Stranded in Nepal’s Lockdown

Everest Himalaya
Free meals offered to stranded tourists in Kathmandu. Photo: Facts of NEPAL

Nepal’s lockdown, imposed a few days ago, has stranded hundreds of foreign tourists. While the embassies of several countries try to evacuate their nationals, trekkers in remote areas must first reach Kathmandu. Hotels, restaurants and shops are closed, prompting some kind locals to offer food and shelter. The Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) is one of the best sources of current information.

The abandoned streets of a normally bustling Kathmandu. Photo: Facts of NEPAL

“A total of 60 people, including 40 tourists and 20 guides and supporters stranded in Jomsom, have been rescued through the support and cooperation of local authorities,” TAAN reported today. “Also, with the coordination of Dharche Manaslu Rural Municipality, another three groups, including 10 tourists, have been rescued from the Manaslu region.”

The directive forbidding foreign planes from landing in Nepal.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, about 120 foreign tourists are stranded at Lukla, while another 200 are scattered between Namche Bazaar and Everest. This surely includes Peter Hamor, Michal Sabovčík and Horia Colibasanu. Hamor uploaded a picture of Sabovčík climbing at a sport crag just off Namche Bazaar, with no details about their current situation or return plans. However, Horia Colibasanu last checked in two days ago, on the way back from Kala Pattar, and confirmed that his trip was over and that he intended to get back to Romania.  “Returning home may be another adventure — let’s hope it’s not a sort of Seven Years in Tibet,” he wrote.

Michal Sabovčík climbing near Namche Bazaar on Wednesday. Photo: Peter Hamor

News from climbers at home

Meanwhile, in Europe, climbers are mainly staying at home, keep isolated and rearranging plans: Agencies hope that the mountains will be open again by fall, so that they can recover some of their lost income. Meanwhile, cancellations are expected soon from those booked for the Karakorum this summer.

In Italy, Carlalberto “Cala” Cimenti has some very good news to report. After days of struggling with COVID-19, he is finally feeling better and optimistic that he is on the road to recovery.

Cala Cimenti has his appetite back after a bout with COVID-19. Photo: Cala Cimenti

Related story:

No-Season Update

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to "ExplorersWeb BC" in 2018 and. Feeling right at home since then!

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