Nepalis Summit Baruntse!

8000ers Himalaya Manaslu
File image of climbers on Baruntse's upper slopes. Photo: Asian Trekking
It’s almost hard to believe during this somber year, but this has been summit week in Nepal.
One day after the Bahrainis made it to the top of Manaslu, the local Nepal Tourism Recovery Expedition 2020 summited 7,129m Baruntse. The seven-member team, led by Dawa Steven Sherpa, left Camp 2 earlier today and reached the top shortly after noon.
The summiters were: Naga Dorjee Sherpa, Samden Bhote, Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa, Dawa Steven Sherpa, Pemba Tshering Sherpa, Samir Jung Thapa and Tsering Thundu Sherpa. Everyone made it safely back to Base Camp.

There is no news of other local teams currently climbing in Nepal, so this week’s summits will likely mark the end of the climbing season. After Nepal’s supposed opening raised the hopes of foreign climbers and trekkers, the government yesterday reversed its course and closed the country for a further month, prompted by a spike in COVID-19 cases. American Dan Mazur of SummitClimb, for example, was hoping to send a team to Ama Dablam but has since put all plans on hold. “We need to wait until coronavirus cases subside,” he told ExplorersWeb.

Other outfitters, such as Furtenbach Adventures, had already canceled their autumn expeditions to Nepal weeks ago. “It was clear that this autumn season would not happen because of rising [COVID-19] numbers,” said Lukas Furtenbach.

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 ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Mike Long
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There are two local climbers currently attempting an unclimbed peak near Jugal Himal