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Top 7 Expeditions in the Spring 2018 Himalaya Season

K2 Mountain
Alex Gavan
Alex Gavan is doing Dhaulagiri and Nanga Parbat back to back this year

The spring 2018 Himalaya season is now well underway, with almost all teams in place and acclimatizing. This weekend, ExWeb published its comprehensive expedition guide, listing every expedition we have found – over 60 in total. While the majority of these are commercial expeditions repeating established routes, there are several that really stand out. Here are ExWeb’s top seven expeditions of the Himalaya season. Exweb will take an in-depth look at each of these expeditions and will follow them closely to keep you up to date with the developments.

Carlos Soria – Dhaulagiri

Carlos Soria

Photo: Carlos Soria

Having made eight attempts on Dhaulagiri, 79-year-old Spanish climber Carlos Soria is the embodiment of persistence. Last autumn, he was turned back about 100m from the summit by heavy snow. If successful on this ninth attempt, he will have climbed 13 of the eight-thousanders, leaving only Shishapangma for him to become the oldest to climb all 14 eight-thousanders in the world.

Horia Colibasanu & Peter Hamor – West Ridge, Everest-Lhotse Crossing

Horia Colibasanu and Peter Hamor

Photo: Horia Colibasanu

Set against the backdrop of the classic Everest routes congested by large, commercial expeditions, Romanian Horia Colibasanu and Slovak Peter Hamor are going fast and light. They intend to open a new route along the Everest-Lhotse traverse via the West Ridge without bottled oxygen.

Tenji Sherpa – West Ridge, Everest-Lhotse Crossing

Tenjing Sherpa

Photo: Tenjing Sherpa

A long-time climbing partner of Ueli Steck, left, Tenji was to join Steck on on his Everest-Lhotse Crossing before Steck’s fatal accident on Nutpse in 2017. In honor of his fallen partner, Tenji Sherpa aims to finish what Ueli started and in the same style.

Guy Cotter (Adventure Consultants) guiding Leow Kah Shin – Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest

Guy Cotter

Photo: IMDB

Bagging Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest in a single expedition requires a lot of factors to fall into place. Singaporean hedge-fund manager and ultra-marathon runner Leow Kah Shin calculates that his best chances lie in a private expedition with Adventure Consultants, one of the most established operators on the mountain. It will be interesting to see how this bet pays off.

Mingma G. Sherpa (Imagine Trek and Expedition) guiding Xia Boyu – Everest

Xia Boyu

Photo: Imagine Trek and Expedition

It sounds like a cliche, but age and “disability” are no barrier. Seventy-year old amputee Xia Boyu has made five attempts on Everest, losing his legs due to frostbite along the way. With the new regulations prohibiting the blind and amputees from climbing the mountain struck down by the Nepalese courts, Xia has resumed his plans to finally succeed in summiting Everest.

Boyan Petrov – Shishapangma & Everest North (then Cho Oyu?!)

Boyan Petrov

Photo: Boyan Petrov

Bulgarian climber Boyan Petrov has already summited 10 eight-thousanders without oxygen, four as the first Bulgarian to do so. This year he will climb Shishapangma, Everest from the Tibet side followed by Cho Oyu later in the year – a busy schedule by any standard. It will be interesting to see how he copes with such an extended time at altitude.

Kami Rita Sherpa (Seven Summit Treks) – Everest

Kami Rita Sherpa

Photo: AFP

Surely an icon for the Sherpa and indeed working-class people the world over, Kami Rita Sherpa currently shares the record of 21 summit successes but could become the world-record holder this year if his ascent while working for Seven Summit Treks is a success. All in a day’s work.

Other interesting expeditions and people include:

  • Alex Gavan and Pawel Michalski, climbing Dhaulagiri and Nanga Parbat back-to-back without O2
  • Don Bowie,  tackling Kanchenjunga, also without O2
  • David Liano in the process of climbing Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and K2 in support of Indian actor Deepika Padukone’s Live Love Laugh Foundation
  • Lhakpa Sherpa, the 44-year-old Nepali listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the woman with the most Everest ascents, aiming to break her own record with a ninth successful summit of Everest

The oldest and youngest climbers on Everest this year will be Funahashi Eiko (79) and Shivangi Pathak (16), respectively.

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[…] At the start of April, we looked at 7 key expeditions. […]