a full week in the lower Khumbu glacier, and had almost reached Camp 2 on our first acclimatization ‘rotation’ when the mountain shook. Those of us up high on the mountain were lucky, those in base camp were not. Our hearts go out to the family of our wonderful base camp doctor, Eve Girawong, and the others who perished at Everest Base Camp as a result of the earthquake. The overall loss of life in Nepal is very tragic, and we recommend the below relief fund if you wish to donate. There is much work to be done in helping the people of Nepal and in rebuilding the areas devastated by the earthquake, we will continue to support these efforts.
Although this season on Everest was challenging on many levels, we will continue to climb, and we will return to Everest.
Garrett Madison, Expedition Leader