FTA team member James Bingham rounding the Dablam in blistering winds. Image by Chris Szymiec courtesy of Field Touring Alpine (click to enlarge).
Approaching the Dablam on the newly scouted ice slopes. Image by Chris Szymiec courtesy of Field Touring Alpine (click to enlarge).
Ama Dablam's BC on November 24th. Image by Chris Szymiec courtesy of Field Touring Alpine (click to enlarge).
Himalaya wrap-up: Cops taking over Everest north side

Posted: Nov 27, 2008 04:16 pm EST
(MountEverest.net) Everests north side BC will get a new service next year: a brand new police station, courtesy of Chinese authorities, who reportedly intend to fight theft, gambling and prostitution in the area and make sure Tibetans think twice before fleeing their country.

In other news: another cool 8000+ winter climb is coming up - check in later today for a special update.

And back in BC one day after summiting Ama Dablam; FTAs team leader Chris detailed the new variation route followed by all teams this year.

Everest north side: Deadwood with a Chinese Sheriff in town

Everest north side has resembled the HBO Deadwood series for years now. The Everest high altitude reality version is however about to get a Chinese Sheriff to keep after climbers and the gold rush surrounding them.

Chinese authorities have reportedly decided to set up a fully-supplied police station on Everests north side to fight criminal activities such as thefts, fake guides, prostitution and gambling in the region.

The real target

The current advanced watch-post will soon be replaced by a proper police station, built at 5,200 meters, according to Tibet Daily. Police will keep order in the area and take charge of any police operations in Everest BC, to preserve a quiet atmosphere, Commander Zhang Shoucheng reportedly told the paper.

Obviously, several patrols will be assigned to watch over the border, in order to prevent Tibetans refugees from fleeing to Nepal, he added.

Ama Dablam: Details on variation route

Some have been calling it a new route, some more accurately a variation to the standard SW ridge on Ama Dablam, FTAs team leader Chris reported from BC on November 24th. Personally, after only being up there three years in a row and far from an expert, I believe the route below the Dablam is just inching its way to the right every year.

The Dablam is no doubt getting smaller and with that, the face below it is becoming more scoured. Far more rock and hard ice are now exposed but the line is essentially the same. I've never seen such a mess of old, older and ancient lines before. In the future I foresee more of the same. It will take a strong collaboration between teams to push a line around the Dablam.

Sherpas have names too

(As for our summit run) I have to mention once again how important and necessary the help of our local Sherpa staff was, Chris noted. Tsering, Pasang, Zangbu & Lahkpa worked so hard and without them, the climb would have been a totally different story. I'd love to hear more praise for these guys and girls. These unsung heroes always seem to get the generic '...and Sherpa' mention.

Links to current Ama Dablam teams:
FTA's Ama Dablam dispatches